I did a marathon

I’m a little bit knackered bit it was nice to finally complete something.

I’ve had so many failures over the last few years and it’s really hard to find the motivation when you see all of your friends on Facebook doing amazing things and you just keep coming up short.

Anyway, it was a lovely little loop that took in the site where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. The Thames Path is such a lovely trail to run on and I got a beautiful Mary Poppins themed medal.

Much Love

Rachel xx

running buddies

unrecognizable woman jogging along footpath in park
Photo by Enric Cruz López on Pexels.com

We ran together when we had nothing to say,

The thump-thump of our feet on silky tarmac,

Rain pouring in uncomfortable sheets,

Running in rivulets down our ruddy cheeks,

We are joined together in physical pain

And no words can sever the emotional stress

That comes to fruition by Friday night.

We look forward to Saturday, the early morning

Whether rain or shine, we will pull on our trainers

And hit the roads, onto the trails and under the oaks

That drizzle like sad old men that bend over our path.

We draw strength from those trees

And the roots at our feet, the heart feeling lighter

And a smile on our faces as we come through the door,

Stripping our clothes and falling on sofas

Ready for a week that will drain the batteries

And excited for Saturday when freedom arrives.

beech trees in the rain

rain passing through at clearing in the woods
Photo by Darius Krause on Pexels.com

Solid trunks of striking black

With such a pop of yellow green

As rain drips through the canopy.

There’s something in that woodland world

That soothes my mind and oils the creaks,

A heady charge to flagging health

On early Sunday morning runs.

I worked as a hot tub maintenance person in a luxury forest lodge place, and I did it for four years. I stuck the job out for so long purely because I loved being in the outside in the woods.

And I got most of my joy in the early summer months when the leaves just burst out from their buds. There is always a week at the end of April or the beginning of May where it rains and the trees just burst out into colour in days.

This seems to have happened this week and it is lovely.

In the forest I worked in there were mainly beech trees and I had forgotten quite how much I loved those particular trees. I was reminded on this when I went for a run today and I ran straight through a wood full of beech trees.

It was raining today and the trunks were black and the leaves were the brightest green. The contrast was so beautiful and I could feel myself recharging as I ran. I miss that colour so much and I definitely need more of it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

tiredness in my bones

They creak and shake, echoing with love

For a journey through the forest greens,

Along the busy roads from town,

But it brings a fear and hate,

My body tiring of the impact on the joints,

And yet, as I cross the finish line,

It’s just a feeling of content

That wraps a blanket round my soul.

I ran a really long way for a training run today. I dread the thought of going out for these runs but when I get going I quite enjoy the pain. And then, when I get home, that feeling of elation is just enough to make me fall in love with running again. Almost enough to make me consider signing up for another 100 miler….

Much Love

Rachel xx

running for anger management

Her feet will hammer on the starlit tarmac road,

The breath in white and puffy clouds,

Her ponytail is swinging, a happy kind of beat,

But really there is seething there,

A burning hot desire to hurt, to dig in nails,

To tear at skin and let out sound.

It’s something primal, pumping up with every step,

The thump of blood that rushes through her ears

And tells her that this run will save her life.

The running’s not for fun, not to ease out gentle stress;

It is to strangle out the worst of her,

The painful spikes that festered for so long.

I think I’ve written about this before, but it plays on my mind so much that it deserves being written about over and over. I should probably write a book about it because it eats me up and quite literally hurts me.

I’m a runner. Not a great one, but a runner nonetheless. However, I find that every time I run, I get too angry to even breathe. I’m not even an angry person, but it seems to pour out of me when I’m running. It even makes me sometimes think I should stop. Why would I want to carry on something that literally makes me cry and feel like I can’t breathe.

Am I the only person in the world that loves something that causes me that much pain? Am I sick? Should I just give up? I’m exhausted, but I kind of crave that outpouring.

Much Love

Rachel

that losing feeling

person running near street between tall trees
Photo by Philip Ackermann on Pexels.com

I used to feel it when the gun went off,

We’d the water, heart already pounding,

But before I’d even reached the surface,

I knew, somewhere deep down inside

The race was lost already.

And so those girls would pull away,

More and more with each passing length,

And as my heart would sink its way

Further down into my bursting chest,

I’d realise what the rest had seen so long ago;

That this girl wasn’t who she thought she was,

She just wasn’t good enough.

I’ve failed again. I set out to run 100 miles and I didn’t make it. I could make excuses that are valid (it was really cold, and I was being sick, and it is hard to keep going when you’re out on your own), but the truth of the matter is that I’m just not good enough at the moment.

And that really hurts to say that.

But, I’m learning with age that I’m not always going to ace everything. And I have to pick my battles. I can’t train to be a teacher and put the training in. Something has got to give. And unfortunately, at the moment, it is the running that has to drop.

It does remind of the times when I was a kid and swimming competitively though. I would heap so much pressure onto myself and then when I came up short I would be devastated. I remember crying so hard in the changing rooms after a race and just feeling like such a failure.

And a lot of the time it was because I’d also been studying really hard to get the best grades possible. I’d be exhausted and yet I wouldn’t give myself the break that I deserved.

