The sound of silence

 

It always makes my smile when I realise that there is a theme of some sort running through my life. For the past few weeks it’s been one that involves speaking, when to say something and when to shut your mouth and listen! Also noticing when I feel compelled to speak whether it’s because I think I’ve got something outrageously interesting or important to say or just to fill a           SILENCE.

Then there’s the noticing the self critical voice that tells me I have nothing to say and I’m full of shit( there have definitely been occasions) That’s a big one, it’s a mean one. And I didn’t pull it out of the air. Through working with a counselor I’ve really started to examine that one. She’s been telling me to find my voice. I thought this was hilarious as I never seem to stop “expressing “ myself. It’s only through working with her and truly understanding that it comes from never feeling heard or listened to and the constant chattering was (a) a very badly thought out way of trying to be understood and (b) an absolute fear of silence. Progress…at last.

So then there’s the filling the silence.

 

 

I’m not great at this one and I’m not the only one. I see it at meetings all the time. Again, I’m starting to understand what this is about, for me anyway. It’s part hating the awkward silence on behalf of other people ( I have no control over other people, places and things, note to self) and from a personal perspective, what that silence has meant in the past. Silence= what the fuck is going to happen next?

So it’s been about growth this month and very much also learning to listen. This is another theme that has come up. It’s seems to me that it’s SO important to almost everyone I know that they feel heard. It can be incredibly hurtful to share something with someone only to realise by the glazed look in their eye that they have not heard a word and are probably having a “ Homer” moment.

In other news, it’s Mo-vember this month. Where Tom Selleck is the honorary patron saint and my own husband is sporting his own moustache(hilariously comes up as moist ache in spellcheck) in aid of the men’s cancer charity. I have a confession here, I kind of dig it…shhhhh. As I can’t grow my own( no jokes) I ran the Mo run last Saturday in the Phoenix Park here in Dublin. A beautiful morning and a not so fast run but thats ok🙂 Plus there were cool medals…yes I am a child.

 

 

And to end the post a huge congrats to my super duper hubs who trained hard to get his amazing result in the Dublin Marathon, you rock honey, And also a shout out to fellow blogger Cat h Bradley who completed the New York marathon, you’re an inspiration. I’ll finish with a photo I took of the rather majestic deer that reside in our park who could not give one shit about awkward silences, love to yis all S x

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Lucky pants…

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Just a quick post on a little observation I had this morning before I headed out for a run. I spent about 10 minutes rummaging through my ” kit box” under the bed( note. U M has TWO of these) Even though I had at least 5 pairs of running legging to chose from I couldn’t find the ones I wanted… you know the ones that make you go faster🙂

I’ve spoken to a few people about this and it’s definitely not just me…a lot of us save that special pair of trainers/top/leggings for race day or even that day when we aren’t feeling particularly lively. The ultimate placebo maybe?

Anyhoo…it made me smile when I thought back to the dating days when one would root out their ” lucky pants” before a special date. These days the ” lucky running leggings” have replaced them…not that the need for lucky pants is there anymore( I’m digging myself a hole here)  So things have changed I guess and I wouldn’t have it any other way…

So the run was had, not a particularly fast one but it’s done…I’ll take the credit for that one myself. Hope you are all well and being kind to yourselves, until the next one. S x

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Horrible hills and the bully in yer noggin

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The hills may well be alive but I’m boll-ixed/jiggered… After months of cosy treadmill sessions I had to have a word with myself. Race/run in 7 weeks and I haven’t tackled any hills yet. Problem was I didn’t feel physically brilliant when I woke up this morning, although the weeks of shitty anxiety are starting to subside I’m feeling a bit wrecked. My stomach was well dodge this morning possibly due to too much magnesium which I take in the evenings to help with back and muscle pain and I’m still catching up on lost sleep due to said anxiety.

But the voice in was my head was turned up to Spinal tap proportions and according to “it” I was lazy/making excuses/blahdefuckingblah. And of course I gave in to it… To be fair, it’s a beautiful morning here and initially I was full of the joys, headphones in… Now the first thing you hit on this particular run is a hill, grand no problem but 15 minutes in and my stomach started to turn and just as I started to slow down on a hill 2 friends showed up…couldn’t stop…pride baby.

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My legs felt like lead, I draaagggged them around for the next 1 k and instead of giving up I decided to tackle ” The hill of Doom” This was the suggestion of the bully in ma noggin who was telling me what a weak slob I was, instead of slowing down and taking a flatter more scenic trail run option which was available to me on my right I took the hill. Jaysus. Fair play to UM who bounces up this hill on a regular basis( clue is in regular…) but moi, I almost cried, the only thing that kept me going was the thoughts of the hill on the way DOWN. I half jogged/walked home or ummmm used the Hal Higdon method…

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I’d love to say I enjoyed it on reflection but I didn’t it was horrible, not the actual run as much as the pressure I put myself under, especially when I wasn’t feeling brilliant. But…I know now I need to get my ass off the treadmill if I’m to make any real progress. I am glad I was able to identify the bully though, I’m not doing that again, I don’t deserve it.

