It’s been some weeks since my successful and very happy return to Spartan Racing, and I have a few things to tell you.
Importantly, I made a pledge to anyone that took the time to read it, and to myself, that I would get to 250km by the end of June. Did I keep that promise? You bet your ass I did 🙂 I managed 283km, at over 8,000 metres elevation. These are some serious achievements for me, I haven’t run this much ever, and it felt great. Running with Dods and Sketch on the weekends, I just feel like I have wings, it’s a fantastic feeling. I know I’m miles off where I want to be, but I know I’m on the right road. No more pledges at this stage, but I am certainly committed to the cause.
I just realised yesterday that I have run 755km in the 6 months of 2014, at over 20,000m elevation. I mean, I was proud of that, especially when I looked back at the fact that in the 12 months of 2013 I only did 635km. I am a believer now that although sometimes running appears to be a slow burn of gradual improvement; often it feels like 2 steps forward 2 steps back. Sometimes 3 steps back. I think that when you are running, once you learn that it’s not a smooth journey, once you learn to take the hits and not let the bad days get you down, you begin to realise what you are capable of. So yeah, I’m really proud to be on this journey and have come so far, and to have found some brilliant running friends along the way. And maybe even inspired a few other friends to get a little more active. I can’t ask more than that of them, or myself.
SO, I actually reached my 250km target in mid June, but the celebration was short lived when I discovered a painful lump on my stomach. I had some tests and found I had a small hernia. I had no idea what that would mean but I was pretty devastated. However, I just found out today that it’s not a big deal, and I can manage it without any danger, until later in the year and then get the operation to repair it. Now I’m twofold happy – one, I can keep training for Run Melbourne and the Surf Coast Century and the Melbourne Marathon without worrying about it, and second, I get to do all these hardcore things with a hernia. Surely that’s what any Spartan would do.
THE IDEA OF THE SHADOW
I’ve had this idea floating in my head, much to do with motivation and the strange way human minds work. There are so many sayings out there, what do you believe?
Your past does not define your future.
Don’t look back, only look forward.
Remember where you came from.
History means nothing, leave it behind you and don’t look back.
So when we are looking for a way forward, trying to motivate ourselves to keep improving, what do we do? Do we look back, or look forward? There is no right or wrong answer, it’s whatever works for you at any particular time. Sometimes you might look back and your past might make you physically ill; other times you won’t even recognise yourself, puff your chest out and move on. Some sayings are true though, such as you can’t change the past, but you can change the future.
Personally, I think it is not great to be motivated by hating the old you. You can’t continue running indefinitely out of a hatred of the past, or who you ‘were’. It’s all part of the journey, embrace it. Running and physical exertion is tough, but if there is one AWESOME thing I have learned about Trail Running, is you need to stay positive. So many wonderful, positive people on the trails. So be proud of the change you have made, be proud of what you have accomplished and what you have achieved, be proud of what you have become, and be proud of where you are going.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with the saying I just came up with:
It’s ok to keep checking over your shoulder every now and then, just don’t let the old you catch up.
I think I worked it out, I believe that this might define how a lot of us run. If you are constantly in pursuit of a personal best, then you are constantly running from your shadow from the past.
But for me the shadow is my friend; nothing can motivate me more than my shadow.
Thanks for listening.
This blog was written today by the shadow of tomorrow.