Saturday, 8 February 2014

Running Demons…...

A few days ago some little bright spark decided to post on our Gold Coast Marathon page a reminder that it was only 150 days to go until the race.  WTF!!!  Who does that?  She knows who she is and she will read this, but all is good.  Why am I reacting like this, or overreacting like this should I say?  Purely and simply because I am basically shitting myself about the entire thing.

As everyone already knows, a marathon is a huge personal achievement.  It is a scary proposition having to run 42.195 kilometres in one go.  There is a reason the overwhelming majority of people don't do one.  It isn't because they can't, it is because they are not so bloody stupid.  So yes I decided last year that was going to be my main athletic goal and challenge for 2014 after I decided not to attempt a half ironman triathlon (which coincidently is on tomorrow in Geelong).  It was a good idea at the time, but that was back when I was fit, confident and looking for a new challenge.

So, with less than 5 months until my big day, I am seriously battling inner demons, my body and my fitness.  I am slowly working it all out but it is becoming close to the time where it needs to sort itself out or I will be doing a run and not be 100% prepared mentally or physically.  Now don't get me wrong, I know after having done my 2 half marathons last year just what the human body can achieve when under pressure.  My first run was done on 4 weeks training and only having run 14kms as my longest run.  My sheer stubbornness and will to run the entire distance got me there.  The second was a little different because I suffered cramps in both thighs for the last 7kms.  Now this was painful and slowed me down considerably, but I managed to finish it without stopping.  This is partially due to my stubbornness, but also to the fact that the human body is capable of a lot of things that we don't give ourselves credit for.

I look at the above quote and whilst I believe it to be true, I also believe that the body can achieve more than the mind allows us to believe.  This is the difference between where I am at currently and where I need and want to be.  If I was in the frame of mind that this quote suggests, I would be pushing the boundaries everyday, exceeding my limitations physically and setting new records.  Sadly, when I am out training at the moment I am fighting voices and mental demons, all which want me to stop, go home and sit on the couch.  My body is telling my mind to Shut The F*&k Up and just keep running.  My legs can cover more distance than my mind is telling me they can.  

So this is the first of the battles I have currently.  My second is less about mental barriers at the moment (well some of it is) but more so physically.  I suffered a niggling injury behind my right knee when I was out cycling during 2013 and just put it down to fatigue.  Sadly it has flared up again of late and when I have been doing my PT sessions I have noticed that squats and lunges make it throb and hurt.  It seems to be worse in the mornings and as I warm up it gets better.  Shit that just sounds like old age, but it isn't.  This has caused me to adjust the way I have been moving and last week when doing a run on my treadmill I felt my glute and hamstring tighten.  This rang alarm bells and I stopped after 2kms.  Yep, only 2kms.  I am only 40kms short of where I will need to be.

Now this is not the end of the world, I still have plenty of time to train, so long as I get this right.  I am going to see my wife's physio next week and get an expert opinion.  I have been through my PT coursework and have isolated where I believe it to be, but I am not doing google doctor on him and will take his advice and get it right.

The main thing that scares me is that i have a 10km run in Geelong in 3 weeks.  This will be great as it is on part of the half marathon course which I am doing again this year, but it will be a slow and hard run.  I know I can do it, I did one in November having not run since July, but that isn't the point.

So basically, I have my work cut out for me over the next few months.  Beating mental demons, beating physical issues and more importantly pushing boundaries and limits on both sides.  The marathon is far from easy, I know this, but I don't need to add to the difficulty by doubting myself all along the way.

I will get there and I will achieve something that I never dreamt possible or considered, but I may just end up like Pheidippides the ancient Greek courier whom is responsible for this crazy feat.  On reaching Athens, which will be the equivalent to my finish line, he delivered his message and then dropped dead.  I can see the parallel there but hope I get to live past that.  I have a holiday booked to Malaysia and Phuket 2 days later.