Warning before you continue...I'm indulging in a little, ok a lot of self pity.
You see it's a beautiful Sunday and at this time normally(11am), I have completed my recovery run, followed it with a yoga class and am indulging in contentment knowing that my weeks training has come to an end. I then potter around the kitchen listening to Cerys Matthews on Six Music, tasting new coffees and making my favourite meal of the week, Sunday brunch along with some snacks from Deliciously Ella to see me through training next week.
This Sunday, I'm currently sitting on my iPad with my foot in a stupid blue boot doing crazy Google searches trying to find miracle answers to help me heal quicker ( ginger and turmeric by the way appears to be my answer...)
Normally my week consists of 5 running sessions (fartlek, track x2, tempo & recovery-), 2 strength and conditioning sessions and 2-3 yoga classes. The prospect of a week without this routine leaves me seriously bored but even more, anxious and unsettled.
However, it has got me thinking- I think anyone who decides to open their own business should take up running- it will prepare them well.
1 I've been working my ass (literally) off since January training for the British Transplant Games and things were all on track to peak at the end of July- when pop, my plantar fascia has other plans.
It sometimes feels that when everything is going swimmingly in the café, then pop, a key team member resigns, the coffee grinder breaks, the supplier has delivered the wrong cups or the toilet flusher packs in (always on a weekend may I add too).
2- Running is a lonely sport- yes you compete against others but really it is just you and your watch- tell me a runner who wins a race without being pushed is as happy as one who gets a PB and gets beaten. A Park Run PB makes every runners weekend.
Running your own business is much, much lonelier than I thought it would be. Whilst you have all the friends and business mentors in the world to offer you advice, at the end of the day it's you, just you that has to make the call. I never thought I'd say it but I miss the mindless office banter on whatever rubbish reality TV is happening, because when you sit at your desk for 6 hours on your own, you don't get much conversation out of Lauren Laverne (though you do get cracking tunes)
3- Whilst I may have a clinical diagnosis to back it up- I think a lot of runners also suffer from symptoms of OCD.
I have run laps of Shaws Bridge car park to make sure I hit exactly the 16 miles I had planned to do that morning.
I have told fibs to friends about not being able to meet them on a Monday night -don't they know Monday is fartlek night with the club?
I have worn the same pants in all my track races as the ones I set my Transplant Games World records in, in 2011 in Gothenburg (not pretty).
I have played with low carbs, high carbs, no refined sugar, high fat, you name it and followed it religiously, to see if it improves my performance.
I think if you own a business you have to let your OCD tendencies shine through. Every minute detail is important and consistency is vital. It’s so important, no matter what business you have that when your customers come to you, they know exactly what they are going to get. I realised this early on when we thought we would try and shake things up a little, a little too often.
4- To achieve any of your running goals, you have to be disciplined, crazy disciplined. You have to train when you don't want to, not go out when you do want to and generally put everything else in to second place.
When Kaffe O opened everything else was relegated to second place- family, friends and of course running. Being a runner prepared me for giving one hundred percent physical and mental focus to the shop- at the expense of course of my running.
One of the major milestones for me was my first training session back with my club after opening. It took months but running along the tow path with my club mates, was one of the first times I felt, maybe, just maybe it was all worth it.
It's coming up to our first anniversary, and everyone says you must be so happy and proud with what you have achieved. The honest answer, is that just like when I compete on the track and perform how I've been hoping and training for, I'm relieved, just relieved.
And like any runner when they achieve their goal, after a brief binge on pizza and beer, the itch starts and it’s what's next....