Finally properly single


I don’t want to keep bloody banging on about it, because it’s shit and boring and I want to move on, but a few months ago I went through one of those life altering, perspective shifting break ups. (I’ve written about it already here and here.)

The problem is, I can’t seem to get over it, and it’s starting to annoy me. Over the last few weeks, I seem to have gone backwards on the ‘getting over it’ scale. It’s partly because I started seeing someone new (which, it turns out, I am absolutely not ready for, and it has consequently ended) and partly because I’m missing a big goal and some focus, so my thoughts are drifting off elsewhere. Unfortunately that place is back into the past.

To start with I thought I might rectify the problem with the obvious. The first few months after my break up were so (relatively) bearable as I let myself be completely and totally consumed with training for the Paris marathon. Maybe that’s what I need to do again, I thought. I’ll sign up for an autumn marathon. But as much as I would love to go back to Berlin in September, I don’t think repetition is the way forward.

I’ve already decided on a rather large and scary nutrition goal, which I’ll share more on next week. But for now, I’m feeling a little bit lost when it comes to my fitness life. I’m running WOTN in Amsterdam next weekend which I’m really looking forward to, but I have already decided not to run Run Hackney two weeks later. I am just not feeling in the right frame of mind to train for and run a half marathon. In fact, I haven’t run in two weeks. Two weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but it’s probably been a good six or seven months since I’ve gone that long. I was loving running at the beginning of May, but then my knee decided to get angry with me and I haven’t run since.

So I’m properly on a break from boys and now running has decided we need some time off too. I don’t have a race in the calendar until September and the last of my four planned European run adventures will soon be here and gone. Now what the heck do I do?!

Goodbye 2013…

In my drafts folder, I have a post I’d been working on that speaks about how much can change in a year. It really can. I’d written how in the last year and a bit, I’ve been in four different jobs and lived in four different places. I had felt a bit lost, but I was writing about how now, at the end of 2013, I am finally in a proper, grown-up, progressive job that I am (or at least will be) good at and how I am living in the city I love with the man I adore, after 18 months of long distance. (It was all a bit smug really.)

Then, just over a week before Christmas, the man I adore decided he is no longer happy in our home, and left. And now, comparing my life to 12 months ago seems frankly ridiculous, as the biggest change has happened almost immediately. A lot can change in a year, but then even more can in just one moment. There’s a lot I don’t know now, including where I’ll end up living.

I  thought I had 2014 all sorted and settled. As if life is that simple. Last year, I tried to set new goals at the start of every month, and review them as I went along, as I thought this ‘bite size’ approach was better than leaving the same unattainable targets hanging for a whole year. Well that didn’t work either. If these last few weeks have taught me anything it’s that as much as I want to be an organised, super planned control freak, a lot of the time you just have to roll with the punches. So that’s what I’m trying, and will continue to try, to do. Change can happen at anytime, someone just needs to inflict it.

So, here’s to a year full of uncertainty. A year of being strong no matter what happens.

Five ways running changes your life (other than the obvious)

You develop a weird hybrid dress sense

Whether it’s wearing your trainers to the office so you don’t have to carry them around or popping to the shops after yoga still clad in leggings, incorporating fitness into your life also means incorporating the clothes you need to wear. I’ve got to the point now where I actually prefer and feel more comfortable in sportswear, so even on days I’m not working out, I usually end up in a combo of normal clothes and Lycra.

You become a permanent packhorse

Much like the above, you will find yourself in a constant cycle of either being on your way from or to a class/yoga practice/the gym. This requires stuff. I wish I could rock up to the office in my runners but until that becomes acceptable, a change of clothes (along with post-workout beautifying tools) is a necessity. I’m still working on the most efficient, least annoying way to cart my stuff around – I recently bought this purple number by Nike, but nothing helps the weight of feeling like I’m lugging half my possessions around the Tube network. Sigh.

Your attitude to food and drink changes

Well I found it did anyway. I’ve not become a calorie counting, macro measuring athlete by any stretch (I will happily admit I don’t have the self control or determination for that), but I’ve found I do pay more attention to the ingredients in things. I try to avoid eating too much bad stuff, and have really tried to be better at taking my own lunch and snacks into the office. Thanks to my dessert loving boyfriend, I eat something for pudding after pretty much every evening meal, but it’s more about being aware of the balance between how much you move and how much you eat.

You become more of a planner

I always have and always will be a planner, but now I’ve committed to training for the Paris marathon, this seems to ramped up a notch. I’ve made a mega training plan that’s 8 pieces of A4 stuck together (!) and it’s already kind of turned into the main calendar we’re using in the flat for planning anything up until May 2014. I’ve already got every fitness class and gym trip I’m doing for the next two weeks planned out as I’m trying out a few new places. If you’re training for a particular race, it becomes a bit of necessity to plan out when you’re going to fit it all in. If only I could work part time.

You always have a conversation starter

Naturally any other runner will be able to natter on about running for quite a long time (possibly even hours), but I’ve found being a runner can also help when chatting with normal (or should that be non-normal?!) people. In the office, I’m known as the girl that runs, and although it can get annoying when you have the same conversation fifteen times over about that race you ran over two months ago, sometimes that’s preferable to the awkward silence/tea making shuffle around each other/queue for the microwave in the kitchen.

How else has running changed your life (other than the obvious)?