marathon training

All posts tagged marathon training

#duloxetinewithdrawal Day 6, think I got away lightly! And #Fitcamp with @combinedfitness

Published September 24, 2015 by Crystal

Pretty sure the omega 3 is a little bit magic, or I was never going to suffer that badly!

Problem is it’s been time of the month, or was it an advantage in that I was going to feel pretty crap anyway? But the dizziness has pretty much gone, brain zaps were few and far between the last couple of days, and the tiredness could be down to mother nature.

Today I have a crappy cold, though.  So I’m somewhat miserable.  But fortunately it is my day off and I have nothing to do except laundry and dishes and all that mundane crap.

I also have my lovely floppy soup  to enjoy.

I have to decide whether to give fitcamp a go, or take it easy until the evil mud run on Sunday, or do one last fitcamp.  The other problem (gawd I sound like a moaner today, because, basically, I am) is that I have a small lump on my achilles tendon, and having been here before, I know how bad it could get pretty quickly if I’m not careful.  I’m meant to be training for a half marathon at the end of October too.  I think I am an example today of how not to do anything!

On the Fitcamp subject, if you live in the Cheltenham area, I would highly recommend Kelly Eddie as a trainer, motivator, encourager, and generally lovely person.  I love Fitcamp classes.  I may not love them at the beginning, but by the end I am so happy I have completed, which is why I am in a quandary as to whether to go tonight!  And now I have a new job, I am wondering how I am going to be able to keep going in some way.  I may have to move across to her video classes, which won’t be so easy as being in a group, but then I know the support is there.

Anyhoo.  I’m off to pay attention to Eddie Izzard, and drink lots of hot drinks, and lament the passing of summer, under a blanket.


No longer whimsical about wine #mentalhealth #blackdog #depression

Published March 13, 2015 by Crystal

I realised half way through the week that I still had over 6 weeks to the marathon.  I’ve made a commitment to abstain for the 6 weeks in the run up to the marathon, so having got the weeks wrong, and having a horrid cough and cold that is inhibiting my training 100% at the moment I decided a medicinal bottle of wine would help soothe my throat, help me sleep, help me feel better.

It did none of those things.

And its dawned on me, wine is no longer enjoyable in the way it was.  Whether it is a temporary thing, or whether it is a long term thing I don’t know.

I don’t know if my brain chemistry has changed so much that the enjoyment has been affected.  I don’t know if it’s just down to generally feeling a little more in control of things because of the Slimpod.  This week I haven’t had the desire to grab a glass or several to help my mood, or help me sleep, or whatever.  I have felt quite chilled in the evenings and have not slept too badly.

Last night I slept horrendously.  2am saw me wide eyed and hot, then cold, then hot, then cold.  Then coughing, then uncomfortable.  I was fitful until 4:36am.  Where miraculously I fell asleep until 6:05am, and then until 7:14am.  I didn’t feel happy, I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt annoyed.  Because wine didn’t do what I hoped.  It didn’t give me a good night’s sleep.  It didn’t soothe my throat and stop the cough, and it didn’t make me particularly happy and chirpy while I drank it through the evening!

Wine has been a big part of my life.  Friends see wine related pictures and jokes, and I’m automatically tagged.  While I don’t hit the vino at midday, I am capable of drinking a lot.  And it has contributed to some great times.  But it has also contributed to some pretty horrendous episodes, when my depression has led to manic episodes.  I’m not an alcoholic.  I’m a depressive who self medicates with alcohol.  But really, either way you look at it, it’s not ideal.  And as time goes on I am more aware of the cons, and far less aware of the pros.

So, here we are, on a drizzly Friday morning, feeling slightly disappointed at the conclusion that maybe life would be better without wine.

How am I going to be witty and charming?  How am I going to feel relaxed and less awkward in uncomfortable situations?  And then there’s the Adam Ant question, “Don’t drink, don’t smoke, what do you do?”

It all feels ridiculously grown up.

But if my mental health improves then it’s going to be a great grown up life!

