Sunday, 26 January 2014

25 Wise, Wise Wisdoms

As of tomorrow, I will have been a resident of planet Earth for 26 whole years.  I think I've done well to have not fallen down a manhole, or walked under a falling piano yet, and I fully believe that this deserves presents and flattery.  I'm quite the over achiever.

I've picked up a lot of info over the past just-over-quarter century.  Some of it useful. Most of it uselessly specific.

e.g, thanks to Tumblr, I now know that the best way to get away with murder is by having an icicle as your weapon of choice, as the evidence conveniently melts after said murder-doing.  

Don't cross me, World.  I have a collection of razor sharp Tip Tops in my arsenal.

...So, I thought to myself this morning:  "What better way to mark my crossing over into the second quarter of my life (I plan to live to bang on 100 and yes, fuss arses out there - I know that technically I entered my second quarter century when I hit 25.  Shut up), than to make a list of all the brilliant things I've soaked up so far?  That way, people will know that my vacant stare is more to do with my actual face that my lack of useable wisdom!"  Here is, then.  Prepare to be amazed!

1.  People don't like it when you bite your toenails off in front of them.  They don't even look mildly impressed at how bendy you are.

2.  Cats will never love you as much as you love them.

3.  Dinosaurs aren't coming back.  Get over it.

4.  Moving around is actually really rewarding, and helps keep the crazies under control. Running equals =D as opposed to #!!?**=(///#XP!!....

5.  People who regularly feel the need drop into conversation how nice/fun/"random" they are, are generally the total opposite and you should run very, very far away.

6.  The least flattering pyjamas are also guaranteed to be the most comfortable.  That shapeless, fluffy potato sack you bought on a whim?  The one with the cats on that makes you look like you have no boobs and four arses?  Put it on and I dare you not to immediately nap in it with a smile on your face.

7. Sober nights in playing scrabble and shouting at Take Me Out because "Look at that guy's stupid face!  It's so stupid!" are often way more enjoyable than getting obliterated and then throwing up your memories of that "great night out" the next morning.

8.  EVERYTHING costs money.  Lots of money that you don't have.

9.  Spiders bigger than your face, sitting nonchalantly on your head are fine.  Jellyfish on your TV screen will one day figure out how to break through the glass and attach themselves to your face.  It will happen.

10.  Seagulls are bastards.

11.  You should never take family for granted.  Especially when they always have food and offer to do your laundry.  They do want to cater to your every whim.  Honest.

12.  Love is comfort and the freedom to be yourself at all times.  Even if that means letting your significant other observe the fact that you short circuit when you try to eat and chat at the same time.  For the last time, I didn't pee myself, it was the sauce the mushrooms were in!!

13.  If you obsess over all the bad stuff that's going to happen to you, it's more likely to happen.  Blind optimism is preferable.  And if that doesn't work out, at least you can always blog about the shitty stuff in a bid for pity lolz.

14.  Unless you pay a man with a knife lots of money, you will always look like you.  A you that can be bigger or smaller, but still you.  So you'll have to make do! - Dr Suess (not really)

15.  You rhymes with You.

16.  Unless you are actually Beyonce, you will never be Beyonce.

17.  Humour and sarcasm trump any other kind of response.  Unless someone's just told you someone's died.  In which case, probably plump for sincerity.

18.  You don't need to impress people with your job role.  As long as you're happy with what you're doing to turn productivity into food, fuck everyone else.  Especially people with really cool jobs.  Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em in their smug little faces.

19.  Bit of a cliche - but nothing worth having comes easy.

20.  People who don't appreciate Monty Python are confusing to be around.

21.  Diets don't work.  Not eating Haribo and battenburg with every single meal does. Fascinating.

22.  Never try to second guess anything important.  You're probably wrong.  

23.  If you really, really wanted to be doing the thing, you'd be doing the thing.  Not just talking about how one day, you'd really, really like to do the thing, but you haven't got enough time/money/inspiration.

24.  You will never be free of the clutches of the internet.

25.  You haven't checked Facebook for five minutes.  Better check Facebook.

And there we have it!  A quarter century well lived, I think!  In my next, I hope to learn lots more stuff, like how to not wait until my house covered in a thick layer of dust and carpet fluff before I clean it.  And what the secret is of people my age who already own their own house while I'm still bloody renting off a lady who won't even let me have a cat.  Maybe I'll even figure out how to cross number 16 off the above list and actually become Beyonce.  Who knows.

