When I was living in Glasgow, I tried a local run club that was well rated and was quite popular.  I had hoped to meet some like minded people and improve my running.

Instead, I felt worse about myself and my running, and I certainly didn’t meet anyone.  I went several times for an entire summer and I really tried to make it work.  But it was so exhausting and demoralising to be the LAST one every time and to not be able to complete the intervals (when we did intervals) because I was that much slower than everyone else.  (Not to mention I fucking hate intervals where you are running literally 5-7 laps as fast as you can with a 30 second break.)

And then there were the time trials, where I was ALWAYS the last person and was practically dragged around by the last pacer.  I remember it being a warm (for Glasgow) summer night and I was gasping for breath and he wouldn’t let me slow down.  I hated every second of it.  And then to get to the finish line with everyone who had already finished already standing around (and looking bored) waiting for me.  It was embarrassing and humiliating.

After that, I stopped going.

And after that I decided that run clubs weren’t for me.

Then I moved to Cardiff and I found that there was a local (and by local I mean a 2 minute walk local!) women’s run club, that on paper sounded perfect.  The page read that they were inclusive, catered to everyone, and had a variety of different runs and paces every week.

So, I took a chance and checked it out.

And I was glad that I did. It’s been brilliant and amazing!  Everyone has been welcoming, every run caters to a variety of distance and paces, and best of all- it’s been fun!

I’ve really enjoyed these evening runs, and I am looking forward to next week’s run!

January:

January started off grim, with the death of my main PhD supervisor.  It was pretty unbelievable.

I also travelled to Edinburgh for the Great Winter Run!

And Steph and I protested the Muslim ban at a protest in Glasgow city centre.

 

February:

I went to see The Boys in the Band in London again.

March:

I saw Stornoway on their farewell tour and I ran the Resolution Run.

April:

Steph and I went to see David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho.

May:

I took a solo trip to Mallorca.

I also submitted my final copy of my PhD to uni.

 

And Steph (and I) rescued Alonzo.

 

June:

I ran the Women’s 10k in Glasgow, saw the Crucible, and graduated, making me officially Doctor Cindy!

July:

I ran a lot.

August:

I ran the OUTRun 5 miler and Steph and I went to Pride.

September:

Lots of running in prep for the Royal Parks Half and I also went to Cardiff for a job interview, which I was offered and I accepted.

October:

October was a whirlwind!  I went to London to run the Royal Parks Half on my 42nd birthday.  The following week I moved to Wales, first staying in Penarth in an AirBnB, and then moving to my flat at the end of the month!

November:

I had a crazy 24 hour train trip when I returned to Glasgow to get Bailey and ended up staying overnight in Preston.  I also went to the theatre to see the musical Tiger Bay.

December:

I ran the Cardiff Santa & Elf Dash.

Steph and I met up in London to see Hamilton!

I travelled to Scotland to spend Christmas with Steph and Alonzo.

 

So, that was my year.  Of course it goes without saying that overall, this year was a massive dumpster fire given what is going on in the world.  On balance, my personal year was pretty good, but it’s been overshadowed by the uncertainty of the world in the US and UK.  It’s frightening to live in a world where nuclear war could be started by a tweet. . .

 

Hopefully, 2018 will be a great year.

At the beginning of the year, I set out several goals for myself.

 

 

Let’s see how I did.

 

  1. Find a job.- YES I DID! 🍾
  2. Journal every day.- Yeah, pretty much. On days I forgot or was too tired, I just made up on the following evening.
  3. Run a sub minute 5K.- Just barely, and on the treadmill, not in a race situation.  I definitely have struggled with speed and I know working on my last goal would have helped me in that.  Well, there’s always 2018 (if we’re lucky)!

  4. Run another half (preferably without injury).- YES I DID! 🍾

  5. Stretch and strength train more consistently.- Errrr not really.  I was relatively good about it at first, and then I just sort of stopped.  Until I moved to Cardiff, I was taking Pilates classes every week which was really great and beneficial.  I definitely need to find somewhere and be more consistent again.  I’ll give myself half credit here.

