Saturday, 31 January 2015

Runstreak Day #427 - chaos, cake and escape

Running your first ever minute is hard.  Running a 5k to bag a new PB is hard.  That first 10k is a real challenge.  And then conquering hills... well, that hurts.  Running a half marathon is hard.

But running a sleepover for 5 boys?  That is FAR harder!

Which is why it's not far off midnight and I'm sitting down to write up my day 427 run whilst barely able to keep my eyes open!

Sometimes when people hear that you run every day, they imagine that that's all you do.  That you just swan off for a run any time you fancy while they say 'I couldn't do it, I haven't time'.  Well, today was definitely not a 'swanning off any time I fancied it' day!  Today was a 'get up early, do the weekly grocery shopping, make lunch, make a birthday cake (my son helpfully said that he wanted a bumble bee cake to give me a change... a change from the easy cake I usually make!), sort out party food, listen to chaos of 9-year old boy party before dishing up food, doing party games with them all, doing birthday cake singing, cake cutting and getting the boys watching a film'... and... ESCAPE!!

And although I was absolutely exhausted, it was SO worth it.  A bit of space and quiet.  Bliss.  I didn't listen to any music, I needed silence.  The streets were calm.  There was no shouting.  No boys clomping about.  No mess.  No nothing much.  Just me.  Pitter pattering around the neighbourhood.  5k of 'me'.

Before getting back to a quick shower.  And then tidying up after a bomb had hit our sitting room.  And attempting to get a handful of 9 year olds to stop being a handful and calm down enough to get to bed.

I have aged 3,000 years today.

At least 3,000.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Runstreak Day #426 - snow + ice + ice grippers = no problem!

Snowy icy run done.  Well, run 1 of today done, but the next run will also be a school run-run and then off to physio... and an evening of preparing for my littlest's birthday party tomorrow.  I think the last bit is more scary than any run in the ice and snow, to be honest!!

Actually, the snow and ice weren't a problem today. I ended up buying some ice runner gripper thingies (not YakTrax but some much cheaper ones from Amazon) and they were brilliant.  No problem running up the icy hill... no problem running down the other side.  The only problem was that my son was insisting on scooting his way to school, so we kept having to stop while he cleared the snow from his scooter wheels and then grumbled about it!  They need to invent ice grippers for scooters!!

I did get a fair few 'you must be crazy' looks from people as I ran past.  I don't care though, I earned them!  You do look a bit crackers when you're running wearing 'only' running tights and a few bits of running clothing compared to everyone else who's wrapped up like the Michelin man!  Plus, I saw one of the runners from my beginners' group dropping her daughters off at nursery and got kudos points from her as well for being 'super motivated' as she said (even though one of the main reasons I'm running my littlest to school is that running home again means I get back quicker to my cuppa cha!).  Running in the snow earns you extra hardcore points!!

So, even if I don't run again today, I have run.  I can wear the smug pants for the rest of the day.

*twirls around in her smug pants happily*

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Runstreak Day #425 - freezing hill it's cold!

Another double-up-the-runs day for Day 425.  Which means I'm kinda knackered now... but it's definitely working in terms of getting my miles back up and not killing myself in the process.  Which is important - well, the not killing myself is important, getting my miles back up isn't quite as important as that!!

Anyhoo... I ran my littlest to school in the morning.  Braving him moaning about the cold on the way up the hill... and trying to keep up with him as he zoomed down the other side on his scooter, completely forgetting all of his moaning only minutes before.  That, and the run home again, added up to a 2.5 mile start to my day.  On top of that, I walked into town and back - a round trip of 6 miles... then walked to pick up my littlest at the end of the day... nearing 9 miles of walking...

... which set me up 'nicely' for a hilly run with Notts Women Runners this evening!  I couldn't even get out of it since it was me leading the run.  So, I schlepped out of the house in the cold and met up with everyone.  We ended up doing a simplified hilly route because the pavements were snowy / icy and it wasn't safe to do the normal run down the crazy lumpy bumpy hilly pavements, so we stuck to the main roads instead.  Which were still pretty icy!  And then we got snowed on.  Brrrrrrr!

Which is why I've gone and ordered myself some more crazy-coloured knee length socks.  And whoever invents running gear made out of duvet material is getting their first order from me.  I am sick to death of being a frozen lump at the end of my runs.

That and the fact that it being so cold makes my nose run and me want to pee every five minutes!!!  On the upside today, I went into Sweaty Betty today and learned that I qualified for a 20% discount card doo dah.  Which is a dangerous thing and will require even more lying to my husband about how much I spend on running gear.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Runstreak Day #424 - hotch potch runs

What a hotch potch of running today!  First was a 'school run', running my littlest to school while he scooted - in the drizzle and cold.  It sure does make getting him to school a lot quicker than walking!  Plus I kinda like the look on the other parents' faces when I'm running back up the hill.  And I bumped into one of my beginner group runners while I was dropping off my son - which was cool too.

The next run was a Sweatshop run... again with my littlest.  But he wasn't feeling it at all - even though he really wanted to go - and then my Garmin wouldn't play ball, not finding a signal for more than a mile of running.  Gah!  And then when we were as far away as we were going to go, little legs decided to turn up the volume on the moaning and it took every bit of parental game playing to get him to run back to the starting point!

Plus, I needed to pee.  And what with it being cold and a bit grim out... dealing with an expanding bladder while trying to be perky and encouraging to a reluctant 9 year old nearly finished me off.

Still, splitting my runs is allowing me to build back up my mileage and for the first time in a couple of months my monthly miles are back over 100 and marathon training isn't seeming like such a crazy thing.

And I earned my cuppa.  Several cuppas!!

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Runstreak Day #423 - another double run day

Another double run day for day 423!  My legs are a teensy bit tired right now and the ankle I wrecked in the accident is complaining a tad... but every mile was a happy one.  And that's a good run day in my book!

Run one involved running to meet up with the local Run England bod to run the route we'll be doing in a week's time (we got asked to lead a run as part of the city's 'Light Night' - so we'll be running into town all lit up and glowing for the night!) and that was great.  She told me about something she'd like us to be involved in - yay for another exciting thing later in the year... and although it's all schtum about it at the mo, I can't believe the opportunities running has given me.  I love it!

