Sunday, 28 September 2014

Decisions, Decisions

Okay, so... in total contrast to my previous post, I have a confession to make.  I gave up my Cardiff Half place.  The decision wasn't taken lightly, and it was made while I was lady balls deep in mud.  I shall explain:

On Friday, I took my shiny new playlist out cruising (jogging), intending to bosh out at least 2 hours of pavement pounding.  I managed about an hour or so of trying to keep my lungs from lurching out of my mouth, and at around mile 5/6, I had to admit defeat.  Personally, I like it when my lungs are inside my body.  Trouble is, I still had 4 miles to get back to both my car and water (the latter because I threw my bottle in a bin in a tantrum because the sloshy noises it was making was getting on my nerves).  

Luckily, I live in glorious Swansea and was beach adjacent.  A 4 mile walk/sulk could be a lot worse without lapping waves and the adrenaline of walking by that seagull that always dive bombs me when I'm in the vicinity (it is the same one every time, I'd recognise that evil bird in a seagull line up any day!).  So, walked out to the wetter sand to get firmer footing for my journey back.  

Trouble is, the sand was so wet and so loose that with each step I sank further and started to fear that I was going to get swallowed up by quicksand like what they do in cartoons.  I threw a few panicked looks at a couple of dog walkers off in the distance, who didn't seem bothered at all that the lady in the shorts seemed to be getting shorter with each step.  No avail.  

Anyhoo, I did survive my terrible ordeal with only some very manky trainers, and didn't sink all the way to China.  Even though that would be cool, as I've never been to China.  I realised somewhere in between the lung spewing and the wading that I really wasn't enjoying myself and that if my fitness levels are at a point where 6 miles makes me want to cry, then maybe a half marathon is something I should take a rain check on.

Yeah, I probably could get around the route with a bit of weeping and hobbling, but I would hate every single bloody second of it, and that's not why I started running.  I want to enjoy it.

Anyhoo, turns out, the decision was the best one for me right now, for reasons thusly [clears throat]:

  • Friends were 100bazillion times less judgy and more lovely about the decision than I'd anticipated.  I often forget that whether I run or not has no impact whatsoever on what my nearest and dearest think of me.  It only matters, and only should matter to me.
  • I've been on 2 runs since the horrific Friday one.  I focused on maintaining a pace where I could feel calm and my mind could wander.  They've been so, so slow and punctuated with walking, but how I've felt after them beats the hell out of the guilt and physical discomfort of the ones I pressure myself to be faster-faster-further in.  I have CrossFit and sessions with Run4All for intensity.  My solo runs are my "me time" and so during them, I should enjoy them as I see fit, even if that means being overtaken by zimmerframe users.
  • One of my CrossFit coaches saw my offer to offload my Cardiff Half place and let me know that he's holding a course soon for people who want to learn how to balance CrossFit and distance running better. This couldn't have come at a better time!
  • Next Sunday, I can now go to the Cardiff Half and scream like a banshee at my friends who are running.  This will terrify them into running so fast that they overtake the elites and ultimately win.  Hurrah!
So, yeah.   Pretty happy with life and a more well-adjusted, sane and comfortable approach to running.  Aaaand...exhale! =)

And here is a link to a Huffington Post video in which Benedict Cumberbatch tries and fails to pronounce the word "penguins".  Enjoy!

Happy Sunday! 

Friday, 26 September 2014


Moooorning!! Rota'd day off work, and last (and only, really) long training run day before the Cardiff Half, which I am...well, I'm shitting my pants over it, to be frank ("Can I still be Garth?").

Got through the Swansea Bay 10K on Sunday by the skin of my teeth.  Had to walk parts of the last mile just to get to the end, which I normally wouldn't need to do during a race of that length.  Lack of speed isn't bothering me so much as enjoyment.  I'm never going to win any races, especially at my current level of "fitness," so my main focus should be fun.  And when my lungs feel like they want to escape out of my butt, it goes without saying I'm not going to be having the time of my life. Lesson learned: training is important, even if you aren't expecting to be Sonic the Hedgehog (fast - not blue and naked bar shoes).  Nevertheless... medal!


Pure terror of running anything further than "to the fridge for cheese" of late has forced me to get creative.  I'm easily distracted and pretty soggy willed when my motivation levels aren't high, so I needed something to get me excited about pounding pavements for 2hours +So, I'm currently putting together a Spotify Premium playlist to see me through the event.  I've not moved from my computer all morning.  I'm having a bloody blast!  As I type, I am currently bouncing to "The Bitch Song" by Bowling For Soup. 

