The end of the beginning

So it’s been 2 weeks since the marathon on the 13th April and I’ve done very little other than eat and drink. For pretty much the week after the marathon, despite the pain in my legs & hips, I was on a high. As I said in my last blog, the run itself was hugely enjoyable, but it was only afterwards that my time really sank in. 4 hours 48 seconds.
I did consider ending my blog by just repeating 4 hours 48 seconds over and over for a whole page, but unlike me, most of you would probably get bored of seeing it after the 1st few lines. (I’m still not sure how I managed it! Although the pain in my knee this week now that the cortisone has finally left my system suggests that the injection played a huge part!)

When I started this blog, I had a few things in mind. It was gonna be a diary of how to train for a marathon, when you’re not an expert runner.
But after having a bit of a nightmare with injury, my training plan went out the window so it’s unlikely anyone can follow my blog like a week by week schedule. But I guess if you were to take the glass half full approach, then my blog has shown that you needn’t let a setback completely derail your run. It’s still possible to get out there and enjoy the run, and maybe even forgetting about your target time is a good thing, as it removes some of the stress of the race itself.

It was also going to be about how I was hoping to use running as a way to get over the depression of having lost my son 2 days after his birth, just over 18 months ago.
Back in January I was probably at my lowest ever, with a combination of factors behind it but I’d initially acknowledged that something had to change. The marathon attempt and the fundraising gave me something to aim for, and writing the blog gave me an outlet to share some of my issues in a form I found easier than directly talking about it to someone.

In the end the result of the blog was a lot less structured than I originally imagined and probably fell short of achieving either of the aims, but I still consider it a success all the same. There’s no doubt I am in a much better place than I was, and hopefully I’m better equipped to handle whatever the future holds.

One thing I can’t get is complacent. I know from experience how medication can help, especially when there seems like no other option, but one of the reasons I wanted to get my running started again in January was so that I had a more natural way of keeping my head clear. As the medication dosage (gradually) decreases, I still want to keep a balance of a healthy mind. So while I have decided to retire my prozac themed trainers after the marathon (pictured below), I will definitely be buying new ones to replace them. When my last prescription is done, they’ll be my sole protection. (awful pun intended btw)

The end of the road for these guys...

The end of the road for these guys…

Anyway, as celebrity punchbag and singer Rihanna once sang “What Now?
Well, I know I need to have a goal to aim at, so I’m probably gonna look for some more runs, maybe half marathons or 10k’s so that I still have something specific to train for.
I also will be returning to Park Run (www.parkrun.org) to run the weekly timed 5k event. Last year I steadily improved my PB down to 20mins 33seconds so I reckon the obvious goal is to record a sub 20min 5k time. This time it’s not a marathon, it’s almost a sprint.
That’s the physical activity side of things covered, but I have also hugely enjoyed writing a blog so I’d still like to keep it up in some shape or form.
One thing depression robs you of is your creativity, and before it had really taken hold of me I had been blogging about my other big passion, photography. I had a 365 project going on a blog called Reflex Mirror, but after I had finished the project and started my period of being down, I lost any inclination to even pick up my camera let alone seek out some interesting shots.
Like this blog it had a smattering of followers who thought it was ok and I’ve been asked a few times if I’ll be doing anything similar again.
I can exclusively reveal now that Reflex Mirror will be making a comeback!
I’m not sure yet what form it will take or what my subject(s) will be, but now that I’m not spending all of my free time on a cross trainer I’m quite excited about getting out and about with DSLR again.

So there you have it.
Its only been 4 months, but I’ve raised nearly £7k for a brilliant charity, smashed my marathon PB, shared some of my innermost secrets with the internet (about 0.0000000001% of the internet, but still!) I’ve experienced cortisone and it’s amazing powers, I’ve witnessed first hand Aberdeen F.C. win a trophy and best of all I’ve reclaimed the inner workings of my mind. Not one of those things seemed possible in January, but for ALL of them to have happened is nothing short of amazing!

Thanks to all of you that have in some way played a part, and I include the folk I’ve never met that have commented on, followed or liked my blog.

So while it’s goodbye for now, there’ll definitely be more in the future, whether it be here or on Reflex Mirror.
So until then…..

Graeme.

P.S. I entered the ballot for London Marathon 2015, so maybe the blog will have a natural sequel.

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