In my last post I hinted at the small epiphany (yes, I’m being melodramatic, running does that to me) I’d had whilst out on my solo LSR last weekend. And now, I’ve sorted the logistics required to be able to say THIS YEAR I WILL BE RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON.
This wasn’t this year’s race plan. 2015’s spring marathon was supposed to be Barcelona, but after my usual routine of writing out a training plan to the letter, ignoring it for a couple of months and then freaking out, I’ve decided that trying to run 26.2 in what is now nine week’s time is not for me. Yes, running a marathon is all in your head (more on that another time), but my head is not in the game for this one.
As soon as I thought of the idea of switching races around I knew it was the right thing to do. I signed up for Barcelona months ago and always said if I got into London I would defer it. But when I thought about the prospect of using my prized ballot place this year, I got so excited.
My two planned half marathons (Brighton and Berlin) fit in perfectly with training, I’m exactly where I need to be distance-wise to train for a marathon in almost four months and most of all it’s on flippin’ home turf. The route passes by the end of my road… TWICE.
I’m not sure if I mentioned, but I. Am. So. Excited.
Today’s run was a long time coming.
I lolled around all morning, toyed with running and then not running, worried about the back pain, the chesty cold and the shin pain that have graced me with their presence over the last couple of months. I procrastinated, felt sad about boys both past and present and wasted time chain-drinking tea and tweeting about being nervous whilst watching Sunday Brunch.
Then at 1pm, I finally went for a run.
It was a really good run.
And I’m putting it down to Amy Poehler.
I confess I’m not a fan of SNL or Parks and Recreation and I haven’t seen (or just can’t remember her in) any of the films she’s been in. But this morning, after reading this article on the Guardian, I downloaded her audiobook on a whim and hit the Thames path.
Today I spent nearly two hours in the company of Amy, and I love her already. Hadley Freeman’s article is spot on when it describes her as being insecure but having self-respect. It’s a great combination.
In one of the chapters I listened to on today’s run, she speaks about how the phrase ‘Good for her, not for me‘ should be every woman’s mantra. How God damn true. I love being supportive and encouraging and proud of other people’s achievements, but they are not mine and they don’t need to be.
I thought a lot about my current training (or lack thereof) during those eight and a bit miles, along with the pledge I made after my New Year’s Day run TO ALWAYS RUN HAPPY. I haven’t come to any conclusions so far, but I feel like some changes – to goals, priorities, attitudes… I’m not sure yet! – may be afoot.
I was on the Kindle app, I promise
I don’t really do new year’s resolutions and this year I certainly won’t be setting any running ones (I know what I need to do, I just need to get on and do it). But I am setting myself just one, completely fitness unrelated task for 2015 – to finish every book that I start.
As embarrassing as this is to admit, reading the Fifty Shades trilogy a couple of years ago reminded me how great reading is. Before that, I don’t think I had properly read a book cover to cover since studying for my A-Levels, and even then I scraped through English Lit without actually reading everything I was supposed to. Yes, those FSoG books are really quite bad and really quite cringe (not to mention completely unrealistic – no one can have that much sex and not get a UTI), but I devoured them in days and rediscovered the joy of being completely immersed in a story.
Not long after, I bought a Kindle, which has remained one of my favourite possessions ever since.
The problem I have is that I have no time to read. This is obviously complete rubbish – I just think I have no time to read. I walk to work (and I am not being that person) so have lost the hour and a half tube journey I used to have each day in which I would do most of my reading. This of course doesn’t mean I have no time – I have all the time I watch junk on TV (read this and you’ll never want to watch telly again), all the time I arse around on the internet, reading absolutely everything on The Debrief (okay, I’m not actually ashamed of that one). I also love a good faff.
I get distracted whilst reading, don’t get into books, find something else that looks more interesting, start reading something else instead. I am a digital age cliché, flitting between one thing and the next, in a world where “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention”. Through reading I am going to try and reverse this. My Kindle is filled with half read books, which if I’m honest will probably never be completed. But from now on, every book that I choose to start will get my full attention and will get finished. At current count, I have 47 books on my Amazon wish list. I can’t think of a single TV show I want to watch more than I want to make a dent in that list.
I always knew December was going to be a toughie. It has been noted that I can occasionally act more like a fifty-something than a twenty-something, but the prospect of a little less sleep and a little more socialising than normal was exciting. But what transpired was exhausting. This month saw way, way too many hangovers, most of which were earned on a school night. I’ve eaten a LOT of burritos and cried in front of a few too many of my colleagues. I’ve only run once. I’ve worked a lot. I’ve seen the inside of trains, planes, my GP surgery and a hospital. I’ve had an infection and a nasty chesty cough. I’ve made just one visit to the gym, at 2pm on a Thursday – and that was just because it was the only opportunity I had to shower between having been out the night before and going out again later that day. Gross.
I got to Christmas Day feeling decidedly more sluggish, podgy and generally unwell than I would have liked. I know that this is the very time for merriment (which was in abundance), but as usual, my boom or bust attitude to most things has left me feeling the opposite of relaxed. More than ever, I feel like a Christmas cliché, waiting for January to come along and sweep away all my missed workout and ‘one more glass of red’ guilt.
Most of all I feel panicked. I don’t think I possibly could have got marathon training off to a worse start. Barcelona marathon is eleven weeks away and I feel like I am literally at square zero. Time to practice what I’ve preached and try and do this running happy thing. There’s nothing else for it.
It’s exactly a year to the day that the man I loved well and truly broke my heart.
Most of the time it already feels like much longer, but then every so often the pain bites like it was yesterday.
I don’t think there’s much more I can say that I haven’t already overshared on here over the past twelve months.
But it’s safe to say that when the person you thought you were going to marry cheats on you, in the form of a holiday romance, then moves to the other side of the world to be with that person, your life will never quite be the same again.
And whilst I will never be able to forgive him for what he put me through, at least now I believe him when he said that I would be better off without him. Because I absolutely am.
I continue to move onwards and upwards. Always.