Everything is good

January is the worst month of the year, I’m sure most of us we’ll agree. Conversely, however, I’m starting the year feeling pretty good.

To be honest, I shouldn’t really be in such a great mood. My leg is still feeling a tad niggly and my runs aren’t going as smoothly as they should this close to the marathon (sorry this is such a boring repetition right now). There’s no pain or horrendous discomfort, but I know in myself it’s not perfect and running twice in a row or pushing out the mileage or number of times I run in the week would definitely be risky. Not only this but my longest run for a fair few weeks (months!) is six miles. Seven weeks out to a marathon this is not ideal.

That said, I’m a glass half-full kind of girl (which is one of the reasons I have so many adult fails as I just presume things are going to work out and neglect to double check or consider contingency plans). I’ve got a general fitness, I’ve run seven marathons before, I have seven hours to complete it… I mean, it could go terribly let’s be honest. My leg could really start to bother me and walking could even eventually be an issue. I might DNF my first marathon. I might be in the middle of a foreign country I’ve never been to, knowing no one, half-way through a marathon I can’t complete, in tears. I mean, that’s the worst case scenario and if it happens it happens. The silver lining is that it’ll make for a great blog post 😉 In a very schadenfreuden way, failures and mishaps are sometimes a more interesting read than someone who succeeds. Obviously I don’t want to fail. More than anything, it’s a bloody expensive failure. And also, having a marathon meltdown isn’t that fun when it’s actually happening to you.

Foam rolling like a trooper

Marathons aside, mentally and physically I’m in a fantastic place.  I feel strong and healthy. Though I’m not running regularly, at the gym I’m lifting heavier weights and feeling strong. I’m still maintaining a level of fitness through running two-three times a week as well as some of my own spinning sessions and steady-state elliptical machine.Long-term readers may remember some frustrations I had a year or so ago about my body basically failing me in certain ways. Things have changed, for the better! I’ve put on about three pounds over the year – which I know isn’t massive and is probably a mix of muscle and fat. I mean, my weight probably varies a few pounds either way but long-term I’ve remained at the same consistent weight. It seems be a nice happy point for me and it’s clearly helped bump me in the right direction to feel and be in optimal health. I feel happier where I am at the moment and really like how I look and what my body can do. My main intention is obviously not lose any weight when my running increases but I’ve got a pretty good handle on this.

Key things that I’ve found that helped get me here:

  • Eating good food and lots of it. I tend to be fairly healthy during the week and then relax at the weekend. If I want cake, I’ll eat it. If I want a takeaway, I’ll have it. I don’t restrict anything but I am conscious of what I’m eating in general. I eat lots of good fats, complex carbs and protein. I’d say my diet is probably more protein and fat heavy though than carb-based. And I’ll tend to time my carbs around when I’m running to get the max benefit. But I do eat a lot, as I’m sure you’ve seen by now! I’m a three course kinda girl 😉 Essentially, I don’t worry about what I eat as throughout the week it all balances nicely.
  • Sleeping enough. I get up ridiculously early in the morning to go to the gym (3-4 times a week, lifting weights). I try not to stay up past 10pm and I find that works for me.
  • Minimising stress. In general my life is not that stressful. I enjoy my job, though my commute sucks at times. I’ve just come to accept some days are good and some days are bad – learn to control the controllables and don’t worry about things are out of your control. I have a great network of friends and family so when life does get hard I’m fully supported. I know I’m very lucky and blessed in this respect.
  • Being sensible with running. Running is a stressor and clearly my body is sensitive. So not training for a marathon all year round will help. After the spring I will be spending the summer and winter just enjoying running and entering races I fancy, but not a marathon. The training for a marathon is a fairly long and arduous process, one that my body might appreciate not doing all the time. I will be running marathons in the future, obviously, but it’s no longer as big a priority as it used to be.

So yeah. I’m feeling pretty happy right now. Mentally over the past year I’ve become a lot more happy in myself and confident. It’s nice that that’s also being reflected to how I feel and how my body functions.

What are important things for you in terms of reaching optimal health?

How much sleep do you get?

How is January for you?

12 thoughts on “Everything is good

  1. Hurrah for gaining weight! Just a little makes such a difference to our internal running and wellbeing. I cannot let myself fall below my current weight again. All sorts of awfulness ensues.

    I must say, I’m actually enjoying being a bit lazy. And not training for a marathon for the first time in 3 years….although, Chocathon on Sunday (hurrah! Saxon Shores aren’t races. They’re just nice runs with goodie bags!).

    I need a decent 7.5 hours in bed. And most of the time I manage it. Oncall weeks are a bit of a struggle – needing to be in London for 8am, and also not necessarily getting home in time for those 7.5 hours!
    Jane recently posted…This running to heart rate malarkeyMy Profile

  2. What a happy post 🙂 I think you have a great attitude towards your next marathon- also, do you have google translate on your phone? Or something similar? Might be worth getting an app that can translate, just in case you need it? Although I would think that with the marathon, they are used to travellers from abroad so they must have systems in place (signs written in lots of languages and things like that).
    January has started off OK here- work is going well and I am trying very hard to not get too stressed- after my run last night I had a bit of work that needed doing, but it got to 8.20 and I decided to just stop, and leave it, and fit it in today somehow instead. It may not sound much but in the past I would carry on until it was done and then I wouldn’t sleep well because I hadn’t switched off. We shall see how it carries on through the year!

  3. So glad to hear that things are looking up again now and that your body has started working with you a little again. 🙂

    I am rubbish without sleep. I’ve always been a morning person and I tend to try to get to bed around 10:30pm each night, but if I go any later, I am still guaranteed to wake up somewhere between 5-5:30am. And then I’m grumpy and no fun to be around at all!
    Mary recently posted…Running – 15 weeks post babyMy Profile

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