Positive Thinking Didn’t Help Today On My Long Run. Not Thinking At All Did.
Well today was the day of my long run and with only 2 weeks to go until the Great Birmingham Run I knew I had to run at least 10 miles to keep my training on track.
I knew the run was gonna suck having ran twice on Saturday to try to make some miles up. And I was right. The run did fucking suck. I tried to enjoy it but every time I managed to slip into the flow some bastard dog would give me grief for merely existing.
With each outburst I just inwardly shouted “fuck your mother” to the dog. If dogs are telepathic, then this might explain why I get so much grief off them. They can hear my silent swears. They are secretly counting the number of times I call them a “god damn motherfucking whore” and are biding the time for their revenge.
The Power Of Shutting The Fuck Up.
I can be such a negative idiot when I’m out running. Today was a perfect example of how bad it can get at times.
I’ve tried reading positive thinking/new age books before to see if they would help but it is largely horse-shit. The worst one was ‘The Secret’which I read last year and is written by an absolute bonehead called Rhonda Byrne.
This is what she actually wrote.
“Thoughts are magnetic, and thoughts have a frequency. As you think, those thoughts are set out into the Universe, and they magnetically attract all like things that are on the same frequency. Everything sent out returns to the source. And that source is You.”
Sounds perfectly fucking reasonable doesn’t it?
Well not really. What about Anne Frank? I mean she was hardly sending out the thoughts of a genocidal maniac out into the Universe. But guess who came a-knocking on her door?
The fact is that this shit only applies to middle-class liberal Westerners with too much guilt on their minds to actually survey the world they inhabit.
You can think positively all you fucking want but it won’t make a jot of difference especially whilst running. If you haven’t trained, or you’ve ate like shit, or you’re hungover then positive thinking won’t take you very far.
Your Body Is Your Judge, Jury and Executioner.
I had no positive thoughts today on the run.
But I still managed to get through it.
I didn’t envisage any of that fist-pumping bullshit. I just tried to stop thinking altogether.
If I try to force positivity then negative thoughts will automatically come into my head. If I think “wow only 3 miles to go, I’m doing fucking superb!” I’ll start counting down the mileage and the negativity will come back with a vengance with thoughts like “this shit this is taking forever! What’s the point?”
Better Not To Think At All
The only self-help book that resonated with me was “The Power Of Now” by Eckhart Tolle.
The idea behind it is that your thoughts are not who you are and that you waste so much of your fucking time just arguing with yourself over bullshit and it’s unnecessary.
I’ve noticed that I run at my best when there are no “voices in my head”. The time goes by much more quickly and I start feeling good about myself without having to try to be positive. It feels like I’m watching myself and it’s fucking great.
Today ‘the flow’ hit properly for the first and only time at around 10 miles. I felt like I was floating. I wasn’t thinking whatsoever. In fact I had a moment where I didn’t know where I was or what I was doing and I started to panic a little before the old thoughts kicked in.
We’re nearly home you fool (AND I BET YOU’LL FUCKING STOP!) (Please stop?)
It was because of these little breaks from all of the thoughts in my head that I was able to pull through and run a half marathon in 2:17 (a pretty crappy time I know, but I would have settled for 10 miles at any pace before I set out.)
Without those little breaks I think I’d have stopped short of 11.
So the morale of my long run today is pretty straightforward. Shut off your mind altogether. and just run and see how far your body alone will take you.
Never mind all of the positivity bullshit.