mental health

Stop relying on those struggling to speak first

August 14, 2017


(CW: talk of suicide.)

I’m a bit irritated. 

I used to blog a lot when I was irritated. I loved having fierce emotions and strong opinions but when my mental health started going up the spout, my fierce emotions became a misdirected mess and I had no opinions on anything because what’s the fucking point, am I right. 

But I’m irritated and tired at a particular part of the mental health conversation so I’m here and ready to bang my gavel.

running

Tips and tricks for new runners

August 01, 2017


I’m by no means an expert with running. I have no qualifications and I’ve never been coached. My progress from Couch to Marathon happened through running friends whose unsolicited advice I raged at but secretly took on board, stalking running communities on Instagram, a lot a lot a lot of Googling, and making shit up. Mostly the making shit up part.

But, as I’ve documented my running since day one, others have started running too and I’m often hit with Twitter and Instagram DM requests from strangers, and Facebook messages from old school friends, who want to know how to start running. 

This is support I can give. Support to encourage others to get their arses out the door, and empower them to realise that they CAN run, if they want to.

So, here are the most common questions I get and the most important advice I'd give. It’s not an IKEA instruction booklet to follow to the letter, or strict and heavy advice on the technicalities and science behind running and all that comes with it, but a bunch of lessons I’ve learned since opening my old wardrobe to see what I could wear to go for a run 694 days ago.

travel

Salzburg, Austria (May 2017)

July 10, 2017


At one point last year, during another conversation where my mum was moaning about not doing stuff and banging on about all the shit she wants to do, I turned around and went, “Then let’s go. Let’s do it. Next year, we’re going.”

I didn’t say it just (just) to shut her up. I said it because I was learning the art of ‘doing shit’ and it was about time she did too. We’re a family of excuse-makers and I was bored of it. So I told her we were going.

We were going to go to Salzburg, Austria. We were going to do the official Sound of Music tour. What on earth had I let myself in for?

running

How do you run after a marathon?

June 29, 2017


It sounds stupid, doesn’t it? How do you run after you’ve  JUST RUN 26.2 MILES? Lots of running, that. You definitely know how to run.

But…

Like…

I couldn’t run? It’s a thing. I’d heard of the thing and I oh-pish-poshed at the thing, and then I ran a marathon and thought I could, and would, never run again. 

It might have been the ‘post marathon-blues’ or something completely different, but this is how I became utterly fucking terrified of putting one foot in front of another post-ACTUAL MARATHON.

life

I saved the life of my body, and now it could save another's

June 15, 2017


I had to weigh myself yesterday. I don’t have any scales in our flat, so I had to use a friend’s after work. I try to not make a habit of weighing myself, although I am low-key attempting to lose a bit of weight and have been all year. I tracked my weight during marathon training out of interest to see how my body was changing, and I lost quite a bit. It was pretty cool to see how your body adapts.

I weighed myself yesterday because Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer charity, told me to. Because they rang me and told me I might be a match for someone with blood cancer. There’s someone out there who’s in need of a stem cell transplant and my profile came up as someone who could save them. I could save their life with my body. 

I could literally be saving a life.