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.
I 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.
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!!!
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.
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.
My friend and I were talking about doing the Color Run (it really pains me that the ‘u’ is missing) in June. I feel like I need to get my arse into gear before then, so I can keep up. Over the last few months I have tried to get back into running, however I lacked the structure. I would go out and run for 10 minutes, then want to die and kept hitting the same wall each time. Plus my anxiety kept playing up and made it hard to keep my breathing steady.
So I put in my sexy secondary orthotics, as I have metatarsalgia/ flat feet and my primary ones are made out of hard plastic so these are more cushiony when pounding the pavements.
When I first started the insoles were digging into my arch making it quite uncomfortable to run. I also had a problem where I didn’t realise the app I was using would just ping when it’s time to run/walk, so I missed most of the first minute run by accident. During my fourth minute run, something in my body clicked and I started to enjoy the runs and it felt comfortable like when I used to run properly. My pace probably has to drop to survive week 2 though. It started to spit at the end which was welcoming.
So today I finally plucked up the courage to attend these beginner sessions at my local Korfball club after enjoying it at Uni. However there were only two adults (myself included) who turned up, so we had some of the youth join us to make up the numbers. And boy can they run!! They definitely tired me out within the first 10 minutes. My poor feet couldn’t keep up.
I knew at the end of this academic year I would have to give up my bike. My prime mode of transport for the year, the object that was the subject of my first ever blog post. Something that I insisted on writing multiple blog posts about. But I didn’t expect it to have such an ending.
Ignoring that the bike was bought for £25 and was a death trap according to a bike company I took it to to fix the brakes, and instead wrote it off and wanted to take it off me. I may have shyly mentioned I need it to get back home that day and never actually returned back to them with said bike like I said I would.
It all started to go down hill for my bike….literally as the brakes were worn and didn’t work. Come winter (a very mild one as well), I had to install bike lights as England is a lovely place where it’s pitch black at 4pm :l Whilst doing so I somehow hulk’ed off the rear mudguard where it attaches to the frame. I tore about a 2cm diameter piece of solid plastic…I hulk’ed it because I have no idea where the strength came from.
My old housemate and I used to cycle on a weekend along a disused railway path near our house. As a celebration/commiseration to an end of an era we went out on one last ride, but decided to cycle the full length (26miles) and back on what was the hottest day of the year so far.
It was going fine until we got to Reepham and we may have gotten lost. That place seems to be a blackspot for mobile phone signals, so we had to rely on a friendly local to navigate us back to our exact starting point in the town. We hadn’t noticed a hidden fingerpost highlighting the direction we should have gone in. We finally arrived in Aylsham, later than expected, and realising we had to cycle 26miles to get back to Norwich. So we started feeding ourselves with as much sugar/carbs filled foods as we could, watching all the trucks and vans passing us thinking they could easily fit 2 bikes in and take us back to Norwich.
We arrived back in Reepham very quickly and went for a pub dinner as it was 8pm and we were still a far distance from Norwich. The first sign that something was going wrong was that my calf muscles started to seize up everytime I would stretch them to get onto my bike and pedal. But I thought that was my body saying I’m a little tired here. After dinner we were back on our bikes, thankful that it was June and still light at 9pm.
We then reached Attlebridge, saddened that our favourite picnic bench was no longer there. My second sign was my legs started shaking. But we pressed on. The section between Attlebridge and Felthorpe is one of my favourites during the day, the woodlands are pretty and I remember one trip when I still had my mudguard after it had rained just going straight through the middle of muddy puddles and not caring. The only problem is the Norwich bound section is a gentle (we are in Norfolk of course) 2 mile incline. By then we had to have our lights on, it was pitch black. Baring in mind my lights are the shitty £3 set that light up nothing were able to light the path in front of us. Along this section I started to feel really light headed and dizzy. Asking if we could walk for a bit, we walked to the next road junction.
Now it was 10:30pm, we were 6 miles from Norwich. As we arrived at the junction I started to feel worse, at first I thought it was panic attack but it felt different. In the end I had to call for a taxi to take us back to Norwich. Luckily having worked for a year studying this route inside out, I knew exactly where we were and was able to give the road names to the cab firm. Except that wasn’t good enough, I assume they thought we were prank calling, and wanted a postcode. We were in the middle of no where, between two villages and surrounded by trees. Luckily I had enough internet (and actual signal) to find the nearest postcode to a business around the corner and they dispatched a cab, and lucky the cab driver knew exactly where we were compared to the phone operator. We then had to hide our bikes discretely so someone couldn’t steal them.
Once back in Norwich we then drove back to the spot we hid our bikes. It was then my friend had told me that whilst we were waiting there were bats flying over. Which then freaked me out. Although my bike had quick release wheels, I’ve never used them and I don’t think the previous owners used it as we struggled to get it open. After lots of manpower and shear determination to not admit defeat my friend got my front wheel off and by 1am I was finally at home in bed.
