Running on Empty

Attention: Wordy Post Ahead…..

Two of my Thirty Before 30 involve running. Running is something I’ve fairly recently taken up and no one was more surprised that I to find that I actually enjoy it. While I’m never going to be a competitive runner, nor am I going to be ready for a marathon quite yet, there is something about tying up my trainers and pounding the treadmill or pavement that I have grown to love.

Recently, I have not been able to go running (due to the weather being truly awful) and I decided to right this wrong a few weeks ago, following work, and go for a little run around the streets where I live. Admittedly, I was still suffering from a bad cold (big freeze, anyone?) and had not eaten a particularly huge amount that day so it was probably somewhat ambitious of me to assume a run would be a good idea! My body soon confirmed this for me and I lasted a whole 10 mins before having to give up and wheeze my way home. Turns out sufficient lung capacity is an important thing when you are running – who knew?!

I was effectively ‘running on empty’.

While running on empty physically is something that is easily righted with some TLC, vitamin C, hot drinks and being a little gentler with myself, I’ve realised that there are other aspects of my life where I am ‘running on empty’.

I’ve been running on empty in my daily work and my job. This empty feeling that comes every morning when my alarm goes off in the morning is so very draining. I used to look forward to going to work, to making a difference, to laughing with those I work with. Within my current employment there is a significant element that is missing – something that I need in order to feel some level of job satisfaction. Right now, my daily working life feels like a grind – something that I (luckily) have not experienced before and something I will fully admit I am not comfortable with. I’ll admit it – I miss being a teacher. I miss working daily with children and families. I miss laughing with the children I taught, and I miss how much they would teach me every day just by being the amazing, curious, wide-eyed little creatures that they are.

Waking up in the morning and looking forward to my day – whatever it may hold – is what I need.

I’ve been running on empty socially. When I moved back to the UK from my life I had spent four years building in Prague,  I  left a large part of my social circle out in the international world. Working in an international school is an amazing experience, but it also leaves your closest social circle scattered across the globe. Upon moving back to the UK, I was returning to friends who had, of course, moved on with their lives. I moved in with one of my best friends. But she also had four years of a life built up here – four years that I left behind. Making friends in a cold, grey city like I live is difficult. My friends are scattered across the globe, or a minimum of 100 miles away at the other end of my country. I miss my friends and need them around.

My boyfriend is 100 miles away and I miss him all the time. We’ve been together for over two years, and known each other for nearly 8 years. Long distance has been taking it’s toll and I hate that I can’t just pop round to see him after my working day is done. We’re working our way back to each other but it feels like it is taking forever.

It might take something more drastic than some TLC, hot drinks and eating properly to change things in the other aspects of my life. But it is possible.

I was ‘running on empty’ physically when I attempted my run – so I made a conscious choice to change this. I built myself up, got healthy again and I am back to being able to run 5k without collapsing. As a result, I’m feeling in control again.

Now to apply that same drive for change to other aspects of my life…..

3 thoughts on “Running on Empty

  1. This post was really inspirational. I’m a 50 something would be runner who has had illness, bereavement and bad weather get in the way of not just running, but life generally. Today the sun is shining, and while I recognise I am still too ill to run, your post has made me realise that I can get on with other stuff that has been holding me back. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for your lovely comment – I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect to inspire! I hope you find the strength to keep on going – sometimes just the decision to try again can be the hardest part.
    Thank you for reading!

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