October 2017 – Tired body but active mind!

At the start of this month I took part in another running challenge, my local town’s Half Marathon.  Now you may have read my blog post about running a marathon so in essence I’ve already hit the 13.1 mile distance before, twice on the marathon day and multiple times during training.  This however was my first official half marathon.   I was quite excited to be taking part and I’d put enough training in to get around in a competitive time.The race went well from start to finish however in my excitement I set off too quickly chasing the 1hr 45min pacer.  I did initially stick to him like glue for the first 5 miles and then I realised I couldn’t sustain it any longer and had to slow down.  I was still on track for the 1hr 50min time I had set for myself though and pressed on.  I kept reasonable pace until the last 2 miles, which is the exact point the course changes to grass.  This is because the home straight is around Cheltenham’s famous horse racing track.  Good for horses but bad for runners!  I finished in a respectable 1hr58mins and now have another medal hanging in my office.

I enjoyed running this distance so much that I have entered myself in another Half Marathon for June 2018.  Better get training to get my time down!

 


Also this month I’ve been hitting the work hard, clearing out some of the larger jobs ahead of my holiday to South Africa.  It’s been extremely tough due to long days and lots of clients asking for extra services that I hadn’t put time aside for.  I guess its all part of being self-employed and if I want to go on a holiday of a lifetime then some sacrifices need to be made.

I do sometimes wonder if I’m sacrificing my sanity for salary though.  I do enjoy earning money, not necessarily to have a big house and fancy car but more to give myself opportunities.  I try to look for new experiences, whether it’s a holiday to somewhere I’ve not been to before or pushing my body through challenges,  invariably money is a factor in these pursuits.  Earning a descent salary can give you lots of choices but a balance must be found otherwise you’ll soon forget the reasons why your working so hard in the first place.  As the saying goes:

Work to live, don’t live to work


Due to the workload this month I’ve been struggling turn my brain off. Having a nice holiday at the end of it hasn’t been enough motivation to get me through some days and when I get back my mind is still going full speed, which is then getting me down. I’m certain all this is due to lack of sleep and stress! The thing is I’m very disciplined and I know that progress is success and I must keep up the consistency regardless of how I’m feeling, which doesn’t help the situation!  To help tackle the down days I’ve gone back to basics and re-discovered an old past time.  I’ve started to draw/sketch again!  I find this really helps switch off my brain and calms me down. It’s also creative and expressive which definitely acts as a release of stress, perhaps almost as much as going to the gym does.   I used to be quite good at drawing when I was younger and the more I do it now the more the skill comes back to me. It’s very rewarding seeing a blank page turned into a piece of art.

Life is a strange thing isn’t it? Something positive like re-discovering a childhood pastime has come back into my life as a result of struggling with an adult self inflicted issue.  There’s definitely a lesson in there somewhere?

 

Jonathan Phelps

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