Chapter 3, in which the penny drops (actually there is an avalanche of pennies shattering my beautiful world of delusion).
I found it difficult to write the first part of this installment without swearing. To add an air of authenticity to my voice, please feel free to add a smattering of the worst curses you can think of to the following paragraph.
In the last few weeks, I hit the point where everything was just too much effort. Time was squeezed by a whole lot of circumstances (some unforeseen/ some due to my own unfounded optimism about what I can achieve in a given period of time). I did my training, mostly hating it. Running all the time can be really boring!! I was hobbling around on achy legs, feeling less fit than when I started this whole enterprise. Surely after all of this effort, I should be springing about on my new jet-powered legs, speeding up hills (what hills?) with a grin on my face, a blazing red aura of invincibility surrounding me?
Everybody goes through times when it all seems impossible and it can be so easy to get wrapped up in negative feelings. The harder the training gets, the more any weaknesses and imbalances in your body are exposed and the more keenly you experience the outcome of all of the lifestyle choices you make. You are on a steep learning curve and oh my god it feels like crap, but this is the part where you get stronger if you persevere.
There is only one course of action at these times and that is to breathe and keep putting one foot in front of the other (literally and metaphorically). Think about what is possible in your circumstances and find your own way through. Here is mine:
So a bit of perseverance, some pep talks from Kerry and my lovely running pals, and a massive blow-out of a weekend later, this is not the tale of woe that it was shaping up to be. I will never do this thing like a pro, but I will do it one way or another and on my own terms. I am, once again, the Don Quixote of the ultra world.