I got the skillz to pay the billz

Once more, I am going to be Terrible Blogger (TM) and quote myself, from Garmin Connect:

Here’s what I love about not having a training plan: I don’t force myself through a run that I can’t do. That is, I run what I feel. Sometimes that means cutting a run short (for a good reason, feeling tired or sorry for myself or unmotivated does not count as a good reason) or, like tonight, to tack a few extra kms onto a run that’s feeling good. Which makes me so happy. SO HAPPY! Particularly when I haven’t been running anywhere near as much as I’d like to because of the blasted ankle. Anyway, the run tonight was great except for two big things: 1. I felt as though I was really thudding down onto the path, I did not feel light at all, like I was stomping in a running-like fashion rather than running. It got better, but I really had to pay attention to my footfall. On the plus side, this confirmed that my actual foot-placement on the road is really good; still a ‘front-midfoot’ strike. 2. At the start of Jez Bragg Rd (whatever its name is) I got a really awful stitch under my mid-ribs on the left side, and just below my bottom ribs on the right. By the time I hit the Broadway it was gone, but it really knocked it out of me for a few minutes. Happily, I kept running though it, and felt good for it. Finally, I discovered tonight that it’s actually really difficult to keep your pace slow, particularly when you feel good.

Things have been particularly crazy recently, and it’s nice to just get out for a run.  Last night I got home and watched the middle of The Breakfast Club, and then reassessed my wardrobe.  Actually, I then fell asleep on the floor but those two things are sort of synonymous (in my own head, at least).

Now I am drinking a beer, and then I am having a shower and going to bed.  Oh, the exciting life I lead…


Thoughts: up and down

defaultI just went on the worst run I’ve been on in a long while.  This is how I described it on Garmin Connect:

What a terrible run. Pleased I made the 5km distance and in relatively good time with how I was feeling, and being first run since I hurt my ankle. Left (i.e. injured) ankle was fine the whole way around. I thought I’d taken it too far towards the end when it ‘clicked’ out of place, but it was absolutely fine. Legs felt heavy, which I think it pretty standard for me first run back after an injury break. Plus, I haven’t even been doing too much walking etc. trying to get the ankle back. All in all, feeling good and now it’s time to turn to TR24, Royal Parks Ultra and (most important!) Round Rotherham!

For now, not much else to say.  Life has been busy and not running has been horrible.  But, now that my ankle has taken on 5km of path with no pain I can start planning my training properly.  So, that will be the next thing up.


Multi-Run Saturday!

Yesterday was Operation TR24 Training day 1!  My aim was to complete four 5km runs, which I didn’t do – but I am counting the day as a success.  I ran 2 5kms and a 6km, but my ankle was starting to get sore and baby Neon was getting a bit whingy and running a temperature when I got home from the final run so I thought it was best to not risk the ankle and to give Mr. Neon a bit of a sick-baby break.

There is one thing I’m not happy about and that’s the pace I ran.  I wanted to go super-easy and keep the pace low, which I didn’t do.  In fact, towards the end of the first run I started racing myself a little bit.  Not cool.

Here are the runs:

run 1run 2run 3

So, overall I’m happy with the runs, and I’m pleased that I went so well doing the three runs.  I’m going to continue to split my long runs up like this, but perhaps with some different distances as well.  I’m thinking I need to add a longer run into the mix – so instead of breaking my 20km into 4 lots of 5km, perhaps a 5km, followed by a 10km, and finish with a 5km.

The only other thing I want to mention is the Jack Daniels VDOT score.  I originally read about this on Mr. Neon’s blog: Tin Man Adventures (this post).  Here is my VDOT score:

em vdot

I’m going to talk more about this in a post of it’s own.

Tonight, a rotisserie  workout and then bed.  My caffeine and sugar reduction is going okay, but I’m tired – except I’ve had two jam sandwiches after dinner which has ruined my sugar reduction today.  At least it wasn’t doughnuts!

Untitled #482 (Another Running Gush)*

I have a confession to make.  I do this:


Except not on a treadmill.  Out in the world.  And I mouth words to songs I’m listening to.

And, I’m not embarrassed about it.  I don’t do it normally, when I’m walking down the street, or sitting on the tube.  But, I sometimes just can’t hold it in when I’m running.  I don’t do it all the time – in fact most of the time I run like a normal person.  Sometimes I’m just so damn excited to be running that I can’t help it.

Tonight was the second run back from illness, and I’m feeling really good.  My left ankle is still presenting some problems, but is getting better.  Last night I was laying in bed thinking about how much I miss post-long-run-heavy-legs – that feeling you get laying in bed the night of a long run and your legs are exactly sore but they feel satisfied.  I know that sounds weird, but I’m sure other runners will get it!  My goal for this weekend (obviously apart from Eurovision!) is to remedy that.  A long run!  I’m more excited than I should be.

