Running 1000km and questioning why? - February 14th 2014

14th February 2014

Running 1000km and questioning why? - February 14th 2014

Do I like running? No, I am pretty sure I don't. This weekend I reached a 'small' milestone in that I have done 1000km of running in training. Whilst I unwittingly completed the 1000km, I was no doubt probably trying to answer a question that plagues me on most of my long runs... 'why am I doing this again?'.

I am not convinced I can ever honestly say I have enjoyed going for a run. I don't consider myself 'a runner' and am most definitely not one of those people who gets agitated if I miss I run - on the contrary, I have to really convince myself that getting out on the road or treadmill is a good idea.

Why do I do this?

Good question. Having just run 133km this week (more than 3 marathons) I should probably have quite a well developed answer to this. I am not sure I do. I think the drive I have is much bigger, proving to myself and others that it is possible to achieve things that most think are 'impossible'. I think I tolerate the running in that bigger picture.

It is however fair to say that I love the sense of exploration. Not necessarily in terms of what I find on my runs - almost every single long run I do in Johannesburg is exact the same route - more the sense of exploring what is possible for me, discovering what my boundaries are. I can distinctly remember at least 3 runs that I did actually enjoy - each and every one was where I was trying to break a new distance, 80km, 100km and 160km. It wasn't that I enjoyed the running experience... it hurt like hell; my feet were on fire, I was a sweaty mess, my legs ached and on at least two of those occasions I had no iPod power left...

It was seeing how far I could go, seeing how long I could tell my body to carry on before giving in (something I have still never done). Running alone through the night along a misty and deserted Thames Path in a part of the country I have never been before (who would run to Maidenhead?!) was genuinely a life changing experience for me - I was discovering something new and experiencing a sense of freedom and exploration I hadn't had since I was a child.

These runs were seminal experiences in my life. Sadly now I am having to spend 10-12 hours a week running up and down to try and get fit enough to experience a run where I rekindle those feelings. I live in hope that the MDS can deliver.

Updates

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The 24 hour run – August 13th 2012

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Maps & Tracking

Maps & Tracking

You can explore the full route to the North Pole and follow Paul’s progress with live maps that will plot his position each day as he progresses towards the pole  more >

VSO

VSO

VSO is the world’s leading independent international development organisation that works through volunteers to fight poverty in developing countries (www.vso.org.uk). The Fire and Ice Challenge is aiming to raise £50,000 for VSO’s secure livelihoods programme  more >