Taking The Time Out To Realize My Running Improvements When Things Aren’t So Good

Working Hard Since The Summer

After my trip to Scotland back in June i made the decision to enter an ultra event. I had a couple of 10k events in the summer and settled on doing the Stort 30 ultra at the end of October. From June onwards I started working hard on improving my mileage following a Hal Higdon marathon plan. It seemed to be ok at the time and I adapted it a little to fit work and family events along the way. In hindsight it wasn’t quite as good as I hoped for and that along with running in fairly new shoes turned the 30 miles in to a real hard slog.

The Mileage

I had been putting in 3 to 4 runs of between 5 and 8 miles during the week and then going for a long run on Sunday continually trying to increase over time. Starting out at 12 miles and then progressing toward 20 miles. I hit a 20 mile road run in August of 2 hours 48 minutes so was pleased with the progress at that point. I then reduced the Sunday miles slightly and began a build up back toward 20 miles for the ultra. 2 weeks before the ultra I hit another 20 miler out on the course in a time of 3 hours 28 minutes, which was to be expected being off road so I was still happy with that time. The ultra didn’t turn out as well as i had planned and afterwards adapted my running plan to include some treadmill speed sessions a couple of times a week and doing some longer miles more often. This was panning out well and after 3 weeks I was starting to see the speed out on the road improve. The long miles were also back at 20 miles and I was hoping to start increasing those runs toward marathon distance.

Illness Strikes

Then out of the blue I have been hit with flu. Without warning, went to bed feeling fine and woke up feeling as if I had been trampled on by an elephant! I’ve spent the last 10 days feeling pretty rough with all the usual sneezing, nose blowing, headache, sore throat and chesty cough. Not being able to get out and run and sitting around dosing up on Lemsips I feel as if all the hard work is leaching away and every day that passes is ending back to square 1 with all the hard work to be done all over again!

Mental Self Doubt

Anyone that knows me knows i’m not one for self pity. It serves an individual no good and is a dreadful mental state to be in. A self pitier makes excuses for themselves why things aren’t going well in their life and then expects everyone else to run around rectifying things and picking up the pieces!! No! Not for me.  BUT. I have been thinking about all the hard work that seems to be slipping away. I planned to nurse myself through Christmas and pick again in the New Year. Get back to my new plan that was starting to work and build it up again. Also thinking as to why when things are going so well there always seems to be a spanner lurking around the corner waiting to jump into the works. Starting to feel a little better, although still with blocked sinuses and a chesty cough, I thought I would turn out for the first cross country of the season. I was just planning on having a steady run around, getting some fresh air and hoping it would help me to feel a bit better. I ran the 4.96 miles in 40 minutes 18 seconds. 5 minutes and 40 seconds faster than last year! 

Learning To Worry Less And Hold Onto Positivity

So proof if it were needed that I needn’t have worried so much and been down about being knocked back by illness. If the hard work is put in in times of wellness it will be well retained in times of illness. As a runner I think I am used to being of a mindset that I need to be in a state of continual forward progress. Anything less and it feels like the wheels are falling off the wagon. My physical ability will slowly but surely continue to incrementally improve but I need to relax a little more when things don’t appear to be happening in times of illness and also injury. I may read some books on positive thinking during times of doubt or hardship. The physical side of running is good the mental side needs improvement.

For all those that are good enough to follow and read my blog this maybe my last post this side of Christmas. So just incase I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Have a great time with your families and friends and to some great running adventures in 2014.

 

 

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