Silver Lining?

Ive been thinking about writing this blog for several days now but not been able to get the right words on the screen. It came to me last week when a good friend of mine tweeted that he was shocked to find me on page 25 of this months Trail Running mag. I had been voted one of the favourite trail athlete bloggers according to the readers…..I was super honoured especially as I was amongst some super star names (Emelie Forsberg, Anton Krupicka and of course the world famous Robbie Britton!). May be I was wrong to think that my mum was the only reader but I had no idea that people had taken the time to vote and so thank you I really do appreciate it.
This was just one of the things that made me feel thankful this week. After seeing my mug in the magazine last week it got me thinking how things have changed and how far I have come since I started running. Four and a half years ago I was a bonified road marathon runner preparing for the European Championship in Barcelona and subsequently the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Now according to Trail Running magazine I am an ultra trail runner…..if you had told me this then I would have never believed you….I hated any sort of incline let a lone off road running. Things have changed a lot in the way I train and the way I view running. Don’t get me wrong, I loved training hard for big road races and the feeling of running fast lap times on the track with lads on a Tuesday night, but it was getting really hard to squeeze that extra 1/2% out and I was starting to resent it and fall out of love of running. Finding this new love of running has relaxed my out look on training and racing, I am able to do some of the things I was never really able to do when I was running seriously on the roads. I have loved being able to take the last 7 weeks of easy running (due to the dreaded virus) in my stride and run with new and old running friends. Although getting the virus was a big blow, I think it could well have been a good thing. Its given me time to slash my training load, recoup, eat well and really look at what is important in life. Running shouldn’t define me but it is a big part of who I am now, there is no getting away from it. I have had my fair share of injury of the years, ones that have totally sidelined me but this time it has been different…..i have been able to run….everyday if I wanted to but not knowing if it could potentially make me feel worse or prolong my illness has been a difficult one to discipher. How long is a piece of string? So just running an hour a day at a very easy pace has almost been a type of therapy. Time to think, refresh, be moving but with no real pressure to achieve anything. I think and I hope it has made me a better runner?
I have also had more time to do other things, I have made new running friends, run with people I would never normally run with, really take time to look at how I am eating and fuelling and make some changes. Of course this could all just be because I am getting old and slow but I still have that fire in my belly and I still want to be competitive its just that I think I now appreciate that just being able to get out their and run every day wherever I like is the most important thing right now and long may it continue.

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