After the running bug has bitten you, you might start entering races. And if you are entering races, you might set goals for yourself. Often you’ll start off just wanting to finish a new distance (in one piece) and then you might want to get a certain time. It is the latter, which might cause you to lose your running mojo 😱.
You see, not every run can be a personal best (pb) and not every run will go to plan. And I don’t mean that it will go badly (although a few might). It could simply be that you can’t hang onto the pb pace for the distance you are running. It could be your training, a mental battle with your mind, the weather, the course, actually any multitude of things 🤷♀️. But one thing is for sure, if you have a time goal in your head and it slips away – no matter how much you try to gain comfort from taking part, enjoying your surroundings, doing something good for your body – it can be disheartening 😢.
Every race I’ve run this year has been a disappointment. I’ve run 2, so it’s not like I am a serious racing enthusiast. But as a busy mum of two running a business, and a household, it’s all I can manage. And even then, the time I pinch from family, work, life, to run sometimes gives me the ‘mum guilt’. So, when it doesn’t all come together on race day – I feel down. It’s hard to know that the hard work you put in was not enough – or on reflection – not hard enough to get you the result you wanted.
And for me running is a big part of my mental health, giving my head a good clearing out and a better perspective on the world. But when a race doesn’t go to plan, it has the total opposite effect and that is hard to come to terms with. With all the publicity about the link between running and mental health, does anyone think the pressure 😬 to feel good mentally while running is sometimes a bit much? If your mind is not in a better place after a run (race or training) are you failing, not only at your performance but also failing at your mental health?
For this reason, I’m looking for something bigger to run in the background of my running. Something that will make every mile count. I’m going to try to eek up my annual mileage to 1000 miles for 2018.
Now I am a little behind schedule, I’m about 80% of my year to date target at the end of June (I’ve made a slightly addictive little spreadsheet). But whether I make it to this lofty grand total or not, every single mile counts for something. I’m dubbing them ‘My Mind Miles’.
I have a half-marathon coming up on the 5th of August – and I am unsure about my training, the heat (although lovely ☀) has made it hard to gauge effort and pace, and I just don’t know what will happen on race day. But I feel a sense of peace knowing that no matter what happens, 13 miles in one day is a great boost to my yearly total – and every mile will count, no matter the time.
Do you run for your mental health? If you don’t get the time you want at a race do you feel down? Do you feel pressure running for your mental health, that sometimes threatens to undo all the good you are doing?
For My Mind Miles, I’ve set up a just giving page, to support Mind – the Mental Health Charity. You can take a peek here.
Have you ever wondered where you money goes when you donate to a charity? Here’s a handy little graphic that tells us exactly what £10 to £550 means, I mean just a tenner could send essential information booklets to 40 people in need!
Do you want to join me in my quest for your own mind miles in 2018? What would be your target? Message me to join in.