I love clicking through the "related artist" feature and coming across bands I'd almost forgotten I loved as a spot ridden, angsty,  pasty skinned teen (not much has changed.  Slightly less spots, but I certainly haven't gotten any wiser, taller or less pale).  I don't know if most other people in their twenties are the same, but my taste in music seems to have stalled at around age fifteen.  I still LOVE American pop/punk. Love, love love it! I also seem to have developed a taste for shameless pop music, which is ideal for grinning to yourself while you have headphones on because no one bar you knows that you're secretly getting your groove on to 5ive.  I miss 5ive...

Can't wait to get off my arse this afternoon for a playlist test drive. I plan to bounce around Swansea to the musical stylings of Blink 182 and New Found Glory, Something Corporate... (remember them?! I didn't!)  Maybe in the spirit of regression, I will also wear eyeliner down to my chin and sport some black and purple shag bands.

Or maybe I won't.

Behold some gems from my Cardiff Half playlist for your inspiration/revulsion:

In Too Deep - Sum 41
Sk8er Boi - Avril Lavigne
My Favourite Game - The Cardigans
Hella Good - No Doubt
All Downhill From Here - New Found Glory
Punk Rock Princess - Something Corporate 
Dammit - Blink 182
Fatally Yours - Alkaline Trio
All My Best Friends Are Metalheads - Less Than Jake
She Hates Me - Puddle Of Mudd
I Want You To Want Me - Letters To Cleo
Sell Out - Reel Big Fish  

If you're on spotify too, you can have a nose at my debatable taste in music here:
cardiff half

..."Rock" on, honorable ones!
\m/ \m/

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

FINALLY, I think I've figured out how to host a PDF on this frigging thing without ripping out all of my hair.  Only half of it. I'll just have to try not to look left too often in front of cameras in the coming weeks.

As I mentioned recently, instead of slapping my newest bit of writing onto Amazon and begging for pennies, I've decided to host it for free here, so that anyone interested in having a read of my new short(ish... definitely not long.  I don't have the attention span to whap out a proper novel) can do so online.  

The story is a lighthearted, if slightly cringey one about a blogger called Charlotte and her account of being forced by post graduation skintness to return to her home town. It's written in a conversational bloggy stylee, so not too much of a  divorce from the kind of verbal diarrhoea you're used to reading up in here!  I hope you like it, and I'd love any feedback/love/sweary outbursts/sacrificial offerings you have for me in response to it.  Link to story below:

May I Be Excused? - One Blogger's Month In Her Home Town 

Shout out to Walter, who had held my hand throughout the creation of this project.  Whether I wanted it or not:


Back In The Shire (The Swan...shire)

I'm baaaack!! Spent the previous week on my back in a foreign country (Lindos, Rhodes).  

Not like that! Filth. 

I've returned with a smile on my face and have also changed in colour from transparent white to a more opaque beige.  Closest thing to a tan I've ever had.  Might even be able to pass off as a human for a little while.  Needless to say, I'm gutted to be back in reality, where all the cooking and cleaning isn't done for me while I'm busy pickling my liver with local beers and cocktails. Also, it's hard to leave behind something that looks as pretty as this:

Pretty surroundings not own back/backside, but thanks for saying! ;)

 I had a go at that "relaxing" thing I'd heard so much about, and I think that for a couple of days, I think I even managed to crack it!  Burned through two really bloody good books:
  • Maya Angelou - I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (suggestion courtesy of if you're looking for summat to eat with your eyes.  Handy blog!).
  • Karen Joy Fowler - We Are All Completely Beside ourselves
Came to the conclusion that for me, food + booze + books + heat = complete and total bliss.  Who'd have thought?  Only trouble is, all the fooding and the boozing has only served to reinforce how much I love fooding and boozing.  Which is making my resolve over last post's grand announcement about going sober for October go a bit wobbly.  Much like a drunk person's.  We'll see.

Another side effect of all the relaxing I've been dabbling in is that I seem to have further hindered my ability to run.  All the focusing on CrossFit and sitting on my backside in between sessions has rendered my cardiovascular fitness all but fucked.  I tried to run three miles yesterday, and had to walk even during that, which rarely used to happen unless I'd hurt myself.  Seems I'm back to square one-and-a-bit on the running front.  I have a 10k to do tomorrow along Swansea's sea front and Cardiff half marathon to do in a couple of weeks.  Daunted isn't even the word!

