Rants and raves #10

**Disclaimer: this post was written while the author was experiencing heel pain and race envy. As always, all rants, raves and opinions represent my own views. Other (far superior) less opinionated and negative running blogs are available**

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote my last Rants and raves post. Now that it’s nearly the end of February, I feel the need to have a good old rant. However, before I start my Moaning Myrtle impression – yes I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter – I’ll start with rave.

Rave: Marathon Talk podcast

I have a bit of a confession to make…. Although I’ve been an active member of a range of online running communities since about 2005, I only discovered the Marathon Talk weekly podcasts last month. In my defence I’ve never listened to music or podcasts when I’m out running.marathon-talk

The two main presenters Martin Yelling and Tom Williams both talk a huge amount of sense about running. I’ve started to listen to the weekly podcasts while I’m doing tasks that don’t require me to concentrate. Listening while filling in a job application form wasn’t my most sensible move. There are currently 372 episodes so I’ve got some serious catching up to do. If I was able to run at the moment, I’d probably break the habit of a lifetime and listen to Marathon Talk during my long runs.

Rant: My right heel

Guess what? I’ve got another injury. Training for the Cambridge Half was going really well until a month ago when I got out of bed and found that I could hardly walk. My right heel felt really sore, and the pain was almost unbearable (yes I am a wimp!). After suffering in silence complaining about my heel for a couple of weeks, a trip to the sports physio confirmed that I’ve probably got the injury all runners dread, Plantar fasciitis. I’m blaming the heavy safety boots I had to wear for 11 weeks.

I’ve been avoiding walking barefoot as much as possible, making sure I only wear supportive shoes, icing my heel, stretching several times a day, wearing a sexy night splint (it’s a good job I’m single) taking supplements and sulking. I spent a bit of time researching Plantar fasciitis, and overloading my brain with information.

While being injured and unable to run sucks, I feel extremely lucky that I’m not living in constant pain and that my heel only really hurts first thing in the morning.

Rave: parkrun tracking

I recently joined the ‘parkrun analogue trackers’ group on Facebook, made a donation to my local parkrun, downloaded a copy of the blank analogue tracker created by Hannah and started colouring.  While I’ve only managed to complete 15 runs, all at my home parkrun, the slightly more dedicated members of the parkrun community have created some impressive looking designs. If you enjoy colouring and are a regular parkrunner and parkrun volunteer then this group is probably for you.

Rant: the Royal Parks Half Marathon ballot

The Royal Parks Half Marathon has been on my ‘races bucket list’ for several years. While the race is somewhat over-priced, the course looks amazing, and I’d love the opportunity to run through four of London’s eight Royal Parks. I’d been unsuccessful in the ballot for the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and really felt that it would be a case of sixth time lucky.


The successful/congratulations you’ve got a ballot place emails were sent out before the ‘sorry’ emails. Once again I received a ‘sorry’ email and was then bombarded on twitter by charities offering me places. I’m sorry but there is no way I could raise the amount of money charities are asking for. I’ve now accepted that I’ll probably never get the opportunity to complete the Royal Parks Half Marathon and have moved on. Hopefully I’ll manage to get a place in a new event: the London Landmarks Half Marathon.

Rave: Fitness Blender

While I can’t run at the moment I can still swim (I’ll discuss Swimathon in a future blog) and work up a sweat by attempting to complete online workout videos. I read about Fitness Blender on another blog, took a look at the website, and was seriously impressed with what I found.


Fitness Blender – for some reason I keep accidentally typing Fitness Bender – offers hundreds of free workout videos with new workouts released each week. Workouts range from 10 minutes to over an hour long (not a chance!) and from beginner to elite. As I can’t afford gym membership at the moment, I’m a huge fan of their bodyweight-only low impact workouts that can be done at home.

Rant: my fear of failure

A slightly random subject to end on, but I want to talk about my complete lack of self-esteem and fear of failure. When I was trying to find my GCSE certificates I found my school report from when I was 14. Although I’ve always been a boffin and that particular school report was full of A-grades, my form tutor wrote:

“Emma has shown a rather negative attitude over the last few months – she seems to lack self-confidence and a belief in herself. She has ability – it would be a great pity not to achieve her potential. Show us what you can do next year, Emma”.

