Advice for New Runners from a Noob

I started running just under a year ago. Here some of the things I’ve realised so far: Continue reading

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January Anxiety

January is tough. I always tell myself that the start of the year will be good and it never quite happens.

I love Christmas. I love staying at home with my family and spending time off together. Turning the corner into January I can see the entire year stretching out in front, and that intimidates me. I plan some of the things I’m going to do, I get my work things organised, and brace myself for getting back to normal. Continue reading

High Standards or Nitpicking?

There’s a fine line between wanting to do your best and being overly-concerned with tiny details.

I was particularly determined to get a high mark in one Creative Writing assignment; I didn’t want to leave a single stone unturned (oops, my tutor wouldn’t have liked that cliché). Before that point in my course I had written two assignments, and had received a higher mark for the radio-play script than for the short story. For the third assignment I could choose either medium.

Commonsense, and hints from the tutor, pushed me in the direction of script-writing, but I wanted to write a short story and I decided to go with my instinct. I set out to prove that I could get a higher mark for short-story writing. Continue reading

Favourite Songs in 2015

Every month in 2015 I chose a favourite song and put them on a playlist – only a couple of them actually came out in 2015 and most are much older! It’s an odd mixture. Most of them now remind me of things that happened last year:

January – One of Us by ABBA

February – Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA

March – The Blue Danube by J. Strauss II

April – The Man With The Child In His Eyes by Kate Bush

May – Last Hope by Paramore

June – Diggin’ Up The Heart by Brandon Flowers Continue reading

Planning My Rest

I had a day off on Saturday.

It’s rare that I don’t have something I need to do, or something I specifically want to achieve – a writing agenda, a reading agenda, an exercise agenda, or maybe an idea for band. As a result, if I don’t plan myself some time off then it’s never going to happen.

As we moved into the New Year I was thinking that I rarely give myself time to breathe. I thought about everything I do and wondered if I’d feel better if I stopped doing some of it. The autumn term wasn’t particularly stressful, but it meant that I had time to fill with other projects, including finishing a first draft of my book. I ended up as busy as ever. It was satisfying, but at the same time I found I couldn’t wait for a couple of weeks off at Christmas. Continue reading

Running Before You Can…

This is a difficult post to write.

By nature I seem to swing easily from being strictly disciplined to a layabout (ok, that’s an exaggeration!). So when I set a goal and manage to stick to the process it’s a massive deal, particularly with running, because I find it difficult.

I can’t believe that I built up to a 5k race from nothing. And then 10k. All year I’ve had my sights on the local Half Marathon at the start of March, because that’s what kicked the whole thing off for me: I saw the runners last year and had an adrenaline rush. I wanted to be them. Continue reading

Migraines and Me

I’ve suffered from migraines for years. Many people don’t know what they’re like – unless you get them it’s difficult to imagine. I’m not a medical expert or a scientist; this is just my personal experience of migraines, sparing none of the gruesome details (sorry).

Migraines are not the same as headaches, and neither are they mild. For ‘normal’ headaches the ‘glass of water and couple of paracetamol’ remedy might work, but it is unlikely to work with migraines. The symptoms of migraine are different for different people – I get a headache and nausea; others have visual symptoms instead or as well. It can be completely crippling.

Often I can feel the migraine coming on the day before – I may be unusually tired, hyper, or feel like there’s a weight on me.  I almost always wake up with it in the morning. I haven’t found anything that will stop it by that point. The headache itself can be anything from a dull, queasy ache, to a sharp pain in the right side of my head. Continue reading