So, my training for a half-marathon has started properly this past week.
I thought I’d start with a post about why I have decided to run again. In the past I have told myself that I gave up running ten years ago because I was injured. I have Morton’s neuroma in both feet (essentially, this is nerve damage), and at 17 years old, this was the first time it was painful. But the truth is, the real reason I stopped running was because I no longer enjoyed it. I felt I was bad at it, that I had never been any good at it. I had completely lost the buzz I used to get from running and I had no confidence.
Now of course, I can see that my own attitude made that feeling, that I wasn’t good enough, true. Running really is half mental. It’s an internal battle. If you don’t believe you can do it, you won’t be able to. I was always good at training as a teenager, sometimes I ran really good times in training. Yet in races, I fell apart. I ran worse times than in training, when actually, the buzz and shouts of the supporters should have made me run faster.
In some ways it feels odd to be finding my way back into running. As a teenager it was a huge part of my identity. It is like rediscovering a part of myself. I’m running now because I want to. It makes me feel free and strong. And I need to feel that, I need to bolster myself mentally and physically. I also want to run this half-marathon to prove to myself that I can. That I can and I will. It’s a strange thing, but once you’ve mentally talked yourself into running that hard part of your 3 miler, when you’re sat at your desk trying to complete a piece of work, that mental strength you’ve built running gives you confidence there and then at your desk. That can only be a good thing.
There are other reasons too for me deciding to run this half-marathon. I am of course running for a charity and in memory of someone I love. More on that another time.