Posts Tagged medals

Why I run…thoughts after my Great Scottish Run Half Marathon 2015.

Contemplating as I sit here on the couch under a blanket with cups of ginger/lemon tea, soggy hankies, a runny nose, bit of a cough and generally feeling the aftermath of this year’s running event. Glad at least that on a muscular level it only took 2 days for the worst of the burn to cool down in my legs and reflective of what was behind my motivation for doing this challenge in the first place.

I was unable to run the 2013 event due to ill health in general from chronic stress overload causing all kinds of horrible symptoms and on top of that I somehow managed to develop a Morton’s Neuroma on my left foot, which for the last year or more meant that even walking was painful until at the beginning of August I was given a cortisone injection which greatly helped thankfully!

Prior to this the previous 2 years were a challenging emotional roller coaster ride that ended in a painful crash. Healing from the damage that ensued after that soul wrecking experience was perhaps the deepest and most challenging thing I have had to go through, and I had to do it alone for many reasons that will probably not be understood by many or most. Alone was the only “choice” as many of the people closest to me were not helpful or supportive, and in fact added to the equation of negativity I was trying to solve. Only those healing from virtually a lifetime cloud of narcissistic abusive experiences will truly know the depths that this type of experience brings.
It is a programming pattern puzzle only fully solved when the deepest shadows of the soul are brought to light found by looking deeper into the conditioning and circumstances that caused this to be a vibration I found so often in the first place throughout my life. Once this is understood, the metamorphosis can begin to change future life experiences creating them from a new mould. A new self that knows and understands healthy boundaries, has awareness of the red flags and NPD as whole, a new way of seeing the past which then can heal the present and allows the future to unfold with inner peace never known before. Breaking the co-dependency, the people pleasing syndrome, the seeking for external validation and seeing and understanding the dynamics of the meaning of love in a whole new way. The journey to real self love and acceptance.

The last time I ran this marathon in 2013, my life was in the beginning of a turmoil that would unfold and reach a climax in 2014 and so to run this road again now and complete this distance was a huge sense of a comeback, a proverbial stamp I was putting on myself to say that I had won the battle through the emotional and physical hurdles of the past couple of years and built my strength back to where it was before it was challenged.

Therefore, there was a lot in my mind hanging on my performance for this event. I was aiming and hoping to get close to my PB of just under 2 hours. The training on the run up to the race was sporadic and not my usual full on thing, twice I had to stop training due to first a pulled left calf, out for two weeks and then again my right, out again for another couple of weeks leaving me unsure if I would even be able to train for it. After some advice I changed my training routine and incorporated cycling into the mix which really helped build my core strength up, then I was able to run the distances again and began to build up my miles so at the beginning of September I decided I was going to go for the half marathon and do my best.

IMG_5782It’s always emotional at the start line, especially for me as a sensitive empath soul. I did have to fight back a few tears as we did the warm up with the music booming through the crowds of participants and supporters all cheering and anticipating the 13.2 miles of tarmac ahead. Once through that start line it’s amazing what you tell yourself to keep pressing on. The first 4 miles are usually pretty easy, I ran them at a good pace, the next four a bit more grueling and uphill in parts, then the next 4 miles you know you are over the halfway mark and on the home straight to some extent but this is when it gets serious and you can see some stopping to walk and hear the tiredness in the pants and puffs of those running alongside, by that time the supporters cheers are even getting tired! Reaching the crowds on the home straight is always a great feeling, you know you’re practically there, so I pushed to try to scrape a few extra minutes off the race time and then threw a fist in the air as I thankfully crossed the finish line.

IMG_5796 (2)Running has been something that has given me a sense of purpose, triumph, fulfillment, accomplishment and pride over these past few years since I started in 2008 with my first 5K Race For Life I built up to 10K’s, then half marathons and managed my first full one in 2012, another one being contemplated! 

I find having goals like this to aim for as a challenge help to keep me focused and disciplined, and create a physical parallel to balance the other more desk oriented work that I do. When I’m running my mind clears, or I think things through, pray even sometimes with music playing softly in the background as a constant ambiance from my Iphone playlist selection.

When I’m running it doesn’t feel so bad being on my own, similarly with cycling. As a creative Empath soul, alone is something I have tended to be quite a lot of my life in one way or another. As an artist, creativity has no finish line, maybe lots of small deadlines to complete projects but no great finale and certainly no medals, so doing something like this in tandem with my musical productions provides me with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that so far I have not found in quite the same way through art.