Run two involved running with some of the women from my Sunday beginners' group.  It's completely informal and voluntary, I just say that if anyone needs a running buddy, I'll meet them at the local supermarket and repeat the Sunday session with them.  Well... tonight... 24 of them turned up!!  It was fab.  Chat, chat, laugh, chat... we got beeped at by several cars ('first time I've ever been beeped at!!!' said one of the group... 'you'll get used to it', I say... having already been beeped at several times on my first run today!)... but the group were ace.  I watched them voluntarily run back up the hill to the store at the end and felt so proud of them.  They could have walked it.  But they chose to run.  They were brilliant.

I am so proud of what they're achieving already.  And because it's a smaller group on a Tuesday, I try to make sure that I have a chat with everyone and it's ace.  And we still never leave anyone behind.

And for that reason, even though my legs are tired... and I'm shattered after a really terrible night's sleep and PTSD-ish day... I get to go to bed knowing that in at least one area of my life, keeping on running has kept that flow of potential for pure happiness coming.  Isn't that an awesome thing?

Monday, 26 January 2015

Runstreak Day #422 - more fun with beginners

... and another double run day.  Which means that I am now officially exhausted.  It wasn't actually the running which tired me out though.  Okay, a little bit, but not much.  It was the lack of sleep after horrendous nightmares and then an intense counselling session which left me feeling pretty drained*.  Compared to that, running is a little gift of happiness.

I have been feeling pretty darned fed up of the whole PTSD thing, so being able to run and feel a physical energy flowing is bloomin' brilliant.  My first run was running my littlest to school.  He was on his scooter... and I ran.  And secretly enjoyed the surprised faces of other parents as I ran back home after them clocking me not looking my normal maternal self, and instead, running up a flippin' big hill.  That is a nice feeling.

My second run involved running with our Notts Women Runners Monday evening group.  I back-mark that group and I really enjoy it.  You get to have a nice chat with the runners at the back, you get to see the difference a bit of encouragement and support makes... and you get to witness women pushing themselves and feeling proud of what they have achieved.  When you're leading a session, you get a bit caught up in trying to be all eyes, ears and organisation... assisting is a different story.  They're both good in different ways, but it is special to feel that connection with a smaller group of runners.

And bed is calling...

*falls asleep instantly*

* this isn't to say that counselling isn't a good thing, it's just that it is an intense process of working through things which is very tiring.

Runstreak Day #421 - hooray for Sundays

Today's Sunday was awesome!

Y'know though, Sunday used to be a bit of a bleurgh day. It's really Monday Eve and with a Monday hanging over you it always takes the shine off. But it's not like that any more because every Sunday morning I get to lead our Notts Women Runners beginners' session at the nearby Country Park and it is so fabulous it makes my toes tingle with happiness. Firstly, I get to have a laugh with Zoe Blackburn, Sion Bostock and other running friends. Secondly, I get to be with oodles of other women runners. And thirdly, we basically take over the park!

I'd run to the park to get my legs warmed up (and get a few more miles in) and arriving to a chatty burble of women all ready for the session was another 'eeeek - this is really brilliant!!' moment. Today, we had another 11 new runners join us. That means our Sunday beginners group now has 91 registered members. 91! Added to 41 at our Monday group and in the past couple of weeks we've started over 130 women off running. Isn't that mind-blowing?!

It is an incredible sight to see everyone setting off on the run. A sea of women doing something fabulous for themselves and all believing more and more that they can actually run. So many of them tell me how happy it's making them. How much they enjoy running with other women. How proud they are of themselves. How they are starting to feel fitter. How the running bug has got them already! I absolutely love it.

Okay, so my trainers needed a wash by the time I got home (that park is nothing if not muddy!), but I'd had a morning of sunshiney running happiness and that filled up my tank of positivity for the rest of the day. Plus, for the first time in ages my mileage is finally back up to being above 30 miles in a week... which makes me feel like my June marathon may not be such a stupid idea after all.

Sunday... you were a little bag of epic loveliness. Same time again next week? Don't mind if I do! Oh, and I get to run with our other beginners' group tomorrow! YAY!!!!


And tea. I really love tea a lot as well. :o)

Runstreak Day #420 - the gross stuff list

Right. That's it. Day 420. Run.

Didn't fancy going out in the cold today at all. I have had enough of wearing 3,000,000,000 layers every time I go out. And *still* coming back with frozen hands and a dribbly red nose. I am trying to build back up my mileage - since the whole 'fainting while running' and then prolapsed disc and chest infection things my weekly mileage has struggled to make it past 20 miles... and the last time it was more than 30 miles a week was November. The problem is that building up those miles again = more miles = more time = more time outside in the cold. And I DON'T LIKE IT!

So, I was a reluctant sulky pants when I went out this evening. I decided to plug myself into my iPod and run to some music to take my mind off it. About 2 minutes in, the battery on the iPod died. Aaaaaaargh!!! Do you ever get the feeling you're having one of those runs?

Weirdly though, without music, I kind of enjoyed it more. My running was better. It was quicker. I thought about how I was running more. And it wasn't bad. And while I was in that better place, I mentally wrote myself a list of gross stuff that runners do. For your delectation...

1. Snot rockets
2. Farting while running
3. A lot
4. Spitting
5. Peeing themselves while running
6. ... and being more worried about chafing than the social no-no of wetting yourself in public
7. Peeing in bushes
8. Pooping in bushes
9. Dashing into random shops, cafes, pubs etc... only to poop or pee in their loos before embarrassedly muttering thanks as they run out again
10. Sweaty hugs with other runners after a run...
11. ... then standing around chatting while stinking of sweat
12. Wiping noses on sleeves, gloves, t-shirts, leaving tell-tale snail trails on their clothing

I managed at least a couple of those this evening. *so proud*

And then got home, flung my stinky clothes in the washing machine and stuck myself in the shower. And now I smell all sweet and lovely and would never admit to any non-runner that I do anything off the gross list.

*polishes halo* ;)

Friday, 23 January 2015

Runstreak Day #419 - running the school run

I have a new first!  Yup... 419 days into my running streak I did the school run.  Literally.

Today has been a busy day and I was struggling to see where I'd fit in a run before my physio appointment at 5:15.  Plus, I hate going for a run after physio because inevitably... it hurts!

So, I decided that if I left to pick up my littlest from school twenty minutes earlier than normal, I could squeeze in a nice run before getting him.  And that's exactly what I did.  Was even organised enough to put a zip-up hoodie into my running bag (bought one the other day after having enough of attempting to run with non-running bags!!) as well as a bobble hat for the 'standing around waiting at school' bit.  Get me!  Organised to the max!  :o)

The run itself wasn't particularly planned other than at some point there would be hills because the kids' school is up a big hill and down a big hill.  I had a vague 5k-ish route in mind which would flatten the hills as much as poss... and off I set.  At about two miles in, I was almost all of the way up a VERY steep hill when I spotted that a truck was blocking the path completely.  Aaaaargh!  Having to cross the road and then cross back up hill while attempting not to die as the workmen blatantly stared at my puny efforts... well, that nearly tipped me over the hilly edge!  My legs felt like jelly.  By the time I got to school, I had a proper sweat on.

