No regrets about being selfish? Isn’t that…selfish?
I also felt very strange about writing this title, but yes, shouldn’t we all just look after ourselves sometimes?
My name is Jenna Wilkinson, and life is a little hectic (isn’t everyone’s…) but amidst the craziness, I somehow managed to find time to run and train hard. I hadn’t always wanted fast times in my running, but the more I learnt about the sport, the quicker I was getting, the stronger I was becoming, I finally committed to believing that I could run a sub 3-hour marathon.
I knew it would take commitment.
I had a coach who knew how I trained best but also who knew when I was tired (which is amazing in a coach, I’d never want someone to push me over the limit) and we communicated regularly. I had to sleep well, meaning that a 9pm bedtime felt late! Which sounds crazy for a 33-year-old woman, but I was so happy to get some rest and prioritise the recovery process, which meant saying ‘no’ to a lot of things. No after work drinks or late night dancing or birthday parties…just a cup of tea and struggling to keep my eyes open!
I tried to eat well, so a few more sacrifices were made, but only a few as who can give up chocolate and snacks?! Definitely not me! But I suppose the takeaways weren’t as regular and I was often thinking about how to get more ‘good’ calories into my system as I needed an awful lot to keep training well (protein shakes with avocado and banana seemed to work well).
So yes, training, recovery, food and strength work were a priority. I’d put it above everything else and it paid off (hello sub 3 marathon!). However, a year later, it’s all changed!
Running isn’t necessarily number one anymore, and it’s ok, it needs to happen at this point in my life. My job has become very important, I’m in a challenging new role in teaching which requires a lot of my time but I’m excited to work hard at it. My relationship and friendships need more time, and I want to give them quality time instead of a tired marathon runner who is half asleep at 8:30pm! I live away from my family too, which is hard, but it’s nice to talk about other things as no one in my family understands a training plan anyway! However, I’ll still give them a rundown on most treadmill sessions that I do!
I’m just finding a better balance at the moment, and I’m really happy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still in the gym at work most days a week and I love a parkrun and breakfast every Saturday! But right now, this is perfect, and I love it. Being a little bit selfish has worked for me, and I’m implore you to try it too, but just a little ☺
Keep moving, take a deep breath, and take it easy sometimes. Be kind to yourself.
- Muddy, hilly trail or flat road? Flat road
- Cup of tea or glass of wine? Tea…every time!
- Sea or shore? The shore
- Cat or dog? Dog
- Summer or winter? Summer, give me that sunshine.
- Fast food or fine dining? Fine dining
- Spa or massage? Massage
- Bath or shower? Bath
- Sugar or salt? Sugar
- Protein shake or fruit smoothie? Protein shake
Favourite Monty&Ridge box: The Ultimate Running Box, I love it!
Follow me on Instagram @jenna.is.running!