Today is London marathon day and whether I like it or not, this is the day that reminds me that I’m not really a runner any more – not in the way that I once was and not in a way that I can feel proud of. I go out a couple or a few times per week, but I don’t really train – I don’t have anything to train for. No races in the diary this year. None.
One there was a time when I built my entire year around the races I had in the diary. Everything made way for them – holidays, social life, work. Everything.
But today, as I sit in the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, waiting for the tea to brew, there are thousands of people on Blackheath or making their way there, ready to run 26.2 miles in pursuit of their dreams. Obviously there are races all over the world, every day. But the London has a special meaning for me. Not only is it my home town race and one that I consider to be amongst the best I have ever tackled. But it is also where I ran my PB three years ago. So when the London comes around, I get a greater twang of… I guess it is regret or sadness or loss, than on the day of any other marathon.
So, I know what I need to do. When I stopped smoking, drinking too much and eating badly and I started running, people wondered how I had made the transformation I did. The answer, in my mind, was the transfer of addictions.
From fags to miles. Now I need to do the same thing – find my new addiction and embrace it 100%. The only candidate – the only thing that gets me fired up and means that I am happy to put myself in difficult and uncomfortable places, is Freestak and building a business. The problem is that building a business doesn’t have the additional benefits to health and well-being that running does. But there are other benefits – building Freestak means building something that has a positive impact on the world and that will provide an income that means that I’m able to do the things that I want to do in the future. Me running marathons was never going to give me those things.
So today, I am going to look at the teeming thousands running the London and wish them all well. It is an incredibly hard thing to do, certainly if you do it properly. It is fantastically rewarding. You will be part of an amazing community of people. And you will always be able to look back and know that you did something special.
And me? I’m going to the office and once again I’m going to get my head and my heart into my new challenge. It is a longer race, but there are goals, there is pain and there will be challenges and successes. Sounds just perfect to me!