super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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Being good on Good Friday

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Look, ma, no meat!

In May, five years will have passed since I moved to New Zealand. A whole half a decade of my life spent in the last bus stop in the world, almost 20,000km from home. It’s a whole lot of time to spend in a place that isn’t your own.

Except, it kind of is my own. I came across this article today, via a friend and fellow expat, that completely translated into words my feelings about living abroad.

It turns out I’m not the only one who’s come to the painful realisation that an expat will never fully feel whole again, no matter what happens. I miss Portugal dearly while I’m in New Zealand and I think fondly of all things Kiwi when I’m back in Portugal. I say “I’m going home” if I’m flying to Lisbon and I tell people in Lisbon about things I have “back home” in New Zealand. “Home” has come to define more than one place. It sounds like – and, for the most part is – a great situation to be in, to have two special places in your heart. But it doesn’t come without a decent amount of heartache.

I’ve grown more than five years in the last five years. Timezone differences mean my mum is asleep when most of my questions arise, when I burn my food, when I’m not sure which clothes I shouldn’t mix up with which in the washing machine, or when I can’t find an important document. If I get good or bad news that I want to share, I usually have to contain my enthusiasm for a few hours (we’re usually about 12 hours apart, depending on daylight savings). For the most part, I think I’ve been doing alright. Every few months, saudade hits harder but I’m fortunate enough to be able to solve that problem with the purchase of a flight home.

Moving this far meant that I had the chance to completely break away but, mostly due to having the most awesome family in the world, I’ve chosen not to.

Today, on my fifth Good Friday at home away from home, I purposefully didn’t eat meat. I have never eaten meat on any of the Good Fridays of my life. I have no real clue as to why, if I’m honest. My mum taught me we don’t eat meat on Good Friday and my grandma taught me the same and I’m pretty sure my great grandmother and great great grandmother didn’t eat meat on Good Friday either. Something something Jesus something, of course. I never really questioned it, especially because there were always plenty of chocolate eggs to make up for not being able to make a ham sandwich for 24 hours.

So if I don’t even really know why we had to do it, why do I choose to keep doing it, right? Well, it might have religious roots but it’s most definitely not a religious thing for me (if there is a God, he/she wouldn’t want to deprive me from steak). It’s a family thing. By continuing a family tradition, even if I’m away from family and surrounded by people who don’t do it, I’m closer to that other home I’m actually away from.

I couldn’t plan my Good Friday as well as I wanted to because the supermarket near home decided to close earlier than expected last night and I couldn’t buy the stuff I had planned for my meatless meals today. This little setback made me realise that, without proper planning, I’d be the world’s worst vegetarian. Aside from a fairly healthy-ish omelette (which did contain enough cheese to feed a small army), my day has been a sugarfest. Hot cross buns, pancakes, breakfast cereal and fruit smoothies.

Days that are heavy with traditions like this one are particularly hard for people who wish they could split into two or who wish science would stop mucking around and hurried up making teleportation a reality. No amount of Creme Eggs (which, thanks to the supermarket closing too early, I also did not have today) can make up for not being able to celebrate Easter back home.

I’ll just celebrate it here at home instead. And as soon as the shops open tomorrow, I’m queueing up for Easter eggs.


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Running in the age of instant gratification

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I am going for a run for the first time in a week and a half soon after this post hits the internet. Bear with me while I bitch about my injury one last time.

I blame society.

Yes, you, society. You and your same-day delivery options, your one-click downloads and your food-in-a-minute recipes. I’m grumpy and it’s your fault.

Being a runner in the age of instant gratification is really freaking hard. I’m not the most patient person in the world anyway so dealing with something that involves slow continuous progress is hard enough, even if it’s something I enjoy. I put off watching movies with plots I find interesting if they’re over 2 hours long because my brain is no longer trained to wait 3 hours to find out what happens. Yes, it’s that bad.

Being injured and forced to wait for things to go back to normal has been a shitfest. I know, I know – the quickest route isn’t always the best and there are no shortcuts to happiness and all other assorted hippie crap you can think of. I’m over it.

This injury has been testing my patience. My patience is failing. F-, patience. Go home and think of what you’ve done.

