It’s been 3 months since my last post, largely due to the fact that training for the marathon has completely taken over. It’s what I think about when I wake up and what I think about before I go to sleep. Someone once said to me that marathon training should become part of your life, not take over it. I fear it has for me. I guess this is to be expected, as a brain that is susceptible to anxiety is inevitably going to be working overtime when dealing with all the issues, thoughts and routines that go into the training. On top of that there are the physical effects, especially the constant state of physical and mental exhaustion, both from the running, and also the day to day mood fluctuations that affect me, which can consequently facilitate an unpreventable downward spiral.
But this is all a side issue, the most important thing is raising money for Mind and helping all of those people out there suffering with poor mental health. I’ve raised over £1150 so far, and I am indebted to all the people who have parted with their hard earned cash to help me with this cause. For anyone who would like to donate, please head over to my sponsorship page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-wiffen And to find out about the valuable work that Mind does, check out their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/. For the 1 in 4 people that suffer a mental health issue each year, Mind’s mantra that “we believe no-one should have to face a mental health problem alone” is a message that needs to be spread far and wide.
My mood since my last blog on 3rd December can be easily characterised by this graph
The pre-Christmas period was incredibly difficult as predicted, and in many ways I was relieved for it to be over, and the usually dark and grey January actually provided an opportunity to forget about the end of year struggles. Since Christmas it has been a consistent stream of peaks and troughs, with the peaks being too easy to fall off , and the troughs being impossibly difficult to climb out of. You go from one day feeling relatively at ease within yourself, to the very next day feeling so low and helpless that you can’t forsee how you will get through it. You never know which ‘you’ is going to be lifting their head from the pillow in the morning.
The next 6 weeks are going to be incredibly stressful, with the marathon on 22nd April, and then 8 days later my last day at work (due to redundancy). It’s going to be an emotional week, and I fear that an emptiness will sweep over me on 1st May, as two big things in my life will have ended, with the training having taken over the last 8 months, and my job being a central part of my life for over 5 years. I can’t help but feel trepidation about the future, and a great sadness at leaving the people that I have worked with since January 2013, and who have become like a family. It’s probably a good thing that the training is taking up so much time and headspace at the moment, as it doesn’t leave much room for dwelling on this forthcoming ending. But I predict that come 1st May it will push its way to front and centre in my mind.
Last week I had a personal setback which has greatly affected me the last few days, and has clouded the end of a week that began fairly positively. That’s the way it is though, a good start to the week is no guarantee of a good end to it. This made it all the more tough to get out there and run yesterday, and why I was plagued for 17 miles with thoughts and feelings that I just couldn’t escape. The faster I ran, the faster they chased me. I guess if I take off my ultra critical hat that has been fused to my head for so long, I should pat myself on the back for dragging myself round with that extra weight on my shoulders, in many ways acting as a metaphor for life. You’ve just got to keep going.