It’s been exactly a year since I launched The Style Dynamo…Woo hoo. What initially started out as a story of my wardrobe has transformed into a tale of my different passions, including running, beauty and fashion.
As well as allowing me to meet so many inspirational people along the way, this blog has offered me the opportunity to take on different challenges. Only a few weeks ago, I participated in my first duathlon. I’ve been a member of the Write This Run 10K team, I’ve “owned the night” with Leah and the gang (plus Nike), run my own “Speedy” sessions alongside the lovely Charlie of The Runner Bean and even had my photo taken for BuyMyWardrobe. Undoubtedly, I have as the French would say, “profitez-en bien” from this platform, where I can express myself in ways that I may not be able to when in front of a crowd. (I’m not the most forthcoming of people sometimes). I’ve had so many good times in the past year and could not have envisaged the amount of support I’ve found from my fellow bloggers. It’s such an amazing community to be a part of. But along with the highs, there have been some lows. And I have to say that the last couple of days have been a bit of a rough patch.
It was all going so well, almost too well I have to say. I’ve been feeling strong, powerful, determined and really ready for my next challenge. The big one. The Royal Parks Ultra Marathon. I’d completed a number of practice runs (up to a marathon at a time) and surprisingly not collapsed at the end of them. You know, I was up for it and even ran last Sunday after a pretty heavy night out on Saturday. Fatigue has plagued my body a bit but that’s all part of the training, right? Right? WRONG.
Fast forward to Monday and instead of my usual sprightly leap out of bed, I’m dragging myself to turn off the alarm. I head to the gym on my bike with the intention of a usual early morning 5k around the park but I’m not really feeling it. By lunchtime, I sound like a 40-a-day chain smoker and am completely spaced out. It takes me more than my usual two seconds to register when someone’s asked me a question. So I head home ON THE TUBE (I rarely take the tube) and crawl into bed thinking all I need is sleep. If only that were true. The next day I wake up feeling worse (how can it be?) and languish in my own heap of self-pity with nothing but Radio 4 Extra dramas and a cup of Lemsip to keep me company.
By day three, I’ve had enough of this cold. It’s completely put my life on hold. I can’t run, I’ve cancelled lunch plans with a good friend the previous day and now I’d have to forgo my chance to see the England Women’s Netball team play South Africa at Wembley with Maximuscle. If that wasn’t enough, this ruddy sickness thing is stopping me from training for the Ultra that is looming in the not too distant future – one and a half weeks away. As you can tell, I’m not the best at this staying in bed all day malarkey. I’m such an active person that to my detriment perhaps, I sometimes find it hard to relax let alone have to lay still for several hours at a time. I also hate being off work and disconnected from the world. As I haven’t bothered to register with a doctor in my area, I’m left with the option of a four hour wait at the local hospital walk-in centre. Lucky me. So armed with the latest copy of Glamour magazine, which I didn’t read as I was too tired (!?!) , I sat there diligently waiting and waiting for my turn.
Thankfully, I only have a viral cold, not a chest infection as I feared, but it has certainly thrown me off course. I’d planned for a couple of shorter runs over the next few days but don’t want to risk it when my health isn’t up to scratch. According to advice from the experts, you should not run your symptoms are “below the neck” as this indicates you have a virus – CHECK. The amount of reassuring articles I’ve read on the internet that I will not lose my conditioning by taking a few days off helps but I would still like to fit in a few more shorter runs during the tapering session.
It’s at times like these you remember that you’re not invincible. You may be stronger and fitter than ever but it only takes a few too many runs when you’re tired or a few too many late nights and you’re hit with a setback. If I want to be 100% on course for next week, I need to take it easy and rest up so I can perform and complete this epic challenge next Sunday. I hope that my steely determination and willpower are enough to get me through my longest ever race.