I think, therefore I run

Last week, eight of us from The Writer ran a half marathon. We raised some money for Macmillan Cancer Support (you can still sponsor us). We all finished. We all got our medals.

But for me, it doesn’t end there. I’ll keep going. Because I do some of my best work when I’m running.

It was writing that drove me to running in the first place, while on sabbatical in South Africa three years ago. I was there to research and write a book and, to keep myself from turning into a square-eyed blob after three months behind a laptop scoffing my mum’s home cooking, I started running every other day.

At first it was a wheezing embarrassment. But after two weeks, something happened. As I became fitter and the running became more instinctive, my brain started going elsewhere. As if it clicked into gear as soon as my legs did.

In that half-hour run, I could suddenly plan the entire chapter I was going to write that day. By the time I got home, it had all fallen into place and I was raring to go.

Ever since I got back to London and my day job, the distances have become longer and the thinking time even more valuable. On early-morning runs before work, I can rehearse an entire presentation in my head. Write the first few pages of a proposal. Finally crack that killer headline. During one particularly productive 10k, I had so many thoughts while planning my team’s appraisals, I had to turn on the voice recorder on my iPhone so I could capture them all, breathlessly, while I ran.

So if you think for a living, I recommend you run. I never thought I’d get into it. But stick with it. Ease into it, slowly, and just keep going. You’ll be amazed where it takes you.

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