Taking a Step Back; When to Stop and When to Push Through

Disclaimer: I still haven’t worked it out.

With less than six weeks to go until London Marathon, I have come down with a rather nasty chest infection. However, I expect zero sympathy here, as I very much brought this upon myself – or at least made it worse.

Although I began to feel unwell over a week ago, I took no time off running and instead stubbornly braved Storm Gareth and took on the wind, rain and hail; thus, what started off as a common cold has resulted in me sounding like an 80-year-old chain smoker.

Although I feel fairly vile, I’m still nervous about resting. This is, obviously, really stupid. I will definitely be reducing my mileage this week, but the thought of taking a few days off sets off all kinds of anxiety. Just to reiterate, I know that this is REALLY stupid.

The fact that I’m aware of my own stupidity, whilst still persevering, has forced me to confront some uncomfortable truths as to why I can’t simply take a few rest days like a ‘normal’ person. I would say this is down to three reasons:

  1. Fear of Failure
  2. Escapism
  3. Control

I’m not going to elaborate on either of these points, as I try very hard not to ramble unnecessarily (which is often quite a challenge), but to summarise – I take pride in my persistence, sheer grit and determination. However, I also think that I can take this too far, hence running 12 miles through hail storms on Sunday whilst wheezing and coughing like a mad buffoon!

This morning I set off at 5am to run 10 miles with a friend, who for the record did strongly advise me not to run. By mile 3, I was retching dramatically on the side of the road, and FINALLY concluded that it’s time to take a few days off. Of course, it should never get to the stage where one is making vom stops on the A22 at 5am to come to this realisation!

I think it’s interesting that like a lot of people, I rarely take my own advice. For example, I am currently working from home as I don’t want to infect my colleagues or spread my germs around on public transport, but I am more than happy to force my own body to the point of extreme discomfort…

Knowing when to stop and when to push through is a very important lesson, and one that I definitely need to master. I would love to hear your thoughts on this – how do you know when to take a step back? Is this something that you struggle with?


  1. Wow Mell this is amazing. I completely understand what you are saying and not taking your own advice which is what I think everyone struggles with to some extent. It’s really good that you are able to talk about your struggles with running because it is definitely something preparing for the half marathon did to me personally as well. I hope you feel much better soon and yes I would advice taking a few days off to rest and recover 💕

    Hannah xxx


    1. Thanks Hannah, I’m glad you enjoyed reading this! I try to be as open and honest as possible, without rambling on haha. You did ever so well in the half mara, I was so impressed!! xxx


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