I am not a very good runner.
I’m not very fast and I find it pretty hard going most of the time. I’m not the strongest and I’m certainly not the skinniest. I do not have “a runner’s build” but I do have a runner’s body.
Today I ran 15k and it was hard. Really hard! My back is niggling and I was really hungry and I drank 2 glasses of wine last night, and running into the wind here (why do I always seem to be running into the wind?) makes it all so much harder.
But… views like this help. This country is so ridiculously, heartbreakingly beautiful. I spend the entire run weighing up making actual progress or stopping to take another photo. You cannot feel ungrateful or tired or annoyed with yourself when this is where you get to run. I know I am lucky to be here, in all senses of the word.
Running shows me I can do something if I put my mind to it. It makes me appreciate what my body can do and what my strength of will can achieve.
I run because I love it. It makes me feel so grateful that I have a body that can. It reminds me how lucky I am that I am fit and well enough to be able to get out that door. On good days it makes me feel like a superhero. On bad days it gets me out of the house and, most importantly, out of my head. On really bad days it is the only thing that works.
When you’ve got 13k behind you and another 2k to go, and you just want to stop, a little voice kicks in. It tells you to keep going. That you’ve come this far, what’s 2 more? To grit your teeth and keep your legs moving.
It’s cheesy, but you find a hidden reservoir within yourself. You grind down and you think you’ve reached the bottom, but actually, there’s a level of strength there that you didn’t know you had. And just because you discover it on a run, once you’ve got home and showered and dressed and got on with your day… you still know it’s there. You’ve got that in your pocket for the next time you feel you can’t, that you’re not strong enough. It’s pretty magical. We could all use a bit of that sometimes.
I know I’m banging on about this half marathon a lot, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to breeze it. 13.1 miles is a long way and I’m going to feel every one of them. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be pretty emotional (and not just because I have to get up at 4am!). It’ll be me, out there, on my own at the starting line, on the other side of the world from most of the people I know and love (apart from my two Robs, of course). On my 30th birthday!
There are plenty of reasons not to do it. But there are plenty of reasons not to do anything! And how boring would that be? We’re on this planet for a reason, and we might not get long. So you might as well get out there.
It’s going to be hard and a huge challenge but I’m determined to get round. Life is hard. Life is a huge challenge. Push yourself and you’ll be surprised at how strong you are, and at what you can get through if you try.
4 weeks to go and then you all get a rest from me banging on about it. And I get to eat all of the ice cream. Worth it :).