Then, I had the task of waiting, whilst looking like a crazy sweaty, stinky mess.  RMR socks in full effect.  I have never felt more lovely.  Oh, and don't sit down on a step whilst waiting.  Because when you stand up again, an embarrassing peach-shaped sweat mark will show where your bum has been parked.  *blush*

On the other hand, running the mile and a bit home again with my son scooting along beside me up another hill in front of the rest of the parents?  That earns extra parent-kudos points if you're an 8 year old boy.  And so, even though running the school run isn't especially glam, my littlest is insistent that we do it again!

Is it tea o'clock?  I believe it just might be.  :D

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Runstreak Day #418 - dynamite run...

Day 418 and it was a dynamite night of running.  Not because I was like dynamite... but because I required dynamite to force me out into the cold.

It was nearly 9pm by the time I got out there and I had to put my very biggest very bravest big-brave-girl pants on to get myself out of the house.  I have had enough of freezing my bits off just to go for a run.  I'm being really ploddy at the moment and taking it steady when I'm out there, just so that I focus on trying to enjoy the run rather than coupling being stupidly cold with trying to kill myself.

I know I've said this loads of times, but I really cannot wait for the weather to warm up.  Not to get stupidly hot... just warm enough not to have to wear (and wash!) 3,000,000 layers every time I go for a run.  In fact, thoughts of the warmer weather were obviously in my head when I went to Sweatshop at lunchtime and picked up my foam roller (hooray for the SRC loyalty scheme)... and some shorts fell into my shopping basket at the same time.  Funny how that happens, isn't it!  My husband always ends up looking at the bank statement and going 'I thought you said that x thing was free... there's a charge here for y pounds...'.  Tum te tum... innocent face... tum te tum.

Anyway, they're pretty darned short shorts - the boy-short tight sort rather than the flippy floppy ones I have been wearing.  I am going to brave showing more of my legs to the world come the summer.  Mainly because I'll have earned it through all this crazy running when it's icy, snowing, icy and snowing, slushy, grey, grim, wet, hailing, sleeting, dark, miserable... and generally most of the weather that happens between November and March!

Oh, and is it very sad if I heard that my department will be moving offices and my first thought was... oh... I can commute by bus and run the bits either end of the journey!  It is?  Ah.  :D

Too late for a cuppa.  Good job I've just guzzled one.  Hooray!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Runstreak Day #417 - to run two runs...

Day 417... and running when it's minus degrees sucks really badly.  You know why?  Not because I'm cold (I'm ALWAYS cold).  Not because the pavements are slippy.  Not because it's hard to get warmed up and into your run.  Not because when it snows and snow lands in your eye, it stings like a b*stard.

No.  Running when it's minus degrees sucks really badly because it's not just you that's running.  My nose, people, is driving me insane.  It is like an annoying dripping tap.  Well, it drips for a while, then goes into full on dribbly gross mode while I faff around tracking down a tissue.  Then realise that I have got one... it's just that it's been through the wash and is now a hard pellet of formerly balm-softened nose soothing.  And in desperation, I attempt to use the pellet of concrete sadness to stem the flow of snot.  Before giving up and using my sleeve.

The thing I don't recommend is doing all of this while waiting in the queue at the sorting office.  And then realising that other people are witnessing you being revolting!  The reason for being at the sorting office?  Run number 1 today involved literally running an errand.  I had to go and pick up a parcel (which a) wasn't even for me and b) definitely wasn't running gear - pffft!) and it was snowing.  Since I'm not driving at the moment (thank you, PTSD gods, for the gift of having to walk everywhere), my choice was walk there slowly, get frozen and cold for a longer period of time.  Or run.  I, obviously, chose the latter!

Run number 2 was a run with my littlest with Sweatshop.  He LOVES going to 'running club' and today we took along cake for everyone as it's his birthday on Saturday.  We managed to run just over 2.5 miles.  He belted back up the hill when he clocked some of the runners who'd gone a longer route appear in the distance (he's stupidly competitive!)... and then we witnessed the impressive cake eating skills of all the other runners as they arrived back at the leisure centre!  Runners love cake, so it seems.

Things I've learned today?  My nose needs to be sewn up for the winter.  Plus, where cake and running are concerned, it appears more is more!

Another two-run day done.  I *will* start to build back up my mileage for marathon training after a rubbish few months!  And if I have to split my runs to do so, then that's what I'm going to do!

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Runstreak Day #415 - beginners, part 2

Runstreak Day #416 - to be turtled...

Turtle (verb), turtles, turtled, turtling
1.  to discover that the brown turtle of doom is interrupting your run

'There I was, running along, when I got turtled and had to cut short my run and find a toilet whilst running like a child with a swollen nappy'.

'The only thing that can stop my long run is a turtle'

'I always carry a few sheets of loo paper with me on a cross country run in case I need to sort out some turtling behind a tree in the woods'

And there you have it.  A new word to add to your runners' dictionary.  You're welcome.

Only, the brown turtle of doom definitely was NOT welcome today.  I'd planned my sneaky run this morning properly as well.  Got my running kit on under my top, skirt and coat.  Did my best 'la la la not going running this morning la la laaaa' face in front of my husband (because I'm planning on going again later as well!!).  Walked my son to school.  Walked home.  Did a superman-style change into my running kit, i.e. put on my trainers and took off my top and skirt (no telephone boxes involved)... and set out on my run.

I hadn't really planned where to go other than 'out'.  I vaguely ran towards the nature reserve... but then the railway crossing shut just as I got there so I detoured via the cycleway which runs alongside the tracks.  And then... the rumble started.  'It's okay', I think... 'it's just a bit of a gripey tummy'.  But no.  The turtle had other ideas.  I ran up towards the woods, thinking I might then head down towards the country park from there... but the rumbling thundered on.

And the turtle yawned... woke up... and decided to poke his head out to see what was going on (running is ALL glamour, people).  AAAAAAARGH!!  I was at least a mile and a half from home.  My gentle pootle was turning into a hobble of desperation.  I ran up a stupidly steep hill... kept running when I saw the postman as I didn't fancy the pitying postman stare which would arrive if I stopped running.  Then stopped just round the corner, out of sight.  The rumbling carried on.  There was no denying it.  I was being fully turtled.

