Errrgggh colds. I woke up yesterday morning with a horrible sore throat. OH NO, YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS. It today it progressed into the runny nose and sneezing. The kind of runny nose where you notice you’ve stopped peeing even though you’re drinking a lot, and you’re pretty sure it’s because of all the liquid that your body is expelling nasally. This evening it’s non-stop sneezing. I haven’t really been ill since about a year ago. I had a minor cold in May but not like this. I hate sneezing.
The train was fun this evening. Running late, had to stand, and it stopped for 15 minutes between stations. I’m sure my fellow passengers appreciated being trapped in a small space with me.
So today hasn’t been a great day. But it’s OK, because I’ve decided I’m going to win a million pounds on the premium bonds in the February draw. That will make me feel better, and I am looking forward to it.
I ran today at lunch time (because who stops running just because they have a cold), and it was a noticeable improvement in the abs department. It’s the first time I’ve run and not had any discomfort immediately afterwards. Usually, I get some aches which go away as soon as I stretch, but today it was OK without stretching.
So the end of the week running review is as follows. I ran Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun. I haven’t totalled it up, but it’ll be about 25k. This feels like absolutely nothing, but is actually a respectable distance to say I haven’t run at all in four weeks.
Yesterday I did parkrun – it’s a two lap course, and I did the first lap very slowly, then got bored and did the second lap at probably 90% effort. I chickened out of the long run today because it just seemed like a bad idea after that, and did about 6k.
The injury is… I don’t know? It’s not bad. It’s not 100%, but it’s not bad either.
I’m finding that if it starts feeling uncomfortable then stretching a bit makes it subside. I’d rather be in the position that it doesn’t start feeling uncomfortable in the first place, but it’s definitely manageable and not a big deal at the moment. And, I don’t think it’s any worse for running.
So I’m still undecided on physiotherapy.
I got two responses back from physios today. Both of them are near work. They are both possibilities but I think I need to actually phone them up to figure out if I can actually get an appointment at a time that works around work. Which I don’t want to do just yet. The two near home are yet to respond, which is a bit disappointing. One of them works Saturday mornings though, so that seems like a good fallback.
I am not really sure if I need physio at the moment. I decided to give myself a rest day today and I’m instead aiming to do a normal gentle run tomorrow, then Parkrun on Saturday and a long run Sunday. So by the start of next week I’ll be in a much better position to decide if I really need it.
Last night was awful. I woke up at 4 o clock and didn’t go back to sleep. When it became clear I wasn’t going back to sleep any time soon I started fiddling with my phone, and for some reason went on LinkedIn. This was a mistake – my previous employer had posted an update saying something like “what makes us different from all the the other software companies?” and had a lot of blurb about how amazing they are and a lot of professionally shot photos which have been done since I left. The photos are… well, I don’t know what the word is. Some of the people in the photos don’t even work there – they work for other companies on the same floor and must have been roped into modelling for photos, and half the photos were shot in a room they hired which they’re pretending is the office, presumably because the office isn’t actually a very attractive place.
In the blurb they mentioned how proud they were of employing lots of developers, but what they didn’t mention is that none of them were in the photos because they’re all in Russia. What makes you different to all the other software companies? Well, the fact that your developers (and your customers’ data) are in Russia would be an obvious point.
It just seemed so absurd and pathetic, and I suppose it upset me because it seemed symbolic of the dishonesty I experienced there. I’m glad I don’t still work there, but I didn’t need to see that in the early hours this morning.
I’ve since unfollowed the company. I don’t know why I go on LinkedIn anyway; it’s not useful unless you’re job-seeking. I should uninstall it from my phone.
I still have problems with that company. I still feel my stress levels rising every morning on the train when I go past the building. With starting to run at lunch times again I’ve been considering routes, and I’d quite like to go the other way along the canal, but I’ll end up going past the building. Part of me thinks I should face it and conquer my irrational fear, and another part of me thinks I should be avoiding triggering myself.
When will I stop having dreams about working there?
So I ran again today. I got a bit more adventurous and did a 5k along the canal. When I stopped the abs were definitely not right and I got kind of depressed about it, but something just clicked in my mind and so this evening I sent out a few enquiries to private physiotherapists and felt a lot happier. Two are near work and two near home. I don’t know why I’d never considered this before.
Strangely, it actually feels better now than it did yesterday. I’m going to keep running for a few days so I can assess how it really is.
