Twas the night before the Viva, when all through the flat,

Not a creature was stirring, not even Bailey the cat.

The chapters were outlined in the thesis with care,

In hopes that the doctorate soon would be theirs.

 

The examiners were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of passing the candidate danced in their heads.

And Bailey on the couch, and I in my bed,

Had just settled down after the thesis had been once again re-read.

 

When out on Twitter there arose such a fuss,

People are still cyberbullying, engaging online with a cuss.

I logged on to my computer, quick as a flash,

Opening the application, not hesitating a dash.

 

The cursor was flashing inside the new message window,

And I certainly was ready to type a message below.

When what to my tired eyes should appear,

Messages of support and love, to some may endear.

 

Understanding exclusion, via Norbert Elias,

In hopes that these marginalising behaviours will soon be behind us.

While the data proclaimed bullying still is an issue,

Teachers need education and training; I tell you this is true.

 

An interesting tidbit; yes here’s a fact.

More young people were traditionally bullied, rather than online without tact.

While this may back up the assertions of Olweus, who may have attempted to detract.

Interviewees illustrated that all forms of bullying had a severe impact.

 

Hopefully the questions will be answered in such a way,

That the examiners will most certainly be swayed.

And hopefully at some point tomorrow,

Cindy will pass with just corrections; otherwise, there will be sorrow.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted.  I’ve been quite busy and once my Viva is done and dusted I’m sure I will be able to try to blog semi-regularly again.  I also need to decide if I’m going to keep this site up, as it’s up for renewal.  But first, I thought I’d compile some possible gift ideas for the runner in your life.  (Disclaimer: All these links are direct, no referrals, and I make no money on this whatsoever.)

 

  1. The Lululemon Fringe Fighter Headband:  I’ve got a rather small head and I have had a terrible time finding headbands that fit my head AND stay put.  I recently picked up the fringe fighter in the “We made too much” sale and am in love.  It stays on my head and it keeps my ears warm when it’s chilly!  Bonus! (I might have even picked up another one online recently, shhhhhh!)
  2. H&M Running Hat: If you prefer having your entire head covered (or the runner in your life rather) the H&M running hat is wicking and affordable.  The one I picked up last year even has a hole in the back for your ponytail/braid/bun.  Now, if it only fit my head properly!
  3. Buff multi-functional headwear: Buff’s are great.  I wear mine when it starts to get chilly and it protects my neck from draughts and the weather and I can pull it up over my nose and mouth if it’s really cold.  I recently picked this one up in grey so it would match both my navy and my black running outfits.  It’s multifuctional, so you’re not limited to using it just one way!
  4. North Face Etip gloves:  When it gets cold, you definitely need a pair of gloves out to keep your hands warm.  My hands and my feet are the first to suffer, so I make sure I keep them warm and as dry as possible.  I recently grabbed these gloves.  Now, I also have very small hands and I can just reach the tips of the gloves with my fingers in the X-Small.  They have the magic e-tip so you can use your mobile if you need to as well (although I always just end up taking off a glove).
  5. Smartwool socks:  I’ve totally jumped on the Smartwool bandwagon.  I bought these socks a few weeks ago and have worn them on a few chilly runs.  My feet have remained as cosy and dry as you can expect in Scotland in late November.  Seriously, they are great and I have asked Santa for a few more pairs of them for Christmas.  I wish I had them for my last 5k!  My toes might not have gone completely numb by the start!
  6. H&M Fleece running jacket:  I’ve literally just picked this up.  I’ve not worn it out on a run, but it looks to be a great addition to my winter running kit.  It’s really warm and soft and comes in a variety of colours.
  7. Fabletics Salar leggings (or capris): These leggings are great.  They are warm, comfortable, make your bum look great, and if you’re into lifting pass the squat test.  If only they had pockets, they would be the perfect legging.  They come in a variety of colours and patterns and many capris are in the sale!
  8. Flipbelt: If you’re tights/capris/shorts are short on pockets I’d recommend a Flipbelt for your running storage needs.  I’ve been able to fit my keys, inhaler, tissues, and shot blocks in them and still have room for my iPhone.  Flipbelts come in a variety of colours as well and are a great running gift or stocking stuffer!

