Running Again

#writeandrun31
Day 27

I am stuck for words today. I think it might be because I haven’t stopped talking from 0800 – 1810.

I’ve spoken to Joe and it seems his exam went okay! We’ll find out his results tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed. Remember, depending on how well Joe has done today, he’ll be ranked and that’ll ultimately determine where we can move to in Summer!

In fact, it was because I was asking every question imaginable about the exam that I missed the 1800 spin class so gingerly got on the treadmill. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the treadmill today as it was the first time for, what?, two weeks? A little longer, maybe? I didn’t even have my running shoes, just gym trainers.

I needed to do something and the pool just didn’t tickle my fancy. I wanted to feel the sweat dripping down my cheeks and stinging my eyes. I started at a reasonable pace to complete my 20 minute Tempo run and reached 3.55km, a relatively respectful distance, actually. It was a comfortable run, too.

But I couldn’t help notice the 6 girls surrounding me. That is, 3 pairs of girls. Six treadmills is a lot when there are, say. 20 in total. I wouldn’t object if they were working out, but to just non committedly jog-walk-hold on is a little bit of a waste, no? They continued their workouts on the stretching area to do ‘circuits’. It was a snug jumble of legs, squats and dumbbells. I’m not sure how it all worked, really. I untangled myself from their web (I unconsciously got wrapped in) to hit the shower.

I think tonight will be a movie with an Options hot chocolate. I’m desperate for a chocolate fix today so choosing the healthier option. It’s lucky Joe didn’t leave chocolate or biscuits hidden in the house because I would’ve needed to tear through everything to find them, and I’m already in pyjamas so not bracing the Aberdonian dark night.

Remember to indulge yourself this week. Plan it in to ensure you give yourself that treat.

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Cold Runnings

#writeandrun31
Day 21

Social media exploded last night with running in cold weather. To prove me right or to contradict me, who am I to judge? But I’m still undeniably against running outside in such extremities. These guys, however, seem to relish the cold, snowy days and the unique runs they offer. They boast about muscle seizing and lungs bursting because of the cold.

There are even organised races for those crazy people who enjoy pushing their limits in below zero conditions. I don’t know, unless you live in an area that’s like that (and no, Aberdeen’s annual -2C doesn’t count) and so there’s no other way (there’s always a treadmill, but anything over 5K get boring for me) to run, then it’s ludicrous.

I’ve already admitted that I’m a seasonal cyclist and I’m ok with that. There’s absolutely no way you’ll get me out when there’s any ice on the road. Not only is it dangerous for club runs, it’s also dangerous going solo. If you have a slip or skid and get badly hurt on isolated aberdeenshire roads, you’re stuffed. Hello hypothermia. But I love running outside when it is a cold, crisp day. There’s nothing better than running with a low sun, sunglasses on and wrapped up. But, have you ever come back from a cold run and your skin is a patchwork of bright orange and pinks that sting so bad? Well, this blog suggests that’s us just one step away from frost bite. Is that reason number one to move somewhere hot? Mmmm… yes, please.

writeandrun31
Day 21
A cold is working on me. I feel it under my skin and in my nose. So it is difficult not to discourage myself from getting active today, but I realise not exercising could become a habit when feeling slightly under the weather. Nothing hurts, I’ve had enough sleep and I ate my weight in pizza last night, so I’m well fuelled on carbs. I’m now faced with a question: rest day or lazy day? Last night was a peaceful swim, the day before Body Pump and before that, rest day. So today, I’m just being lazy… time for spin!

Batman
Joe has me hooked onto a podcast called This American Life. It’s a weekly, hour long podcast which chooses different themes per week and puts together different stories. It’s a unique format that they say is

like movies for radio. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It has to be surprising. It has to be fun.

This week is about a guy who doesn’t feel blind, but is medically diagnosed as blind. He has learned to construct the world around him using echo location through clicking using his tongue. He has had an interesting life, where his mum was marginalised by society for encouraging her son to develop socially unacceptable habits (the clicking) to help him trust his senses and navigate. Even as a child, he would ride his bike and climb trees.

