If I had to reduce running down to one thing that is what it would be.
The road represents a lot of things.
Hard work. Nothing I do is that impressive once you realise how much work it has taken.
Companionship. Whatever you have on your mind, you can leave it all out there.
Challenge. Sometimes that challenge takes everything you have: all your anger, all your passion, all your strength of will – focused in one united effort.
Comfort. After a time, you know every step on a stretch of road.
Adventure. Half of the time you aren’t sure if you can, but you think you might be able to.
Mostly though, it’s the listening that I like the best. All that time for sentences to run to their completion. For thoughts to bounce between me and the road. Because at the end of it, my loud mind is quiet and still and content for all the words that the road understood without needing explanation.
Today I did this.
The training plan I followed prior to this race was about ten weeks, but really I’ve been building up to this for about 5 months. It was a lot of work, a lot of 4am alarms, and a whole lot of pure love of the road that got me there.
I had no idea what would happen today, I just kind of hoped for the best in what can only be called grotesque conditions. 27 degrees and 80% humidity OF GROSSNESS.
My mind wasn’t very loud today. It had already said everything it could possibly want to say to the road. When I finished I was still kind of surprised at the time because I never thought I would ever run that fast in a million years. But the road wasn’t surprised.
‘I knew you had it in you’ it might have whispered to me. And I might have smiled because the road is a great listener but when it talks back to you it’s magic.