This weekend I shall be tying my laces tight and heading off for my weekly long distance run. To many, the idea of waking at 8am on a weekend to undertake a 15 mile run may seem like far from fun. Indeed, 12 months ago I would have agreed.
I began running 10 years ago out of a distinct lack of friends and social life whilst living in Spain. My distances were short and my commitment was questionable. Upon returning to the UK both my workload and stress levels increased - and I naturally upped my weekly mileage. Running became my escape - it's refreshing and gives me perspective. My weekly mammoth trot down the River Mersey is all about me, myself and I.
Earlier this year I decided to run a marathon. Although a keen 10k plodder, 3 months of running an average of 55km per week did not appeal. However, on the 11th of April, I successfully completed my first marathon in Paris and am now training for my second. Why? I hear you cry...
Training the body, I have come to discover, is as much about training your mind as your legs to run like the wind! Who really wants to settle down at their desk after the obligatory bowl of crunchy nut and plough through the marketing calls like a consultant possessed? To be frank, not many of us do. As much as on a Sunday morning after only one day of rest in the week I do not relish the thought of pushing my somewhat short little legs to run a further 17 miles. But it is always the anticipation and not the action that causes the most discomfort, and the rewards we reap are far from questionable.
I find that after a good run I am much calmer, happier and generally have more energy. Much like the feeling after a satisfying day on the phones. When the time comes to cross the start line I am not cocky or over confident and am more than aware of the mammoth task that lies ahead, but I shall be safe in the knowledge that I have put in the hours needed to hopefully get me across the finishing line when it comes to it - which rather reminds me of work.
For me, there is a huge crossover between business and running. If I have the mentality to push myself harder when running, that spills over into my work. If I'm working hard, I'm training hard. At the end of a 17 mile run my knees (and cheeks) are burning, I am all out of energy yet I still find a way to get it done. Work is the same in many ways. There is always a way to do it - just when you think you can't go further, you discover you can.