This is a tremendously hard piece to write – but when I was considering what I wanted to talk about in terms of how I’m feeling about the marathon, I could only think of this topic.
It’s not about tech (so I had to get special dispensation to even write this column for TechRadar) but it’s something I’ve wanted to write for a long while.
I suffer from depression and anxiety to varying degrees – sometimes it’s OK, other times it’s destructive and I can’t eat, sleep or even function without inexplicably shaking. And running can magnify that feeling hugely, be it training or in a race.
Before I get into how this relates to London, I should say that I’ve been in weekly counselling for a while and I feel like it’s finally having a positive effect.
This is also something I’ve shared with very few friends or workmates but I’m writing it in the hope that, with the positive noises around mental health in the lead up to the London Marathon, it might reach someone going through the same thing.
The smiling lie
The most common question I’ve been asked this week is: ‘How are you feeling for the race?’ I’ll smile and say ‘Oh, you know… pretty good. I’ve done all I can.’
But in reality, I’m petrified. I’m scared I’ll run too fast, it’ll be too hard and the stress of it all will trigger a huge anxiety attack in the middle of the race as the end feels too far away.
It’s been hard to admit, but I’ve never been able to answer the question of why I run every day or try so hard to train for races.
People tell me such focus is not normal, and I’m inclined to agree. I don’t get the ‘runner’s high’. Going …read more