For the first time in 11 years, I don’t have a running event booked in my calendar and it feels good.
[other than the Inflatable Santa 5k which was postponed from last year - which doesn’t count!]
Last weekend I completed the London Winter 10k. A great event in London in aid of Cancer Research with a Winter theme; think snow, penguins, polar bears and huskies.
I love it, it’s really good fun, despite my very well-known distaste for running. But I love it mainly because it’s a jolly good weekend away.
But I think this was my last running event.
I have really tried to like running…really tried.
Since 2006 I have run:
2 London marathons
1 Silverstone half marathon
5 Whole hogs
2 Twilight 10k
3 Race For Life
2 Pretty Muddy
9 Virtual Runs
1 London Great Run 10k
4 Kesgrave 5ks
2 Inflatable Santa 5k
2 Insane Terrains
5 London Winter 10k
2 Colour dashes
1 Poppy run
I have really tried.
There’s been blood. There’s been sweat. There’s been tears. There’s been pain. There’s been injuries.
I’ve trained. I’ve had fun. I’ve made some great friends. I have loads of great medals. I’ve had PBs. Hell I’ve even inspired others to take up running - I have no idea how, I’m always so very honest!
I just don’t think it’s for me.
And I think the time has finally come for me to embrace my retirement. To say out loud that I quit. I’ve been threatening for ages because for me running has been something that I feel I should do rather than something I want to do. It has always been a joke and I don’t think people realise how mentally scarred I am from running. How can something as simple and good for your health as running put you into such inner turmoil?
I’m not even exaggerating.
Many say that running is good for your mental health. Walking yes, but not running. There was even a programme about it on the TV last year. Not for me. It mostly makes me feel sad and filled with dread. When out running my brain doesn’t switch off and just enjoy being out there. It does when I walk, I really enjoy it. But when I run my brain is filled with dark and evil thoughts about how much I hate running.
(I’m wondering if I need therapy!)
Having no more events to face is like a weight being lifted off my shoulders.
I still want to be involved with the running community. I will still continue to positively encourage anyone to take up running. I will support those who want to take their running to the next level. I will continue volunteering at running events. Running will still be a part of my outdoor fitness classes. I will even prescribe running for those who want to get fit and healthy.
But I am no longer going to practice what I preach. And I will be honest about that.
I made the mistake of making a joke at class the other week, where I perhaps undiplomatically stated that “anyone can run a marathon”. This of course was taken in a derogatory context which was not how it was meant - but often I do have a tendency to be direct. What I meant was that anyone who is physically able, without injury, of any shape, size or sex, could put the training in and run a marathon. If I can, anyone can!
Physically human-beings are made to run. For me it is the mental strength I don’t have. In most other circumstances I am mentally strong - but running is my mental nemesis. And I don’t think that will ever change. I’ve really tried.
Who knows…maybe one day I’ll have a running epiphany.
But I doubt it.