Rants and raves #17

**Disclaimer: I’m writing my latest random selection of rants and raves after spending the day in the university library trying to concentrate on a slightly overdue academic paper. I managed to write 500 words in six hours so not the most productive writing session. I’m also experiencing exotic holiday #FOMO as my friend has just returned from Greenland. I can’t wait to see all the holiday photos. As always, all rants and raves and moans and groans represent my own views. Other (far superior) and slightly less opinionated and negative running blogs are available**

Happy Thursday! Once again, I hope that everyone has had an enjoyable week. If your week hasn’t been that great, the weekend is approaching.

Rave: Running

Although having running as a rave for the third time in a row is probably cheating, after complaining about being injured and not running for almost six months, I feel I need to balance out my blog a little.RunningSmiling Grimacing at the top of one of my nemesis hills.

At the moment, my dodgy feet are still *touch wood* coping with my half marathon training. As an added bonus, after struggling for five weeks I’m now starting to feel a little bit fitter. Hopefully my fitness levels will continue to improve.

Rant: Having to enter races months in advance

When I started running, it was possible to turn up and enter the majority of races on the day. Perfect for injury-prone runners. Fast forward to 2017 and a lot of races are selling out within hours of entries opening. While this is good news for race organisers, it’s not so great for runners who pick up a lot of injuries. I’ve recently entered two races several months in advance because I was aware entries would sell out almost immediately. Hopefully I’ll be fit enough to run both races.

Rave: Blogging

After several years of intermittent blogging, I think I’m finally starting to see the benefits of sharing my random running-related thoughts online. Writing about running also seems to help me with my academic writing.

Rant: Wheelie bins

Perhaps the most random rant ever, but like the majority of people living in Birmingham, I’m not a huge fan of wheelie bins at the moment. Unfortunately, the refuse collectors (I’m not sure that the correct term is!) in Birmingham have been on strike for six weeks. This means that in addition to wheelie bins for household waste, gardening waste and mixed recyclables, the pavements in some areas are covered in overflowing bin bags, cardboard boxes and rubbish. Residents have been instructed to leave their bins and extra rubbish at the side of the road. Unfortunately, some people have abandoned their bins in the middle of the pavement.

If I can’t squeeze past a bin when I’m running, I doubt someone pushing a pushchair could get past.BinsI actually had a dream about wheelie bins last night. 

Although the situation isn’t quite as bad where I live in Four Oaks as it is in the centre of Birmingham, the bins haven’t been emptied for a month and the smell is getting quite bad. Apparently the strike could continue for another four weeks. As I’m not very good with ‘smells’, I’ll have to dig out my old BA mask.

Rave: runABC Midlands

After I somehow managed to win an Ultimate Direction hydration pack last year, runABC Midlands has been one of my favourite running magazines. A few weeks ago, I received a message via my blog asking me if I’d like to review one of my favourite local races for runABC Midlands. I said yes (of course!) and answered a few questions about the Lichfield 10k. Hopefully my article will be published and will appear in the August-September issue. I can’t wait to see my race review in print.

Rant: Drivers who don’t indicate

Can someone explain to me why so many drivers don’t seem to know how to use their car indicators? I’m not a mind reader and I don’t have a crystal ball. Seriously though, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve needlessly stopped running to give way to cars at junctions. Apologies for the f-word but I love this meme.Did you know

Finally, don’t get me started on cyclists riding on pavements. I don’t mind children riding their bikes on the pavement, but adults dressed from head to toe in Team Sky kit should be able to ride their Cannondale bikes on the road. Having to dodge wheelie bins, drivers and speedy cyclists is making my running quite stressful at times.

Once again, if you’ve reached the end of my latest selection of rants and raves then thank-you.

Do you find having to enter some races months in advance irritating?

Should more race organisers offer full refunds or the option to transfer your entry if you can’t run? 


8 thoughts on “Rants and raves #17

  1. swosei12blog says:

    I totally agree with your race entry rant. I know some bigger races (NYC marathon) will let you defer to the next year, BUT you have to pay the entry fees again. Another thing I hate are races whose registration opens at noon and all of the spots are filled by 1pm. Some of do not have desk jobs where we can spend an hour refreshing a registration page. Oh wow. I just went off on a rant.


    • Emma says:

      Nothing beats a good old rant! Like New York, the London Marathon lets you defer but you have to pay the entry fees again. Last month, after I spent a Saturday afternoon trying and failing to enter a popular 10k (the website couldn’t cope with the amount of traffic), entries reopened later the same evening while I was drinking in my local. After a few pints I dread to think what information I gave them but I got a place. This event is pretty unusual because they opened entries at the weekend and you can get a full refund up until a month before the race. I’m so injury-prone I need to only enter races that allow refunds/transfers.


  2. Miranda says:

    Hi! Saw that you’re a fellow Running Show ambassador so thought I’d check out your blog and say hi! I also write a running blog called Thoughts and Pavement. Agree 100% with your race entry rant. It sucks there is such competition for race entries these days. I just entered the lottery for the Tokyo marathon! Will find out my fate in October!


    • Emma says:

      Hi Miranda. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. I’ve subscribed to your blog which looks awesome and far more professional than mine! Your comment has reminded me that I need to get in touch with the Running Show as I haven’t received my t-shirt yet. I frequently wish that it was as easy to enter races as it used to be. Good luck in the Tokyo marathon lottery. You’ve got to be in it to win it!


  3. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Ew, the bin sounds horrible- I hate the smell of bin juice so if they have been around for weeks in warm weather it’s going to be pretty stinky!
    It’s hard with races- I think if they are small local events then giving refunds or transfers is harder for them to manage, but the big expensive ones have no excuse.


    • Emma says:

      Thankfully, the bin situation was finally resolved yesterday. Unfortunately, our bins were meant to be emptied yesterday but the bin lorry didn’t have enough space. The smell of bin juice has been getting quite potent in some areas. I’m just worried that my bins will still pong when they eventually get emptied. I suspect I’ll be googling how to clean smelly wheelie bins.
      I don’t have an issue with smaller local events not offering refunds. Larger events have no excuse as they must have the resources to allow number transfers.


  4. AnnaTheApple says:

    Yay for running well!
    But yeah I’m totally with you on the race entry thing. I’m an injury prone runner too and it sucks having to DNS. I actually had to do this on Sunday as I just wasn’t ready post-injury for the Dorney half. Ah well!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. I have a feeling my left foot is about to fall to pieces, so I’m trying to make the most of being able to run. I’m sorry you had to miss the Dorney half. It’s so frustrating DNS races. I made the mistake of calculating how much money I wasted on races I didn’t DNS last year, it was quite depressing.


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