Three Intentions For Me (#4)

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Happy November everyone! Now that we have Halloween over us, I’m so ready to get in the Christmas spirit (Society is not letting me just yet though). I’m back with another monthly intentions where I not only look at goals for the coming month, but I also look back on intentions I set for myself the previous month. So before we get into this month’s intentions, let’s look at last month’s.

❤ Run further.

This intention was very broad but it was broad for a reason. I didn’t want to set myself a specific distance or time so if I only ran an extra 0.1K, I would have been happy. If you’ve been reading my blog, you would have seen my post about running further distances where I talk about running 9K. Yes, I ran 9K! (If you want to read the post, it’s right here) I’m so over the moon with that, and with my longer race coming up this month, I haven’t felt so worried about my ability to run the full 10K.

❤ Get back into my morning gym routine.

I didn’t do this to its full potential but I feel like I still got a win here. I wake up between 4:30am and 5:30am most work mornings and if I wasn’t going to the gym, I was still being productive. I stuck washing on, I had a relaxing breakfast, I was able to read in bed for half an hour and I can take my time getting ready for work. So yes, I only went to the gym in the very early morning a few times this week but I was able to take some time for myself in other ways, so it’s still a win (technically).

 Try a new recipe.

I tried a new recipe from Deliciously Ella’s second book “Deliciously Ella Every Day”. It was a lovely vegetable paella that I’ve taken into work to have for my lunch and it’s quite nice. I posted a photograph on Instagram of the meal so you’ll see it right here!

That’s really two out of three but I feel better for my more relaxed mornings so if I wanted to, I could say that’s three out of three. Now onto this month’s intentions…

 Organise my clothes.

I would say my wardrobe but most of my clothes don’t hang up. I would say I’m going through a style crisis, and when I say crisis, that means I currently struggle with my style and I’m trying to figure it out. I’m hoping to write a more in-depth post about this so this month I’m hoping to go through all my clothes; declutter, throw out, donate then gradually buy a few key pieces of clothing that I would like. Essentially, I want to have a capsule wardrobe but I can’t do this until I have a big clear out.

 Make a plan about savings.

Ideally in the New Year, I would love to put some money away each week or each month. In order to do this, I need to sit down (with myself), look at where I could be saving and what I could be putting it towards. I don’t think it will take me too long to do but I need to look beyond Christmas (when all the presents have been brought and the festivities are over) to give me a better overview on what is on the cards for my finances.

 Get better at time management.

Admittedly, my time management has seen a massive improvement over the last month but when I find myself get overwhelmed with a large amount of tasks, my anxiety tends to kick in and then procrastination then comes in pretty quickly after that. This month I want to try and work a plan for myself that will help my productivity while combating the overwhelm.

Thank you for reading this month’s intentions and make sure to check back at the start of next month! ☀️

 

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SS: Sunday Saves (#75)

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Good morning everyone and welcome back to another edition of my Sunday Saves! This week I’ll be talking about writing tips, time management and what happened when one woman became pregnant.

1) Hannah Gale (Six Things My Job As A Digital Journalist Taught Me About Writing)

What I really loved about Hannah’s blog post is that it was something I haven’t read before. There’s numerous posts out there and says “Be yourself when you’re writing” and yes, that’s completely fair enough and rightly so, that’s what you should do. Reading that post after post after post gets boring and that’s why I loved Hannah’s; it was fresh and I learned something new. Odd number lists is probably the one I was surprised by, I always thought most readers would prefer even numbered lists but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

2) Sophie So (Time – How Many Hours Do You Really Have In A Week?)

Have you ever looked in depth at your week in terms of hours? Sophie has looked at every hour in detail so you don’t have to. From commuting to work, to actually working, eating your lunch, going to bed at night and including exercise too. Her post is quite interesting and talks a little about dealing with time management, something that I’m not that skilled in just yet. If you’re someone (like me) who feels like they have zero time, maybe take a read.

