THREE months ago I decided to stop training as much, and instead focus on my writing projects. I set myself the challenge of completing the first draft of my book. I knew my fitness would suffer, but in order to achieve my writing ambitions it had to be done.
That was back in December. Since then, I’ve cobbled together 80,000 words of my book, completed a short story course, and had two pieces of writing accepted for publication in magazines and anthologies.
I have written during my lunch hour at work, in the evenings after work, at weekends, and even used my daily commute to think about scenes. It has been a slow and frustrating process where I regularly doubted myself. But I have done it, and I can’t help but feel a little bit proud. The book is a long way from being published, but I have material that can be re-written, edited, and whipped into shape.
The only problem now is that I am 10 pounds heavier than when I started, and have lost so much fitness that I’m not sure if I could run for a bus, never mind the half marathon that I’m signed up to.
Trying to see the positives, I have managed to squeeze a few runs and spinning classes into my writing schedule. I haven’t raced, or done any speed work or tempo running. I’ve stepped out of the local running scene, so much so that my friends have asked if I’ve completely lost interest.
I haven’t. I love running. It is, and hopefully always will be, a big part of my life. But right now, writing and completing my Master’s degree has to take priority. I have tried to be one of those people who manage to juggle a million and one things and do everything well, but bloody hell, it was hard. Trying to bash out a book, whilst hammering the training for a sub-40 10km, working full-time, getting up at 5am, and looking after my various pets, was only going to end in exhaustion. There was even a night where I fell asleep eating dinner.
For my own health and wellbeing, I had to make a change. That’s where the three-month writing challenge came in. I’ve achieved what I wanted to, and although I’ve lost fitness, it’s really not the end of the world. With a bit of hard work and dedication, I’m sure it will come back.