Good luck shopping and have a great holiday season!

Have a great gift idea for the runner in your life?  Pop it in the comments!

This was not the race I planned on running.  I had trained for 16 weeks. I worked hard.  But in the end, it. . . well it sucked.

The day before I wasn’t feeling well at all.  I was stressed out and anxious about the race and my upcoming trip and my stomach was in knots.  I could barely eat anything all day.  What I did manage to eat was purely carbs at least.

The day of the race I felt fine.  My knee was fine.  My hamstring was fine.  I had a bagel and a coffee and got ready.  I didn’t rush down to George Square as there was no reason for it.  I do wish I had gone a bit sooner, b/c it took forever to find the bag drop, as I was misdirected three separate times to its location.  I then spent about 40 minutes in the queue for the toilets.

When the race started, I was ready and I felt great despite its start up St. Vincent Street and I managed the first mile in 10:48 which is pretty much unheard of for me, especially going uphill.

The next 2 miles involve running along the motorway and you get a really good view of the city.  It was still really crowded at this point as the motorway was narrow (and very bumpy).  People were stumbling a bit and I saw people having to stop b/c other runners were tossing water bottles in the crowded path and people were literally tripping over them.  I was very cautious here and was appalled that runners were behaving in such a way.

Mile 2: 11:15
Mile 3: 12:00

I slowed down a bit in miles 4-5. I was really feeling the uneven road in my right knee and legs.  At this point I was still running but was starting to feel a bit uncomfortable with the road conditions and the hills.  It was a really nice and sunny day, but once I got into Pollock Park I got a bit chilly with the tree coverage.

Mile 4: 13:27
Mile 5: 13:24

It was at this point, somewhere in Pollock Park that my right knee was absolutely done.  I have no idea why this keeps happening.  I’m doing the exercises.  I can only assume it’s something that is occurring in race day conditions that is causing this as the same thing happened in the Women’s 10K this summer.  It must be the uneven roads that we were running on, as opposed to the paths along the river and through Glasgow Green that I run on on a regular basis.  I kept trying to run every few minutes, and every few minutes my knee would tell me no.  I didn’t hurt all that much walking, so I concentrated on walking as fast as I possibly could.  I try to enjoy my surroundings as the parks are lovely, but was just too miserable to do so.  I was very glad for the water/Powerade stations at that point as I had gotten quite thirsty/sweaty throughout the first half of the run and desperately needed hydration.

Mile 6: 14:18
Mile 7: 14:45
Mile 8: 14:24
Mile 9: 16:12

At this point I was in Bellahouston Park and I was cold and grumpy.  I didn’t feel quite right and was feeling really disappointed and frustrated with myself.  I texted Steph and tried not to cry as I reported my failure.  At this point I finally took on more fuel, and that did help a bit as my times did pick up a bit once I had finished my Powerade and chews.

Mile 10: 16:00
Mile 11: 14:54
Mile 12: 15:09
Mile 13: 15:09
Mile 14: 12:05 pace for 3 minutes and 42 seconds
Final time: 3:05:12 🙁

Towards the end I walked with a couple of other women and chatted a bit.  I absolutely forced myself to run the last 400 meters up to Glasgow Green and toward the finish line.  It hurt like a bitch but I was NOT walking across that line.

I feel absolutely terrible and ashamed of my final time.  This was supposed to be a race where I blew my first half’s time out of the water, not beat it by a few minutes.  It is unacceptable that I should be running these times after running off and on for 10 years and consistently for 3.  This is something that needs to be addressed as my times overall are appalling and I feel embarrassed to call myself a runner right now.  I am seriously considering hiring a running coach to see if there is something wrong with how I am running.  I’ve had my gait analysed and nothing was found to be wrong with it; on tape I look just fine. I hope I can figure out what the problem is as I feel like I’m not getting any faster, in fact my 5k times seem to get slower!

