Month: August 2018

Meandering motivation – the quest back to my best

It has been a while since I have been on here blogging because I haven’t really done much or had much to say. However, I have been doing lots of thinking and always find it helpful to pen my thoughts so to speak. This is about what I have been up to since April!

So after completing the Manchester marathon back in April, I was genuinely pleased with the result. Only missing out on sub3 by 46 seconds is a time I still consider a massive achievement. Yes I would have liked to have broken through the magic 3 hour barrier but it wasn’t to be.

In the weeks that followed I actively rested. I deliberately took time away from running, time away from following a plan, time away from running every evening, time away from the constant repetition of warming up and stretching and ultimately time away from chasing a goal.

What was meant to only be a two week break ended up being extended. On the third week I got a bit ill, something that didn’t happen all through my training, which meant I had no energy to get started again. I tried to get out for a few runs in the following weeks and even signed up for a local 10k hoping to beast myself and reignite my motivation to get going. If the course was measured correctly it would have been a PB by a good chunk of time. However, finding out it was short didn’t really help motivate me.

Ultimately, what was meant to be a 2 week break turned into a 2 month break, then a 3 month break. In that time I was still doing the odd run and been heading to track sessions most weeks but not doing anywhere near the level of focused training that I had been doing. This really showed in my track sessions which were now harder and I am now not keeping up with the runners I once was.

I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting about why I feel this way and why it has been hard to get motivated again. I think it basically comes down to the marathon time. I worked so hard in that training block and unfortunately came up short. I was buzzing but if I had broken it, then wow! I would have been really buzzing. I also look at it and think that coming up just a little bit shorts makes me feel I could break it if I followed the training process again. But the idea of that hasn’t excites me. Mostly because of the effort I put in and also the confidence in myself to be able to do it. If it was a couple of minutes it would be harder, but 45 seconds maybe not. I don’t consider that arrogance to say that, I consider that confidence in my focus when I have a goal.

I think I want to run more marathons and have entered the ballot for London and will probably do a spring marathon next year but I don’t know how I will approach it.

I have the Great North Run lined up in September and the plan was to roll my training on to that so I could go easy but get a decent time and enjoy the experience. Well so far I haven’t really done any proper training plan so need to change that or it will really hurt.

I imagine that everybody has motivation dips at times and I think the hardest thing to do is to accept it and not feel bad for missing runs. After being immersed in a training block, I would feel guilty for not running regularly and this made it worse. Once I accepted that I wouldn’t do run sessions everyday it became less of a worry and stress. Gradually I have begun to re-find my motivation and have approached the last couple of weeks by running most days but at a slower pace to get time on my feet and start building it up. Looking back I feel I tried to go too hard too soon at times and it just exhausted me as I wasn’t fit enough.

Now the school holidays are here and I’m rejuvenated and refocused. I have some interesting running ideas for the break and really need to focus on getting my body right before I begin tackling these.

Time to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone. And then hopefully I will be back ready to take on the marathon again!