Half-marathon training week 9 and some news

I’ll start with the news.  I had my second annual review to discuss the progress I needed to make this summer.  I am pleased to say that I met the goals that I worked very hard to attain this summer and I am able to continue on.  This means I can finally look past my birthday in terms of things that I want to do, places I want to go, concerts I want to see, etc.  I have a lot of work to do, but I hope that I can meet the goals that I have and earn this PhD.


As far as half-marathon training, this was week 9.  I hadn’t written about the training before now, because honestly, I didn’t think I would get this far.  In fact, I haven’t even registered for the run.  I’m still that hesitant.

This week’s training was fine.  I had to cut a mile off my Tuesday run, because of my deadline, but the other two runs were fine.  I even was able to make it to Pilates on Wednesday, which was much needed.

Most of my issues are mental at this point.  It’s so hard to look at my times and see how far behind I am other runners my age.  I’m literally taking twice as long to complete runs as most other people and it’s so hard.  I know I’ve done this to myself, and I know it won’t change overnight, but I am very disappointed in myself, that I couldn’t follow through with the goals I set for myself that I hoped to achieve by my 40th birthday.  I’ll still be about 40 pounds more than I wanted for that, and it’s very discouraging.  No wonder I’m so slow!

It honestly makes me wonder if I should even bother doing the run.  I’m going to take a ridiculously long time and it’s going to be hard.  I keep saying after every long run, if it goes ok that I’ll register.  And I still haven’t the courage.  Next Sunday’s run is 9 miles, my longest run ever and it’s a bit daunting to be honest.

Hopefully by then I will have made a decision.


Here’s a picture of Bailey from earlier today.


Hello there!

Hello there!  I’ve been absent, I know.  I’ve been terribly busy, but that really is no excuse, as I have time to waste lots of time on the internet doing other things.  Anyways. . . what have I been up to?

1. I took a quick trip to London.

It was just a quick overnight jaunt, but it was incredible.  I went down to see Three Days in the Country (which if you know me, that should be no surprise.)  The play is absolutely amazing; both Mark Gatiss and John Simm were brilliant!  And I had a great seat with a perfect view of Mark’s  . . . .assets.  😉  I really need to spend a day writing up all my theatre trips this year!

After the play, this happened.  :)

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2.  I’ve been training for a half-marathon!

I’ve been doing a lot of running!  I’ve just started week 8 of my training plan, and I feel pretty good.  Tired, but good.  Also, rungry!  I’m actually pretty impressed with myself as I’ve only missed one training run in the 7 weeks that I’ve been training.  I rolled my ankle on week 6, so I took a day off to make sure I hadn’t mangled it again.  It was a bit tender, but it didn’t swell or bruise.  Ice and resting helped it, and I was fine to continue on.

3.  I’ve been writing.  And writing.  And even more writing.

My thesis has been progressing.  Not with any amazing speed of course, but progressing all the same.  I have my secondary annual review in 10 days, so I’m freaking the fuck out, basically.  I have to get this chapter finished by the 9th and I am feeling a tiny bit hopeful.  If all goes well, I will be able to finish up my PhD.  If not, well, I don’t want to talk about it right now.

4. I went to the Doctor Who series 9 premiere!

With all the running and all the writing I’ve been doing, I haven’t had much time for fun (not since I saw Three Days in the Country).  I’ve been pretty focused on getting my work done, so it was nice to take last Thursday to first get my hair done, and then pop over to Edinburgh for the premiere.

The episode was brilliant, and that’s all I’m allowed to say.  :)

Afterward, there was a Q&A with Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin, which was pretty cool.



I can’t wait to watch the episode again on September 19th.

Other than that, my life has been rather boring.  I hope to start planning my 40th birthday theatrepalooza very soon (Yay Hamlet!  Yay Three Days in the Country!  Yay high tea on my birthday!), and will share all the plans as soon as they are made.


Here’s a random Bailey :)

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Oh and if you’re interested, new hair

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Sort of ok news

In my last post, I was fairly sure my time here in Scotland was coming to an end.  It’s been a very stressful time here; I spent about a month staring alternately at the telly or reading copious amounts of Mystrade.  (My current coping mechanisms.)

Since I wrote that post, I have made my peace with the entire situation.  However, somehow, I was granted a miracle, and my funds were released today.



