The Runner

Unlike coding, which seems to have been in my blood since before I was a teenager, and writing, which came shortly thereafter, running came to me late in life.

April 2010, pre-Runner

Both coding and writing appealed to the “inactive” part of my nature. I didn’t like sports, activity, socialising, or any of those things that normal people did. I was at home “talking the language of computers”, using my brain rather than my body, or making up daring adventures in time and space.

My adult life invariably focused on paying bills on a meagre income, which kept me focussed on work to the exclusion of just about everything else. Being hunched over a computer all day (and many nights) might have appealed to the ‘coder’ inside me, but it was detrimental to the physique.

As ‘the computer guy’, I’m often called on for anything technical and, one day, I was asked to help out installing a Freeview box. They were only a half-mile away, and I was 40-ish, so I just got my shoes on and went for a visit.

August 2011, the Walker

Except that I almost never made it. That was how unfit (and unhealthy) I’d become. I was faced with a defining moment in my life. Either I got my act together and gave my heath & fitness the same kind of dedication that I gave to my coding, or else I probably wouldn’t make it far beyond my half-century.

At the start of 2011, at around 20-stone, I went for a walk. A proper walk. A walk to a distance so far away I barely had memories of the location. The walk nearly killed me. And it turned out to be only a two-and-a-half miles away.

Something in my brain clicked. I focussed on fitness, on health, on my weight. In one year, I’d lost 5-stone. My walking transitioned (painfully) into running – first a parkrun, then more parkruns, then a 10K event, then a half-marathon; then half-marathon distance runs became commonplace; and then, in 2017, the former 20-stone couch potato turned 10.5-stone runner took part in the London Marathon!

April 2017, Marathon Runner

I’d become a runner.

Due to the concrete jungle our leaders build up around us, my running is almost exclusively on concrete. I don’t run “trails” unless it’s an event (trails = trials to me). I don’t run cross country unless I must (as I’m wont to say: I see the country and it makes me cross).

I run roads. I’m a road runner.

For more of my running journey, visit my personal blog at : https://blog.rudderham.co.uk/contact/writing-history/is-he-alright/

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