Hills, Maths & Homework

Picture the scene: I left my house last Thursday at 5.45am. Took a client out for a run in the total darkness and pouring rain. We got absolutely soaked and covered a total of 7 miles. A good start to my morning.

Six additional sessions later, a couple of eaten meal deals, a few hours spent sitting in London traffic and too many coffees, I walked back through my door around 6pm. Equally as dark and as wet as when I left the house. As I approached the door, I could hear the usual sounds of all hell breaking loose in the Quinn household.

My eldest, Finley, who is 7, had been set long division maths. Finley had about as much motivation to do his homework, as I had to do my 15 x 30 second hills which Coach Partridge had set me to do later that evening. Yet after some tough negotiating, he got down to his work and I began putting my long division skills to the test! There were tears, lots of confusing looks, lots of crashing, banging and waving hands, even some shouting, but he got the hang of it and by the end we even had some laughter and smiles!

“See that wasn’t so bad Finley, was it?” “Remember champ, the harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.”

And that was exactly the emotion and feeling he was experiencing. I was proud of him, he was proud of himself, we had won #winning, #jobdone, #boxticked.

It was during this point I reached for my phone and messaged Richard (Coach Partridge)

“It’s raining outside, it’s cold, dark and I can’t be bothered boss to do my hills today. To which Richard replied, “No problem.”

Almostly instantly, I felt like a hypocrit. Poor Fins, long day at school, almost the end of the week, shattered, desperately wanting to watch Lego Master, but instead ‘politely asked’ by Mum and Dad to do his long division Maths homework, which he did and he crushed it, feeling great about himself. And I had just bailed out of my session.

Come on Kev, practise what you preach. Get your arse into gear!

So after a few tears, some crashing and banging, hand waving, some shouting, I put on my flats and headed to my local hill and ran up and down it for 4 miles. In the dark, in the freezing cold, in the rain. And after the session, as I was running home, I felt great. I felt a foot taller, proud that I had got my act together and done my session.

I messaged Rich, who responded instantly.

“Good effort, these are the times that define us.”

And it reinforced the importance of that quote. The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. Because there is no substitute for hard work. Not in running, not in life.

For sure, there will be tears on route, certainly some disappointments, set backs, times when you can’t be arsed, but at least you can truly say you’ve tried. You gave it all you had, despite all the wins and losses, despite achieving or not achieving.

After all, they say nothing worth having ever comes easy. Because what’s the point of having it if there’s no history, no memories attached, no 15 x hills.

So, do the homework, get out in the rain and go reap those rewards.

Next stop, Telford 10km.

Frankfurt Marathon 2018 – Recap. 2.24.11

They say a marathon is good for you, but the truth is it’s hard to remember that at the 30km mark when your body is screaming with pain.

It was at this point a few weeks ago at the Frankfurt Marathon, where my body felt like Anthony Joshua had stepped in front of me and unleashed one hell of a blow, switching off all my lights and turning my legs to jelly…!

“Why am I doing this”

“This was a stupid idea”

“I hate German beers, cars, shepherds”

– one of those is actually a lie!

These were some of the emotions and thoughts that went through my head during the 26.2 miles I covered. According to Strava, it was a little bit longer but hey we won’t go down that route 😉. I actually spent a whole mile during the race having a go at myself –

“Kev, you actually paid to put yourself through this, you paid to feel like absolute dog crap right now, you idiot”.

But I also had moments where I was loving it, thinking of all my loved ones back at home. My coach Richard Partridge, friends and family telling me how proud of me they were, telling me how well I had done, “Kev, you have crushed it”.

I remember someone telling me when I first considered running marathons that there was something special and wonderful about them, something you can only experience when you put your body through one. They also said that at the end of their first marathon they felt like a new born baby – covered in blood, s*#t and tears. I suppose every cloud has a silver lining right…?

Despite all the negative thoughts, the pain, the heartache of not achieving your expected time, rolling back home with a beaten and broken body, we go back again. We roll that dice and put our bodies through it again.

Why? Because it’s true, there is something special and wonderful about the marathon.

I finished Frankfurt in a time of 2 hrs 24 mins and 11 seconds. A time I am proud of. I wanted more but on that day, I ran as hard as I possibly could. I had a few issues with my drinks which resulted in me not being able to refuel how I’d hoped too. Plus a few days after the race my body was covered in rather unattractive red spots. Apparently they are the result of a virus called Pityriasis Rosea but I am taking them as a visible sign that on October 28th, I gave it all I had and 2.24.11 was all I had.

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More importantly, as my mum constantly reminds me during every race I participate in – It was only 2 years ago I had heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect I had, closing some holes in my heart, the largest hole being 1.78cm (forever grateful to Cardiac Risk In The Young for identifying my defect). Atrial Septal Defect is the actual medical term for my dodgy heart.

So with that in mind, I’m grateful that I’m able to run and I loved the 12 week build up to Frankfurt, running a personal best over the half marathon 3 weeks before at the Cardiff Half (66.38) & despite struggling from 30km onwards at Frankfurt I also ran a marathon personal best. Plus I got to spend a weekend with Lloyd Kempson & Neil Hamilton, the dynamic duo, who flew out to support me (absolute gems), so all in all 2018 has been a good year for my running chapter.

As for my running in 2019, we go again on the 28th April, the London Marathon and I honestly can’t wait, more motivated and driven than ever!

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