Back to Day One

Be warned – if you don’t like a moaney post you might want to look away now…

Things haven’t been great for me for a while, health wise I’m still one of the luckiest people in the world and I’m doing really well but the rest of my life has been a bit more difficult recently. I’ve been feeling pretty down, mentally, for a while now and although there are some places where I can put my finger on the reason, for the most part, I don’t really know why I’m feeling like this. Hopefully it’s just a blip and I can get back on track again in no time.

I was doing so well really, I was training and training well for my second half marathon. I was running so well, my paces had increased so much and I was really enjoying running for the first time since I started. Things seemed to have clicked and I was loving it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m still really slow for most people but I got my first sub 30 5km and my first sub 1 hour 10km which were huge accomplishments for me. I was feeling great and starting to dream about my next goals (sub 25 5km and sub 50 10) and more importantly believing I could do it.

My half marathon training was ticking away nicely, I was running further and further without stopping to walk and I was loving it! I was headed for a 2:05 half time, my longer term goal was a sub 2 hour half which although I’d have loved to have got this year I just knew it wasn’t on the cards for me, this years event was merely a stepping stone to the bigger goal for next year and I was doing so well that I didn’t mind that I wasn’t going sub 2 this year.

Then things started heading south for me personally. S and I bought an amazing house, which I love, that needs a lot of work at around the same time that I lost my job. This worked out well for us as it meant that I was in for workmen and deliveries etc, it also meant that I could do a lot of the prep work to save us some much needed money (no job remember). However, this meant that quite often I was working all day / waiting for people to arrive and shattered by the end of the day. So the last two weeks of my half training before the big day I ran a total of one time, yes I know!

The half came and didn’t quite go as planned, everything was going really well up until between 11 and 12km, I was on course for my 2:05 finish and feeling pretty good about it then things went downhill pretty fast. I pretty much fell apart at the 12km marker, my feet, toes especially, started hurting so so much, my hips followed suit pretty soon after that and mentally I gave up. The longest run I’d done in training was 18km and not only did I finish faster than I was going in the half but it felt easy, smooth and relaxed, a polar opposite to how I was feeling on race day – I kept telling myself I’d gone longer in training but it wasn’t working. The last half of the race was just going through the motions to get to the finish. Mentally it was such a tough race and I finished feeling despondent and defeated.

Last year I finished in 2:31 and this year I finished in 2:14


All because of how I was feeling and because I missed my 2:05 goal. I was so down on myself and I spent so much time beating myself up that I failed to see what I accomplished.

After that things continued to feel down, I developed an issue with my piriformis on my left side which has, until recently, stopped me from running anything longer than 1km at a time, I’ve spent most of my time doing physio exercises set by my PT and trying to get rid of the pain.

I’ve now found a new job, for now, but it’s very varied hours and only part-time. I’m hoping that more work will come along and I’ll get kept on but I’m self-employed and the industry I work in is in a massive slump at the moment so I’m just lucky to have work, I know a lot of my former colleagues who aren’t working.

So it’s been tough to find a routine in a week that pretty much has none but I know that I always feel so much better when I work out and although when I’m feeling down it’s the last thing I want to do, I need to remind myself that it’s precisely what I need to do.

I’ve joined a gym near my new office and my plan is to go before work every morning, it’ll mean I can build up my running distances on the treadmill, the weather has been really icy and cold recently. The cold I can handle but with my dodgy hip I daren’t risk any slips.

I used to go to the gym before work most mornings at my last job and it always set me up for the day – most of the time it was just 30 minutes either working on speed work on the treadmill or a quick HIIT session but it always did wonders for my day. Plus there’s always an awesome smugness that comes with the knowledge that you’ve run 10km before most people are out of bed!

So, after all of the whingeing and moaning above, I’m declaring this day one. I’m starting afresh. Here’s to things picking up and a great winter training phase.


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