Music has been my running partner from the start. In the earlier events and training all I ever used to listen to was house music, a few years later down the line my selection is now a bit more varied with some other favorites added in there from the 70’s, 80’s and other classic favorites. During this run I particularly remember when TYREE – “ACID OVER” came on around 9K and that giving me a great boost!  Going for a run with the right music makes me feel great, especially if there is a bit of sunshine, but even on the colder Autumn and winter days, that crisp fresh air and then coming home to a warm flat and a hot shower feels good to my soul.

Participating in these bigger events allows me to feel like I am here, I matter, I am somebody, a runner, a something, I am a winner in this at least, maybe not in love, not so much in money, or even my music either to any great extent, but at least on these occasions I beat those that said I couldn’t or shouldn’t and I got my medals. I won them all with my valiant courage and determination and nobody can deny that or take that away from me.
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Running marathons…

Earlier today I was speaking to a friend of mine about success. Feeling successful and having done some things that you have made a success of to some extent, are very different. A bit like training for a marathon, in training it is a success to manage a 15 mile run because that is the furthest you have ever run, but it is not the end of the race or through the finish line.

Over the past few years, there have been many small milestones of success I have managed to achieve, some more poignant and visible and others more internal. There are only a few of these milestones that rewarded me with anything apart from the personal satisfaction or improvement I could feel. In 2008 I challenged myself to run my first 10K and at the end of that race there was this great feeling of pride and achievement as I puffed my way through the finish line. The second time I ran that same distance, the achievement hit was less powerful, so the following year I stepped up the challenge to run a half marathon, a bit like a junkie might have to up his dose of a drug to get a better hit the next time.

In parallel to running these distance events I was also running another marathon of sorts, a musical one. I had a goal of sorts in my mind that I was trying to achieve but with this goal there is no finish line, no distance set, no known finish line, no mapped out route, nothing but the distance with no definite successful end point to aim for. So blindly I have been wading my way through the tasks at hand and music expression trying to find some way to success as I envision it to be.

House music in all it’s forms has been my running partner in life race and in more reccent times with greater spiritual awareness and faith, more and more, the map that I am following is drawn out by trusting my inner self and guidance. I don’t make music to a format, I make music from my heart. I don’t try to fit into anything that is already made, I take all that I am, all that is influencing my current state of expression and just allow that to flow, be that to the taste of other or not. I try not to look at others in the race in comparison, just put my blinkers on and keep it moving to the best of my own ability with what I have to hand, because that is all I can do.

I work hard, I have worked on my self, my mind, my body and my soul, my education, built my skills, built music, taught myself a lot of what I know, but still not reached what I feel will be that feeling of success despite exeeding many expectations I had about myself. I get frustrated sometimes because I don’t have all the skills and better equipment I feel I need to make me more successful, or give me a better shot at being successful. But how do you become successful, what is the winning formula that gets you through that golden gate, that is what I am still working on.

The bar seems to just keep rising the closer you feel you are getting to it, but it is partly me that keeps re-setting it really, because even though I achieve a certain stage, once I get there I still don’t feel satisfied, I still want more. I want to build a better tune, I want to write and sing a better song, I want my mastered end products to sound better, they are still not good enough to me, therefore I cannot feel success. Equally I have not been rewarded to any great extent by way of notoriety or financial gain and without that, though the personal satisfaction is there, to have another or others pat you on the back in some way does qualify things just that little bit more.

The only rewards have been my own self satisfaction, the momentary feeling of joy you get when you finish the latest track and you think it is your best track yet, but that soon dies, because you soon get that feeling that you need to make a better one, because the phone is not ringing like mad with people saying how wonderful it was! I amagine though even if the phone did start ringing like mad and one track was deemed brilliant, that after that the race is still on to make another brilliant track, so you are still running that race.

With music, there is only running, there is only the continual marathon, staying in it, keeping it moving, there is no finish line until you give up, if you ever give up, or until you die. This is why I find it is important to do things that have a finish line in tandem with music. I am someone now that needs to feel I’ve got through a finish line in at least something in my life, at least by running and taking part in events as part of my life I get that sense of success and achievement, I get a medal or a certificate to put on my wall, I get the feel good factor of raising some money for others. I get a few pats on the back from others that my music and setting up my own label business doesn’t give me because the fruits of that labour are yet to be harvested and are not visible to others until that day.

As I approach the last months training for my first full marathon on May 27th I am looking forward to getting through that finish line and the feeling of joy that I have achieved something that does have a visible finish line as I continue with my passions and dreams with music that don’t have that same definite route or ending.

Essence 22/04/2012

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