One of the things I like about being a runner is the way it seems to seep into other areas of your life, and one of the reasons I like runners is because they are people I aspire to be. They do things! They are not the types who are full of plans that never come to fruition, they get shit done. They get shit done even if it’s hard, and sometimes simply because it is hard, and over the last couple of years that is where I have been going. Not only have I run marathons and kept a regular training schedule rain or shine, I have also been disciplined in my blogging and gone out of my way to educate myself in various fashions. So this week when I let a friend down badly by slipping into bad habits the guilt was quite substantial.
A while back the little running gang that I did a whole heap of marathon training with last year decided we needed to do a Christmas event. It had been a while since we had all got together, there had been work, races, and life in general that had gotten in the way, so a bit of Xmas fancy dress seemed like an excellent excuse for us all to get back together and have a good time. We selected the Portsmouth Half on 20th December and started making plans. We thought about costumes and settled on a nativity theme. We discussed at length who else we needed to make our nativity complete, speaking on line and in person, and this is where it all went wrong, though it would be about a month before the sheer horror was realised.
Fast forward to last weekend, and for the first time in a long while we managed to get out together for a long slow Sunday run. I love a Sunday morning pootle with my mates, always have a laugh there is never any pressure and just like the summer holidays of childhood the sun always seems to be shining and everything is right with the world. Well during the conversation one of our number says she has booked up for Portsmouth and I and another of the gang turn round and say, well we had better book tonight then, thought nothing of it and carried on. That evening credit card in my sweaty hands I logged onto the site and went to sign up. Portsmouth Half I was told, had sold out. My heart dropped, what had I done? I immediately went on line and confessed to my peers that there were no more spaces left and only one of our number had actually got into the race. I could have cried I let someone who I care about down for one simply reason. I had procrastinated. I had slipped back into being one of those people who talk a good talk, but don’t get the shit done when it comes to the crunch.
OK I thought and emailed the organiser hoping that there maybe some way in, a waiting list, anything at all. Nope not a sausage, I had fucked it good and proper. All those good habits built over the last 2 years had evaporated and slipped away, I should have known at least one of us was the genuine article and didn’t hang about. They bit the bullet, took the rest of us at our word and booked up, and were rewarded by our failure. What’s more because of my procrastination what would have been a fantastic fun and bonding event has turned into something of a guilty disaster which will haunt me in years to come. I have however learned my lesson. Stop with all this talk and act now, because there is something else I have been talking about for a while.
In my training for Manchester Marathon I am due to run a half on Jan 31st so I started looking for an event. Well one event stood out to me, a race in Marrakesh. Well in my head I dreamed of running abroad, maybe I could persuade somebody to go with me, I haven’t been away anywhere sunny for years, all kinds of reasons and justifications swum round my head. After my kick up the arse this week though I bit the bullet, I have booked the half marathon in Morocco, flights, hotel, I am all ready to go I have to admit though I am shitting myself. It will be the first time I have gone to a foreign country on my own ever, I really don’t know what to expect but at least I have clawed back a little of my running dignity as someone who actually walks the walk, even if it is to late for my friend who I will forever feel guilty about letting down.