I've just passed an anniversary, one year since I stopped running.
Not normally something to celebrate, so I'm putting fingers to keyboard to explain why, and to clear my head.
I still can't find the motivation to go out and run, but that probably a combination of being busy at work and in the midst of a house extension. Finding time to do anything other than those two things seems to be a tough ask right now.
But I don’t miss it, I've stuck to my objective of just enjoying what I do and focusing on creating for a bit and i've learnt a few things along the way.
The event that broke me was the London to Brighton Ultra (100km). I trained hard for that event, a full year of slowly increasing my mileage from my usual 10k distance to running past marathon distance. I did the Brighton marathon as a training run and ran 36 half marathons in a year, avoided injury, followed my training plan, ate healthily, all in preparation for the ultra. Then I failed to complete it.
Several things contributed to me having to pull out at the first medal point at 56 km. Mainly a strange recurring pain in my leg that comes when I walk (running no issue, cycling no issue, walking is agony). Due to the horrendous mud on the event I walked a lot, my leg played up. I pushed on, I got exhausted. I started holding my team up. The best option was to retire. I've visited doctors, had MRI’s and other tests but nobody knows what’s wrong with my leg. Motivation gone, training stopped.
Life became pretty sedentary, I didn't want to train, I didn’t want to do events; in fact I got pretty good at turning people down when they asked me to take part in things. I felt disappointed with myself and felt I had wasted a year, sacrificing everything else to get in the training for the ultra and then failed to get the result I wanted.
So I decided to take a step back. Start doing things for fun, no competition, just good old fashioned type 1 fun (types of fun explained: http://www.tetongravity.com/story/adventure/the-three-and-a-half-types-of-fun-explained).
Throw in a bunch of less energetic stuff whenever possible and it’s been a great year. A year to rediscover that it’s not all about racing across the country as fast as possible, it’s about taking the time to enjoy the journey. To spend time with great people and to spend time creating.
Creating memories, doing crafts, building houses and woodland camps; and most importantly rebuilding what is me. I may even find time to fit in the odd run.