"Some days it just flows and I feel like I’m born to do this, other days it feels like I’m trudging through hell. Every day I make the choice to show up and see what I’ve got and to try and be better

My advice: keep showing up" - Des Linden 

Running is a huge part of my life. It's my sport, social life and admittedly, an addiction (both a good and bad one) 

Of course, injuries, setbacks and frustrations are 100% part of the process in sport. I've had them before and I'm sure I'll have them again

The last 2 years with an array of injuries and health issues have been tantalising tough, more so than I ever expected. The biggest challenge has been resetting my expectations

"Expectation is the route of all heartache" - Shakspeare 

I was stuck comparing myself to the athlete I used to be. Gone were the days when running 6-minute miles felt easy. That had become a challenge for even one mile. My Garmin would dictate the outcome of my sessions. Even if I felt alright, on reviewing my pace afterwards would come crushing disappointment because my pace wasn't where "it should be" in my eyes 

I had lost my confidence and enjoyment with running. I expected every run to be a disaster. My friend Alex, suggested I stop running with my Garmin, which was forever attached to my wrist and was dictating everything

I ditched the Garmin, donned the Casio and adopted the "badger mile" principle, working with 8 min/mile estimate  - Interesting article on the concept here as used by the Bowerman Track Club 

It's taken a while, but this has helped me become more laid back about training. I've realised that when I have a bad run, being a drama queen and throwing my toys out the pram will only lead to getting stuck in a cycle of anxiety and subsequent bad runs. The best thing is to let it go and move on, accepting even a bad session is still money in the bank 

I've found mixing things up doing middle distance track running really helpful, as I don't have the same expectations. Being more involved with my club by competing has made running fun again with racing over 1500m, 3000m and even a mixed 4 x 400 relay. It's been great confidence builder, with a few wins and an 8 second 1500m PB

Within the last 6 weeks, things have miraculously started to click. All of a sudden, I feel the best I have in years, even with lactic coming out my eyeballs. Running a 5000m PB at Nottingham's Track Challenge took me completely by surprise. It meant A LOT and it confirms that I am strong and healthy, but most importantly I'm having fun running again

If you're going through a difficult patch in your sport, embrace the Des Linden in you and "Keep Showing Up". Things will fall into place when you least expect it, and that might just be around the corner 

Thanks for reading and for those who have supported me 

AB x

Photo Cred: Stephen Lee