Yesterday I went for a rather large run. 18.5 miles to be precise. I'll write about the run in detail in the next post but this one crosses the category boundaries so it's sort of a bit about the marathon and a bit about randomness.
You see, running 18.5 miles was tough. I think Rory and me hit the wall at about 16 miles or so. We just had nothing left at all, but kept on pushing each other.
I find it so much easier running with someone than running alone. It's a chance to chat, discuss and analyse things... albeit in a breathless manner. When we run together we chat about a range of things: our surroundings, life, music and debauchery. For anyone that knows Rory or me, you'll understand what I mean. We can't just chat about the weather - we analyse it, add an analogy and then more than likely reference it to brands and advertising. It's what planning is all about... and yes kids, even the weather can be branded.
What we both noticed yesterday though was something that we'd not experienced since The Mighty Deerstalker - and even then it wasn't on this scale as it was sheer terror that kept us going during that. The fear of death or serious ailment has a habit of doing that...
Yesterday after about 15 miles we realised that it we were concentrating 100% on one thing - keeping on running. We were quite literally putting every little bit of energy in our bodies (both mentally and physically) into running, into keeping one leg moving in front of the other. All we were chatting about was spurring each other on to keep on running, and at one point we both had a type of tunnel vision. We had been looking at the ground immediately in front of us for so long that when we looked up at the clouds they were moving in strange ways.
As a slightly portly, very average lad who spends most of his time in an office - it's refreshing to completely change surroundings and emotions. At this precise moment I'm thinking of a good half dozen things at once: writing this post; what I have to do after; my plans for this evening; the music I'm listening to; awareness of my surroundings. It's a normal human trait to be able to do all of this at once, and it's essential to the sustainability of life - our forefathers several million years ago had to think about protection, sustaining their family, keeping warm, hunting and other things.
Yet yesterday, we were literally so focused on one thing we couldn't think about anything else. Being able to would no doubt have helped us, but we couldn't. Our bodies were dominating the way we were thinking and controlling our thoughts. Interesting and worrying at the same time - if we can overcome that and try to break the hold it had on us I'm sure it would be less painful, and more enjoyable. Are there training schools for willpower?