Run and become (a better person?)

Thank you for reading my running blog. Thanks also to those who have kindly sent me comments about my blog and words of support – I really appreciate it.

It’s 35 days to go to the London Marathon and my training is continuing to build (I’m already getting anxious about how I’ll cope with the tapering in a few weeks). After last Sunday’s fabulous pasta-fuelled recovery meal, this week’s working days training schedule comprised a gentle 4 miles on Monday, a steady 8 miles in hail and snow on Wednesday and 3 miles of sunny delight on Thursday. All run around Green Park, Hyde Park and St James’s Park. It’s been a tiring week, with much on at work and fighting the various colds and sniffles that seem to constantly surround me.

Today (Saturday) I ran 19 miles (mainly in the pouring rain), circuits of the same parks as earlier in the week. My new Nathan running belt feels good during my runs and I’ve been practising my drinking/bottle replacing technique.

It’s “Weezo”!

Over the last few days I’ve been receiving emails from the London Marathon organisers and the charity I’m running for, Mencap. It’s all getting very exciting, with the promise of a free massage and welcoming drink after crossing the finishing line. I can even choose the name I want printed on my running vest. I’ve decided on “Weezo” (it’s a long story some readers may know about but it’s more interesting than “Paul”).

Warning – amateur self-analysis ahead!

One of the best things I’ve discovered about training for the marathon is the time and impetus it’s given me to reflect. This reflection (which often takes the form of daydreaming – which is good for you!) has been not only about my fitness (and at times the lack of it), increasing strength and mental resilience but also about my physical surroundings, the people I run with and the encouragement I’ve received from many friends, family and work colleagues. During these times, I’ve asked myself “Is all this making me a better person?” I suspect it’s a question I shouldn’t be trying to answer; it’s probably one better left to those closest to me to answer. Well, my rather amateur and simplistic self-analysis suggests that the answer is “definitely, maybe”.

Here are some areas where I think I’ve improved as a person (leaving aside the physical changes):

  • Socialising with a much more diverse range of people.
  • I’m even happier than before.
  • Feeling less stressed.
  • Better at keeping things in perspective.
  • Being kinder to myself.
  • Exceeding my own expectations.
  • Fully appreciating the moment for what it is.
  • Less anxious (including about taking a proper lunch break at work, for a midday run).
  • Accepting I will get injuries that will require rest, treatment and patience.
  • I think I look healthier.
  • Eating more healthily (generally).
  • Consuming less caffeine.

And here are some things that I’ve become less “good” at:

  • Tolerating obnoxious and rude behaviour (why should I?).
  • Not feeling slightly “twitchy” if I’m unable to run (but I have mileage targets!)
  • Accepting some people are faster runners than me (but why should I control my competitive instinct?)
  • Water conservation – I have a lot more hot baths.
  • Tolerating daft “jokes” when I’m warming up (but I keep my thoughts to myself!).

I’m sure the lists could be longer and I’ve probably missed some really important things but they might serve some purpose when I look back post-marathon and wonder what it was all about.

Heading off now for a night at the theatre for some wonderful Alan Bennett.

Have a great week!


I’m running the 2013 London Marathon for Mencap.  Please have a look at my sponsorship page!


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