I have recently completed reading Kerre Woodham and Gareth Browns book about Kerre's marathon running experience. I found them a light and easy read with some good humour and interesting messages in them.
I've struggled a bit since running the Ohope Half Marathon. I went for a run a four days after the event and found it a hard task. I felt tired, physically fatigued and dragged myself around for ten k's. I found that my heart wasn't in it much either. Part of me was a bit concerned about feeling like this, as I've entered to run the Rotorua Marathon that takes place in two weeks. What if I don't snap out of it? Will I have an experience that will feel like I'm running it because I have to, not because I want to? If that's the case, I might really find the experience unenjoyable and a drag. That's not what I want for this, only my second marathon experience. Following my less than successful after half marathon experience I made a conscious decision to take a weeks break from running. I thought I'd listen to my body and take time to physically and mentally recharge for it. It was a very full on week work wise as well, so taking the running out of the mix might be helpful from that perspective as well.
That takes me back to Kerre Woodham, and the title for this post. In the final chapter of her second book, Kerre reflects on the experiences of her running, and some self found wisdom from it. I think it's worth sharing, so here goes...
"I remember reading Lorraine Moller's autobiography, On The Wings of Mercury, and thinking how sad it was that she'd spent so much time beating herself up for coming third and not first. She seemed to have spent the first 30 years of her life in physical and mental pain, and I thought what a waste that was. And yet I'd gone and done exactly the same thing for the better part of a year. We're far too tough on ourselves. Its important to focus on what we can do, what we have done, the successes rather than the failures, otherwise it makes for a miserable life. None of us is perfect. Each of us is just trying to do the best we can and live the most productive and enjoyable life we can in the time we have on the planet".
With some of the events I've run, I've put extra pressure on myself with time goals. At Ohope I ran a 1:32. My big goal is to run a half in under 1:30, and I thought I was going to achieve it on that day. I pushed myself, but came up short. With the Goat last year, I basically had the most horrible and humbling day. I was struggling by the time I was ten k's into it, and hated the whole second half of it. I did learn quite a bit from that experience, and that learning helped me after Ohope. I haven't beaten myself up too much - 1:32 is still a pretty good time for me, and I'll keep the goal alive. I think the key thing I learnt from the Goat though, is to aim to enjoy my running. If I'm feeling like I'm hitting the wall, and not enjoying it, then maybe I need a break. Hopefully that will help me more in the long run.
Tomorrow I'm heading out for my first run in over a week. I'm going to make sure I enjoy it, and keep my confidence up for an enjoyable marathon.
Back to Kerre to finish...
"If your reality is one you don't like, change it. We're only here for a short time and every day is precious. If you don't want to change your life , if you actually quite like your wife, your kids and your job, remember to take the time to enjoy them. Think of those who through circumstance or ill health will never be able to fulfill their dreams. Take ten minutes of every day to appreciate all you have and all you have achieved. Then take a deep breath and give the sigh of a satisfied person before heading back into the maelstrom that is life".