Get busy living, or get busy dying..

Its been years since I watched the Shawshank Redemption and its no shocker to say how much I thoroughly enjoyed it when I popped it on the other night.

Stephen King, to me, is one of the greatest modern American authors.  I am not a great reader by any means, but there has always been something about his work, his imagination, that has resonated with me.  The Shawshank Redemption in my opinion, is one of his greatest stories, and the words ‘Get busy living, or get busy dying’ stuck with me long after I watched the film.

How many of us go through each day, without actually enjoying it?  On the hamster wheel with work and home life/housework and another day has passed, just like any other.  All of us deserve more than this – we are more than our jobs, titles,  or anything else that we have been labelled with.

Which brings me onto the reason for this post, finally!  Recently I placed another order of coffee pods, the order previous to that hadn’t been that long ago and made  me take stock of how much coffee I was actually drinking on a daily basis. Eep, it worked out to be 6 cups (or sometimes more) a day. Not good!

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Reason that I have been reaching for my standard black Americano is that I am constantly ‘knackered’, dragging myself to bed as soon as I can, lacking motivation for anything and we all know this level of caffeine will disturb sleep patterns (and god knows what other health issues).

But its not just caffeine  I’ve been reaching for, its been sugar and salt too to give me energy – and unfortunately all this has piled on half a stone since this time last year, n matter how many miles I have run, you just can’t outrun a bad diet…

Now I am training hard for the Great Wall marathon, I decided to do a bit of research to combat this fatigue and fell upon Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome…

Adrenal Fatigue is a decrease in the adrenal glands’ ability to carry out this normal function. It is commonly caused by chronic stress from any source (including emotional, physical, mental, or environmental) that exceeds the body’s capacity to adjust appropriately to the demands placed on it by the stress.

Well I could very well fall into this category… looking at the symptoms, I tick every box.

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Regular and unexplained fatigue
  • Cravings for salty foods
  • Mild depression
  • Insomnia
  • Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
  • A weak immune system (4 colds in 2017 alone)

Whether I have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome or not I don’t know but I decided to check out how to battle it.  It can’t hurt, as the treatment is healthy lifestyle changes rather than anything drastic.

First things first I decided to focus on two areas this week rather than overwhelm myself with the lot;

Caffeine:  I have cut back on my cup of Joe.  Just having 3 a day, and drinking more water and herbal tea.  I’ve noticed the benefits of this after only 2 days in – feeling more awake and better within myself (emotionally).

Sleep: My daughter is nearly three and mostly sleeps in with us even after we have plastered her bedroom with Frozen posters and millions of toys! She has a habit of kicking out and mostly all night I will get kicked in the back, chest or face! So I normally get a very interrupted nights sleep.  This has got to stop, for our sakes and for hers.  So slowly trying to get her back in her own bed now.  With my husband on nights I tend to do the most childcare out of the two of us, and just need some space to myself even at night in bed.

So onwards and upwards – I have been swapping out some of my go-to bad food ‘crisps and chocolate’ for better, healthier, options.  Not looking at calorie content at the moment but choices, so been eating nuts, boiled eggs, hummus rather and will continue on with this…

Lastly, in prep for the Great Wall I have ordered a new aerobic step – the old one I finally found in the garage and managed to crush and break in the garage door (long story) so as soon as this arrives I will dig out my old Cher aerobic step routine which I did religiously back in the day! I actually can’t wait. Old Skool!

Hope you are doing well with your training and enjoying Spring as it seems to have finally arrived 🙂

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Spirit: Do you believe in ‘religion’

Warning an off-topic blog post… if you’re here for running updates then you might want to skip this post, as its fully loaded…

Religion.. are you a religious person? spiritual? Or do you find the idea of religion a form of outdated human suppression?

Appreciated, this is a strong question..

Personally, I am a mixture of all three.  However, sadly, I think that the true essence of religion (Christianity in particular) has been distorted through the ages and re-written to suit whoever was in power at that time.  The true meaning, tampered with and possibly misinterpreted, has been lost in history.  These are my personal beliefs rather than statements.

