The problem with feelings is that they don’t go away just because you do.
And thanks to the invention of WhatsApp (and to my shock AND embarrassment, Snapchat), aided by Dubai’s near constant provision of WiFi, to begin with it felt like I hadn’t gone anywhere at all.
I’m well versed in long distance relationships. Not recently, but I’ve covered off nearly four years of not residing in the same city as boyfriends in my dating past. It doesn’t bother me. In fact, I think it suits me: a week or two to be as reclusive or as wild as I please (because it’s usually one or the other – or more often – one as a result of the other), followed by heart-hurting longing but ultimately the sweet satisfaction of a reconnection.
This time, connections are severed. I’m clinging onto already fading memories of jokes shared and conversations spoken, of sleep lost and chemistry felt. Memories that are unlikely to be repeated soon, if at all. It wasn’t even a boyfriend this time, but somehow I’m missing him more than anyone else I left behind.
He’s the only one I feel I’ve flown away from forever. Friends are part of my being, I just won’t be able to go on without them. I might not see them this month, or even next – but I will, and it will be again and again.
But he feels gone – or going, at least. The excitement of possibility dwindles, still leaving only ‘what if’ behind. A question that was never destined to have an answer, but one I still can’t stop asking myself.
Today I’ve woken up easier and clambered out of bed quicker than I have done in weeks. It’s brilliant that even on an early Monday morning (on Mondays I start work over an hour earlier than the rest of the week) it is now pretty much light when I open my blind just after 6am.
Spring definitely sprung in London this weekend, and with it brought the short shorts out for the first time in several months. After years of insisting I’m a cold weather runner, I’m beginning to think that my enjoyment of a run is in fact directly influenced by the number of pieces of clothing I’m wearing (i.e. the fewer the better). I’m looking forward to testing this theory.
Although my mileage isn’t completely back on track after this week, it has been a marked improvement on last week’s write off. I’ve run four times, although three of those were only 5k or less. On Tuesday, I ran only a couple of hours after leaving my colleagues in the pub (I won’t be drinking pint or two of pale ale the wrong side of a run again). And Saturday’s parkrun was probably the most hungover I’ve been whilst running and definitely the closest I’ve ever been to vomming in public. Can you see a pattern here?!
After a night of no wine (!) and a full 8 hours sleep, I got up on Sunday morning to tackle 18 miles. The first 11 were run on my own (the longest I’ve ever managed solo) along Regent’s canal before meeting Stephanie in Hyde Park. By the time she appeared before me, my knees had already decided I wasn’t going to make it all the way back home, but stopping after 14 miles by Embankment and diving straight into a giant latte felt like progress nonetheless.
On Friday, I fly to Barcelona for a long weekend, and I’m already excited about clocking those 18 miles on Spanish soil. The Estrella at the end is going to taste so good.
With eight weeks to go until race day, this week has been my ‘wobble’ week.
The advantage of training for a marathon the second time around is that I am infinitely more relaxed about it than I was this time last year. This week I’ve probably been a bit too relaxed (read: not so much relaxed, more just ignored the fact I’m supposed to be marathon training altogether), but this time I’ve got the experience to know I’ve still got time to turn it around.
This week has been dominated by work (reaching the peak of pressure as we approach year end) and an awful lot of drinking. Stress, alcohol, very little sleep and not much exercise is always a pretty rubbish combination. This has inevitably lead to feeling properly run down and having to cut short today’s planned 17 miler after only a couple of miles thanks to being (the bad kind of) sweaty and really quite snotty. Mmm.
Tomorrow is a new day, next week is a new week and this is just a wobble.
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.