Hello darkness, my old friend

At times it takes so much mental strength to go out for a run. It’s a battle fought from the moment I wake to the moment I decide to do it or to not do it, whatever wins out at the end of the day.

Tonight the running side of me won, not the ‘this is crap, I’m crap, I’ll always be crap’ side.

I’ve been experiencing that side of me a lot lately. Probably far too much to be healthy.

You hear stories of people in certain industries having to work twice as hard just to be treated as an equal … that’s the feeling I’m getting with my running, only in my case I get the sense that I’m working so hard just to be ‘poor’ – but I need to keep doing it because without it I’ll only slip, and keep on slipping.

Tonight was supposed to be an intervals session, so I dutifully programmed my Garmin and started off on my warm-up mile. About half-a-mile in I realised I hadn’t begun in the correct setting, I’d just started a ‘normal’ run instead of the pre-programmed intervals session.

I could have stopped, saved the little bit I’d done and went again but that would have annoyed me and I needed to be in the right mindset to tackle the intervals.

So I decided instead just to carry on as I was and just run for half-an-hour and have that do me for the night. It was starting to get darker anyway and perhaps a hard session later in the evening would mean I wouldn’t sleep well tonight.

As usual it takes me the first mile to get warmed up and into my stride, but towards the end of it I felt I’d loosened up quite a bit so upped the tempo going into mile two, coming in over a minute faster and blowing away a lot of cobwebs in the process.

I knew I wouldn’t get to a third mile by the time the 30-minutes was up and, to be honest, I wasn’t in the mood for carrying on but I did consciously increase my speed again to see how much of that third mile I could squeeze in before my time was up … it turned out I was another 25 seconds mph faster again which I was pretty pleased about.

Only a little run, but an important one. To have not bothered or to have given up because of a silly error would have been a defeat. I wasn’t defeated tonight.

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