The Overthinker

Merde. What time did I set my alarm for? I’d better check. Shit did I send that email? No point in worrying. Let’s drift off while thinking about running in the snow. And then slipping and falling and oh god what if I slip and then I’m in plaster cast and it’s 2 weeks till the marathon and I won’t be able to swim after this for ages and I can’t ride a bike and I haven’t been doing enough cycling so I’ll never be ready for Etape and…. Wait. What time did I set my alarm for? 

Exhausted? Me too. 

I’ve no idea if there’s actual science to back this up, but I’d wager that my thought process can move faster than the ISS. This means that a stressful job and a delayed training plan and even something as basic as setting my bloody alarm clock can create a train of thought so confusing that it makes IKEA instructions look easy. 

Sometimes I think so much and so hard that I forget things like my age. Where I put my car keys. If I even drove to work or if I got the bus instead. For example: One time I was 15 minutes into the bus journey home when a familiar jingle in my pocket alerted me to the fact that I was about to leave my car in town. 

I’m skilled at forgetting what I need from shops. I’ll be stood in sainsburys trying to remember the one thing I needed for 15 minutes before returning home with 85 things I definitely didn’t need. And not the thing I needed in the first place. 
It’s all a bit much sometimes and telling me to “chill” is like trying to extinguish an out of control bush-fire with a shot glass of water. 


The only time I actually switch off (in a sense) is when I have my trainers on. My training session is planned into Training Peaks. I don’t think, I just do. And it’s magic. Working through sets of weights, or a LISS session with a podcast chatting in my ears is my sanctuary. Runs require a little concentration on HR but that’s manageable. I can put my over-Active brain on standby for an hour or two and just put one foot in front of the other. Hard work is my friend. I can work hard!! 

It is very easy, when life is stressful and throwing you a metric fuck-tonne of lemons, to forget about fun. 

But fun is EVERYTHING. What is the point in doing anything if you don’t grow or learn or if it doesn’t make you SMILE? It’s important to remember that although things can seem dark and twisty, there is always fun to be had. Even if it means ruining your shiny new trainers by splashing through puddle after muddy puddle JUST BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU LAUGH.

Before my Twitter hiatus began, I realised I was becoming A Bore. Tweeting mostly about training. Like anyone should give a fuck. Does it matter that I couldn’t get a bike in the gym and *had* to use a X trainer? 

No. No it does not. 

So I’m reminding myself about fun. All my training sessions are focused and controlled, but (and here’s the important part) I enjoy every single tough, rewarding, heavy, high-HR, Low-HR second. 

Yes. It can be frustrating. But I’m DONE with being injured. I’m DONE with colds and coughs and feeling sorry for myself. I’m ready to inspire myself once more. 

And that’s something we should always aim to achieve. 

I bloody loved this:    
 Happy Bean!!!! 

In a world where life can change forever in a split second, we should always enjoy and love whatever we can. 


I’ve always been quite honest and open here. So I have a confession to make:

Last week, for the first time in a long time, I stood in front of my mirror, cried and said “why can’t I be thin?” And no, it was not a fat day. 

I’ve been out of the game since August, in reality. No clear runs at training in a long time. My body, and apparently my mind are very, very tired. 

I should be clear: “Thin” was never EVER the goal. FIT and STRONG were the goals. I wanted to lose some weight. But thin wasn’t the desired outcome. It’s only become a goal in my head because I’m weak at the moment. Weak and vulnerable therefore The Objectives have been clouded by set backs. 

What is probably most pathetic, is that the scales haven’t moved. NOT ONE BIT. This is a miracle to be quite honest. I actually weigh less than I did at Aberfeldy. But I can just *tell* that all my muscle tone has, with as much grace as a wobbly plate of jelly, become less toned and “squishy looking”. It could be A LOT worse. And frankly I’m amazed that it isn’t. But it’s enough for my low self esteem to pick up on and fixate upon. 

A while ago, a wise chap I know told me that after the tri, I’d finish 2015 in the best shape of my life. 
This is probably true. But 8 weeks of back injury followed by a chest infection that ruined Christmas dinner, Hogmanay and a cold so violent I’m still snotty after 2 weeks, say different. 

By now, the plan WAS to be base-ready for VLM and Etape training. 
The plan is now OH FUCK WHAT AM I GOING TO DO. 

Of course, I’ll be fine. I’ll survive. The last time I started marathon prep I was 80% mini cheddar. I’m much stronger now. My immune system isn’t but my body is. And that counts for something! I always forget I’m actually nails.  

I know that the crying while naked thing has come from the fact that I’ve had a total body dismorphia relapse as a result of rest and no training and more chocolate than necessary. “Don’t be silly, you look fine” I hear you say. Well just you live in my chaotic head for a week. Then you’ll understand why unfollowing 30 “thinspiration” accounts on Instagram was a brave and sensible plan. There is a part of me that will never be satisfied with the person staring back at me from the mirror. 

Ultimately, social media has become my worst enemy. 
There we have it then.  January 2016. I am in hiding. Tentative steps are being taken on my new training plan. Coach guiding me and reassuring me that I’ll be in shape for London. 

I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine and seeing improvements. With any luck, my demons will be put to rest once more to lurk in the shadows until they catch me off guard the next time I’m low. 

I am also looking forward to whenever it stops raining, the floods subside and I might actually get to run on the trail and hear the crunch of gravel under my shiny new Asics instead of the splash and squish of muddy fucking puddles.