A-Z of Running: G is for Guilt

I think we don’t talk enough about guilt when it comes to running, or we do, but we misunderstand it.

Take for instance your first thought with regards to guilt and its place within running? What is it? As a non-runner I would have thought guilt came in the form of not spending enough time with one’s family and friends to indulge in an hour pounding the pavements, but as a runner I understand its far more complex.
If you look up the word guilt in the dictionary this is what you’ll find;

Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes—accurately or not—that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation. It is closely related to the concept of remorse.
Granted, this is quite a complicated description given its bows and bells approach but I particularly like the bit that compares the old guilt to remorse.

Take me for example, as I write this post with tissues wedged up the two of my nostrils and I make sounds much like a constipated hippo and continually shake my head to see if my ears will pop making me able to hear the constipated hippo audio; I know I will not be able to run tonight. I will not be able to run the run that’s on my marathon plan, the plan that’s set in stone on my fridge in my head, my heart, my everything! OK, OK, so that’s slightly dramatic but the thought of not completing this run makes me feel queasy, uneasy and flipping guilty as hell!
I have no idea of the psychology behind this with runners but I’m pretty sure there has been some sort of research study conducted somewhere strangely remote or exotic that has concluded that when running gets into your system there are only three possible reasons why you should not run;

1. You are injured or very poorly
2. There has been a natural disaster and you can’t even access a treadmill
3. You have died

And in the good old peaks and troughs sense, a well-rounded blog wouldn’t be a good one if I didn’t flip the coin. So, I would like to point out reasons why I never feel guilty for running but could if I dwelled;

1. Housework is abandoned; it will eventually get done. A few dirty plates are better than a few dirty heart arteries.
2. My child feels abandoned; she was practically attached to one or the other boob for the first nine months of her life, the chances are I’ve watched Frozen three times and completed the dame jigsaw twenty times before I head out to leave her in the capable hands of her father for a few miles.
3. My husband feels abandoned; poor him!

I think as human beings we get used to feeling guilty, it almost becomes as natural as feeling, dare I say it, happy or even sad? Yes, running takes time and running takes energy but it only executes positivity hence the fact one may feel guilty for missing a run!
What a viscous circle ey?

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