Happy Sunday to you and happy almost-birthday to me!

Not that I'm milking it.


Here is a classy picture of me from last year's birthday festivities for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Tales From A Ten Miler

Agh, I forgot how much I love upping my mileage! And how satisfying it is to pick those weird, white-ish lip boogers off your mouth at the end of the run on the way home.

Don't lie, you all do it too! 

I wonder where that gunky film comes from?  I never notice it while I'm actually moving.

Yes.  So.  Ten miles tonight! First time in a long time, and it went brilliantly! My Llanelli Half training buddy James accompanied me the whole way round.  Here is a lovely, if blurry snapshot of our faces.  Observe the expressions of surprise and relief that we got around with our limbs intact:

Pleased to be rocking some spectacular side fluff on the head area there too.  Turns out I'm not slow - my hair just adds resistance.  It's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

It's been nice to get stuck into mileage again, rather than speed, which tends to stress me out.

This is the first time I've trained with the help of track sessions with Run 4 All on Mondays, and then and the company of one other actual human on my long runs.  As opposed to the voices in my head.  

Apparently talking someone's ear off is the perfect distraction from running your own legs off.  And James has been a very obliging ear on legs!  Maybe next time I'll even let him talk a bit. 

I got through it on the wings of a welsh cake.  I swear I wouldn't have been quite so enthusiastic without that hefty glob of sugar in my system at the beginning. And it also helped that the ibuprofen I'd taken not long before that to zap a killer headache, may have made me numb from the waist down, so if I've got any suffering to do following tonight's efforts, I'm not feeling it yet.  For all I know, I've got two broken legs.  Hurrah!

Because running for a while (took us about 2 hours to get round) can drive you a bit batshit crazy from boredom sometimes, we made a bit of a game of listing things that we've seen to report back to the general public.  So here is the list.  

Stuff What Happened On Our Ten Miler or <Insert Pun I'm Too Tired To Think Up Here>

1.  House doorway strewn with latex gloves.

2.  Some sick immediately upon entering Neath.  Not our own.

3.  A rotund, drunk man who wanted to know where we were going.

4.  Creepy, manic church bells the second we entered a graveyard.  Shat pants and sprinted.

5.  Creepy manic church bells when we looped back through exact same graveyard a few minutes later.  Shat pants and sprinted.

6.  Ominous owl noises from bushes.  Possibly earlier drunk man doing brilliant impressions from hedge.  If so, good effort, drunk man!

7.  Someone - couldn't see who - from Run 4 All, shouting "Go Becky, Go!!" from car park as we passed.  If you're reading this, mystery encourager, thank you, it helped!!  By "BWAAH!!", I meant "Thanks, your encouragement is appreciated!"  Also, I would like to hire you to stand on set point in of all my runs to shout nice things at me from now on, please thanks.

8.  A pair of tiny terriers who thought that they were rottweilers and we were steaks.

9.  The pearly gates of Heaven.  We refrained from walking into the light.  This time.

... I want to round this list up to ten, but that would require further thought, and I really don't think that's a feat I can perform for you right now, sorry.

Anyone else who ran in the dark tonight when they could have been on their sofas with wine and pies.... good bloody effort to you!  I hope you all have wine and pie right now.  You've earned them!

Now.  I have to change my trousers and forage for food.

Happy Wednesday!! xx

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Potato Guts & Stupid Ideas: Just Another Sunday

Hang on a sec while I adjust my seating position.  I think I have a roast potato somewhere in my ribcage.

That's what it feels like anyhow.  After a week of mindful, albeit constant eating where I've been eating smaller amounts of good stuff all day long (and therefore in my mind, eating more overall - so is obviously better.  More eats = more happies), I've just returned from a pretty epic-sized Sunday dinner at A's parents' house.  

Not wanting to be an impolite guest, I threw as much as I could down my gullet.  All the lovely greens and spuds and meats.  And now my guts want me dead. I feel like I'm in a pivotal scene from Alien.  I didn't think of the social consequences of my new choices.

I've even been told that the lack of ever-present Haribo in my face hole is weirdly un-me.  Illogically, I fear that my new found reduction in interest of sugar has made me dull.  Like a likeable quirk has been sloughed away by my "boring" attempts to better my health.