After the run, Mr Neon and I did his evil rotisserie workout; 2 x 30 seconds of: superman, left side plank, crunches, right side plank, front plank. Awful and awesome.  It actually should be 45 seconds, but I know my core is no where near ready for that after 30 years of neglect.  Plus, I had a bit of help with my last set of crunches:


In non-running related news my mum has been visiting and left today, which is a bit sad but we are going to see her again in September in Australia.  And on that, I got my residency permit today.  That means that I am officially a permanent resident of the United Kingdom!  No more worry.  It’s great, but there was a small part of me that was a little sad.  Getting this means that I’m not an Australian resident any more.  Never mind the fact that I haven’t lived there for several years and I don’t vote there.  It’s much more happy than sad, though!

And now, to bed!

*Here is a (perhaps) little known fact: before doing what I do now I went to art school.  In fact, I very nearly ended up going to one of Australia’s premier art schools to study drawing rather than to the university I went to to study classics.  All of my works in the history of forever have, with only a few exceptions, been titled in this way.  That is ‘Untitled’ followed by a random number, followed by an actual title in parentheses.  One day I am going to find a way to name an article or book in this fashion, as homage to my ‘previous life’ as an artist.


I sat down in my local cafe this morning, as I do most Saturday mornings, with Mr. Neon and baby Neon.  I rarely read the paper or any of the magazines here, most often opting to work on one of the billion things I have up in the air at the moment (thesis, upcoming article series for PhD2Published, Hikesia, job documents etc.)  This morning, however, I picked up a magazine which asked – in bold pink on its cover – how the Kardashians sold themselves to make their money.  I actually didn’t read this article (although I was pleasantly surprised at the affordable price of the clothes they were wearing, all around £20-£40).  Instead I skimmed the article before it, which was about the over prescription of antidepressants in Britain at the moment.  Or perhaps it was more focused on the over diagnosis of mental illness, either way.

I have never shied away from the fact that I have suffered from, at times, quite severe depression.  The birth of my daughter was induced because I was so depressed, and was already on the maximum dose of antidepressants that they would give me while pregnant.  I have been taking antidepressants (more specifically the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor Citalopram) for several years, at various doses.  In my teenage years I suffered from eating disorders, and was also put on antidepressants at that time.

My struggles in depression have, in many ways, been both typical and atypical.  I have no problem with the fact that I may be on antidepressants for the rest of my life.  I would rather that than live in darkness.  Although there are definite triggers for both my depressing and my continuing food-related struggles, I do not think that either is based on any specific event or circumstance in my life.  I have had a large amount of therapy, which I have found very useful.  At the end of the day, my biggest problem is that my brain produces the wrong mix of chemicals.

I am not ashamed of my depression.  I think that mental illness has a stigma because we make it have a stigma.  We, the sufferers, are ashamed – and we have no reason to be.

And that is a big reason why I have decided to run for Mind.  In their own words:

We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

I don’t want to spend too much time talking about what Mind do, because they can say it better than I can, and their website is full of useful, easy to understand information.  I will say this: because of the stigma (self imposed or not) of mental health issues, sufferers need a strong advocate.  Mind not only provide much needed support and advice for those suffering from mental health issues, but they act as an advocate for all those sufferers, campaigning for better conditions, better support, more NHS support, easier access to various therapies.  But (almost) more importantly, they are helping to break down the stigma that surrounds mental health problems.

What am I doing?  Well, running 50kms though London’s Royal Parks on October 6th.  This will be my last long run before October 19th Round Rotherham 80km.

What can you do? Well, you can sponsor me HERE (please remember to also add Gift Aid for UK tax payers!).  You can also come on on October 6th and plonk yourself somewhere on the course and watch me triumph/suffer around 50kms of London’s parks and paths.


Whatever you do, remember: mental health issues are serious, and people who suffer mental health issues deserve the same support and respect as anyone else.  Don’t stigmatise metal health.

Tick, tick, tick

I feel like I have been super productive recently.  Things I have done:

  • Had my biometric data done for my application for Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • Booked and paid for the (second!) change to our flights for the trip to Australia
  • Finished and submitted a text analysis for a higher-education-materials company that I do some freelance work for
  • Had a haircut
  • Submitted my abstract for the American Philological Association’s 2014 conference
  • Emailed this weeks speaker at WiP
  • Been to ‘The Making of Harry Potter’

Unfortunately, that leave only one thing on my to-do list:


Um… I had better do it.