As I ran down across the park towards home, doing some kind of clenched stagger, I glanced at my watch.  It said I'd done 3.89 miles.  And I decided that even if it wasn't at 4 by the time I got back, I didn't care.  The turtle had spoken loudly.

Fortunately, as I rounded the corner towards my house, my Garmin beeped that 4th mile (phew!).  I barged my way in.  And released the turtle back into the wild.  :D

And that, my lovelies, is what happens when you get turtled while out on a run.

Day 416... part 1... and I'm still going to go for a second run later.  Only, if my husband reads this, all of the above was a lie, and it's my first run of the day.  La la laaaaaa, do be doooooo...  ;)

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Runstreak Day #414 - running changes lives

Runstreak Day 414 - and another day which blew my (RMR!) socks off.  The second session in the beginners course I'm leading at the moment and after last week's amazing 62 runners... we had 18 new runners join our existing group!!  It was incredible!  Fortunately a brilliant friend of mine was on hand to assist... as well as another 6 of our experienced Notts Women Runners to help as those numbers are hard to handle and it's so important that no-one is left behind and no-one is made to feel that they're not welcome.

I'd run there so as to get a bit of a 'proper' run in as well as to check out how icy it was at the country park... but other than being sparkly and beautiful, the ice really wasn't a problem at all.  By 10:45 there were already runners turning up.  And then... wave after wave of them appeared.  It is such a brilliant atmosphere though.  Chatting, laughing and so friendly.  It makes me feel so proud to be part of how good running can be for bringing people together.  I love that there wasn't anyone standing on their own, looking lost.

We started with a warm up walk... then they got stuck into their run-walking.  It is *the* most wonderful thing to see a group of women running, talking, laughing, and being together.  All different ages.  All different shapes and sizes.  Taking over the park and doing something brilliant for themselves.  And when we'd finished all of the running bits and only had one last walk to do, one of the women said to me 'I feel so proud of myself, I never would have believed I could do that.' and I felt all tingly with happiness.  That is the gift that running gives you.  The feeling of pride.  The feeling of achievement.  And after only two weeks, our runners are already getting to experience that.

How flippin' amazing is that?  Even though it was hard work for everyone, we had comments such as 'I loved every minute of it', 'fab run' and so many others.   I really am so lucky to be able to run... and to be able to share that with other people.  A bright, sparkly, special morning, shared with an inspiring group of women.  Goose-bumpy stuff!!

If anyone's thinking about doing the Leadership in Running Fitness course... or thinking about setting up their own running club... do it.  Make it happen and a door into something more awesome than you can imagine will open right up.

Tea.  And happy dancing.  Oh yeah!  I love my Sunday mornings.  They're the best!!  :D

Runstreak Day #413 - slow but satisfying

I really am taking it steady at the moment.  After several months of not feeling very well following the car accident... and then a back injury and chest infection... I am not prepared to push it and end up feeling grotty all over again.  So, when I hit 5k on my run today, that really was enough for me.  And I just walked home and felt zero guilt about that at all.

The purpose of my run was just to go through my timings for tomorrow's beginners' session.  As long as I kept on running throughout, nothing else really mattered.  That's a nice feeling.  Just puttering along.  Yes, it was freezing out.  And wearing a woolly hat and gloves isn't the most glamorous thing in the world.  But who cares?  A gal's gotta stay warm some how!

I barely saw anyone else out either.  Considering it was 9pm on a Saturday night, it was weirdly quiet.  I am sure people probably think I'm 'that mad running woman' when they see me in my gharish kit on a Saturday night when the only other women out seem to be wearing 3 inch heels and make-up that's slightly brighter than my luminous yellow top.  They don't feel how I feel when I'm running though.  All swooshy and free.  It had been a busy day and a stressful car journey (being in a car is still a real trigger for my PTSD and that in itself is exhausting)... but I got my bit of time to just enjoy being outside.

And that makes it all worthwhile.  And it's why my running is as steady as you like at the moment.  If I push it too hard and end up not able to run?  That's just not worth it.

I'm always just aiming to run tomorrow.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Runstreak Day #412 - the imperfect annoying day!

Day 412 should have been perfect.  A bit like yesterday I had plans to run with someone else *waves at Sion* - but then the plans all fell apart and that didn't happen.  My lunchtime long run (would have run 3 miles into town, done 3 miles with Sion, then 3 miles home again) turned into my helping my in-laws to move out of our house.  Still, now they're gone, I get to strip off and dump my sweaty stuff into the washing machine as soon as I get in and waltz around like a naked floozy as I head to the shower!  Which for a gross stinky runner is awesome!  :o)

Anyway, I didn't get my lunchtime run.  And instead I ended up having to go for a run this evening.  After a physio session.  A physio session where he made me go 'f-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-uck' when he attempted to release a muscle in my back which is *still* in spasm.  As well as one in my shoulder.  Ouch!  He's such a nice bloke, but blimey he knows how to make me swear my socks off!!

So, I ran gently.  Had run a couple of miles.  Was being mildly annoyed by my armband light doo dah (does anyone know of a make which fits scrawny arms and doesn't fall down???), so stopped to adjust it.  Glanced at my Garmin... and it's reading a weird time.  AAAAAAARGH!!!  It was still in stopwatch mode from when I was timing my daughter doing some maths problems earlier in the evening.  AAaaaaAAAARGH!!!  In my head, that means my run doesn't count (yeah, I know it's not logical!)... and even though I'd already run a couple of miles, because they weren't recorded, my runstreak would be broken!!  So, in tortuous logic, I turned round and ran back the way I'd came.  This time recording it on my Garmin - and managing what seemed like a pitiful 2.1 miles.

Only it wasn't that simple.  As I got to within half a mile of home, the brown turtle of doom decided to visit with a vengeance... and I had to detour via Tesco to use their *ahem* facilities (every little helps an' all that!).  And then wobbled my way home back up the hill.

The short version?  Day 412, you were a weird annoying little pig.  It's best that we never speak to each other again.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Runstreak Day #410 - boy running...

410 days in a row... every so often I write down the number of days I've run and it blows my little noodle.  I think about me from two years ago... having only ever run three times.  Not three days in a row... three times.  Ever.  And now I've strung together a streak of 410 days of running every day with no rest days.

Which also makes me chuckle because in the last week I've said to several people that they need to take a rest day.  And emphasised how important it is...