I’m a proud member of the Instageneration for whom “now” is the only acceptable answer to any “when can I” question. All this sitting around waiting for aches to go away is not something today’s twentysomethings are equipped to deal with.

I’d felt it already during marathon training – the anxiety that comes with wanting to reach a certain level of fitness but actually having to work for it, no “buy now” or “express shipping” options available. It makes me wonder whether this would all have been easier for past generations, used to having to wait months for letters to arrive and having to hit rewind on their cassette players to listen to the same song again. I can deal with slow progress if it means I’m doing what I enjoy so the slow progress of training is not really a bother. But this? Sitting around doing the responsible thing waiting for the pain to go away? This is a slow ride to shitsville and I want to get off this bus and catch the express one.

I might regret this but today I’m finally going to lace up the running shoes again. Cross your fingers I won’t be typing the next post with a bag of frozen peas on my knee. But for now, patience schmacience.


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12 tips for running a marathon and maybe not hating it completely

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I didn’t have the absolutely perfect first marathon experience. Things went well and I finished it but not without an injury that has put me off running for most of the last 3 weeks (almost back, running shoes, I swear!). This means I probably shouldn’t be giving you advice on marathon training, right? Well, wrong. This is the internet. Anyone can have an opinion. Knowing what we’re talking about is irrelevant.

I’ve read approximately a bazillion words on the internet and in books about how to train for a marathon and how to go from wanting to run a marathon to actually doing it so, for lack of anything more interesting to say, here’s a bit of a compilation of stuff I figure is pretty important when trying to tick this item off the bucket list.

1. Choose a marathon

The first thing to do is pretty obvious: pick a marathon. Any marathon. But really, settle on it. Decide you’re going to do it. That’ll be your run. Register. Give them money. There you go, now you’re committed. Unless, of course, you back off and ask for a refund. Wuss.

2. Tell everyone

Don’t ask for a refund. Instead, tell everyone you know that you’re going to run a marathon. Yes, everyone. It’s out there now. You’ve gotta do it. People will start asking how training is going and all that stuff. Do you wanna be all like “oh nah, kind of got over that”? Didn’t think so. Verbalising your intentions, unlike what some people think, is not about bragging. It’s about motivation, commitment and taking responsibility for your actions, owning up. Ok, maybe it’s a little bit about bragging too. But you’ve been running your ass off, brag away.

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3. Study the course

Now that you’re fully committed and you know exactly which marathon you’re running, it’s time for what is quite possibly my favourite step in the whole thing: obsessing! Study that course, examine the elevation chart to the littlest detail. And then, of course, plan your training runs accordingly. You’d be silly to run a hilly marathon without some hill training under your belt, for example.

4. Get organised

Find a training plan that works for you or design your own. It’s important that running doesn’t take over your life completely and doesn’t affect other aspects such as work or your social life (it’ll inevitably have some sort of impact on that but you should try to minimise it as much as possible). Make a spreadsheet or note the training sessions down in your diary. If it helps you commit even more, find a running partner or join a running club.

5. Run often but not too often

Finding this balance is perhaps one of the hardest parts of training. A lot of words have been written about the importance of taking rest days so don’t feel guilty about not running. Weekends, however, are for long runs. Break this rule and you shall suffer eternal damnation. Well, or just sleep in anyway, eternal damnation be damned, it’s not like anyone is paying you to get out of bed on Sunday to run. Just keep in mind that you need to work on your endurance and days off work are the best time for that. Plus, you can always take a guilt-free long nap after each long run so just suck it up.

6. Cross train

You think training for a marathon is all about running? Think again. Head to the gym, the swimming pool, the yoga studio, the bakery. Ok, not the bakery. I mean, the bakery too but, really work all the muscles, not just the legs and not just the stomach. I stopped going to the gym for ages and found myself having more upper body pain during a long run than leg pain. Your whole body needs to be prepared for this.

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7. Watch what you eat

You’re not going to have a very good time during that marathon if you keep eating the way you’ve been eating (unless you’ve been eating well this whole time in which case I’m terribly jealous and please tell me how you do it!). Put down the Creme Eggs (or send them to me) and eat more of the good stuff. For actual tips on what to eat, head here, for example. I’m eating chicken-flavoured chips while I type this so I’m really no example. It’s important that you keep in mind that you’re not on a weight-loss diet. You’re eating to fuel up for long runs. There’s no room for guilt, but plenty of room for an extra piece of cake.

