Song Choice - From my favourite film the Adjustment Bureau, this passage of music speaks volumes to me - take a listen here and see for yourself, there's 11.02 minutes of it in the extended YouTube version but well worth the time out.
I say this, especially if you are running at next year's Marathon des Sables, struggling with your confidence, can't find your Mojo or you feel completely lost right now. You see it's that funny old time of the year, I see it every September and it seems that this is the worst one yet!
It must be a combination of the Autumn Equinox heading our way and a further expensive MdS payment being wrenched from folks bank accounts and credit cards all over Britain. It's occurs for the normal runner or racer too in September...It could be just the flicking on of the central heating or the getting out of last season's running tights or donning the hi-vis ready for runs after work that bring on the can't-be-arsed/I've-lost-my-mojo infection.
Now as a Coach it's far too easy to say 'Toughen-up-Buttercup, you are doing the World's Toughest Footrace and no-one said it would be easy,' or as a Facebook Friend say 'I feel like that too, let's be shit together'. But what I'd like you to do is to listen to the whole 11.02 minutes of the Thomas Newman song above and take that time out. If you watch on YouTube not only will you be looking into the lovely eyes of Emily Blunt but if you listen with your headphones plugged in, you'll be amazed at the depth of the music and how the music isolates you from the white noise of life around you.
The music helps me to remember my first run, in the dark of a January Evening, in my work clothes having spent absolutely nothing, Yes - £0.00 on any kind of trainers or kit. Hokas, Compression Gear and Gaiters just didn't exist back then. What did exist in me was a burning desire in me to RUN, express myself and release my demons in a very positive way.
Races, World Records and The MdS Came along a whole lot later. Thank God they did as it gave me another platform where I could enjoy my running freedom. And please don't get me wrong when I say they have all been amazing and I wouldn't swop any of them for anything as money can't buy the pleasure I've gained from running some of the World's Most Extreme Races BUT I get just as much pleasure from going out on my own, feeling the sense of freedom, with the Sun, Wind and Rain of an Autumnal Cardiff Sunday as I LOVE running and the way it makes me feel.
It sometimes feels fast and I was a lot faster and a whole lot younger in 1996, when I ran a lot of my PB's but who cares and in reality only I would if I did, so I don't.
How I feel actually is 'Liberated'...and very 'Uncomplicated' about my running and life.
I find the music of Thomas Newman very therapeutic. Lady Coleman says it's bloody depressing but it's very emotive and helps me gather my strength and thoughts when times are tough and sometimes you are hitting your head against a brick wall with your training or your goals seem unsurmountable.
So, if you are finding it tough right now try listening for the whole 11.02 minutes of the track. I did and it reminded me how lucky I am to have a seven month baby son, who's cutting his teeth and not slept for two whole days and nights and that I'll run three more marathon distances this week with some more amazing MdS2016 runners, just like you, wondering if they can complete the 'World's Toughest Footrace', next April.
The statistics say that you will, just take time out now and again to pause for breath and try to really listen to yourself, whilst you are listening to 'Elise' - I'd love to know if it worked for you, like it did for me...