By Scott Mills
“Good morning everybody and welcome to what statistics call the most depressing day of the year.”
Whilst reminiscing on the past week I have just had, the more I think Capital Radio got it spot on.
Now don’t get me wrong I do love my training but like everyone else, there are a lot of things I could think of that I would rather be doing on a cold and frosty Monday morning.
Things like staying in bed, playing FIFA and eventually somehow finding myself under a shower head wondering where it all went wrong and how I went from winning the World Cup with England to getting relegated with Grimsby.
But no…instead I was about encounter the hardest run that I had done to date, which was made even better by the fact I would be covered in mud and deer faeces by the end of it.
I am not sure I would go as far as labelling this Monday as anymore ‘depressing’ than usual, but I couldn’t help but wonder that this one would be slightly different when I pulled into the car park with my car gauge on the red petrol light.
“I am going to give you a nice little run today,” Jenny announced to my delight just before I embarked on one of her strategic running routes around the park.
However, this was Jen we were talking about and whilst she had mentioned the words ‘nice’, I should’ve known that in reality she meant the opposite.
In fact, it was murder. The run was only around eight miles long, but at least six of them were all up hill.
Literally, to give you a slight idea of what this was like would be to tell you to strap a couple of weights to your ankles and try sprinting up Mount Everest, because both mentally and physically for me that’s what it felt like.
It was an extremely tough training session and on more than one occasion during the run I found myself constantly conflicting both negative and positive thoughts to get me through it.
I would also be lying if I didn’t admit there were often images popping up in my mind, of Jenny sitting in the warmth of her car with a cuppa laughing at my expense, mouthing the words ‘have that’ whilst listening to a few classics by Celine Dion.
When I eventually managed to stumble back into the car park to meet Jen, it was very pleasant to hear her confidently tell me that by the end of the week I would easily be able run well over 10 miles and that I was looking good (assuming she was talking about my running technique rather than what they now call sliding into my DMs!).
Mentally, hearing that from a coach that trains Olympic gold medal winning athletes was a huge confident booster, especially going into my evening run of completing three miles once more round the Kingsmeadow Athletics track.
Although after having managed to cover a total of 11 miles, it wasn’t just my car that was running on empty…my legs seemed to be replicating the feeling and it was only one day into the week.
With the hill run having had an extremely tough impact on my body, the 10 miles that I was faced with on Tuesday were extremely hard and to say I was feeling it very early on would be an understatement.
Having said that, it wasn’t made any easier by the fact that everyone seemed to be out running that day, so when the time came for me to overtake someone I would be extremely grateful to my music for pushing me through it.
Now I am sure that when people see me overtaking them, they’re either thinking one of two things.
These are something along the lines of ‘look at that guy he’s blatantly just started his run’ or ‘he must be listening to some really fast, motivational gym music’ when in reality I am actually listening to Adele.
In fact my running playlist was probably what dragged me through my second running session of the day.
With both my mind and body feeling shattered, the last thing I wanted to do was do a 20 minute run on the treadmill.
There’s just something about repetitively running on a treadmill, staring at myself in the mirror looking like a red version of Shrek imitating the wolf out of the three little pigs by huffing and puffing away that seems less than exciting.
If I am honest I probably preferred the laps around the athletics track but obviously this was something that was mind over matter that I had to do to feel in slightly better condition for training the following day.
However, this wasn’t meant to be when I woke up in the early hours of Wednesday morning with a fever and for the next three days I would find myself getting to know my toilet.
In all honesty as I laid in my bed with this illness, nothing was more frustrating than feeling that I was powerless in the fact that I had wanted to be out there continuing to improve myself but that I wasn’t able to.
On Saturday I was finally able to get back into the gym after not having any sort of physical activity since Tuesday.
Having not done anything for three days and with my stomach still fragile, this was a real tester to see whether I would’ve been able to attempt to get some more miles under my belt in the shape of my football match on Sunday.
Thankfully, my stomach was able to withhold just over 7.5 miles (sourced from my Miadidas device ) that I covered on an extremely heavy and typically mud ridden football pitch.
Now although I am sure my legs will be feeling it tomorrow I am looking forward to hopefully a ill free week of training!
If you would still like to help me raise money for the charity Get Kids Going! you can do so by following this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=ScottMills1