What are my beliefs? Well, I definitely believe that Jesus existed and was seen as hope for many repressed people, I also believe in a Universal energy and various laws within that (will do another off-subject blog about that another time), but I also have a dislike of many religious constraints (these are personal beliefs and I won’t list them here).

I have no ill will towards those who have or seek comfort in faith (no matter which religion they follow), in fact I admire those who do have faith in their religion and know many times where religion has ‘saved’ people and given them hope in their darkest times.  Being from a religious family, Easter was always celebrated and still remains something special in my heart of which I am thankful.

Lately I’ve been watching a lot of travel documentaries and came across an amazing documentary about the Tibetan monks and I was lift totally in awe of their devotion.  Fascinated in their rituals and way of life, they truly are remarkable human beings who still practice now in the face of their ‘religion in exile’.

Buddhism is something that has always interested me, the epic Buddha statue, Tian Tan, on Lantau Island, Hong Kong is truly unforgettable.  I used to frequently visit it when I lived there… a beautiful, peaceful sight to behold.

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Buddhism’s philosophical style messages resonate with me,  they make the most sense. It’s something that I reach out to when experiencing challenging times.  I’m being drawn back to it at the moment, feeling the need to absorb its teachings and learn, to quiet my mind with meditation.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. Buddha

As I am middle-aged now, I have seen ‘karma’ come back so many times, I know too that the ‘karma’ meaning has been very much ‘Westernised’  – see, adaptation, again!  But now I am going through a new chapter myself as you can tell from my previous blogs and I feel this learning too will benefit me so much and act as a great grounding for me.

It may or may not take me down a spiritual path, but I know for sure, it gives me hope.

Does religion interest you? Is spirituality nonsense?

Taking back my power

My new motto of ‘focussing on me’ has opened me up to a world of opportunities and a huge creative wave has swept over me, allowing me to start getting involved with some very exciting new projects.

Two very big challenges, one which will take me over a year to achieve, and the other, well who knows… they both have massive potential and will push me to my limits both mentally and physically.

Once more details have been finalised I will share on here.  I’m feeling rather excited, but instead of blabbing my mouth off as normal, I am holding back and once green lights have shown, then all systems gooooooooo……

But for those who spend much time helping and supporting others and feeling overwhelmed with it, then now is the time to take a step back, close the door and let the world of opportunities open up to you.

You’ll be so glad that you did, wish I did this a long time ago!

Take back your power, for you.

xx

Well hello!

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Well hello!  I have been a little quiet here lately.  Work has taken over my life plus some horrific exams which are now thankfully in the history books.    The stress it caused really wasn’t worth it, I was a horrible person to live with and life is too short to be that unhappy, all because of a tick-boxing exercise on an appraisal years ago.

I really do not care if I passed or failed. As I handed my answer sheets back I didn’t even ask how/when we would know the results… a poxy exam doesn’t define me as a person, the achievements that I have strove for in the past and overcome have made me the person who I am now.

One of my goals this year was to have more time to myself – which has happened, and at first seemed selfish, but I know now how vitally important it is to ones well being and peace of mind.  Having more time for me has allowed me to concentrate on what I truly want as a person and now opportunities are opening up and I feel I have returned to the person I was years ago.  The traveller. Who loved life and experiencing new things.  Something I want my daughter to experience too, a worldly person….

I’m closing the doors in many areas of my life and opening them in others, to suit me.  Being less available is how I am going forwards.

Running-wise I am back on the trails, just enjoying what I can do, when I can do it, no pressure, no stress.  Now I have more time I will be enjoying just a mile or two, or whatever time I can do it, it doesn’t matter.  Going to share some pix here of the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside when I remember to take some shots! We have been vlogging our countryside walks, which are here.. if anyone wants to take a sneak peek.  Been fun messing around with the camera.