  6. Lose the last 30 pounds.- Not even bloody close! I’ve maintained my lowest weight within 2-5 pounds, so I have become an excellent maintainer.  Now I need to work on losing again.

Well 5.5/6 isn’t bad.  I’ll be back soon with a general recap of 2017 and my 2018 goals.

 

 

Have you thought about goals for 2018?  They don’t have to be fitness related, they could be more general, like working on improving your writing, or saving a certain amount of money per month.

I don’t tend to overshare this aspect of my life like I would about the more trivial things.  Perhaps sharing the minutiae of life is easier than delving into the depths of your soul.  It certainly is for me.

I’ve suffered from (and this makes me think of a swooning Victorian female prostrate on a fainting couch quite frankly) anxiety since I was about 10 years old.  I had no idea what it as, what I was experiencing until I was at uni at 18, studying psychology.

So, from 10-18, I suffered without knowing what it was or why I was like this.  I didn’t get any help for it until I was in my 30s.

I remember the first time it happened.  I had watched my sister while my mom and nana were at bingo.  I was convinced there was a noise in the house, and crept about with a kitchen knife, convinced of dangers lurking in the shadows.  Perhaps my overactive imagination was the problem.  Maybe I read too many Trixie Belden books as a child.

That night was the first night I was convinced I was going to die.  My heart was racing, my vision blurred, and I felt ill.  I didn’t connect the fear to this terrifying experience.  I put it down to too much sun and ice cream.

After that night, these episodes would occur on and off, usually in the middle of the night leaving me terrified and exhausted. As they were random, and no harm ever seemed to come- other than a sleepless night, it was never brought up to my doctor.

By the time I went away to uni, I was a bit more self aware and found that these episodes occurred at times of stress.  I rightfully predicted an episode one of my first night’s in the dorm.  I was ready and prepared for the violent shaking, dizziness, racing heart,  and nausea that accompanied them.

Once I had a few psych courses under my belt, I intellectually knew what I as dealing with and because of this, I may have experienced a bit less anxiety than normal while I was completing my undergrad.  However, that was when I was diagnosed with depression- which was an entirely different ballgame.

Despite the psychology knowledge, it took some time and a lot of a bit not good behaviours to actually get help.  Medication helped somewhat, and I had my first experience with therapy/counselling.  If I’m honest, I’ve not had much success with it over the past 20+ years.  Maybe I’ve not found the right person.  I do know that it is very beneficial for many, but for me, it generally makes me feel worse.

Perhaps, it may be due to the fact that until very recently (I’m talking over the past 2-3 years) that the medication I was on had not had a substantial effect on my mood.  Since finding something that works for me, things have been much, much better.  Not perfect, but the long periods of darkness and desire for death have been replaced with much shorter bouts, which have been rather reliably predictable (and probably will be for a few more years.).  “Middle age comes to us all.”

That being said . . .it’s not just the medication, but the lifestyle changes that I made as well.  I know that there wold be a substantial number of people who would disagree with my saying so, but running regularly and not eating ice cream like my life depended on it was certainly a factor as well.

So, this is why I am participating in Run up to Christmas  🎄 in support of Mind Charity.  I’m running as much as I can and posting and sharing on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

I hope what I’ve shared might have helped someone.

So since I’ve last posted, I ran the Royal Parks Half, flew back to Glasgow, packed up my life and moved to Wales.

First, I spent a couple of weeks in an AirBnB in Penarth.  I spent as much time as I could walking and running along the beach.

I saw some gorgeous sunsets.

 

And I pet some cats.

And then I moved to my new flat!

After I settled in, I went back up to Glasgow to get Bailey, which ended up being a 24 hour trip from Glasgow to Cardiff!  But we made it home in the end.

 

 

I’ve been really enjoying my new job.  It’s given me opportunities to attend conferences, workshops, and research launches.

I’ve had some time for sightseeing and the theatre as well.

And now, I’m getting ready for Christmas!  (This is the tree in my work building, not my own tree!)

That’s the past month and a half in a nutshell!  More to come soon!