What Do You Have To Achieve As A Runner To Feel Happy Within Yourself?
As runners we tend to put pressure on ourselves to run faster and further and it’s seemingly never ending.
We complete training schedules that we once thought would be impossible but at the end of the experience instead of feeling proud of ourselves, we focus on what went wrong and how we can go faster next time.
Will there ever be a point where you’ll have achieved enough to be happy?
My main goal over the next few months is to run a sub 4 hour marathon. In my mind I can only imagine how happy I would be if I achieved what I set out to.
Still I know that if I did manage this I’d find reason to be unhappy with my performance.
3:59!?! You could have at least ran 3:58 you lazy fucking bastard. You’re still nearly 2 hours slower than the real athletes you doss cunt.
And it would continue on from there.. The endless striving to get better. Wanting to arrive somewhere I’ll never get to. And even if I did arrive, how would I know I was there? Will Colin Jackson dance down from the crowd and tickle my balls?
I remember crossing the line at the 100k and just feeling pretty flat. There was no emotion. Just a “thank fuck that’s over, now how quickly can I get to the nearest J.D Wetherspoon without insulting all of Brighton with my musky sack?”
Mo Farah epitomises it best. He ran a 2:08 in his first marathon at London and came out of it heartbroken. Even if he had won the race I’m sure he would have found grounds to be disappointed within himself.
The need to succeed too often trumps the need to remain sane.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try.
4 years ago today I entertained the thought of becoming a runner for the first time. The idea that anyone could run 5k without stopping intimidated me.
My first ever jog was in Berlin. I’d spent the afternoon in Alexanderplatz and had a 1.5 litre stein of Warsteiner and a plate of Currywurst with Pommes Frittes for dinner.
I forgot to go to the toilet in the restaurant and ended up having to sprint across to White Trash Fast Food in the former DDR to have the piss of my lifetime.
3 days after that I drunkenly decided to enter the Belfast Marathon whilst in Prague. I was still 240lbs and a bit of a fucking mess.
Since then I’ve ran 6,000 miles, several marathons, a 50k and an absolute abortion of a 100k and I still don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything which is why I’ve been entering crazier and crazier challenges.
This is pretty fucking ridiculous
I’ve lost touch with where I started off from.
When you focus on how far you’ve left to go you tend to forget how far you’ve come.
With the 100k I fell into the trap of thinking that I’d finally hit the point where I’d be happy within myself at my accomplishments and then that would be that.
To a certain extent I did have an epiphany there. It took a breakdown in Ardingly at the 70k mark to realise that I was pushing myself too hard and that I’d never find happiness or acceptance through these insane fucking challenges.
Quite the opposite.
All I can do is revert to my old philosophy of trying to end each day in a stronger position than where I started from.
If I can do that for most of the rest of my life then I won’t have to worry about shit.