Where to begin?
I haven’t blogged for nearly 3 weeks and I find myself not knowing where to start. Running? Just running? Or all the other craziness that is going on in my life?
In the past 3 weeks I have moved house – we've moved next door in anticipation of a house switch with my in-laws – and have quit my job – or at least , as a freelancer, quit working for the employer who was providing me with the vast majority of my work. One of my children has started her 9 week (9 week!) summer vacation and my other is about to start his 7 week vacation. All this to explain my absence from the blogosphere. I was – gasp – even off-line there for about a week.
But I’ve been running. Oh have I been running. The week of the move – which was, of course, also the week that my work got so on top of me that I decided I really had to quit working this job – was not a good running week. When I wasn’t working I was carrying boxes out of my old house into my new house (we’ve moved next door, remember, so everyone reasoned we did not need removal men…). I ran 15 out of the recommended 35m and briefly contemplated a do-over week – I have given myself 14 weeks for the 12 week program so that, if needed through life, injury or illness I can have a do-over week – but decided against it. I LOVE do-overs but they have a habit of getting in the way of just-getting-on-with-its and so, as always in the spirit of the opposite of me – I decided to carry on. And sure enough – week 3 and 4 of training have been completed happily. It’s Sunday evening and I’m writing this after a 48m week. Pfitz’s revised edition has a slight r&r week this week which my legs are ready for but otherwise – onwards and upwards.
So the facts of my running are good. I’m getting the slow miles in, but also the faster ones. I managed my 16M with 10M at 8:16 which I was pleased with. I wedged in a 10K in which I placed 8th out of 60 women – not bad for a distance I hate!
As for my life – ah well. It struck me, while out on a run yesterday that those areas of my life where I have such low expectations of myself – i.e running – are those areas where I persist and do well, and where I gain a great deal of satisfaction. I also never anticipated being married or a mother, and while I would not – by any stretch – consider myself remotely perfect mother or wife material, again the lack of expectation on my own part means that I don’t generally think I do a terrible job.
The area where I have always had high expectations of myself, however, is my career. And there, I’m afraid, I have never really been much of a success. At least, not by own standards. Although I did well at school and university, I never felt I really ever hit the sweet spot – found that thing that really worked for me. And in my jack of all trades career since things have carried on in that vein. I am trying not to talk about how others view my job or career – because some of the things I have done may have sounded prestigious, and I have rarely been terrible at a job. But neither have I ever hit on professional satisfaction – a sense that I had found my place and the direction to follow.
This sounds like a complaint and it is not. I know that when I need to go out there and earn some money I can do that. Whether I make coffee or write copy – I can do that.
But I am reaching a stage in my life where I think I perhaps need to adjust my view of myself. In my teens and twenties I thought I would be a highly professionally successful, single woman, living somewhere like New York City. Instead, I am happily married, mother of 2 children, living in the English countryside. Sports never even featured as an ambition in my life as I was just too incompetent – and now my passion is running. Perhaps I am not the person I thought I was. And I need to think about the person I actually am? And maybe by being more honest about what I am, rather than what I think I am, or used to think I would be, I will be more able to find some professional satisfaction?
All very deep thoughts on a Sunday night, after a long week. But Pfitz has me running long, and a lot. And I have killed another iPod, so thoughts like these are occupying me at the moment..
In the meantime, I have the summer ahead of me, training for Berlin and Bizz Johnson, going on holiday to Greece (lots of early morning / late evening running to avoid the heat) and Holland (wonderful, beautiful woodland trail running). Perhaps all those miles will give me the opportunity to gain some insight into my muddled head.
I will leave you all with a list inspired by Oprah the Great. This I know for sure:
- iPods are not waterproof. They don’t like being washed in a washing machine. They don’t even like being stuck inside a sweaty running bra when you forget your iPod carrier.
- Running with your family is great. I made my whole family – husband, mother-in-law, and two kids come out with me to my 10K on Tuesday and we all raced – the kids in a fun-run and Adam and I in the 10K. We all loved it, despite some troubles with the fun-run on my son’s part – and my daughter won second place, a great running shirt (which she is refusing to give to me) and everyone got inspired.
- Moving house is a pain in the behind.
- You think you’re very essential to help make things happen. You leave the place you think you’re essential to and the sky doesn’t fall. 2 weeks later, everyone is coping fine without you.
- Running is the best.
I’m back in the game peeps – back onto your blogs and comments and all. Thanks for waiting around!