8. Enter other races

Consider entering other running events. A half marathon here and there won’t hurt and it’ll keep you in check throughout the training process. That said, don’t underestimate the power of your weekday short runs. A 5k can take you a long way. Well, it can take you 5k away, but you get my point.

9. Get proper running shoes

I know running is all about doing whatever you want and it’s good because it’s cheap and all that stuff but let’s face it – we’re talking about a full marathon, not a jog around the block to the bakery. Get serious about it. Consider getting your shoes fitted. I know it’s not everyone’s thing and some swear by the whole “you can run on anything” philosophy but proper running shoes have saved my ass (well, my feet and knees) multiple times so I’m all for spending that money.

10. Make mistakes. Fix mistakes.

Get all your testing done before marathon day and try nothing new on the actual race. Test your gels, your electrolytes, whether your running watch annoys you on that wrist or not. Are those shorts comfortable? Is it likely that you’ll be chafing? Are the sunglasses going to be a nuisance? Test it all in advance so you know what you’re in for and you can minimise some of the issues.

11. Plan

Tapering week is all about not running (and not going insane). It’s also about planning for the big day. In my case, the marathon was out of town and it involved a road trip and a night away in a motel. Packing was important because I wasn’t going to have all my worldly possessions on hand on that day. Other than the usual stuff you pack for a weekend away, I had to remember the stuff for the race. I chose to run with a hydration pack that included nuts, Gu, chips, Nuun, jelly beans along with my knee brace and a small first aid kit. I was pretty prepared (and the extra weight didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would). You might not want to carry as much with you but it doesn’t hurt to keep these things nearby, just in case you change your mind a couple of hours before the race. I didn’t end up using all of that stuff, obviously, but I’d have had to pull out of the race if I hadn’t had my knee brace in my pack, for example. In the end, the nuts and chips went untouched. I had 4 Gu gels (at 8k, 15k, 26k and 34k) and a whole lot of jelly beans from then on, but it helped me to know that I had a bunch of stuff handy if I needed it.

12. Run the hell out of that marathon

Become officially badass.

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When I train for my next one, I’ll definitely have to up my game on some of these, namely eating better and cross training more. And maybe tone down the whole “telling everyone about it” bit because I don’t want to put my friends through the hassle of having to change numbers and addresses to avoid me.


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That time I accidentally ran a half marathon

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If you’re a faithful SGG reader, you are probably super smart and extremely good looking, and you know I hurt my IT band two weeks ago during my first full marathon (look at that, I couldn’t even go one whole sentence without mentioning the marathon) and haven’t run since then. I went to the doctor last week and he gave me stretching exercises to do, recommended medication and plenty of rest. He also told me that I could run “but only shorter distances”.

I had bought my entry to the Coatesville Classic half marathon a few days earlier, back when I thought the knee pain was just an entra sore spot from the marathon (mention #2!) and not much else. Turns out it is something else and half marathons are definitely not prescribed as a cure or even relief for IT band issues.

But I can explain, I swear.

On Thursday, after nearly two weeks of constant pain, I could finally walk pain-free. I remained fully convinced I was going to do the responsible thing and not run the half marathon on Sunday, letting the registration fee go to waste (since it was too late for a refund). On Friday, still no pain. Along comes Saturday and, whaddayaknow, another pain-free day. So I thought “you know, I don’t have to lose absolutely every cent. I can go there, pick up my registration pack (which included a free t-shirt and a bottle) and cheer for the other runners for a bit”. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday morning, right? I don’t know, that’s not what happened.

Later on Saturday, I saw that the bit of the course that went through the inside of Kim Dotcom’s mansion grounds was only 3km into the whole run. That course change announcement that meant we’d run through his property was part of the reason I had signed up in the first place so I thought “maybe I’ll run those first 3 or 4km and then walk back to the start line and be done with it”. That shouldn’t be too bad. Plus, I’d picked up a St Patrick’s Day themed headband from the $2 shop the day before so that was my excuse to get a run in on that day. I matched it with a bright green shirt, green compression socks and even green nails (it may only have been 3 or 4km and I may not have a single drop of Irish blood in me but none of those are reasons not to get festive).

