Well today I finally failed a run. I’d like to say it was because of fatigue, a stitch, physical injury or illness but the fact of the matter is I just gave up at the 14 minute mark. I just stopped running.
I had decided to go back to the country park (after the frustration of the last session along the river), and I was feeling pretty positive about JUST running 2×10 minutes as I did my extended once round the field warm up.
As usual I mentally broke the run up into 4×5 minute runs and completed the first 10 minutes in reasonable form. Again I think I probably set off too quickly although not as quickly as in the last session. I think there’s an over confidence that comes with the improvement in overall physical fitness. It took almost the full 3 minutes of the walk to fully recover which was a little longer than usual.
I was about 3 minutes into the second run when my inner demons finally found a way to undo me and it came in the form of one simple but insidious question “Do you think you can do the next 25 minute run”. Rather than dismiss the thought (like all the others) this one took root. No I don’t think I can do it, 20m was incredibly hard and I’ve struggled ever since on simpler runs, this running isn’t getting any easier. And as simple as that they (“I”) had beaten me, I couldn’t even see the point of struggling through the last 6 minutes of this run even though I was more than physically capable.
So I stopped, walked the remaining 6 minutes around the field and headed back, analysing why this time?, why this question? it was after all no different to the 20m question a week earlier. I can’t say I was angry or even upset, I was annoyed yes, I’d let myself down. And that’s when I realised, THAT was the problem I wasn’t angry, I should be furious, somewhere post the W5D3 – 20m run I had lost the passion to see this through.
Earlier runs I was in no doubt each run was a fight and it was fight I was ready to take on. My mental state going into each run was “I don’t think I can do this but I’m going to leave it all out on that field before I admit defeat”. Somehow I’d become complacent, I’d convinced myself post W5D3 that I was no longer going to have to fight, that I would just dance around the field without a care in the world.
I hadn’t approached these last two runs thinking I could fail, I went into them thinking they would be easy. The reality of course is there are NO easy runs if you are pushing yourself, there never will be. This is when I finally realised the truth, I had been beaten by my own lie to myself, I’d bought into my own bullshit so convincingly I’d given up the fight.
Back in the interrogation room I got called out and I knew it. How did I answer the 20m question this time last week, simple I didn’t answer it, when it came up (several times in run W5D1&2) I simply put it out of my head and focussed on what I was doing. Today I entertained the question for a split second, why because I was lying to myself and the interrogator (me) knew it – I had no defence. At 14 minutes in, this run wasn’t easy it was nasty and the next long 25 minute run will be far worse. I need to accept that, stop this nonsense about easy runs and just start sucking it up.
So between now and the re-run of W6D2 I’m going to need to get my shit together (Morty sums it up best), reset and get back to going into each run like it’s a fight, starting with undo’ing this failure:
The music on today’s run was from a 200+ track vaguely “Rock” playlist I shove on when I can’t be arsed to figure out something to listen to, and as always there were a couple of tracks that pretty much summed up the session nicely.
Fleetwood Mac’s the Chain. There is nothing I can add that hasn’t already been said about this classic track, apart from my interpretation of the lyrics when running. This kicked in at the start of the 2nd 10 minute run:
Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies
Break the silence, damn the dark, damn the light
Well I was feeling the wind, still a bit blowy out here. Running in the shadows, damn the light – I realised I was running along in the midday sun when I could be running in the cooler shade under the trees, idiot. Damn your lies, was a negative thought, the lies I told myself including the big one, that this would be easy.
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain (Never break the chain)
If I don’t love running now, I won’t ever love running again. Never break the chain, yes obviously I was using this to mean I wouldn’t fail this run and break my successful chain of runs. The twisting of these lyrics were a crack in my will, and a sign of my impending failure only minutes later, i.e. I honestly believed the chain would break in the next run, so what was the point.
The legendary guitar solo that makes up the second half of this track didn’t help either, after the rocky music nothing is going to get the old adrenaline pumping. More wasted energy at this point of a run.
Another classic track, this kicked in just after I stopped and Liam pretty much did what he does best and showed his Mancunian disdain for my failure:
That they’re gonna throw it back to you
By now you should’ve somehow
Realised what you gotta do
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do, about you now
Today is the day I failed, I should have realised by now what I have to do to complete these runs. I clearly haven’t. Don’t believe that …body, my body is never happy after the first 3 minutes. I don’t believe anybody feels the way I feel about me now mate. Failure!
That the fire in your heart is out
I’m sure you’ve heard it all before
But you never really had a doubt
I don’t believe that anybody
Feels the way I do about you now
Everyone is going to know I failed (like I care), the fire in my heart is most definitely out. I never had a doubt I’d fail at some point. Alright Liam I get it …. just f**** off now!
I know that people who read this are going to start thinking I’m just adding these tracks at a later date to suit the situation, I swear I’m not, I don’t know if a higher power is in charge of shuffle on my playlists or if it’s just that I twist any lyrics to the moment. But even I scoffed when Liam’s beratement was replaced with of all tracks Paint it Black, yeah just about right.
I see my red door and must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black
No words at this point, even the bloody sun has gone behind the clouds.
And that was W6D2, on paper the simplest run in the program as far as I can see, and I managed to fail it, and even more frustratingly I didn’t fail it just doing this run I failed it worrying about the next run. I was most definitely not in the now, I was in some imaginary hell sometime in the future.
Well that will stop, it’s time to knuckle down, get back to focussing on one step at a time (not some bullshit possible future) and start getting MAD!