The flu that hit me around the Urban Stampede event had a major impact on my running momentum. For the first time in a long time I did just one run (of 6.5Km) in a space of 8 days between 23rd and 30th August. I cannot recollect the last time this happened in the last 5 years. As with any addiction when one is forced to stay away from the object of addiction there are side-effects not often very pleasant. In my case it was general depression, lack of motivation and considerable reduction in irritation threshold making life miserable for those around me. Though I have gone through such patches before, albeit, shorter ones and have always come out and regained my running form fairly quickly nevertheless during this period I kept having self-doubt. The feeling of misery was compounded by the fact that I was forced to give the Hyderabad marathon a miss and had also decided not to run KTM on 13th September. Maybe I had got so used to focusing on the goal of completing a marathon every month that once the goal went away there was a feeling of emptiness and lack of focus to achieve anything in any sphere.
Here are a few articles that talk about running and addiction:
The Running Addiction - this article talks about the five criteria for addiction and a long distance runner will typcially meet all five!
Mercifully, this phase did not last too long.
I was able to run 3 days during the week of 31st August including a 16K at an average pace of 5:33/Km and the momentum was completely back the week of 7th September. I ran a total of 41Km including a 22Km solo run in 2 hours on 12th September. I was quite pleased with this run as I had to dodge puddles and muck as well as stray dogs on the route and was still able to maintain decent pace. Besides I was able to do this without drinking any water during the 22K run. Had I carried water I should have been able to run faster. With this my momentum in running is back and so is my focus on other things – I am hoping to continue doing 40K+ weeks till the ultra on 15th November with a couple of weeks of 50K+ in October.