So at 7:30AM on Sunday, I lined up near the start line with all the half marathon runners, ready for my little jog up to Dotcom’s not-so-humble abode. My knee started hurting again before I’d even run 500 meters but there was no way I was going to step to the side less than a kilometer into it, so I kept going. Really, really, really slow. No, slower than that.

The rain was pouring and kept pouring the entire morning so the views weren’t as impressive as they would have been on a clear day but they were still enough to distract me. Kim Dotcom’s gardens are lovely – fake giraffes and all – and next thing I knew, we were leaving the mansion grounds and continuing along the course. I had assumed we would exit his property through the same gate we’d entered but that wasn’t the case and I was a little confused about how to get back to the start line from there so I decided to keep on going a little longer, hoping to see an ambulance or some sort of support car that I could get a ride with. Either none passed me or I was too distracted to notice them so I just kept running slow/ walking my way along the course. It’s described as Auckland’s “most scenic half marathon” for a reason. Scenic is just code for hilly but, for once, I was happy about the climbs (my knee didn’t hurt so much during those) and miserable in the downhills (which I had to walk because the impact on the knee was too much).

To cut a long story short, I ended up slowly running/walking the whole thing. My knee was sending me death threats at about kilometer 15 but I thought that, by then, whatever damage I could do had already been done. After getting through two-thirds of the thing, I wanted the medal.

The Coatesville Classic is, in my opinion, the best organised road running event in the Auckland region. It’s incredibly good value – my registration was only NZ$45 and it included the shirt, bottle and finisher’s medal (medals are rare in half marathons in New Zealand). We got free massages at the end, the race briefing at the start was funny and the course marshalls were some of the nicest I had ever come across, shouting my name and complimenting my St Paddy’s headband (while probably wondering what the hell I was thinking wearing that thing in the rain).

It took me almost a million years to cross the finish line (not really but, if you consider I’m very close to 2h when I don’t run injured, it’s a pretty big difference) but I was pretty pleased to have done the whole thing, considering I didn’t even start it thinking I’d do that much and I walked about half of the distance (maybe even more than half). I was actually genuinely surprised to not have been absolute last.

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Of course my IT band is hurting again (although not nearly as much as it did last week). I’m back to icing it all the time, taking Voltaren and wearing my super sexy knee brace so I’m not expecting to run at all in the next few days. But you know what? It was worth it. The injury will take slightly longer to heal, of course, but I’m happy with the trade off, even if it means I now deserve zero sympathy from people because I clearly bring this onto myself. True. Although, technically speaking, the doctor told me to run “shorter distances” and you can’t argue that this is a 50% decrease in the distance of my last run, two weeks ago (marathon reference #3).

But I get it, I’ll calm down. I realised today that, in the last 4 weeks, I ran 3 half marathons and a full marathon (marathon reference #4), and that includes a solid week without running because of a cold (in between half marathon #2 and the full marathon – marathon reference #5) and two full weeks without running because of the IT band injury, between the full marathon (marathon reference #6) and yesterday’s half marathon.

No wonder I need a nap.


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The missing foam roller and the “smelling policy”

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I went to the gym today. Don’t be silly, of course I didn’t exercise. I went there to use the foam roller, because I listen to you all.

I’m on day number three of no knee pain but also on day number 13 of not running, which makes me want to simultaneously sigh with relief and scream with rage. I haven’t dared to run yet because I’ve been doing the grownup thing and being responsible about it, making sure it fully heals. Virtual pat on my back, please? Thanks.

Anyway, the foam roller. It was nowhere to be found. Of all the useless stuff lying around that gym (by “useless stuff” I mean the really heavy weights I’m never ever ever going to be able to lift), it had to be the foam roller disappearing. I’m choosing to take it as a sign of the gods. You guys suggested, I tried to do it, it didn’t happen. It just wasn’t meant to be. So let’s move on.

