Late starts and small achievements

I finally managed a slightly longer run today…

…which I’m really happy about! It was only three miles, but still. I really had to fight for the motivation this morning, and it could very easily have been yet another one-miler, so I’m going to take it as a win.

We didn’t end up driving to Geth’s office this morning, as we had a bit of a late start after his birthday yesterday. Geth says he has enough work to be getting on with as it is for the next week, so we’ll collect his books next Friday instead. I’m actually fairly glad we didn’t, as the roadworks near us are so bad today that they’re having a knock-on effect on the whole surrounding area. Hopefully the traffic will be slightly better this time next week.

I’ll be settling down to work on my game over the weekend, but will post my running vlogs (and possibly a few extras) as usual.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
Geth is happily esconced in Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. When he first played the original in late 2011, the soundtrack got me through my first NaNoWriMo; I’m hoping it will provide a similar creative atmosphere for my various projects this time round.

Today’s earworm playlist:

ACE+ – ‘Riki The Legendary Heropon’

Blue skies, but still inside

Just a short run this morning…

…and then the same kind of cross-training that I did yesterday. It’s nice to be getting some non-running exercise in this week.

Speaking of non-running exercise, I still haven’t been for any of the walks that I planned to do when the exercise restrictions were relaxed last week. It’s really nice weather out there, and I know it’d be an enjoyable thing to do, but I’ve just been too busy. Things are taking longer than they should during the day because I feel sluggish and distracted by various situational stresses, and then in the evening I’m burnt out and just want to play videogames (and to be honest I’ve not even had the energy for that the last couple of nights).

In short, it’d be nice to get a walk in, but I’m not sure when I’ll manage it, because other things take priority.

A different kind of run tomorrow, and hopefully also some writing.

RingFit Adventure
I’ve been enjoying RingFit Adventure the last couple of days as a quick bit of cross-training after my shorter runs.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Michael Land – ‘Edward van Helgen’
September 87 – ‘Bad Dream Baby’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’

Triple cross

Just a short run this morning…

…but then I did also do a level on RingFit Adventure and a YouTube yoga session, so I feel like I’ve got a good amount of exercise in for the day!

Other than that I’ve just been getting on with editing and admin. Back to the writing tomorrow and Thursday.

Exhibition Park
Exhibition Park wasn’t actually foggy during my run yesterday – I think my phone camera lens had just steamed up in my pocket.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’
September 87 – ‘Bad Dream Baby’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’

Still not firing on all cylinders

Just another mile today…

…as I woke up with a slightly sore shoulder (I had planned to do closer to two miles today but decided to keep it short and gentle again).

I’m still not sleeping well, and I don’t feel productive at all this week – I’m a bit slow to get going with everything. Still, I’m managing to get a bit of work on my current writing project done every day, which is great.

Despite the uncertainty about absolutely everything at the moment, I am 100% certain that two things will be the case by the end of 2020:

  1. I will have made a significant dent in my videogame backlog. There’s no way I’ll have cleared it completely, but there will at least be light at the end of the tunnel…
  2. I will own enough leggings to last me for the rest of my life, and yet I will still want more. So many shiny patterns!

Everyone needs a hobby, or twenty in my case. Especially at the moment.

Videogaming tonight, running in the morning, writing during the day, rinse and repeat.

Computers, 1980
I’m running out of pictures that I can take during lockdown, as my world is obviously a bit samey right now. As such, I’ve been going through the family archives for old computer pictures. I love this one from 1980.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Billy Idol – ‘Rebel Yell’
Revo – ‘Ship Upon The Open Skies’
Thought Beings – ‘Shakedown’

A slow day

Back to my mile route today…

…and my legs were pretty thankful for a short recovery run after the last few days!

I’ve been finding it really difficult to concentrate today. I slept very badly last night because I can’t stop worrying about everything that’s going on, and there are various COVID-related stresses that are really starting to get to me. I find myself kind of wishing the next two months away, simply because (I would hope) there will be a bit more certainty by then in terms of some of the things I’m concerned about.

In the meantime, I’ve just been trying to get on with my routine as best I can. I’ve planned out my next competition writing project, which I’ll be working on over the next few weeks, and I’m trying to keep on top of my admin and housework (not always successfully, but it’s nice when it happens).

Videogames have been my absolute salvation in all of this. They’re the only thing that allows me to relax properly at the moment – I drift off in my own thoughts if I’m just passively watching a film or TV show, and even sometimes when I’m reading. Writing, meanwhile, though it’s my passion, is tiring and requires brainspace, so I try and keep it for the ‘work’ hours of the day. Videogaming is just brain-engaging enough that I can lose myself in it without feeling like it’s tiring me out – it strikes the perfect balance.

I’m hoping to feel better tomorrow. The exercise restrictions are being lifted slightly, so though I’m still being cautious about going outside, I have an afternoon walk planned in addition to my morning run. It’ll be nice to get a bit of extra fresh air.

Now that it’s May, the blossom has disappeared from our front garden trees along with all the others. As such, it was a good time to have them professionally trimmed back! Our tree worker came and did them today, and they look a lot tidier now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Bucks Fizz – ‘Making Your Mind Up’

Bank holiday time!

Another quick (well, slow) mile this morning…

…because I had a lot of things to get done today so that I would be able to relax properly over the bank holiday weekend! I finished my editing, and also got a piece of writing finished for a competition (the submission deadline was today, so I was cutting it a bit fine – I wish I’d had more time to work on it, but this week ended up being a bit mental!).

