Couch to 5K: Losing My Momentum

OK.

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Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

So I gave up on Couch To 5K. Only a little bit, mind, not completely.

But I’ve not been running for a few weeks because…life got in the way, basically.

That’s a terrible excuse, I know.

Actually. I take that back. I don’t need to excuse myself. I don’t give a monkeys if you care that I haven’t been for a run in a fortnight. I doubt you even care, so I’m doubly not going to apologise for that.

You might remember my last Couch to 5K post was a while ago, and I detailed how hard I was finding the jogs, and that I’d hit my own personal wall with regards to the entire running lark.

Life then got in the way, I got a weird cold, my period slapped me in the face and I never want to run when I’m cramping no matter how many articles will repeatedly tell me exercise is a healer. Reece went on holiday so I wasn’t able to keep my routine up, Elliot got chicken pox and turned into a velcro child so I couldn’t walk to the toilet on my own let alone go for a half hour run, I also got a stinking chest infection which just threw me back a thousand steps as well.

Overall, everything just went out the window and got blown away in Storm Gareth and I decided to just give up and let myself just be taken away by the wind. Imagine my will to live being Jack floating down under the water at the end of Titanic.

Unfortunately, I have realised that I felt better when I was running regularly. I was feeling more, that’s for sure.

Not like Beyonce style feeling myself but I would come home and feel proud of myself, which is a lovely emotion that doesn’t come out often. I would sometimes come home and cry because half an hour of running around with my own thoughts was like therapy (with me coaching myself through my own thoughts so probably not the best kind of therapy) and I felt stronger, both mentally and physically.

Anyway. Back to the actual point, this is me telling you. And myself, mainly because we already know you don’t really care. I’m telling the void that I’m going to start moving again.

It might not be Couch to 5K, okay! I don’t want to pressure myself into the timings of the runs, as I find myself counting down the seconds and the minutes instead of actually thinking about  and enjoying the physical act of running, which I think is the actual point.

I’ve been contemplating dragging the yoga mat out again. A few years ago I really enjoyed Yoga With Adriene and got really into it, I even managed crow pose one and was touching my toes on the regular. But then, as per usual, life got in the way and I ended up letting the yoga mat gather dust behind the sofa.

I even found myself staring at my swimming costume the other day, daring myself to pop down to the pool for a few lengths. Bear in mind, I haven’t done any proper swimming since I was about 12, so this would be a real jump into the unknown. My main reservation with this idea is that they haven’t sorted out a way that I can listen to music whilst swimming. I’m not here to listen to Barry in the slow lane huffing and puffing.

I’m going to tentatively dip my metaphorical toe into the metaphorical pool and see what works and what happens and, as always, will keep you updated when I inevitably give up on this new venture in three months time.

See you then!

 

My Guide To Clubbing As A 25 Year Old.

HAHAHAHA.

I’ll elaborate on the title in a second, but just know that I’ve been writing this blog post in my head since I got in the queue on Saturday night. My first queue for a club in about ….six years? Jesus.

I even went on the Facebook page that afternoon and put us on the guest-list so we qualified for a free Jagerbomb.

(The best bit: it wasn’t even a Jagerbomb and when we went to the bar, confused, and proffering these bits of paper that said Promo Drink, the barman had to explain what this weird other drink was. In the end he said “it’s free and it’s alcoholic – will that do?” …yes please thank you sir.)

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actual photo of myself

If you’re like me, feeling old as balls even though you’re probably statistically in the prime of your life, and normally treat yourself to a podcast in bed at 11pm, occasionally reminiscing the days where you went out before snuggling down with a hot chocolate – live through me and my Saturday night to know clubbing hasn’t changed since 2012.

I realised I was out of my depth when we entered the queue. This is a really niche reference, so if you get it please Tweet me and let me know but the girl in front of me in the queue really reminded me of Effy’s friend from her episode in Series 1 of Skins. You know the one that borrows tights off her mum and says “I don’t think many orgy’s happen in Luton?”

Oh, and I also couldn’t take my eyes off the guy who had dinner plates for pupils and kept trying to gnaw his friends ear off. He was pretty interesting as well.

Once we were inside, I instantly became aware I was wearing too many clothes. I was wearing a top AND a bra and I think now your options are one or the other?! I honestly need scaffolding to hold myself up so I think that’s me tapping out of that craze for now.

