What I Learnt in October

It felt like the start of autumn, the leaves finally turned orange and yellow and it finally got cold enough to warrant jumpers AND coats and even a scarf on a particularly chilly day. Looking back I appeared to do a lot in October, I applied and got a seasonal job, I applied and didn’t get a fixed term job. I officially suspended my studies for the year from university, I met one of my heroes and listened to her talk science for 2 hours, I ran the fastest I have ever ran 10K and I spent 5 days on holiday. For someone who doesn’t like to be busy I was surprisingly busy.

  1. Running hard is hard.
    • Running at a pace that is uncomfortable but bearable and achievable and not letting yourself slow down and back away from the pain is hard. It’s hard not to pull away. It’s hard to say to yourself that yes, whilst this might be really uncomfortable and difficult and faster then you thought you could run you have got this, you have the legs for this and it will be ok.
    • Because you never know if you give it your best shot you might end up running your fastest 10K yet and completely surprising yourself.
  2. Finding joy in the smallest parts of life is important
    • Being grouchy and unhappy and bored with life is sometimes a choice. As someone who lives with depression I know that it’s not always possible to be a ray of sunshine but you can make a point every single day to find something to be happy about or find beautiful or find joy in. You don’t have to be unhappy with everything all the time.
    • You can find joy in the quiet in a morning with you and the birds before the rest of the world wakes up. You can find joy in the cold air and the smoke rings you breathe out into the cold. You can find joy in learning something new, in seeing a flower bud out. You can find joy in the words you are reading or the music you are listening to. It doesn’t have to be big but finding the joy in what you do is important and beautiful in its own way.
  3. Having your plans change is terrifying.
    • I am not someone who deals well with change. I cling to plans like a limpet, they are my life line and I get serious anxiety about being spontaneous and doing things that I haven’t planned out to the nth degree beforehand.
    • Having your plans change in a massive way (i.e. not doing uni this year) is really scary and it’s okay to be scared and frightened and lost and feel alone and that what you’re doing seems wrong.
    • But, it’s also ok to remember that it was the right decision, and you are doing all the things you are meant to be doing. Taking the steps to continue education can be scary, and taking the steps to gain experience in the meantime, or to recover your health or just to breathe is important and valid and necessary. No one is asking you to do more than you can.
  4. It’s ok to mourn a relationship
    • Even if that relationship has been dead for years. It’s ok feel lonely or unaccomplished or ashamed of how the other person has moved on and you seemingly haven’t. You have achieved more than you think.
    • Life isn’t a race to the end. There will be new relationships and new loves and new heartbreaks and new smiles and tears. There is no time limit on life or love.
    • It’s ok to look back at what once was but don’t forget to look forward to what could be too.

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What I Learnt in August

August definitely just came and went and I can’t quite believe that it’s September, the schools are back in and Halloween is basically just around the corner.

  1. Not running anything further than 3 miles for 2 weeks doesn’t mean you lose the ability to run for longer distances. Don’t panic April. All will be well.
  2. Despite the fact that I am still afraid of being stung by a jellyfish I can go in the sea when I can actually see jellyfish and not die. Plus jellyfish are pretty cool and if I had to have a career involving the environment I would quite like to be a jellyfish expert.
  3. Sweet potato and chickpeas do not belong in a pasty.
  4. The Titanic was the first ship in distress to use SOS (they also used CQD which was the more common distress signal at the time). Also, CQD does not mean ‘Come. Quickly: Distress’ or anything similar, it is thought to mean, ‘All stations: distress’. P.S. everyone who I know personally has been told this fact (and the next one soz).
  5. People have been getting tattoos for a very long time (in England definitely since the 1900s) and people have been hating on people getting tattoos for almost as long. Tattoos aren’t a new thing, and people hating on them isn’t a new thing. You do you.
  6. Being friends with people is difficult because sometimes you don’t quite know where you stand. Is it okay if you like them more then they like you? When you’re 5 years old you can straight up ask, “Can I be your (best)friend?” and that’s okay but it doesn’t really work past the age of 7. How do you work out how much your friend actually likes you, like, are they just irritated at the multiple snapchats they periodically get from me? Are they just pretending to be interested in my life? Who knows the answers to friendship past the age of 12?
  7. Being a tourist in your local area is the best thing and everyone should try it once every so often.

Running Pt 1 (Being Heckled)

I go running somewhat a lot of the time. But I’m not a ‘good’ runner. I don’t look like a runner. I don’t go out in short shorts and a sports bra and I don’t run particularly fast and not particularly far. And I wanted to potentially write more than one post about running when you’re not fast, or super fit, or can run super far, about how rubbish running can be when you’re not a professional, and how good it can actually be too.

So to start with, I’m gonna talk about being heckled. Cause this is such an annoyance. I like to run in the mornings. Like, I’ll get up, breathe, take the half hour or so it takes to get out of bed, then chuck some clothes on and get out the door. Ideally, this would mean I would be out of the door by 8 but let’s be real that never happens, so it’s heading towards half 8, quarter to 9 by the time I’m outside. Which is fine, great, it’s the morning and I’m ready to exercise. However, a lot of the routes I run go past schools. Primary schools tend to be okay since kids under the age of 11 tend not to start yelling at you as you run past. It’s the high school that is an issue. I have had boys (and it is always boys) that look like they’re 12 or 13 yell stuff at me as I’m running past. I mean, I’m 21 guys, I’ve done the horrors that was year 8 and year 9 so I don’t need you to be shouting at me please and thankyou. I don’t run with music because the earphones jump out of my ears and I’m paranoid about being run over so I can’t even pretend not to have heard them.

