Not running

For the past week or so I have been unable to get out for a run. A combination of the return of the tricky right knee pain and low-level cold symptoms have drained both capacity and motivation. However, I know that a few days off to recover won’t actually do me and my training that much harm. What are interesting are the psychological states that follow. First, the sense of disappointment with oneself for ‘allowing’ the injuries; then the frustration. These are fairly obvious. It’s what comes next that intrigues me: a feeling, tucked away at the back of my thoughts that I might not be able to run again, that somehow my muscles and heart and lungs will waste away so that I simply won’t be able to put the effort in, and, most oddly, that I won’t want to. It’s an odd, niggling concern that I know from past experiences of injuries and illness just isn’t based in reality. However, it’s reoccurrence on every occasion of lay-off suggests it is pointing at something about myself that running is showing me. That thing is a fear of failure. A fear of failure that has the potential to paralyse me into inaction and retrospective ‘excuses’ for why I didn’t want to do it in the first place … Further reflection is required.

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