Although running an event from a 5k to a marathon is a solo event. I’ve learnt that in running or life no person achieves things alone and without help.
Running helps me gain some thinking space, and helps me in so many ways. I’m proud of the failures and successes, both are lessons which I can apply in my day to day life.
But despite the successes. I’ve had help along the way. I wouldn’t have completed all my running events without help.
My biggest support has been my wife. She has come to 8 of 9 of my marathons, plus many half marathons and 10ks etc. To watch someone run a marathon is SO boring, as you may only see them once for several hours.
The 2010 London marathon was one of my worst marathons. I had run marathons before but I was lazy in my training and my biggest mistake was not respecting the distance.
I was really struggling after mile 8, and it felt that everything was going into slow motion, not even the amazing crowds, the fun runners and their outfits, the celebrities could lift the dark conversation in my mind. Then to top it off a man with a fridge on his back passed me at Tower Bridge. This was not going to be my day.
Fast forward to mile 19 the internal conversation I had was getting darker. Although the crowds were so encouraging at moments I wish they weren’t there, as I felt like an utter failure. When I saw my wife and it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. But I felt broken. She listened and allowed me to have a very short pity party, but she gave me a great pep talk and reminded me of why I was there. And off I went!
The remainder of the race was painful, but what she said helped me cross the line, as I was seriously considering quitting.
Even the kind words of bystanders has been great. In training for the 2015 London marathon, the training over the winter was cold and harsh, on one particular 6am run, I had a bystander preparing to go to work, clap and offer some solid words of encouragement. Despite the cold and the tiredness this made the run so much easier.
So remember to share, thank and remember the people around you who helped you on the road to whatever you achieve in life.
There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Thanks and regards