Advisory; this is a very personal blog post!
So, when I've had mood swings, or events that have had a significant effect on my life my running has changed. I find that if my life is happy and balanced I'll run 80km (50 miles) a week week in week out. If I'm going through difficult times it goes up to over 100km a week and sometimes hits the 'magic' 100 miles a week. This is never a good thing. My body doesn't like a 100 mile weeks anymore. My feet and stomach rebel. I can't stay awake, and I'm more of an unsocial than usual. When I've been hit with real black moods, I don't want to run. I literally can't run. All the natural motivation and enthusiasm seeps out of my body and mind. Mentally I don't want to step out of the door, and physically when I do, its a slog. When Lindsay passed away I didn't run for a week, I couldn't. Eventually it became cathartic again, and although certain runs still evoked bittersweet memories, it was a good kind of pain; one of remembering fondly.
|Lindsay and Nikki Campbell at the Hewat 100 miler|
There's no doubt that over the last 7 years running had saved me from spiraling into an abyss, but it has also propped up and kept issues at bay. It has stopped those issues being addressed. It hasn't really 'saved' me from anything, it's plastered over the cracks and proved that you can't avoid pain, but have to confront it head on. Running is an escape. A much better, healthy, life affirming one than most, but still an escape.
|Winning the Comrades marathon. As a novice.|
Maybe it's time to stop running.