In Switzerland I faced a constant struggled with poor mental health. Covid, isolation, lockdown combined with work and family stresses combined to form some rough moments. There were tears a few times as the worst of it got the best of me, but by and by I made my way. And Switzerland was so wonderful, every day, lest I forget! :) There was so much to do in an outdoors that was so easy to reach, whatever the part of the country it was that caught my attention.
Coming back to Ireland has been rough. Sarah is my only tie to the country. She’s the brightest of stars in the darkest of times. There isn’t anything for me in Ireland beyond Sarah, and beyond (almost literally) the walls of our house. There is no public transport. There is nowhere to run except on roads shared with drivers. The ditches and lanes around are full of illegally-dumped trash. I feel so little in common with the other Irish people. My earning potential relative to the cost and quality of living are are lower than on the continent. I have no ties in Ireland beyond Sarah. Even the local running club orients itself toward short-distance track-and-race work, whereas I run endurance distances.
Put simply: Ireland isn’t home. I don’t know where it will be found, but this isn’t it.
Look – I’m not saying these things to bitch and whinge, but to get across that they sit heavy on me. Sarah and I work through things little by little. With winter and lockdown on us anyways, there isn’t anywhere for me to run off to right now.
Every day I remind myself that I’m with someone I love dearly, and blessed with the freedom of a sabbatical that allows me to fully enjoy every one of them. This is great.
Other things are good. I have the time to reset my running training with the most amazing Training for the Uphill Athlete. The book has shown me that the cycle of training up for a race has stunted my ability to comfortably run long distances. What I should do – and am, now – is to train evenly to raise my base. If you want to run a marathon, read Training for the Uphill Athlete.
Once a week I have a German lesson with a tutor, and I do my best to practice the language every day. (Sinds eine Monat habe ich in Irland wohnen. Jeden Tag studiere ich Deutch. Ich renne auch. Obwohl vermisse ich der Schweiz, ich bin gluecklich mit Sarah. Heute wir zusammen gekochen.)