Tum te tum... hypocritical me... tum te tum...

Anyway, I definitely don't always run flat out and some of my runs are very definitely active rest days.  Which was the case today because my run was a Sweatshop run with my 8 year old - and when I take him along I always run at his pace.  And that pace can be 'flat out, I'm going to die' or 'doo be doooo climbing on a wall doo be dooooo just going to explore a wild patch over there... and am taking my sweet time over doing it'.  That's fine an' dandy.  As long as he's enjoying himself, I don't care.

On the way back we didn't walk... we were on 'a mission'.  It involved deflector shields.  Titanium bombs.  Fire blasters.  Hiding behind bushes.  Chasing around the edge of the park.  And running a whole lot faster than he'd managed during the proper run!!  It's amazing what turning running into a game can do for a boy.  All you need to do is to pretend to blast a fireball at him and then jump occasionally and act like you've been hit... and it's a recipe for running happiness!

So, that was today's run.  A teensy bit over 3 miles.  Lots of fun with my littlest.  And we get to be together for a bit of mummy and son time.  Nice.

Even if I am a non-resting hypocrite.  :D

Runstreak Day #411 - goldfish and planning...

The best laid plans an' all that...

Especially when you've got a nice hilly run planned with some other running friends... you've sorted the route... reminded everyone that it's happening... are all set to lead it... and are just about to change into your running gear... when...

Your 8 year old's goldfish decides to die.

And then you have to scrap the run, arrange at short notice for someone else to lead it... all the while mopping up tears from two distraught children, as they cry all over their dinner.  The joys of being a running mummy!

So, while everyone else was running at 6:30, I was in the pet shop with my children and husband discussing whether or not having another goldfish would be sensible, given that our remaining goldfish is an aggressive little sausage (the answer was 'no', if you're interested!).  And by the time we'd dealt with that and the children were less sniffly and sad ('this is the saddest thing that's ever happened to me', wailed my littlest)... it was gone 8:30 and all energy had exited stage right.  I considered not going for a run, but I needed the headspace and so I decided that as long as I met my two mile minimum that would be fine.

Except that running 2 miles when the wind is behaving like a crazy thing and you're basically being battered as it attempts to start raining too... well, that's damn hard work.  Not so bad with the wind behind you, but running into it while the rain spits insolently into your face.  That's pretty revolting.

As I ran up the hill and back home, into a wind that was attempting to blow me into the road, I doubted my sanity completely!  It was not a fun run.  It was a 'get it done' run.  So, I got it done.  I earned a cuppa and a warm shower.  And then I went and mopped more tears and dealt with sad children again until they fell asleep.

Yup, being a running mummy is a tricky old business!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Runstreak Day #409 - physically on the turn


I may just have had my first 'I'm not completely broken' run in ages...

Shhhhhhhh!!  Don't tell anyone... don't say the words out loud or I'll end up broken... again.  But... YAY!!!!!!!!

Since September I've either been recovering from the car accident (neck, shoulder, rib, back, leg and ankle injuries)... or my back injury (prolapsed disc)... or a poxy chest infection... and then flippin' chilblains on top of all that.  And although my toes are still sore and when I stop running I'll start coughing... I ran a lovely chatty 4 miles with a running friend, didn't have to stop, managed an okay pace and physically felt as good as I have done in ages.

Which is weird because I haven't felt very well at all today.

Go figure!!

Running is the antidote to a lot of stuff.  Including the aftermath of yesterday's counselling session which opened a particularly wiggly can of worms.  There's nothing quite like running with a friend or running on your own for getting you the positive space and calm you need.  And a day which starts off with sleepless headachy nightmares becomes one which has little sparkly bits, and that's all thanks to running.

Plus, yesterday I had the privilege of helping a friend run her first beginners' session - and with the 31 women who joined that session yesterday it means that in just two days, with the 62 we had at the session the day before, we had got 93 women running for the first time.  That's the sort of thing that stays in the back of your mind and when you're having a rough time can shine and remind you that life can be amazing and positive... and all those other things which can feel so far away sometimes when life is hard.

Oh, and when I was out on my run this evening, what did I see coming towards me from the other direction?  A group of 8 of our beginners run-walking towards us on the opposite pavement!!!  Out running together in the week!  Isn't that fantastic?  They're really doing it!  It's SO exciting!

Yup, running is a little slice of happy.  It really is.

Happy dance anyone?  :D

Monday, 12 January 2015

Runstreak Day #408 - short, slow but sweet

So, an even shorter run than yesterday... but since I also walked over 6 miles (and had a counselling session which is always a hard, emotional experience), I don't really mind!  Short and sweet can be exactly enough some days.

Plus, I had the fantastic experience of helping another 31 women do their first ever run this evening.  Today,  I was assisting rather than leading the session and ran at the back to make sure that no-one was left behind.  Even though it was so hard when I was first beginning to learn to run, that experience is just so valuable when helping others to start out.  You know how they must be feeling... that lung burning, leg aching body shock that is running.  You can encourage them through those last few seconds of their run... you can tell them how amazing they're being by giving it a go... you know what the voice in their head is telling them about whether or not they can do it at all.

I loved being the tail runner.  And I felt so proud of all of the women we supported today too.  31 runners, 1 leader, 1 assistant and 5 helpers.  Such a positive, fabulous atmosphere.  Women supporting women.  Brilliant stuff.  And all from that little Facebook group I set up with a couple of other running friends.  We now have over 260 members and between yesterday and today have started off 93 women on their running journeys.

Tomorrow, I'll run more, but today I ran with people for whom today's run was a long and hard one.  But it could be life changing for them.  Isn't that just magic?

Lucky old me!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Runstreak Day #407 - my first beginners' session

Something amazing happened this morning.  Honestly and truly amazing!  Probably my best running experience to date and it blew my little socks off.

Day 407 of my running streak and it didn't matter about the pace or the distance I ran... but I was leading my first ever beginners' session and getting other women active and starting running was what it was all about.

We'd expected there would be around about 25 women - and as we waited for the session to start, more and more kept arriving.  There was nowhere to park in either of the free car parks by the time 11am arrived.  In the end there were 62 beginners!!!!  62!!!  Plus 5 helpers, 1 assistant (who also took the photos - ta, Zoe!) and me leading it.  69 of us basically took over a country park in Nottingham!

 Even thinking about it now makes me smile with happiness - all of us women, doing something amazing for our minds and our bodies.  Making a start on a new adventure together.  Brilliant!  And overnight our Notts Women Runners group has grown by over 30 new members and there are now more than 240 of us!

