Week 10: Soul searching

  • Hours on the run: 5:24
  • Kilometres: 58.51
  • Calories burned: 3,292
  • Number of times the question ‘Why’ went through my head: Too many
  • Soundtrack: Hold on – NANO

Emotions seem to get deeper as the weeks go by. Anxiety plays a big part in the preparation for each new long distance. Can my legs carry me? Will an injury pop up when I’m miles from home? Can my mind stay focused and not cave in? Will I hit the dreaded wall? Taming those dragons of doubt ahead of each long run has become the norm for me now. I hope one day those doubts will fall silent, but perhaps it’s all part of the process. This isn’t supposed to be easy. Perhaps there has to be an element of fear driving this.

After not the best sleep, and a sad Saturday reading over legal documentation for probate, I set out with a heavy heart on Sunday morning for the 29 km run. Into the pouring rain once more. It’s difficult to describe the feeling of being drenched through to the skin after just 15 minutes, knowing you have to push on out into the elements and keep yourself going for another 2.5 hours. No rally car to pick you up if you start flagging. No hot tea stop halfway around. Just you, your mind, and the distance.

The first half-hour was spent with spirits incredibly low. After a while the soothing motion of putting one foot in front of the other calmed everything down and I settled into a better rhythm and felt determined to get through it. If other aspects of my life are causing heartache at the moment, at least I can still run. Sometimes it feels like that’s actually all I’ve got.

Once I’d got into my rhythm, a bunch of daffodils suddenly popped into view by the side of the path – just one single bunch, no others anywhere else around. I had to think they were a sign from Dad, being his Welsh flower. That was a warming moment.

The rest of the the run was simply wet. One earphone made it 1/2 way around, the other made it 3/4 before being (literally) drowned out. The last 5 km were spent just focusing on my breathing, telling myself with every breath and with every step, I was that bit closer to home. It was only when I was 2 km from the end that I could actually believe I would make it, and the fear of caving dissolved away.

All that rain did a good job of foaming up my running tights (and jacket) again!

And my hair took on a new life of it’s own…. (it was a neat ponytail before I stepped out of the door!)

Relieved to have made the distance, happy to not feel overly sore. Soundtrack this week: Hold on by NANO – “I know you’re tired of surviving but you’ve got to keep on trying, got to hold on.”

Please consider sponsoring me for the London Marathon. I’m running for Chance for Childhood, a charity that protects children from the devastating consequences of extreme poverty, conflict and disability.

4 thoughts on “Week 10: Soul searching

  1. That sounds like such a tough run for so many reasons but you didn’t cave in and got through it. Very proud of you, Sarah. Not so good hair-wise 🤣🤣🤣 but you can’t have it all. Much love L&S xxx

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Sarah, you are soooo unbelievably brave – and strong. 95% of the rest of the world would have given up by now for any single one of the reasons that you have been struggling with – I certainly would have. One of the points of it all is that you are inspiring others – and hopefully, there will be moments when you also realise just how amazing you are and that you can overcome anything you put your mind to as well as helping others in various seen and unseen ways. Another thing that shines through is just how gifted and special you are. So keep going – you’re not alone; every step (literally and metaphorically) and every rasping breath matters – to God and to others, as well as to yourself. God IS breath, and therefore is sustaining your life.

  3. Oh thank you so much Margaret! Such amazingly kind words. If I could even inspire just one person with all of this, I’d be happy. Thank you for reminding me I’m not alone. xxx

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