Problematic Tonsils and Mental Toughness

I’m awake. At 4am. With crippling anxiety.

Having just read (and fed back on, because nice) this blog by my pal @ironpugsley I’ve started to get a bit fidgety. (I’d like to point out that the blog didn’t make me anxious, my brain does that shit to itself. Which is grand) Dougie has just come through a particularly tough two weeks and his strength and focus was shaken. (He’s manned up and is all better now) It’s made me think about my own battles and how I can look to changing the way I let things get to me.

I’ve battled a lot since the dark days of January when running was almost as shit an experience as being pinned down and tortured by a physio. When the weather was so bad that I once cried and swore very loudly at the clouds, 50mph wind and rain/hail for 12 miles. This last two weeks have been tough mentally and physically. An oncoming bout of sniffles and then subsequent derailment via the lovely puss-coated joy of Tonsillitis have reduced me, at points, to tears of frustration and hatred of my poor body that’s actually been incredibly strong and put up with a lot of shit.

I went for a walk (I now have THE TICKLIEST COUGH EVER and running irritates it) with my OH this evening who was asking lots of questions about how my training was progressing. He’s a cyclist with zero interest in using his feet to get around so he struggles to understand what makes me get up at 6am for PB on toast and a 4 hour jog (actually when you think about it, that IS a bit mental).

I explained that I’ve seen a huge change in myself mentally, physically and emotionally.

60% of my fight has been mental barriers like pain threshold and “shit the weather is awful can I actually do this?” The rest has been physical. Riddled with PosTib pain so bad I had to phone Brian after 2 miles one grim Thursday because I couldn’t walk. Hip displaysia and chronic ligament rubbing (my left hip clunks with every single step now.) which my physio says is irreversible damage. But I fought through it.

I know many of you will run ultras, quadrathlons and become ironmen and then do more mental things, so a wee bit of running will pale in comparison. But I’ve started to feel incredibly proud and humbled by what I’ve achieved. The anxiety I am struggling with at 4am on a Saturday when I have to get up at 6 and go to work, is borne from the fact that 3 weeks on Sunday is Marathon day and I will probably no longer be at my physical peak thanks to medical set backs.

However. This time last year I was post Kiltwalk with 16lbs still to lose and unable to run a mile. Now I weigh less than I did aged 17 and I ran 18 miles on Sunday walking only to skip a flood and battle with energy gels. I’ve done that. No one else. Me. With added support from friends and family and delicious jelly babies.

So. I’ll now be focussing on Sunday. I’m armed with a ventolin inhaler to relax my windpipe and hopefully stem the cough. Sunday will probably be a bit emotional. I’m preparing to hurt. Mentally a physically. Taper starts on Monday. And then it’s off to Fort Augustus in the highlands for a cycling holiday and some much needed R&R. (It’s also my 28th birthday on the 6th but no biggie…)

In the mean time, keep strong, keep going and keep smiling.

She believed she could, so she did.

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