Monday, 19 October 2015

All the Wrong

My mum found my stash this week.   Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Nothing as cool as drugs or porn.  She found my stash of old photos that I've hoarded since my teenage years, and I'm so happy she did.  They're terrible!  I'd be embarrassed if it wasn't tickling me so much.  Look at the state of this pasty creeper!

"No, I don't know who stole the last yogurt and no, I'm not wearing a tent made from recycled bagpipes!"

...Cool hair, bro.

Naturally, I fell into a nostalgia hole.  I assume this is like a K-hole, but you remember more at the end and have less dribble on your clothes.

I wish I could share all the contents of my special box (heh) with you in all its beautiful, spot-ridden, angst infused glory.  Because who doesn't like a spotty, angsty box?  Like most people, I have mixed feelings about The Hormone Years.  School wasn't exactly a weekday party of coolness and sports for me.  I was an intense, stressed out introvert who avoided most social scenarios that didn't involve a gallon of the old confidence lube (ew.  Beer. Why couldn't I just call it beer? What is wrong with me tonight?).  I know, I know. Stark contrast to the Beyonce-esque, swan-like creature I am today. 
By swan-like, I mean white and prone to hissing when threatened.  Legend has it I can break an arm if I flap hard enough.  

Has a swan ever actually managed to break someone's arm?  Someone Google it for me.  I'm too lazy to click one tab over.  

As I was reflecting (giggling) upon my past, I couldn't help but think about what I would say to Teenage Becky if I met her now.  Maybe I would tell her to stop worrying so much about what people think of her.  Perhaps I'd break the news that she would stop growing at the age of fourteen and have to hang off bars by her elbows to be served in some pubs in her twenties.  Mostly I think I'd tell her that she is an idiot and wrong about things.  SO many things.  Here are some of the things that Specialpants McHormones believed:

1.  Dying your hair several different colours in the space of a couple of a few weeks will make it look cool and awesome.  You won't try to dye your hair bright blue, accidentally turn it grey-green and have to spend 3 days obsessively trying to wash it out.  Nor will you give up on that and then dump a load of Hyper Value's finest black dye on top of it.  The result?  See below: 

Also: Chinese dragon T-shirts from Tammy Girl will always be cool.  Everyone will be wearing them in 2015. 

2.  Yep.  Everyone cares so much about you that they're noting your every profoundly uncool move.  They are in fact judging you and only you, and not at all just getting on with their own shiny new internal chemical shitstorms while you paralyse yourself with anxiety in the corner.  Good logicking, narcissist!

3.  NOBODY loves your bands as much as you and your friends do. NOBODY!!!! They don't know all the words!  They don't GET THEM like you do!  GAH!! So many feelings!  I Wanna Fuck a Dog in the Ass by Blink 182 is about SO MUCH MORE than just sexually violating a pet (spoiler: It's not)!

4.  This? Cracking idea.  You can totally pull it off!  Even if it is upside down and looking a bit infect-y.

Look, but you can't touch, boys...because it's sore and I think I saw pus.

 5.  Exercise sucks and I will lose ALL of the weight EVER by going on the Special K diet with my mum.  Eating sawdust and pretend fruit in milk for two out of three meals a day is much more sustainable and fun than going outside in trainers and moving a bit.  Ew.

6.  Always trust a van of hippies at your friend's illegal rave in her barn when they offer you shots.  You are drinking a delicious minty substance.  Not alcoholic, herbal viagra. 

7.  This is an excellent look.  Much mysterious.  So goth.

Deep thoughts can be had when you're in mesh sleeves.
8.  You and your first proper boyfriend need to be attached at the face at all times, otherwise no one will know how much you LOVE EACH OTHER AND NO ONE ELSE UNDERSTANDS ANYWAY, WHY HAVE I GOT NO SKIN LEFT ON MY CHIN HAS ANYONE SEEN MY CHIN SKIN?!  

...To cut her some slack, though, teenage me did get the occasional thing right:

1.  This lot will be in my life til we're all in adult diapers, poking each other on whatever the future equivalent of Facebook is from our respective care homes:
I'm the one donning the helmet made of static...

2.  It is possible to stick the big cookie in your mouth whole:

Never be defeated by the big cookie, people!


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Run Like You Called Someone a Jogger

I gone and dunnit! I made it through the Lloyds TSB Cardiff Half Marathon with all my body parts still attached! Thanks to a couple of trips to Rosie the Magical Osteopath (still trying to cook up a jaunty jingle to go with that title), my foot appears to be my friend again.  It at least tolerated me well enough to behave during 13.1 miles of probably the second most enjoyable (first being Liverpool.  Takes a lot to beat a band on every mile and a medal that looks like headphones) long distance race I've ever done.  Two days after the event, which is usually delayed onset muscle soreness happy-fun-time for me, I can still bound up and down stairs without looking like I've pooped my pants or misplaced my kneecaps.  Hurrah!

You can't see it, but I actually jumped for joy then.  Because I can still jump! Yippee, look at me go!

