My Not So Secret Diary

Plastic Waste At Races

Plastic Waste At Races
Just about to embark on a trail half marathon back in August!

Plastic bottles at races seem to be an increasing problem or maybe it’s just that we are becoming more aware. I’m aware that a lot of races that I’ve participated in have moved away from bottles, and instead use compostable cups with easy access points to collect the used ones. Perhaps not so much on short races, but certainly on long ones the best option would be taking your own bottle or maybe a reusable cup for the water stations. I’m aware this is encouraged at longer races and I can’t see it being a problem when you are carrying a bag of some kind. I have a lovely rucksack I use mostly for trail running or running long distances. It isn’t heavy, but means I can load up with plenty of water and sweets and I also have somewhere to put my rubbish! I’d looked for ages before buying one, as they can be so expensive, but I got my Aonjie one for about £20, it’s lasted so well, and is so comfortable, PM me if you want me to send you the link.

A couple of months ago I ran a 10k where we were supplied with plastic water bottles which were handed out at the half way point. It was surprising because the amount of water was actually too much for me mid-run and I drink quite a lot of water. It felt a waste to just bin them straight away, but many did. I ran with mine for longer but then realised there was no where to deposit them. We were told to toss them to the side of the road to be collected by marshals later, but the throwing of them turned them into missiles as they were thrown half full into the curb, sometimes bouncing back under the feet of the runners. With thousands of runners this was a potential hazard. As were the bottle lids that were dropped by some runners as the bottles were opened which became really tricky underfoot. This of course is without mentioning other waste that gets dropped like gel sachets and wrappers.

I know this event, as well as the half-marathon event by the same organisers choose to provide water bottles, perhaps due to their sponsors, but it doesn’t sit well with me in this day and age that the use of single use plastic is promoted in this way to such a captive audience. I also think that as a potential hazard, that organisers should be thinking about providing alternatives for the safety of the runners. As a runner, I don’t want to trip and fall at any time, but especially when running in such close proximity to so many other runners, which could make any accident much worse.

So it looks like some events might be changing the way they do things, I thought this article from the BBC was quite interesting.

As always, thanks for reading!


No Running For Me This Week!

No Running For Me This Week!
No more glasses for me!

So, I’m not allowed to run for a week or so... and no, before you ask, I’m not injured. It’s self inflicted, but it’s good, better than good actually, although I wasn’t saying that on Monday when it felt like someone had washed my eyeballs with onions! I had laser eye surgery! No more glasses for me! No more misting up when going indoors from the cold, actually being able to see properly when I run, and no more wishing I had windscreen wipers when it rains!

I don’t like to wear my glasses when I run as I am afraid of what will happen if I fall. A few months ago my daughter helped a lady who fell at our local parkrun, bless her, she had black eyes and a badly cut nose as a result of running in glasses so it didn’t help how I already felt. That doesn’t make it any easier though, and I struggled to see well, especially in the autumn when the leaves are all on the ground. It’s beautiful, but I’m never quite sure exactly what I am about to tread on!

I saw an advert and decided to go for the consultation, I was told one in four people weren’t able to have surgery and wasn’t sure if that would apply to me, with astigmatism and one eye considerably worse than the other. I shouldn’t have worried, it was all good and I was given the go ahead.

In passing I mentioned to my surgeon that I suffer from anxiety. I didn’t want to really, but I like people to know that I really don’t mean to ask the same question several times, it’s just hard for me to be sure I have understood everything. So I tend to ask again. And sometimes again. I told him I was worried. He was very matter of fact and told me that I had two choices, the first was, “Get over it!”, and the second, “Don’t have the surgery.” However unsympathetic it seemed, he was right, no one was making me go!

I found it frustrating though, that the moment the surgeon heard the word anxiety he wanted me to get confirmation from my GP that I was of sound mind to choose the procedure. It’s strange to get someone to sign off on something they have never treated me for. Well, not in over 15 years anyway, but that piece of paper was the make or break so I had to ask the GP to sign the form. I’m not quite sure what they based their decision on, but I was glad to know they agreed with me. I know I’m anxious, but I’m not crazy!
😂 It wasn’t the nicest procedure in the world to be honest, but given the results so far, I’d go through it all over again if I had to, although I'm relieved that I don't have to!

So, no running for a week or so, but it’ll be amazing to see where I’m going when I can run again!

Thanks for reading!


Running to Recovery

Running To Recovery
Just finished my first half marathon!

This is me on 20th May 2019.

I’d just finished my first half marathon. I cried. While running. I cried so hard that I could barely breathe, but I couldn’t stop to catch my breath because I was afraid people would see. They wouldn’t understand. You see, I wasn’t crying because I was sad, I was crying because I was so happy. I gulped my breath and carried on, because I was running, and that was amazing. I had treated my body badly for so many years and it still let me run over 13 miles. I was so proud, and so pleased with myself. I still have days where it is hard, although I don’t want to drink anymore, sometimes I am still a little envious of people who get to relax with a glass of wine if you know what I mean? One glass was never enough for me though, and that’s my problem.

Eleven months before this photo was taken I’d started Couch to 5k, it was hideous! I really couldn’t run, but I heard it was good for anxiety and complemented Yoga so I gave it a go. There must be a real life ‘Running Bug’ because I think it bit me, I couldn’t stop, and gradually I was able to go further. 5k became 10k, 10 miles and then I booked my first half to train for. I never imagined that I would be the sort of person out in all weathers and enjoying it. I had no idea I would ever run as far as I have.

Completing my first half marathon changed things for me. I realised that it wasn’t only my addiction that defined me, and that I could instead now define myself as a runner. What an experience, and the best bit? If I can do it, I think anyone can. Plymouth was the first of four half marathons this year and I’m already booked for next year. My competitive side wants a better time than I got this year!

Thanks for reading! Happy running everyone!