Category Archives: Running

Concentrate on the goal, enjoy the ride

That day remains very special to me and if I had one day to live over in my lifetime, it would be my first marathon (Dick Traum)



So here we are back again, I wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to compete again this year but on the other side of the coin, I didn’t want to be the person whose only done one. Its quite an undertaking, I realise that. It takes away a lot of my social life and leads to some extreme tiredness which I can even feel now as I’m typing this. My body will hurt, and I’ll struggle to drag it from bed some mornings, I’ll question myself plenty of times to ask why I do this and is it actually worth it. But…. There is nothing quite like finishing a marathon.

Last year’s marathon was sweet, I went in completely ignorant to how hard it should be and found the whole process relatively easy. In fact the race itself I can remember getting 20km in and thinking that it went in a blur.

I do need to make some improvements and experience teaches you that, I know I have to cut down the amount of exercise I do outside of running. That really seemed to wear me down last year and I seemed to just recover from over use injuries before my next run. I also need to realise its only 10 weeks worth of training and its not that much of a dedication of time, even at its peak, the training should be taking me just over 4 hours a week, that isn’t a huge commitment really for the prize involved.

I love to run that much is true, but I will find this training pretty arduous if truth be told. Going for a nice 10km run is absolutely nothing like going for a 30km run and the concentration, energy and determination you need to knock it off. Maybe I’ll get to two marathons and finish this marathon quest, but I do have the thought in the back of my mind that I’d like to do 10 and become a Spartan, now that is an achievement and there aren’t too many guys who have done that.

What’s ahead for me, random grumpiness when training runs don’t go as planned, tiredness, euphoria after finishing a ran, extreme eating, keeping Gatorade in business for the next few months, limping every day after a run and generally not being pain free for nearly 3 months. Even after my first run last night, already my hips were so painful they began to keep me awake last night. I’m sure once I’m consistently doing a level of running it won’t be as bad but for now I’ll just have to endure it and everything it brings with it.

Concentrate on the goal, enjoy the ride. That will have to be the mantra for the next couple of months.

IJS 29/07/2014

Running as a metaphor for life


I have the above picture on my study wall. A picture to remind me of struggle and however hard things are to never give up. To realise I can achieve anything I set my mind to, if I’m determined enough about it. The picture in question is of me about 20 seconds out from the line at the Melbourne Marathon. The pain and tiredness is etched into my face. People might look at the photo and say why would you put yourself through three and a half hours of pain? My answer would be, you can’t see my face 20 seconds later, the exuberance, the thrill of finishing and smile and sense of achievement that didn’t leave my face my months.

Running is very much a metaphor for life for me. Its about struggle and success, the will to carry on when your have nothing left (or in the words of Rudyard Kipling If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone). The ability to prove people wrong, to turn that negativeness into something so positive.

Running for me crystallises my thoughts, its one of the only times I feel I have complete clarity of thoughts, I see things clearly, I truly feel at one with myself. I realise the things that are important in my life and the things that aren’t.

Running teaches me another important lesson, the race is only against one person, myself. Its a battle against those little voices in our heads, those voices of self doubt that mutter their way throughout our lives. That a huge percentage of the ability to run is mental is in my mind not in doubt.

The final lesson that it teaches me is that the finish line isn’t really the end, its just the start in my need to constantly improve and strive to be better.