The gym I go to is one of those 24/7 gyms, unstaffed outside regular business hours. I do business-y stuff during business hours so of course I’ve never seen any staff, since the day I signed up for a membership. They do have a feedback notebook lying around that I sometimes read when I get bored with working out and decide to sit on the couch at the gym instead (my rule of thumb is that I have to use the machines for longer than I sit on the couch, which doesn’t always happen). I wrote my little note asking about the foam roller and begging them to bring it back. Then I thought I’d read the last couple of pages of feedback, just in case there were any clues that could lead to solving the mystery of the missing foam roller.

There were none. Sorry, everyone. But there was one particular gem that saved the day because it gave me something to rant about.

You see, there’s this lady who apparently works out at my gym. Let’s call her Carrie (because that’s her name). I don’t know what Carrie looks like. She has nice handwriting, I got that from her note on the feedback notebook. The other thing I know about Carrie is that she smells like roses, especially while she works out. And she wants you to get the hell out of the gym, stinky.

Carrie wrote in the feedback notebook that the gym should introduce what she says she’d heard of other gyms introducing: a “smelling policy”.

Let’s follow Carrie’s arduous journey so we understand the roots of her deep suffering: Naturally Chanel-like scented Carrie goes to the gym, she works out but maybe not enough to break a sweat because that would be disgusting. Next to Carrie, harshing her mellow, is some sweaty stinky person, really going for it. How dare these stinky people do that to Carrie? Using exercise machines to, like, exercise? The nerve. I mean, Carrie doesn’t have to put up with that. She suggests that, in these situations, the gym institutes a policy that allows her to request that the smelling person be removed from the gym premises.

Have you finished laughing yet? Took me a while too.

A few days ago, Gawker’s “Thatz not okay” section responded to a reader who wrote complaining about how she goes to the gym every morning and always sees this woman reading a book on the treadmill, set to a low speed. The reader wanted the lady kicked out of the treadmill for reading a book and walking/running too slow and “sometimes staring at other people on treadmills”.

Carrie and the Gawker reader sound like BFFs. Or twins. Or – plot twister – one and the same person!

But, really, jokes aside, what’s with the self-entitlement, people?

There’ll always be someone faster than the lady complaining about the slow person on the treadmill so how would she feel if Usain Bolt decided she just wasn’t using the treadmill the way it should be used and should, for that, be kicked out of the gym? And what if someone decided that Chanel 5 Carrie’s shirt is too ugly or her hair looks too funky? How would Carrie feel about being forced out of the gym for those reasons?

Luckily for Carrie, there’s a place called Super Generic Girl where, with the adequate amount of Googling, she can find the answer to her problem: buy your own damn exercise equipment and stay home. Alternatively, if that’s too expensive, understand that you are paying a membership just like everyone else and leave your self-entitlement in the shelves by the entrance.

 

Do you agree with a “smelling policy”? Is this really a thing? Does your gym have something like that? If yes, then how much longer until you stop giving those people money?


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This pain in the knee is a pain in the ass

The doctor didn't make me get an x-ray so this'll have to do. It's adapted from the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia. Note: not my real gluteus.

The doctor didn’t make me get an x-ray so this’ll have to do. It’s adapted from the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia. Note: not my real gluteus.

After ten days of self-diagnosis and scaring myself with imaginary surgeries, I decided to do what everyone else had been pestering advising me to do and went to the doctor this morning. Nothing fancy, just my good old GP.

The knee that has been hurting to the point of driving me to tears for 10 straight days decided to stop hurting for pretty much the exact amount of time I spent in the doctor’s office. When the doctor started bending my leg and asked me to tell him when it started hurting, it never actually did. “If you had done that just yesterday, it would have hurt a lot, I swear” I assured him. Mmm Hmm.

My doctor is a fine kiwi chap. On my first ever visit, I remember he told me I was never going to make him rich. Silly man didn’t think I’d get into running, obviously.

I was his first appointment this morning and he welcomed me in a t-shirt, shorts and jandals. Almost five years in New Zealand should have made me blind to this but I can’t help finding it different. Different-good, of course. Different-bad if he accidentally stabbed his toe with <insert name for sharp object found in doctor’s office here because I didn’t go to medical school and, worse, never watched Grey’s Anatomy so don’t know the names of any of those things>. My point is that his relaxed outfit reflects his relaxed attitude. I’d normally worry about something like that, but when I asked him about how long I should go without running for, his answer was something like “you can run when it stops hurting. If you really have to run, try to do it on softer surfaces instead of concrete”. Translated into obsessive runner’s English, he basically ordered me to hit the trails this weekend. Doctor’s orders.

