115. A postcard from Greenwich Park

My winter’s journey of 18 weeks and 499 miles is over. Only four more days and 26 miles to go.

From the bleak beginnings of a frozen, snowy Christmastime in Scotland, through fifty Crawley lunchtimes and Guildford nightfalls I’ve wandered.

Along pretty Surrey towpaths and under pitch-black Houston skies, I waved those winter months goodbye.

I’ve seen the North Downs slopes from every side, gasped breathless in the Alps, and loped lazily down last weekend’s Warwickshire lanes and the Avon riverbank, too.

london-marathon-aftermath-water-bottles.jpgIt’s been a long way, this year.

I’ve felt no real promise, honest aspiration, or even false pretence of quicker feet or swifter legs, this time.

Just run through winter, until you reach the spring, I said.

So I just got through it. And now I’m here.

I’d like to say I’ll run a fast race, this Sunday. But I won’t do that.

And yet – there’s so much more to take, from all of this. Because I know.

I know how that spring in my step will feel, along the early morning Camden pavement. I’ll share the tube with a score of lonely, anxious runners. I’ll smile and shiver on that overcrowded train, and tingle through the whole of that frightened hour in Greenwich. I’ll test myself, just by starting. I’ll do my best, through South London’s streets, and beam with joy, on Tower Bridge. I’ll despair through the depths of Docklands, and face those forty kilometres of unforgiving tarmac to crawl, somehow, atop The Embankment, if I can. And from there – I know I’ll struggle to make it home, in whatever style it takes.

It’s just one word – Endeavour. That’s what it’s all about, for me.

I’ve come this far. I’m glad I’ve made it.

There’s nothing more to ask, or say, not here. And nothing else that counts about my winter’s journey, not now.

Just run.

Related articles:
49. Ready to run
111. The plan
51. London Calling
100. Half a million steps
113. The Pilgrim’s Progress – Surrey Hills 2
110. The hands that built America – Houston skylines
111. The plan
107. Don’t it make a bad run good ?

2 responses to “115. A postcard from Greenwich Park

  1. Great use of alliteration, Roads! You have many talents! Use of language is one them!

  2. Thank you, Sheila. I have mixed emotions as I re-read this old post, written just before I embarked on the longest struggle of a race I’ve ever run.

    And as I read it now, I can still sense the anxiety and the excitement in equal measure.
    Running opens up a different kind of life and a different view of the world around us. And running the London Marathon is the door to one of the most remarkable journeys you’ll ever experience.

    Maybe, now I think of it, there might just be another one left in me somewhere, after all…?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s