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Why do I run?

A few years ago, a friend challenged me to run a mile each day for a year.

I’d never been a runner, and I always hated running. Like many, I thought it probably the most uninspiring way to exercise. However my friend and I are extremely competitive so I took his challenge and decided to run 1 mile every day.

What an experience.

On 1st of January, like the rest of the country I was feeling a bit delicate and I suffered through a cold and windy mile cursing my decision to take the bet.

On 2nd January, I was insufferably smug as I ran through the Edinburgh Meadows in the sun, feeling like an athlete for this first time in my life.

I went through a lot of ups and downs that year. There were days where it was a genuine pleasure to get out, clear the head, and get the lungs working and blood pumping.

There were days where it felt like a chore and I loathed every single second of it. However, I consoled myself with the fact that a mile can be run in a matter of minutes and that it would soon be over. That always saw me through.

I didn’t manage to complete the challenge.

Despite managing to run a mile per day in my hiking boots, jumping over rocks, whilst avoiding tree branches and snakes in the 98% humidity and 28 degree heat of the forests of northern Colombia, it seems that the local cuisine got the better of me. After leaving the national park, I spent a day in bed with my head in a bucket. I missed one day’s running in October, having managed nearly 300 consecutive days of running.

I was disappointed not to complete the challenge. However, I did discover that I love running, and since then have run 10ks, half marathons, marathons, and hill races across the country, with my next being the Stirling marathon next week where I’m going for my hat trick of marathons.

As for my friend? He managed the challenge. And the following year increased his daily run to 3 miles. He’s now running 5 miles a day.   

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Blog by Paul Deans

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