#janathon, a gentle day, shopping

Published January 16, 2015 by Crystal

OK, it’s not a mega active day, but it’s still activity.  Youngest child’s birthday is coming up, so we are shopping for his presents.  My fitbit is back on my wrist, and I’m ready to count those steps.  Still feeling rather drained from the bug, but at least on the mend, and will no doubt feel better for getting out.

I also came to a substantial decision re Marathon training.  While I was hoping to run as much as possible, this last week has led me to feel that I need to change tactics, and to keep feeling motivated during training.  So I am going to move to a run walk training plan, and increase my run walk mileage each week with a lengthening training run walk.

This looks to be the best way of completing training and getting to and finishing the marathon, and feeling good about it!  I will make Thursdays my long run day, and flip the days around to fit my lifestyle.  For today though, just walking, hydrating, and getting back to (as) normal (as I can ever be).

I am a mess, and sometimes healing feels like a slow slow business.

Published November 22, 2014 by Crystal

2 blog posts ago I raved about the idea of not weighing.  I embraced the idea of healing being an all encompassing thing, and that hopping on the scales was getting in the way of my healing from disordered eating.

Oh to be free from the judgemental slab of metal.

So, how have I got on?  How am I embracing a life away from the scales?  How am I enjoying healing on a whole new level?

I’m not.  Between then and now the Black Dogs that never really go away were biting at my heals, not satisfied with just walking alongside.  I ended up at my doctor’s door, asking for help, because this time around I couldn’t do it alone, no matter how much effort I had put in.

I know there is no shame in needing medication, but I felt I had let myself down in not being able to exercise myself out of this episode of depression.  I felt disappointed that good eating and regular exercise hadn’t had the full desired effect.  You can only go on struggling for so long, before something has to give.

I was anxious, tearful, sad, dissatisfied, out of sorts, out of place, and generally uncomfortable all the time.

So I was given a prescription, and I’m in the process of weaning onto them.

But then the worry of being on anti depressants kicked in.  They have a reputation for weight gain, and I will be completely honest in saying the thought of this started to completely stress me out.  I have worked hard to lose 3 stone.  And it was a long slow process.  The thought of gaining pounds that I fought to lose was and is something that added to the anxiety I was already feeling.  And of course it takes a while for the tablets to have an effect.  So anxiety magnified, depression increased, I had to seriously think about how I wanted to approach this new situation.

Not weighing myself became a cause for fear.  To not be able to monitor how these tablets might affect my weight was something I could not bear the idea of.  And suddenly a need for control, and possible damage limitation was a priority.

For the first few days my appetite completely vanished.  It made exercise difficult, and didn’t help with my moods.  But I was also aware that symptoms can be short lived, and a diminished appetite was very likely a temporary effect.  I was right, my appetite returned, and the panic of eating too much returned with it.

I have stepped onto the scales several times over the last week, normally once a day.  And for now it helps bring some calm in a situation that is making me anxious.  I do feel I need medication at the moment, and so the healing from disordered eating is something that will continue to be  a very slow occurrence.  I also decided to return to a diet club to help me monitor my foods, to take the stress and anxiety away a little while the pills do their thing.

It’s not an ideal situation, but then on the other hand I’ve chosen a diet club that is seeming to be more mindful in its advice and literature these days.  There is support in the form of a good friend who goes regularly, as well as the friendly class and leader.  For now, it will help.


On the plus side, my running is progressing.  This 36 year old managed to run for a whole 20 minutes!  It’s a small goal in comparison to the masses who are already marathon fit, but for me it is a big fat miracle!  And the feeling of achievement after that training run was immense!  Onwards and upwards, longer, stronger, fitter.  I am running for SANE in 2015 London Marathon, and if you would like to sponsor me, there is a button to the right of my blog page.


So there’s a wee update.  2 steps forward, a few steps back.  But then that’s the way life goes.

Cake is not the enemy!

Published October 14, 2014 by Crystal

Since reading this lovely phrase this morning, it has been going around and around in my head and I just had to come and write the stream of thoughts going through my head.

