I lost my running mojo on Saturday. Short story: I ran 17km home from work the day after interval day. Cue epic muscle fatigue that kept me up all night and consequent brain collapse.
I could not run on Saturday.
I could not run Sunday morning.
I hauled out for a 7km run on Sunday arvo and it hurt my body and my head.
My mental fitness copped a beating. If I couldn’t cope after a 17km long run in the cooler weather, there’s no fucking way I’d get anywhere near the start line for 6 Inch. I dissolved into a gooey, miserable mess and my mood got darker and darker. By Monday night I was legitimately feeling anxious, depressed and overwhelmed. Running mojo: gone. Life mojo: gone. Fuck.
Another contributory factor to the bleakness was the imminent loss of my adopted coach Scott. He is leaving for the UK on Thursday. I am so happy that he is going to be with his partner. He needs to be over there. But when he steps on that plane, my motivator, my “I can come out for a run with you” guy, my “I know you can make it” guy, my “let’s push you a little bit harder” guy will be gone. Yes I know he will be available online. But I know I’m not the only one who’s going to miss his bouncy enthusiasm at parkrun each Saturday morning.
I hit rock bottom on Monday night. I could not think properly. I felt like I might shatter into a thousand pieces. I was afraid.
On Tuesday I had to do something.
I reached out in every way I knew how.
I emailed close friends for support. They replied instantly, offering shelter from the storm. I reached out to my running club saying I was sorry for being so absent but letting them know I was here. They confirmed that it was ok, that I belonged, and offered some wisdom for coping (thanks Pete). I talked to my husband who doesn’t “get it” when I get anxious, but he hugged me tight and just listened to his batshit crazy wife, again. I resolved to go running. I did not want to go. But I forced myself to get dressed and go to darkrun where I knew I would see so many people who I love to run with, love to chat with. As soon as I saw Dan and flipped him the bird as I parked, I knew the night was going to be ok. I ran 6.5km. I felt lighter. It felt easier. Everything felt better. Scott was there. Michelle was there. Cordelia was there. Ben and Alicia were there. Jeremy and Kelly were there. Kate. Salena. So many people. Without even knowing it they all added to my happiness. Each of them, little bit by little bit.
Afterwards a few of us went out for a beer to say seeya to Scott. Scott presented me with his official 6 Inch map from last year. Together we poured over it and Jeremy and Kelly told story after story about the race last year. The pain. The joy. The “I want to die” moments. I haven’t laughed so hard for ages. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the race, I started to feel much better about it. Dread turned to enthusiasm. I think even Cordelia was tempted to sign up next year!
I broke the back of my depressed state last night. I slept well. I have been positive all day at work. I have my running mojo back. I have my life mojo back. Thank fuck for that. No – thank fuck for all the good people in my life. So many interlocking parts, each one holding me up when I could not stand by myself. Act. Belong. Commit. JFDI.