#Thisgirlcanrun

anniversary

Incidentally today is this blogs 3rd birthday! Let’s just say it’s a good thing this blog isn’t a human or plant….oops.

Whilst I was having CBT last year one of my activities that I focused on was getting back into exercise, specifically running and playing team sports again. Now the latter seemed a million miles a way, so we started small.

My therapist and I made a pact to both go out on a ‘run’ for 10 minutes. What we didn’t realise was that a cold snap was approaching that week and temperatures straddled 0 degrees (we’re English, we don’t do cold or hot weather). But I still went out and surprised myself at being able to run for 14 minutes…somehow between freezing my lungs.

img_0434I continued to try this a couple of times and then realised I needed some form of structure so I didn’t injure myself and end up back at square one. So on the 24th April I started the Couch to 5K programme.

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I’d previously started the C25K before I started University many moons ago and I think I got as far as week 6 or 7 before freshers week kicked in and all was forgotten. There were times when I had to repeat a run, or mentally thought I had no chance of running nonstop for 20-30 minutes. I ended up using visual cues we had made up in our CBT sessions. With the positive penguin acting as mascot to get me through the final third of a run and it telling the negative spider and pessimistic parrot where to go. It sounds crazy, but it still works!

27 runs later, on the 17th August I completed the C25k programme! I couldn’t believe I finished it. Throughout the programme I was always adamant that I would injure myself before I ever finished it. I had also finished it the day just before my three month check up and couldn’t wait to explain that not only had I stuck to running, I could run for 30 minutes!!!

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Nine months later I’m still running. I’ve yet to pluck up the courage to go to a Parkrun / convinced myself to get up very early on a Saturday morning to go for a run. Parkrun, why can’t you have 9pm runs instead of 9am?! I’m now working through the C210K programme which has made the original one seem like a piece of cake. Instead of it being physically draining it’s more mentally tiring. I’m also plucking up the courage to sign myself up to a 10k race as extra motivation.

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Any suggestions to stop myself mentally falling asleep whilst running on the treadmill? I’ve nearly perfected my 10K playlist, but even the likes of Eye of the Tiger, Titanium and I Will Survive sometimes fail.

Annmarie xoxo

Graceful

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of graceful is birds. If only I had an ounce of elegance or poise that birds possess.

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Annmarie xoxo

four year old Annmarie – Transcript

It took me a while to think of something of mine that was non-digital. The majority of my life is preserved digitally. I have a box, a big box of ‘memories’ anything of mine over the years that I haven’t thrown out that isn’t saved on a USB stick / hard drive / memory card / CD drive … heck I could probably find an old floppy disk somewhere … except I know no one with a floppy disk drive.

One thing I found was my first ever school report from when I was in nursery (age 3-4). So I thought I’d see if the comments still applied nearly 20 years later….twenty years, oh god.

Language Development
‘Annmarie recognises her name and writes it independently’  Still got it!
Annmarie enjoys looking at books and does so regularly being content to look at them alone’  my bank balance agrees too

Scientific Development
‘Annmarie is observant and questioning of her natural environment and enjoys being outside…’ That hasn’t changed
‘…she enjoys digging in the garden and is happy to look for worms’  now I wouldn’t use the word happy…
‘When involved in cooking activities Annmarie uses ingredients and utensils appropriately and follows the recipe well’ What an earth were they making us cook at three years old?

Development in Other Curricular Areas
Especially enjoys using the art technology area – where she uses all resources purposefully and appropriately’ Still very arty farty. I’ve just had flashbacks of the edible play dough that would taste amazing…I think it was edible.
When using the computer Annmarie has good control of all the keys and is familiar with the programs using them independently.’  What little me didn’t know was that my eagerness to use computers would backfire as I’m now on them 24/7.

Physical Development
Annmarie rides the tricycle ably’ Annmarie also face planted the flower bedding on said tricycle one playtime during nursery. It then took her 17 years to transition between tricycle and bicycle.
She is gaining in confidence when using the outside climbing equipment where she is careful and cautious.’ Still terrified of heights twenty years later, I think 24 year old me is more of a wimp than 3-4 year old me!
‘She is able to accurately follow a line when cutting’ I’ve lost that skill somewhere along the line (pardon the pun).

Personal and Social Development
Eats well at lunchtime’ FOOD!! And as I transitioned into infants and juniors I continued to eat seconds/thirds of lunch. Then as a fully functioning  adult I eat my packed lunch hours before lunchtime and have to buy a second lunch.I like lunch…
‘She is a happy and calm person – being open and friendly to all’ Aww, if I could pinch little me’s cheeks I would.

It was really nice to go through my old school report. What surprised me was how I was already at that age moulded into the person I am today, the same core / interests / hobbies / values were noticed by my teacher.