Which anyone with half a brain would say was pretty fucking stupid.  No one is going to stop returning my texts because I don't feel like getting a Cornetto as often as I would have before.  

*squeak* I hope.

I'm still Spartan-ing on nicely.  Just taken my body out for walkies because after yesterday's Parkrun, my hips decided they hated me.  It felt like really severe growing pains.  But I doubt that I've got much growing left to do at almost-26. 

I did my first nine miler in ages on Wednesday with a friend who's also training for the Llanelli Half in March, and was overjoyed to feel totally fine over the following two days.  Turns out, it just took Saturday's Parkrun for my body to wake up and go 

"Oh, yeah, I forgot - anything over six miles hurts Becky.  Let's ruin her whole night's sleep and the last episode of Dexter for her by convincing her she has sudden onset arthritis!"

For the record - The last episode of Dexter didn't need any help in being ruined.  It made me want to cry anger tears.  Bastards.

Rest of weekend has comprised of devouring another e-book, for I am poor, and paupers spend their weekends indoors and hiding in books.  

To be totally honest, I think I'm starting to prefer my new routine of parkrun -> family -> geeky time - > box sets on sofa to sit around, waiting for people and drinks -> DRINKING!!! -> "I'm not too drunk, I just have so many EMOTIONS!! -> "ow, my head. Fuck my life."  -> MCDONALDS, NOW!!! -> nap until Monday.

I'm either maturing or taking the fast lane to Hermit Town, population: Becky and cat(s).

Anyway, the book was called

Onward! The Absolute, No B.S., Raw, Ridiculous Soul-Stirring Truth About Training For Your First Marathon - By Brook  Kreder

I read it because a little worm of insanity has chewed into my brain and is trying to convince me that either next year or the following one (giving myself a little wiggle room just in case I pussy out next year)... that I might like to run a marathon.


At the minute, even though I've done a half marathon once, I still find even 13.1 miles daunting .  It left me in shreds last year, but the sense of personal achievement was like nothing I've ever experienced.  I can't even picture how my body would allow me to even walk twice that distance, let alone run it.  But part of me keeps thinking - if I felt euphoric after 13.1 miles, perhaps I might sprout wings and take to the sky with the flying pigs out of the sheer awesomeness of what I've done after 26.2! 

 Plus, I am hooked on reading books about people accomplishing their first marathons.  Alexandra Heminsley is my absolute hero, and I guarantee that if you read her book Running Like a Girl , you will not be able to put it down.  She's down to earth, funny and honest about her experiences.  

Another good one is Muireann Carey-Campbell's Be Pretty On Rest Days . The Brook Kreder one I read this weekend was okay.  An alright read if you can get around the fact that, although she has an admirably foul mouth, Kreder keeps using asterixes on every f******* swear word, which drives you a little bit f****** mental after a few pages.

F*ck that sh*t,man! If you're gonna swear, just f******* swear!

Point is - I've loved reading along with other bloggers and writers' personal journeys and feel like I've run right alongside them with no physical consequences and a cup of tea, but I think I want a real-life go now.  

I want to have something as awesome as a marathon in my list of achievements.  It's rare that you meet a person who has run one marathon only.  From what I've read, training for one seems to have the capacity to drastically change who and what you are for the better.

But it also sounds pretty fucking terrifying and horrible, and I enjoy having toenails. 

Still, I reckon I want in on the action.  I want something that ballsy and impressive to document on here too.  I want to show people like right-now me that it's do-able. 

Until then, here are some super exciting pictures from my Spartan week involving a 9 mile run, some swimming, and lots of walks during which I shuffle around the block worrying about how suspicious I look walking around outside without a dog in tow:

p.s Hi to any readers from Run 4 All, Neath who responded to my shameless spamming on Facebook!  I damn near pee'd my pants when I saw how much my blog views jumped up by last night!

p.p.s While I'm recommending books, another good one I've just remembered is Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About RunningFor someone who runs a paltry eleven and a half minute mile on most runs, I certainly read a lot about running! Hoping that I'll magically catch a case of 'proper runner' off of the pages.


Tuesday, 14 January 2014

NEWSFLASH!!! I love moving! Also eating!!

No, I've not gone simple on you.  I've just spent about a week solid feeling pretty fucking terrific and I want to share my nauseating happiness with the world wide scary, faceless web.  Hello, chums!

