Rants and raves #21

**Disclaimer: I’m writing this blog post after spending the majority of the day surrounded by students with coughs and colds. I predict that by the time this is published I’ll have a cold. As always all rants and raves and moans and groans represent my own views. Other far, far superior and less opinionated running blogs are available.

If you check out the relevant section of The Running Awards site you’ll find loads of awesome running blogs listed. Please take the time to vote and support your favourite running blogger**

Rave: Autumn

I’m incredibly fickle. Some days I hate autumn – usually when I nearly step in a cunningly concealed pile of dog mess or an acorn lands on my head – other days I love autumn.AutumnMaking the most of the autumn sunshine. It’s hard to believe it’s almost November.

After an amazing walk in the sunshine earlier today, I’ve decided that I currently love autumn. I just wish we didn’t have to mess with the clocks.

Rant: Christmas in October

While I love autumn, I’m not so keen on seeing Christmas food and decorations in the shops in late September/early October. I think that Christmas should be ‘banned’ until we’ve got Halloween and Bonfire Night out of the way.Christmas SeptemberI took this photo in my local M&S at the end of September.

I personally quite enjoy Christmas, however, I’m aware that a lot of people really struggle during the festive period. I’ve already witnessed people arguing about how much to spend on Christmas presents. I think my brother probably has the right idea. He is going to be spending Christmas abroad again.

Rave: Blogging

This is a slightly strange one so please bear with me. I guess most bloggers love blogging because of the freebies. Actually, I’m only joking and I’m sure that the majority of bloggers enjoy blogging for other reasons. While I’m aware my series of weekly half marathon training updates weren’t very interesting, writing them has had a slightly unexpected benefit; photographs and memories.

London memoriesSo many amazing memories.

Thanks to my weekly updates I took loads of photos during my most recent trips down to London. Without this blog I wouldn’t have taken so many photos. Without this blog I wouldn’t have so many reminders of spending quality time with someone who is now seriously ill. So take shit loads of photos and irritate your non-blogger friends and family and ignore the slightly strange looks in pubs and restaurants. I’m pleased that I did!

Rant: Insomnia

A rather random rant but I’ve included it here as it’s having a huge impact on my life and the moment. I’ve never been very good at dealing with uncertainty and not knowing how long my friend has got left and not knowing when I’m going to start my new job – the latest estimate is sometime in January, is beginning to stress me out.Insomnia


I go to bed at a sensible time; wakeup at 3/4am and then lie awake for what feels like hours over-thinking everything. I’ve been functioning on limited sleep for almost a month now and it’s not ideal.

Rave: Running

I may be struggling to sleep but I’m really enjoying my running at the moment. My right heel and left foot *touch wood* have been behaving themselves since the Great Birmingham Run, and I’m enjoying not following a rigid(ish) training plan. Hopefully my love affair with running will continue during the festive period. Although I don’t believe in counting calories and working out how many miles I need to run to burn off a mince pie, it will be good to keep reasonably active during the festive period.

I’ve entered the Run up to Christmas challenge and have set myself the target of running 50km in December.

Rant: Great Run events

I’ve already had a bit of a moan about the not so secure baggage buses at the recent Great Birmingham Run so I won’t repeat myself. Unfortunately, I’ve got a few other issues with Great Run events so if you love Great Run events, I’d skip this particular rant.GBR Goody BagI think the small bag of Fruit Pastilles was the highlight of this goody bag.

Given the high cost of entering events such as the Great North Run and the Great South Run, I think that runners should be able to officially transfer their entry to another runner or get a refund. Yes there should be a deadline for this, but I’m sure that offering official transfers and refunds would vastly reduce the amount of ‘illegal’ number swapping that takes place.

Finally, I’m not a fan of having to search for my medal in the bottom of a goody bag. Please take note Great Run!

Rave: Getting my work published in an academic journal

As I’ve done rather a lot of ranting in this post I’ve decided to finish with a bonus rave. After a lot of stress and tears, one of the papers I started writing when I was a research student has now been published.Baxter paper

Just another three papers to finish.

Let’s just ignore the fact that my masterpiece was published online on Friday 13th. I’m also ignoring the fact that another paper I’ve written needs to be formatted before I can submit it.

I was going to rant about trains and delays but I think I’ve written enough waffle for one blog. I also need to crack on with some work.

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

Have you made a start on your Christmas shopping? My friend Kate has just informed me she’s done all of her Christmas shopping.

Do you have any tips for dealing with insomnia? I’m getting to the stage I’ll try almost anything. 


19 thoughts on “Rants and raves #21

  1. wanderwolf says:

    Love the raves, sympathize with you on the rants.
    I guess we’re pretty similar. When there’s too much uncertainty in my life I’ll jolt awake at 4 or 5 and Judy end up starting my day, even if my bedtime was midnight. Something I read that helps sometimes is to get up, walk into another room, let yourself get distracted by other room, and go back to bed. Avoid lights and too much movement. The idea is to interrupt the flow of your thoughts. How you solve it! If worse comes to worst, you can also talk to your GP and see what s/he suggests. Sleeping pills not so much, though. Awful dreams


    • Emma says:

      Thanks, the last couple of months have been a little challenging.
      Now that I’ve got used to the fact I’m probably not going to be able to see my friend again, I’ve been sleeping a little better. Unfortunately, the new job situation is stressing me out a little, and I still wake at 0300 – 0400 some mornings. Luckily I seem to be able to get back to sleep again fairly quickly. I need to stop getting myself stressed out about everything! I now take a boring book to read in bed and avoid messing around on my phone. Reading seems to make me feel very sleepy. I did actually end up getting prescribed sleeping tablets but I haven’t taken any. I don’t want to risk having awful dreams!

