So despite the fact I’ve been training for months and my half marathon is now a mere five weeks away (argh!), I appear to have lost my running mojo. As referred to in a previous post, I think I mislaid it somewhere between Menorca and the North of England on my holidays. But wherever it went, I seriously under estimated how hard it would be to find it again
Fitness is one of those things. You have to keep your hand in or you will lose it. Some will lose it quicker than the others but if you don’t do any exercise, it *will* go. It’s like certain skills I suppose. They say you never forget how to ride a bike but I’m sure if I got one one now I’d be a bit wobbly at least. Similarly, the other day Mr G and I were throwing around an old cricket ball when we were out in the field with our dog. And I realised after the first throw that I haven’t actually caught a ball in a really long time! While I do a fair bit of exercise, none of it involves catching, so the first few times I was thrown the ball, I managed to drop it completely (might make me a bit more circumspect the next time I criticise England’s slip cordon).
Logically I know I can run the distance I need to for this half marathon. Just like if I’ve learnt how to ride a bike or speak a foreign language, that I have the ability to do it, I just need to remember how. With some skills, it’s dredging up past knowledge from the database of our minds and remembering how to do something, like speak another language. With other activities, like running, it’s about my body remembering what to do. And I suppose the brain is ultimately like any other muscle in that it needs exercising to stay strong.
In an attempt to regain my mojo, I’ve gone back to basics:
* Reading up on some advice from the pros
* Reaching out to friends and my PLN, talking to people who have been through similar experiences with running and learning from them
* Putting a combination of what I already know, combined with new tips and advice, into practice and just getting back out there
In reality, it’s no different to any other challenge I encounter, as that’s pretty much my default process whenever I encounter a challenge or need to learn more about something.
Yesterday I completed a local 10k cross country race which I entered in the spirit of ‘getting back out there’. I have to say, it was horrendous. It was a hot day, I don’t normally run cross country, my watch packed up on the start line so I had no idea of my time and everyone else there was a pretty serious runner. In the end it was quite a mental battle for me and I was pleased just to finish. Needless to say came in right at the back of the field 😦
It got me thinking that normally, areas in which I compete at anything, tend to be things that I am good at. And I think the same goes for most of us. But I’m not naturally good at running. And for me it’s becoming about the perseverance to try to improve something that doesn’t come easy.
However, one thing I don’t lack is determination. So armed with some new expert advice, and some lessons learnt from yesterday, I’m off for a run later. Hopefully it won’t be long before I find my mojo while I’m out there…
P.S:I’m running the Swindon half marathon in aid of Help For Heroes which is a cause very close to me as many will know. Times are tough, but if you can spare a couple of quid, all donations will be so gratefully accepted. And a huge thanks to those who have kindly sponsored me already. You can sponsor me here: http://www.bmycharity.com/kategraham23