Untameable Hair
Whispy and tucked into my scarf… It’s cold!

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Sore Squats

#writeandrun31
Day 20

I was wondering yesterday just how many people have given up their resolutions now we’re in the full swing of January, or at least struggling to keep to them now routine has seeped in and the Festive period is over. I certainly am finding it difficult, especially the last couple of days.

I had a sick bug on Sunday so spent most of the day in bed sleeping it off, although Joe took me out later so we could walk together in the snow. It would’ve been very romantic if my tummy wasn’t so sore! But it was magical with the snowflakes falling on us but I chose not to do any exercise that day!

writeandrun31
Day 19 & 20
Yesterday though I was back to normal and in Body Bump! I even managed to put my weights up! Sweat was dripping off my elbows for most of the routines. I was a bit unsure of Release 92 at he start of the year, but I’m enjoying now that I know the choreography and knowing which weight to use when.

Squat weight is tough again. When I first started weights, I had a Personal Trainer so I’ve only ever known proper posture. So, with my new weight and keeping good posture, it’s difficult to squat really low. But it’s awesome because it’s definitely something to work on and I’m looking forward to every low bum, sore hammies, sweat pouring squat.

But, oh my goodness, for the first time in months, I’m feeling it today! My legs are tight! Which can only mean one thing… Today’s swim and sauna stretch to loosen them off! Tuesday night at the pool is a treat. The lights are off and all the boys are very pretty… But they know it! Three boys joined my in the sauna and all they could talk about was “gym farting” (way TMI) and who had the bigger muscles, then they were replaced by a trio of slightly more mature guys who were flexing their muscles, too!

What is about people who take the gym so seriously?! I’m lucky if my clothes are remotely coordinated! Nevertheless, my shins are getting better through rest and ice but I’m definitely going to leave off running until next week at least.

I’m a (running) addict
Especially when I’m not in tip top shape, all I can think about is running. I came across this list of reasons you know you’re addicted to running. Many are true to me, but I do believe numbers 17 (running on holiday) and 18 (too embarrassed to go for a pedicure) are most relevant to me. Running around a city when you’re on a business trip or holiday is a great way to explore a city by foot, but is quicker than walking.

I passed 4 runners today…4!! The layer of snow had turned to ice overnight and most pavements now resemble ice rinks. Jogging today, no matter how wrapped up you are is one sure way to saying hello to a cheeky little injury.

Raw Veganuary
If only everywhere was as sunny and warm as this vegan’s life! I’d love to be able to fuel up on purely veggies and fruits, but it is a little too chilly to be eating cold foods on Aberdeen! Maybe I should invest in vegan clothing to keep me warm as I eat my chilled salad? Unfortunately, Veganuary for me finished a little while ago. While I dream of going back to vegan I’m just not sure it’s the right time for me. We’re in Israel for 10 day of February, so if I’m eating vegan there, I’ll continue on for the rest of the month. Promise.

Untameable Hair
Furiously wild today. Body Pump finished at 7pm last night and I was being picked up at 7.30pm as I mark a popular local pub quiz every fortnight. It was a very quick (and cold!) shower, hair wash and toasted bagel! So my hair dried naturally into a wonderful frizz!

Magic Beans

#writeandrun31
Day17

I (re)downloaded Twitter and Instagram today. Not because I have the urge to share even more of my life than what I already do blogging, but because of a faulty gift. Joe brought me a Magic Bean Can by Tiger Stores. After unsuccessfully searching for an email, I took to Twitter because who wants their company publicly slated? In this day and age, we are all too aware of how social media can not only enhance but manipulate public image.

Well, my Magic Bean Can (the size of a small, hotel-sized soda can) was tipped onto the desk (only a little dust went on Joe’s study books) and the hunt was on for my magic bean. Carefully sifting through the gold-leaf-look-a-like soil and anticipation high, I was searching for my little bean with a heart shape motive. My heart sank when I used a teaspoon to put the soil, bit by bit, back into the 250ml can and I hadn’t found my bean.

