Laugh in the face of darkness – ignoring maranumptystressdisorder (Don’t be a me)

Disclaimer: this may be a bit disjointed as I wrote most of it earlier in the week, then my mood changed as the Beastie from the Eastie took a grip. I never said I was perfect 🙂

Don’t succumb to the maranumptystressdisorder.

Section 1 – written Monday:

There is so much written about how running can help stress, help your moods etc etc and once those endorphins kick in post run there can be no better feeling in the world. But it’s not always like that and I know because I have been there, many, many times. I am currently watching people do ridiculous things because they have a marathon coming up. I watched myself do it last year. I have watched myself do it on so many occasions for races, runs and events that don’t even matter. I ran a half marathon in Dumfries while injured and put myself out for months to win a £2 Motherwell AC club championship medal(It’s true, it’s here Nonsense about Dumfries). I have dropped out of parkruns, yes PARKRUNS because my head couldn’t handle people passing me that I didn’t want to. I finished the Haddington Half marathon in an ambulance because I didn’t respect the conditions and my watch told me that I should be able to do a sub 90 half and I had to do it before Ross or Jim did so I could get that aforementioned £2 medal (oh it’s true, it’s here in all it’s glory Haddington disaster).

Don’t be a me.

I have touched on this on other blogs before and it isn’t for internet or tabloid sensationalism. My eldest son is on the autistic spectrum and has Aspergers. It is thought that this comes from the male side of the family and having been ignorant of everything to do with autism and Aspergers before Louis came along, there are many facets of my personality that were different from others and I just thought it was all to do with personality. But I see a lot of them in Louis albeit magnified from my own. I see his fears of situations that I have. I see how things that don’t matter to anyone outside of your own little bubble can become everything. Look at my blog, an insignificant tiny blot on the internet that means nothing to anyone, and that people may glance at in passing, but it means so much to me. There has been times it has made me run which sounds bizarre. So yes, if pushed would I say I show aspergers traits? Undoubtedly, but maybe we all do. Maybe I just look into it more because of family experience. I do at times have to reign myself in and try and learn from stupid things I do. And a prime of example of this is in my current approach to running. Now I am not saying it won’t come back as I up the ante again but I am currently loving everything to do with running because I have taken out the stress from it. I am currently 6 weeks away from the Manchester marathon with a longest run so far of 18 miles. This time last year I would have been horrified. I took a week out with a hamstring strain. Last year run through the pain! I won’t be running tonight as I have a cold. Last year this would have been the end of the world. I am only doing one 10k tune up race and did a marathon paced half. Last year if I wasn’t smashing PBs during the training then something was wrong with me. I really did believe that if I missed one run from 16 weeks my whole marathon was screwed. If my average pace went over 8 minutes on a long run then I should chuck it. I chopped and changed my plan and expected time.

And it all became a chore.

On the day it fell apart with 3 miles to go, because I was that fixated on being specific. This is my nutrition strategy. Look at the weather ya fud, it’s changed! I am watching friends of mine and their marathon training. I am not making this up and hopefully this will make him see sense, but picture the scene. You go to Barcelona and take over 5 minutes off your half marathon time. Flying in training. But won’t let up. Still 7 weeks to go. And you drop a microwave on your foot (not while running I hasten to add). In a normal frame of mind you take time off and let it heal. What does this person suffering from the maranumptystressdisorder do? Goes out and does a 22 miler. Aye that’s going to make it better! And his running buddy who did the same run? Pain in his chest but runs the next day. Probably pulled a muscle and will now miss a week. And I am thinking nooooooooooooo!!! But at the same time I’m thinking, that’s so me. Stop it!

Don’t be a me.

Why risk missing an event for a small blip? What happens to us in this sport/ past time that we are supposed to love? I am not trying to be the messiah but I AM trying to do things differently. Yes we all want to be our best, but there comes a line when it is at the detriment of other things. When you stop enjoying it and you aren’t at the top of the tree, then what is the point? Yes I‘ll miss not doing my 6 miler tonight, but I’m really looking forward to doing 12 tomorrow. It’s a marathon and not a sprint and that goes for the training too. Now yeah, these two fellas and many others will no doubt, if injuries allow, go out there at Manchester and gub me. And good for them. But what I want is the marathon experience. Follow my plan. Accept there will be times you can’t follow it to the letter. Enjoy it without stressing, and go out and do the best I can on the day. And already I am enjoying it more than last year. If I can suggest anything to any of you out there reading this it would be to remember that a marathon is a 16week or so commitment. What other areas of your life will you do that and hate it. You CAN enjoy it. You SHOULD. Watch yourself get fitter. Go long runs in beautiful areas and take in the scenery and remember it’s time on feet not world records in those runs.

Section 2: Written Sunday. I am full of utter nonsense. Yesterday I succumbed to the maranumptystressdisorder. The bad weather came like we knew it would. I missed my 12 miles with 7 fast and did a turbo session instead. Tried to set my mountain bike up with Zwift without actually knowing what I was doing. And I have no doubt it’s set up wrong.

The weather got worse. Parkrun cancelled so my pacing cancelled. Managed a very short slow Saturday run like Bambi. IMG_6668

And my flapping started. 5 weeks from Manchester and my supposed heaviest training week had turned into a disaster. If I couldn’t get my 20 done on Sunday then I have had it. For a couple of hours I really stressed. Like a big wean on social media. Oh Marko behave and read your own words. See? We all do it. Maranumpties. I calmed down, I worked out a route that I thought would be 50%+ clearish. Accepted the pace would drop but time on feet and miles were the important things and I got up out my bed, put extra layers on, lined up the tunes and went for it. I did forget that last year I swore I wouldn’t finish a long run with Airbles Road then Newarthill but I’m old, I forget things. And you know? I did it. The first 3 or 4 miles had snow up to my waist on the pavement so I tried to share the wide roads with cars who despite the space and the fact there were hardly any others on the road still seemed to want to touch my tights. On and off the road  so uneven and a hairy start. From miles 4 – 15 though it was mostly fine as long as went with caution, the only difference being the Blantyre David Livingston bridge which was pretty much ice. IMG_6680

Through Blantyre, Burbank and Hamilton and the pavements 70% fine, and then hit the flyovers and Airbles Road. No paths cleared in North Lanarkshire it seems, the South got all the grit


Had to reign it in, and that was the story for the last 5 miles, pavements mostly untouched and on and off the road and ice. But the job was done. 20 miles in a shade over 8 minute mile pace. And the stress lifted.


So all was fine. A couple of days won’t destroy your plans. Sort it out Marko! Maranumptystressdisorder deactivated.

Don’t be a me!

If you have enjoyed reading then my wee reminder. Please consider a wee vote for me in the Running Awards. There are only 2 weeks of voting left. I still haven’t taken my top off on instragram, I have burst my Beth Potter shorts and have the social media followings and know-how of my gran. And she died about 18 years ago.

I will put the voting link in each blog, hope you don’t mind, it’s below under Online and Publications, then personal blog. Voting reset when the shortlist was announced, so if you voted before please do it again, or I will be last 🙂

Vote for Markgallmac here – Publications and online / Blogs (personal)

So here is your song you lucky blogsters. From their forthcoming album “Face the brutality” it’s from Scandinavian Tracksuit clad tongue in cheek musos Datarock. I want one of their tracksuits. I love them where many hate them. Laugh in the face of darkness, because most of the time marapeeps the darkness is in our own heads. Take rests, move your plan about and remember to enjoy what you are doing. AND DON’T BE A ME!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s