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

running for anger management

woman girl silhouette jogger

There’s something rather hypnotic about the gentle patter

Of feet on slick wet pavements

As miles tick by and thoughts disperse,

At least that’s what they tell you in the magazines.

What really happens is the thoughts grow sharper

With each deep and ragged breath

Until they’re razor sharp and hurt to touch.

I always end my runs in pain, gasping for the air

That makes me seethe with anger

And leaves me wondering if runs

Are quite as healing as they say.

I’ve been running since my son was born and he is now fifteen, so it’s been quite a while. But while I’ve built up a tolerance that means I can run further than I ever thought possible, I don’t seem to have built up the same tolerance for bad thoughts that pop into my head while running.

I’m not an outwardly aggressive person so anger feels quite painful to me, just because I don’t know how to let it out and express it. But where running should help me get away from all of those horrible feelings, it tends to give me time to let them fester.

I have sometimes come back from a run in tears because the emotion has been too overwhelming and it has made me consider giving up altogether. But then maybe I need that time to get angry while I’m out on my own and actually that time is really valuable in helping me to work through feelings?

It’s really difficult to love something so much, but also find it so painful at the same time. I will carry on because I feel like I need it in my life but I’d be interested to know if other people have the same love/hate relationship with something.

I just wish that I could get over this and make my runs feel more enjoyable again.

Much Love

Rachel xx

running and road names

There’s definitely a lot to be said

For that runner’s high.

That beautiful drug, cycling through veins

And sweating out hot and poisonous thoughts.

It’s a therapy of kind,

But sunnier in nature

With a guilt-free pizza waiting at the end.

I did a nice long run before the hottest of the weather rolls in tomorrow. I haven’t been doing many long runs recently so it was nice to batter my legs and feel the pain.

I could write pages and pages about why I love running, even though I seem to hate it while I’m actually doing it. It’s like medicine, though; it’s not that pleasant to take it but it seems to fix some of the problems in your life, at least for an afternoon.

Today, in an attempt to be mindful, I concentrated on the road names that I passed. It’s funny how you don’t notice these things when you whizz by in a car. Some of them are so beautiful and the winning name today was a new estate that is being built that is called Poet’s Meadow.

How much do I want to live in a place called Poet’s Meadow?

I hope that you have all made the most of the sunshine this afternoon and evening and that you have something in your life that is therapeutic. It helps make life just that little bit more bearable and we all need those things in times like these.

Much Love,

Rachel xx