It’s been two months since I put up Part One of this blog. And in that time, there’s been a large amount of running of course (this month I hit two ‘highests’: longest run and most amount of miles in a month), but what’s been really fascinating is all the psychological wrangling.
You see I knew this would be hard work on the legs. Obviously. But I’m surprised that it’s been relatively easy to raise my distances from where I was in June (about 5 miles for an average run) to ‘nearly-there’. What I should have predicted though, but didn’t, was the BRAIN’s role in gearing up for the 13.1 miles in October.
I go to the gym for weight training and have done since I was 23. Many times over those years I’ve slacked off, made no progress for weeks, then been reminded that your body will more or less do what you need it to – but only if the brain allows. I’ve been tricked into lifting 20 extra pounds, or accidentally put 5kg on extra by accident, and still lifted the weight: because the brain thinks nothing is different, it just gets on with the job. And that’s how I’ve had to look at it: it’s a job I’ve got to get on with like any other. But training has been tricky to maintain in a zen-like flow because it only takes a pressured workload, a headache, or something that’s really worrying me, and the Control Centre sends out ‘woah! this is hard!’ messages.
Remember this little fella? The tiny alien that sat inside the big alien’s head was in charge of everything, and when he got tired or injured, the big fella struggled. That’s what happens to me. Look at his tired little eyeballs. So the focus lately has been on looking after this chap, and making sure he’s calm and ready in his tiny cockpit.
Rather apt then that I’m running for Mind. The brain is just so powerful, yet staggeringly fragile too. At the start, my aim for the half marathon was merely to survive it; now I’d like to do it with some style – not fast, since that’s another issue and another blog! – but with a certain amount of confidence and dignity.
We’re up to £544 – but I’ve promised to raise a grand. Thank you hugely for all the dosh so far; people have been embarrassingly generous. Go here to tuck some of your own cash into the waistband of my slightly worn-out running shorts: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/inkymole
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