I was really glad that Steph met me at the finish.  I was so upset that it took everything I had not to cry right then and there. I walked slowly around to find the bag drop pickup and then on to the subway.  Why we don’t finish the race at George Square is beyond me, b/c I hate having to walk to the subway from the Green.  By then I was done and I didn’t even want to go to Starbucks for a PSL.  That’s how upset I was.

At the finish line

We did stop for coffee once we got back to our stop and once I had that I perked up a bit.  Steph picked up ice cream and eggs for me on our way home, and once I was in the bath I was able to eat something substantial.

I had a massage the following day, and by Wednesday I felt pretty much back to normal.  I spent the past week in London walking everywhere, so I was glad that the half didn’t impact my trip.

Since I’ve been back, I’ve run twice and haven’t had any pain whatsoever. So, who knows?

What a week.  What started out as a great training week ended up being just a bit not good.  I managed to pull my left hamstring on Wednesday and spent the ret of the week stretching, icing, heating, and foam rolling.  I was able to do my long run on Sunday (I gave myself an extra day).  I didn’t run 10, as I wanted to.  I did run 7 and it went ok.  Hopefully I have enough training under my belt to manage this coming Sunday.  We will find out.

Monday:  A quick 2 miler.  I felt good and fast (for once).

2016-09-26-09-49-42

 

Tuesday: Pilates class

Wednesday: 3 miles (was supposed to be 6).  I left feeling fine. Walking was fine, but as soon as I started to run my left hamstring was really uncomfortable.  It wasn’t a stabbing pain, more like a pull.  Last year I would have pushed through the pain but this year I played it smart and cut the run short.

2016-09-26-09-50-03

 

Thursday/Friday: Lots of rest, icing, heat, stretching and foam rolling

Saturday: I was getting stir crazy so I went to the gym. 30 minutes on the spin bike and 30 minutes on the elliptical.  No pain and I figured I was good to go for Sunday.

Sunday: 7 mile run (was supposed to be 10).  While my hamstring wasn’t 100% pain free, I felt ok. I was actually a bit faster than usual, so I guess rest always helps (and bodes well for the half).  It was a chilly and damp run which is part of the reason why I cut it short.  I didn’t want to slip on wet pavement or leaves and really injure myself.  Mentally, I could have kept running.  But I knew that I should keep it a bit shorter. I’m hoping this was the right decision.

2016-09-26-09-50-21

 

This week will involve plenty of rest, icing, and foam rolling and I will try to pop in and see the physio just in case.

Sunday is the half!

 

———–

I’m still helping with the fundraiser for Mark Gatiss’s 50th birthday!  The fundraiser benefits Switchboard, and Mark is one of their patrons.

For more information, visit the fundraising Tumblr

To donate, visit the JustGiving page.

mg

This week was a relatively quiet week.  It’s nice to have after the stress and hectic times prior to submitting my thesis.

Monday: 2 mile run.  If only I could be this “fast” when I am running more than 2 miles.

2016-09-18-15-40-12

Tuesday: Pilates class

Wednesday: 6 mile run. I managed to accidentally pause my Fitbit for a few minutes.  I felt like my legs were really heavy and I was very tired on this run.

2016-09-18-15-44-00

Thursday and Friday: Rest days.  I definitely felt like I needed more rest.  I’ve been very sore and tired lately.

Saturday: 9 mile run.  I’m not sure how I was even slower than last week.  I felt achy and sore while running and felt really, really slow- which I was.  I wish I could get over this mental hurdle, as I know a lot of it is mental.

2016-09-18-15-40-26

I certainly hope that the excitement of the race will help me pick up my pace and that I will be a bit lot faster than this run!

Here’s my view at the half-way point yesterday.

2016-09-17-13-56-45

 

 

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve organised a fundraiser for Mark Gatiss’s 50th birthday.  It benefits Switchboard who do amazing work supporting the LGBT+ community. Mark is one of their patrons.  You can donate here.  It’s only been two days, but we’re already at 20% of the goal!