I know what you’re thinking (aside from “That looks like a forced smile in the picture”) …I bet he’s going to tell us how, since he started running, he’s never felt more alive and has a relentless buzz of energy at all times and, in fact, now doesn’t even like sitting on the sofa let alone watching telly. Plus how he lives off just a couple of homemade, goji-berry shakes and a quinoa, wholemeal bread sandwich; that is of course, only when he’s not running, which is most of the time now he has so much excess energy. On top of this he only needs 3 hours sleep after which he feels like he’s slept for a week.
No, this is definitely not the case. In short, I’m a fairly normal (to most people) guy. I know a lot of these blogs are focussed on people who have never run and have gone through some event in their life which drives them into running through which they find themselves. I do already run and have done for a few years. This has generally been for fun with the occasional race to make sure I keep up with some form of exercise when life gets busy.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that my family is my life and I hope it is this aspect which will make this blog appeal to a lot of you. I’ve a lovely wife with whom I have two fantastically exuberant children (7 and 3) and we all live in Silverstone in Northamptonshire. I’m lucky enough to work for Mercedes F1 Team, as an aerodynamicist. To say the job is involved is an understatement but who wouldn’t love the fast-paced, high-tech environment that goes with that. I know, I would say that and that’s why I work there. It does mean, however, that any time I have at home with my family is precious and I wouldn’t want anything to eat into that. The combination of a busy job but also, and predominantly, an excitable son and daughter means this is often how I end many an afternoon and going for a run is the last thing on my mind:
You get the picture (no pun intended). I get tired and which parent doesn’t! In 2016, one of our Team Charities at work, the Northants and Warwickshire Air Ambulance were offering 5 places so I jumped at the chance. It was the most amazing experience in my running life and one I would one day love to try and repeat. I ran a 3h16m and it remains the most satisfying run I have done in my life.
This brings me nicely to today. What’s next? Where do I take my running now? More marathons? Maybe. Faster marathons? Maybe. All of these were going through my mind and I was trying to work out what the next challenge would be. I then came across the Thames Trot 50 mile race on Feb 3rd 2018. This was my first ultra. 50 miles through boggy riverside toepath in 3C drizzle. It was tough. It hurt. But I loved it and I loved the other people who did it. For the cameradery, the challenge and the buzz of completion, I was totally won over by ultras.
I have a couple planned for 2019 with the particular highlight of a 100k race in September, The Thames Path 100, with my brother-in-law. This would be the furthest I’ve ever run, hands down.
Hopefully this blog can show how it is possible to train for long distance running events and at least make it through as well as have a family life and not upset
too many any people. It’s going to be quite a journey.
I hope there will be some romantic runs across sun-soaked countryside as I float along unencumbered by everyday concerns. More likely there’ll be some very early starts and runs in the rain and mud then trying to eat as much as I can to last a day at work or to make sure I can keep going for a day of fun with the family.
I’d be delighted to have you join me along the way if only to make sure you take particular pleasure in staying in bed a little later in the mornings knowing I’m probably already up churning out the runs.
You’ll also discover I am partial to flaking out on the sofa too and watching a bit of TV so I hope you can relate in your own way to the challenge that I’ve set myself up to do. Plus, I’ve got all the kit now and I’ve got to use it for something.
Right, I’m off to get myself another goji-berry shake…
(That is actually a goji-berry shake. No, I didn’t make it. I wouldn’t put the contents of my hoover on top of a drink)