I have a lot to say about that entire situation as well, but as this is a very public place, I find I need to keep my mouth shut about a lot of what went on in case it comes back and bites me in the arse.

That being said, it is not all sunshine and roses.  I have until September to make some serious improvements to my thesis.  If these improvements are not made, then I will be asked to withdraw.  Like I said above, I’ve made my peace with this situation.

At this point, I lack little confidence in addressing the issues with my thesis.  It’s not down to wanting it, it seems to be more along the lines that I seem to have reached the threshold of my intelligence.  I do not seem to be able to grasp what is being asked of me.  I am working to try to get some private assistance, but am unsure as to where to find such a thing/person.  I’m at the point where I can try all I want, and put in a lot of effort and not have anything to show for it.  Again, I’ve accepted this and to be honest I am ok with it either way.

If I finally “get it” and am able to continue on and finish, then that’s great.  If not, well, then it’s time to rejoin the working world.

So I will be spending this summer trying my hardest to do this, despite the fact that I still feel very unsure about what I am doing.

I am happy that I will have my 40th birthday in London either way.  I have that to look forward to at least.  :)


On the running front, I’m injured right now, which is a bit frustrating as I seriously could run out my frustrations right now, but alas that isn’t going to happen right now.  My calf pull/pop is better than last week.  I did go out yesterday to see, and made it about 2 feet before noping back home.  I will try again later this week and see how it goes.  In the meantime, lifting and walking are my current workouts du jour.


And here’s a recent picture of Bailey.  We’ve had him for a year now.  :)


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Moving on

“Moving on is simple, it’s what you leave behind that makes it so difficult.”

I feel like I need to document every minute, every moment so I don’t forget any of it.  Every second with Bailey, every walk with Steph, every step of next week’s brief (and possibly last) trip to London.  I want them tattooed on my eyelids so I can treasure them always.  I’m terrified to lose these memories; I’m terrified full stop.

Right now I haven’t a clue as to what I am going to do.  I’m not sure there’s much of a fight I can put up.  I’m not all blameless in this.  I know this; I admit it.  Unfortunately trying, in my case, has little merit. As Doctor House once said, “Nice tries are worthless.”  If I could go back and do it all differently, I would.  But, I’ve been saying that all my life.

It’s frightening to be a failure (again), despite having been one all my life.  I failed at the biggest thing I ever attempted and have nothing, absolutely nothing to show for it.  Nearly 4 years of work, gone in a blink of an eye.  How do you even explain that on a CV or in a job interview?

So many questions and so little answers so far.  I am such a special snowflake that most people don’t know what to do or say in this situation.  And I understand.  I don’t know what to do or say either and it’s happening to me.


It’s all a bit not good.

Lovesong of the Electric Bear- (in my own words)

First off, I suppose I should preface all of this with the statement that I haven’t seen The Imitation Game and to be honest I didn’t really know (and still don’t) know an awful lot about Alan Turing.  Thursday and Friday changed that, and I hope to be able to learn more about him in the future.


Lovesong of the Electric Bear is simply an amazing piece of work.  It’s hysterically funny, charged and moving, and terribly, terribly sad.  And it all takes place in a theatre the size of my living room, making it incredibly intimate.

Ian Hallard, as Turing, is flawless.  We are taken on a journey from his young life as a lad at boarding school, to war hero, marathoner, and beyond.  Through it all, you can see the struggle of someone who was rather uncomfortable in his own existence.  Hallard’s portrayal speaks volume to this, in the fidgets and nervous tics that are expressed throughout.  The entire time, there is an undercurrent of sadness and turmoil that peaks right before the interval, in a nightmare where Turing is tormented and exposed bare (quite literally) for all of us to see.

There is laughter in the sorrow, most expressively so in the J. Edgar Hoover cabaret scene.  Those red dresses are fabulous and the entirety of the scene is hilariously surreal.

It comes quickly to a head as he is betrayed and let down by the country he served and protected.  While not everyone in his life has vilified him, Turing feels so increasingly hopeless that he takes his own life.

While many of the scenes are so raw, the last one is the most so.  Both evenings I had to consciously keep from sobbing as the life drains from him, and his dear teddy bear is inconsolable in his grief.

It may seem odd that a representation of an inanimate object evoked such emotion, but Porgy’s self-evisceration was as gut-wrenching as Turing taking a bite of the poison apple, echoing back to images of his childhood earlier depicted.

