Here’s a question for you – why do you run?
I’ve been doing my post-race analysis, and as far as time goes it is really simple to work out why I ran what I ran in Rotterdam. I stopped training for the month leading up, and that apparently can have a detrimental effect on your ability to run an above-average marathon time. While part of the reason I stopped running was because I got sick (especially in the last two weeks), the main reason I stopped running prior to that was that I just didn’t want to anymore. I really didn’t. I’ve never quite experienced a drop in motivation like it in regards to running, and I had no answer to the funk. I just decided that I didn’t want to run – consequences in Rotterdam be damned.
I’m still ok with my Rotterdam experience; I enjoyed it much more than I did Rome where I ran a faster time. But I am keen to get to the bottom of my motivation problem, as it is quite easily the biggest limiter to better performance. I can’t escape this question that keeps coming back to me of late though – what is the point?
There is a voice in my head that asks this a lot. It asks questions like ‘who cares if you run a marathon under 3:30?’, and ‘who cares how many marathons you have run?’. It is this voice that is – to a degree – the reason why I haven’t told anyone where I work that I had run the marathon, and definitely haven’t told them the time. I have this nagging voice in my head that says ‘why would anyone care?’. And more importantly – ‘why do you care?’. I have to be honest – I don’t have an answer for these questions at the moment. I don’t know whether it matters for me to run a faster marathon or not. I don’t know why I would care that much about running under 3:30 for a marathon, or 1:30 for a half marathon – other than the fact that it is there.
I’ve done some research into why other people run, and I’ve found that – generally speaking at least – most of it doesn’t work for me. I’m sadly not motivated by elements of charity (I give to charity without the running, and I could live without the guilt of potentially under performing in a race in support of a charity. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like charity places in races), nor do I feel anymore the need to prove myself to anyone or impress anyone. I’ve found lately that no-one really cares anyway. So I’m not sure why I want to run anymore. Right now I want to run because I can’t. My legs are still battered from Rotterdam, my feet still baring the blistered scars of 42.2km and my cold still holding on for dear life causing the occasional hacking cough. But what happens after that? What happens for me once I can start running again and I’m starting to build again for my Autumn races? I don’t know – but I’m hopeful that for Aberdeen and Frankfurt it will be different and I can start to realise my potential a bit.
I’ve got a long way to go to figure this out though – a marathon all of its own.
Listening To: ‘Knee Socks’ by The Arctic Monkeys