Running on Empty
The title of my blog is a bit of a cliché, however because it’s a cliché I like it. It’s a metaphor for both running and life, it can represent so many aspects of day to day living.
Today should have been my longest run before my Ultra on a back to back weekend but like many things life sometimes gets in the way. As much as it’s annoying on what looks like a perfect running day. I will fit these two important runs in with a bit of shuffling before I enter taper madness. The thing is no matter what the most important thing is my family life. Running is a large part of what I am but it is not the most important thing.
I was listening to something (I can’t remember what) the other day and the person speaking said what makes endurance athletes do what they do is consistency the ability to do the same thing every day and stick to a schedule. Now I am in no way an athlete but from what I see I agree but I disagree. To me the great athletes have that consistency but also the ability to adapt and have a home life. I’ve seen people win races achieve goals and at the end the thing they want to do is hug and share that moment with their children or their Husband/Wife/Partner because no matter what they have achieved that is the cornerstone and the most important part of their life.
I care for my Wife who is both ill and disabled most nights I will be up numerous times to move her or see to her needs. If I didn’t care for her she would most likely be in Hospital or a full time care home. I do not do it out of any sense of duty I do it for the basic reason that I love and care for her and no matter what I want to spend time with her. Running is now a passion of mine so fitting this around her needs can be problematic at points.
In the months I have been training for this 50 miles I frequently have to move days and training sessions either the time or even the day. It can be irritating I like being consistent. I’m sure if I was single lived by myself I would be up at 4 am everyday out there pounding the miles out. I though like to look at the need to adapt and change as an advantage. In a race or challenge situation nothing will ever go as planned you need to adapt and change. Fitting on average 70 miles a week of training in when you have responsibilities is not easy I won’t say it is however it is doable because no matter what if you want to do something you will make the time.
What is worth thinking that without the stresses and strains of everyday life would I even be where I am today? Could I even contemplate what I hope to achieve in a few short weeks? You see without the support and encouragement of my Wife, without the eager look from a Labrador who makes you run faster than your training plan says you should, without a Golden Retriever who brings you his wet fluffies to see would I really be where I am today? Sometimes when you think people aren’t taking notice of you, you may get some surprising and encouraging feedback. I received some such words from my in laws this week (via my Wife) about how proud they are of me. It’s things like this that make it worth it. As much as consistency is good so is adaptability and the willingness ability to let everyday life in because these are the things that make us rounded Human Beings with multiple foci.