Why wasn’t it there? I wanted to know. The instructions said to empty contents, repack, push bean 1cm into soil and water every 3 days. But how could magic grow without my bean!? So, I took to Twitter to find out! 1hour later and they want my address to send me my magic bean!

writeandrun31
Day 17
I tried a very slow jog on the treadmill for 3 minutes to test my shin splints. I didn’t last 2 and I could honestly cry out of desperation to get back into power-gear-go! So before breakfast, I treated myself ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Very chilly!

I went to Run for It yesterday to ask about treatments. I felt embarrassed explaining that I might have pushed too fast too quickly (but I was enjoying it)! I saved face by saying I’m icing, stretching, cross training and foam rolling every day. They only had Skinz shin compressors, but I’ve also been recommended by Alan another, bulkier wrap, which helped for him. I’m not convinced. I know I need total rest from running just now, but are these things not preventers rather than treatment? They’re too pricey if they’re not going to help.

Untameable Hair
Crazy, fluffy and unclaspable from Body Pump last night. It was a quick shower because we were going out so I decided to leave washing my hair to today. Big mistake. Not even dry shampoo can thwart it from becoming ever more uncontrollable.

Starbucks Dining Hall

#writeandrun31
Day 16

Starbucks seems to be the local School Dining Hall. Chips and cheese included. After a Barista asked them relatively politely to leave the girls sat down again. A group of girls, likely 2nd years, are bad news when they start to jeer each other along. They’re loud, rude and a bit of a nuisance by disturbing the relaxing atmosphere.

They returned 10 minutes later. They’d obviously finished their delightful main course and now each grasping 1L bottles of Lucazade for desert and pinging elastic bands at a group of 4 geeky boys in the back. Their afternoon teachers are going to be psyched to have this bunch of caffeinated and carb-overloaded giggling girls in their class.

You’ve no idea how hard it was to suppress my inner teacher.

Medical WAG
I recently wrote about my experience being the partner of an Anaesthetist. This morning joe came home after a week of nights, exhausted as he tumbled onto bed fully dressed, eyes closing. I had to wake him up to get him into his pyjamas. I missed him last night. At the start of the week, it’s exciting to have the house to myself. I usually read, take a bath, paint my nails and watch a film. It’s a strange feeling because I think I stay up late because I want to be surrounded by his things. By Thursday night, I just want him home. I’m wearing his pyjamas, cuddling his childhood toy and I miss sleepy conversation, so I climb next to him in the middle of the day (his night time) just to get my cuddle fix. Is that sad? Too much information? Or, cute?

writeandrun31
Day 16
I’m booked in for Body Pump tonight and you have my word that I will go!… I won’t be sleeping through it! Combining running and blogging for my resolution has made me make a commitment to get out there and it’s a huge motivator! Its a huge motivator not to take lazy days… I had good intentions yesterday!)! But I still think it’s important to know when it’s important to rest (lack of sleep, pain, dizziness) and recognise when I am just feeling lazy (I’ll go get to go to the sauna afterwards and have a Kinder Bueno). Jen pretty much summarises it in her blog.

Ps. Treadmill
I’m really missing the treadmill! I was reading 21 fantastic reasons why it’s the best here. Turns out, I’m not the only one who takes a sneak peak at the treadmill next to me to see who’ running faster…! I fell a little less guilty now… Let the treadmill races begin!

Untameable
I’m enjoying tender no to my hair after the gym so my hair is still sitting quite nicely today. Wavy and shimmering red in the sun!

The Nuer Didn’t Have Shin Splints

#writeandrun31
Day12

True to form, after a weekend filled with Joe studying, he’s on Night Shift until Friday morning in the Intensive Care Unit negates a whopping 13 hour shift of making decisions that will keep patients alive. He’s manage to text once already, a quick hello to check in with me after the gym, saying that tonight will be busy.

