This post is sponsored by the Rexona–AIS #IWILLDO campaign.
Every year I claim I won’t make a new year’s resolution, and every year I change my mind at the last minute. This year, that is because I spent December eating and drinking ALL OF THE THINGS. And I didn’t move my body nearly as much as I like to, so I’m feeling sluggish, and my pants don’t fit as well as they usually do. Actually, who are we kidding – most years it’s because of that. I love December.
This is easily fixed though, and my January is going to be spent being awesome. Hooray! I have a new gym to go to, I will clean up my diet, I will set a new running goal, and I might see if I can slot a few more wine-free days into my schedule.
Now, confession time: I was poised to announce to the world that I am going to run the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015. It would have been very exciting and scary, but easily quantifiable. I would have asked you to follow along and support me in my training, and I would have kept you constantly updated through week after week of long, challenging runs. And then, when I crossed that finish line, we would have all celebrated together.
This, of course, follows the pattern of what happened when I ran my first half marathon in 2014.
For those unfamiliar with my story, I made a new year’s resolution to run a half marathon in 2011, but then instead spent the year battling postnatal depression – barely capable of getting out of bed, let alone legging it for 21.1km. I worked with my GP and a psychologist to get on top of the depression, and then went on to have my third – and final – baby, Little Red.
But all during that time, I was haunted by the Brisbane Half Marathon that I didn’t run. My husband had planned to support me by doing that run right along with me (he’s a very capable and accomplished runner with not a skerrick of doubt about his abilities). So it was a proud day when I took the children along to watch him complete the run in an incredibly fast time in 2011, but I also spent the day punishing myself for not being out there too.
I was incredibly proactive about avoiding depression when I had Little Red, and with a bit of luck thrown in, it worked. So I felt ready to finally slay that half marathon demon in 2014.
And slay it I did, in fine style. I ran the Gold Coast Half Marathon in July. Not only did I finish that sucker, I did it in under two hours. High on my own success, and figuring I should capitalise on having that great base fitness in place, I signed up to do the Brisbane Half Marathon in August. I also wanted to prove to myself that the Gold Coast wasn’t a fluke.
Now, Brisbane is a lot hillier than the Gold Coast, so it was a tougher run. But I managed it in 2 hours, one minute and one second. Great, right? But there was something in that time – tipping over the two hour mark – that made me feel awful about myself. I had been on pace to go under 2 hours the entire run, but I lost it in the final kilometre.
It really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, does it? It’s a minute and one second. Seriously. But I allowed it to matter to me enormously.
After the run, I was also without a running goal for the first time in almost a year. This left me aimless and drifting. I wasn’t getting out there as often as I’d like, and I wasn’t running as far as I had. This left me feeling anxious, and that anxiety meant I ran even less.
My mate Danielle likes to call this “the suck back”. Sure, you can go out and achieve great things, but beware the suck back that will leave you foundering and feeling crappy. You know that feeling?
So here I am, poised to take on a new year. Like James Brown, I’m coming back from the suck back now, but I do worry that if I run a marathon, the suck back could be MASSIVE. So here’s my new year’s resolution for now: learn to love running again, and get back out there three times a week. I will also register for a shorter run in the next few months and just see how I go.
And that marathon? It will happen – watch this space.
What do you want to achieve in 2015? If you want great support in hitting that goal, you can hit the Rexona–AIS I WILL DO page and register your goal. You’ll be inspired by Adam Goodes and the AIS ambassadors, receive email support and join a supportive community in social media, cheering each other on along the way.
So spill, what are your resolutions for this year? Or if you don’t do them, why not?