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:
- Fear of Failure
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?