Lovesong of the Electric Bear only runs for another 2 weeks, so if you are in London or are going to be in London, I would run to the theatre to see it.  it is truly an amazing piece of work and I feel extremely blessed and honoured that I was able to see it twice.



For more information and reviews:




Whole 30: The last week

Today is day 30 of my Whole 30.    I am SO excited because tomorrow I can have a “real” cup of coffee!  Or a latte.  Or some yogurt.  A proper cuppa. I am overjoyed at this!



Yes, I probably am.


While I haven’t minded the restriction so much, I have gotten pretty bored with my food choices.  I’ve been eating salads with protein for lunch and dinner most days because I’m lazy/boring and since Steph hasn’t always been home/been busy I’ve had to make my own food (I know, cry me a river, right?) and that means boring choices since I can’t follow a recipe to save my life and I can do little more than bake a potato and a piece of chicken.

Am I in a huge hurry to reintroduce foods?  Not really.  I feel better-ish and I’ve lost weight, so if I just add dairy back for a bit and then maybe sporadically some grains, I’m cool with that.  Since I’m going to be out of town for part of next week anyways I want to add things back in slowly, so it will have to be another week until I can do that properly and I’m ok with that.

Once I’ve had a few days “off,” I’m sure I will better able to reflect on the entire experience.

Whole 30: Days 13-20

Wow.  A whole week has passed.  I was seriously busy with a chapter deadline, and when I had any downtime, the last thing I wanted to do was any more writing.

Overall, I’ve been feeling fine.  Sadly Whole 30 has not removed my generalised anxiety disorder symptoms, and the day before my chapter was due I was living on my medication to make it through.  It was tough.  What I really needed to do was go for a run, but every minute was devoted to getting my work done.

There were a few days where I had absolutely no appetite at all, and then the next day I’d be starving and barely able to keep from shoving food in my mouth.  It’s crazy.

Last night I dreamed of custard cremes.




I’m starting to think about after Whole 30.  In all honestly I don’t really feel the need to change anything.  I feel better, so why change what is working?  I do want to re-introduce dairy though.  I miss cream in my coffee.  (Yes, I know it isn’t ideal, but haters gonna hate.)  I’ve already given up so many foods for various reasons that I’d rather not give up something I actually enjoy.

My biggest worry is when I am away for a quick trip at the beginning of March.  I know I can rely on M&S for salads and nuts and whatnot.  I’m sure I can find places to get healthy salads/chicken while I’m gone, so I should probably stop obsessing over it.



Whole 30: Days 10-12

Day 10:

I woke up early(!) and hungry.  I sort of scrambled 2 eggs and reheated a small baked potato I cooked last night.  After I caught up on the internet, I debated going back to sleep since it was early (for me).  Instead I ended up going for a run- if you can call my abysmal pace a run.

I’ve been starving ever since.  I had a big salad for lunch, and for dinner I had another big salad, a piece of baked salmon, and another small potato.

Day 11:

Yesterday I was hungry and productive.  I wanted to eat all the things, but ended up eating two salads to try and keep full.  Trying to be more conscious of the amount of calories consumed is so hard and so frustrating, especially when I’m hungry.  (Yes, I know this defeats the purpose of the Whole 30, but I can not afford to gain weight.)

Day 12:

I’ve been headachy the past few days.  Unsure if that is my chronic headache issues or my body still detoxing.  I had a delicious iced Americano with coconut milk and a sort-of chicken salad.  I thought I had a baby gem lettuce left, but I didn’t.  Despite my sad attempt at lunch, I still had the energy to go out for my “run.”  I’m feeling so frustrated about my lack of running ability to the point I want to just get off social media all together; it’s so hard to read about people running 3x as far as I am for the same amount of time.  I feel like I am never going to get any faster.

Dinner was baked chicken and salad and for dessert I had banana ice cream, since I had plenty of calories left.  I ate pretty late, so I am hopeful I won’t be hungry by the time I go to bed like I have the past 2 nights.

I’m impressed that this has been so easy to follow.  I had figured this would be torturous for me, and it has been ok.  I haven’t had any cravings at all, apart from the desire for some salted almonds earlier.  tumblr_myz0ix0qYN1r71kyto8_250




Here’s a random picture of Bailey.  :)

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Whole 30: Days 7-9

Day 7

I woke up more energised than usual, but with no appetite.  It pretty much takes until after I forced down some fruit to feel hungry.  Steph made cod and cauliflower rice, which was really good.

