People often say to me they don’t know how I do it. By ‘it’ they mean find the time to run all these miles, keep up my weekly gym routine, plus maintain the rest of my life. My response is always - I’m selfish. Now, no one would ever normally describe me as this; I like to think I am a very caring person who looks out for their friends and family, gives a lot back through volunteering in my local community, and generally tends to think of others before myself. But in terms of fitting running and life together I am guess I am quite lucky I can actually be selfish for once. At the moment in my daily life, there is generally only me to think of; if I want to get in from work and spend all evening running and at the gym I don’t feel guilty. If I want to spend all day Sunday running 20 miles and then totally collapsing in an almost useless heap for the afternoon, then that’s fine, because I only really answer to myself. It’s a running luxury, and I often find myself asking my running friends who have much more demanding lives than I do – how do you actually do it?!
With this selfish ability can however come a downside though - running can easily rule my life. It is very obvious that running is the biggest diver for me, which is a good thing in the vast majority as it’s something I can always rely on to keep me happy, sane and motivated. It balances me, but in a strange way can also lead to other things getting lost. I admit I am often guilty of letting my running and training bother me at social occasions; I can really look forward to an event, until it arrives and then I feel a bit panicking about how a few glasses of wine or some different food may influence my ability to run. Deep down I know it’s over the top, but it does happen.
This weekend however, for the first time in a very long time, I went out and partied until 3am and consumed many alcoholic beverages for a friend’s birthday - probably how most non running obsessed 20 something year olds spend their weekends on a frequent basis! The best thing was I felt no concern or worry about my training. I had managed to shift my planned runs around to still get my miles in for the weekend, but even doing this I would usually still feel a bit uneasy about how a social gathering may affect my future running.
I am not sure what changed in my mind this weekend, but it felt good. I could not go out every single weekend and do that I know, I wouldn’t even want to, but it made me realise that balance is good, and that I want to be able to relax and enjoy more 'social stuff' when it happens.
I think it is important to find the balance, and maybe by being in the position where I can be selfish about my running this has prevented me from fully discovering this more holistic running and life balance. Its swings and roundabouts really – but I know that I need to open my mind more in the future to allow the ‘fun’ element of life to sometimes come from other things, and not solely just running.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...