I was sharing a throw away comment made by someone last evening about me scoffing cake the previous night.  It upset me a little. Not because there is anything at all wrong with scoffing cake.  Not because cake is evil and must be tamed.  Not because I hate cake, or love it so much I cannot get enough of it.

I was upset because it seems to be an assumption of people dieting that we must not or can not be trusted around food.  I didn’t scoff cake.  I ate cake.  I ate a few more mouthfuls than I needed, and I certainly regretted that decision moments later when my tummy started to hurt.  But I didn’t “scoff” cake.  I ate every mouthful mindfully, really, every mouthful. It was a conscious choice to have cake.  I didn’t walk blindly into the kitchen, hunting through the cupboards for something to eat.  I had made the cake on Friday for my son’s birthday, and the rest of the family were about to have some.  I weighed up whether I really wanted some, or whether something else would satisfy, and I decided I wanted cake. I put a portion into a bowl, and I ate it slowly.  I noticed every single taste, the slight burnt sugar, the sharp honey, the rich cream. I was aware of the different textures, the slight crunch of one mouthful contrasting with the soft sponge of the next.

And I had every right to eat that cake!

And cake is nice!

Why shouldn’t I, or you, or anyone, enjoy a piece of cake?

And I realised then, in that moment, how far I have really come through learning of mindful eating, and reading all those books, and practising all those different ideas and principles in the various Intuitive Eating Books.  I can take or leave nearly any food these days.  Crisps are nice, chocolate is nice, cake is nice.  But they all have their time and place and I don’t need to eat the whole multi pack after eating one packet.  I don’t need to finish the whole bar of Dairy Milk because I opened it and broke off 4 pieces.  I certainly don’t need to finish off the cake that serves 12, because I baked it, and it needs eating.

And I am grateful, so so grateful that I am in this place now. I don’t scoff cake, because there is no need to scoff cake.  It serves no purpose.  My binges are so few and far between these days.  And it really is down to all those books about Intuitive Eating and Self Acceptance, and how Diets Don’t Work.

And I still believe Diets Don’t Work.  Maybe even more so today than of recent months.  I have lost 3 stone, and I have enjoyed taking what I can from Weight Watchers, and using it for some accountability, but I don’t believe Weight Watchers is the answer to all my problems.  It has helped me zone in on more optimal food choices at times.  It has helped me make balanced decisions through the day when I haven’t wanted to think too hard, when I haven’t wanted to be mindful, when mindfulness has felt like it would too much like hard work.  But using Weight Watchers, or Slimming World, or whatever else, or using none at all, it was ME that put all the effort in to get and maintain that weight loss over the year. It was me using the clubs in a way that helped me.

I have that rebellious streak that so many dieters do, and when someone starts to question my eating of cake, or chocolate, or meal out, then something in me starts to react and resist their rules and regulations. Thankfully now, though, it just means I rethink how I want to handle this whole weight loss thing.  In the past it might have meant a binge.  “YOU tell me I can’t have cake. I will eat 10 cakes!!”

I do wonder if the “scoff” comment was a bit of projection, because it’s a given that we can’t trust ourselves around food, isn’t it?  Maybe they would have scoffed cake if they had allowed themselves any?  I don’t know.  Maybe they just think I’m a piglet, and so obviously I would “scoff” the cake!

What it has left me feeling though, is that I need a break from following a diet plan, and to instead trust myself a little bit more for a couple of days.  No points, no syns.  Just tuning in at meal times to what I want to eat, and to how much I need.  Back to leaving food on my plate because I reach that point of satisfaction, and don’t need to eat everything just because it is there.  Getting out and exercising because I am enjoying the feeling of pushing myself, and because I know it is good for my overall health, and promotes better sleep and a general feeling of wellness, and not just because it means I can eat more food (though that has not been a reason for a number of years now, anyway)

And what it has also left me feeling is that Intuitive Eating is something people would really benefit from reading about!  To remove that guilt and anxiety around all those foods that diet clubs continue to have you fearing.  To gain some self belief that we can be trusted.

