Life at 26 (.2 miles)

While the expectation of a Monday is somewhat flooded with social media’s ideology #MondayMotivation, I’ve somewhat fallen short of this expectation for what feels like the entire year so far.

For those familiar with the unoriginal running lingo, the infamous #SundayLongRun hashtag seems to prolong its fatigue over the course of so many days that it totally overrides any ability to have the energy for feeling the #MondayMotivation – at least it has for me.

But failing that, we can likely get back on board with the hashtags again and start using the #TransformationTuesday the following day, only because your body has transformed from the crippling effects of the Sunday run and you can actually think about moving and walking normally again come Tuesday. The transformation is sheerly just getting back to normal. That still counts, right?

This morning, more than normal, I felt like any hope of feeling Monday Motivation ever again was well and truly lost. I feel utterly crippled under the weight of thinking about the goals I have set myself to achieve something worthy at the 2020 London marathon, and the endless fatigue it’s having on my mind, body and life. Can anyone even remember a time I wasn’t talking about running?!

Now while I imagine you’re all rushing for the violins to bask in my self-pity, I am well aware that I am not alone in this situation.

In 2018, there were 1,298,725 marathon finishes over the world and though I wasn’t one of them that year, that still makes me a pretty fine grain in the world of marathon sandcastles.

However, there really is only so far I can stretch to venting about the sheer exhaustion I feel day in, day out, to the point that I don’t even feel human any more, because the bottom line is these decisions are voluntary choices. No one forces me out that door and no one passes judgement when I don’t run out of the door.

I am sure that this time around, I am only putting my body through such challenges is because I am in it for the outcome – the pure elation of crossing the finish line of the best running race in the world. I’ve put my body through serious challenges in the past, but not at all for the right reasons. I sought no happiness then because it was just sheer obsession, punishment and a validation for eating the one meal a day I’d allow myself.

I’d be lying if I said some days don’t still feel like a punishment. Those around me know only too well the level of anxiety that comes with rest days and the internal back-and-forth conversation in my head about when, where and how I can still try and squeeze in a run while still hoping to maintain a full-time job, a social life, a relationship and some sort of sanity (jokes, I lost that a long time ago). Those feelings still don’t seem to have shifted from the period of my life I cared only about getting thin and it still very much terrifies me that it never will go away.

But right now, I am 26 years old, making the most of the fact my body can still do some incredible things – running 26.2 miles at the end of April being one of them (she hopes). Fatigue is only temporary and I know full well the elation at the end of a race finish line is so god damn worth it, but every now and then, I just feel like getting through the day is an achievement in itself. And what does one do to reward oneself at the end of another long, hard day of feeling exhausted? Gives themselves a Walnut Whip…

After the 26th April that is.

God dammit.

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