Friday, 13 March 2015
Running away made me love where I am.
Seven years ago I moved to Scotland from London for work. It was a good career move but I wasn't happy.
I am a Londoner, I love London and my wife was still living and working in London. For the first three years Glasgow was where I worked and London was where I lived. On a Friday I would jump on the 7pm flight from Glasgow to Gatwick. On a Sunday night I would climb aboard the sleeper train at Euston at 11.45pm and wake up in Glasgow ready to start the working week.
The whole point was to try and maximise my time in London and minimise my time in Scotland.
Things changed marginally when my wife was able to get a job in Glasgow and moved up to be with me but I still wanted to be in London. My outlook on life was; "I have a great job up in Scotland but I just wish I could move it down south". Whenever I laid out the positives and negatives of spending a weekend in Glasgow versus a weekend in London, London won every time. My wife's presence only ameliorated the negatives of being in Glasgow.
The fact was outside of work I didn't have a reason to be in Glasgow. Friends and family and social events I was familiar with were all in London. I had a million reasons to be in London every weekend and none to be north of Watford - let alone north of Hadrian's Wall.
Then I started to run.
It was Hannah, my wife, who first suggested we train together to run our first marathon. It meant every weekend we would go on a long run together.
I began to look forward to our long runs. Over 13 miles of quality time between just me and my wife. (I've written before about how much I love running with my wife).
Then as the training started to get more intense going down to London meant I would be too tired do all the running I was meant to be doing, not just on the weekend by also during the week. (Try doing a 8km run after you've just got off a sleeper train).
Slowly but surely I not only had a reason to be in Glasgow but I started to resent going down south. London would eat into me marathon preparation.
Then something even more remarkable happened, I discovered Scotland's beauty. The beautiful canals, countryside and parks. Scotland has some of the most amazing running routes in the world.
Glasgow was no longer a "waiting place" between my trips back to London, it became a place I enjoyed.
Finally I started to look at what else I could do in Scotland on the weekend "between runs".
The shift was imperceptible, similar to how your running improves over time, but one day I woke up and realised I didn't want to go down to London.
I wanted to stay home.
And home was Scotland.
(The picture today is of me running the Cumbernauld 10k, in the background you can see my wife with a big smile on her face. We are both enjoying our home - Scotland)