Yes, I know. It is another blog. Probably my tenth. Maybe more. Who knows. Who cares? This is by far the most important one. So let’s start with the important stuff. This blog is all about me.
Yes, that’s right, the blog is all about me. Me and running. The guy who never runs has decided to start running again. Why? Well this isn’t a story of personal redemption. This isn’t a story about my father passing me important running inspiration before he died. This isn’t a story of one day, I woke up and decided to run twenty miles for no reason, and when I got to the end of the twenty miles I then decided to run two hundred more. This isn’t an obese guy deciding that he didn’t want to die early so he started running and voila, he is now thin and healthy.
This is a story about a guy, me in this case, who decided one day that with all the people surrounding him being very healthy and very fit, that he wanted to do better. It is quite simply a vendetta against all the people who have done better “athletically” than me. It is about me unlocking whatever potential I have, and leaving others in the post.
Let’s start where the running started, in 2006.
In mid 2006, I decided that I would run the London Marathon. I would run it not for myself but for charity because, primarily, I am a selfless man and secondly and most importantly, I thought it would be easy. I felt that 26.2 miles would be easy. So feeling confident and athletic, I trained. Once. A six mile run from Harrow to Pinner to Wembley and back. I then packed my running kit up and waited till the big day.
I woke up around 5. I put my running clothes on. Had breakfast; bananas, coffee, water, some Weetabix. Packed my bag. Bananas. Lots of bananas. I then went to the bathroom and proceeded to vomit for around ten minutes. What on earth was I doing?!? I hadn’t trained properly. I hadn’t even thought about this in any kind of depth. I was not ready. I couldn’t do this. I had to do this. I couldn’t not do it now. I had raised the money. My parents had come to watch. I had people waiting for me on the course. I will do it. I will finish it. I will survive.
The time that will always be etched in my mind. I finished. I felt amazing. No one I knew had ever finished a marathon before. I was stye first of my friends. I was the leader of the pack. I decided to retire. Until later in the year, when I decided to run the 2008 Royal Parks Half Marathon. This would be easier and I was determined to train. I bought new trainers. I bought new gear. I trained more than before. I ran three times.
I was more confident though. The running was easier. I knew that I could do this. I went to the race. I was doing well. The first half of the race in just over an hour. Then as I ran up to the water station, two hands pushed me as a guy lost his footing, forward I went into the corner of the table with my knee stopping me for sliding over it. The last six miles took one hour and forty five minutes.
I retired. Vowing never to run again. Ever.
Until now. Over the last three years, I have married an amazing woman. My wife runs around 10 miles a day. Every day. Maybe a break every now and then. She has completed several 10 k races, several half marathons, the Hong Kong Marathon destroying my time by over an hour. She is one of the fittest people I know.
One of my closest friends, Ben, runs 10 k races for fun. Ran the London Marathon, weeks after severely injuring his foot, and beat my time.
Friends in Hong Kong hike up mountains for fun and will later this year be completing a 70 km race.
And me? Well, Ive tried the gym. Ive tried sports. Ive tried restarting swimming, a sport I loved when I was younger. Nothing captures me. Nothing makes me want to do it again. Until I discovered a trail, a pair of trail shoes, and the utter peace in running through a forest.
But I can’t just do something, just because. I have to have a purpose. My purpose is simple. I will run 100 miles. I will push my body to what the absolute maximum is. I want to see how far I can go both in distance and sheer pain. I will push myself harder. I will make my body stronger. I will make my mental state tougher.
And if I happen to beat everyone I know on the way, so be it. I’m not going to complain.