Mental Issues

Mental Strength

9 May, 2021

When I popped my buff around my head this morning prior to my run I glanced in the mirror. “Wow” I thought “I look like Ryan Sandes”. Not the wrinkles and post-60 sagging obviously but the HAIR. Oh my word it was BIG.

So off I trot feeling Ryan Sandes-ish and at precisely half a kay I bit the dust, hard, on our concrete bridge. I think I bounced. No-one thought of smoothing off that concrete when they built the bridge - it’s for vehicles right?

a bruised and cut knee

My arm and leg bleeding and my dignity battered, I lay there crying for a while - every drama queen needs their moment.

I contemplated walking the half kay back home and drowning my sorrows in a cappuccino (too early for wine, I suppose) but then thought “Hang on, mental strength is what I need to build here”.

I often marvel at the people that pull off 100 milers. You don’t need a lot of speed for that but you need mental strength in buckets. I don’t have a lot of speed….guess where I’m going with this? Yes, I would love to one day get a 100 miler under my belt, but I need that mental strength and the ability to lock down the drama queen within.

So back to the bridge. I dusted myself off and hobbled on to complete my 8 kilometres, thinking “mentally strong, mentally strong”.

I am trying to complete the Karkloof Trail Series this year which culminates in the 50 or 100 miler. We went to the KK Backyard Ultra at the beginning of April. The race format is best suited to a hare, not a tortoise, albeit a hare that has pacing down to a fine art.

I managed only 4 laps within time but the whole race vibe, the unusual format, staying together in the race village, it all conspired to make the outing a blast and I will definitely go back, even if only for 5 laps. It was amazing watching the runners at the sharp end of the field - they definitely have mental strength in buckets.

Coming up in June is the Trail marathon - 42 km through the forests of Karkloof sounds amazing - as long as their famously big puff adders are all deep in hibernation.

Obviously my Old Goat will be on snake duty in the unlikely event of a rogue adder breaking loose. He thinks he’s there because he has big biceps and amazing calves, but we’ll let the old boy dream….

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