However, my night wasn’t over with. I felt even worse than I had when cycling back. I was so hot and for some reason my body wasn’t wanting to cool itself down, and once the headache started and I felt nauseous I decided to call 111 who sent me to A&E. It was only when the doctor had said plainly ‘You’ve cycled for 10 hours, in 26degree heat’ (remember England) and that’s when I realised no matter how much I drank it was still a stupid idea. Four hours later I was told I had heat stroke, and spent the next few days recovering.
Sadly my friend tried to repair my bike but in his words. He reattached the front wheel but the lever wouldn’t lock so it would be fine to ride as long as you didn’t shake the bike….which is fine if most of the roads you cycled on didn’t have humps, potholes and drain covers. As the front wheel will just roll away. I then donated the bike to a local enterprise called Bicycle Links, hopefully it was some form of use to them!
It seems quite poetic that my bike died along the same path that I first rode it.
Anyone else try and put a sport bra on top of a normal bra this morning.
Just me. Think that sums up how much I’ve been sleeping lately.
So Sport England recently launched #ThisGirlCan
I have to say it’s the best video I’ve seen to encourage people to exercise. It captures what it’s really like playing sports: meeting new people and all being there for the same reason, really going for it to the point where sweat is dripping everywhere, you’re out of breath and the next day muscles are hurting that you didn’t know existed.
I love that instead of using fitness models they used everyday people. So many people are so self conscious to try sports or step into a gym because they’re afraid of looking sweaty or because of their size, afraid what people might say. But at the end of the day you can improve your fitness. To those who struggle with ugly personalities that they have to put others down to make themselves feel better, well that’s harder to change.
At the end of the day, girls are just as good at sports as guys. For example at training tonight we had a mini shooting tournament, where there were 3 pairs myself and another girl and 4 boys, our coach thought on our goalpost it was going to be down to which boys won. Who were the girls who kicked their arses especially as two of them are on the squad?! we were of course! Were we sweating like pigs afterwards, yeah but who cares we enjoyed it and most importantly we won!
I also got my shirt today…64 64 64 zooooo lane.
Plus I now feel energetic enough to slug through the next billion hours of journal reading. Yaaaay I love this dissertation.
Rereading that post, I struggle to find anything I would change in hindsight, asides from the indent at the start of each paragraph. That sounds quite cocky doesn’t it?
In fact in hindsight it has made me realise how far I’ve come. From the occasional cycle on a multi-use countryside path, to commuting to Uni daily on my trusted bike, and now cycling around Norwich to get to other places. Something I had never planned to do, but had built up the confidence to attempt. Although there have been hiccups – namely doing the tour de Lakenham trying to find the cycle entrance to work and going from being 10 minutes early to 20 minutes late.
My fitness hasn’t been this good since I was at school, and I’m liking the thighs of steel… ok maybe not steel, aluminium? Although whenever I see a hill I internally cry until I’m at the top of it.
I do feel sorry for Diablo though, my trusted friend remains static. I’ve gone from using four wheels daily, to two. I do miss my little sing alongs to the radio though. It would be once I’ve made the switch petrol prices would go under £1.20 wouldn’t it?
Lately I’ve seen lots of ‘what I’d tell my X year old self’ or ‘To my x year old self’, and I find them fascinating. It could be that I’m slightly nosey. But I like see how people grow, or the way a person talks to their older / younger self.
I thought of writing to my 25 year old self, but that’s four years down the line – a lot can change in that time. So I chose 23, two years down the line. The year succeeding my excuse to sing Taylor Swift’s song and it being oh so relatable. (Who’s Taylor Swift anyway?!) Of course to do that I need to get a life…
1. Dude come on, French it up! As Joey says. Of course your French is a lot better than Joey’s, but still there’s a lot of room for improvement. I know you can go weeks without doing any, but if you could just set aside 20 minutes a day who knows where we’ll be!
2. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Currently having withdrawal from exercise classes and weekly gym sessions. We need to keep that feeling going, building that body strength so whenever someone springs burpees, push ups, crunches on you, you don’t want to move into foetal position and cry.
3. Have a job you enjoy Yes, you don’t know what you want to do. But you know what you don’t want to do, at least that’s a start. Hopefully we’re in a job that makes us happy, because we’ve learnt that is more important than the pay slip at the end of it.
4. Have your own place Somewhere at least you can store the crap you have accumulated over the years. It would be nice if you were financially stable enough to rent your own place, and buy all the homeware you have been lusting after for years.
5. Let go Of all the negativities, but also opening yourself up to lots of new opportunities. Turn off that ruddy brain every so often!
In the end this just ends up being a long to do list for my current self.