Sunday, 20 November 2011
Luckily they are relatively few and far between. They still don't feel any less real, or any easier to deal with. In some ways it feels like there is more to lose. I'm daring to dream, daring to do more than that. I'm daring to back myself again and put trust in my own ability, drive and my own sense of who I am.
But that allows for self-doubt to creep in. Whether it be work, relationships, money, or just whether I like myself very much. I question myself. Am I really good enough/fit enough/strong enough to achieve my racing goals? Am I driven/committed/intelligent enough to find a job I excel in and enjoy? Will I actually end up in a relationship where I am happy and make the other person happy? Does it matter? It's not life or death... in fact, for the most part I'm not even risking hurting anyone else. Perhaps I should stop being so self-obsessed.
I've thrown away a proverbial safety blanket of doing only what I know I can do. I've started taking more risks again. Nothing special in many ways. Nothing that any normal person wouldn't associate with living a full life. I'm trusting my mental strength to see me through. So, when my head has a wobble, it is that much harder.
Today, I had a wobble. No specific reason behind it. I woke up feeling panicked, empty and deeply low. A horrible, introverted, unattractive self-loathing. I've done nothing all day. I've not wanted to communicate. I've not wanted to do, or be anything. I've not told anyone... in fact, I've had no direct communication with anyone all day. Not even the electronic kind. I don't want it.
I hate that I've lost a day... but while my head feels unable to comprehend being able to do anything with what remains of Sunday, already I have a tiny chink of optimism about Monday. I want to run. I want to feel damp, clammy, cold autumn air fill my lungs, sweat condense on my base layer, cold muscles warming from the inside out. Maybe, after that, things will feel a little brighter, a little more achievable again.
Sunday, 13 November 2011
For those of you who don't know, I've set up a new website:
I decided to set it up, as it is very much about looking forward and new goals. I've always said I don't want depression to define me. And I don't want it to define my future.
A new website and new longer term goals has coincided with a more positive, more stable outlook in general. I feel more confident, happier (yup - actual happiness) and genuinely feel like I'm enjoying life at the moment. I'm still having therapy, which is helping me maintain focus. In fact, I'm considering lowering my dose of anti-depressants (with support from my GP of course).
I will continue to update this blog, particularly when talking about "head stuff", but for the time being my ramblings will be more frequent over on the other side.
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Over the last few months though, I've become increasingly aware that there are so many other issues which are nagging there. But, fundamentally, I'm just not that happy a lot of the time. I'm not the person I know I can be, I know I have been, and I am utterly determined to rediscover the drive and confidence I once had.
I know some of the things I need to do to achieve this, but there are other areas where I feel like I'm spinning around in circles and simply feel weak, helpless and lost. I had a 45mins consultation with a therapist today. The idea was to work out what the most appropriate next steps will be.
It's bloody hard sitting opposite a stranger and talking about how many times you think about killing yourself. It's even harder trying to consider whether you would ever actually go through with those thoughts (I don't believe I will by the way). But, we talked or rather, I did. The therapist suggested something called IPT. I'd never heard of it, but it sounds like it has the potential to be incredibly beneficial.
I'm now exhausted. Deeply, deeply tired. The sadness and stress of yesterday, on top of the raw exposure of my deepest thoughts today have taken their toll. Time to sleep.
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Saturday, 13 August 2011
I honestly can't describe the exercise that I've been doing as training. It has lacked real structure... and fluctuated according to my moods. There have been time when bigger issues have stripped any motivation away, and other times where exercise has felt like the only medicine that worked.
I'm a little scared about what I face, scared of the pain mainly. But, overall, I bloody can't wait.
Friday, 12 August 2011
Monday, 4 July 2011
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Sent from my iPhone
Monday, 23 May 2011
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Sent from my iPhone
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Again... I typed this up in Word at the time... just after I got back from the ride.
Photos from the trip are here.
Scenery so stunning that it’s hard to concentrate on the road. Which is interesting, as I have to dodge potholes, and oncoming cars along the singletrack roads.
Skye – Day 3… the biggie.
I can only think of one ride that beats this for scenery… which was a winter conditions descent from Corrie Lagan.
Head feels floaty now, although that might be due to the beer I had in lieu of a proper “recovery” drink. Tasted a damn sight better though.
Sligachan – Camasunary Bay and back tomorrow on the mountain bikes. Brilliant.
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Thursday, 5 May 2011
I have an album of photos here.
Epic. My body hurts. My heart aches. My eyes are full, It’s silent, apart from the howling wind and crashing waves. And my deep, calm, tired breaths. I’m alive.