3) She and Life (I Found Out I Was Pregnant… And I Became Unemployable)

Now, I’m not pregnant but I found Natalie’s story very sad and it seems like she’s not the only one who is currently going through this horrible process. Her story is the title that’s linked above; she found out she was pregnant and then she lost her job. I’m sending all my wishes to you Natalie, something that doesn’t deserve to happen to anyone but especially someone who is pregnant.

That’s all for this week! Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and remember to click on the original posts and take a read too.

Training for a 10K Race: Starting Out With Longer Distances.

Apologises but this will be a slightly longer post, I’ve been running more than usual lately, so that’s only a good thing. If you missed my post about signing up for a 10K race, it’s linked here.

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After I recovered from my injury and started back on the parkruns (which I talked about in my running update) my long distance running had to begin in order for my 10K training so that’s what I done and before I begin, all the long distance runs I have done so far have been in the same place which I’ll talk about, except I’ve just gone a little further each time.

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(Results from our first long distance runs and as usual my tracker decided to play up and over estimate the distance rather than under. So we ran 4.7 miles rather than 4.9 miles.)

The first long distance run was done one Sunday evening when it was just starting to get dark. The towpath we run on is 4 miles or just over 6.5K altogether when we turn at the tunnel and come back around. Once we finished on the route, we actually ran a little further to hit 7.5K. This particular run wasn’t that difficult, I thought I would have struggled but because we slowed down, I didn’t feel out of breath and I even said I could have kept going. I’ve never ran that distance before so I was over the moon with it, and at that point I didn’t care about timings, I was just so happy that I done it.

IMG_20171012_220544_460.jpg(A first 9K run! Distance was 5.61 miles which equals 9K.)

The next long distance was done after work one evening and as much as I love the Autumn and Winter seasons, I hate that it’s getting so dark so soon. We run down a quiet towpath near our area and it’s really lovely but the one downside is that at night, it’s very badly lit. Thankfully Scott had his head light with him and when it was really dark, he went in front of me so cyclists could see him first. Again, this wasn’t a tough run and I only really started to feel tired after the towpath and we went further than the 7.5K stopping point. We went to the 9K stopping point!

Yes, I ran 9K. You have no idea how happy I was, and quite frankly, I’m still proud of it. According to Scott, I was four minutes faster at the 7.5K mark this time too. So because I was four minutes faster, I’m assuming I picked up the pace and I had been at work all day so I put my added tiredness to the fact I’d been in work all day then I came home to run. My dinner was thoroughly enjoyed that night.

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(I moved to Strava for my running training statistics, mainly because it is known to be more reliable and more accurate that my FitBit but of course, I’m still using the FitBit.)

My third run was a lone run which I didn’t mind too much. I really like when I run with Scott but I don’t like feeling dependent on someone so that’s why I don’t miss out on parkrun’s if he can’t come with me, I want to feel like I’m progressing all the time and this experience was no exception.

I went straight after work meaning I rushed in, got changed and make-up off within ten minutes then headed to my route and it was already starting to get dark. Thankfully I have a torch on my phone so I stuck that on in very dark patches or when I thought I would need to be seen by other runners or cyclists.

I would say this was the toughest run but yet, I wasn’t overwhelmed. I wasn’t gasping for my last breath like sometimes I can be at the parkrun but it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park (or shall we say run in the park? Ha!). If you scroll up, you can see my first 9K run was finished in one hour and eleven minutes; this 9K run was completed in one hour and four minutes. How? For me, these longer runs are not about the time because I need to prove to myself that I can run a longer distance and be able to mentally get through it (which I feel like I’m doing pretty well) but when you see such a significant time difference, you can’t help but be pleased.

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(Because I run later on at night now, the photographs don’t turn out too well. I took this before starting on my route while the sky still had a little light in it.)

So that’s my long distance running progress so far. Am I happy? Absolutely! I’ve been running more than just the parkrun and I genuinely feel better because I can see progressing happening. I’m still worried about the 10K itself but I think that’s completely normal to be nervous. Thank you for reading! 💛

SS: Sunday Saves (#74)

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Hello all, and welcome back to another Sunday Saves! After my bumper Sunday Saves last week (which will be linked here) I’m back with another edition of three blog posts I have came across during the week that I wanted to talk about. This week I’ll be talking about being your own best friend, cleaning tips and changing your diet.