My finishing time was 2hrs, 37mins.  About the speed I usually do a half in, give or take a few minutes.  Far from breaking any records but for once, I didn't care.  Like, at all.  My happy-go-lucky shamble (or if the official photos are anything to go by, 13 mile chimp impersonation).  Posture, Becky!  Posture!!) meant that I got through the event unscathed, and that I wasn't pushing myself hard enough to allow it to suck.  Why throw my money dollars at an event if I'm going to be wheezing, stressing and suffering through the whole thing?  I'd rather have actual, nice memories of things I've seen.  Not PTSD.

So, memories... Imagine you're a 5-foot-and-a-fart, pasty twenty something in shorts (with a case of mild chub rub between the thighs because Papa Johns exists) and come see the event through my eyes.. *mysterious hand waving*

The Start

I'm chuffed that my first ever longer distance running event back in 2013 was the Cardiff Half.  It properly set the tone for what I should expect from a race. The buzzy energy is freaking magical.  There are so many entrants that it's not unlike a festival.  Something ridiculous like 27,000 of us squished together to run Cardiff's streets together.  With all that lycra and plastic gear, I wouldn't be surprised if we gave off a lovely static glow. 

Suppose that's why the energy was so...electric...

Haw haw.  Anyway, look at our excited little faces! 

Oo-eer, lookit all 'em knees!

Owners of said knees, left to right:

Gareth:  Shaved off approx 15mins of personal best.  Threw up an army of WHOLE ENTIRE jelly babies at end of race, all with a smile on his face.   Warrior!
Sam: Ran her first ever half in a ridiculous time and left the rest of us trailing in her dust.
Me:  I do have forearms.  Picture just makes me look like an uncooked chicken.
James: Eats half marathons for breakfast.  Possibly because they don't have carbs (heehee sorry, James. Couldn't resist).
Arwel: Beast moded it through the half, setting the pace for Gareth (hence jelly baby incident), immediately disappeared after race for a cheeky Nandos. Fair one.

Ready, steady, AAAAAAAGH!!!

The Bloody Rowing Boat

When you're a long distance shuffler like myself, you get used to running alongside the people in fancy dress.  You can look at in in two different ways:

1.  You are the same speed as, or slower than someone who is overheating in a Tigger onesie/breathing in 13 miles of their own hot breath in a plastic Darth Vadar Mask/wearing full cricket gear; including the bat, helmet, shin pads and knitted jumper (all of the above and more have whooshed by me in the past).  This is depressing as shit and you wind up deciding that you are not a real runner.

2.  All the racers up at the front are only seeing other people clad in lycra, huffing and puffing after their PB or position on a pedestal.  You, however are in a fantasy land where Mario and Luigi are running right alongside a hot dog and bottle of mustard with legs, and people are sharing their sweets with you.  No hallucinogenics required.  It's all getting a bit Alice in Wonderland up the back, and it's awesome! 

I don't know about you, but I prefer outlook #2.  However...these two guys in one costume did take the biscuit (speaking of biscuit, I got through the whole race on a single digestive biscuit kindly donated by some church folk because the race ran out of energy gels.  No idea what was in that biscuit, but I think I'm using biccies for fuel from now on. Mmm Hobnobs).  Look:

Not content with passing by me just the once like most people, I counted at least...At least four times that this pair sailed (sorry, rowed) past me.  They kept being asked to stop for photos, which they politely did, all before picking the pace back up and cruising on by, like they do everything in tandem in their normal lives.  Seriously??  Fair play to them, though.  Running that far with an actual boat strapped to the pair of them must have taken some co-ordination!

Jesus Guy

Saw an article about this guy after the race.  Apparently they stopped him from doing this at the London Marathon this year, and this isn't the first time he's wheeled a MASSIVE crucifix over a ridiculous distance.  I'm not 100% whether he was doing it for charity or his own personal reasons, but!  I don't like carrying a bottle of water when I'm running, let alone a ruddy great big cross.  Applause to you, crucifix dude!

Never seen a cross wearing a bum bag before.
The Supporters

Anyone who has run the Cardiff Half would probably tell you the same thing.  The best thing about the day is the fact that the city's residents come out in droves to offer cheers and refreshments.  I nearly fell over with glee when I saw that the same retirement home as the one I saw in 2013 were sat in a big row outside their building waving signs again this year.  Best.  Supporters.  Ever.  Again, I enjoyed high-fiving small children as I went.  The home made signs were top notch this year too.  Couple of my favourites:




Zombies!  Run!

Got through 3 story "missions" (one which was a tad emotional and almost had me having a little cry in public.  Did the British thing by swallowing my feelings and buggering on) on my wonderful app.  Had to turn the zombie chases off after a point because there were just too many people around to get much of a sprint on.  Not worth clothes lining myself over, or trampling a poor unsuspecting runner.  The story mode alone made the race fly by.


Was lovely starting the race with the four smiling faces in the top pictures.  I may have lost them all within the first fifteen minutes because they don't run like the air is made of jam like I do, but crossing the start line in our little huddle and having a medal wearing gang waiting at the finish line to share experiences with gave me the warm and fuzzies.  If any of you are reading this, well bloody done, you speedy freaks!   Until next time!