Rants and Raves #31

**Disclaimer: I’m writing this post while trying to shut out the noise one of my housemates is making in the kitchen. I’ve no idea what he’s cooking, but it’s taking him a long time. As a result, this blog may be slightly more ranty than usual. As always, all rants and raves and moans and groans represent my own views. Other, less negative running and fitness blogs are available**

Rave: Christmas

After I spent last Christmas feeling quite stressed out, this year I’m doing more to embrace Christmas. I’ve been organised and have bought and wrapped most of my Christmas presents. I’m trying not to worry about the presents I still need to buy. I’ve written and posted my Christmas cards, and helped mum decorate the Christmas tree in the conservatory. I organised the team Christmas meal and definitely won the ‘most pints consumed’ competition.

I think it’s safe to say I’m making a lot more effort this year. I’m still, however, occasionally struggling to deal with what I call Christmas madness. And don’t get me started on the wonky Christmas tree at work.

Rant: Christmas madness

As soon as December started, the local shops got ridiculously busy, traffic on the roads increased, and people (me included) went into Christmas madness mode. I spend my morning walks through the centre of Wallingford playing dodge the vomit and was heckled on my most recent run by a drunken Santa.

Christmas party


I won’t mention hangovers. After somehow managing to drink six pints of beer on Tuesday evening, Wednesday was a struggle. At one stage on Wednesday morning I was told I looked green. At the grand old age of 39, I really should know my limits. Then again, it’d only Christmas once a year and I won’t be working in the same place next Christmas. I’m looking forward to finishing work on Friday and escaping the madness.

Rave: European Cross Country Championships

Thanks to the BBC Sport website I was able to watch the recent European Cross Country Championships. I love watching elite athletes run cross country races, they make it look relatively effortless. I, unfortunately, felt that the commentators were a little negative about the overall performance of the British athletes. Like many others, my highlights of the championships were the amazing and seemingly unstoppable Ingebrigtsen brothers – have you watched Team Ingebrigtsen on YouTube, they are hilarious – and French U23 winner; Jimmy Gressier. Jimmy Gressier


Jimmy most definitely defended his title in style. I can’t help but think that the clip of Jimmy’s epic finish will end up on ‘What Happened Next’ on A Question of Sport.

Rant: My left foot

Apologies, but I want to quickly complain about my left foot again. I need to start training for my half marathon(s) in March. I’m hoping that the current soreness at the site of my previous stress fracture is related to the cold weather. I don’t want another stress fracture. If my foot continues to feel sore, I’ll be heading to the minor injuries unit of my local hospital.

Rave: Increased awareness of RED-S

I’ve briefly blogged about this in the past, but I recently discovered that my dubious eating habits when I was a teenager are likely to have left me with fragile bones. I wish that awareness of what was termed the female athlete triad had been more widely available when I was a teenager. The internet didn’t really exist – yes, I am that old – so accessing information was difficult.

Fast forward to 2018, and the female athlete triad now has a far more appropriate name; Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S) syndrome.

“RED-S can affect male and female athletes and became a recognised condition in 2014 – replacing another condition called female athlete triad, which recognised the effect of too few calories among sportswomen only.”

Recently, high profile athletes including Anna Boniface and Bobby Clay have shared their stories. The increased awareness of RED-S and the development of the FitrWoman App are both really positive developments.

Rant: Fixed-term contracts

A rather random rant, but being the only person on a fixed-term contract in a team of permanent staff can be difficult. It’s hard to explain, but although my colleagues are amazing and have been incredibly supportive, I’ve never really felt part of the team. Having to attend meetings about projects with deadlines after I finish can be a little awkward and dare I say a little pointless.

Fixed term contract

[Source: Meme Generator]

My contract comes to an end in March and I’m searching for and applying for jobs. I’m slightly concerned that I’m going to spend the rest of my working life moving from one fixed-term contract to another. I’ve realised that I need to invest more time in my long-term future, the fixed-term job can some second. Perhaps not the right attitude, but I need to get better at putting my career first.

Rave: Sweaty Betty Anna headband

I decided to treat myself to the Anna headband in the recent Sweaty Betty sale. I’m not going to write 100+ words about a headband. To summarise, it’s amazing, possibly the best £10 I’ve spent this year. It keeps my hair under control and also keeps my slightly sticky outy ears warm when it’s cold. I’m hoping that wearing a hairband rather than a running cap will be less damaging to my hair.

Rant: My bargainous coat

Unfortunately, not all of my recent purchases have been as successful. Last week, I spotted a coat in the red sticker section of my local TK Maxx. The coat fitted me perfectly – always a pleasant surprise – so my step-father bought it for me, and then let me keep hold of it. The first time I wore the coat I noticed a few feathers poking out of the seams. My North Face coat moulted a little when it was new so I thought nothing of it.

