This week’s marathon training has been SUB PAR to say the least. I missed two of my scheduled runs (and there’s a chance I had to stop to retch during my hen do run, I’ll blame the silage smells, nothing to do with the Prosecco).
I was feeling really, really guilty for skipping/changing my runs around and felt like I was already failing at training this early on during my marathon training cycle. But the truth is, sometimes life has to come before running.
This weekend was my one and only Hen Do (Bachelorette party for any American readers!) and I wanted to fully enjoy it rather than worrying about squeezing in a long run or workout. My bridesmaids had done an incredible job organising for 19 of us to head to an insane house in Gloucestershire for the weekend. We drank, ate, ran, paddle boarded, drank some more, played games and hung out. I loved every minute of it (minus those retchy run moments). I felt like it would be rude for me to try to take control at any points during the weekend to train and honestly I just wanted to fully enjoy the time with my friends.
I’ve struggled quite a bit with marrying together the old party-girl Charlie and the new runner Charlie. Most of my closest friends are the ones I made at school and uni, and not all of them are as keen on running/working out as I am. It used to be hard sometimes when I felt people didn’t understand why training was so important to me, and why I don’t drink/party like I used to (because I’m super lame now and prefer to go to bed early instead of clubbing!).
I was getting the balance of life and running wrong for a while, and it caused tensions in my relationship and friendship. It was around that time that Tom put me a marathon ban for a year and although it seems like luckily he’s forgotten about the deal to only run one marathon a year, I think the chat we had made the point that although I love running, I can’t let it take over my life the way it did when I trained for Berlin (coincidentally still my marathon PB!)
Since moving out of London, I now have to really plan my time with my pals and it has made me appreciate hanging out and catching up with them even more. And the time I do have, I prioritise by trying to stay in the moment rather than on my phone or forcing them to workout with me – although I do definitely still try to encourage that!
I think I’ve found a happy place, a good medium where I get my training in and still spend quality time with friends. But it’s taken time, and there are friends that I’ve become less close with and those that have made a huge effort to support my endeavours that I’ve grown closer to. Being so involved with social media and following so many runners, it can feel like running is everything. But our relationships with friends, family and partners is so much more important. I appreciate that we all have our passions and hobbies, and it’s our differences that make us unique and interesting.
Emily and I have a tradition of running together on hen weekends and before weddings, with various other friends joining us at times. It meant so much that nearly half of the hen do were willing to get up at 8am and run with me on Saturday morning. We ran a very slow 5K (and scared a horse with my tutu!).
It’s not easy finding a balance, and I think it must be even harder for those with kids/families who have to multiple priorities to juggle. Certainly when you’re in the depths of marathon training, it can feel like getting your run done, your workout in is the only thing that matters. Yes, to achieve your goals you have to make sacrifices, but be careful what those sacrifices are. There are some moments, like a friends wedding, 30th birthday, daughter’s christening that you can’t get back.
I’m still willing to give this marathon training my all, but I need to ensure that the workouts work for me – this could mean switching some of my long runs to mid-week so that I have more time on the weekends, getting up earlier to squeeze in a tempo run, or streamlining my gym routine to make it as efficient as possible.
Today is a new day, this is a new week and I’ve got a renewed marathon focus.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Have you struggled with friends and family accepting your marathon training/love of fitness?
Would love you to take a watch of this week’s marathon training vlog…