Also, do people not wear tights anymore?! They must have gone out of fashion when I was in baby-land because I felt incredibly overdressed with my 80 deniers on.

However, I did see someone wearing what looked like a Knickerbox for Ann Summers bodice tucked into some skinny jeans, so I guess she missed a memo as well. And the girl wearing obligatory denim shorts with patterned tights – good to know that 2009 style is still going strong. Big up.

I was standing there watching people not know the words to songs like I Believe In A Thing Called Love by The Darkness (honestly, this guy was stood there looking like Mark Corrigan in that picture above whilst all his friends were performing dramatic air-guitar solos, it was beautiful.)

Dog Days Are Over by Florence And The Machine as well. I realised it was a ~classic tune for all the people born in this millennium whereas I remember it being her only single on her Myspace page and Flo being on BBC Breakthrough Music.

One of the other highlights was, as we meandered from room to room trying to find somewhere to dance and/or people watch – a full series of Hollyoaks happened in the same corner of an emergency exit.

First I saw  a guy get cornered by a group of girls, and he was having to explain himself. Then I saw the girls in the toilets squeezing into the same cubicle to relay his message to whoever he’s offended. Then, in the final act, I saw the evident main girl confront the guy about whatever the fuck he’d done, and by the time we left they were getting off. The circle of life.

I also heard someone saying, excitedly, “we’ll stay here until about 2, half 2 and then we’ll go on to somewhere else, yeah? That sound like a plan?”

Mate. I was yawning at 1am and managed to drag my friend home at about 1:45 (that might be an exaggeration, it was probably half past.),

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ME

So my guide to clubbing as a 25 year old married mother of one is: go and be Mark Corrigan. Be Louis Theroux at the orgy.

Don’t get sucked in, because you end up drinking Blue VK (WHO THE BLOODY HELL DO I THINK I AM?!) whilst watching people born in 2001 sing Shotgun by George Ezra and hurting your neck dancing to Slipknot in the ~alternative room.

But still go, because it’s hilarious and you can always get chips on the way home.

Right. I’m off for a sleep because it’s Tuesday afternoon and I am still knackered from getting home at 2:30am.

Smear With A Little Bit Of Fear

The Internet has been awash recently with Fanny Chat. From that man who decided to mansplain what a vulva is to that Boohoo swimsuit that doesn’t seem to have a visible gusset, there’s been a bit of a hooha recent regarding …hoohas.

champ-neon-pink-boxing-uterus-sculpturepicture is from Zoe Buckman’s Mostly It’s Just Uncomfortable

Obviously I’m a bit late to the party talking about this but a few weeks ago, it was Cervical Cancer Awareness Week and my Instagram was full of people talking about their smear test, Instagram story-ing their trip to the GP, complete with an interview with the nurse whilst she’s quickly swiping your innards.

It felt a bit like that scene in Mean Girls with the Sex Ed teacher. Every five seconds I was being told “Book your smear test now or you WILL get CANCER and you WILL DIE. NOW. BOOK IT NOW. It’s not scary, DON’T WAIT, BOOK IT RIGHT NOW!!!”

Which is fucking terrifying.

Now there’s nothing wrong with encouraging people with a cervix to go and get checked. It’s a necessary evil.

However the emphasis on cancer and what could go wrong and DEATH if you delayed your appointment at all is just too much pressure.

As someone who had booked appointment after appointment since November, when I turned 25, but had to cancel them due to my implant-affected cycle, the guilt and anxiety I felt all the time was overwhelming.

Being told in one second that a smear test was nothing, it was two minutes of your time and then in the next breath that it was really painful and you might bleed for the rest of the day is really confusing. If you’re already anxious about the appointment, that’s not what you need.

ANYWAY. The point of this blog post is that yesterday I was actually able to make it to an appointment. And…without sounding patronising, it was okay. Not the best way to spend a Tuesday morning but needs must, I suppose.

And here are my tips, as someone who has been sitting and worrying about having this done for the past five months, on how to get through your smear test with only a little bit of fear. Because #SmearWithoutFear is a bit out of my reach.

