This is a difficult post to write.
By nature I seem to swing easily from being strictly disciplined to a layabout (ok, that’s an exaggeration!). So when I set a goal and manage to stick to the process it’s a massive deal, particularly with running, because I find it difficult.
I can’t believe that I built up to a 5k race from nothing. And then 10k. All year I’ve had my sights on the local Half Marathon at the start of March, because that’s what kicked the whole thing off for me: I saw the runners last year and had an adrenaline rush. I wanted to be them.
On Saturday I ran/walked 15km for the first time. I felt a great sense of achievement – only 6km short of a Half Marathon! I told myself that with the seven remaining weeks I’d be able to do it – not fast, obviously, but I’d get through it. That was my aim after all…
The problem is that I had a nagging voice in my head – it was hard to tell at first whether it was fear, wisdom, common-sense, self-doubt or laziness! But once my ‘conscience’ starts to talk I can’t get away from it; it demands a change of course.
I run badly. I can feel that it’s not right. I have also been told so by people who know! My feet were in pieces after Saturday, my joints weren’t happy, and…wait, did I used to have skin on my heel? I can put up with aches and other symptoms of productive effort, but it’s different when I’m concerned about doing damage.
I’ve decided not to do the Half Marathon. Not yet. I don’t want to cheat myself by running the distance carelessly. I know that I can do it and maybe that’s enough for now. There will always be other races.
I need to go back a step, learn some technique and stop inviting injury. I really want to do it, and I’m sure I will eventually. I want to do it right. It’s hard when I’ve come so close, but I’m just not ready for it yet. I struggled with my last two kilometres on Saturday – there was nothing left in the tank. I couldn’t even do a Mo Farah-style sprint finish!
Yes, it’s a hard decision when I wanted to do it so much – but at least I know that I’m not wimping out. It’s just that my ego isn’t a good enough reason to go ahead.