My bargainous coat seems to be determined to shed all of its feathers. Each time I remove it, I discover feathers stuck to whatever I’m wearing underneath. I’m a little concerned that the coat will shed so many feathers, it will lose most of its padding and insulation. I guess I found it in the reduced section of TK Maxx for a reason!

Rave: Sainsbury’s running mugs

I was pleasantly surprised when I spotted a range of fitness-related gifts in the slightly scary seasonal aisle of my local Sainsbury’s. The mugs only cost £3 each, so I treated myself to six. I’m so clumsy it’s safer for me to buy breakable items in bulk.Sainsburys mugFitness gifts

I also spotted reasonably priced gifts for cyclists, gym goers, and golfers. I think I need to point out that I most definitely don’t work for Sainsbury’s! I once applied for a seasonal job and didn’t progress past the first stage. This failure meant that I applied for a job at M&S, had a brilliant time, and made some friends for life. Thanks, Sainsbury’s.

If you’ve reached the end and have read all of my completely random rants and raves, then a huge ‘thank-you’. I’m not sure I would have made it to the end. I hope that you think that my rants were reasonable. I do feel a lot better now that I’ve put pen to paper so to speak.

Are you ready for Christmas?

Did you have to go into the office the morning after your work Christmas party?

What is your best running purchase of 2018?


10 thoughts on “Rants and Raves #31

  1. Derek Lee says:

    Haha, I really enjoy your rants and raves! They are also very informative. Well done on being Christmas-ready – I’m taking a very low-key anti-commercialisation approach this year, with no cards to worry about (just donation to Shelter). I can’t claim the moral high ground – just an easy option! I hope your foot will be ok. I need some running targets, my motivation/fitness are at a low ebb. Alcohol? I’m at the age when I have to remind myself it is not always my friend. 😦


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Derek. I wouldn’t describe my rants and raves as informative. I’m starting to feel like I’ve forgotten to buy something for someone in my family. I’ve got this weekend to buy a couple of last minute bits and pieces. Everything will be fine. This time next week the madness will nearly be over. I may well adopt your approach next Christmas, it sounds very sensible. I’m seriously considering going away somewhere remote without phone signal. I’m going to test my foot out with a run later, I’m hopeful it will behave itself. I’ve written some goals for next year and predict I’ll fail to achieve at least two of them. I’m going to the pub after work tomorrow, I will be sensible, I will be sensible, I will be sensible and repeat…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    Fingers crossed about your foot! Hopefully just the cold then.
    You are right about the lack of awareness. There was definitely a blinkered eye approach and “train harder” mentality. I’m glad that it’s become more and more known about and not the normality.
    I’m kind of ready for Christmas. Last week I made really good progress in the Christmas present department and I even sent some cards so I feel a lot more “on it” now.
    I had to come in the day after our Christmas party and jeeze it was a struggle. I basically just slumped at my desk with a vat of coffee. I did go for a run though at lunchtime and that HUGELY helped weirdly.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna, I think it’s just the cold/damp weather. I found some photos taken of me during the Posho Schools XC championships. I would have been 15 but looked like I was no older than 11. I was like a stick with long legs and giant feet, definitely not healthy. My coach used to encourage us to be ‘lean and mean’ I’m so pleased people are more aware now.
      I was feeling organised but am now worried I’ve forgotten something. I guess starting shopping in Novemember does have some disadvantages, I’ve actually forgotten what I bought. I also need to get a couple of family Christmas cards.
      I’m so impressed you managed to run, there was no way I could have run the lunchtime after the party. It would have ended in disaster. I just about managed a walk and some fresh air.


  3. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    There is certainly a lot of Christmas madness around- I think getting away from it all is the best idea.
    I don’t drink so I’ve not had to worry about the morning after, and our work parties are usually Friday night because teaching after a late night it pretty impossible. This year I am away for the main party, but our team had an afternoon tea which is much more my style 🙂


    • Emma says:

      Yes, the train journey home from Oxford was a tad busy. Birmingham New Street was a strange mixture of slightly tipsy business men in Christmas jumpers, miserable commuters, and families carrying loads of shopping. I was pleased to make it home.
      Afternoon tea sounds like a sensible option. I’m definitely taking part in Dry January, I need a break from the pubs in Wallingford.


  4. eathealthyandbehealthier says:

    Nice post! Hope the New Year brings you joy. Hope your foot is feeling better too.
    I’d vote the ON’s shoe as the best running item from last year….but really just getting out with others who also enjoy the sport is the best gift of all!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks. The New Year has been reasonably positive so far. I can’t believe it’s nearly February already. I haven’t been able to run for almost three weeks to my foot is feeling a million times better. I’ve never tried ON running shoes, I’ve heard good things about them. I agree that getting out with other runners is the best gift. I’ve really missed my Sunday morning runs in Sutton Park.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.