This girl did: Group Therapy

I think it’s fair to say that this little blog has been somewhat neglected, but it’s not for want of me thinking about it and *trying* to get things done. But if I’ve learned anything from the experience I’m about to describe, it’s that I can no longer afford to beat myself up about that, because I’m learning how to pace. Continue reading

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Lower your expectations! Or, forgive yourself.

Despite the oft-posted doom and gloom about feeling tired, I have slotted quite nicely back into the real world. It helps that Real World happenings have been peppered with beautiful holidays, random trips to Toughest Copenhagen, the Red Bull Steeplechase, and of course, the OCR World Champs. I have been tired. Very tired. Exhausted even. But that has been tinged with a quiet air of accomplishment and happiness, and I am just fine with that. Continue reading

Kicking CFS butt, before it kicks mine

It’s been a while since I had a big whine and moan about the tiredness, and that’s largely because I’ve been too tired to really think about it. But at the moment, it feels like a different kind of tired; the tired you feel at the end of a long day, after exertion or after you’ve been taxing your brain. The kind of tired that isn’t the relentless, crushing fatigue associated with CFS/ME. And whilst I have felt like getting out of bed may actually kill me from time to time, I’ve done it, every day.

I’ve actually been feeling better for not allowing myself time to think about it. I’ve (touch wood), been doing really well.

In the time since my last self-indulgent rant about chronic fatigue, I have hit several milestones in recovery, thanks in part to a couple of changes I have made. Continue reading

Conversations with my anxiety

Sometimes I find it a bit hard to explain what anxiety does to a usually rational person’s brain. The best way to characterise my anxiety is to play out some conversations that it has with my brain. At first I didn’t want to personify anxiety, because that would give it form, a personality and even make it seem cute. I assure you, it isn’t, but this is the only way I feel able to express how it interacts with my own sense of reason. Continue reading

On losing my mojo

For approximately 3k in any race, I pretty much want to die, stop running, give up OCR, take up knitting, or start creating a basic shelter in surrounding woodland in which I can hibernate. In short, it takes me a while to warm up. By about 4k, I start to feel positive about the fact that I’m getting into the swing of it, finding a sensible pace and not overtly negative about my life choices. By the end of the race, I’ve forgotten what my stupid brain was whining about and I’ve got my game face on for a sprint finish. Continue reading

#WhyIRace

5 reasons #WhyIRace

To make peace with my thighs
My legs have always been a bit of a ‘thing’ for me.  To my eye, they’re disproportionately large, fat, wobbly and just.. they’re just a problem, okay?  With OCR, they go from being a source of shame and self-consciousness, to strong, dependable means of getting me up, over and across obstacles.  And I kinda dig that.

To get my arse out of bed
Having CFS does mess with my head a bit. I’m usually a productive, motivated person, and having something that limits me is really, really depressing.  At least knowing I have an event coming up, I don’t want the money and effort to go to waste, so I get up and train.  Some days I really just can’t, but I am buoyed by the fact that I’m trying as hard as I can.

To get fit
I would be lying if I said it didn’t make me feel EPIC to have conquered some of the courses that I have been on this year.  It feels fantastic to log those miles and feel myself getting fitter, faster and stronger.

It makes me feel proud of myself
Some days it’s pretty difficult to feel positive about yourself, no matter how much you may have achieved.  When the people around you are constantly encouraging you, and bigging you up (as the OCR community frequently do, even if you’re rubbish), a little bit does rub off and you begin to believe in yourself again. And that’s pretty nice.

To meet other people who get it
Honestly, I was of the opinion that I didn’t really need more friends, but after finding a whole new family in the form of my team, and other OCR nerds, I’ve realised that my life definitely needed enriching.  Now my support system consists of my team, my friends, my co-racers and people I haven’t even met in real life yet – but we all share a common interest, and the dickhead:lovely person ratio is alarmingly low amongst OCR types.  Now if that’s not motivation, I don’t know what is.

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