  • Don’t wear jeans. Because getting changed in the Doctor’s is embarassing enough, you don’t need to add squeezing in and out of your skinny jeans to your to-do list. I wore a midi skirt so I didn’t have to worry about taking anything off and faffing around putting it back on.
  • Just put your pants on the floor. This was the worst moment of the entire thing, let’s be real. I took my pants off and just stood there. The nurse was on the other side of the curtain saying “just let me know when you’re ready!” and I was stood there with my pants in a ball in my hand looking around panicking. In the end, I just put them on the floor near the bed.
  • Breathe through it. It’s a little bit awkward, but you’re best to just breathe through the actual act and then it’s over before you know it. It is a bit cold, even though the nurse ran the speculum under the hot tap for me. (Can we just have a moment to let that sink in. Fully ran it under the hot tap.)
  • If you’re really worried, take two paracetamol before you go. I was panicking about the horror stories I’d hear of period-style cramps afterwards and bleeding and how sore it was for the nurse to swipe your cervix. I popped two tablets before dropping Elliot to school and even if it was just a bit of a placebo effect, it made me feel better. About four hours after the appointment, I started to get a bit crampy so had some Nurofen after my lunch and went on with my day.
  • If you’re nervous, tell them. The first thing the nurse asked me was if I was okay? She explained everything to me and was talking to me throughout the whole appointment. I’ve heard some nurses can get a bit cringey and talk to your cervix like it’s a cat they’re trying to chivvy into the carrier ready to go to the vets. Luckily, my nurse just spoke to me like a human being. ..however she did tell me I have a lovely cervix which made me walk around like Tobey Maguire when he goes evil in Spiderman 3.

I know you’re going to have been inundated with blog posts, Instagram posts, stories (I can’t get over the interview with the nurse, speculum in hand!) and YouTube videos taking you along for the ride, but I thought I’d throw in my two pence and tell you my experience.

Have you booked your smear test? Are you due one? Did you feel pressured because of the recent influx in fanny chat or did you find it comforting?

Saying Goodbye To January

Today I want to celebrate with you all as we wave goodbye to January, the month that has lasted 37,000 years and everything that she holds. Bring on February, bring on Valentine’s Day and PANCAKES.

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Things that have made January absolute dog shit and should be forgotten about as we move into the real year that begins on 1st February.

The whole Piers Morgan sausage roll debate. I can’t think of anyone in life who actually likes Piers Morgan. I eat meat yet am actively searching out a Greggs that sells the vegan sausage rolls so I can eat one and enjoy it in a small action of “fuck you!” to that piece of ham.

That really cute dog died. I KNOW. And what made it even worse was that The Really Cute Dog died of a broken heart because his best friend died about a year ago! What a terrible start to the year.

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Brexit. Shouldn’t have even made it into 2019. NEXT.

People who couldn’t understand why others were doing Dry January and had to post snidey pictures about how much they love prosecco all the time. No-one cares about your slightly moist January.

The fact that Mrs Hinch has been famous for about six months and I still haven’t been able to buy my own Minkeh. This is a niche one but for those that get it, they’ll GET IT. I’m really sad and cannot fully commit to cleaning my house until I own one.

Local Facebook groups where everyone is racist. Really makes you want to pack up and move somewhere nice and liberal. And then you start thinking about Brexit again. And then you start grumbling about how it’s still Dry January and you could really do with a drink. And the cycle goes on forever.

Things that will get us through. Trudging through life one day at a time.

I remembered the other day I have churros in my freezer that I bought for Christmas and never ate. There’s always a silver lining. And I’ve got two: a packet of caramel churros and a packet of chocolate ones too!

Ariana Grande is really living for us all right now. I even bought a t-shirt with “thank u, next” written on it. I’ve not even got an ex, I’ve been with Reece since I was 15 years old yet you’d better believe I am in the shower screaming how grateful I am.

Brendon Urie is out there right now, living his life. Just think about how gorgeous he is and that’ll get you through the cold winter nights.

I have forgotten skinny jeans. I’m now living my life in a pair of leopard print culottes that I had to double check weren’t pyjamas when I bought them because they’re so ffff’in dreamy. I recommend that you do the same.

Somewhere in your house, you’ve forgotten about a pack of Christmas chocolate and/or biscuits. Let’s not talk about the tub at work that’s full of Bounty’s and shame. I was moving some of Elliot’s Christmas presents the other day and found a box of M&S chocolate biscuits. God bless me.

So as we say goodbye to this god-forsaken month; raise your glass of cheap prosecco high (I’m doing dry February as well, because I love pain so I’ll have a cuppa tea) and let’s celebrate being one step closer to leaving the EU!

Cheers!
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