Readers of my September blog will recall me advising (or warning!) that there would be an additional, running-themed, blog this month. This is it.
One of the highlights of summer tends to be that I can get out a little more, especially during school holidays. However, it has still tended to be essentially leisurely: the occasional glance at the watch but nothing more, accompanied by an Amazon Music playlist or an Audible audiobook, and the thought of a nice cuppa at the end.
This changed, out of the blue, about five weeks ago. A text from a colleague asked whether I wanted to take the place of a charity runner in the London Marathon who had dropped out with injury. Knowing its place in the calendar to reside in April each year, I became excited at the prospect of six months to get ready to race in the spring of 2022. It was a jaw-dropping moment when, discussing fundraising with the charity’s CEO, I was advised that the postponed 2021 London Marathon was, in fact, being held on 3rd October. But, having wanted to run London several years earlier, I recalled the psychobabble of sporting biographies. Everything from it “being better to live with remorse for what you’ve done than regret for what you haven’t” through “I’ve missed 100% of the shots I never took” to the somewhat masochistic “pain is temporary but victory is permanent” told me to confirm my entry. “Just do it.” And I did.
My six months’ training had turned into six weeks. Leisurely ambles along my local streets transformed into longer and longer stretches in the early hours of Sunday mornings along canal towpaths and country lanes – with increasing amounts of water, jelly babies and other sustenance crammed into my pockets. Just me, the herons (towpaths) and the pheasants (lanes).
Quite different to the course itself:
Fundraising has gone really well, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported the charity I’m running for. The Rainy Day Trust does some incredible work with tradespeople who have encountered hardship, and for young people who have barriers to their journey into becoming a skilled tradesman or woman. Running for them is an additional motivation. My late father spent his working life in the building industry, and so this cause resonates with me. If you want to know more about The Rainy Day Trust, or show your support, here’s a link:
Now we’re three weeks away. The train to London is booked, as is the hotel room. The jelly babies have been purchased.
I’ll be writing a ‘Part 2’ when I’m through the other side. Better to live with remorse than regret? I’ll let you know!
Thanks for reading.