Watching him - despite my knee, I managed to limp to Mile 9 and then back near to where I live for Mile 20 - was this incredibly emotional mixture of pride and love and genuine awe. That this person I live with and love and make toasted cheese sandwiches for and moan at for leaving wet towels on the bed is capable of doing this insane, amazing thing. I could not be more impressed, or proud, or inspired.
Genuinely, watching not just Ian, but all the runners on Sunday, gave me a real feeling of inspiration. Ian had to give up a lot to get the time he achieved. He swapped beery nights out and heavy meals on date nights and lazy lie ins with the paper and a Red Bull for early nights, healthy pasta dishes and long runs in the wet and the cold. He swapped fizzy sweets for gels in packets and even had to stop running his beloved short, sharp 5ks to pack in long, slow, boring miles on week nights. But he did it. He tried and he did amazingly well. It reminded me that sometimes, effort is worth the reward.
I'm not very good at trying at things. I'm lucky in that academically, everything has always come relatively easy for me. Qualifying as an accountant and tax advisor was the hardest thing I've ever done and when I finished that, almost three years ago now, I felt like the world was at my feet - like I had all this time to spend putting that same effort into whatever I actually wanted to put it into. And yet what I've really done is not very much at all. Okay, I've read some good books; I've improved my blog and written a few short stories. But the long bucket list of all the things I'd like to say I've done in my life for the most part remains just that - a list.
I'm not saying I'm going to immediately run a marathon because, as I sit on my bed with my knee propped up on several pillows, I'm quite patently not. But I was inspired this weekend to think about where and what it is that I want to dedicate my time to - other than drinking six glasses of wine in the pub on a Saturday afternoon - and actually start doing it.
Well done to everyone who took part on Sunday - you're an inspiration!