Whilst I am sitting here and writing this post, I am watching athletes running, walking and trotting towards the finish line. Though, I wish this post was called “Barcelona Marathon” and I was able to tell you about my experience of running through the Catalan capital, I suppose you can gather from the title that such is not the case. Instead, I shall describe the feeling of saying “no” to running the Barcelona Marathon.

On Friday, I wrote about having entered the final month of preparation for Marathon Des Sables, and I spoke about a strained muscle that I had picked up in my right thigh. Two days ago, I was struggling to make a decision about whether I would run or watch on Sunday, i.e. today. Truthfully, it does not help that sometimes I am really not good in making a decision. And, whilst I had it on my mind throughout the week, the only thing that I had come up with was that I would go for a jog on Saturday and then decide depending on how my leg would feel. So I did, and it did not feel right. Well, I guess it felt okay, and I guess I could have run today, but....

Interestingly enough, as part of my PhD research, I was watching a TED talk last week about motivation and procrastination by Tim Urban. He talks about the rational decision maker that has to fight the urge of the instant gratification monkey. Though, it may not fully relate and sounds a little ridiculous, it most certainly feels like I can correlate to his theory, as my inner monkey, really, really waned to participate today. It was seeking the sensation of running through streets that are filled with enthusiastic and energetic people, as well as satisfy its need to compete and measure itself against the stop clock. Nevertheless, the rational man within myself simply said “no”, or "nein", if I was to stick to my German roots. If I am completely honest, from the moment I had signed up, it was the rational side that kept telling me that it really was not the smartest decision to run another marathon just yet, as the Sevilla Marathon had only taken place three weeks ago. However, like I said, this gratification-seeking side within me kept pushing me towards the starting line today.

....yesterday morning I put on my shoes and run towards the beach. After 20 minutes I stopped. I asked myself what was I doing here, why it was so difficult to judge what is important, and why I struggled to make this decision? Well, if those questions would have been easy to answer, I guess I would not be writing this post right now, and maybe I would not even be doing research on this topic. 

Someone has told me that the decision that I have made can be referred to as “delayed gratification”? I guess she was right.