“When life sucks, run!”

(But be careful……) 

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I’ve only been, what I would class as ‘a runner’ for the last few years. Before that football was where I got my fitness but once I decided to hang up my boots and make the swap I quickly wished I had been pounding the pavements years earlier. You see, one of the well-known benefits to exercise, especially running, is the mental release that you get from being out there clocking up the miles. The “runners high” as it is often referred to. It’s quite addictive.
To give you some context, 2017 has sucked. Really sucked. There have been lots of personal challenges to deal with. Following the unexpected loss of my father at the end of January my mind has been elsewhere. The days have felt darker, the motivation has been hard to find at times and being in social environments has been immensely difficult. One of the few times I have felt at ease is when I have been out running. Sometimes on my own and sometimes with one or two very trusted friends. Without a doubt, it has been a huge help and has provided an opportunity to clear my head and gain clarity. Indeed, over the last month or two, I feel as though I have got into the best shape that I have been in and the test of this will come on Easter Monday where I chase an elusive sub 1:30 half marathon time at Boston.
Whilst being tough, I have found solace in focusing intently on my fitness. The 5:45 am alarms to complete a 3 miler and a set of circuits. A healthier diet and then a second evening run on many days with more miles and more speed. It has all helped.
Until yesterday ……..
Call it a ‘wobble’. A ‘bump in the road’. Or a ‘blip’. Whatever it was, the last 24 hours has not been good and I found myself worried that I wasn’t going to get my runs and my new routine completed. What was planned for a 10 miler last night got chopped at 5 miles (followed by a long walk back). A lack of sleep, with all sorts going around the mind, then occurred meaning that this morning’s 5:45 am call was a lot tougher than usual.
Did I run this morning? No.
Did I feel guilty about it? Yes.
That was until I remembered where I had come from to where I am today. At the minute, feelings are low, but later today the sun will set and it will rise again tomorrow and we will do it all again. For me? Well, I am not going to get hung up about missing a run and tomorrow I won’t set the alarm and I will have a full rest day from exercise. And do you know what…..it will be ok because sometimes you just have to give yourself a break when it just doesn’t quite happen, regroup, and go again.
“Everything will be ok in the end, and if it isn’t ok, it’s not the end” – John Lennon

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