In other news, I started making my train commutes home more enjoyable, by reading! I am currently reading Book 3 of The Expanse books. I read the first two last Christmas and was engrossed in them even though I’d seen the TV program and knew the story. The second diverged a little from the TV program in that it had an extra character and minor story arc for that character which wasn’t shown on TV. The third book has already introduced a lot more characters than were on TV, but I think they might have been amalgamated into Drummer, who hasn’t yet turned up.
I’m really trying hard to keep doing things that are better for my mental health than sitting around looking at the internet for 25 minutes. The internet is entertaining but it’s also boring. You keep clicking things hoping to find a dopamine hit, waiting for the next thing to pop up and entertain you. I’m pretty sure that’s bad for my anxiety.
So today I got a (very short) lunch time run in. I packed all my running stuff into my bag for work last night, but then I woke up at 3:50 and remembered I hadn’t put my running belt in! Oh no. I didn’t want to get up, but I also thought I might forget, so I sent myself an email from my old phone (which I keep switched on in bed with me, because I use it for Insight Timer meditations), because that’s the kind of thing I do.
I had been having a really vivid dream about my old workplace. I could see the heart rate graph on my watch had been elevated for about an hour before I woke up, so it was obviously stressing me.
At some point I drifted back off to sleep to the soothing voice of Lisa A Romano on Insight Timer.
I seem to spend a lot of my life lying awake in bed at about 4 o clock in the morning. I like it at that time because it’s so quiet and peaceful, but I also like not struggling to stay awake at 3PM at my desk at work.
So, the run.
The abs felt… OK? Not amazing, but OK.
I have found that if they start aching then I need to suck my stomach in as much as I can a few times and that tends to make them feel better. I think the after-effect so far is that there’s an extremely vague sense of discomfort, which, if I wasn’t hyper-aware of the area, I probably wouldn’t have noticed. Hopefully it’s the kind of thing that a bit of exercise will loosen up and heal.
I did some general stretching and foam rolling and core bits and bobs this evening and it feels OK. Not 100%, but OK.
Today was supposed to be the day I went for a 15 minute run to see how things are. I’d decided not to do Parkrun because it’s potentially too far just to check things over, but as it turned out, it was cancelled anyway due to ice. I went for a walk to assess the ice, but it was actually quite slippery so I walked and I walked hoping that it would thaw out some more, and my run never happened.
I didn’t go this afternoon because I went to see the new Star Wars film (no spoilers).
So is it going to happen tomorrow? Possibly not, because it’s a Pokemon Go community day at an awkward time (11AM-2PM), and I think I might be coming down with a cold. Colds wouldn’t usually stop me running but since I’m trying to heal an injury, it hardly makes sense to drag myself out if I’m not feeling well.
What’s the plan now? Do I just wait until next weekend or do I go out one lunch time? I don’t know… It’s been three and a half weeks since I last ran, does another week really matter? Well, it does matter because 1. It makes it more likely that my injury really is healed, but 2. My anxiety has definitely increased over the past few weeks without intense exercise (to such a point I’m starting to question whether the Citalopram is still working).
I don’t know…
Maybe I’ll get a short run in tomorrow after all.
Maybe it’s just me getting older, but these new Star Wars films just aren’t doing anything for me. The very first Star Wars film is very simple and easy to follow and it’s kind of magical. This new trilogy, ehhh. Lots of things happen and I don’t understand why. If I went through in detail I’d have a zillion questions to try to understand the plot, but I think the whole point is that so many things get thrown out to go by so quickly that you don’t think much about them and you feel like the plot is moving forward until the next action scene. When you stop and think about it… well, the plot is moving, but I’m not sure the direction is forward.
Rogue One was good though.
The abs are feeling better. I don’t think I’ve had any discomfort from them since Saturday, so that’s pretty good. I’m going to do a test run at the weekend, and then I’m HOPING within a couple of weeks to be in full swing of half marathon training, but we shall see.
I am still quite interested in swimming. I think it would be a good counter to running and is probably very good for core strength. I have not signed up to the gym yet because I realised I did not have any swimwear, but I ordered some at the weekend and it came today, so now I have no excuse.
The train this evening was dreadful because of a tree on the line, thanks to Storm Brendan. I need to claim my 10p compensation for this but I can’t be bothered tonight. A girl I was at school with was sat next to me but I don’t think she recognised me. I googled her and apparently she’s a solicitor now. She smelled a bit though. I probably can’t claim compensation for that. It’s a bit weird to think she’s a solicitor when the main thing I remember about her is that when we were in infant school she did an Irish Jig in assembly one morning in front of the whole school. We stayed in the same class through infant, junior and secondary school, but that’s what I remember. That was… 26 years ago?