1) She Was A Day Tripper (How To Be Your Own Best Friend)

Are you your own best friend? That’s what Sarah is talking about in this particular post and I can honestly say that the only one of her points that I genuinely do one hundred percent of the time is enjoy my own company. She also talks about forgiving yourself and that is one of the hardest things to do but I am becoming better at it. It might be a short post but it will make you think about the relationship you have with yourself.

2) Fizzy Peaches (12 Cleaning Tips For A Clean Home)

Cleaning is one of the simplest housework chores that we have to deal with yet it fills me with anxiety like nobody’s business because I take on too much. I’ve spoken about it in therapy and we are working on a few techniques on how to combat the anxiety and get on with the housework a little easier. Lyndsay gives so many good tips on how to keep a tidy home with not too much effort and I think I might try the the minute challenge she talks about, I do love a challenge.

3) The Mother Hen (Lifestyle Change – I’m Going Vegan)

Before I get into Kathryn’s blog post, I have to say that she is one of my favourite Instagrammers especially her Instagram stories. I don’t have children so I can’t relate to her in that aspect but she just seems so down to earth and lovely! Anyway, her blog post talks about changing to a plant based diet and it always excites me when someone I follow chooses to do this because obviously I’m on the same journey. I can’t wait to see how she gets on!

Thank you so much for reading this week’s blog post. Remember to go and have a read of this week’s blog posts, I really recommend them. I hope you all have a lovely week!

 

Not Passing Your Driving Test The First Time.

Today I’m talking about my experience about not passing my driving test the first time and about the enormous amount of pressure that we seem to be under when it comes to that all important result.

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When you make the decision to learn to drive, it’s quite a dramatic life decision but you might not even think it. It’s a huge piece of your independence that you can gain; even if you can’t afford a car, you still have the skills and knowledge of knowing how to drive a car which can even help you with your career.

I passed my test a few months before my twenty second birthday so a lot of people would see that as quite late to learn how to drive because most people tend to do it as they turn seventeen or eighteen. At that age though, I had zero interest in learning how to drive but once I came back from University, I suddenly became interested.

1001334_635239689820951_2038492520_n(This was me when I passed my test! I look so different.)

I didn’t pass my practical test first time round and I would never pretend I did. I can’t remember the exact number of times, I think it was five. Does that mean I’m a bad driver? Absolutely not and I will fully admit that I have had a car accident that was my fault. It was in my second year of driving but it still doesn’t make me a bad driver and it has taken me quite a while to accept that accidents do happen and it doesn’t make me a bad person. For those wondering, it wasn’t a serious accident; it only involved one other person and they were genuinely lovely about it happening meanwhile I was in floods of tears. I had to immediately drive from the scene and I was driving most of the day after it had happened but that was a blessing in disguise; I wasn’t put off from driving and I think if I had have walked away from the wheel, it would have taken me a while to get back into the driver seat again.

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There seems to be a stigma around not passing your test first time and even a few years later, it still gets to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so happy for anyone who gets their driving license because it’s such a huge achievement but I definitely think there is that stigma especially when it’s pointed out, “I passed my driving test and I done it first time!” Sometimes it feels like because we’re not in that “first time group”, we’re not as good as someone who is, and believe me, even four years later, I still struggle with it.

So for those reading this who have had a similar experience to me or who are starting to learn to drive, here’s the four most important things I learned from my experience and what I would tell my younger self.

1) It’s not the end of the world.

There were A LOT of tears from me. I felt really sorry for my instructor, she mustn’t have known what to do with a crying woman in her car quite a few times. It really isn’t the end of the world, something which took me some time to realise. I had the luxury of being able to take the test a few weeks later but I understand that finances can vary for others. In that case, some time away from the wheel to take the pressure off might help.

2) It doesn’t mean you’re a bad driver.