Skye – Day 1
The oroginal plan for today was the road loop I talked about last week. Hebridean weather doesn’t always play fair though. After a stunning travelling day yesterday, I woke at 5am to high winds and horizontal. Rain. Hmm… it might blow over. It didn’t by 9.30, so change of plan. Starting at Orbost, I ran out to Macleods maidens… pinnacles of rock standing proud of huge, imposing sea cliffs.
I stood standing closer to the edge than I probably should for quite some time. I can’t describe quite how I felt. Deeply sad. But not depressed. Alone, but stronger for the isolation. Very, very little. The weather had eventually broken, and the sea shone with the turquoise iridescence that I have only ever seen around the west coast of Scotland.
I skirted the edge of these huge cliffs for another couple of miles. No path to speak of, other than the occasional vague narrow ribbon of shorter grass or heather. I stopped, took photos, checked the map. Stopped thinking. Just was.
Eventually I turned my back to the sea, and branched off inland, I was surprised how quickly I was moving over pretty grotty ground. Bog, heather, tussocks. Typical mountain marathon country. Normally bloody frustrating. Of course I tripped over, of course my feet were sodden. But it was pretty good fun. The gradient picked up rapidly, and my run/trot pace turned into a walk, stop, walk, trot, stop kind of pace. Sweat stung my eyes. Really, really salty sweat.. After a wee, er, scenic detour (I did not misread the map), I hit the top of the first of Macleods tables (which on this particular loop was the southerly one). So called because of their strange, wide, flat summits. Few jelly babies and on to his second table, to dine on a flapjack.
Twinges of cramp kicked in on the descent. It was steep and technical and an over extended leg, was all it took for the initial shoots of pain to fire from calves and inside of my thighs. Hmm. Not great. Eat more jelly babies. Sip more drink.
I didn’t feel tired as such, just awkwardly stiff. No flowing rhythm to my footsteps any more. I reached into my rucksack, grabbed my ipod shuffle and pushed the earbuds deep into each ear hole. The last proper bit of ascent up to Macleods table (north). Steep, but no really chore, and the novelty of music kept me entertained.
Flapjack eaten, slurp of water, with that final gurgle and splutter as my camelbak empties. Clouds were starting to roll in, and the wind was picking up. My sweaty base layer cooled rapidly, so straight down… along a stepped, wide ridgeline. Again, the going isn’t easy. Long heather, tussocks, and the return of cramp. Proper killer twinges. Enough to bring me to pull me up, leave me helpless… trying to contort into a position that lessens the pain from one muscle, without triggering another to join in on the fun. Fuckety, fuckety, fuckety. I can see where the car is parked. It’s only 3 or 4 miles away. Somewhat frustrated, I start walking, slowly. The pain wears off. I pick up the pace. Then brave a little jog. OW FUCK. Start the process again. After a while, my body seems to get used to the idea that it’s probably not a good idea to piss about. And the sooner I get back to the car, the sooner it will have water and food.
The final few hundred metres along a farm track are heaven. I open my legs fully for the first time in four hours and power back to the car. Arriving gasping, rasping, sucking in air. I’d have smiled if it didn’t hurt so much.
Sorry to the sightseer I confused when I pulled up in the lay-by near her. I guess I probably did look a bit silly, falling out of the car, and trying to stretch out a spasming muscle…
Friday, 22 April 2011
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
- 1 x pair of mountain bike clipless shoes
- 1 x pair of road clipless shoes
- 1 x pair of fell running shoes
- 1 x road bike
- 1 x mountain bike with 1 x gear
- Lots x various combinations of lycra
- Lots x waterproofs (more you bring, the less you need)
- 2 x merino tops
- 1 x Finisterre Etobicoke
- 1 x Compass
- 3 x OS Explorer maps
- 2 x books
- 2 x issues of Rouleur
- 1 x digital SLR and mini tripod
- 1 x teeny sketch pad and pencil
- 1 x ipod shuffle
- Maybe some "normal" clothes if they fit in the car...... but then I could maybe bring my cyclocross bike.....
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
- Sligachan Loop on the mountain bike.
- A decent road ride... need to get the map out and work something out. 100miles or so.
- A decent 20 or so miles running... again no route planned yet, but if the weather is good, it would be criminal not to get up high and take in a Cuillin or two.
- A rest day. (Another) visit to Talisker? Something totally different? Bit of time with the family?
- A few drinks in the Stein Inn. Love it there.
- The Three Chimneys for an evening meal (already booked for Wednesday evening).
- Take photos.
- Maybe even update this blog.
- Drink a whisky night cap each evening.