View from Warwick Half Marathon, 2016

I was having a conversation the other day about motivation. What happens when you lose your mojo, and you aren’t sure how to get it back. And they said to me, “it’s okay for you, that’s your job”.

Which is totally true. I can’t tell you the amount of times when I’ve thought about not doing something and did it because I am actually accountable for what I do or don’t do. And if I don’t do it, how can I ask anyone else to?I think the last time I didn’t go for a run (other than being sick or injured) was probably in early 2015. So when we were having that chat, I was kind of shocked thinking, because of my work I am actually a professional runner, I’m just a whole lot slower than most other professional runners. And it was kind of cool and kind of shocking all at the same time. It highlighted what a great privilege I have and how I have been underappreciating it.

Right now it is about 11pm and it’s going to be super cold here tomorrow morning when I get up for my run. (At ease people from actually cold places, it’s still cold for here!) I will get to wear long sleeves which has a high degree of novelty and I will enjoy it while I’m out there, but I will really enjoy the hot shower and the coffee when I get home.

And if you asked me why I do it, I don’t really know. I know how it started. It started because I wanted to find out that if I specifically trained and went all in, how would my body respond. I didn’t want any doubt because I was half-hearted in my efforts, or lack lustre in my commitment. I really wanted to know for sure.

That’s when I fell in love with it I think. I love how you have to be willing to invest yourself in it. How you have to be willing to give something of yourself to your training, that you can’t get back.

I have a weird relationship to the end of training cycles. It saddens me when they end. There’s always another, but I love the training process and I don’t always love testing the training process in a race quite as much. I fear that the race might not be what the training has deserved. It feels like an ending and it’s often a reluctant one.

This is a bit of a training diary from the weekend after my long run:

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On Mother’s Day, the kids got me a little Flash superhero figurine. He’s my favourite superhero because he’s a scientist, not just someone with superpowers. That’s my approach to running. Gifts are awesome. Speed is amazing. But all the magic is in the science and in the work.

So in 4 days, I get to go and find out what my work looks like. I’m looking forward to finding out.

“If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.” ~Billie Holiday

Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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