If you’ve got a kindle I would recommend How To Have Your Cake for a simple read, too.  And kindle or paperback Beyond Chocolate

I’m never going to make it as a diet magazine success story.  I can’t advocate one way to easily lose weight and keep it off.  But I continue to make it as a Stepping into yourself success story, because I am my own success story.  I fight depression, I keep making peace with my body, and I’m getting there in marathon training.  LIfe isn’t all smooth sailing, one size doesn’t fit all, and no slimming club is going to change your life without you putting your own effort and thoughts and decisions into the mix.

Cake is NOT the enemy

Thought this picture perfect to show how lovely and loving cakes really are! 😉

But cake.  Cake is definitely not the enemy.  And sometimes it can be what makes a crappy day a little bit better!

I do have my own food (well, drink) kryptonite.  Don’t get me wrong.  I can’t stop at one glass of red wine.  Not ever.  It’s not that I’m an alcoholic.  I just love red wine, and once I’ve had one glass, my resolve and common sense vanish. After a glass of wine, anything goes.  And so there is no “legalising” wine.  It’s an all or nothing thing, and it’s simply how alcohol affects me.  So for a number of benefits, it is better to avoid it rather than attempt to learn moderation.  Any other food though, it really is take or leave.  And yes, it may have taken many, many years to get to this point, but here I am. 

Sore throat. Panic. Depression has rewired my head.

Published October 8, 2014 by Crystal

As time passes, it is the little things that show me how my brain has changed through its interaction with depression.  A mole hill becomes a mountain.  A small inconvenience can become a massive tragedy.

Two nights ago my throat started to feel sore.  You know that sweet feeling you get in the back of your throat before a cold?  And the hard lump that makes swallowing uncomfortable?  I went to sleep making excuses.  Dust from sanding things down.  Paint fumes irritating.

I woke yesterday morning.  My throat still sore.  The hard lump uncomfortable.  My nose was itchy, my head slightly stuffy.

Panic.  “How can I carry on my training which is so so early on and every run important in extending my staying power?  If I don’t run today when will I start again and will I have to start all over again?  Every run counts.  Every day is important.  Every single run needs to happen within a couple of days of the last or I will need to start all over again.  I can’t start all over again.”

It was the beginning of a cold, but my very real panic was whether to run through it and risk making it worse and potentially missing lots of days, or whether to hold off, dose myself up with everything that might help kick the cold to touch, and give myself a day off.

I searched Mr Google “can I run with a cold?” and the overwhelming advice that came out was that if it is above your throat, running is ok.  If it is in your throat or your chest or both, then running is a no no.  Obediently I decided to stop, have the day off, get lots of drugs from Boots, and hope that this cold would go nowhere.  I had to go shopping anyway, so while not running I did walk and walk and walk through the day.

Today I woke up, and the cold seems to have been halted.  It hasn’t gotten any worse, and my throat might even feel a bit better.  With echinacea, garlic, and zinc taken this morning, I have to stay in and wait for a delivery, but after that I am going to attempt a run.  If I don’t complete it it is not the end of the world.  But believing that is a hard thing.  It seems that now my head is hard wired to believe the worst possible outcome of every inconvenience.  My brain will rush forward 6 months and see the failure emblazoned over my life.  It actually takes a lot of effort now to break things down and look at situations logically and sympathetically, and with kindness to myself.

A cold is a cold.  It’s not the end of the world.  It’s a small inconvenience, and it could potentially delay my training.  But training if I can’t breathe properly would be pretty pointless anyway, wouldn’t it?  It would be draining at least, and potentially make me feel worse.  In the *cold* light of day I can see how unreasonable I am being on myself.  But it has taken 24 hours to realise that.  To reflect and allow things to run their course as much as possible.

Today as I write this, there is a lot of news coverage around Mental Health.  The Liberal Democrats are seeking to improve waiting targets for sufferers.  Katharine Welby-Roberts is on the BBC talking about media coverage and the stigma from those around us as sufferers.

We are still a long long way from wide understanding and acceptance as sufferers of Mental Health issues.  And for me, it is understanding from myself too.

If you would like to sponsor me as I train and run the London Marathon, please click the button to the right of the blog entries.  I am raising money for SANE