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I Want to go the Distance

Author: Isabelle
Year: Future

Please note: this piece contains strong language

I want to run. Only run.

Running consists of one simple concept: placing one foot in front of the other and repeating this action again and again, and, you guessed it, again. So far so good. However, the challenge really starts when you start feeling low and your brain tells you to stop.

I feel like some poor excuse for Hercules with the way my buff is holding back my hair, as I trudge up the steep and winding Queens Drive battling against some strong winds and going “the distance”. I try my hardest to look like I'm at ease, especially when a cyclist overtakes me, or when I meet a pedestrian. I'm one of many playing this particular game.

Remember when I said that the struggle starts when your brain tells you to stop? Well my brain has been telling, no, screaming at me to stop for quite a bit now. Thankfully I have Rammstein to back me up – to keep the voices at bay and keep me going. After all it's just one step in front of the other…And so I ignore the straining pain in my thighs and shoulders with Rammstein's DEUTSCHLAND cheering me on.

The music manages to capture my full attention for a while, only to be interrupted by the vibration of my Apple watch, announcing the completion of my first kilometre! Only 41 more to go! I admit that I had to grin at that and I mean a stupid, chit-eating grin that I carried until kilometre 32 when I hit my next low in the form of a group of runners blocking my path and not moving an inch.

Maybe there is something to this one step in front of the – pain! And what a pain; my ankle feels like it's on fire! I slow down, trying to ease some of the pressure I have been placing on it and for a few hundred meters it seems to work. It's just a dull ache now, I can work with that. I know I should stop and listen to my body, but I've come this far, I would regret stopping just now.

'I'll ice it when I get back in – that's what I'll do,' I tell myself through gritted teeth. 'You can do this, it's for the greater good! Do it for the ultra!'

Ultras – my ultimate goal at the moment is finishing the Great Glen Ultra. I don't care about the time, I just want to finish the 114km.