Location: Zugdidi to Jvari
Distance: 32km 3hrs 5min
Thought of the day: How do we make sure we always wake up with a smile?
Song of the day: Running on empty- Jackson Browne
Thankyou: Scott, Gavin, Brad H, Ryan
Finding a rhythm
Sometimes it is hard to differentiate between stubbornness and stupidity. I like to think that I incorporate a piece of each when making my decisions, and include a sprinkle of reason. In New Zealand I have been eating six meals a day and loading up with carbs in order to maintain my energy levels and balance my calorie intake with outtake so why would I not continue this model in Georgia?
During the run alone I am loosing around 3,000 calories so I need to make sure my daily intake is around 5,000 to stay on top of things. I went really well yesterday as I was still loaded up from Dubai and Tibilisi delicatessen food. It is really hard to explain but the more you run the less you feel like eating and all you want to do is sleep. The ramification of this being you skip valuable meals and start burning fat while you run instead of calories. I hit the Great Wall of China at 15km today and at first I couldn’t understand why as my legs were feeling relatively fresh, so I started to break things down and it became abundantly clear my nutrition was out of sorts. Last night I was so tired getting to the hotel at 11pm that I only ate one potato then had a light breakfast this morning, which is a losing combination after just running a sub four hour 42km. I had just hit the first descent hills of the run and could not find a rhythm so decided to have a break and do some Mangere bombs into the river to cool myself down and have a bit of fun.
This brings me to the next train of thought. No one has done this before and it is not a race so why am I so fixated on times and distance? I only managed to do 32km today which is 10 short of my goal. I think it is hard for most people in life to feel like you have gone backwards and instead of being proud of what you are achieving right now, we naturally compare current to past successes. I am struggling with the fact that only this time last year I ran over 9 marathons in 9 days yet now I am struggling to do four back to back. I know that I was not working much when I trained for Africa and was better acclimatised to the heat but for some reason that does not make it any easier to stomach. The stubbornness in me wants to keep running, push harder and see what I am capable of, the stupidity in me is ignoring the advice from peers and the restrictions I have already set, but luckily the reason has come up trumps in this bout as I am listening to the signals my body is sending me as the last thing I want is a repeat episode of what happened in Chile.
So does this mean I have really gone backwards? How will I be content and proud of future achievements? I had an epiphany in the final two kilometres today. During the Auckland marathon I was running past an old guy who was moving about 9km per hour but was running with a friend and was definitely having ten times as much fun as I was at that time. I am almost 100% sure this would not be his personal best time and he was not even wearing a watch, but time and time again he is on that start line.
At the end of the day it’s a jack of all trades master of none trade-off. I am not a runner, climber, or a mountaineer, but a slice of each. I need to recognise what my key objectives are and focus on those rather than getting carried away with each bullet point of the challenge and losing everything. Live in the present, use the past as a guide and carve a path you are proud of towards the future.
Success is waking up with a smile