Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Bloody knees and the art of giving up

I destroyed my running tights today.

 Now, I don’t believe that there is any kind of mystical power taking an interest in my daily affairs. If they were, they’d likely be quite bored and try to change the channel every few minutes – seriously, she’s watching Netflix AGAIN, it’s been like 5 hours… (my life can be dull).

However, I am starting to feel that right now the universe really does not want me to finish this marathon.

The last two weeks I found myself at the bottom of a ‘I really can’t be bothered to run’ pit, and no matter how much I tried to climb out, I barely peaked over the top before retreating back into the hole.

I did lots of other things; drank alcohol, smoked cigarettes, ate badly, worked – pretty much a full sack of motivation sucking activities that left me hiding under covers or chatting casually over bottomless glass of beer instead of pounding pavements.

And the less I ran, the less I wanted to run – then boom, it hit me like a lighting rod – I just wanted to give up. I didn’t want to run anymore, I felt slow, and pathetic. I kept getting injured, my times almost never changed.

I still couldn’t run 5k under 30 minutes, or even think about doing 10k under an hour.

On Facebook I see my friends ran 14 miles in 2 hours 10, and I literally hobbled 12 miles in 2 hours 30.

And I know; it’s all about taking part, and not about speed, blah blah. But the thing is, no one tells you this, but once you’ve concurred the first 5k, 5 miles, and 10 miles – suddenly it gets really hard.

You get bored on long runs, and you’re hips, knees, legs hurt a lot. You’ve seen every bit of your neighborhood so many times, you could paint it in your sleep. You have to run either in the terrifying dark, or on a treadmill listening to god awful house music. The only knowledge of other people’s training seems to run like an incredible feat of best bits, while you feel like a large uncoordinated jelly trying not to fall apart.

And honestly it kind of sucks.

So today, I thought no more – I shall start again; I will re-find the love.

And I did, I managed to put on those faithful running shoes and left the house in the freezing cold. I plodded down to my normal route, and began a steady jog.

It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible. I didn’t want to walk, I felt pretty ok. I wasn’t particularly fast, but I wasn’t slow either. I started to think, yeah ok, I can do this.

Sure I’ll be slow, but its not too bad. I passed 3 miles, fine ok, this is good. I’ll finish my 4 miles and then tomorrow I’ll do 7…




One moment I was running, the next I was skidding dramatically along the pavement with my knees. And goddamn it, does it hurt. I have ripped through my running tights; I have two bright red knees. Also my left hand hurts like hell.

My watch tells me I fell at exactly 3.5 miles, and Jesus am I fucking pissed off.

I walk glumly up the hill home. This is it, this is the sign to make me stop.

But, I guess its not because ever so slowly I began a slight jog. And finished the 4 miles.

Now my poor knees are screaming, and goddamn Belgium doesn’t sell medicine in normal shops, so I’ll juts have to hope I don’t die of gangrene, like a peasant from the middle ages.

And in a way, this isn’t heartwarming; I don’t know how I feel. My confidence doesn’t feel particularly renewed, now I have to buy new running tights, and will need to run on a fuck ton of painkillers.

But I guess I’ll keep going, even with bloody knees, and that’s something right?

(I wouldn't scroll down if you're squeamish).


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