There really is no one else who judges me harder than I do myself. And I can change that.

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Artwork by Tabby 

 

Hope you are all well and being kind to yourselves S x

 

 

 

Musical interlude

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Short post just to throw some running music out there( don’t judge me) The lovely blogger slowrunnergirl ( great blog, gorgeous photos, inspirational early morning runs) asked me to share a list of what works for me …here it is so…

1. Just a girl.   No Doubt (  My girl crush)

2. One way or another.  Blondie ( I’m gonna getcha, getcha,getcha unless you’re faster than me in which case I won’t getcha at all)

3.  Monkey man.  The  Specials ( Cannot tell you how much I love this song)

4.   Another one bites the dust. Queen ( to be fair, cheesy as it is Anything by Queen is usually good to run to, except maybe Bohemian Rapsody…)

5. Insomniac.  Faithless ( no box making necessary these days…ah the hedonism of the 90’s…*shudder*)

6. Lose yourself. Eminem ( Love, love love this)

7. Titanium. Paul Guetta/Sia ( I may actually be losing your respect here but try it…)

8.Scummy man. Arctic Monkeys. ( Hardcore lyrics but great to up the tempo)

9.Going underground. The Jam ( Saw Weller live a few years back, very grumpy but brilliant songs.)

10. Running up that hill. Kate Bush or alternatively The moon and me. Tom Baxter. Both great for finishing off a run.

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So that’s what currently works for me and as I’ve said before it’s the closest I get to going out dancing these days, I can incorporate a ska inspired skip into my run altlthough it probably looks bit weird from behind.Interestingly my all time favourite band The Smiths don’t even get a mention, I tried but found it hard to get motivated by the lyrics of Girlfriend in a coma…

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Sorry not sorry…

And there it is, one of those annoying sayings we hear from the L’Oreal generation( because I’m worth it). It annoys the doobiebops off me. It’s up there with people who say ” I’m not being mean but… and “I’m saying this for your own good” No you’re not asshole, you’re saying it because you want to be hurtful. Anyhoo….

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Interestingly enough when I was little my favourite t-shirt was one with those little nudie figures and it said ” Love means never having to say you’re sorry” So the message here is, you can be hurtful and act like a dick and that’s ok. I always wondered how much crap those two characters on the  t-shirt had put each other through before one of them said ” Sod this”  Personally, I blame Ali McGraw and Ryan O Neill.

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My reason for this small meltdown are as a result of having to say I was sorry this week. I acted out on information given to me and as a result was a bit mean. As it turns out it was thinly veiled gossip.The following day I had what can only be described as an emotional hangover. But it was okay, I recognised what had happened here and because I have a few years sobriety under my belt and a 12 step tool kit I could see how the situation had arisen and more importantly what I needed to do. Throw my hands in the air( word up) and APOLOGISE. And not so I felt better, that’s the trick about amends, it doesn’t always go well…but I was lucky, the apology was graciously accepted and yeah, I did feel good, well more grateful really.

Recognising our defects and being able to do something about it is exciting really, it means we are growing.

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IN other news I’m back on track, well the  treadmill for this 10 k Mo-vember run. I’ll eventually get back outside running but to be honest I’m really enjoying having the firestation gym to myself. I lash the music on, currently it’s Blondie at full volume and give it some welly, running mostly on days off and before work( which I am painfully smug about)It’s the nearest I get to dancing these days.

Hope you are all well S x

A week in pictures

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We all have a little bit of Alanis in us…car karaoke.

Myself and UM have just returned from what was probably the most relaxing week I’ve had in…a VERY long time. I didn’t run once, I swam a couple of times and managed a very leisurely 30 mile bike ride. I ATE a lot…it was fab. So here it is…

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Wall art, Waterford. Artist Joe Caslin
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Dungarvan Harbour
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Feather,Copper Coast
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Waterford Greenway
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This bike transformed me into a teenager…just short of pulling wheelies

The above photos bear witness to my weird side, I love a good creepy doll.

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Got him to stand still long enough to get a photo

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Titanic Quarter, well worth the visit.

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Belfast…love you❤️
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I don’t normally insta food but I’ll be running this off for weeks. Mighty.

So back to work, on a 50 hr week and a new running program , I can already smell Autumn and planning our next trip for ” the big birthday ” for UM in November. But until next time , hope you are all well and happy S x

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One of those selfie things

Great expectations…

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Miss Havisham wondering how many likes her recent post on Facebook has gotten

Trigger alert…may contain sensitive subject matter re. Suicide.

It’s taken me a good while to write this, haven’t been feeling totally brilliant but didn’t want the blog to be yet another flash in the pan validation exercise for me, and also I’ve had some pretty difficult days anxiety wise so whatever I wrote would probably have had you running for the trees.

An incident with a friend recently left me whacked emotionally, I won’t go into it but there were accusations of being selfish, not making an effort. Now, I can honestly say I try SO hard to do my best, at home ,at work,at play. But I have a way of life that tells me I have to find my part in things. So I self examined and came up with my part…the people pleaser. Always trying to keep the peace and keep people happy. Don’t show anger, don’t show annoyance etcetc…except of course for those nearest and dearest to us. The people who ACTUALLY count.

