It was the Bath half-marathon last weekend which was fab. There's something really mesmerising, I think, about watching thousands of people running along together, some seasoned pros, of course, who steam along at incredible paces (the freaks), some nervous first-timers who don't even know if they can make it the whole way around, people in Scooby-Doo and Superman costumes, ballet tutus and full make-up, others who run with a pack of mates, all cheering each other along. There are so many stories and so many dramas - the pain, the triumph, the blisters... it's like a microcosm of the human existence, man. Well, maybe not, but all the same, I find it fascinating - and awe-inspiring - to watch.
I am not a natural runner or an athletic type by any stretch of the imagination (ha! a nation sniggers) but I've been inspired to go out running a couple of times this week after seeing the marathon runners and envying them their stamina. I've also been inspired by Eddie Izzard's marathon challenge too - have you been watching the programme about him? Amazing. How did he DO that?
I guess running a marathon is a lot like writing a novel. All those hours spent training (or writing), the highs and lows, the will-I-get-to-the-end? angst, the pain and the anguish when it's not looking good, the soaring joy when you turn a corner and realise you can see a way through to the end... Gosh, I'm being very deep and meaningful here today - sorry. I don't know what's come over me. Am I making any sense?
I've had a wobble over the novel-in-progress recently anyway. I felt like I was going in the wrong direction, so took a deep breath and cut loads of it out. (Ouch.) Then I had a panic about how my word count had plummeted and an oh-shit-I-am-never-going-to-finish-this! freak-out. (Heeeeeelp!) BUT today I think I've turned a corner. Now I feel I'm back on track. I just have to keep plodding along, like Eddie Izzard, one foot after another, one word after another... and have a little faith that I'll get there in the end.
Let's hope there's a silver foil blanket and a Lucozade waiting for me when I make it. Or even a bottle of champers...