I started a new job, after my former workmates and current mates surprised me on my final day with a cheese buffet in my honour.  I've never cried over cheese before.  That was either a new high or a new low.  Not sure, but the cheese was the balls!

This past week, I've met lots of new faces, met up with some familiar faces and eaten the flesh off the bones of some strangers' faces.  

That last bit was a lie.  Just wanted to check if you were laying attention.  Good job, you.  

So... The main reasons for my chipper outlook:


Been soldiering on through my Spartan 30 challenge and been taking daily, pretty-dull-to-most pictures of...honestly, mostly my feet and face on Instagram.  Observe:

Thrilling stuff, I know.  Pleased to say I've not missed a day walking or running a mile yet.  Maybe except for today because I swam instead.  But that still counts, right?  

Screw you, it counts!!

Bar from a long run that turned into a 2 mile sprint-limp-waddle because of cramping ankles from not resting enough (rookie error - spose I'll learn eventually), it's been a good little challenge!  I've been getting in from work with a brain soaked in new stuff I'm supposed to remember and barely any energy.  Normally, especially with the weather the way it's been (shit. Wet. Rainy. Cold....y'know...British), I'd have curled into the fetal position on at least a couple of nights and made some excuses.  But, getting outside and at least doing a bit every night has given me an extra boost of "fuck yeah!" at the end of the day.

So, where I'd usually be a frowny, napping Becky shaped sofa cushion at the end of the day, I've been an irritatingly springy, talky bag of "what shall we do now?!" before hitting the sack and crashing out like a toddler after a sweety fix.  I thoroughly recommend getting off your arse and running around in the rain a bit when you least feel like it.  The buzz you get just for having survived leaving the house of your own free will is immense!


Over the weekend, I decided that I wanted to know a bit more about food.  I love food, I love people who bring me food, but up until now, I've given zero fucks about what my food is actually for.  

People who have been running far longer than me have repeatedly been harping on at me about the importance of nutrition.  Usually while my eyes glaze over and I still have cake in my teeth and stray Haribo down my bra.

Curiosity eventually got the better of me when I stumbled across a book review on (if you is a lady -or a man- and you live in the internets like I do, visit the site! It's like a glossy magazine but without the rubbish bits and added sarcasm where it's needed most!).  

The review was on a simple guide about the body - how it utilises food, benefits from excercise.... Basically how to be nice to it and not starve or bloat it or just generally be mean to it.  It's packed full of interesting, accessible if basic science (perfect for the clueless and forgetful like myself - I barely recall school, let alone biology) and actual, useable, helpful tips on how to keep yourself roadworthy.

And it's written by Cameron Diaz.  It's called the Body Book and is only about six measly quid on Kindle right now.

I know!! But the fact that it's written in her cool, friendly voice makes it even better and to her credit, the lady knows her shit!  She's done her research!  I didn't plan on changing my eating habits, and am not claiming that the book is a total lifestyle changer, but I've been actually paying attention to what I'm eating for the last couple of days and I've found myself actually wanting to pick good stuff as opposed to nutritionally empty, sugar filled stuff (and I LOVE nutritionally empty sugar filled stuff!).  

As a result, especially today, I have been clear headed, energetic, happy and weirdly focused. To state the glaringly obvious, food really does affect your overall mood.  Hurrah for food!  Hurrah for Cameron Diaz!

My only worry is that I'll end up going off cake and sweets.  It'd feel like losing part of my identity.  If not a Haribo & cheese beast, what am I? 

*whistful stare*

...nah, I won't go off cheese and sweets.  

But it was the perfect my first guide to nutrition kind of book for me, and I can't wait to learn more about what I get to eat that'll give me super powers!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

This. Is. Spartaaaa!! (Kind of)

As I mentioned in my last post, I took up a challenge I stumbled across on Facebook - The Spartan 30. 30 days, at least a mile every day. Seems like a do-able way of making my rest days a bit more productive as I plod my way towards the Llanelli Half Marathon in March.

The challenge was issued by the official spartan race, which I'm not signed up for, but would love to do one day (especially if any events decide to come closer to the green, green grass of Wales than London). It's an obstacle course of varying lengths, and each one has actual fire somewhere on the course. Sounds pretty fucking badass, no?  At the very least a conversation starter when you turn up to work with no eyebrows.

