It’s a tough game this running thing. I’ve become quite dependent on my brother to not only keep me accountable but to push me onwards. I’ve been scared to be really truthful about it. Scared I won’t do it, scared I’ll let myself down, scared of actually injuring myself and scared that maybe I’m just making excuses so I can quit. Yesterday’s run it had been 4 days since my last run. I’ve completed week 3 now but the 3 minute run intervals had felt like such a big jump up. I was doubting myself.

It’s in your head, he said.

You’re psych’ing yourself out, he said.

Just imagine the end, he said.

He, being my brother, was right.

My inner voice, the jerk one, kept repeating that line from the Simpsons. The fat, German child chases the bus and shouts as he drops behind, ‘I can’t run, I’m full of chocolate..!’. This is what I hear in my head. After a weekend with a few too many indulgences I was sure I would be back to square one. The voice taunted me. Comically at least, but no less intimidating  I felt like this would be my hardest run yet. I was nervous every time the run counter went to start. I would grumble and sigh dreading the ding of the bell and the prim and proper voice declaring… Run!

But as I ran, I found that my legs were just as strong. My breathing was just as deep. I was impressed with myself. The progress I’ve made. I didn’t need my brother to remind me to breathe once. Progress, trust me. I ran and soon I was done. Week 3, done and dusted and absolutely nailed. I’d managed the 3kms in 25 minutes and was happy with that. My brother knocks out over 7km in a similar timeframe. But for once in my life I don’t feel like I need to go faster or be better I’m just myself.

Isn’t that amazing? After all this time all it took to quiet my competitive mind for a moment was to run. To shut out the noise, focus off in the distance and put one foot in front of the other. Run. Powerful, strong, controlled and brave. Just run. I got a hint of this last time I completed the C25K. I struggled through with the mental game. This time feels different. No one to beat. Just quiet for once in my noisy life. Quiet. I just have to lace up my shoes and get started. The voice disappears then.

Run, just run.