Slog, drudge, and excitement

I’d been so concentrating on training for a marathon I nearly missed a week’s achievements. Once I realised, it felt fantastic

Photo: Kris Krüg

Last week was one of those I’ll look back on in years to come and think, That was one hell of a week. I might even be pushed to say I felt proud.

My friend Henry and I have been training for a marathon. We’ve been running. Long distances. And, as Dave Bedford said, running is a lot like life: only ten per cent of it is exciting; ninety per cent is slog and drudge.

We’d been focused on slog and drudge for quite a while when we suddenly realised, after Henry had made a comment in passing, why running could be so exciting.

Leaning our hands on our knees, breathing heavily, we were exhausted. We’d just finished the last run of the week, a painful fourteen-mile slog. A rearranged training schedule meant we’d also ran sixteen miles six days earlier, with an eight-mile run in between. Henry mentioned how many miles we’d covered.

Then it hit us.

Thirty-eight miles, in six days. Two half-marathons, in six days.

We’d so concentrated on running we’d nearly missed the achievement. Six months ago I wouldn’t have believed it possible. It felt fantastic. The nipple-rub, the aching limbs, the dry mouth, the blisters; they were suddenly all worth it.

It was one hell of a week.