2015 was a year of two halves. In my mind’s eye it looks like a child’s drawing of a mountain: the first half going up towards a glorious peak; the second half plummeting back down to rock bottom.
So where did it all go wrong?
The rational answer is, it didn’t. In fact, it all went right, exactly as I’d hoped and planned it would – it just stopped feeling right, and that’s when everything changed. Back in July, I wrote about my plan to banish the post-marathon blues, and I promised an update the very next week. The update never came. That’s because I was wrong: I didn’t have post-marathon blues; I had early pregnancy blues and, as the pregnancy hormones gathered pace, the blues very quickly deepened into an all-consuming pit of depression and apathy that felt both frightening and debilitating. That state of black despair, combined with nearly four months of nausea, headaches, back pain and utter exhaustion, meant that the second half of 2015 felt like a pretty terrible place to be – despite the fact that, in reality, nothing was going wrong.
Not liking pregnancy – really not liking it at all – has been hard to admit, even to myself. I know that I am lucky and privileged to be carrying what I hope is a healthy, thriving baby. This is a planned pregnancy – my second – and I’m looking forward to welcoming our little girl into our family. That’s the big picture. But for days, weeks and months last year I felt physically and emotionally wretched, at odds with my own mind and body, unable to take an interest or pleasure in anything other than sleep – and I found that very difficult to deal with.
This post isn’t about self pity, though – quite the reverse. Looking back, I see that 2015 has given me a lot to celebrate: it’s just that I lost sight of much of that during some of the tough times in the second half of the year. So, this is about reclaiming 2015 as a Good Year! Here goes:
15 highlights of 2015
- Conquering my fear of water to take up open water swimming (in Scotland, in winter – 5 degrees in the loch, brrr!);
- Conquering my fear of heights to try both rock and ice climbing for the very first time (and loving every minute!);
- Completing my first-ever triathlon at Keswick Mountain Festival, and recording the highs and lows as part of the KMF blogging team;
- Completing my first post-baby ultramarathon, the Kintyre Way 35;
- Completing the LDWA’s excellent 23-mile winter challenge event, That’s Lyth;
- Running and navigating my way round the 22-mile Spring in Lakeland, another challenge event from the LDWA;
- Launching my own brand of outdoor fitness classes in Glasgow;
- Becoming a regional ambassador for Hoka One One;
- Completing the Mont Blanc Marathon and crossing the finish line hand in hand with the fabulous Ryan Scott;
- Returning to Talloires beside Lake Annecy – the finest spot on earth;
- Buying and beginning to renovate our very own ‘Escape to the Country’ – a home on the doorstep of the West Highland Way;
- Finding my Flow with the inspirational Flow Coacher (more on this to follow …)
- Co-hosting the inaugural Glasgow Trailrunning Festival Pop-Up event;
- Becoming pregnant with our second child;
- Spending a magical and restorative Christmas in our new home with Ryan and our two year old son.
So, with what’s starting to look like a pretty positive year behind me, and my bout of antenatal depression hopefully consigned to the past, I’ll be setting off into 2016 with as much of a spring in my stride as a 6-month pregnant woman can manage. I don’t know what the future will hold this year – but I do know that it’s going to be an adventure!