Unfortunately when you first start revising for your theory exam, you start to hear stories of booking your practical exam. You shouldn’t book it for the end of the month or you should book it for a specific time. You hear the stories of examiners having a quota each month so they can’t pass everyone so even if you were a good driver, they might not be able to pass you before of this. Are these type of stories true? I really don’t know. My point is that your instructor wouldn’t tell you to book your test if they didn’t think you were a good driver and for whatever reason, you didn’t pass, but that just means you can take some time either to yourself or with your instructor for some self-reflection (based on the instructors points system).

3) You’re no less of a driver if you takes you more than once.

This is the most important point of my four points. If you passed on your first try, congratulations! If it’s your tenth test, my congratulations mean no less. It’s such a lovely feeling passing your test and just because you didn’t do it first time, it doesn’t make you any less of a driver because of it. You still know how to use the clutch, you still know how to work the gears and you still knows how to do the manoeuvres regardless.

4) Don’t let anyone make you feel bad.

Anyone who tries to make you feel bad for not getting it first time, I call them toxic people and you don’t need them in your life. What you can do though is one very important thing; they can try to make you feel bad, but quite frankly, don’t let them. They weren’t there on the day, they weren’t feeling how you felt on that particular day, they aren’t you and this is your experience and your experience only. I’d feel bad for them that they have nothing better to do with their time that try and bring you down.

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It’s important to remember that no matter how many times it takes you to pass your test, you did it! Whether that’s the first time, second time, third time or as many times as you need to; we all go at different paces and that doesn’t mean that you aren’t as good as someone else. Don’t let anyone put you down for trying your best!

SS: Sunday Saves (#73) World Mental Health Day Edition.

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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you’re having a lovely day too, and a lovely weekend overall. Today’s Sunday Saves is quite a special one; I didn’t write a post for this year’s World Mental Health Day but I thought I would incorporate it into this week’s Sunday Saves. I’m featuring ten posts that I have read over the week (including this morning) that talks about mental health in many forms.

1) Becloumar (Focusing On The Small Things. #MentalHealthAwarenessDay)

Rebecca’s post for World Mental Health Day focuses on the small things and this is something that really sticks with me. I much prefer having a cup of tea and a chocolate bar while watching something on TV rather than a big night out (but that’s just me) but even those little things help tremendously with my mental health. She shares the little things that make her happy and I can definitely relate to quite a lot of them.

2) A Carers Perspective (What’s My Name Again? Losing My Identity As A Carer)

I have no idea about the life of a carer so reading Ann Marie’s story about looking after your mental health while looking after someone is very important for anyone to read. She talks about losing herself, losing her identity and even hating the person that she was becoming so she gives a few tips to those who are in the same position as her

3) Sparkles and Stretchmarks (Blue Monday and Seasonal Sadness – Are They Real?)

I wanted to include this post, not only because it relates to mental health but because I feel like over the coming months, it might be something that some people may experience in the coming months. Hayley talks about how she thought her feelings could be related to pre-natal depression and she could start to see a pattern with seasonal sadness instead. I’m not sure a lot of people really know what seasonal sadness feels like, because Christmas isn’t always so happy and festive for everyone, and I think it’s important to learn from stories like Hayley’s.

4) The Rose Glow (Anxiety: What Not To Say)

“Don’t worry” is one of the most stressful things someone can say to me when I’m very anxious and Alice seems to capture this very well in her post. She talks about some of the things that she’s been told by friends and family that can affect you more than you think, and believe me, I can definitely relate!

5) She’s A Writer (A Musing Or Two On World Mental Health Day)

I relate to Sarah so much through this post because she talks about not only how the conversation of mental health has changed over the last fifty years but also because she talks about her CBT experience. As someone going through CBT myself, I always like reading someone else’s experience and how it has impacted them.

6) Elle JC (Anxiety And Me)

Laura’s short post about anxiety gives an overview of how anxiety can play in your head and it’s one that I relate to. One little thought can spiral out of control but I think it’s important that Laura has not only spoken about how it has negatively affected her but the positives that have came out of it too.

7) My Little Brushneen Blog (Mental Health Awareness: My Story)

Kayleigh tells her story of being diagnosed with G.A.D (also known as Generalised Anxiety Disorder) before and after the diagnosis. It’s quite a lengthy post but I love that she goes into so much detail because it can be quite a hard thing to talk about, and I really love that she has opened herself up so much about her journey.

