Run Baby Run: Part 1, Heartbreak

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”

― John Bingham

Let’s get one thing straight, despite the above, I am NOT an actual runner. I like to think of my self as someone who happens to find they are running, on a semi regularly basis, if it’s not raining.

I used to be scared of running. Not the physical sensation of running per say, but of what people would think about my running; what I chose to run in, what my body looked like while I was running – that I wouldn’t look enough like a runner.

I basically thought a pack of means girls would come after me in all their stick thin glory and tease me. That was basically my nightmare scenario. Actually that’s still my nightmare scenario. It’s the old paradox that most of the people running don’t look like they need to run, because they run. Same with gyms. Yikes.

Then something came a long that actually made me feel worse than what the imaginary mean girls might say. Heart Break.

I ran for the first time, as an adult – other than being chased or for a particular reason (like buses, cake sales or seeing friends in a crowd) because I was heart broken and someone wise said it would help.

I ran because there wasn’t a shout loud enough to convey my grief or a pillow huge enough to punch. I ran to exhaust myself because my inner monologue was driving me mad. I ran because I didn’t want to put weight back on.

Yeah, let’s not kid ourselves, my running was mostly triggered by vanity. I continued running for other reasons, which I’ll share with you next time.

I cannot in all good conscience tell you I run, now, after the heartache healed, to commune with the world around me. That I love how the sun feels on my gazelle like limbs as I prance by with a cool breeze drying the sweat womanly glow from my face.

It’s just not true. I still don’t like to run. There are people who do, who run for the sheer pleasure of running. I run for the pleasure of stopping, and how I feel afterwards which is mainly exhausted and smug. I’m obnoxious that way. I’m sure there’s an endorphin high in there somewhere but presently this is covered by the smug.

Is it possible to run to mend a broken heart? No, probably not, sorry. Is it a good distraction? Absolutely, if you’re anything like me, the shock of running will be a different sort of hell. It’s also surprisingly difficult to run and cry, it makes you choose how to use your oxygen and whether you want to lose bodily fluids from your eyes or your sweat glands.

Plus you can stomp people’s heads into the ground as you run, metaphorically speaking and that’s quite fun. You also get to feel strong and capable and that’s often stolen from us during the desolation of heart break.

Below I am sharing my running playlist, I once again open myself and my musical taste up for ridicule; see here for what you should listen to while driving America in a car, possibly with a loved one.

Heart Break Running List 2013

Short and Sweet, it’s hardly stereotype busting. Basically grab a whole load of Angry Girl music and whack em’ on a play list. It’s so short because I would play ‘Blow me one last Kiss’ on repeat for most of the run and sometimes sing along too – not often mind, as I ran out of puff…..

Warm Up:
YES – McAlmont and Butler
The ultimate break up song, IMO, plus it’s epically long so it makes a good warm up walk option.

Running/Walking (in my case):
So What? – Pink
So what, I’m still a rock star – I think I’ve made my point.

Blow Me One Last Kiss – Pink
Sheesh, she’s an angry lady sometimes. I like this one, mainly because my dad found it on the radio and basically decided it would heal my heart. He choose well, it’s a break-up classic. Plus there’s swearing, which I think you need when you’re sad and pissed off.

Bullet Proof – La Roux
I just wanted to be tough, a whole lot tougher than I felt.

We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together – Taylor Swift
I like Taylor Swift. I like her because she is Taylor Swift and yet her heart has been stomped on, a lot, a lot a lot. I find that comforting (sorry TS).

Single Ladies – Beyonce
I mean… really…

Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine
It has the word run in it. A lot. And that sometimes helped me to remember what I was doing ( I wish I was joking).

Cool Down:
Born This Way – Lady Gaga
Something about the line: Keep your paws up, you were born this way.

Rumor Has It – Adele
The ultimate beat heavy, revenge song. Plus Adele + heartbreak = Duh!

Don’t Look Back – She and Him
‘All you’ll ever get is the dust from the steps before’
I used to try and end it on a cheerful breakup note.

What can I say? You want good taste, probably best you look elsewhere.


Gratitude is an Attitude

I’ve been a grumpy bum today. Strike that, this grumpy bumminess has been building for a while but I think I topped out today.

I was angry at everyone. I was angry at the other road users – Fun fact, I’ve never used my horn, mostly because I drive a Micra and that thing sounds like a tiny duck who’s mildly peeved, I mean it’s not even worth it. So I was angry at my horn too.