For some reason, my stomach started hurting something terrible around 6; no idea why.  Ugh.  I’m sipping ginger tea and trying to relax.  I had a small baked potato and almond encrusted chicken for dinner.

Day 8

Still no appetite.  It’s mildly annoying, but there are worse things.   I went for a run this afternoon; it was freezing but it was nice to get out in the fresh air as my life is pretty much devoted to working right now.  I had hoped some cardio would boost my appetite, but it was a no go.

Day 9

How I feel today:

I just felt miserable all day.  I tried to get out and get some work done.  I went to Starbucks and managed to stay there for like 20 minutes.  My black tea tasted like soap (?) and I just gave up and came back home and took a nap, in hopes that I would feel better, and perhaps have an appetite when I woke.

I did, a bit, and managed to eat salad, leftover chicken, and a small baked potato.  I still feel meh and I’m not sure why.  I have eaten plenty, calorie wise, and considering I haven’t lost any weight yet :(, so I don’t think I should be adding any calories.  I’m plenty hydrated, so that’s not it.  I thought it was anxiety, but that didn’t seem to be the case either.  I suppose it could be the fact I’m just really stressed out over my thesis.

Perhaps I’m just getting to the detox/feeling icky part of this later than the timetable lets on.  I’m not craving anything at all.  I went out for coffee tonight with Steph and people were eating cakes and everything and I was not bothered at all.

Hopefully, I will wake up tomorrow feeling better.

Whole 30: Days 4-6

In summary, I feel pretty good.  Which is a surprise, tbh.

Day 4:

I’m woken up by the door buzzer; not a way to start off the day.  I’m tired and cranky but happy with the Super Bowl win!  I made a cup of coffee and then ran out to the post office, which was a waste of time.  I’m not hungry at all, but I force myself to eat a salad.

I don’t really have time for it, but I have to rehab my ankle, so I hurry to the gym for a quick treadmill workout.  Am pleased I was able to run the entirety of my “challenge” song this time.

I’m STARVING for dinner and I eat a ton of food.  I actually had 2 dinners.  NOM.

Day 5

No. Appetite. At. All.  But, I dreamt about freshly baked bread last night.  Weird.

I manage a cup of coffee and 2 eggs before I go to the office.  While there, I finish yesterday’s coconut milk/strawberry smoothie and eat some almonds so I don’t pass out in my meeting.

I have chicken, cauliflower rice (who am I?) and courgette for dinner.  As a treat, I make banana ice cream (and by I make, I watch while Stephanie does it for me).  Again, who the fuck am I?  I hate cauliflower; the smell alone makes me gag.  But Steph riced it, and added tumeric and something else and I ate it with forkfuls of chicken, so it was ok.  The banana didn’t taste like banana, more like nice frozen goodness.  I can’t stand the texture of real banana, but frozen I can’t tell.

Day 6

I wake up at 5 am, starving.  I can’t fall back to sleep with my stomach growling, so I grab a handful of almonds and pass back out finally.

I wake up at 10:30 and I’m not tired or hungry.  After a coffee, I run some errands and grab grapes while I’m out.  I really want a coffee, but I manage without.  While on the subway, I realise how clear my mind feels, and how I don’t have a headache.  I’m hesitant to note this, as I am sure it is short-lived (it is), but it’s weird.  Is that what “normal” feels like?  It’s been so long since I’ve felt well and normal, I don’t know what to expect.

I’m starving when I get home and have eggs, bacon, and sweet potato hash.

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Before the parade comes on, I decide to go for a run.  I feel really energetic, so it feels nice to be outside, even though it is cold, and even though I am the slowest runner ever.  I’m pleased to find that RunKeeper and my new Fitbit Surge have the same mileage down.


I’m starving after my run and I eat chicken salad with paleo mayo, with a ton of celery to bulk it out.  I’m still hungry a little later, and make another serving.  I’m hesitant to do so, as I know it will jack up my calories, but I’m hungry.

I do some work and make a cup of ginger tea as it’s caffeine free, and I am FREEZING.

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I have a Bailey-hot water bottle next to me, which is nice.  I am exhausted and can’t wait to sleep.  I hope I can make it through Wolf Hall.  Speaking of,  this is pretty much my reaction to everything nowadays.

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