As I sat reclined in comfort on my sofa and watched the brave runners in London take on all those miles in homage to loved ones that they have been separated from all too soon – parents who had lost children, children who barely knew their parents and all of them giving it their all to show support to everyone in Boston – it hit me. The running bug.
I mean, how could it not? There were people on TV covering the miles with the help of walking sticks for Christ’s sake! And there I sat in my hungover state, drinking my third cup of tea, in my pyjamas. As I caught my own reflection in the greasy sheen of my breakfast plate and then looked up into the eyes of Denise Lewis – that Amazonian goddess – to see her staring at me with disappointment from the TV, I realised that something had to change.
At that point my eye was drawn to my running shoes, sat abandoned on my lounge floor – lonely, despondent, alone and I felt a surge of will power. I would go for a run. I would help those New Balance monstrosities realise their dreams of pounding the pavements of London’s parks, providing me with the bounce that I need to leap over the wayward leads of dogs on the city’s streets – I would help those sneaks fulfil their destiny. Little did I know how horrible it would be…
As I donned my lycra, cranked my iPod up to full blast and made for my nearest park, it quickly became apparent that every man and his dog (literally) had the same idea as me – there were people everywhere and… alarmingly, they were all a lot faster than me. Now, the world looked so sunny from the windows of my flat but it quickly became apparent that I was running into the wind and that made it harder. That’s before I even get round to the hills – who knew London was so fucking hilly. I didn’t.
Despite returning with a face redder than a London bus, zero breath in my lungs and screaming leg muscles – I, fellow Londoners, will not be deterred from my task. I will become one of the running army that I previously sneered at from the window of my bus. In fact, today I even braved TK Maxx in Hammersmith (yeesh) to purchase a backpack that I could run with. Anyone who has been in this particular store will know that this took bravery and mental strength and yes, I made it out alive.
As I ‘ran’ home this evening my fears that everyone would point and laugh were immediately negated by the fact that all and sundry were taking this mediocre heatwave as a sign from God that they should get out there and make like Forrest Gump. And run I will. Come race me London. If all those marathon runners can do it – so can we!
There’ll be an update on how a different TLW writer, Sandra Boga fared in the London Marathon, just as soon as we coax a compromising image out of her…
Image by EEPaul courtesy of Flickr