This week has been when fears have started to creep in. Questioning whether I am good enough (fast enough) for this amazing opportunity. Questioning whether I have trained enough, whether the sessions that haven’t happened for one reason or another will make a difference and being frustrated at myself for not training as perfectly as I would like. Being frustrated at myself for being tired. Fatigue is something I struggle with. It’s something many people with anxiety struggle with, and it’s a side effect of the medication that ensures I am able to lead the life I want to lead. Most of the time it’s a necessary evil I accept, but the realities of the fatigue I’ll experience during The Speed Project and jabbing me hard right now.
Monday - I honestly can’t remember why my run didn’t happen on Monday, but I do remember that I had a panic attack in class that evening and had to go home early.
Tuesday - took some extra rest to recover after my panic attack. Did a little yoga at home
Wednesday - back up and at it with 4 miles. Also discovered that Galaxy Caramel is not good fuel. Nearly vomited mid run. Several times.
Thursday - 45 minutes easy and hill sprints which made me seriously happy.
Friday - Rest day
Saturday - ParkRun with Mike and the Bullfinch Running Club. A nice easy pace along a hilly route and hill sprints on the treadmill later in the day.
Sunday - 12 miles through the city. Tried to find a route that didn’t stop and start too much, wasn’t very successful. Made a couple of pitstops for snacks.
Megs reminded me (during one of our epic team whatsapp marathons) that I am one step ahead because I know about this challenge, so I can plan for it. She’s right, you can plan for the obstacles you can foresee, and in an event like The Speed Project being able to spot challenges in advance is a huge benefit, if only because there’s so much you can’t plan for. So rather than sitting scared brooding on my fears (so tempting) I’m taking charge of the situation and planning how I will manage it. Here’s where my head is at…
I do a lot, and I will be doing a lot right up until we depart for LA, but rest has to be a priority. Less TV, more sleeping. Naps as often as I can (I may or may not have been eying up the sofa in the staff room at uni today…it’s quite comfy looking…) and ensuring quality sleep, which means cutting back on using my phone and laptop before bed and having a proper bed time routine.
This is something I struggle with. I’m just not in the habit of giving much thought to what I eat and I suspect I am under eating. Eating more at regular intervals and using appropriate supplements is a priority for me. However much I try I can’t subside on toast.
Strength, Mobility, Recovery
The secret to endurance success. I’m gradually nailing all three but I need to ensure consistency. Warming up properly and getting my SAM workouts in post run, practicing yoga and spending more time in the sauna not only to help my sore body recover but also to help it adapt to the heat. I’m also using meditation and mindfulness to help calm my nervous system after workouts so that I can rest more effectively and working out my own recovery protocol which I can use between legs during the race.
I need to get tougher. Mindset is what gets you through these physically challenging events, and sometimes I wonder if I’m too quick to give up, to question wether I should run or if I need rest. It’s a fine line some days, but I know that I need to challenge myself to push more. Some days I am fearless and push through anything, others I am scared of hurting myself physically and mentally. I know that there are times I really shouldn’t train, but there are also those where I can and should push through. I’m braver than I was, but I need to get braver still.
I can do this, and I will do this because I am going in with my eyes open and a desire to go further than before. Looking back over my posts about this race I’m starting to see just how emotional running can be for me. Going through the motion of one foot in front of another seems to stir up feelings within me, and we all know I do feelings in a big way, it’s all part of being hyper sensitive. Movement frees us feelings and I don’t always know how to handle them. Sometimes these feelings are what I need - grit, perseverance, joy, satisfaction - but sometimes they’re less helpful - frustration, annoyance, pain, hurt. It is a massive challenge for me. I don’t think that it means I shouldn’t run, but I do need to learn how to manage it, like I’ve done in every other area of my life. Running is forever teaching me something, which is why I will never quit.
Are you curious about how I’m training for the Speed Project? Is there anything you’d like to know? Let me know in the comments and I will see what I can do! In the meantime, you can read all my posts about this adventure here.
* images: Anna Rachel Photography
** my trainers were gifted to me by 361 Europe as part of the ongoing relationship I have with the company as an ambassador