Work: Last week we had some training from the Knowledge Transfer PhD student we have, which consisted of essentially a computer science lecture. It felt like being back at university again, but it was a lot more effective than reading articles online, and as I was sat in the room I couldn’t help but think how amazing it is that I’ve worked here less than two months and they’re giving me training on new technology, whereas not once in the seven years I was at my old place did the company ever arrange for anyone to teach me anything.
Part of her presentation involved examples with data sets, and I was quite surprised when one of her slides used my full name as an example. I’m not quite sure how to take that…
Speaking of other things at work I don’t know how to interpret, as I walked past HR lady’s office today, HR lady and researcher lady were having a conversation and HR lady said “EV is one of those people”. Researcher lady: (mildly surprised) “EV here?” “yes”. What was that about? One of what people?! 🧐
My anxiety has been pretty bad for the past week or so, and I’m not really sure why.
Last weekend I put it down to taking ibuprofen, but then I googled “does ibuprofen cause anxiety” and the answer is not only does it not cause anxiety, it kind of has the opposite effect in a lot of people. And since I’ve stopped taking it, I haven’t noticed an improvement, so… it wasn’t that.
Maybe it’s just that I’m not getting any intense exercise. Maybe I’m just frustrated. I don’t know.
My muscles are feeling… ehh. I don’t know. When I go for a long walk and then sit down for an hour, they feel sore when I get up. But then I stretch a bit and they feel fine. It’s often really hard to know how to deal with injuries like this. This kind of soreness is the kind of thing you don’t think twice about if you’re active, usually. It’s the kind of thing you usually think “if I went for a run, this would feel a lot better”.
It’s just the fact it’s been a lot worse, and it’s been dragging on for so long, that I feel reluctant to run again. But it’s very possible that the missing component in the healing process at this stage is more activity. Muscles like being worked. I won’t know until I try it. I think I’ve pencilled in next weekend as a gentle 10-15 minute run, but we’ll see.
I’ve also been thinking about swimming. My mum and sister are members of the gym right next to the station… I could get off the train and go swimming before I go home. Or go before work.
I had a possible breakthrough yesterday when I found a stretch that relieves the discomfort. Basically, although it’d been improving, I could still feel a patch in my abs that really wasn’t happy when I did a particular pose. The pose is to lie on your back with your arms flat on the ground past your head, raise your legs off the ground to say 45 degrees, and then raise your arms and upper back off the ground. As soon as I raised my arms, I’d feel it in the area that’s been hurting.
Yesterday I discovered that if stand tall and stretch my arms overhead (and really, really stretch, so my back is kind of curving backwards, while sucking my stomach in as much as possible, then this stretch actually makes it possible for me to do the first pose without any discomfort.
I’m pretty excited by this because it means I might be back running soon, but since I’m not running at the moment I’ll err on the side of patience. Another week or so isn’t going to make much difference to my fitness but might make a lot of difference to my muscle recovery.
I’m getting pretty depressed about not being able to run. Or rather, not being willing to run. I was doing OK until this weekend, but then it just kind of hit me. I think that all the free time I have is a bit of a shock and I don’t know what to do with it, so I just mope and feel sorry for myself. That doesn’t help.
It’s been a week and a half since I last ran, which feels like an eternity. All I can really say is things feel better than they did two weeks ago, but not 100%.
I don’t know if it is necessary to wait for 100% before running again, and I don’t know if I will reach 100% without actual treatment. Probably I just need to be patient for a couple more weeks, but since this has been lingering for a few months now, is weeks a realistic timescale? I don’t know. The uncertainty is frustrating.
In an effort to distract myself I started trying to play computer games again, because browsing Reddit doesn’t really seem like a hobby. I find computer games don’t really engage me and I just get bored, except sometimes, one really does engage me and it sucks me in for weeks. I started a new Rimworld colony and it’s going pretty well. I built a few rooms, planted a few crops, built a wall around my crops to stop the elephants eating them, protected my cat from being attacked by a snake, and fended off two raids. My colonists are a bit depressed because their bedroom floors are made of soil, but they’ll be OK. When you crash-land on a new planet you have to lower your expectations a bit.