How I Nearly Gave Up On Running Altogether After Only My First Marathon.
The anticlimax of running my first marathon hit me hard.
After 18 weeks of running 5 times a week I was suddenly back in the same place I started. For the next month I sat around on my ass feeling sorry for myself.
You see I believed all the bullshit about how a marathon could transform your life and make you experience sensations that are reserved only for Nepalese monks or those with advanced-stage Dementia.
I quickly realised that 26.2 miles is an arbitrary figure. Why should running that particular distance lead to a Hallelujah moment? Was this shit written in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
To say I felt deflated was an understatement. I was still the same person with the same pissy attitude towards life.
How could that be?
Had I failed the marathon or had the marathon failed me?
I spent the next month asking myself wanky questions like this and drinking too much. I was still coming to terms with my Dad’s passing and I found myself with far too much time on my hands considering I wasn’t running anymore.
It was a terrible period. I spent 5 months thinking I was a marathoner and surfing on all of the hype that it brought and all of a sudden here I was again beached like a fat whale.
It came to a head in Birmingham when I slept in for the Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon after arriving there especially for the event. I hadn’t trained for it and I knew it would be a fucking chore.
I spent race day in Burger King and Wetherspoons.
I had a decision to make. I could give up all pretences of being a runner and return to being an angry fat bastard, or change course.
Feeling hopeless, I decided to give up drinking for the foreseeable future.
I also took up running again on my return from Birmingham. My first run back was in early July 2011. 3.5 miles. I had to stop at 2. I felt like death. I’d lost so much fitness from the marathon only 2 months earlier it was humiliating.
But I’m A Marathoner! This Shouldn’t Be So Hard!
I was so fucking annoyed at myself for losing any fitness I had that I felt like giving up for good.
But I did not give up on that day. Instead I went out and ran the same course but a lot slower.
It was a great run.
I didn’t break any speed records. But I did enjoy it. And I didn’t give up on running (obviously).
That one run was the foundation that allowed me to build up for two half marathons in September and October 2011. It’s the same foundation that gave me the platform to run 7 half marathons in 2012.
I couldn’t have ever imagined that back in July 2011.
So my message is this, if you’re thinking about giving up on running or you aren’t enjoying it at the minute, give it a while. Go easier. Don’t listen to those fucking retards who talk about sweating as a virtue or how you must go harder, faster and stronger each time.
They’re as mentally fucked up on their own brain chemistry as Lance Armstrong is on space biscuits.
Go at your own pace. Make running your own activity and above all enjoy yourself.
It gets easier and more fun.
Once you actually get to the place where you like running, then you can go faster!