The Dark Times


When I first started this blog, I fully intended to write an open, honest account about both the good times and the bad, the ups AND the downs.

That’s turned out to be pretty hard.

For starters, it turns out there are more downs than I imagined and I don’t really want to wrote a bunch of wallowing, self-pitying, depressing crap.

I’ve already decided that this isn’t the place to air my relationship problems. Every relationship has issues and when you add triathlon training to the mix, things don’t get any better! And while these arguments would make entertaining reading and great discussion, quite frankly my wife would kill me!

But after a pretty bleak post-calf-tear week, I need to empty my head, take a look at what falls out, and reset my direction. That happens now….

I was pretty positive about things when it first sunk in that I’d done my calf again. I was running well, better than ever, with no limits in sight. I’d just smashed my 5k PR by another 20 secs. 17:xx was within reach. How fast could I go!?

I would be back from injury in a few weeks and continue to go fast, to push myself and see what I had. Even if I got another injury that would be OK because I was pushing myself and seeing results. This was the process: push beyond the limits, suck it up, and see what I had. I was excited!

But slowly as the week has passed my optimism has been replaced by a frustration and sadness that I can’t get out, and that my red hot run of form has come to an end.

I’ve found myself looking up new races, trying to track down a Plan B half-marathon, as my 1:25 dreams slipped to sub 1:30 and now back to just finishing. One night I even dreamed I was running – who does that?!!

My attitude started to change. Maybe I should give up the fast stuff? If it sucks this much to be off running, then maybe I shouldn’t even risk the quick stuff?

I love to run. And now I can’t.

And what about the financial cost? I’ve gone from never spending a cent on Physio/massage to $1,800 in the last 2 years! And that is money that, quite frankly, this father of four does not have!

My pysche has taken the biggest hit of all. This has been a really low week. Not motivation-low, just frickin’ sad-low! I need to exercise to stay both physically AND mentally healthy.

I’ve had 30 mins of exercise in 7 days. That’s me going nuts right there! If this relationship ever ends up on the rocks, I can guarantee it’ll be at the end of a big fat zero week!

I don’t know if lack of exercise is the cause or a symptom.

I can look around and see a few other things in my life that are bringing me down. I’ve heard that after an ironman, athletes tend to hit a low and I can see why now – having that big, single-focus goal burning so brightly ahead gave me excitement, and a purpose. Now that it’s gone, what am I looking forward to?

I could spin around forever finding reasons. I’m good at that. But what I know for sure is that exercise makes me feel good – I head out the door with a problem and I come back home with a smile. And I can’t recall ever feeling low when I’m getting a lot of exercise.

Easy solution: more exercise!

Today I start “An Hour a Day” – for the next 21 days I’m going to try to do at least an hour of any kind of exercise, every single day. I expect that’ll be mostly swim, bike and run (well, maybe not much run after today’s failed attempt).

I feel better already!

I’d really like this to be a lifetime goal. 21 days takes me up to the week before the Gold Coast Marathon. If (IF!) I can run, then I’ll have a proper taper. If not, then I might just continue this regime on…FOREVER!!!


This entry was posted in an hour a day, injury, lows and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Dark Times

  1. idreamofkona says:

    Are you considering doing a Ron Hill style streak? (

    The lows are, in my opinion, one of the hardest things to get around in endurance sport. The ones that come from injury are the worst, and bring out (in me, anyway) a miserable person with some really bad eating and drinking habits, and generally not a great guy to be around.

    The very best of luck with the 21 hours; and the calf recovery.


  2. jontsnz says:

    Man, that is some streak – and still going! I love the simplicity of it. My only chance to beat Ron would be to get one of my kids to start daily running!

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