I was pissed at everyone at the pool. They were talking in the water and not swimming. They were talking in the sauna and not shhh-ing, I couldn’t even hear my angry thoughts.

I was completely flummoxed by my loved ones, who seem continually unable to give me the unanswerable answer to the non-question I’ve not been able to articulate but which they completely wouldn’t understand anyway.

I’ve been angrily giving everyone a piece of my mind (only in my mind), how their piddling worries would be so easy to sort out if they would shut the f-up and listen to me.

I was retrospectively angry about the interview I heard on Radio 4 with a “thirty something”, miserably living in London and annoyed because she just couldn’t afford to have that third child; like children are some sort of right, like the earth can currently sustain all the people we already have. Seriously Lady, seriously? And Radio 4 this counts as a legitimate concern?

It was around about the time I was yelling at the washing machine, who was making a tonne of noise, that I suddenly realised who I was actually angry at and of course, that person was me.

I felt like I could fix the rest of the world but I couldn’t settle down and fix me. I know what I have to do – most of the time when I get this mad, I always know what I have to do and that makes me even more mad, it just seems like I’ve not got the guts to do it and I HATE being a chicken.

Then I remembered I hadn’t blogged and I got the Mean Reds all over again.

I haven’t blogged because I’m scared and embarrassed and slightly intimidated. I want to write about things other than cancer but I don’t know if I can. I want to write about flippant fripparies of girliness but I’m worried that means I’ll come across as shallow. I want to write about things I’ve been finding useful in my day to day but I’m shy, cause what do I know? I want to write about food I like to eat. I want to write about house plants, how I love to hate running, and how there are times, when nothing is more pleasing to me than applying smeary gold eyeshadow because it’s summer and heck, it’s my face.

I spiralled down even lower when I remembered I wrote this post, almost 2 years ago and it was meant to serve as a reminder; of what I should be doing, what I shouldn’t be wasting, and most importantly to be grateful.

I’ve mentioned this a thousands times but I’m (usually) a huge fan of gratitude. My internal theme tune to cancer was Pharrel’s Happy. The book that got me through breakups was the Happiness Project (which ironically I’m re-reading at the moment, ironic because I’m grumpy not that I’ve broken up with A).

I like to be happy and I like to be grateful, I’d go further, I think as a member of the privileged West it’s my duty to be happy and grateful but sometimes it’s gosh darn hard and sometimes I just want it easy because I’m lazy and come from the privileged West.

So today, to kick start writing about things other than cancer and to remind me to be brave and grateful; I give you my first “Gratitude is an Attitude” List. Let’s take it as read that I’m greatfully grateful for my family, friends, health etc. This is going to be about the little things:

1) I lot of my small gratitudes are food related, I’m not going to lie. So I’ll just smoosh them together here and call it 1.

I’m grateful for S’mores at the weekend if the weather is good, I’m grateful for stealing sips of A’s ice cold beer after we’ve been working down the allotment – I could have my own but someone else’s tastes so much better. I’m grateful for the idea of ice-cream sandwiches and bad movies on a hot night. For the thousand courgettes we’ve harvested because if I wasn’t grateful I’d be sick of courgette. That somebody figured out that savoury nuts and milk chocolate is possibly what the angels eat… phew that’s probably enough for now.

2) I am grateful for the plant I have whose leaves look like hearts.

3) I’m grateful for the feeling of the cold bucket after I’ve been sitting in the sauna. I’m also grateful for the smell of the wood in the sauna.

4) I’m grateful for the bowl of stones and shells from all the beaches A and I have ever walked on together.

5) I’m grateful for the familiarity of favourite books. They are word friends who weave happy and protective shells around us.

6) I’m grateful for candles that smell of Roses and Earl Grey tea.

7) I’m grateful for colourful nail polish and that Chanel once brought out a gold one called Diwali, which is also my favourite word. So, I’m grateful for favourite words too.

8) I’m grateful that my stomach muscles ache because this means I’m getting them back and that I’ve been laughing a lot.

9) I’m grateful for long car journeys with A because everyone knows this is when the real life s*&t gets sorted.

10) I’m grateful that I can remember (eventually) that writing and publishing on my little corner of the internet makes me ridiculously happy, even if it’s just me that reads it….

Ok, I feel better now. I’m going to be writing silly little oddities more frequently I think. Sorry if that bugs you.