Do what you love

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Since the London marathon, I have been struggling to get back the body and the fitness I had this time last year. I was lean, stronger and faster and, above all else, I was happier. I was training up to half marathons, running lots of 10ks and feeling good. BUT, I felt this need to sign up for a marathon. I got sucked in by the other runners at my club and people on Twitter and Facebook – I felt the pressure (albeit positive and well meaning) to join in. Thereafter followed boredom and misery for nigh on 6 months. I felt stressed and irritable, and I was a pain in the backside to be around. I irritated myself on pretty much a daily basis. I had turned into a marathon arsehole – I lived, breathed and slept marathons, and avoided socialising in case it interfered with the dreaded plan.

Then the RUNger set in (noun: the need to replenish energy stores used up after a long run with cake and shit food) and where once I had traces of abs trying to peak through, was a blob of gloop. In essence, marathon training had turned me into a blobby, slow and miserable loser.

Contrary to what others have said I would do, I haven’t come away from the marathon after all of that trauma and all-round bollox and thought ‘hey I’ll sign up for another one’; quite the opposite. I’ve looked at why I feel the need to self flagellate by signing up for things that are frankly horrible and not right for me, and I’ve looked at what I really want to do and what I enjoy. Life is supposed to be about fun after all, and that involves feeling good about ourselves and sharing that positivity with others.

Lately I have been indulging myself in pretty much anything I want to do and it’s been a huge amount of fun. I have been strength training daily with Julia Buckley‘s Extreme Inferno (more on that another time, but it’s great!) and my personal trainer, I’ve gone out and got drunk, I’ve learnt to love cycling and I’m going open-water swimming this week. I leave the watch at home and I’m ok with that.

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I may not be a marathon runner, but I’m a happy, strong and positive runner and that’s what matters to me.

sian

6 thoughts on “Do what you love

  1. I’m glad your tried a marathon and I’m glad you are still running. It’s not for everyone. At some point I will probably give them up also. They take a lot of time and are hard on the body. Not getting any younger. I’m sitting here with an ice pack on my knee!

  2. I also thought at first that I would only be a “proper runner” by running marathons. Now I have discovered that it is not the case. I run marathons because I enjoy it.

  3. I think you absolutely have to do what you enjoy, there is no point running certain distances if you don’t enjoy it. I personally enjoy long runs, trail races and I really enjoyed my ultra this year too. I will definitely continue with it as long as I’m enjoying it.

  4. Hey Sian, great post! It’s really refreshing to see a post that isn’t all “Hooray for marathons!” as you’re absolutely right – marathons aren’t for everyone. You don’t need to do one to be a runner. IN fact there are no requirements – despite how enthusiastic social media gets about distance. It’s about being healthy, fit and enjoying training!

  5. I totally don’t fancy a marathon either, I’m just not sure I would enjoy the amount of training it involves. I think that triathlon is much more my thing, I enjoy the mix of the different sports and feel like there is less risk of injury with swimming and cycling.

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