The Scribbler

3 November 2009

I stopped and walked today

Filed under: run — The Scribbler @ 23:21
Tags: ,

I can’t remember the last time I did that on a flat run. It’s probably been almost a year. But today I stopped. There was nothing wrong with me. I simply stopped because my head wasn’t right.

My training plan target had been for a much longer run at something like what I hope to be race pace come Sunday. But mentally my efforts and thoughts were a scramble, a bit defeatist and doubting to be honest. Within the space of an hour I’d gone from checking out half-marathons for next year to stalling on a distance I cover week in week out. Normally I can talk myself out of those ‘slow down’ moments, but today, I don’t know, I gave in.

As I picked myself up again and convinced myself to run back, I imagined what I’d write in this blog. In a strange way it helped, because as I ran and thought, I answered my own questions.

More experienced runners than me have spoken of the flat feeling after a big event or race. And, although lining up a 10k to keep me in training after the Great North Run was a good idea, I think I’ve got a bit too swept up in the competitiveness.

For so much of my running experience it’s been a release, a chance to clear my head and escape busy thoughts. It’s important to me that I keep that. So instead of adding more pressure to go faster, to target a time, I just need to give myself a break and fall in love with running again.

I’ll still race on Sunday and give it all I’ve got. And I should do a fast time, hopefully faster than I’ve done in training so far. But I’m going to enjoy it. That’s my focus. Not some target time.

And after that, well, I think I’ll run off plan for a while. Run without targets or times or artificial pressures. Maybe run a little less and focus on something else, like improving my swimming for example. And hopefully that way I’ll be able to find my precious moments of running zen, when it all comes together perfectly.

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