The Brighton Marathon 2016 – The Journey Begins

The Brighton Marathon 201631st December 2015 I made a New Year resolution to myself.

Usually I don’t bother. I don’t get on with them. I usually make resolutions that just set me up to fail or ones I don’t stand a hope in hell in keeping. But that’s me. I’m always doing it. I aim high in the hope I fall halfway down, which usually means I’ve managed to achieve something.

Over the last few years I’ve stopped. I just want to get on and just do the best with the year that I can.

But this New Year I decided to make one – to get this blog well and truly up and running. And to update it as much as possible.

However, I’ve kind of put off writing this post through the whole of January.

You see, I don’t want to tempt fate.

Part of writing this blog is to try and record my journey, a journey, any journey through training and achieving the completion of a race that someone with Fibro maybe shouldn’t be able to do. To record that journey in its honest and totally raw form. All in the hope that others will join the journey and maybe try something that Fibro, has up until now, stopped them doing.

If that means someone running, that’s amazing, jogging, just as amazing, walking, seriously amazing, anything. Anything that makes someone with Fibro feel like they aren’t a slave to the illness, that they can fight back. And even in sheer pain they are still the person they used to be and still are.

But, like I say, I’ve put off writing this post. I have a habit of mouthing off what I am going to achieve and then it all goes wrong. So I just wanted to wait a bit. Wait until I had a few miles under my belt, a race in the legs before I started talking.

Each New Year brings my annual mission of signing up for loads of races for the year. All with the aim of running PB’s all year and getting to December as the fastest man on the planet. Yeah I can do that. A year of training and races, how could I not be. Bring It On.

The reality is that I usually get injured really early on in the year and I end up running 3 races and not achieving the PB’s I wanted.

The past three years have been injury plagued and have left me with a burning feeling of having to complete a year running personal best times all over the place. I can’t describe it. It’s a total hunger to finally have a year of injury free running, reaching times I have never run before.

To run without injury. And to compete.

There is just one other hurdle – I also have Fibromyalgia.

Queue a sigh and a deflated look on my face.

Shut Up BrainWelcome to the world of my brain.

You see, the trouble is, my brain is going insane. It won’t shut up.

I have spoken before about
how Fibro leaves you in constant pain but your mindset remains exactly the same. That doesn’t change. If anything it starts to send you insane. Your brain acts as if you were the person you were before the Fibro.

It carries on as if it’s all business as usual. And it talks to you, it pesters you, telling you to enter these races. And it doesn’t shut up. No really, it doesn’t shut the hell up.

It goes on and on and on and on…

So you give in and you enter all of these races. And you get excited.

Oh my god maybe this IS going to be my year. You feel pumped.

LET’S DO THIS!

Let’s get this journey started.

You need to train. So you get back into your running gear. It feels great to finally be back in it all. You put on your trainers, you step outside. You turn on your music and press play. It starts to blare in your ears, the weather is perfect, you feel pumped. You remember all the races you have entered and that goal you have set. Put in the hard work now and come December you will be flying. Your excited.

This is going to be amazing and then bang you take two strides. And your body punches you as hard as it can.

It’s like everything goes silent.

You stop hearing the music.

And your heart sinks.

You remember.

And you want to cry.

Sometimes you do.

It sounds dramatic but it’s very much a reality.

That feeling you had just before you took your first step, that excitement of going for a run. That music blaring and getting you all pumped up, just stops. And it feels like everything goes silent. You remember that actually every single step you are about to take is going to hurt.

It’s going to REALLY hurt.

And that’s why it goes silent.

You remember you can’t do this like you used to be able to.

You just want to be able to run. You want to be normal.

Your heart just sinks.

That man from 4 years ago isn’t around anymore. That enjoyment of running isn’t the same anymore.

The goals are very different from the ones your brain was setting when it made you sign up for all of those races. Within those two first strides of the year you re-evaluate everything you were thinking.

Reality hits. You’ve let your brain trick you yet again.

There won’t be any Rocky moments, you won’t be running in the Olympics. You won’t be Sports Personality Of The Year. There is to be no statue of you in bronze put up in your home town. No streets will be named after you.

Stubbington 10k 2016

And all of that is ok. You have been here before. You don’t want sympathy. You just know you need to do this a different way. Running is my choice. It’s personally a necessary choice but it is my choice.

However, you feel like a dick for falling for the hype our head has fed you YET AGAIN.

Your brain still thinks it’s 2012. And it won’t shut up. It wants you running PB’s. It wants you running for miles at a time without any problem. But you can’t. Things have changed but your brain won’t listen.

It’s like torture. A strong word but I honestly can’t think of a better one. It is torture.

You have the brain of a healthy person who is used to you being active and pushing yourself that now has a body that is fighting you with pain every single step of the way. It’s torture.

But the journey has started and I guess it is time to start writing.

 

The big aim is the Brighton Marathon in April. That’s the race that I’m not supposed to be able to complete. And that is the one I need to remain injury free for.

Training has started and I have already gone through all of the drama I wrote about just now.

I have already run The Stubbington 10k. My local race. And I managed to come in 3 seconds slower than last year – the race in which I set my 10k PB.

So it’s on.

No turning back. The ongoing argument my body will be having with my brain will be loud. People will think I am mad – or even that I’m not as ill as I say I am. So be it.

Personally, I don’t have a choice. I have to do this. I have to fight back. I have to. It’s a battle I don’t expect anyone who doesn’t suffer to understand. And I wouldn’t expect them to either. There is no way of explaining this mindset.

I’ve reached this point where this burning desire to run is pounding in my head. If I don’t do this I’ll go mad.

So, I’ll try and record this journey and beyond. Maybe I’ll be able to explain all of this a bit better along the way.

#FuckFibro
#NeverGiveUp

4 Replies to “The Brighton Marathon 2016 – The Journey Begins”

  1. I also run with fibromyalgia and there are many days where I question my sanity. I completed a half marathon 2 years ago but I have also been plagued by injuries lately so I am concentrating on smaller races this year. I was a runner before fibro and I think that muscle memory helps. My first race this year will be The Muddy Leprechaun. It’s a 4 mile trail run that kicked my butt last year. I am going back with a vengeance this time!
    #nevergiveup

    1. Hi Margaret,

      Overcoming that initial fear is huge. It’s not easy. Trying to explain it to someone who doesn’t suffer from chronic pain is difficult.

      When you are in insane pain all day every day, running or any kind of new activity is scary. It goes against every instinct. And it goes against every time people think you should be doing. But if you can then you will feel just amazing. It won’t cure you. It won’t make the pain less. It will hurt. But imagine this – once you have got over the initial pain, the initial feeling that this is against everything your body is telling you, you will free again for the first time in a long, long time.

      I speak a lot about finding your “normal”, that one thing you do that Fibro takes away from you. Fighting back and trying to gain back that element of normal. It’s so important. It makes you feel like you are fighting back or that you are still that person you were before you started suffering.

      For me it’s running. I run in pain but I run. It makes me feel alive, it reminds me of me.

      Margaret, if running is what you dream of doing – DO IT. Try it. get your trainers on and start. It’s not easy but then what you are fighting isn’t easy. Get out there and feel that “normal”. Just be aware that when you get back through that front door it will hurt but you will have fought back. Do It. You can do it. One step at a time. And in no time you will be flying.

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