7 weeks, 67 miles and some incredible examples of sympathetic joy

I had earmarked this week to get a decent amount of miles in across the weekend due to not having a full day at work looming with tomorrow being a Bank Holiday. My plan was at least 24 mid week and 36 across Saturday and Sunday.

The week started off reasonably well and I managed 4 laps in Post Hill Woods on Tuesday morning and Thursday evening then a rather sluggish 6 laps on Friday morning. I had taken an interest in several friend’s races this weekend and their preparation which they shared on Facebook. Seeing how diligent and meticulous they were about having enough supplies, knowing about the route etc was great to read about. I was able to pick up some ideas I may try beforehand that I could use in July for during the race. There was an aura of confidence about the posts as well which was brilliant to have considering the distances of the races they were doing.

Yesterday I did 4 laps in the morning (5:30am start) and 8 laps starting at 2pm. I liked having the break in between and having actual food for breakfast rather than just cereal bars and Tailwind. Although the morning laps were painless enough, there was always going to be an element of suffering yesterday evening. I had taken 2 energy drinks and 2 Heineken beers to accompany the Tailwind (if you’re covering 16 miles with lots of hills on a liquid diet, it’s better if it’s an enjoyable liquid diet!!). I managed to distract myself for parts of it by listening to the England v Pakistan cricket on the radio and was quite relieved to finish, knowing I had ‘broken the back’ of my running for this week.

Although it may be common sense to some, the concept of sympathetic joy is essentially being happy about the successes and well-being of others. Being out this morning knowing I only had 12 miles (6 laps) separating me from my goal for this week was so much easier knowing I had friends dragging themselves ‘through hell with a smile’, out on 110-145 mile races at the same time.

I had noticed a common theme across a lot of the encouraging posts their friends had put which was quoting the phrase ‘we will not go gentle into that good night’. After about 5 seconds research yesterday I found the poem this is sourced from. It is by Dylan Thomas and I think illustrates a defiant spirit perfectly.

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