Ethnography
I received a long awaited parcel in the post recently; The Nuer by E. E. Evans Pritchard. I first ‘met’ the Nuer during my undergraduate degree in Social Anthropology at the University of St. Andrews and I’ve been dying to get my inquisitive hands on the ethnography. I’m suspicious that it’s no longer being published, but it’s a must for any SocAnth student, and my copy has come from J. Evans of UCL. VERY exciting. I’ve no idea who he (she) is, but I love the idea of a book having a life history. Who loved it before I do? Did they carry it everywhere, was it studied, read in the morning and at night?

The Nuer fascinate me in particular because of the interconnection between ecology and their culture is fascinating (they were cattle pastoralists, influence high sneaked into their labels for humans!) and then they were somewhat more resistant to British dominance than other people’s. The British needed Evans Pritchard to help them understand and thus gain control over this reluctant group, and his ethnography reads explicitly for that purpose.

writeandrun31
Day 12
I had a great Body Pump tonight! True to my promise, I promised myself to cross train and so pushed myself hard with the weights tonight. It was a different instructor than usual, which was a pity because I really like Monday night’s instructor!!

But I broke my promise. Knowing Joe wouldn’t be waiting for me at home, I thought I’d give the treadmill a try. Silly, I know. I think I shattered my shins. I was going to stop at 10 minutes, but I was distracted by the football on the telly, so decided I’d stop at 15 minutes, but by then, I thought I might as well keep going. I did refrain from bumping up the speed every few minutes, so totalled a 3.54km run in 20 minutes.

Untameable Hair
Wanting to keep the silky smoothness from yesterday’s date, I didn’t wash it until after the gym. Rather it’s been tied up all day! Not bad.

Character Building

#writeandrun31
Day 8

The #writeandrun31 resolution comes from No Meat Athlete, a remote group/club for anyone who has chosen a meat- free lifestyle. For Joe’s birthday last year, I bought us matching No Meat Athlete running shirts. You can see the front in the photo and it says “Run on Plants” on the back. Tres cool, right? They’re an awesome bunch and their facebook page is rife with inspiration from meat free athletic writers! Or, if you’re into podcasts, they have a podcast or two you might be interested. Joe loves podcasts and listens to them on his walk to work or in the car. Anyway, the team are a really positive feed to have in your life if you’re into that kind of thing.

Writing
I embarked on something relatively scary for me. I started an online Writing Fiction course today. Lesson One was character building, in two meanings of the phrase. Yes, I studied the ideal method, autobiographical and biographical methods but I also faced the first step in my long journey to becoming a ‘real’ author. Now, many would argue that by getting my thoughts on paper and assembling them in a climatic and thought provoking way, I become an author, but you know what I mean… I mean to be published. My ideal is not to become a mass producing, best selling author (although how awesome would that be?), but I’d love to write and publish children’s books. To have hardback copies to read to my children.

I stumble at the start, though. My thoughts can be tangled as my untameable hair and I have loads of ideas for stories, but I just can’t fix my characters, which is why I en older in my new class.

#writeandrun31
If only I was as focused writing as I am when on the treadmill. I’m loving my 20 minute tempo runs and pushed myself hard today, reaching 3.65km. I started faster than usual and at 12 minutes I had a moment when I thought I just couldn’t continue. But I pushed through. I was determined to see through the next character building 8 minutes because I was only going to get faster. Wowcha! My uncertain shins are crying out to be saved so I might swap my trainers for cleats and hop on the bike. The weather isn’t good in Aberdeen for a satisfying ride so I am most likely to hop on the spin bike. Although, I spotted a new Friday night body pump class at the gym, and go h would be good strengthening exercise for my legs. I might just call the gym now, actually and book in.

Dog Sitting
A (cycling and running) friend has her parents’ dog staying from tonight for a week. He’s a beautiful, 3yo black miniature poodle and I’m looking after him tomorrow. Just so he’s not allowed be on his first day in the Granite City! We’ll get to the beach and I’ll hopefully grab a photo of him to show you tomorrow.

Holidaying
We’ve booked our flights and will be packing our bags in a couple of weeks for a mystical journey to Israel. I imagine it to be completely sublime, and Joe deserves a treat after studying hard for his exam at the end of the month.

