Wow, it’s been a while since my last blog post. I’ve got a ton of ideas of blogs I want to write, but haven’t had the time or willpower to sit down and do them.
But now I’m here in New Zealand, spending some time chilling out at my parents house here, and I DO have the time (and my Mum nagging me to blog!)
Last week, I was so totally overwhelmed and feeling more anxious than usual that I went to my GP to talk about my mental health. I haven’t seen a professional about it for years, but was shocked by how unhelpful they were. He suggested that I have private counselling as the wait for NHS counselling would be too long. So I’m on the waitlist for private counselling but also trying to just lighten my load/be more organised in general.
I’ve tried to reduce the number of things I’m saying yes to – in particular blog events and sponsored content. Additionally, I’m trying to break things down into priorities, and also into more manageable daily to-do lists. Lastly, I’m trying to take some of the pressure off myself, spending more of my downtime doing things I enjoy.
As I mentioned, I’m currently in New Zealand, a good uni friend is getting married here next weekend and my parents live about an hour from the venue.
I had originally planned to travel a bit around the South Island with friends but had a total freak out about my dissertation and other workload, so decided to stay here in Nelson for 5 days instead, catching up on work and sleep!
I actually love flying, but was totally over it after 30+ hours travelling here from London. Sitting in the middle seat at the back of the plane from LA- Auckland was not ideal. Although the man next to me didn’t go to the loo for 13 hours!!
I’ve also got a couple of trips planned for April/May, including Italy, the US, Barcelona and Edinburgh!
Today I ran 20 miles from Rabbit Island back to Nelson (top of the South Island in NZ). I had signed up for a race in nearby Kaiterteri, ready to tackle the mileage but then somehow managed a total fail – I missed the race! I had thought the half marathon was on Sunday, but when we turned up to find nothing set up and checked the Facebook page, I discovered that the 9th was actually Saturday.
Luckily, my Mum was up for cycling next to me for 20 miles (I hadn’t brought a hydration pack or water with me!) so we set off. My plan set by my coach was to just get time on my feet, and to practice running 9 mins, walking 1 min. I found that my average pace was much faster using this strategy than just doing a long easy run.
Run pace was between 8.35-8.45 with the walking minutes bringing the overall pace down to 9.08 for 20 miles. Fuelled with Shotbloks at 5 miles and 15 miles, and 1/2 banana at 10 miles. So grateful to my Mum for cycling alongside me, handing me water almost every mile (98% humidity had me sweating!)
Last weekend I ran 18 miles with Robbie, which was a huge confidence boosting run. I’d had a crappy week, and when he text me to say he would do my run with me (anywhere, any distance – what an awesome friend!) I was relieved. Happy not to be heading out solo, we planned to meet halfway between our houses, running along the river in Windsor. Our out and back took us via Asda for water and included a ‘fast finish’, running 8ish min pace for our final 3 miles.
I’m planning on doing a whole training update later this week, so stay tuned!
Oh and lastly, I’m hosting a Twitter Takeover with Aftershokz tonight (Sunday 10th at 8-9pm UK time) – I’ll be joining you with a cup of coffee in New Zealand on Monday morning!
I would LOVE to visit New Zealand one day. You should totally do a recap on the ins and outs of what life is like in NZ. Does your mum live there full time? If so, I am totally jealous! I also hope that this break has been exactly what you’ve needed to decrease your anxiety and help with coping with your crazy schedule. Have a great time at the wedding!
Hi Lindsay. Charlie’s Mum here. We don’t live in NZ full time – wish we could – but are starting to spend more time here as retirement becomes more of a reality. We had 8 months here when I retired from teaching and out again 18 months later for a shorter period. There is so much outdoor stuff to do here, and it is lovely. Not sure about the ins and outs of life here full time, but it is worth saving up for or trying for a working visa if you can.
Your gp is likely wrong about nhs waiting list. It is worth googling your local ‘talking therapies’ or ‘Iapt’ service and self-referring rather then gp doing it. They offer support usually within 4 weeks and will do a telephone assessment usually within 2 weeks. Deffo worth a look. I used to woekr for them in the North East England and lots of gp are misinformed or don’t know about it. Good luck! Xx
Charlie, read The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters (a Consultant Psychiatrist). He has helped many GB athletes including Chris Hoy with his mind management programme that helps to ease anxiety and make the most of life and sport. It is a fantastic resource that could make big difference to helping you.
It is something I recommend to my patients and they have found it very helpful.
Thanks so much, I’m going to download it to listen to on my training runs. Sounds fabulous!