I have been heckled by grown men too (what a surprise right?). Recently, it was at the end of a 10 mile run so I wasn’t looking particularly impressive (think red face, grimaces, sweat dripping down my forehead type glamourous) and they yelled something, I think about there being something in another 2 miles? Honestly, I don’t even know but why do they have to do it in the first place? Like what do you get out of this? HOW DOES THIS ENTERTAIN YOU? Is there nothing better for you to be doing? Am I that entertaining? It’s not like I shout back. I like to imagine I flick my hair over my shoulder and run on like an Amazon but realistically I probably look like someone has eaten the last of my food and I’m super pissed.

Or, you get the old guys who are just killing time walking around the streets like 60+ year old men do, and they’ll stop and say something. I had two men do this today. And no, it wasn’t particularly offensive (but my ears stop working when I’m running so in all honesty they could be saying anything and I’d smile as I ran past) but I don’t understand why they feel the need to comment at all. I have never in my life had a woman say anything to me when I was running alone apart from once, when I was doing a fartlek and another runner swept past me and encouraged me on (which also was a tad annoying but that’s just because it was early).

What is it that makes blokes feel like they need to say something to you as you run past? I have no problem with the customary ‘morning’ or smile and nod as I’m running past people, I’m a notherner, I’m friendly, I can do that no problemo, but why on earth do you feel the need to comment on someone that is running? Sometimes I really feel like stopping, turning around and saying ‘please go run 7 miles and then come and tell me how you feel buddy’ cause let me tell you, anything over 5 miles and I’m gonna look like death on legs if it’s warm and almost death on legs if it’s cold.

So, here are my few and far between tips on how to deal with people that are yelling at you while you’re running –

  1. Ignore them. You’re the one who is hitting the pavement, tearing your muscles in order for them to repair and become stronger, making your respiratory system work hard and clear those airways. You do you and ignore the people that are clearly not worth your time because I don’t see them running anywhere.
  2. Run with music. This way you can actually not hear them, or at least pretend that you haven’t heard them. If you do this please make sure you can hear traffic though, crossing roads can be dangerous, there’s heavy machinery about (being driven by people who aren’t running).
  3. That’s all I got pretty much. I am a scared child inside so as much as I would say I would like to turn round and shout back I am never in a million years going to do it (and I mean, it’s like encouragement so I probably wouldn’t recommend it either).

Here are my tips to help stop yourself heckling and shouting at runners you see on the street –

  1. Don’t. It’s that simple.

Things I learnt in July

July July July, a good old month of rain and sunshine, the start of a new bullet journal and suddenly reading like 5 books. Here’s what I learnt in July –

  1. Intelligence does not equal grades
    • This was one I learnt over a long period of time because let’s be honest here, I am not one to get As in essays, like ever
    • But, I did come to the realisation that no matter what, the grade you get at the end of an exam or from some coursework doesn’t tell you how clever someone is. Exams, in my opinion, mostly just test memory let’s be real
    • Also, that intelligence is more than just books. I mean, common sense, people sense, being able to convey an idea, to be able to make a relationships with people, to be able to participate in a debate, musical intelligence, artistic intelligence I mean, no one can do everything perfectly right? Intelligence is more than just one thing
  2. You don’t have to react like everyone else to situations
    • I often don’t feel like I react the way I’m supposed to, or how everyone else reacts to situations and I find myself watching what other people are doing/reacting in order to know the best way for me to react
    • That was kinda long winded I’m sorry
    • BUT I have kinda come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to respond to a situation the way most other people will and that’s okay so long as it’s not hurting anyone
    • Graduation was a big one here – it felt like an in-between day involving a lot of standing around and it wasn’t magical or fun or exciting. It was a day in between many other days that just ended up with my feet being sore and tired
  3. Day trips are the best
    • I made it a goal for July to make more day trips to places and despite not going all over the show I very much enjoyed the places I went to
    • I went to Leeds (kinda) and Haworth with an absolute babe of an English nerd, had some cracking ice cream and learnt something about the Bronte’s
    • I went to Liverpool to the museum and art gallery and got soaking wet in the rain and raced onto the train with 30 seconds to spare and felt like a superhero
  4. Running with other people is interesting
    • I joined a running club this month. And they are some of the friendliest people I have ever met – I have never felt more welcomed into a new group ever
    • Having to remember how to formulate words while running can sometimes be really difficult and honestly, I mostly just run and listen to everyone else talk
    • HOWEVER, running with other people makes you more accountable and so I can’t just bail on a 6 miler and cut it short, which is good in the long run. It’s also made me realise that I can run faster then I think I can
    • Running is all the mind (well at least 75%)

Soooooooo not that many people ever are interested but July meant I learnt a lot, mostly about running if I’m completely honest cause that seems to have taken over a few of my evenings now. I’m not even sorry about it either.