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Who’s to blame?

Surely I can’t be solely responsible for this debacle? Surely there are people and their tales that have made me feel so deeply inadequate that I take such drastic action? I believe the politically correct terminology is Motivation and Inspiration… or you can just call it Bloody Inconvenient.

Here are a selection of things that motivate me and inspire me to get over myself and keep running.

MusicIf you’d like to understand the windscreen and the bug reference I make in some of my posts you can listen to this song It’s a Mary Chapin Carpenter song, yes people, yes- it is a country and western song… I first heard when I was about 12! And I am not ashamed (a little quiet about enjoying country- in fact, pretty sure no one knows that about me…) or you can read some hilarious yahoo answers here.

Recovery
As most of you know I rely very heavily on arnica baths to recover my surprised and outraged muscles after every run and I’m sure that is what has helped me keep on keepin on. The arnica soak I use is A. Vogel’s Atro Bath Oil. I’d bought it for Matt ages ago but ended up using it myself! Even before my training. Pretend Athlete, that I am! 🙂

NewsThis should be a page that grows as the days pass I am sure, but this story in today’s Evening Std really inspired me one of my first runs. It’s the 200mile walk in the Arctic that injured service men are doing next month. When I get a slight cramp and feel like bitching and moaning and generally wimping out I thought about the fact that I have that option. I am also learning something very important- how to dig deep when you don’t really feel like it, but it is also a choice for me in a way that they don’t have. One of the four guys going on the walk is a South African too (although probably not quite a mongrel like me).

There is also the fundraising by Eddie Izzard last year running 43 marathons… I mean- if 43 is even humanly possible then surely, surely, by all things good and holy one measley little marathon is possible? And he’s a funny guy so surely he can’t be totally insane, although he is in drag and then sometimes not, so mayyybeee, but I even heard his interviews during the ordeal and he could speak, which gives me false hope… I wonder if he was a runner before hand… must’ve been. An article in the Guardian about it. “Let me shake your hand, because I think there’s summat wrong wi’ you.”

Writing

Another great source of more detailed motivation is Murakami’s What I talk about when I talk about running- very unexpected and helpful.

An obvious source of inspiration is Rudyard Kiplings IF…especially the lines:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone, and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: ‘Hold On!’

My friends and familyThen there are people, and on different days, different peoplehelp in different ways. But there are some who have been hugely helpful to me through this time: obviously, Matt, I think I’ve covered off quite extensively why he belongs firmly on this page…

But there are others, some mentioned in the How did this happen page, but there are many more, since starting the marathon I’ve realised one of my assumptions, that everyone secretly wants to run a marathon (or more accurately wants to have already run a marathon), is not actually true. Most people genuinely think I’m barking. Fair enough. At least now they have a reason to say it instead of just a nagging feeling in the back of their minds. But I think it is because I’ve actually been friends with a lot of adventurous people- other people get on my nerves by being boring. So I email Rob and Mac, a couple we lived with first in London, who were very athletic, expecting massive amounts of awe and impressed behaviour, but alas, my moment was over shadowed by the fact that Rob is sad because he was injured doing the duzi (a canoe boat race thingy that is insane) so he can’t train for the Comrades- if you don’t know what that is, google it… yeah, you don’t get 30 000 running that every year… And so, there are those kind of people that motivate me. My sister in law in Oz, gets up every morning and trains, before her kids wake up so she can prepare for her races. Matt wakes up every morning to study for a Maths degree. There are those who are always pushing and now that I finally haul arse off the sofa they are already ahead… again. Sigh, but I guess every greyhound needs a bunny, hey?

Then there are those who respond to what I’m doing. Becca, another friend, has quit smoking because if I can run a marathon she can also do something impressive… and that really is a proper motivation for me. And pressure because let’s face it- it’s kind of the opposite to what I’m doing, and possibly harder. I’m forcing myself to do something against my nature and natural inertia and she’s pushing to NOT do something- which is present and nagging all day everyday.. having been there, done that- I think I’ll take the marathon any day- but don’t let that discourage you, Becca (you bloody limelight hogger 🙂 ).

So there are those who lead the way for me, pulling and those that stand with me to push me along. But then there are some who help put it all into perspective. Those who show you that it can all go away in an instant. A friend I play softball with (a.k.a have a drink in the sun in summer with) Mandy is one of those. Having just moved out to Spain in the space of a few days, she went from fine to poorly, to hospital, to final farewells- family flying in from all over the place and then she turned the corner and hopefully it’ll all be OK- she’s still in hospital at the moment, but she’s awesome. So I tell you what, life and health are very flimsy and so when she said: “Enjoying your progress updates! Keep on running and when it gets hard, just keep going! For me if nothing else! Find that little bit extra inside!” I kinda felt obliged to say: Uh, ok…

And so it is those pulling me, pushing me that I keep on going, in the mornings, when it is still dark and I still have a hour and half commute to work for a full day and back again do I think about people that I know- and above are only a few stories- I could keep going as everyday it is someone else, someone else encouraging me- either commenting here, or on facebook or email or at work (because I don’t have a social life)… so yeah, that is my inspiration bank. And I guess that’s what makes marathons so attractive, it’s the crowds on the side of the road as much as it is about the race itself…

You can see details about the marathon’s route and where you can go and support me (aka point sharp sticks on the day) by clicking here.

TechnologyA gadget that helps me work out how far my mighty legs are carrying me (bearing in mind my distance impediment (I cannot differentiate between a metre and mile which is helpful when signing up for a marathon)) So, I can now map my routes using this site: http://gb.mapometer.com/en/. Unfortunately,I am rapidly (and tragically) improving as I now have a very clear idea of how far 6 miles is. A very clear idea indeed)

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