What a ‘bad’ run can teach you about life

Yesterday I had what is known as a ‘bad’ run – I took part in the Bupa London 10,000 run and I really didn’t enjoy it.

It was hot.  I didn’t feel good at the start.  At no point during the race (and I use the term ‘race’  lightly) did I feel good.

I felt like my legs were heavy and as if I was trudging through treacle.

I was counting down the run from 5K onwards.  But I was determined that I would not stop and that I would finish.

Here’s the thing.  One of my dearest friends asked me yesterday if running is ever enjoyable or fun. Good question I thought.  Yesterday, most definitely was not for me.  I’ve never been a naturally ‘runny’ person.  I’ve got into it and love to feel fit but I’ve never really got into training goals, split times, Strava or running clubs.

I love running. But only when I’m out, with no particular goals or pressures, experiencing whatever weather there is.

When I’m running no one can contact me.  I can think.  I can even internally sing whole musicals to myself or conjure up fabulous new cake or dessert combinations in my head.  But what I love most about running is those times when you want to stop and you just push through.

It’s the mental challenge.  There are times in life when it can feel like you’re wading through treacle and like there’s one obstacle after another. For me, when goals seem far off, it’s tempting to stop but when you break it down, like yesterday’s race, one kilometre at a time, you can just about make it. And running reminds me of that.  Sometimes Karen, you’ve just got to get stuck in, get your head down and put the work in. It’s worth the effort.

I finished the run, just a whisker inside 60 minutes. I felt horribly sick for about two hours afterwards and even had to stop mid journey home to find a loo, I felt so rough. But I pushed through mental and physical barriers, experienced ‘the dark place’ of endurance events and made it through.

For me, that’s a massive metaphor for life and business. In order for balls to roll down hills you have to push them up first. So the next time you’re finding something really hard, dig in and see what courage you have deep down. You might surprise yourself.

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