The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse*

It has been an exhausting week, which is why this entry is being written on a Monday instead of over the weekend. It started out well-ish, with work and training and a vague semblance of a social life all fitting together ok. I was a bit smug about how well my planning was working out, actually.

On the training front I was feeling pretty good – all ‘Yeah, another five months like this and I’m well away!” But then Thursday onwards was just a slow deterioration of training ability and by Sunday I accepted that I needed sleep, lots of sleep, and no training run. I made an apple pie instead, and we cooked Sunday dinner for our current house guest (an unexpected, but welcome, arrival who is a friend of a friend) and a friend who lives nearby and is also in training for a marathon.

It’s been an education, trying to fit together training, work, a social life and just the everyday basics of things like cooking dinner and doing the washing up. I think for the past few weeks I’ve been pretty good at balancing everything, but something will have to give – or I need to go to bed earlier more often (she says, tapping away at the keyboard at 10 p.m. and mentally listing what I need to pack for a 6 a.m. start while this entry starts to go round and round in circles).

It was easier (though the guilt levels were higher) when Coffee Monster wasn’t also in training and I selfishly let him pick up much of the slack, as he’s also done during my lower points. And, you know, generally, because I’m a messy person. Now we’re both training, and trying to fit everything round it. It can be very tiring. I look forward to times where all the exercise makes me energetic and perky, and all the effort is a pleasure rather than just pain. I am also pleased that CM is training as well. One of the first articles I ever read on triathlon was a not-so-tongue-in-cheek article that talked about the time commitment and mentioned that triathletes have a fairly high divorce rate because they get sucked into the sport (no, really?) and their relationships suffer. I’m lucky in that CM is getting more active himself, and also in that his view of what I do with my time was summed up this weekend: “I think you’re mad for doing this, but I’m proud of you for being so mad.” (Not spot on – I have a bad memory for quotes – but that was basically it).

I wish quite desperately that I lived somewhere more rural at the moment, though. Not through any rose-tinted view of Surrey, or whatever – I grew up in the country. I spent a fair amount of time on hills and in fields. We moved when I was eight and had this just down the road from my house:

Once upon a time, this was home sweet home.

I was fairly active until about 13, and then teenaging kicked in, and that was that on the exercise front. I gained weight, ducked PE classes where possible, ate too much, moved not very much. I climbed a bit at university, tried running, it didn’t stick. So the irony is that I didn’t get off the couch until I moved to London. The city got me moving more than all the green space in the world did. Now, though, after a Christmas spent surrounded by hills and quiet roads, what I wouldn’t give for safer roads to cycle on (I remain terrified of cycling on London’s roads), and more easily accessible fields and trails to run on. Probably less easy access to swimming, though, unless we were by the sea. Part of me really wants to move away from here now. It’s been five years. Maybe I’ve had enough, now.

But on the other hand… on the other hand, I love London. On better days than today, I love my job, and I have good friends, and there’s so much to see and do, and I’m not sure I could cope with the isolation of living somewhere smaller. When I’m not irate, I enjoy the crowds and the people-watching and very definitely the anonymity.  This weekend alone (friends, food, neighbourhood snowball fights) makes me want to stay. It’s something to keep thinking about, anyway.

Where would you prefer to live, given the choice?

*The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

One thought on “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse*

  1. Yeah, I’m looking at my upcoming marathon training schedule and realizing that pretty much everything BUT those long runs – and the subsequent recovery – are going to have to take not just a back seat but a different vehicle starting in about September!


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