It doesn’t sound like it was a big deal but for some reason it hit me hard, like really hard. I went to a place where I honestly believed that nothing I did was good enough,and believe me before anyone starts with the pull your big girl pants on shit, I felt unbelievably low. It brought  up so many feelings of letting people down and never being good enough.  If I’m my true self that won’t be good enough which today of course I know is horse shit but at the time…

It made my think of how I would have dealt with these feelings in the past,picked up( not an option) gone on face book, posted a photo of me looking ” hot” crrriiinnngeeee. See how many likes you get= I matter. Control my food intake.Some short term fix, usually not a good one.I don’t have these options any more so how do I deal with my feelings when it gets too much? I have to start with understanding where they come from,old stuff. Then I can start dealing with it in a healthy way. One where I grow in a safe environment,see a shrink basically.

A very old friend of mine died by suicide 6 years ago this month. He was soooo cool, an absolute dude. ( Brought me to my very first date to meet my now husband on the back of his moterbike) Very sharp tongue, very smart. His suicide note said that he couldn’t go on, he was constantly disappointing people and being disappointed… by people. I totally get it. But I wish I could have told  him there is hope. And by hanging out with the right people, the ones that love us for the good bits and our other more difficult human traits.

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The ones wot love me❤️

It’s been a difficult few weeks, I’ve gotten a few runs in with plans for a run later on this year in November for Mo-vember. It’s been a dark few hours but ironically as we head towards the darker, longer nights things are looking a bit brighter for me again.

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Very important advice

Routine

/ruːˈtiːn/

noun: a sequence of actions regularly followed

In other words, snore fest.  I wish… I can’t sleep again.

After a weeks holiday (pics below🙂) I return to work tomorrow and already the anxiety has started. How will I manage everything? I have an amazing ability to let a couple of simple tasks completely overwhelm me. For example…Get up, go to gym, eat breakfast, go to work, get meeting( or if I can stand the excitement, meet a friend) go home.

 

The above list is full of good stuff but on a bad day all I see are hurdles and the stuff I won’t get done and the sleep, sweet Jesus. When will I sleep?I have become slightly obsessed with how much sleep I need to function, possibly due to the fact that I don’t get a lot of quality sleep( disc problems but mostly melty head syndrome )

Originally when I started this blog it was about training for triathlon but it has become more about recovery. I spoke to a writer friend about this and she said that’s what happens after a while, the authentic you comes out. But the greatest thing about the blogosphere, for me has been the support. There have been times when I couldn’t get to a meeting and I just checked in( thanks bdj for a recent post that keep me sane in a wifi free situation) There have also been not so successful dalliances with online meetings…a certain group that has chat “rooms” , not good. I hate to judge but holy guacamole…nuff said.

So yeah routine, I guess it’s what I need right now. The plan is to get a race in by the end of the year, take more pictures, eat less shit, try not to lose my shit and be kind. The last one is especially true , it’s the essence of my program. Oh and stay sober…I’ll leave you with a picture of my new tattoo.

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Just need to take the advice given by my own tattoo…

Caffeine smaffeine.

IMG_0714I just had an interesting conversation with my daughter( well interesting to me) She has big exams coming up and she mentioned that she might have a green tea mochi before one particular exam. I have to add here that the particular matcha green tea mochi she eats have a surprisingly high level of caffeine in them, which neither of us realised until her pupils reached alarming saucer like status.  Up to that it seemed all very innocent and almost healthy sounding but my anxiety radar shot up. I said to her that if she did well there was the danger that she might put it down to the caffeine rather than the hours of study and healthy eating regime she has put together for herself. Now I’m well aware I’m an over thinker but she got it.

The same child(19🙂) once wrote the most convincing debate on why everyone should be allowed take performance enhancing drugs in sport.I won’t go into it but she had me convinced. She doesn’t actually believe that, but she is a very clever gal/wordsmith. My point is I think caffeine has the power to lead us to underate our selves. In my early days of running I would take caffeine gel before a 5 k park run, I shit you not. If I had a good run I’d put it down to the gel, if not I’d convince myself I hadn’t taken it in time…ah, you’d have to laugh at yourself really.

Maybe it’s just me and my fear of any mind altering substance, it can fill in that place in my head that tells me I’m not good enough. And that’s it, exactly. Bing, light bulb moment.

 

https://www.google.ie/search?q=one+more+cup+of+coffee&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-ie&client=safari

Lucky Seven

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What a sight to come home to.

Today I feel a mixture of feeling sad and incredibly lucky. I am celebrating 7 years hangover free and I feel so ridiculously grateful. I got to celebrate at the weekend ( my belly button birthday also) with my amazing family and friends. They were celebrating both events equally with me. They have been with me through the rough and the tough. As I said ridiculously grateful.

 

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Then there’s this…I’m not one for “quotes on social media” but to be honest the events post gig last night in Manchester are so unbelievably sad, heartbreaking and depressing that when I saw it posted today it really summed  up how I was feeling. Be kind, tolerant and hug those nearest and dearest to you.