Hope you’re all well and enjoying the winter… xx

 

Auld Lang Syne…

I’ve been reading a lot of end of year posts and felt compelled to write mine.. but now as I am sat here typing I didn’t want to reflect back and write about the crappy year called 2016 but fancy writing about my plans for 2017 rather;

2017 goals

  1. Mindfulness/Mindset: I’ve downloaded Headspace again onto my phone and the motivation module – its 10 minute sessions at a time, so not a great commitment to have a moment of peace, its entirely manageable for me, so I’ve decided to do this every night for a while.  Thought this would help me with my other goals overall.
  2. Reading a book a month – I do not read enough at all and I want to get back into the habit.  I like old-school paper books, once where you can feel the pages rather than on a kindle or similar.  I feel a huge chunk of my life is already looking into a screen of some sort so picking up books again has been a pure pleasure.
  3. Zumba instructor course – this is in Feb, so I have a good 6 weeks of diet and strength training/Zumba/running to get fit for this (today I started T25 – which I will dip in and out of) – if I pass this module it opens up opportunities for teaching older adults and babies/toddlers too.  Purchased some Zumba trainers today as my running shoes have too much grip rather than dancing shoes.
  4. Project Management course – this I need to do for work and the studying for it is just mind-numbingly boring. However I need to get it completed for my year assessment.  My revising is going to be in the morning where I am the most alert, my plans are to drop Mia off at nursery and then do an hours study in Costa with the books.  The actual exam is in Jan, a long ass trip up London and a very long set of exam questions… groan.  I will just do my best/wing it as much as I can.  It would be handy to have this on my CV too as you can never be complacent where you work, as media moves so fast which technology.
  5. Trail Raider 2017 – picking up my Cotswolds trail running series again for 2017, and I will start again from the beginning.  Tomorrow I am off out with my Go-Pro and promise to upload my video.
  6. Enjoy running again – well, I think I am on the right path with this already, I have been slowing my pace right down and enjoying what I am doing.  My friend has been doing HR training and you can see the benefits its had for him, so slowing my pace down has made sense, and much more fun.  This also means too just one race booked for next year and my own trail runs to keep me motivated.  I can’t be doing with the pressures of racing any more, I don’t enjoy it and feel overwhelmed with everything work / home life and the lot without this adding to it.  Running is returning to being my pleasurable escape which is what it was always meant to be.
  7. More time for me – my daughter doesn’t sleep much and usually ends up in our bed.  At the sight of my huge eye bags the other day I noticed that I need more time for myself and to try and get more sleep.  We are aiming on getting her to bed earlier and in her own bed… I look ancient/worn at the moment and being squashed to the edge in my bed on most nights is not how I want to continue.
  8. Phone free evenings – yep, I am going to go phone-free for some evenings in the week, so I can watch a film without picking my phone up, or even having dinner with my husband without looking at it! (yep that happens)… I need to have a break from it.
  9. Save for Canada – after watching a fantastic movie about Canada at Walt Disney World, it reminded me how much I wanted to go there, specifically Quebec.  So thats the next savings fund for the next BIG holiday. Whoppee! Really can’t wait, it looks a fascinating place to go.

Have you decided what your 2017 plans are?

Whatever your plans, or just let things ebb and flow as they do, I wish you the very best for the New Year.    I can feel that its going to be a great year!

 

Sweet R&R…

Since my last post listing my strategies to bring my life back into balance more, I have managed to successfully start implementing this and can report back that I am feeling much better for it already.

Limiting my social media engagement has given me much needed freedom and space!  I am spending less but more quality time on Facebook and Twitter, if you haven’t done this already yourself, I highly recommend it.

It had come to a point where I was struggling being the admin of my running group, as much as I love it I began stressing about continuing to create a community (which had been successfully established months ago) and really feeling like I didn’t want to post anything on there (even my own runs) as 1) not to cause me anymore work to do and 2) I felt like I didn’t fit in any more due to my lack of running or have anything to offer.  Not cool.  A break is what is needed to re-focus, come back to centre, and be able to offer a lot more.

Not being able to run much through one thing or another, lack of sleep, back pain, man flu and a multitude of other things has challenged me so much this year.  However I am not prepared to throw 2 years of training down the toilet and thousands of miles.  In fact I am a woman with a plan…and a goal, that I am not sharing until its completed.