8) Made By Steffie B (Drowning)

Steffie’s post is definitely an emotional one; she talks about her struggles with IVF, babies and how this has impacted her mental health. I can’t imagine how she feels but with her post, we get a glimpse into this journey that her and her partner have currently been going through.

9) Adventure and Anxiety (Mental Health In The Workplace – #WorldMentalHealthDay)

The theme of this year’s World Mental Health Day was well-being in the workplace so I thought it was very appropriate to include Beth’s post. Unfortunately for Beth, it seems like she hasn’t had very much support in some of her job roles when it comes to dealing with her mental health. She gives statistics on how mental health can play a huge part in your life in the workplace as well as some of her own experiences, which are quite sad that some employers don’t see the impact that they can have on someone.

10) Sarah’s Chapter (T5W: Books With Mental Health)

If you’ve been the reader of the blog for a while or you know me in real life, you’ll know I’m not much of a reader. I would love to be but I can never find the time and I get really tired. However, I thought Sarah’s post about mental health books was really interesting; I haven’t read any of the books that she has featured but “Reasons To Stay Alive” sounds like a really good one (and she has a full review on that particular book so I’ll be giving that a read too!)

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all these posts discussing mental health, their lives and how it affects them. Mental health affects each and every one of us; positively and negatively and I think these posts just prove that everyone has a story.

Training for a 10K Race: Yes, 10K!

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I am writing this post a lot sooner than I thought so sometimes when I remember about the 10K run, it takes me a minute to adjust that it is actually going to happen.

It all began after the 5K race was finished; it was a really tough race mentally for me and I had been very hesitant to sign up to another one based off that experience. My boyfriend had been talking about signing me up for my next race and I simply wasn’t interested yet; I was quite happy to stick to the parkrun and prepare to get faster for those. He brought up a 10K run that had quite a unique twist but it was in November and I had told myself that I didn’t see myself realistically training for a 5K until March or April next year. I’m not sure how it happened; I can’t remember if Scott talked me round or if I convinced myself it was a good idea, but he signed us up to the 10K run.

Yes, in August I pulled myself through a 5K race (and now that I’m back from injury, I continue to do 5K runs every Saturday morning) and now in November, I’ll be taking part in a 10K run. It still doesn’t seem real to me and quite frankly, I am very nervous. When I run 5K, I think to myself “If I’m tired after a 5K, how am I going to tackle a 10K?”

20170717_205853.jpg(My local park has the prettiest flowers!)

One of my biggest fears, which is completely understandable, is the fear of the negative thoughts taking over which is where the anger, the upset and the panic attacks will come in. If you haven’t read about my very negative run, it will be linked at the end of the post, but I urge you to read it if you haven’t already. It’s a very raw and emotional post that was not only hard to go through, but hard to write. At the end of the day, I’m writing about my running training and that was part of the experience, so I would feel like a fraud not to write about it. I’m worried about that experience happening again and there’s not a day I don’t think about it.

The 10K is happening in the middle of November so we’re just a month away so what’s my plan? Well, I’m still planning on running in the parkrun each week and continue to work on my timings. During the week, I hope to run at least twice but up the distance; I’ll not be running 10K from the get-go, it might only be an extra half a mile for a while, then we’ll add on a full mile after a week or two. Scott will be helping me throughout thankfully and because I’ve had the constant challenge of upping my speed on the Saturday morning, I’m going to have to slow it down for the 10K. I believe that that will be something that I’ll struggle with at first because I still have no real idea about my pacing and if I’m going too fast or too slow, so he’ll be there to help me along the way with that.

For all my other running posts, have a look below and take your pick!
Training for a 5K Race: An Introduction and My First Run.
Training for a 5K Race: Running and Negative Mental Health.
Training for a 5K Race: The Lone Run. 
Training for a 5K Race: My First (Unofficial) Park Run
Training for a 5K Race: Last Minute Training!
Training for a 5K Race: Race Day!

Training for a 5K Race: What happened after?