The fact of the matter is that I’m not an Olympic athlete and it doesn’t matter if I don’t do well. This should be fun and I should be proud of the fact that I have made I ran 60 miles further than I would have this weekend.

If you’re feeling a bit crappy about your failings this week, do yourself a favour and treat yourself as you would treat others. Be kind.

Much Love

Rachel xx

what the bloody hell was i thinking?

photo of man running during daytime
Photo by Tembela Bohle on Pexels.com

What is that thing that pushes me

Into places darker than

The hole of hell that draws me in?

What makes me want to feel that pain

That stabbing in the broken brain?

I always do this thing where I sign up for something and then I wonder why the bloody hell I did it. I kind of want to do it but I don’t think about the pain involved when I sign the form and pay my money. Once it’s all signed and paid, I realise how stupid I have been.

This weekend I’ve signed up for yet another 100 mile run. I failed on the last attempt, only making it to 80. And I know in my heart of hearts that I’m going to hate almost every second of it. My ankles will swell and I’ll vomit until there’s nothing left in my stomach. It sounds horrendous because it is.

So, I’ve been spending a bit of time thinking about what my motivation is. Why do I sign up for things that are going to make me miserable? I think that the main reason id attention. The thrill of having people tell me that I’ve achieved something awesome is so great that I’m willing to put myself through hell to get a hit of it.

It’s pretty sad that I need that validation from people to make myself feel worthwhile. To think that there are people out there who can just live there lives and feel like they are enough. They don’t need to be doing things that will harm them to make themselves feel like a whole person.

One day I will have enough self confidence to just stop with this madness, but for now I guess I’m going to spend my weekend throwing up in various bushes. I’m just interested to know if anyone else does things like this to feel good about themselves. If you are like me, make sure you look after yourself. I don’t want you getting into any trouble!

Much Love

Rachel xx

essay writing…..i’m half way there

It’s a mountain, you know,

Getting to the end of this road,

It stretches up, and when I think I’m there,

I raise my eyes and see how far there is to go

And I’m never sure that it’ll ever end.

I know it will,

It just feels that way.

Ugh, I’m writing my first academic essay in about a decade and I feel like my eyes are bleeding. I’m halfway and this has been a painful experience already. I can only imagine how terrible the second half will be.

I’ve done quite a few epic endurance events and I’m going to have to attack this in much the same way. It’s going to be a case of getting my head down and ignoring the pain. Just motor on; it doesn’t matter that you have stress fractures in your legs and you still have twenty miles to go. You just do it.

I just hope that I’m a little more disciplined than I was in my last 100 mile event as I bonked out at 80 miles. That is not an option this week. No bonking!

Much Love

Rachel xx

on being a hopeless failure

Just keep trying,

Even when it’s hard,

Even when it feels like you’ll never quite get there

Even if you never do get there

You’ll learn so much from the fall from grace

The errors you made

And the memories you’ll make

As you run through life.

So, I like to run. I’m not a very good runner, but I do love to see how far I can go. And the reason I’ve not written anything these last few days is because I was attempting a 100 mile run.

I haven’t done one in ages and I only put in a month’s training so my chances weren’t great, but I stood on the starting line and I gave it a go.

I got to 80 miles and I just ran out of steam and had to give up. I can make loads of excuses, but the truth of the matter is that I just hadn’t put the work in.

However, that doesn’t take the sting out of failing. I set out to run 100 miles and I only ran 80 and that really hurts. There is shame in having to drop out at a check point and I’ve felt crap all day.

But as I was driving home this afternoon, this Coldplay song came on and the first lines just really resonated with me. It reminded me that failure is a part of the human experience.

Every human has to fail at things and we can learn so much from the fails. My body is stronger for the run and I need to be proud for the distance I did do. I mean, who can say that they can run 80 miles? That’s a pretty cool achievement in itself.

So, my advice today would be to embrace those fails. I have a tonne of great memories that I’ll take from that run. I don’t need a medal to tell me that I did something impressive. And it’s put a fire in my belly to go again and get it done.

Much Love

Rachel xx

why would you purposely put yourself through so much pain?

I’m running 100 miles next weekend and it’s something that I’ve done to myself several times before. And the question that I get asked the most is why do it to yourself?

I’m a big fan of the pain cave and so I’ve found myself running 100 milers and swimming the English Channel on multiple occasions. I have spent time while doing these wondering what on earth it was that made me sign up. What has made up to 300 people all stand on the start line with me?

There must be something that is enticing to these people. I met one person who was on their 197th hundred mile run so it’s not like these crazy people are doing it to see if they can complete the distance.

I’m writing this because I recently watched a film on YouTube that touched on the reason why and it struck a chord with me. The guy on the film said that doing these events takes us to a dark place, and it is only when we are in this dark place that we learn about our true selves.

He said that we can learn more about ourselves in a twenty four hour event than we can in years of normal life, and I found that so true. I can go through such a journey that it can make me feel euphoric and that is quite addictive for people like me.

It’s the lows (and the highs) that I feel during runs and swims that inspire me to write and to create and that can only be a beautiful thing.

I urge you to have a go at really pushing yourself at some point so that you can really see what kind of person you are. It might just be a 5k, but push yourself to do it and really embrace the pain and the discomfort. You (probably) won’t regret it.

Much Love

Rachel xx