‘Miss?’ Said a girl at school yesterday. ‘Is it true you can run 30 miles?’ ‘Yes I said, I can.’ ‘Why?’ She said. ‘Ummmmmm’, I answered in that inspirational and awe inspiring way. ‘Well because really its the only thing I am good at; running a long way in a straight line, its takes a certain sort of person…’ I then launched into my full athletic history, which by then she had lost interest and wondered off to talk to boys.
So why am I doing this? I know during races, funnily enough normally during the early phases I question why am I doing this? I don’t enjoy this, its too hard, its too cold, I am already tired and I am so hungry I cant possibly run another mile let alone another 40. But the moment passes, like all moments and 5, 6, 7 miles will go past where I am in my element, outside, running hard, gel, snot flying and I wouldn’t be anyway else.
Why do I this, how can I answer that question both to those who ask, but also in my head?
|My second home|
I recently wrote out my rough plan leading into my next big race South Downs Way 50. Looking at all the running I had to do made me feel slightly sick. The effort it is going to take to get out the door, the energy of then coming back and looking after the kids, plus the house all the cooking, cleaning, washing and working made me question, just for a second whether I can really do this. Of course, its the training and training harder than you are ever going to race that makes the races easy (well sort of), but for me its managing that fine balance of very nearly training as much as a professional athlete whilst holding down a job and a young family.
No one is making me do this, I could stop running tomorrow and no one would die. But a part of me would. Running is a part of me and it is what enables me to do what I do, to the best I can be. Running inspires me to be a better person, to push my boundaries both physically and mentally and it inspires others around to question their boundaries too. Maybe to get up off the sofa and see what they can do with a pair of trainers and a strong dose of Eddie motivation.
So this is why I run, not for prize or glory or money or kit (well that’s nice). I run for those around me who inspire me, who have come into my life through running and who I have inspired to take up running. No names mentioned, but…
My family who think nothing of their mum going out running everyday and to my dearest 3 year old who now can run a mile home with me after a session. To my husband who never gets a chance to go running himself, apart from during his lunch hour. To one of my lovely marathoner to be, who this week ran 18 miles at the same pace she used to run 5kms at and then messages me straight after with her delight. To the ‘Friday ladies,’ who after just a few weeks are out sprinting and out planking each other, having found a new lease of life in running quicker. To all those at my local running club who have smashed PBs in the last 6 months and turn out week in week out to run in the dark and rain and never question the crazy lady with the head torch. To the kids I have taught, those I took from non runners to national title holders, those who I encouraged to keep doing sport when they left school and still send me messages of their athletic feats. And most of all for a few friends who have had a tough time in life, but who still encourage me, message me with luck and congratulations, this next 8 week block of hard core training is for you. If you can do what you are doing, I can put on trainers and go for a jog. Check out this very special lady (http://charlotteeaston.blogspot.co.uk/)
So that is the answer for the school girl, who quickly lost interest in her dull PE teacher, I run to inspire others, I run because I feel it is what I am good at and I believe if you have a talent you should use it, not just for your own personal gain, but to help others achieve their dreams. I am never going to make a living out of running, I am never going to achieve world peace, but I hope by just inspiring a handful of people to run, their lives might too be improved like mine and that is all I can ever ask.