Marathon Diaries – 9
This week saw me take on more than a few challenges, and let’s just say I felt more than a little emotional by Sunday evening. True to form I then picked an emotionally charged movie about autism as my Sunday night flick… You know just to make sure I was a real emotional wreck.
Let’s kick off with work, now I know this is my marathon diaries post, but work has a big part to play in what happened this week. I was prepping for an interview all week to put my name in to the mix against other talented names. It’s not a forever job; it is a maternity cover position. That doesn’t bother me though it is a real chance for me to develop, push myself outside my comfort zone and once again prove to myself (and a few others) what I’m capable of. Not only that I’m highly interested in certain aspects of the role, and for the first time in a long time i’ve felt really engaged and invigorated by the potential of ‘the future’ and making a real change in our organisation. I told myself I didn’t care, but I cared, I cared a lot and had put a lot of pressure on myself. Luckily the pressure paid off and I was successful at interview and am now the caretaker of a shiny new job… Emotional!
My husband also had his final exam to become qualified in his chosen field. He has been working for two years towards this goal. The road to these exams started with a crazy accident, a broken leg, and a journey none of us could’ve predicted. He now works for a great company who really support him and I’ve been in total awe of his dedication and commitment over the past 2 years to change careers. This week he did it, and passed that final test. I couldn’t be prouder of him; he honestly teaches me so much and balances me out in so many ways… Emotional!!
And now to the training part.
Monday I rested after my 14 miler on Sunday, I used the foam roller and stretched out when I could. Work was crazy busy, and had to consume most of my focus.
Tuesday I went to my lunch time yoga where we worked on twists and I focussed on my Reverse Trikonasana; trying to move away from rounding in the back and instead drawing the hips up and folding forwards into the pose.
I missed my training run on Tuesday to celebrate the passing of the above exam. I don’t know why missing a training run effects me so much, but I felt like suddenly I wouldn’t be able to ever run a marathon. All because of that one 5 miler I didn’t do. That doubt sat heavy in my stomach for the whole week… Crazy right! Does anyone else get this insane notion?
Wednesday was my weekly PT Strength Training session. We focussed a lot on upper body and core work. I’ve been gradually increasing my weight on the bar as my form improves, and this week was the heaviest I’ve ever managed. After the bar work we moved to the mats to work with sandbags on power cleans, crunches, planks and all that good core work. I went for a swim with my sister after, my arms already ached so I stuck to the slow lane.
Thursday another crazy busy day at work meant I was late home. I managed to get out for a run with some of the run club guys and gals. We did about 5.5 where I tried to push my speed, including some hill work.
Friday was my interview, and I had to travel to Bristol for it. I really didn’t want to miss another run, so my husband and I got up before the sun for 4.5 miles. I’m not great at early morning workouts, but this one felt good. I think it gave me some much needed head space pre interview and steadied my nerves a little.
Saturday I toyed with the idea of making up my missed Tuesday run, but a busy day of family activities and my pending 16 miler prevented me. I actually was in bed by 8 o’clock catching up on Netflix latest offerings. I was super nervous about the morning and I can’t say I slept great.
Sunday morning my sister and I set out on my longest ever run. She was on the bike and we kept to a flat seafront route. It’s the same loop I used for my 14 miles with a bit added at the beginning; this gave me the security I needed to feel a little more confident. I think people assume that if you can run 14 miles, then 16 can’t be that much harder! I can’t explain why but it just doesn’t work like that.
The first 9 miles were pretty good, I felt strong and despite a few twinges here and there (which I’m pretty sure my mind made up), I was happy. My sister kept me pretty well distracted with whatever nonsense she could think up, I really was grateful for her presence.
It all took a bad turn when we literally reached our turning circle and headed back into the beginnings of Storm Imogen. 7 Miles has never felt so long or so tough. I was running into a brick wall of wind that felt like it was pushing me backwards. My sister was struggling on the bike and it really was tough for both of us. My body ached with every step I took trying to cut through the wind, my pace was dropping and I thought I might never make it home. You see this is what happens when your mind takes over your body, when your mind wants to tell you that it’s too tough and you should just stop and call someone for a lift home.
I wasn’t giving up. Then my sister and I split up as our speeds were just all over the place, I still wasn’t giving up. I started to ask myself why I was doing what I was doing. I remembered all the struggles I have had throughout my life; those split second moments that lead me down roads I didn’t want to be, and the strength I found to pull myself back from all that darkness, I thought about all those little moments. I thought about the people I have lost, and how I wish I could tell them how much I loved them and how sorry I was that I couldn’t fix their problems, our problems.
All of those feelings are why I’m running this marathon. All of those people are why I’m running this marathon. All the people I have never met that have felt exactly that way, and are searching for that exact same strength, that’s why… I found my strength and pushed on.
As a child I was the most carefree and peaceful being you can imagine, as a young adult those characteristics crumbled away, and things happened as pain crept in. I’ve always remembered that child though and fought hard to unearth her from the mess.
I arrived back at my front door and could only think how little mess there is here. I’ve built this space; it’s a space of love, safety, determination, strength and joy. A space I’m so proud of, where silliness and seriousness intertwine in perfect harmony. I realised this space might just be where a care free child stuck inside a struggling adult could live in perfect harmony.
Then all of that emotion came bubbling up out of me, yep right there on my doorstep, as I realised what strength looks like in me. My husband opened the door and hugged me (slightly baffled), as I said a silent thank you to the universe for entrusting me with its challenges, because you know what… I can handle them!