If I could bottle this feeling, I totally would!  I never in a million years thought I'd be leading a group of beginners.  Two years ago when I was starting to learn to run myself, on my own, I just slogged away at it until I got there.  But helping other women to support one another while they go through that same journey is a fabulous feeling.

Y'know, when we first talked about putting on the sessions back in September / October, we hoped we might have a handful of beginners.  I can't quite believe how many people turned up, or how brilliantly hard they tried the whole way through - and more are wanting to come next week!  From those who were obviously regular exercisers to those for whom any exercise had been a long while ago.  They were incredible.  So inspiring!

Every time you see someone starting their journey to becoming a runner, you are privileged.  I got to be part of helping 62 people do just that this morning.  I feel like the luckiest runner ever.

And afterwards I ran round the park with a couple of running friends, and felt lucky all over again that I have so many great people in my life, and all through running.

Today was amazeballs.  :D

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Runstreak Day #406 - my runniversary!

Happy Runniversary to meeeee
Happy Runniversary to meeeee
Happy Runniversary dear meeeeeeeeeee
Happy Runniversary to meeeeeeeee!!!

Two years ago today, I went for my first ever run.  Well, when I say 'run' I mean 'near death experience'.  I had prepared well.  There I was, with Runkeeper on my phone, and the Couch to 5k programme sitting there, ignored.  When I suddenly decided that I would attempt Couch to 5k while out on a walk.

Yup, just like that.  I was obese, wearing a humungous white winter coat... and welly boots.  The app instructed me to run.  I did.  As much as anyone can do in big ol' green wellies.  And as much as someone who hasn't run anywhere in over 20 years can run, i.e. 45 seconds before lungs are burning, legs are close to collapse and the realisation that this is going to be bloody hard hits home.  And that was just the first minute.  I had to run again after only 90 seconds of walking.  And again.  And again.  By the sixth minute of running, I could barely breathe.  And the minute of running had trimmed itself down to 10 seconds of faster limping, 30 seconds of almost running and 20 seconds of slow desperation for the minute to be over.

Anyway, two years later and I'm on my 406th consecutive day of running every day.  I managed another 5k, tackling a couple of hills and generally coasting along... not wearing wellies... not weighing a shedload more... and despite the tail-end of a chest infection, not feeling like my lungs were going to explode!

But, you know what the biggest difference is between today and 2 years ago?  Tomorrow *I* get to lead my first ever beginners' group through a couch to 5k programme.  Me!  If you'd seen my first attempt at running 2 years ago, you would never ever have thought that was going to happen!  And yet... it is.  Plus, Notts Women Runners which I set up 10 months ago, finally became a registered Run England Group today and we now have over 200 members in our Facebook group.

What a difference a couple of years makes!!  I LOVE the difference running has made to my life.  :D

*slurps her celebratory cuppa*

PS  Wish me luck for tomorrow!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Runstreak Day #405 - I hate running in the wind!!!

In the past 405 days there is one type of weather which I have failed to embrace.  I still hate it just as much as the first day of my running streak.

My name is Sarah.  And I HATE running in the wind.

I don't just dislike it.  I don't just 'not favour it that much'.  I loathe and despise running in windy weather.  Let's examine the evidence...

1.  You have to put a bit of vaseline on your lips to stop the wind from drying them out completely...
2.  ... and then bits of your hair get randomly blown on to your face and stick to the vaseline.  Which is gross.
3.  If the wind is behind you, you feel like you're about to be pushed over...
4.  ... and if the wind is in front of you, you feel like you're running slowly and painfully on the spot...
5.  ... until you start running up a hill, and then you feel certain you're actually running backwards
6.  All the while trying to get bits of hair out of your mouth and eyes.
7.  There are sticks and twigs which have been blown down all over the place and which are intent on booby-trapping the pavements
8.  It's f*cking horrible to run in.
10.  I hate it.  A lot.

Which means that when I noticed on my watch that I'd done just over 5k, I was perfectly within my rights to stop dead and refuse to run another step.  So I did.  And then stomped my way home looking like a mad pouty teenage scarecrow.  In lycra.

Oh, and the Friday night horn-beepers in stupid souped-up hatchbacks... you can also do one.  Sitting in your warm cars, being prats while I'm attempting to be epic by running in ridiculous weather.  Pffft to you all!!!

*pouts and stomps about a bit more*

PPS  Subtle tonight, wasn't I?  :D

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Runstreak Day #404 - happiness is running

Of all my (many!) annoying habits, I have a thing about listening to the same song over and over sometimes.  I try not to do it when there are other people about because it's weird, but when I'm running if I'm listening to music, I get to indulge my 'listen on repeat' thing to my heart's content.  Tonight's song of choice was 'On Top of the World' - - and like most songs that get into my head when I'm running, suddenly the lyrics applied to my running and all of that made me a happy little sausage.

"I’ve tried to cut these corners
Try to take the easy way out
I kept on falling short of something

I coulda gave up then but
Then again I couldn’t have ’cause
I’ve traveled all this way for something

I take it in but don’t look down

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay"

And so on... and I'm running along, singing along (which is pretty damn hard work when you're still quite wheezy!), bludgeoning my way up a hill which seems to last forever, but I'm in my happy running bubble and I don't care about anything other than the music and keeping myself going.  Eventually the hill and I are done with one another.  I reach the top and have a good old cough and hope no-one's looking at me as I bend over... coughing my way into being able to breathe again.

Then, I carry on listening to the same song, deciding not to do the shorter way to get home but to find a slightly different, slightly longer route because I'm just enjoying listening to the song and enjoying feeling the feeling of stress-free happy.  My pace was sl-o-o-o-o-o-o-ow... the hills were coughing was special... but even when a run is hard, you can still find the pleasure in it.  And conquering that hill and not giving up was a toe-tingler of happiness.

Almost 2 years ago exactly, I decided to give running a go.  I was 6.5 stones heavier then that I am now.  I found it SO hard.  Ridiculously hard.  Massively unfit and massively overweight it was humiliatingly humbling and difficult.  And yet today, I get to go for a run when I'm still not feeling 100% but have moments of such complete on-top-of-the-world happiness that I want to go back 2 years and hug that earlier version of me for sticking with it.

And then we'd have a cup of tea together to celebrate.  It would only be right.  :D

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Runstreak Day #403 - SRC with my littlest

... a completely no pressure run.  Well, no pressure on me to run in any way which means I'm working hard physically.  But when you're running with a child, the challenge is far more mental than anything else!  Parenting on the run, if that were an Olympic sport, I would be a strong contender for some kind of medal, or at least I'm pretty sure I'd meet the qualifying standard!

