There is something hard to define that I miss about competitive distance running. A small part of it is the training – feeling super fit and training towards a race (or races), but mostly it is the races themselves that I miss. The build up towards a race, the people you race with and against, the feeling after having a good race – especially satisfying if you suffered for it and the result was in doubt. I also miss the travel involved, the mixture of familiar and new places, sightseeing afterwards, experiencing different cultures and just getting out of your usual routine. All these factors and more contributed to my positive experience of competitive running. It actually seems like another World – the feelings and experiences cannot be recreated in ‘normal’ life. The feeling of winning a major race or performing above expectations is something no hedonistic experience, food/drink or other substance, could ever recreate.


Having a major focus on something and spending so much time on it – 16 years in my case – will inevitably lead to, at first, a feeling of something missing, even when your enjoyment of life in general is unchanged or improved. Having said all that, I don’t miss having to train twice a day or being injured. The option to relax at home, instead of going out in the foul weather for a run, is also nice. Greater flexibility and not having to be so regimented, is also a bonus. However, to be at your peak and racing well, is worth all that and more!