Untameable Hair
Hair is windswept and frizzy. All normal.

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Bag Groper and Tempo Runs

#writeandrun31
Day 3

“Erm, Kirsty? What’s that on your pizza?”
[bewildered pause] “Uh… olives?”
“No, the other one”
“DAMN IT!”

Joe and I love olives so I was absolutely dumbfounded when he asked what seemed a very obvious question. I know you don’t know me well yet, but my face can make all kinds of strange expressions that would make a yawning lion jealous of. So, why didn’t he know they were olives? Oh, wait, Veganuary. A Fresh Resolution, squandered on a grab-a-quick-pizza after studying. Cue the appropriately disappointed face.

Vegan to Veggie
Let me explain one thing. When I chose to stop eating meat, I went vegan right from the start. I change cleaning products and make up, too because I was moving to Aberdeen and I so happened to replenish my make up bag (not that I wear a lot, or often). Being vegan felt natural and was a great adventure. I researched why I was vegan and had a great time exploring new ingredients and recipes. But then I had a tonsillectomy and craving yoghurt and work, as you know from yesterday’ spots got overwhelming so I stopped taking as much care for my wants and it was easier to slip.

On top of that, I met Joe, the kindest person I know, and he’s veggie, too! Great! A veggie boyfriend! He’s a doctor (swoon). But this cheeky little fact means that he discourages veganism because of health reasons. What does he know, eh? But I won’t turn my blog into reasons for and against veganism. The only people who want to read about that are, in fact, vegans. Trust me, I know.

Anyway, since I slipped yesterday in one my resolutions, I’ve decided not to feel guilty. That’s the kind of thing I would have been caught up in a few months back. A simple, yet promising sign that I’m battling my lurid depression. So, today was a new, vegan day and I plan to continue that way!

The Sims 3
I’m unashamedly obsessed with The Sims 3 for Xbox360, but I’m too embarrassed to share exactly how many hours I sat playing it today (over 5). Long enough to watch Sparrow have a baby, watch her grow up and graduate before haunting her family then disappear altogether!

#writeandrun31
My calves have been tingling all day after tearing up Aberdeen’s pavements yesterday. Please don’t mention that slumped in The Sims seat for 7 hours will not have helped!! It’s incredibly icy tonight so I opted for a tempo run: 20 minutes on the treadmill. How far can I run? Today, 3.42km. Respectable, right? I could’ve pushed harder, but I was so aware of my calves.

I enjoy my tempo runs and feel great when I work out. They’re exhausting and simultaneously exhilarating. Running outside makes me feel free, cycling, unstoppable (it’s either the Lycra or powerful legs!), body pump, strong, equal and treadmill tempo runs make me feel dedicated.

Bag Groper
The infamously loud locker room lady was back tonight. I came out of the shower (well, to be honest, I actually heard her whilst I was in the shower, full power, washing my hair) and her favourite locker is indeed underneath mine. Tonight, though, I started wondering why our paths continue to cross? Last night she loudly announced that she was speaking to the owner of a very nice lighting studio in town. And today she bellowed across the communal wooden bench that this woman owns the new flour shop and she’ll be busy over Valentines.

Is this loud, blond bobbed haired little lady my guardian angel who is influencing my life? Should I take a leap and befriend her? What else might she bring my way?

Untameable Hair
This evening, I’m going for a deep conditioned look. So after washing it, I condition and let my hair dry naturally. One may say my hair is au natural, but frizz-come-wave is a more realistic description.

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Dedicated

#writesndrun31
Day2

I woke up with the familiar anxious feeling in my tummy. I don’t know what was troubling me as I don’t have anything obvious to worry about. But that’s the torturous nature of the beast named depression.

I’ve been focusing on finding my lost confidence and self esteem, and I’ve definitely nicely made a lot of progress. I took a courageous step to leave my job after it damaged my self belief then became too overwhelming. I had gone to work knowing if be assaulted and not have the support of my Management Team. The latter being tougher than anything else.

