The Scribbler

15 July 2010

I blame the lack of potatoes

Filed under: Great North Run,run — The Scribbler @ 17:44

On Tuesday, I was on a high. I was very proud to tell even more people about baby Ava and why the Great North Run means more than ever to me this year. Even though her story is a sad one, she will not be forgotten.

And I was chuffed to bits to find out I’ll be running with Haile Gebrselassie ( a long way behind him mind).

So what happened the next day? I had a bit of a mental crash on my run.

It wasn’t so good from the start. My legs felt heavy. It was deceptively hot, even though it was overcast. Within the first mile I talked myself into cutting the planned distance short. After 3 miles I stopped and walked for 30 seconds, managed a jog for a couple more minutes then stopped again.

I felt guilty for giving up so easily. I felt like crying. My mind racing, jumbling. Adrenaline high, adrenaline low. Can I make up this run on another day? Am I coming down with something? Why didn’t I go out first thing this morning? What’s up with me? Should I take a day off? Cancel Thursday’s training? Am I being a wuss? Have I taken on too much? Is this where it all goes wrong?

Do you know that bit in ‘A Day in the Life’ by the Beatles, just after John Lennon’s vocal, where the orchestra kicks in, playing faster and faster, growing more discordant and desperate? That’s what it was like in my head for a few moments.

By the time I’d walked jogged back to work, the signal to noise ratio was somewhat clearer. It felt good when I came to a stop and stretched, but I soon realised I was still feeling a bit spaced out.

I inhaled a sandwich and bottle of water, realising I hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast – which might explain the slightly disconnected, muzzy feeling in my head. I’m not normally such a delicate flower, but I figure that as food seemed to solve the problem, food was what I’d been lacking.

On Tuesday night, my work team were invited out for a meal to celebrate our part in the success of a recent campaign. There were two things on the menu I fancied, the pasta and the fish. The waitress couldn’t tell me what the fish came with and while my selction of tasty morsels in white wine sauce with a helping of spinach was very nice, I could have done with a potato or two. What is it with restaurants that don’t serve you proper vegetables?

Sorry this is an indulgent blog. One of those times when I’m writing to make sense of something for myself. I also want to remember it’s not all plain sailing. I’ve had moments like this before – throwing my toys out of the pram on a training run, losing the focus, the mental resolve – even when the run hasn’t been that taxing. And each time they get a bit easier to deal with.

In the moment of increasing fear and panic it feels unsurmountable. The bubble of my doubts and fears rises to the surface. But it is just that… a bubble. A bubble that soon bursts. In the dull measured light of the afternoon it hardly seems worth all the mental space it once occupied.

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