It always starts off so well when it comes to running with kids.  My littlest is completely up for it and over Christmas had kept on saying 'when's running club on again?', 'why isn't it running club tonight?' and so on.  And then, when it comes to it today, he wants to go, but then says he's not going to run fast.  Or run at all.  To which I say, 'don't worry about coming tonight if you're not feeling up to it, there's always another day', and he groans and says 'oka-a-a-a-ay, I'll come', even though it would be have been entirely fine if he hadn't wanted to!

Anyway, we made it to Sweatshop... and he actually did a fair bit of running.  Erratic running!  First pretty steady, then sprinting, then steady, then a bit of sprinting... and all the while I'm having to make sure I stay with him.  And then there are the bits where he disappears doing some kind of ninja superhero thing by running over walls, through bits of scrubland and up and down any steps / slopes he spots.  And at any point what is good fun could turn to tears and 'I can't do thi-i-i-i-i-i-is' wailing.  You just never know.  Running roulette... at any point... it could be all over.  :o)

He managed 2.6 miles in the end.  The last half mile was hard work - lots of enthusiasm and encouragement and offers to stop / walk if needed.  But he could see the faster runner catching us up (they do a longer loop than us) and he was getting in a panic that he wasn't going to be first back!  The joy of being competitive and unrealistic all at the same time.  So, we did it.  Another mummy and kid run.  A rollercoaster of 'this is the best thing ever' to the depths of boy-shaped despair.

But he still wants to go again next week and is thrilled that he's been to enough Sweatshop runs to get his own t-shirt!!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Runstreak Day #402 - rest can be active

... because active is what helps you hold on to your sanity.  I haven't mentioned it much lately, but I am still being quite badly affected by PTSD.  I haven't been at work since the accident and am signed off for another 6 weeks.  When I've been writing about my running recently, I've tried to focus on the running rather than the feelings behind the running.  But I think with having had a chest infection this past week, people are judging me for making a bad choice to run at all.  They really don't get it though.  The idea that somehow I'm setting a bad example to others by running when I'm not 100% doesn't sit well with me.  Not least because, to be honest, I haven't been 100% for months.  I'm just getting better at hiding how bad it can be.

An example - last night, I slept for 1 hour.  That was it.  That's not unusual.  I am woken by nightmares every single night.  And by around about 2am that's it for sleeping.  I have nightmares about the accident.  I have nightmares about driving again.  I have nightmares about bikers dying on roads in front of me.  I struggle to walk outside on my own without listening to music so loudly I can't hear the traffic.  I struggle to be a passenger in a car without gripping on to the door and seat, bracing myself for an impact which feels inevitable.  I have flashbacks where I feel the impact again and again, the pain searing in my leg once more as it happens.  I can't even sit in the driver's side of a car and the thought of driving is enough to induce a panic attack.  It's only in the last few weeks that I've been able to let go of some of the guilt about the accident.  I can fake doing normal for a short while in front of other people.  But it's absolutely and utterly exhausting.  And yes, despite all of that, it is slowly, slowly getting better.  Yet, it's not better by any means.

So, when people think I'm making a bad choice for running when I have a chest infection - well, maybe I am.  Maybe I would be making a bad choice if I were them.  But I'm not them.  I'm me, finding a way to be free for a short while.  To run.  To be outside without a crushing fear overwhelming me.  And yes, I might well cough and feel rough.  You know what?  I might well be setting a bad example - if my life weren't the way it is at the moment - but it is how it is, and along with counselling and medication, I run to feel better.  I run to remember how life *can* feel.

And tonight I ran again.  When anyone else might be tucked up in bed, coughing.  I ran.  I didn't run far, I didn't run fast.  But I was outside, on my own, and I felt safe.  For a short, precious while, I felt safe again.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Runstreak Day #401 - 5k more in the bag

You know what drives me a little bit mad about running?  When you're 100% well, people take it for granted that you can and will run.  They assume you're running *because* you're well.  And then, when you're not feeling 100%, all of a sudden you're taking risks with your health, you're being stupid, you're encouraging others to make stupid choices with their own running etc etc.  It doesn't occur to them that you're just making a judgement call on exactly how 'not 100%' you actually are, and are going for a run based on your own personal decision.  Being judged after the fact just doesn't help in the slightest.

But then, I guess when it comes to running, other people find it hard to hear that it's not always easy.  That you don't always sail through each and every run.  That sometimes it is just plain ol' work when it comes to getting out there and getting a run in.  The fact that I've had a chest infection and carried on running is - according to most - stupid... and according to some, plain irresponsible.  However, I've been running slowly.  I am running well within my capabilities and I am resting the rest of the time.  No, it's not everyone's choice to run when things aren't perfect.  But I am not everyone.  Running every day makes the act of running normal.  You don't stop walking, breathing, eating, sleeping etc because you're not feeling 100%.  You just do those things with a bit more care for yourself, a bit more awareness.  A bit more resting in between times.  Well, running is as normal as those things are for other people.

Life is complicated.  The choice to run is complicated.  Giving in and giving up is simple.  I don't do simple.

Today, I ran just over 5k.  I stopped from time to time to get my breath.  And yes, I coughed a lot when I'd finished.  But I'm not coughing now.  I am getting better.  And I had the kind of stressful exhausting day (counselling and doctor's appointments) which meant that running helped look after my mental health as well as buying me some freedom.

And if you're tutting and rolling your eyes at my choice to run today.  Buckle up.  You'll get plenty more opportunities to despair of me.  I don't make the choices you make.  Get over it.  :o)

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Runstreak Day #400 - Burton Joyce 10k and a chest infection

Would anyone mind doing the 'Day 400 happy dance' for me?  I appear to have broken myself a little bit today, so even though my tea drinking arm and mouth seem to be functioning just fine, I'm not convinced I have a happy dance left in me!!!

Today I did my first race of the year - a local 10k on a flat route, which sounded ideal.  Plus, I got to meet up with some ace running friends.  And the weather was beautifully misty and still this morning.
Until you factor in the 'I've still got a chest infection' issue... and then that complicates everything... because it was crazy cold this morning and that makes breathing / running a teensy bit more tricky.  The start of the race was delayed by about 20 minutes as they tried to grit sections of the course, but it was still super dooper slippy in places and you definitely had to watch your feet to make sure you didn't do some kind of mid-air acrobatics!

