We all have good intentions. When we’re in the flow and feeling inspired, we may decide we’re going to up our training, eat better, try new things and challenge ourselves. All those buzz words you read in ‘self help 101’. Unfortunately, by lunchtime on the same day, life can sometimes get in the way of those intentions and we fallen back into the dark hole that we didn’t see, somewhere in between being fed up and hard on ourselves.

It was a Thursday afternoon, I was sat at my desk pressing send on an email when I began over-thinking the evening run I’d scheduled to attend with advent running. The meet time was 1830 for an 1845 start. If I leave my seat by 1803, get changed within 7 minutes, I can be on the bike and out the door by 1815, and if there is no traffic and I don’t get lost, I can be there for 1845 and I’ll cycle in my trainers to save time. I was trying to map out every minute to convince myself it was both do-able and the right thing. Quickly, the planning became overwhelming on top of the work I was trying to get finished.

I sent a Direct Message to @adventrunning:

Hey lovely people. I may struggle with timing tonight. We don't finish work till 1800 and then getting changed and to you by 1830-1845 may be a push. I'll confirm later but please don't wait up. A solo run around Kings cross may have to be the answer. Have an amazing run.

I hit send and felt quite disappointed that it wasn’t going to work out. Just a few minutes later, I received this reply:

We're in no great rush. If we know you are coming we can wait for you.
Today is run with a friend day so don't go solo!

A small yet kind gesture to wait up was enough to give my head a wobble and make sure I made it possible. I arrived at the Running Works (a brilliant running cafe in East London, near Liverpool Street) at 1845. We left at 1850 and ran 8k over Tower Bridge and around the beautifully lit London. We talked about our 2016 goals, I was given some great advice from James on how to prep for a duathlon and I listened as one of the women talked about how she also had the ‘prep fear’ having to pack a bag for 3 days in work to make sure she could fit her training in. We ran over Millennium bridge and past the guy who paints chewing gum, turning litter into tiny pieces of disposable art, before stopping for the advent running photograph in front of St. Pauls. 

We reach the finish line at Running Works. They kindly stay open so we can use it as a base for our belongings and buy a post run drink. 

We all have good intentions. Even though it’s your own responsibility to see those through, don’t underestimate the role that others can play. Yesterday may have been the official ‘run with a friend’ day, but unless you’re trying to get a twitter account verified, you don’t need anything to be official. Plan in a run (or ride) with a friend. You’re not only helping yourself but you’re helping them. Because, as well as all having good intentions, we also all have demons that sometimes need to be told ‘don’t go solo’. 

 Photo: @adventrunning

Photo: @adventrunning