Trying to take the pressure off



Here’s hoping for lots of trail running this year

New Year, New Me blah blah blah… I’m not one for making resolutions as such as I don’t like setting myself up to fail.  This year I’m going to set some goals/aims that I may or may not achieve in full but at least starting them will be a move in the right direction.

I’m not looking to re-invent myself entirely but I’m looking to change a few things and find ‘Me’ again and in all honesty it’s making me feel a lot of things, excited, anxious, invigorated, anxious, hopeful and did I mention that I’m feeling a bit anxious…

Over the next week or so (don’t need to rush in!) I shall sit and write a list of aims and do some research as to how to go about changing things.  One aim I have decided on is running based.  I have signed up to this through Trail Running magazine.  I already know that it may be a bit beyond my capability so I may swap the miles for kilometres which will still be a long stretch.  This sort of challenge is about pushing myself and actually however far I get will be further than I’ve managed this year I’m positive as I’ve been plagued by injury and illness and a little loss of direction.  From reading the posts on the Facebook group, it seems super supportive and inclusive so all good there!

I think that support is the key so I’m making an effort to make sure I know who’s got my back this year and steering away from the negative vibes.

This track from The Go! Team seems rather fitting – it’s been a real grower for me.  It does sound a bit like an American College marching band but I kinda like that…

Are you a planner?  How do you go about it? What’s the one thing you’d like to accomplish this year?

My friend wrote a good piece about goal setting which you can read here if you’d like…


Listening Post

I don’t normally run and listen to music, in fact it’s not something I would do at all. I did when I very first started running.  I’d signed up to a Couch to 5K programme and alongside the coached Wednesday sessions, we had ‘homework’ to complete ourselves.  At this stage I was running to time rather than distance and I very quickly learnt the exact length of each song on my playlist which was a little bit de-motivating for me as after 2 songs I had only been running for a small  amount of minutes with a big amount of minutes to go.  My solution?  Podcasts.  Listening to someone chat in your ear is very distracting, in a good way and depending on what you are listening to, it can be very enlightening too.  Problem solved.  We then started up a ‘homework’ group and rather than listening to Iggy Pop deliver the John Peel lecture, I got to listen to and engage with a bunch of very interesting men and women who I still get to call my friends.  Many a problem has been sorted out on a social run let me tell you and I found myself opening up in a way I never thought I would to relative strangers at that point, and them to me.  They do say that it’s sometimes easier to talk to someone when you don’t have direct eye contact with them all the time…

So fast forward to C25K graduation and beyond.  I started entering races and most state that the wearing of headphones is prohibited.  So far so good, I always ran with a group on training runs and no headphones no problem. I never really ‘race’ during races either and will often chat my way through a race with different people.  I have this year however been a bit of a loner on my longer weekend runs due to all sorts of things and through choice too, it’s very grounding to be alone in nature with just your thoughts and I find that my senses go into overdrive.  I can hear birds and other creatures rustling around in trees and hedges, the flowers smell stronger and my eyes pick up on small details that would perhaps be missed if I wasn’t alone.  This is what I enjoy about running, I try and run off-road where possible as I find road running boring.


Sometimes races can be fun!  That’s me, no 259…


I’ve not been well recently and haven’t been on a proper run for a little while so I forced myself out of the door this morning.  I think that the lack of company was putting me off going but at the same time I didn’t want anyone else to witness my potential inadequacies whilst trying to get back up to strength and speed again.(I use the terms strength and speed very loosely when talking about my running!)  So, I downloaded a running playlist  (Running to Hip Hop Hits if you’re interested) and off I trotted.  The little E by the majority of the tracks should have been a clue but this was not radio or family friendly (!) but there is something quite liberating about listening to something really sweary whilst running in beautiful countryside!  (You can read another post about swearing here if you’d like.)

Reader.  I enjoyed the experience.  I noticed just as much as I would have normally and actually, came to the conclusion that it’s not really too much different to running with a friend gently yammering in your ear.  Which is a good thing in case you were wondering…

I’m not sure that I’ll run with headphones every solo long run, but every now and again I think is ok.

Do you run with headphones or with company or do you prefer the solitude of you and nature?  Let me know what other playlists I need to be on the lookout for too please


Hit the re-set button 

It’s been one of those weeks and it’s only Thursday, you know the kind where nothing really goes wrong but it doesn’t feel quite right either overall.  Luckily, as I’m sure you’ve already worked out, I’m not a brain surgeon so when my day doesn’t go quite to plan, it’s actually always going to be ok!

Yesterday was a particularly hectic day in a particularly busy week (aren’t they all?!) and I had to hit the re-set button not once but TWICE.

I stuck my headphones in at my desk over lunch and took 20mins with Mogwai just to remind myself that it’s all fine.

Part two of my re-set was to go for a quick run – I grabbed some running kit which is always at hand (mostly because I’ve not put it away – ahem) didn’t give myself any time to overthink and talk myself out of it and I ran a lap of the town.  It’s funny isn’t it that sometimes when you’re tired, a run is just what you need.  Might file that under “Things you only know as a runner” number 485…

I don’t really know what I think about whilst running, it actually wasn’t about my day but mostly wondering why a headwind seems to be multi-directional and a tailwind is never there when you need it.  “Things you only know as a runner” number 486…

My friend Miss P asked me what I think about on my longer solo runs and I will have a think about it and perhaps share some thoughts with you all at another time.  If you’re a runner, do you use your long runs to think things through, or to forget about everything?  Are you a solo or a more social runner or both?

I’d love to know how you re-set and remind yourself that it’s all fine…

The nearly Olympics post 

Muddy Run

Isn’t running through a muddy puddle liberating?!

I realise that the title and picture together *might* imply that I’ve been off being athlete-y and Olympian (HA!) when in fact it’s been almost 4 years since my last post.  (See what I did there?)

How are you?  Gosh there’s been a lot going on since I was last here – I’ll fill you in on some of it over the next few posts possibly but probably not all of it.

The biggest news is that I am now a runner – yes me!  Someone who runs!  For fun and not because something is chasing me!

So the blog will be a bit about running and a bit about music still – I hope you’ll stick around and maybe share with a few like-minded people if you feel moved to.

Actually speaking of music, there’s been a LOT since I’ve been away from here – far too much to catch up on and I try not to look backwards as a rule (except on #tbt clearly) but there are some gems that were new to me, especially this year so I may do an end of year roundup – *spoiler alert – it will feature Rave Karaoke – yep, that’s right!

What are you listening to at the minute?  I’m enjoying Colors by Beck, loving Rapsody feat Kendrick Lamar and Lance Skiiiwalker and also don’t you think Deadly Valentine by Charlotte Gainsbourg really sounds like Goldfrapp?  Loving the Soulwax remix of it too, its around 8 minutes long but worth checking out…  I’m really loving that once again  Kurt and Courtney are in my life – ask your Mum if you don’t remember the first ones…