Stress, friends and dessert

Firstly, thanks for the lovely comments for my last post. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed as I do right now. Usually I’m quite a calm person and let things wash over me but when everything is in my hands and my responsibility for big ‘Adult Things’ I get panicked.

But the weekend was a nice escape from it all. My university friends popped down for the day on Saturday and it was so lovely to see them and have a rant, a moan and a good old chat. I managed to squeeze in parkrun quickly before they arrived too, which is always good 😉

I had a terrible run though. I thought I’d try and use it as a tempo run but my legs felt heavy and drained straight from the start and my pace just slipped slower and slower. What annoyed me at the start as well was that when the whistle blew these four lads – and I say “lads” because they were very much laddy teenagers – pushed past me and several other people yelling “urgh this is ridiculous, we needed to be at the front” as they bolted off. It was just not very parkrun-y, you know?

Anyway as my pace dropped, I consoled myself with just doing a ‘t-shirt run’ (just getting the parkrun point rather than aiming for a time). My friend, Mark, who was running a long-run and doing parkrun in the middle ran up next to me and I moaned to him a bit about how rubbish I was feeling and he chatted away to me and kept my mind off it, which I was grateful for. On the second lap we over-took the lads who were run-walking by this point which was somewhat of a silver-lining… 😉

Netley Abbey parkrun pace




I sort of pulled it back on the final lap (with Mark’s help) but it still felt awful. I’m putting it down to having run 20 miles the week before and a tough week mentally!

My friends arrived shortly after I was showered and breakfasted and, as normal, it was lovely to catch up. We try and see each other for everyone’s birthdays ad events and sometime around Christmas. So five or six times a year? They all live in different parts of the UK which always makes it a bit tricky

We went to an old favourite pub right on the seafront for lunch, The Osborne View.

Osborne View lunch


We shared two mezze boards between the four of us which is always a winner in my eyes (and I’m glad we got two as I’m such a greedy eater!). I had feta and Mediterranean salad (with added chicken) for main and chocolate brownie and ice cream for pudding. Perfection!

Osborne View Hill Head

The sign on the right is very apt to me right now!

The pub is lovely and I’ve never had a bad experience there yet. And it’s so handy being close to the beach that we could come out and do a long walk next to the sea in the sunshine. It’s near to where I do my long runs if I stay with my parents so it feels very homey with good memories surrounding it.

I had an early night that evening because I just felt shattered. Though annoyingly my mind started to catalogue all the packing I still needed to do and I struggled to get to sleep. My alarm was set for the delightful time of 5.50am as I was going to Bath the next day for a race with some running club friends so this was stressing me out more. Grrr.

I’ll recap the race proper in another post but the race has made me really think about how I need to approach the Bournemouth marathon. I’m someone who needs a game plan. I can’t just rock up and do whatever on the day. I need a structured plan, with some sort of back-up as well just in case. But I’ve not really made a plan as I don’t have any real goals.

The Bath Two Tunnels half marathon was meant to be a training run as I was running with my friend, Mike, who was aiming for a PB, which handily was around my marathon/long run pace. But the race didn’t go to plan really for either of us as we both felt exhausted and the supposedly “fast and flat” course was anything but that (I suppose the give-away is that it was in Bath…). I know I’m not in the same shape as I was before Liverpool marathon so to aim for anything close to that time would be unwise. Yes I could risk it and power through but mentally that sounds awful to me and I don’t want to push the pace. So after thinking about it…My goal is to aim for sub-4 definitely, but around 3:45-40 would be nice and if I fancy anything better towards the end I can give it a go but I don’t want to ruin myself over it. Liverpool was a perfect race with perfect (for me) training, it would be foolish to recreate that! I just want another tick in the box enjoyable marathon.

Plus, I see the marathon as the end point to my major stresses. Whether I go to Iceland or not will have already happened and I’ll have moved house. Finishing Bournemouth will just be like one massive sigh of relief. I might just go into hibernation after that! 😉

Do you always like to have a game-plan for a race? I mess up when I don’t have a plan! Plus for every marathon I’ve always had a plan and it’s always worked well for me.

Do you meet up with old friends often?

How does stress affect you?

15 Replies to “Stress, friends and dessert”

  1. Friends really are the best form of stress relief. Well, that and boxing (at least for me!). Im glad you were able to meet up with some and take your mind off of your stress! Sometimes you just need a good laugh, some fresh air, and good friends to distract you!
    Kat recently posted…Gluten-Free Breakfast TacosMy Profile

  2. What is it about fast and flat courses?

    I have a plan for Berlin: keep average pace ever-so-slightly-faster than Rome. I’m not good at planning anything else. I must make time to set my iPod up properly, though. It may be necessary near the end….

    I feel unnecessarily anxious this week: and that I should be running more, not tapering gently to rest my legs (Yesterday’s 9 miles was harder than it needed to be after that day of dancing in the sunshine – but the dancing in the sunshine was a day with friends, and I had a lovely time). I too shall be glad when the marathon is over, and normality returns for a little while.

    Oooh! I have a place on the May cakeathon. And the chocothon (chocathon?) This is all your doing 😉 I’m going to have to learn to drive the van, or persuade my husband to get up early when he’d probably rather not (I’m too scared to try the Lotus at all).
    Jane recently posted…What I wanted to do vs what I did…My Profile

  3. I think Bath maybe generally lie about their races 😉 I didn’t find their half very flat at all- and would not do it again. I normally like a plan, but for Brighton half last year I didn’t really, and didn’t want to go for a pb because it was part of my training, and I did it so fast, and comfortably, that I wished I had run a bit faster. But then perhaps that would have spoiled my training- you never know!
    Friends are a great stress reliever- I loved seeing a few friends from uni this weekend- we try to do afternoon tea a few times a year to catch up.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Parkrun wins and a field of cowsMy Profile

  4. Ugh. Male teenagers…they really shouldn’t exist for the most part. I love the fact that you overtook them in the end though – let’s hope that checked their enormous egos a bit.

    I always have a vague idea of what I want from a race, but given that I don’t know what my dead leg is going to do to me I almost always have to adapt in order to work round that particularly frustrating and annoying injury. Every ultra I’ve ever done is the exception to this, because I always have no time goal and I’m desperate just to finish!
    Jess recently posted…Bupa Great North Run 2015 ~ 1:36:50My Profile

    1. Haha I love that comment about “they really shouldn’t exist for the most part”. Yes teenage boys, they are so very annoying.
      I think having a few plans will help…I like your ultra goal, I had a similar one for Cheddar Gorge as I really didn’t know how so many hills over such a distance (for me) would feel like.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Stress, friends and dessertMy Profile

  5. That pub food looks delicious! I’m a big fan of mezze boards, although have to have them divided out equally!
    Sometimes I like the freedom of not having a plan for race day, but I know that I always perform better when I’ve got one in place. There’s something about not giving in if you have very clear lines as to what you expect from yourself.
    I’m awful with getting stressed out. When I’m stressed I end up throwing myself full on into everything and then achieving nothing properly which makes me even more stressed out! Vicious cycle! So glad that your passport arrived. One less thing to stress about! 🙂
    Mary recently posted…Speaking too soonMy Profile

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