Those comments are still relevant today. I’ve got a PhD and more than enough relevant work experience, but for some reason I’m too scared to apply for my dream job as a hydrology technical specialist. I know that I need to ‘woman up’ and to hit submit on the online application, but something is stopping me. I guess I should stop procrastinating and send in my application.

If you’ve reached the end of my latest random selection of rants, raves and moans then I’m impressed.

Apologies for the really, really random blog, hopefully my next post will be more positive.


13 thoughts on “Rants and raves #10

  1. rachelrunsfar says:

    Don’t feel bad, a good rant every now and then is healthy 🙂 I’ve never heard of Fitness Blender before but it looks awesome, thanks for sharing!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Rachel. I agree that the occasional good rant is healthy. Ranting on my blog saves my friends and family having to listen to all my running related woes. I hope you enjoy exploring the Fitness Blender site!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TinaLouRuns says:

    Oh the highs and lows… hope you’re feeling more positive soon. Go on hit that submit button – could be the best decision you ever make… and if turns out the other way, at least you’ll know you’ve tried. Nothing worse than regret – says someone who totally knows what you mean about fear of failure, but if running has taught me anything it’s that I’m way more capable of stuff than I thought and should throw caution to the wind much more often!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks for commenting on my rants and raves. To be honest I felt more positive the second I hit the publish button on my blog. I’m still working on a couple of the competency questions on the application form, but once I’m happy with what I’ve written I’ll hit the submit button. I don’t want to not send in an application and then spend the next few months thinking what if!? I can deal with the interview stress if and when I get one. Running has also taught me that I’m more capable of stuff than I thought I was!


  3. wanderwolf says:

    Ditto Kyra… Send in that app!!
    Also, sorry about the PF. It’s one of the more lame injuries.
    Finally… So many people talk about podcasts. Are they really that great? I listen to music on long runs. Could a podcast take the mind off the effort of the run?
    Lame race entry failure. But keep submitting!


    • Emma says:

      I will be sending in an application, I’ve got a few more days to perfect my answers to the five slightly unusual competency questions. PF is definitely quite literally a lame injury! I was really hobbling around the streets of London on Wednesday. My friend very kindly said I should have given up running years ago. I’ll definitely listen to the Marathon Talk podcast when I’m back pounding the pavements, anything to take my mind off the actual running. Yep, one DNS in 2017 and it’s only the start of March. Things can only get better!

      Liked by 1 person

      • wanderwolf says:

        Good point about the lameness! I use it as an adjective in running a lot and forgotten how often it’s true literally.
        Hope the submission goes smoothly and that the PF is healing.


  4. Maria @runningcupcake says:

    That’s rubbish about your injury, but at least knowing what it is means you can treat it.
    I agree about the Royal parks- I’ve entered lots of years and never got in- they also had that thing where you could pay and then get entry into a second ballot- I didn’t pay as you would lose the money either way, and it is expensive, but I know a few people who got in that way.
    And yay for marathon talk! My favourite long run podcast!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. My injury is a pain but at least I can avoid making my foot worse and I can treat it. I’m just relieved I wasn’t training for the London Marathon. I’m sorry you were unlucky in the Royal Parks ballot again. Like you I didn’t pay. I didn’t want to wear a hoodie advertising a race I didn’t get to run. For some reason I really, really thought I was going to get a place this year. I felt really positive that it would be sixth time lucky. I guess there’s always next year… Marathon Talk is great, I’ve got so much catching up to do!


  5. AnnaTheApple says:

    Sorry to hear about your heel. Injuries bloody suck!!
    So pleased about you finding Marathon Talk though as I love it. The banter between the two guys is great and they give great advice and interviews.
    Send the application. DO IT!!


    • Emma says:

      Injuries definitely suck!! At least I haven’t got a place in the London Marathon this year as I don’t think I’d enjoy hobbling for 26.2 miles! I’ve been avoiding walking as much as I can and my foot is starting to feel better. Fingers crossed I’ll be able to run again soon. I’ve got so many Marathon Talk podcasts to catch up on. The banter between the guys is definitely a highlight; I loved the parkrun banter. I’ll be sending in the application ASAP!


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