49 weeks, 10 training runs and my second time above 80 miles on a training week

I like to think of the time I spend running on my own as being purposeful from a mental health point of view as I can allow my mind to wander and often come up with solutions or make decisions I am unable to reach without the endorphin release.

For the 6 days of running I did this week, that hasn’t been working. Admittedly there were some sessions where I was immersed in listening to a podcast and more interested in the lives involved in those than my own. What I have gained from this week is a better understanding of where the line is for me with over-training and the difference between running to gain a good mood versus only being in a good mood whilst running.

I covered 15 miles a day on Monday and Tuesday, this was then followed by a 7.5 mile run on Wednesday and a running specific pilates class that evening (every caricature about someone my size doing pilates is true based on this session!).

My over-training was purely confined to Thursday. I did another 15 mile run in the morning and then my 7.5 mile out and back route later that evening. I had more energy drinks than I should and ended up only having 3 hours sleep into Friday morning.

I may start races on stupidly little sleep or complete long training runs which lead into early mornings but I draw the line at fitting in shorter efforts for the sake of it after this. Sensibly I took Friday off and then had a steady 7.5 mile run on Saturday morning.

I finished the week with 7.5 miles again this morning and a lunchtime run with my brother Ben and our friend Malcolm up to Blackstone Edge. Finishing this was great and there was a real sense of achievement from reaching the summit after 82.5 miles of earlier running in the week.

My previous 80+ week was actually 121 miles that I managed in mid September between the Great Glen Ultra and restarting the blog again. That feels a long time ago now but there is an element of conquering a challenge that I have got out of this week for the first time properly since then.

I think the reason I haven’t got the sense of purpose out of this week has been the voice in my head did not respond well to the level of strain that amount of running places on me. I was once told the difference between whether someone thinks you’re passionate or obsessive about something is dependent on their opinion of what it is, ie if they like it, you’re passionate, if they dislike it, you’re obsessive.

This is the first week in 4 years of writing this blog, I have felt the running was obsessive. I will have to make sure the overall goal of finishing my first 100 next year doesn’t smother the psychological release I get from this sport.


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