In the meantime, this is day one of my challenge, which happened to fall on my planned long run day and on what appears to be the shittiest, rainiest day of the year so far.

It took me an hour of sulking with coffee to get my backside off the sofa (see groggy-faced evidence above), but I eventually made it to a local playing field that has a handy half-mile pavement/trail thing around it.

Felt like a cat being thrown into a cold bath for the first couple of miles, but after a while of gritting my teeth against the cold, it got surprisingly easy!  As the puddles rose along with my temperature, I found myself intentionally going for bigger and bigger splashes whenever I saw water at my feet (which was often), and the 5 mile run I'd planned for turned into 7! Hooray for puddles!

I tend to forget that the less you want to get out tree and move, the bigger the rewards you reap when you've actually gone and done it. Motivation-bomb right there for you.


Decided to document my daily runs throughout the duration by taking daily snaps and posting them to Instagram.  Follow my shameless selfie-taking by finding me on there: I go by the name of BeckyTea.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

That'll Do, 2013. That'll Do.

As seems to be the done thing on Facebook today, I feel obligated to sum up 2013 in the soppiest or stroppiest way possible.  Everyone else seems to have had either THE BESTEST YEAR EVER AND NEXT YEAR'S GOING TO BE SUPER AMAZING AND I WILL SPEND THE WHOLE YEAR POOPING GLITTER BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE SO GOOD!!!XOXOXOX , or it's been THE WORST YEAR EVER, AND FUCK EVERYONE, I'M GOING TO MAKE 2014 MY BITCH!!!

It might be because I've started 2014 on a severe pizza hang over, meaning that my ability to feel has been compromised by too much cheese on the brain, but if I were to sum up 2013, I would describe it aaaaas....

Okay, bordering on the pretty good.

Yup, that seems adequate.

I didn't win millions on the lottery, enabling me to buy that monkey butler I've always wanted, but I didn't get my face ripped off by a rabid monkey inexplicably roaming the streets of Swansea either (perhaps due to an irresponsible monkey butler owner).  

It was a pretty good year though.  Here's some stuff what happened:

  • Running!!! - In "training" (i.e eating burgers and then hoping they help me jog from a to b)for my first ever half marathon, I discovered to my surprise that I actually like running, quite a lot actually.  So much so that I actually went on to run the Cardiff Half Marathon, join a running club and keep up a habit that 15 year old me would have soiled herself in shock at the thought of.
  • Drinking - Not really a recent discovery.  More of a coming to terms.  The older I'm getting, the more often that regular old insecure but generally mostly stable me turns into weeping, eyeliner smeared stereotype at the end of drink fuelled jollities.  "But WHY do you like meee?! I'm HORRIBLE!! Waaah.... can we go and get a burger now?"  This is almost always followed by a feeling of inexplicable doom and then humiliation the following morning.  Not classy, San Diego.  Not classy at all.
  •  Working - Used to tie myself up in knots over the fact that my job was such a "normo" one and that I wasn't doing something I had a specific passion for like writing/finger painting/eating cheesy snacks for a living, but I've come to the conclusion that - holy fuck - I'm actually pretty content, and I don't have to wait until I secure a job as quality tester at a Dairylea factory to allow myself to feel that way.  Now, all I want to do is try my hardest at the day job while I'm there, come home, run, internet, eat and sleep. Sort of like a cat with access to Tumblr and a wage.

Resolutions, Becky?  I hear you fall over yourself excitedly to ask me.

Nah.  One of the best things about running is that you're constantly aiming to better yourself in some small way all year round.  So while I wouldn't mind eating better, getting fitter and being less screwy and self analysing to the point that it's borderline narcissistic, I'd rather just let my little running achievements snowball into a bigger sense of accomplishment.  It's pretty satisfying!

First challenge this month is the Spartan 30 challenge that starts on Sunday.  One mile every day (at least) for 30 days.  Seems do-able.  I'll keep a diary of it and let you know how I get on.

In the meantime, I hope Christmas made you all fat and happy too, and that 2014 brings you lots of nice surprises, both edible and otherwise!

Maybe 2014 is the year we ALL get butler monkeys =). 

If you're interested in the whole Spartan Challenge business as a way of kick starting your fitness/ not being on the sofa as much as you'd like plans, you can view it as a Facebook event here: