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…
If anything in life becomes an obsession it changes everything; friendships, relationships and ones own perspective on what it is your doing. Training is a fine balance between workouts, recovery, achieving goals and a life balance. My advice to anyone who is finding this mix difficult is to remember a couple of important principles; listen to those you trust. Ensure your goals are realistic. Fuel your body. Recovery equals gains. And if you are short on time, use interval sessions and bodyweight circuits. Good luck Charlie. Happy Wedding wishes.
Thanks Simon, totally agree. Balance seems to be the key to happiness!!
I’m glad to know someone else struggles with finding time to run while out with their non-runner friends. Very few people that I hang out with enjoy exercising as much as I do and it can be a struggle to balance the group fun with my version of fun. Luckily I am an early riser and can manage to shove in a workout prior to everyone else getting up. How do you deal with friends who don’t have the same nutritional focus as you do? I am trying to lose a few pounds and I get a lot of pressure from friends to eat more, drink more, etc. Do you have any tips for dealing with situations like that?
That is such a tough one as I actually have been guilty of it myself – I think it stems from a feeling of guilt from the people pressuring you, they don’t want to feel like the only ones making ‘poor’ choices. I used to do it when I order a burger and a friend orders a salad, I sometimes change my order or say something about their choice, until I realised I was doing it. My top tips have been – look at the menu before you go and make your food choice before anyone can influence your choice, then order first (so you can’t be swayed). In terms of drinking, I often drive nowadays so I have the perfect excuse as it doesn’t get the response that an early run receives. Make sensible choices when drinking, opting for lower calorie drinks like Prosecco rather than wine, and vodka soda or G & slimline tonic. Maybe just explain to them that you’re trying to slim down and actually would appreciate their support – see if anyone wants to be accountability buddies or something? Hope that helps!!
these are such cute photos!!! my bachelorette seems quite similar! my bridesmaids had a yoga instructor come to the house and it was lovely to see everyone give the activities a try!
I remember reading your post on that! Sounded so awesome!
This is such an important post. I’m a big believer in living a healthy lifestyle in the sense of balancing exercise, nutrition, mental health, and social health. If any of those areas are causing problems with the other, is it really healthy? If exercise is causing problems in relationships (that are otherwise healthy; this can be a tricky area) or you’re so stressed about your diet and eating healthy, it might be time to reevaluate what’s really important to you. It’s hard with social media because there’s so much about “no excuses” and “making the time even if it means getting up at 4am”, which is true to an extent but everyone is different and needs to do what’s best for them. Loved reading your take on this!
Thank you – I can fall into that trap of social media making it look like other people are managing to balance it all, so why can’t I… and then I literally start falling apart because I need to SLEEP! But social media also helps motivate me to run when I don’t want to! The good and bad 🙂 xx Thanks for reading!
Yes, balanced life very important. Slow down! Good vlog. G.
Your hen party looked so fun! I can’t beleive you went for a run! You have a good group of girlfriends! Will you do a wedding day run? When I got married 4 years ago, I did a run with one of my bridesmaids! That was fun!
Wow. I never actually thought about this before. For more than the past decade it’s always just been me. I have one IRL friend and she’s not a runner. I’ve always run on my own, and I’ve never even thought what it must be like to schedule any running, let alone marathon training around a social life, job, school, etc. I guess it most certainly is far easier when you have no one to worry about but yourself. But you’ve given me something to think about, in case my life circumstances change!
What a fun weekend! Glad you are allowing yourself to make changes as needed. Balance is so important!
Thanks for sharing.
One missed 8-mile run is nothing in the grand scheme of marathon training. I would bet you’ll be even stronger on this weekend’s LR since you had the time off last week. Special life events are always more important than a run-of-the-mill training run. Best wishes on your upcoming wedding!
I find it really hard to find the balance. I have a young family and feel guilty for wanting to take time out to exercise and train for marathons etc. But then it is the exercise that helps me cope with family life which can be pretty full on at times! 🙂