      Liked by 1 person

      • wanderwolf says:

        Soon enough, the days will come where you have to press the snooze button 5 times. The body adapts itself. I hope things are better now! But I am sorry about your friend.


  2. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Ah, Christmas- I think some people think I am a real bah-humbug because I am not enjoying all of the Christmas food and decorations etc being shoved down my throat at this time of year- I really love Christmas, but just for the end of December- it’s ages away and I don’t want to wish my life away.
    Congratulations on getting your paper published!
    As for insomnia, I’m not sure. I have an eye mask to wear because light wakes me up, although I often take it off in my sleep and have to find it in the middle of the night. I heard a tip on Marathon Talk (they had a professor on there talking about sleep) and one thing I took away was to never look at the time, because then you get into a cycle of “now I’ve only got 3 hours left..” and so on. I also play an alphabet game where I think of something (fruit/ country/ name) and have to think of something beginning with a, then b, then c, etc- takes my mind off sleeping. Or I listen to a podcast as trying to stay away makes me fall asleep, although I can’t do that if I am using my phone as an alarm as then if the headphones fall out I won’t hear it.


    • Emma says:

      I’m sure that my family think I’m a real bah-humbug because I refuse to engage in any Christmas related discussions until December 1st. Last year, after working in retail and having to listen to Christmas music for two months, I’d definitely had enough of Christmas by well before Christmas Day. This year I’m managing to avoid Christmas thanks to the internet. I’ve only got to buy a couple of presents so I’m hoping I can avoid having to head into Birmingham.
      Thanks, since I last blogged I’ve submitted another paper so hopefully I’ll get some more of my research published.
      I tend to start the night wearing an eye mask, but 9 times out of 10 it ends up on the floor next to my bed. Thanks for tip about not looking at the time, I always look at the time when I wake up and then work out how much sleep I had and how long I’ve got until I have to get up. I play the alphabet game to help me focus when I’m struggling on my longer runs, I might try it next time I’m awake at 0400. I did try counting sheep but don’t think it helped.


  3. AnnaTheApple says:

    I love Christmas and I’m fully onboard with all the tinsel, food and music when the time is RIGHT. Doing it so early means I get bored by actual Christmas so yeah I’m happy to delay it a bit for now.
    Totally agree about the Great Run. So expensive and yet no defers or transfers? Sort it out!
    I totally agree about blogging. I’ve always said this and continue to say it, even if no one read my blog I’d still write it. I love looking back at different races or trips I’ve done – it’s like a diary with photos.


    • Emma says:

      Once December arrives I’ll be all over the tinsel, food and music. While it’s still November I’m happy to leave the mince pies and other Christmas food well alone.
      I think my biggest irritation with Great Run has to be the never ending emails promoting their events. They also ask for feedback but never seem to do much with the feedback they receive.
      Only I could say I love blogging and then somehow lock myself out of my blog for almost two weeks #muppet


  4. Alison King says:

    The On Guard I sent you will help avoid colds! And use lavender for sleep.

    Congratulations on being published!

    PS Not started Christmas shopping, was amazed to see Christmas food in Morrisons at the start of September.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Alison. Now that I can finally access my blog again, I’m going to finish all of my overdue review posts. I didn’t realise Lavender would help me sleep so thanks, the scent always reminds me of my grandmother so I also find it quite comforting. Once I discovered that the supermarkets were in ‘Christmas mode’ at the end of last month, I’ve been doing my best to avoid them. I love online shopping!


  5. pursuingtheprocess says:

    Quality post, and I’m sorry to hear about your friend and the stress you’re under.

    I’ve seen your about page and your ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ and, although you don’t drink coffee, tea and chocolate both contain caffeine as well as the Diet Coke, so you could limit the use of these. Also, get runs out of the way in the morning/afternoon is possible – this means that the body isn’t woken up from exerting itself later in the evening.

    Try reading when you find yourself overthinking things – an autobiography or work of fiction will likely do the trick. I’ve never experienced insomnia, mind, I just know that these are what help me get off.

    Hope that helps, keep doing what you’re doing!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and for all your hints and tips.
      Although, thanks to some really dull books, I’ve been managing to sleep a little better since I wrote this post, I’ll be sure to remember to avoid drinks with caffeine before I go to bed. I tend to be an early morning runner and very rarely run in the evening so don’t think my training runs were causing my insomnia. I suspect that I was just incredibly stressed out about my friend. Now that I’ve more or less come to terms with the situation, I’m a bit more relaxed and able to sleep. Now I just need to stop getting myself worked up about moving house and starting a new job in January!

      Liked by 1 person

      • pursuingtheprocess says:

        No worries. Glad to hear things are getting better, but yeah, where stress leaves one area, it often takes another form. Try some meditation, too – that should help with the moving house/starting a new job sit. Keep up the good work✌🏻


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