All I actually wanted from today's race was to complete it.  I've had such a pants few months with running that I doubted whether or not I could manage 10k at all.  Which seems ridiculous when at the beginning of October, I could manage it in less than 50 minutes... and now I don't know if I can do it at all.  I did do it today though - which I'm chuffed about.  It was slow.  I was having to breathe in a weirdly shallow way so as not to bring on a coughing fit with the cold air.  Plus, the urge to stop and walk nearly overwhelmed me just before I finished!  And when I did finish, my hands were so painfully cold that I couldn't actually stop my watch for a while... and when I went to the loo afterwards took ages attempting to remove and put back on clothing as I couldn't feel my fingers!  Then I spent ten minutes coughing.

And yet, I'm still glad I ran!  The crazy gets you like that sometimes.  400 days in a row and there hasn't yet been an excuse not to run which has felt like a genuine reason.  Plus... there was bling!!  Bling, people!  Bling!!!

And tea afterwards.  Result!  :D

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Runstreak Day #399 - still wheezing...

Runstreak Day 399... oooooh... last run of the 300s!!!  Flippin' heck!

It was nowt exciting though.  A pretty random 5k whereby I started out feeling rough... attempted to run up the mile long hill where I live, but gave up half way, ran back down part of it... then carried on up to the top... did a bit of pootling at the top of the hill... ran down a bit of one of the sides... had a sneaky wheeze and cough (okay, not sneaky at all, it was loud and full on!), and then back up the hill again... and down the main drag, little cough and a wheezebag moment... and then up the hill to home.

Slowly.  Ve-e-e-e-e-rrrrrrrrr-r-r-r-ry slowly.  And as soon as I got to 5k, I stopped.  Exactly where I was.  In the middle of the pavement.  And walked the last bit home.  Not caring one teensy bit what the neighbours might think!  Mentally, I'd told myself that I just had to get to 5k... running with a chest infection is knackering... and even the teensiest bit more running after I'd got to my target just was *not* happening.  So, it didn't!

S'funny really.  The more I run, the less precious I get about needing each run to be brilliant.  Sometimes whole runs are brilliant.  Sometimes only little bits will be good.  But I will always know that I did something just for me, and that's always worth it.  Plus, every single day for the past week someone has made a comment about my weight / figure and I am sick of it.  When I run, none of those people who've commented run with me.  I am free of their opinions.  And I get to feel good about the body they criticise and what it can achieve... even when I'm not feeling 100%.  So there!

Cuppa?  :D

Friday, 2 January 2015

Runstreak Day #398 - still wheezing

Took it very steady today as my chest infection still hasn't coughed its last and I'm not feeling 100% at all.  The sensible thing to do would be to rest, but I really can't be bothered with being sensible.  Although I had a really good day with family, I needed the headspace after full-on busyness all day, plus a physio session too.

I also had a stark reminder that the PTSD still has a strong hold on me after going to walk down to the shop this morning and realising in the first few seconds that I'd forgotten my iPod.  That doesn't sound like much, but to get myself walking and not freezing / panicking, I've been listening to my iPod loudly so it blanks out the noise of traffic etc.  Well, I thought to myself 'I've walked for miles and miles trying to get better at being on my own outside, I can do this'... only... it turned out that I REALLY couldn't.  I was so disappointed and angry at myself.  I just couldn't keep myself going without the panic hitting again and again.  I was almost in tears by the time I got to the shop and when I'd bought what I needed had to force myself out of the shop to walk home again.  It was all overwhelming.

So, the need to feel free and okay outside again was very strong.  I felt exhausted and wheezy... but I needed to run.  I listened to the Couch to 5k podcasts I'd used to get me running in the first place two years ago as I'm starting to run beginners sessions in just over a week's time and I wanted to refresh it in my mind and think about how to plan for my own sessions.  It was good to hear it and although I wasn't following along with it, it helped me remember how it felt to start and that's going to be so useful for the sessions.  I ended up running just over 5k and then coughed and coughed my way into a shower when I got home.

Two more days until day 400.  That's a lotta runs, isn't it!  Could wish that I was having some easier runs at the moment though.  Maybe that'll be the way to celebrate day 400?  A nice happy easy healthy well run!!  Yeah, that'd be good!!


Thursday, 1 January 2015

Runstreak Day #397 - an epic start to 2015...

Today's run was epic!!  All of my health issues have just cleared up.  Just like that.  No more pain in my ankle, no more pain in my shoulder or neck... and my back feels brand new.  Plus, my chest infection... that's gone too.  The weather was amazing.  Absolutely perfect temperature.  No wind.  Warmth in the sunshine.  Bright blue skies.  Everything flowed.  My husband even got my trainers ready for me and said to me 'go on love, you enjoy yourself, you've earned a really great run... I'll run you a bath while you're out and make sure that I get dinner sorted.  Was it a large cup of peppermint tea you want ready for you when you get back?'.  And while I was out, the children tidied their bedrooms.  Without even being asked.

Mile after mile of joyful running.  Didn't stop once.  Didn't even get heckled today or beeped at by anyone.  It was amazeballs.

Oh. Oh, no... hang on.  All of the above is a crock of old crap.  :D

If you fancy nagging me about why I shouldn't have run today, then read the next bit.  Otherwise, just imagine that the above really was true and congratulate me on a fabulous start to 2015!!

Today's run was a shocker.  I was lying down feeling grumpy and sorry for myself, coughing and generally fed up.  When I decided that I was sick of being unable just to go for a run when I felt like going for a run.  Fed up of feeling poorly.  And fed up of feeling fed up.  So, I announce loudly to my husband that I am going for a run and that was that.  And got myself ready.  Because, as we all know, running is just as much about the mental side of things as the physical, right?

Wrong.  Not when you've got a chest infection.  What happens instead is that you get all 'I'm just going to do this and you try and stop me' and stride out of the house.  Then manage about 20 seconds and realise your lungs are not playing ball.  But you're going to brazen it out anyway because, goddammit, you're fed up of doing stupid short runs too.  And you manage the first slow mile.  Then stop.  Unleash torrents of snot and a machine-gun fire of uncontrollable coughing.  And get going again.  Then stop.  And repeat.  Cursing your stubbornness for attempting to run when you're clearly not well enough as you go.  Making a bargain that you'll just keep going until you get to 5k and then stop completely.  So I did.  And then walked the last half mile home, too exhausted to do anything else.


A-a-a-a-a-a-and... commence nagging...


*slurps tea and coughs*