Anyway. He has a bunch of books with images just like the one above (minus my edits, so not quite as insightful as this one) and he touched my knee in a bunch of different places so I suppose he probably knows what he’s talking about. He’s convinced this is ITB syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome, because he called it the proper stuff.

Sounds fancy. Also, kind of validating as far as injuries go. Look at me all real runner with a proper runner’s injury. But also, ouch. According to the fountain of all 21st century knowledge, Wikipedia, here’s what’s going on south of the muffin tops:

The iliotibial band is a superficial thickening of tissue on the outside of the knee, extending from the outside of the pelvis, over the hip and knee, and inserting just below the knee. The band is crucial to stabilizing the knee during running, moving from behind the femur to the front while walking. The continual rubbing of the band over the lateral femoral epicondyle, combined with the repeated flexion and extension of the knee during running may cause the area to become inflamed. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iliotibial_band_syndrome)

So, really, ew.

I was told to keep icing it, keep taking Voltaren, advised to add Voltaren gel to the equation (because I’m not giving those guys enough money already) and stretch every day (every day? Like, seriously? People stretch every day?). I left the office before he had time to mention the foam roller so that’s my full list of recommendations. My jandal-wearing kiwi doctor also told me that I could do physiotherapy if I wanted to but, for this sort of thing, he finds that “it just doesn’t do much and it’s a real pain in the ass having to go to the sessions”.

After describing a potential treatment as “a pain in the ass”, he told me I could go home and Google more stuff about ITB syndrome to find out more. I like that my doctor openly tells me to look stuff up on the internet. He doesn’t realise I skim it for information on every little pain or itch and always end up dreading amputation.

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So far so good, though, I may just be able to keep both of my legs and, here’s the real shocker, this knee might actually heal completely. I’m looking forward to being reminded of what it feels like to walk properly.

(I know you’re all incredibly smart people but I read an article today about a woman trying to sell her kids on Facebook to pay for her boyfriend’s bail so, you know, the world is kind of full of idiots. Which is why I need to add to the bottom of this post that no one should ever, ever, ever, under any circumstance, take medical advice from me. Ever. Take advice from my jandal-wearing doctor and Google your pains away. No, really. Don’t.)


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A list of stuff I’ve done recently that doesn’t matter because it wasn’t running

Day 8 of not running. But who’s counting, eh?

Me! That’s who.

If I wasn’t so lazy and numbers didn’t bore me so much, I’d tell you how many hours it’s been since I last ran. It’s a pretty big number, I know that much.

The good news is that I haven’t killed anybody. The bad news is that I apparently woke up screaming in pain in the middle of last night thanks to my knee. It seems that, when I’m asleep, I have a tendency for drama. Luckily I don’t remember any of this in the morning.

It’s been a pretty uneventful week, to say the least. I’ve been limping my way to and from work and didn’t stray very far from the bed on the weekend either. But the fact that nothing is going on doesn’t stop me from giving you a really long and detailed update on all the nothing that’s been happening. All the hours that I would normally have spent running on a regular week have now been filled with other activities. So let’s recap. Over the last week, instead of running, I:

- Complained about how much my knee hurts.

- Got a full-body massage and fixed the back and neck pains that the marathon had caused.

- Went to a rock concert hours later and got some of those problems back, as well as adding “ears” to the list of sore body parts.

- Told everyone about the marathon (I swear I’ll shut up, people. One day. But really, a marathon!)

- Complained about how much my knee hurts.

- Iced my knee

I bothered with the towel in the beginning but now I just put the peas right onto my knee. I switch between different frozen vegetables to shake things up a little, since I'm basically ALWAYS icing my knee these days. I'm doing it right now, in fact. And you can't even tell from there! Such an exciting life.

