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

Runners. Taking part in last year’s Vancouver Sun Run

Courtesy 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. One-and-a-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.