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  • Writer's picture Irina

Mrs Pacman

Updated: Feb 5, 2021


Some things are not easy and we turn to those we love for help.

Does it ever get easier?

No, it doesn't.


Not for me anyway. Why? Because as soon as it becomes easier, I change something to make it difficult again. I usually do this without even realising it. What do I change? I think mostly my expectations of myself, what I consider a good result, what gives me a sense of accomplishment, what makes me feel good at the end of the day. I do this with everything in life, so running wouldn’t be any different, would it?


Like for example my Wednesday run this week. I skipped my Monday run to give my legs a rest after having run 68km the previous week. I ran 10km on Tuesday instead. Wanting to get back on schedule, meant running on Wednesday, so two days in a row and decided to go for a shorter distance, say 5-6km. A few months ago, 5km was the longest I could run and I would be super happy to get home in one piece and still breathing. It took me 35’ or 40’. Maybe I would walk a bit or a lot. Who cares? Certainly not me. At that time I had no idea if I would ever get stronger, last longer, run faster. Actually, I was pretty convinced that I wouldn’t.


I kept on running. I see now that things were changing but the change was too small for me to notice. Until one random day I ran 5km in 29’ without really pushing myself or feeling like I am going to die. That’s when it hit me. Have I moved to a new level? It took a few more runs to convince me that I had indeed and if the story ended there, then I would say that yes, it does get easier. The story didn’t end there however.


Remember Pacman? On each level, Pacman starts from the same spot and has to run round the maze, eat the dots, the fruit, avoid the ghost thingies. First level is cherries, then strawberries than oranges (hated that one), then apples and so on. Something changes on every level to make it more difficult for poor Pacman. The ghosts move faster, the layout changes. Pacman doesn’t stop when he conquers a level and if Pacman doesn’t stop, I am not stopping either.


Ready?

Cherries are the first runs I did. I moved to strawberries when I managed the sub 30’ 5km run. Oranges was probably when I pushed to maintain the 5km pace on longer runs. Wikipedia says Pacman ends on level 255. What does that mean in my world? Probably the Marathon? Or maybe the Marathon after that? Only one way to find out. Mrs Pacman just needs to keep running and eating fruit. Hoping there’s no ghosts…


Does it ever get easier?

Yes, it does.


The more I persevere, the more I believe in myself. I trust my body more. This body which I didn’t know could run, other than maybe to catch a bus. This body which I have never been proud of. I know I can rely on my body now to do the work even when my mind is not in the right place. Like last Sunday, when I really wasn’t in the mood to run but had to, my body took over and said, “Let's go. I’ve got this”. Confidence grows and experience works in my favour. I know how to breathe better, slow my heart-rate to keep going, I know how to hold my upper body, even knowing what to wear can make a run more comfortable.


It gets easier to stay positive or sort of anyway... I see the signs of a bad mood early enough and try to shift my attitude. Boy do I have mood swings. The times I’ve given up just as soon as I’d set off just because I couldn’t shake off a bad mood, a negative thought.


I remember so many runs with Doug where I simply stopped and refused to run because I was so angry for feeling tired. Seriously? And then, I got angry with Doug for trying to encourage me to continue. He had the patience of a saint putting up with my endless moaning and temper tantrums. Who was I really angry at and why was I acting like a spoilt child? Running builds character . So yes, in many ways it does get easier.


Spot the differences!

Does it ever get easier?

It doesn't matter. It's worth it either way.


I am slowly learning to face my daemons and work on my weaknesses rather than looking for someone or something to blame them on.

Even more slowly I am learning to follow Cam’s friendly advice. He said,

“Be kind to yourself”

I am trying Cam. And you know what? It feels pretty awesome.


Doug and his shadow star jumping. Love this man!

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5 Comments


sadendrinos
Apr 16, 2021

".....What does that mean in my world? Probably the Marathon? Or maybe the Marathon after that?.." or maybe what?? well the only way to live is to move to your "uncomfortable" places . Love your posts!!

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 Irina
Irina
Feb 06, 2021

Elina! I guess it’s doing something again and again and again and again until eventually your body starts believing it can do it even when the mind is not feeling it! Just keep at it!

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errietta.varvogli
errietta.varvogli
Feb 06, 2021

It,s so encouraging to know that you have someone near you to push you and keep you going !!!👄👄👄👄

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elina.konstantinidou
Feb 05, 2021

Priceless photos (ola ta lefta for the Greek speaking fans)!! That thing with the body being the driving engine when the mind says “No”, is a major victory!! How did u do it? Keep on sharing my favorite inspiration!!

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antigoni.rapti
antigoni.rapti
Feb 05, 2021

Another epic post about running.. I cannot get enough of your brilliant way to put things in order.... oh boy! Character is seriously a matter of hard work and hard work makes miracles and saves lives. Keep pushing harder my friend. And keep motivating and inspiring .. love you lots!

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