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Move out of the way Mondrian, there’s a new painter in town. (left)

Annmarie xoxo

Lake Lucerne – Ambience

Whilst in Lucerne, Switzerland I was fortunate enough to go on a boat ride during dusk and the views were beautiful.

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Annmarie xoxo .

A field of sunflowers

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Sunflowers always remind me of my grandparents house. Where the sunflowers would shoot past the garden shed into the sky. Harvesting the sunflower seeds as summer drew to an end.

Annmarie xoxo

Two Dragonflies

I was browsing through Waterstones and came across ‘Draw Every Day, Draw Every Way‘ by Jennifer Orkin Lewis, and I immediately bought it. I loved all the prompts and how each month had a different theme and choice of materials to use. I’ve been eager to start it on the 1st January. I’m going to try and keep as close to the suggested 30 minutes.

The first month focuses on markers and black pen with the first prompt being two dragonflies.

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I haven’t really worked with markers before so I wasn’t sure how to colour everything (hence the first green leaf on the left). I was surprised once I finished how it all came together and I really like it, especially the dragonflies.

Annmarie xoxo

Setting goals part II

Technically writing this in 2017… but let’s ignore that technicality.

At the end of 2015, I set myself five goals to work on throughout 2016. I was expecting to achieve roughly 70-80% of the below, so I think I’ve done pretty well. It wasn’t until I was gathering all the evidence for this post did I realise how many mini victories I had over the year. I guess it’s very easy to lose sight of them.

I definitely want to stick with these goals, and continue to progress with them during 2017.

1. Apprendre le francais
I completed the reverse tree on Duolingo (French > English). For Duolingo I reached 89%. Although I did have the following message pop up in August. I haven’t completed the drill books, however I have been more immersive in my learning, listening to French radio stations / TV programmes / podcasts


Goals for 2017: Communicate more in French, getting more involved in language exchanges, practising translations. Possibly taking a French class?

2. Read more
I completed my challenge of completing 23 books, and then exceeded it by reading an additional seven books! Reading a total of 11,689 pages.

January
Starter For Ten – David Nicholls
Hummingbird and the Bear – Nicholas Hogg
The Rosie Effect – Graeme Simsion
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne

February
The Girl with All the Gifts – M. R. Carey
The Two of Us – Andy Jones
A Man Lies Dreaming – Lavie Tidhar

March
Paper Towns – John Green
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson
The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

April
Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
The Program – Suzanne Young
The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

May
The Versions of Us – Laura Barnett
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joye

June
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
Perfect – Rachel Joyce

July
Room – Emma Donoghue
Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway – Susan Jeffers

August
It’s Kind of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – John Tiffany
Somewhere Inside of Happy – Anna McPartlin

September
Before I go to Sleep – S. J. Watson

October
The Kind Worth Killing – Peter Swanson

November
The Life of Pi – Yann Martel

December
The Loney – Andrew Michael Hurley
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it all – Jonas Jonasson

Goals for 2017: I’ve set myself the challenge of reading 26 books, whereby the author’s surname of each book has to start with a different letter of the alphabet. With the added rule of not being able to purchase any additional books to complete the challenge.

3. Exercise and diet
My diet has had it’s ups and downs this year, but as we have progressed through the year it has gotten considerably worse. Exercise wise, I have been running since February. It wasn’t until I restarted the Couch 2 5K programme that running became a routine. Once I came back from holiday, I started to slack a little on going to the gym. But when I did go I was pushing myself and was able to complete little goals such as rowing 2k within 10mins at a resistance of 10. Something I have been trying to do for the last few years.


Goals for 2017: Join the local parkrun, I have been putting this off a while but now I can run 5k I have run out suitable excuses. Try several fitness classes, join a local sports club, get back into pilates. Avoid junk/processed food.

4. This blog
Awkward….same story, different year.

Goal for 2017Break the bloody broken record.

5. Mental health
I honestly feel like I am in a much better place mentally than I was this time last year. I still have a lot to overcome or improve, but I have done things this year that I wouldn’t have imagined of doing (travelling – posts to come, promise!). I had a really useful block of CBT earlier in the year and I’m slowly reducing my medication. Exercise has definitely been a great replacement, and having my lunch breaks surrounded nature.

Goals for 2017: I want to continue with the exposure therapy. This year I want to take it to the next level and throw myself into my idea of hell or things that I wish I could do/were doing but currently can’t imagine myself ever doing.

6. Getting arty farty
New goal for 2017! Over the last few months of 2016 I have been practising hand lettering and drawing. I’ve found it very therapeutic and have loved firing the creative cylinders in my brain that were collecting dust. I’m hoping to continue this through 2017 and showing some of the work on here.

Annmarie xoxo