What can I say, I apologise if tonight’s meagre offering is not up to my usual standards of high literary art, but this week my original post has been hijacked. That’s right the piece that I slaved over all week will not be appearing on my own blog, instead it will be making it’s way over to the site of those lovely #ukrunchat people, and if you wish to read it, and I recommend you do, it can be found here http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk . It was of course the first in a series of articles reporting back on the responses to my survey on the sociability of runners, and I am happy to say that all of the articles in that series will be appearing there. This was a late change and left me with a problem, what was I going to entertain my dear reader with on my own site this week. At first I thought of a piece on High 5’s which seems to be a hot topic at the moment, but while out on my run this morning I started to think of the sticky position I am in, and how it is lessons I have learned through running that can help get me out of it.
My topic of the week is ‘Transferable Skills’. Not all of them are good some can get you into sticky situations like having a blog to write and no idea when you are going to write it. One of the skills I have developed as a runner is a belief in my own ability to do something, so when #ukrunchat asked if they could have my article I readily agreed firmly convinced that doubling my writing workload would be well within my capabilities. Two articles a week for the next month, pah, easy, and then I tried to go to sleep. Blank minded I panicked a little knowing I had a full day today with very little time to actually sit down at a keyboard. Still if I can run a bloody marathon despite all my reason and emotion saying it’s not going to happen then 700 – 800 words in erm… no time at all should be a doddle. Of course sometimes this faith is a little misplaced, for example the first time I set out to do a sub 4:30 marathon I just failed. Don’t get me wrong I did finish and that is an achievement in it’s own right, but it would be wrong to say I accomplished what I set out to do. I guess you already know the answer to this, if this was published on Sunday night, I got it done. If it didn’t I will still publish, pick myself up and try harder for next week. Now where was I in my ramble? Aaahh yes transferable skills.
One of the things that my friend at #ukrunchat was impressed by was my regularly putting out a blog on Sunday evenings, and that is something that definitely came straight from the way running has changed me. When I train I make a commitment, no one else can run my race so if I want something I have to put in the work and do the running. Having the dedication to get out and run to a schedule whether I feel like it or not is something I didn’t think was possible before this great running odyssey. I had to learn to make time, get up at OMG o’clock if I had a busy day, motivate myself to step in from work put shorts on and go run, bypassing the lure of the sofa, even if it was dark and pissing down with rain. It was this bloody minded, I will do this and make time to do it approach that I have applied to blog writing. I made a commitment to myself to write at least one article a week for my blog, and I have done it, through sheer will power and making the time for it to happen.
So there we have it, a quick probably badly written piece on the transferable skills running has given me. A belief in my own abilities, sometimes misguided but resilient. When I failed to run a sub 4:30 marathon did I give up? Nah, like a true bloody minded glutton for punishment I went back for more, and with a little help from a friend got there on a much tougher course. And then there is the ability to motivate myself to actually do stuff. It took a great effort to muster up the motivation to get out and run the first time, and I had 2 powerful factors to help, wasting the money I spent on the most expensive item of footwear I had ever bought, and failing to run a half marathon I had already made a big deal out of. After 2 years of practise, motivating myself to write this was easy….ish. At times like this I am glad I am a runner.