Tomorrow sees the start of the new term. Are you mentally ready?

Today marked the final ‘long’ run of my 2016 marathon preparation. 8 miles to Brighton Marina and back marked the end of my ‘tapering.’, and now it’s just a case of relaxing and keeping as loose as possible for the next six days.

Things haven’t gone terrifically well, if I’m honest, due to a mystery virus I brought back (illegally?) from Asia in February which seems to have taken hold for months. But with the help of family, personal trainers, expensive honey, Berroca tablets and hard work, I feel that my body is in as good a shape as can be expected, and I’m looking forward to next Sunday which will mark my fourth Brighton Marathon.

This year, my body hasn’t been the problem – it’s been my head. As regular readers know, depression sometimes rears its ugly head, but this year it has taken the form of mental gremlins telling me to stop, give up, walk, turn back, etc. On the worst days, I have got up, got dressed in running kit and still been in it at bedtime not having left the house!

I don’t know why this is. It may be the virus, but I have had to learn to accept that sometimes your head just isn’t ‘in the game‘ as the saying goes.


It strikes me that this is true in teaching, too, of course. Nobody is outstanding all the time – we all have off days, as do the children in our care. As an author, sometimes I feel on fire and bursting with ideas, and other times I can barely write my own name. And after all these years, I think Nike have the answer – just do it. Starting, even if it is the last thing you feel like doing (or maybe especially if it’s the last thing you feel like doing). My great friend Rob Eastaway says that you often have to write a load of rubbish before you can write something good.

I will try to remember this next Sunday, as we line up at the start line – some miles will feel rubbish, just as some training runs have felt, but in the end, so what? It’s a marathon after all, and voluntary at that, and I will try to enjoy the heck out of it. Plus I know that finishing will make a difference to the most deprived people in Brighton – here is my JustGiving page if you want details.

So – have a great start to the new term tomorrow: and accept the rhythms of life as they come. Just do it!