It’s not every day that you can compare yourself to a dead cow, however last weekend at Mirrim Wurnit Back Paddock Ultra our own ‘Last One Standing’ that indeed did happen – both of us were unceremoniously removed from a paddock trail though I had 29 hours to consider my departure!
I don’t want to centre on the running here – suffice to say that lap followed lap, night followed day and that this event is savagely unique.
Rather at The Running Klub we want to delve deeper into coping mechanisms and the mental preparation and execution for such an adventure.
How do we step up to challenges, how do we react to them and what do we learn about ourselves in the process?
It will never be perfect, nor will it be pretty, but often it will leave us with an indelible new high watermark of achievement that we can recall in the future and help us push ourselves forward. When you know you have been there before you can control your mind and inject some order into the chaos that can consume your brain when the tiredness kicks in.
Knowing that scientifically more than 90% of our thoughts today are the same as our thoughts yesterday we are so wired into past experiences that we need to change what our history looks like to recalibrate what we can achieve. So let’s push to run maybe faster or longer…
Ensure you get uncomfortable in training preparation – train with those who will push you- change things up and do not be scared to fail. Create your inner sanctum. People who will help you with this, people who will give you the inspiration to challenge yourself.
‘Last One Standing’ is held in a sea with no horizon, a sea which could go on for ever. Initially the sea is calm and you sail around smiling and in complete control of your vessel. The sun is up and it’s just a great day to be alive.
This sea represents your thoughts and feelings.
The ship is strong and well-built and is keeping the sea and the outside world at bay.. then suddenly after some time a small amount of gushing can be heard .. you have a leak – some water (your thoughts) drop in .. “was that a twinge I just felt in my right knee ?” .. another hole appears “how long will this go for ??” then a bigger hole “should I not feel more tired than I am ?” ..
You are knee deep in water .. “did I tell the hotel I wouldn’t be there tonight ?” .. fast forward and your whole world is being flooded.. you naturally become annoyed and this helps remove you from the main game – more rapidly the water, the world floods in and you succumb to the inevitable..
You look into the eyes of your support team and know they are hurting at your impending decision but you just want closure. You call it quits.
As you swim to shore sadly watching two final ships disappear over the horizon without you.. soon to be only one..
Written by David Turnbull – www.therunningklub.com