Now, each day I do something that makes me happy and focus on myself. I want to be truly happy with myself again, which is why I made my Fresh Resolutions (yesterday’s blog).

#writeandrun31
Today’s 6K run was TOUGH! Aberdeen is renowned for its wicked weather, but today’s seemed dastardly and it chose to make my run a challenge. Challenge accepted. I am dedicated to my resolutions and knew that I had to get my kicks on and just get out. Luckily, by the time I got out the big blobs of sleet that had been thrown from the sky held off. Nevertheless, every time I turned right and started uphill I faced a headwind. Dedicated. Joy swept over my asthmatic puffs when I came to the long, sweeping downhill. As I picked up my torso and heels flicking back, I should’ve been flying down that road. Alas, that headwind had resurfaced with a vengeance. All I was thinking was “keep up my pace”. I did and it felt great.

Dedicated
It’s now late afternoon and I’m still feeling good after my run. I’ve also married off my Sim and help her achieve goals, achievements and mega promotions at work.

I’ve never been a video gamer (until two days ago) but I think I’ll take a lead out of her book. If I’m dedicated to my Fresh Resolutions, I’ll be on my way to a good writing habit and smashing my duathlon.

Untameable Hair
A light frizz at the ends. Oh, well, okay then. Big frizz and a little more than just the ends.

Strange Touching
As I was getting changed after yesterday’s Body Pump class, a woman, who I don’t know, but recognise from the gym, was talking to someone else. She abruptly stopped mid sentence, reached out into my open locker door (I had been putting moisturiser on my face) and touched my bag to know the designer. I’m pretty sure my face contorted with pure astonishment and bewilderment. Surely grabbing stuff in others’ lockers is some kind of etiquette?

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Fresh Resolutions

#writeandrun31
Day 1

Last night was the first NYE that I spent sober for a long time. Rather than getting somewhat sloshed on middle-of-the-price-range prosecco, joe and I had a night in. Joe studying for the most important exam in his medical career and me? Well, I was playing the Sims3 surrounded by chocolate wrappers. Enviable, I know.

Many will still be sleeping and will have missed the doomsday-like clouds that hung heavily over Aberdeen earlier this morning. But being hangover free means I am up and ready to take on 2015. And I mean that sincerely. I’ve been living with depression and anxiety for over a year and, honestly, it has been astoundingly suffocating.

Fresh Resolutions
So on this early January 1st, I have marked my self-help new year by making three, fresh resolutions:

1. Complete the Balmoral Duathlon
2. Complete Veganuary
3. #writeandrun31

Explanations
1. Last year I promised myself that I would tackle a duathlon after completing the Paris Half Marathon but missed it due to my crippling moods.
2. I’m in toil over dairy consumerism.
3. I would like to write Children’s Novels but unsure where to begin when it comes to writing, so I’ve pledged to #writeandrun31. Each day, for 31 days, I’ve to run (will help with duathlon training) and write. You read it here first, I pledge to run every day for 31 days then write my blog.

#writeandrun31
Today is Day 1 and I’m running to my New Year’s Day Body Pump class, then run my shaky legs home.

If you’ve ever fancied yourself a runner or writer, I’d suggest you give #writeandrun31 a go! You’ll find it here It says taking up two new things is harder than one, so even if you don’t fancy running, why don’t you try something else? Won’t it be great when at least one of them turns into a new hobby? My fantastically enthusiastic Body Pump instructor reminds us during our hardest tracks that summer bodies are earned in winter!!

Writing a Blog
So the cat is out of the bag. This is the first time I’ve written and I’ve decided to blog about my training progress. The latter is intimately linked with the day’s moods and interests, which will undoubtably infiltrate my progress update.

So I’m all ears if you want to give me advice about, well, anything, really! Do you have fantastic vegan recipes I can try? Excited about pace or hill runs and want to share techniques? Or happen to be a Children Novelist and want to get a budding writer, writing? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.

Unnamable Hair
And to keep you in the know. My hair is, unashamedly, large this morning. Although, as I peek in the mirror opposite I can see it has a desirable wavy character that some hairdressers could spend hours achieving.

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