On the other hand, I find my new total lack of aerobic fitness strangely encouraging.  Because I now know that my recent inability to run very steadily or far is more physical than mental, it feels much more fixable.  Fitness is simpler.  You just do more of the thing you find yourself crap at until you're not as crap anymore.  I got complacent with running, and my sudden onset rubbishness has given me a point to start from all over again, so I'm able to make it a priority without hating every single second of it.  If that makes even a blob of sense.

The next two races I'm going to do are going to be a nightmare, but I know I'll finish, whether it means crawling around the route and weeping for my mummy.  But by jove, I'll be doing it!  Cant wait to tell you about them =).

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Still Alive!

Gah! I haven't done this for over a fortnight. What am I supposed to do?! Um, um, um... Here's a picture of what I looked like the weekend before last:

No, I didn't get bad dentures.  I saw my heroes live onstage at Reading Festival for the third time (Blink 182).  Fart jokes and power chords abound! I love that trio so much that, as I sat on A's shoulders and took in their iconic flaming "FUCK" backdrop sign over a sea of thousands of heads, I may have done a little cry.  In my pants.

Only joking. Out of my eyes.  But I was three days deep into field dust and day drinking, so it seems normal that my face chose to malfunction in such a way.  Had a great weekend, as ever.

What else, what else... Ooh! I got some sweet, sweet ink done on a whim while my sister was getting her first tattoo.  In true big sister stylee, I obviously felt I had to at least borrow some of her thunder by asking one of the tattoo artists if they had any cancellations.  They did. Hurrah!  Here is the result:

Hell's Angels membership card pending.

I did write a little (10,000 words or so) story to publish the other week, as I mentioned in my last post.  Like my last verbal creation, it's another attempt at "the funnies", but this time, it's fiction.  That sounds like the world's shittiest movie tagline.

 (dun dun duuuuuuuuhn!)

Instead of hosting it on Amazon and making people pay their hard earned 77p's on it, when I've figured out how to host PDFs on a blog (poking screen with a stick doesn't seem to have worked so far) and actually bothered to proof read the thing, I will put it up here for downloading at your leisure.  Watch this space and all that.

In some attempts-at-fitness news, I'm still bumming the living daylights out of CrossFit - novelty very much alive and not worn off yet.  I seem to get a kick out of making myself waddle with pain most days of the week.  Only detrimental result of my new addiction (apart from making my blog title Rebecca Writes & Runs look like a big, fat fatty of a lie) is that I've barely run due to my permanently heavy legs, and when I do, I can't seem to break the  6 mile mental barrier I've put up for myself.  I feel every. Single. Step.  It's like my brain won't let the handbrake go, which isn't great when Cardiff Half is in a few terrifying weeks.  Going to attempt somewhere between 8 and 10 miles today, which frightens the bajeezus out of me.  We shall see.

Last bit of my exciting update now.  Drumroll, please.

I came to the conclusion on Saturday morning that I have spent a big ole chunk of August pissed as a newt.  This has left me poor(er than normal) and given me the energy levels of an old, crumpled towel.  Much as I love the demon drink, it don't love me back! My hangovers are reaching nuclear level and only seem to be getting worse with age.  I've had some great days and nights out this month, but I'm ready for a break now.  And I think my friends deserve a hard earned rest from beauties like this at 3am:

No, Drunk Becky.  Spelling obviously isn't the issue here.  Go home.

So, in a bid to replenish my bank balance and general well being, I intend to have a sober October next month (can't not drink this month.  Going abroad for a wedding next week, and my willpower is about as strong as soggy paper).  I know Macmillan are doing a sponsored month of sobriety, but I feel a bit odd asking my friends to fork out money for me to stay at home on Saturday nights, catching up on The Walking Dead (zombies!! Guns!! ZOMBIES!!!) and eating snacks for a month, so I'll probably make a donation to the charity and go on my merry way without pestering those who tolerate my actions enough as it is.  Only reason I'm slapping my decision up on here is so that I can't back out.  It's out there now, on the interweb, so it's official.  Like a relationship status on Facebook.
Yes.  So.  That's us caught up for the last few weeks.  I like your new haircut, and that's a snazzy top you have on there.  See you sooner rather than later later this time!