I bothered with the towel in the beginning but now I just put the peas right onto my knee. I switch between different frozen vegetables to shake things up a little, since I’m basically ALWAYS icing my knee these days. I’m doing it right now, in fact. And you can’t even tell from there! Such an exciting life.

- Kept whichever pharmaceutical company manufactures Voltaren in business.

- Kept track of how many days I’ve gone without running

- Expected everyone to compliment me on the fact that I haven’t punched any of them even though I’m clearly two steps away from complete madness due to not being able to run.

- Talked some more about the marathon. Did I mention I ran a marathon?

- Iced my knee

- Read about running

Reading this book hasn't been helping much in the way of containing my rage. I WANT TO RUN! But I can't even go one step beyond where I am right now without limping.

Reading this book hasn’t been helping much in the way of containing my rage. I WANT TO RUN! But I can’t even go one step beyond where I am right now without limping.

- Made sure everyone in a 10km radius knew I’d run a marathon. Like, really, it was an entire freaking marathon!

- Slept in until 10:20 on a Saturday and 10 on a Sunday instead of getting up before the cat in order to run. So much free time, what do you guys do with it?

- Avoided the foam roller even though everyone tells me it’s the best thing since sliced bread (but they also add it hurts like hell and sliced bread doesn’t so that’s -10 points for the foam roller, +10 points for bread I don’t need to slice myself).

- Iced my knee

- Kept track of how many days it’s been since I last ran. Eight entire freaking days, and counting, in case you’d forgotten.

- Hung out with the cat more than the cat wishes I would

That's her "this is the longest this idiot has spent trying to play with me" face. I'm afraid there's plenty more to come, Zara! I haven't even told you all about my marathon yet!

That’s her “this is the longest this idiot has spent trying to play with me” face. I’m afraid there’s plenty more to come, Zara! I haven’t even told you all about my marathon yet!

- Signed up for half marathons (one of them less than a week from today) because making running plans is the only thing keeping me from absolute madness.

- Avoided the foam roller some more

- Drank beer

- Limped

- Faced the foam roller. Didn’t die. Not sure it helped either. Kinda meh. Stay tuned for more exciting updates, as soon as I can be bothered driving to the gym to use that thing again.

- Ate everything in sight. Fact: marathons will make you hungry.

You know how some people save special wines for special occasions? I do that with breakfast cereal. This box of cinnamon-flavoured cereal travelled from Portugal to New Zealand with me last October. I saved it for a celebration. Running a marathon qualified as special enough.

You know how some people save special wines for special occasions? I do that with breakfast cereal. This box of cinnamon-flavoured cereal travelled from Portugal to New Zealand with me last October. I saved it for a celebration. Running a marathon qualified as special enough.

- Realised that signing up for a half marathon in less than a week’s time was probably what some might call a “mistake”. By some, I mean every sane person on Earth.

- Iced my knee

- Got the Ice Ice Baby song stuck in my head

- Got excited about being able to take 10 steps without pain, only to realise the pain is back and the next 10 steps are going to be agony

- Researched post marathon blues on the internet and found out that they’re a thing. But, fear not, there are cures.

- Drank wine

Two different types of wine. There have been more. I don't complain so much about this part. Post-marathon hydration is important.

Two different types of wine. There have been more. I don’t complain so much about this part. Post-marathon hydration is important.

- Dropped the marathon into every possible conversation. You have an iPhone? That’s cool. That’s the one with the Apple-shaped logo, isn’t it? Fruit is awesome. I had a banana before I ran a marathon last week.

- Complained about how much my knee hurts.

- Bragged about the marathon.

You guys. My knee hurts. Like, really, it’s time it stops hurting now. I’ve narrowed it down to 3 things: runner’s knee, ITB syndrome or gangrene. Just kidding. Don’t look it up on Google Images. Oh, you just had to, didn’t you? That’s gross.

Anyway, it’s probably one of the first two. Before you tell me that I should go see my doctor, I know. I know. I’ll get onto it soon. Give it another day or two. Don’t make me admit that I’m really terrified the doctor is going to tell me I can’t run for a month or two. Heads will roll and probably not just in a metaphorical overly dramatic way.

Because have I mentioned it’s been 8 days since I last ran?

But also, I ran a marathon eight days ago. So there’s that.

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