Man flu is now leaving me, so I am going to attempt a short trot out this weekend when I can fit it in around my husbands ever changing shifts (aside from clearing the garage out, the leaning tower of Pisa of ironing piles plus packing for Disney). Going to hit some trails and have some much needed me-time and I can’t freaking wait!  Will upload some pictures here which will re-boot my trail raider series…

Learning how to rest and recover is as important as training itself… however frustrating this can be.  I have had to learn this the goddam hard way, but thankfully I have learnt it nonetheless.  Going to stock up and remember to take on a daily basis zinc, iron and vit C tablets as a base to building a better immune system.  I seem to come down with every bug at nursery, so have been mindful to keep putting on the antibacterial gel on my hands after I have dropped Mia off and picked her up.  If this can save me from one cold then that’s one or two runs saved!

The Poppy challenge starts Tuesday and I will be logging in the KMs for this charity virtual race, I will be clocking them in both in the UK and with my Disney walked (and run!) miles.  Will be good to see how many steps I have taken each day.

Haven’t weighed myself for ages but I am still four pounds heavier than what I want to be… so going to be very good from now till my holiday and see what happens, I think regular weighing on the scales keeps me more in check, although I seem to have got out of the habit of this recently.  I keep forgetting!  Four pounds isn’t the end of the world, and if after walking around Disney for 2 weeks I don’t shift a couple then I really cant be assed and will accept those extra four pounds as staying put for a while.

My latest running buy has been this SiS Energy Drink  (£14.99) as recommended by a running friend.  Its instructions are to drink before exercise as a way of low bulk carb loading and during for fast sustained energy, its recommended to take 4 servings a day prior to a race ever with or between meals to achieve elevated carb intake. So lets see if this helps at all.  Will report back if it made any impact on my running at all… will need all the energy I can after such a dismal running performance of late.

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My holiday book just made it through the door too… Brain Training for Runners by Matt Fitzgerald… (£13.20) this has been highly recommended by a few runner friends now, so I am going to read up on this on the plane/by the pool and may be take my training in a new direction.  Will keep you posted.

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A big epic sorry too that I haven’t posted much running stuff in here, but this will be different next week when I upload the trails, and also in the coming weeks my Disney runs which will be epic.

@BoudicaRuns xx

 

A Poppy challenge….

On a moments whim I decided to enter the Virtual Runner UK Poppy Challenge ! The overall collective team challenge is to run a total of 88,824.6 km between 1 Nov – 30 Nov, with a minimum of 33 km’s each to receive this beautiful medal. From your £12 entry fee, a 20% donation is given to the British Legion.

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Virtual Runner – Lest we forget medal

The challenge is to honour the British that fell in WW1 and a good reminder how truly lucky we really are today.  On the days that you are inconvenienced in traffic, or your iPhone doesn’t work, or a multitude of other first world problems doesn’t compare to what they went through.

Simply put, without these heroes of the past we wouldn’t have the freedom of our lives today.  How lucky are we to live in an affluent part of the world, with medicine, running water and everything at our fingertips.  History could have re-written our story.

While I will be clocking in the km’s over that month I will be thinking of my Granddad who fought in WW11.  Granddad, a fiery, dark haired Camden-ite was part of an anti-tank regiment – he fought in Europe and heroically took part in the D-Day landings.

He went missing in the Ardennes, presumed dead, but in fact had been shot and hid from the enemy, to be luckily found by British troops.  My Nan, who without doubt had been in a hero back home, running with my Mum in her arms as the Dagenham docks were being blown up, was overjoyed to have her husband back, alive – what a miracle that was.

What they all went through at home and overseas will hopefully be nothing we experience in our lifetime or ever again.  My Granddad didn’t escape much of the war for years after, however he found a lot of joy in his grandchildren and taught his eldest granddaughter, me, how to hand-jive!

I will be thinking of my Granddad throughout this challenge, especially the moments he must’ve felt scared, or that he would never see his family again, and the wonderful moments we spent together and will be forever in gratitude to him.  I wonder at times what he would make of my life now, its so very different to how they lived back then and to even he passed away back in the 80’s.

I keep his war medals in a box at home and every now and again look at them, his photo will always be on display.

When I am much older I will pass my daughter my running medals, plus Granddads war medals.  Both are worlds apart in achievement, but may be can both be linked by determination.

My Granddad, my hero.

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BB xx