Why do you…?

As the date of my PhD Viva gets nearer & nearer *panics* my supervisor has offered to send me a question a day to help me to prepare. His first daily question was “Why did you choose the PhD topic?”

I have already worked out my response to what probably be one of the easier questions I get asked during my Viva. I suspect that the daily questions my supervisor sends will become increasingly more challenging.

While obsessively reading & re-reading through my thesis I have been highlighting some of the devious questions my external examiners could ask me. Why did you use the statistical tests you did? Why did you do this? Why did you do that? What did you learn? What would you do differently? What is unique about your research? What has your research added to the field of environmental flows?

I suspect that the questions my supervisor emails me will be slightly more challenging!

Recently as I have been struggling to run to due to injury & struggling to blog due to a serious lack of motivation I started to question why I do both, badly.


Why do you run?

Running is challenging, running is hard and at times running is painful. As a runner, after all of the effort and pain I always end up back where I started. So why do I run?

I love seeing how consistent and structured training results in my speed increasing and my times gradually improving. With running you really do get out what you put in. It really is that simple!

I love how running can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. Sometimes I like to imagine that I am running in 1995 and head out for a run without my Garmin.  If only I was as fit as fast as I was in 1995.

I love how running can be either a cheap or an expensive sport; it’s all down to personal choice. Reading Running with the Kenyans made it obvious to me that with the exception of a supportive sports bra and a decent pair of trainers I don’t actually need all of the expensive kit and fancy gizmos brands are constantly urging me as a runner to buy. If my right foot wasn’t so knackered I wouldn’t even need trainers.

I love how running gives me time away from the trials and tribulations of my research. For a few hours a week running enables me to forget about my Viva & about all of the other crap that is floating around inside my mind. I am a better person when I am able to run.

I love how running has provided me with some amazing experiences. I will never forget how awesome it felt to be running on the athletics track inside the Olympic Stadium. I will never forget watching Paula Radcliffe destroy the marathon world record. I will never forget heading out for a run with a university colleague in Beijing and almost getting lost.

Finally, I love how over the last 25+ years running has introduced me to some truly amazing & inspirational people. Runners who have to fit in training around families and full-time jobs, runners who have overcome serious injuries & illnesses, and most importantly the volunteers who support our sport.

So thank-you running!!


Why do you blog?

I have really struggled to answer what should be a relatively simple question… Why do I blog?

Although I love writing & sharing my experiences as a runner with hopefully like-minded people, recently I have been experiencing a serious loss of blogging mojo.

Blogging taught me that the idiom “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family” is accurate. I originally started this blog to share my training & thoughts as I prepared for the London Marathon with my friends & family. I have always been passionate about running & felt that writing a blog was a great way of sharing my passion. Unfortunately most of my family & some of my friends didn’t really “get” running & drifted away from my blog.

A more experienced blogger once said that it doesn’t really matter why a person blogs as long as the content is good. This is where I feel that I struggle. While most of the bloggers I follow produce great content, I feel that the content of my blog could at times be vastly improved.

I do know that the aim of my waffling blogging was, & will never be to be sent lots of freebies. I am finding myself moving away from the more mainstream/commercialised blogs & following blogs produced by runners who actually pay for their race entry fees & trainers.

I would really love to know why other runners blog.

So, why do *you* blog?


4 thoughts on “Why do you…?

  1. Scallywag (@ScallywagSprint) says:

    Why do I blog? Honestly because I feel my voice has something to contribute. I know that sounds supremely self confident but I wanted to add a place online that i could a) voice my opinions; b) provide a scientific voice in health and fitness and c) present a health and fitness site with a very mainstream, balanced view. I will never be a kale eating, no added sugars, 110lbs kind of girl, and I think the internet could use more representation of healthy normality.

    Also I like having somewhere to blab about health and fitness, because most of my friends IRL do not care.


    • phdrunner says:

      Thanks for the comment and apologies for the slow response, thanks to being a muppet I somehow managed to lock myself out of my own blog!

      The internet definitely needs more bloggers like you, we people to talk sense and to counteract the kale eating brigade. My scientific areas of expertise are ecology, hydrology and water resources management so although I can stop people talking rubbish about flooding and drought related matters, I’m not use when it comes to health and nutrition.

      Most of my friends IRL don’t run and think that I’m mental because I’m constantly injuring myself. They might have a point!


  2. Tess @ FitBits says:

    Interesting. And your point – ‘I am a better person when I am able to run’ – me too. I’m not able to run at the moment because less than 2 weeks out from Brighton Marathon I have a niggly hip and knee and am enforcing rest to let it settle. Massive de ja vu here…

    I blog because I love writing, I’ve always written a diary all throughout my life, and used to write lots of stories when I was younger, and do it in my job. Writing is very cathartic for me. My blog is a diary of my training and record of my thoughts and various mental stages while struggling to be a stronger, faster, ‘better’ runner and lead a healthy life.

    I don’t write it for freebies, but as it’s grown I do get offered stuff – some I take, some I don’t. I won’t ever let it become one massive product review littered with advertising and sponsored posts. It’s my little corner of the internet and I’m excited that people want to read it 🙂


    • phdrunner says:

      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment on my waffle Tess 🙂

      I really hope that the niggly hip and knee both settle down before Brighton. I injured myself during my first London Marathon attempt, and my foot fell apart (literally) a week before my second London Marathon attempt so I know how frustrating injuries are. At least you are resting and being sensible, I tried to carry on training (I was obsessed back then) and as a result I still struggle with injuries today.

      I love your blog, you are a brilliant writer. I think I’m more of a numbers than a words type person, blogging doesn’t help me relax whereas running always has done. To be honest I find blogging quite difficult at times. There are now so many far, far more informative blogs out there I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to read my waffle.

      Good luck with Brighton!


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