Geth and I have celebrated the arrival of the bank holiday with pizza (weigh-in went fine this morning, so we’re allowed) and special drinks (beer for him, alcohol-free fizzy for me). It feels strange having a bank holiday on a Friday when it’s not Easter – I think the last time was the Royal Wedding in 2011! The fact that it’s the 75th anniversary of VE Day feels a bit odd too, as I remember the 50th anniversary in 1995 and the WWII school project we were doing at the time. Difficult to believe that a whole third of the total time since the war itself has gone by since then.

It’s meant to be lovely weather tomorrow (it certainly was today), but other than helping Geth with the gravel in the garden, I think I will probably be inside with my videogames as usual!

A bottle of alcohol-free fizzy to celebrate the bank holiday! Excuse the blurry photo – my phone camera was more interested in the Xbox next-gen showcase on TV for some reason (no idea why, it was dreadful!).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘A Crystal’s Sparkle’
Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz – ‘Number 1’

Chilly sunshine

Another mile today….

…because I’m still busy. Hoping for a longer run sometime over the weekend.

It’s been another day of editing and writing, and it’ll be the same again tomorrow! It’s also been lovely and sunny, but quite cold, and so Geth has put the heating back on. Fingers crossed the summer arrives soon.

One more push tomorrow to get all my stuff done before the bank holiday on Friday.

Slow cooker
What’s in the slow cooker for tonight? (Spoiler: it’s curry. It’s always curry on Wednesday, because it makes for a nice light meal before Thursday morning weigh-in.)

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘He Of The Name’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’
Duran Duran – ‘New Religion’
Gerry & The Pacemakers – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’
Little Mix – ‘Salute’
The Offspring – ‘Have You Ever’

Usual routines

Just another quick mile this morning…

…because it was another day with lots to do! I had some editing jobs to get on with, and have also been working on my writing. All set for another quiet evening now.

Canada, 1998
Another old holiday snap, this time from western Canada in 1998. It occurred to me this morning that I probably won’t want to get on a plane for a very long time, given the potential for contamination. As such, world travel might be out for a couple of years, and so I’ll just have to enjoy my memories instead.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘The Land Of Radiant Flowers’
Midnight Oil – ‘Beds Are Burning’
Gala – ‘Freed From Desire’

Keeping busy!

Just a mile today…

…because it’s the start of another busy week. I never find myself short of things to do! I’ve got a bit of editing work this week (much appreciated in the current circumstances), plus a short piece to write for a competition, and various admin and house stuff to get on with. It provides a nice structure to the week and means that the weekends feel more like weekends, rather than just random days.

I’ve been working hard to make sure that I finish all my work by 6pm every evening, which is when Mum calls for our daily catch-up. This means that I have the evenings free to do what I want (99% of the time this is playing videogames), which is something that just wasn’t possible before lockdown as I had too many commitments. I am massively less stressed as a result, which is the main instigator for me not wanting to go ‘back to normal’ when the current situation ends.

Things feel manageable at the moment, which hasn’t been the case in a long time. I hope I can work out a similar balance in the future.

Bravely Default
I’m trying to ‘100%’ Bravely Default (as this is probably my last playthrough), which means that the game will have taken close to 150 hours by the time I’m done with it. As such, I have no qualms about using the ‘Big Pharma’ money-farming exploit, as making the in-game money by normal means would probably add another 50 hours to the game. My 3DS is very happily playing itself right now.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘Visitor’
Revo – ‘Ship Racing Across The Ocean’
Duran Duran – ‘White Lines’
Sailor – ‘A Glass Of Champagne’
Duran Duran – ‘Vertigo (Do The Demolition)’
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth – ‘See You Again’
Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
FM-84 and Ollie Wride – ‘Running In The Night’
The Midnight – ‘We Move Forward’

Keeping going

Another morning, another mile…

…because I’ve still got quite a lot to do this week, and also I woke up slightly later than I would have liked. I think that for the next few weeks, long runs will be a weekend thing, with maybe a middling one squeezed in on a Wednesday if possible. This would be a return to my marathon training pattern, which is no bad thing, given that marathon training is currently scheduled to start again in just over a month.

I’m happy to report that I weighed in this morning and lost 4lbs! I’d been struggling a bit for the last few weeks, as I’ve not been getting nearly as much exercise in as I did before the lockdown (when I was marathon training and doing a lot of walking in addition), and yet my marathon training appetite has not gone away. This last week, I’ve been a lot stricter and have reduced my portions. It’s obviously working, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing, because I would love to be back at my target weight by the end of lockdown. I’m currently paying a reduced Slimming World fee so as to maintain access to the website – I also have the opportunity to attend group on Zoom if I want to, but I’m not sure if it’s for me, because being hard of hearing has always meant that I’ve found teleconferencing difficult in the past. (I could write a whole post about my anxieties about social distancing as a hard of hearing person – and I probably will at some point!)

It’s nice to be getting back to writing at the moment. I’ve got a small number of competitions to submit to over the next few weeks, and I’m also going to be spending May deciding which novel project I’m going to finalise over the summer, so that I can start querying agents again in the autumn. For various reasons relating to my career plans, late 2020/early 2021 is probably going to be the last substantial chunk of time for a good few years that I will be able to dedicate to writing, so I want to make the most of it.

I feel that being stricter about making sure my evenings are downtime-only has really helped with my productivity as well, because I don’t feel quite so burnt out. This is definitely something I’m going to continue with, even after lockdown has come to an end.

(Oh, and as promised: the link to the video of the group poem we did for poetry night, read by Pantisocracy Poetry founder Charlie. The first verse is mine!)

Getting to target at Slimming World
31st May 2018: with my brilliant and much-missed first consultant Katie, on the day I first got to target at Slimming World. I can’t wait to have that feeling again.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Roxette – ‘Dangerous’
Tight Fit – ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’
Roy Zimmerman & The ReZisters and Sandy Riccardi – ‘The Liar Tweets Tonight’