Mind Over Matter

So I entered the London Marathon ballot and then headed for the trails. It was meant to be a repeat of the awesome 5.5 mile loop we did the other day and I was looking forward to it. We set off and it was ok and then it wasn’t. By the time we got 3/4 of the way across the golf course I was in meltdown. We sat for 10 minutes, I had a little cry and then continued. I made it down the hill and across the fields but a little way along the canal I lost it again and gave up. We walked home. I’d sort of run/waddled about 3 miles by then and my tummy was bubbling and my calf muscles were tight but to be honest that wasn’t the problem. The problem was in my head, all in my head. Now that I am back I feel so disappointed and cross with myself but that’s the running game I guess. I’ll just keep playing.


I sat on the sofa a bit grumpy for a while, had some brunch and then wondered whether it was sensible to have another go. I felt physically fine. My legs felt ok, my ankle was a little tired – I think that’s the best way to describe it – but otherwise it was all good. I asked Kath what she thought. She didn’t want to go again because her ankle was a bit niggly so if I was was going to do this it would have to be on my own. I hate being defeated by anything depression or anxiety related so I felt like I needed to have another go and leave the head gremlins out there somewhere.

I set off having agreed that I would see how I felt once I got to the turn off for the trail and text Kath and let her know if I was doing the shorter sheep loop or the longer trail. I felt pretty good so went up. I walked the steepest bits and then headed across the golf course. Slowly but surely I made progress. I ran it all and still felt pretty good when I got to the other side. I plodded up the slope to the gate, once through I walked up across the field to the wall, climbed over and then jogged down the trail through the wood. I still very much dislike downhill and this is pretty steep. I was going very slow I think but I kept moving all the way which was my aim. Here are some images from the wood section – doesn’t look that steep. Hm.


Looking back across the fields I’d just run

Once at the bottom I made my way across three fields, running (well plodding) it all and just stopping to open and close the gates. There’s nothing like  field full of geese to make you go a bit faster – luckily they just stared but stayed where they were. I got onto the track and made it onto the canal. In terms of actual running I was now on the easy bit – pretty well maintained, flat canal towpath. Yay. I was beginning to get a little tired which isn’t really that surprising given that I was on a total of about 8miles for the day at this point. Still I was plodding

Track after the fields just before left turn to canal

quite nicely putting in a 15 second walk here and there. Then I saw people ahead, a big group of people and my heart sank. I’d been doing well mentally since about half way across the golf course where I’d decided I was doing this and had counted my way out of a rough patch. I did not want people. Why the hell were there people going for a walk. Outrageous! I put in a short walk break, took some deep breaths and started running again. I said a few ‘excuse mes’ and ‘thank yous’ and weaved my way through the group and kept going. Anxiety levels were sky high but nobody said anything. Nobody laughed. I kept going.

As I was approaching the golf course bridge, I thought I might cross there and walk up the golf course and go back that way because it was likely to be quieter and there were more people walking along the canal, there were also a fair few canal boats. However, as I got to the bridge it was open for a boat to go through and I didn’t want to stop. So canal towpath it was. Onwards. It was definitely getting harder now but I still kept to just a few short walk breaks and focused on landmarks to run to – a tree here, a wall there, IMG_4973then I concentrated and catching up with and going past a canal boat, then the bench in the distance. As I was heading for the bench there was an alarming gurgle in my tummy, then another and another. I made it to the bench, stopped my watch, stopped, closed my
eyes and squeezed my butt… Either this was going to induce disaster or avert it. I wasn’t entirely sure but whatever was going to happen was going to happen. I opened one eye, then the other and breathed a sigh of relief. Crisis averted. I decided to have a little break before tackling the last mile.

I sat on the bench for a few minutes, let the canal boat I’d over taken earlier catch up and then raced it to the bridge (I lost on purpose so I could have another little break waiting for them to open the bridge to go through and close it again so I could cross). Then I marched up the hill stopping briefly to reply to the last in a series of lovely and encouraging texts from Kath, jogged down the slope and came up Ilkley Road run/walking post to post. I had a quick chat with one of our neighbours and ran the last few metres to our drive. Phew. So that was tough. I was definitely getting tired by the end and my tummy was a little dodgy BUT I left the gremlins out there on the golf course somewhere and I did it on my terms. I needed that run.

I suspect I might feel this tomorrow. I’m heading for a bath shortly. I’ve had some food and put my compression socks on for a bit. I’ll do some more stretches before bed too. I’m glad I did the 10.6 miles today but I really am looking forward to not running tomorrow.



3 thoughts on “Mind Over Matter

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