|Image courtesy of The Irish Times|
In that year, I have to admit, I really haven't run much at all. The Irishman and I had big plans for keeping up our running and staying in shape but Christmas happened, and then winter hibernation, and then house buying and all of a sudden our Saturday mornings were booked up with life plans rather than long distances. Over the summer I started running to work and then running home every so often – but less often and more not. Moving to our new house a bit farther from my office provided me with a better distance for my runs home from work, more like 4 miles, but I'm still not running home with any great regularity; I hate running with a backpack, I hate having to lock my handbag in my desk, I hate having to plan to bring my gear into work with me. Basically if there's an excuse not to run home, I've made it. And forget running on the weekends: house viewings have morphed into house improvements, and once you've spent about 8 hours painting the last thing you want to do is go out for a run.
I've recognized that I have a sort of mental block on running at the moment – well, for an extended moment – and so I attempted to resume my yoga practice over the summer. I found The Life Centre in Islington and fell in love with Alessandra Pecorella's Tuesday evening class, and really got into it – until we moved. Now a bike ride away instead of a short walk, I again am finding more excuses not to go. I know I need to go; I feel so much better, so much more whole, so much more positive after a class – yet I CAN'T MAKE MYSELF GO. I do know that I am a goal-oriented person and a contributing factor to this is that I don't have a goal for either yoga or running (besides the nebulous "lose weight"), but I'm also having a hard time setting a goal. Right now my goals are about redecorating and saving up for a new kitchen, not running certain distances or perfecting my headstand practice.
In some ways, my goals have become shared and intertwined with The Irishman. We do so much together that it's sometimes hard to find my own space to pursue my own goals. Previously, us time included running as we trained for the marathon together as a way to spend time with each other. But now we're constantly DIY'ing and cleaning and decorating together to make our home that I think I've sort of forgotten about what drives ME. Moving forward, I need to work on finely tuning that balance of me vs us time and hopefully find a way to get some physical activity into that me part of my life.
But beyond the "I haven't really run a lot in a year", I'm still really proud of myself for running a marathon. It's up there in my most proud moments and even today I pull myself back to the feeling of driving myself over the finish line, or forcing myself to put one foot infront of the other, when I encounter a particularly challenging situation in life or at work. I'll never forget my relief when I made it over the line, and I'll never forget the pride in myself that I felt at that moment. I always imagined that I would cry when I finished but actually, I felt powerful and contented – like I finally proved something to myself that deep down I always knew but never acknowledged. That's something that I will never ever forget.