Let me introduce you to my situation using a simple equation:
children with rancid hygeine habits + me = monster cold before a race (again)
Seriously, about a month ago I noticed a chocolate Minstrel on the floor of my classroom on a Friday afternoon. Being a responsible adult, I ignored it, and left as soon as the bell went. It was still there on the following Monday, and I watched as kids trampled over it, kicked it, asked why it was there, etc. Essentially, I was waiting for a kid to misbehave enough so that I could tell him (it’s usually a him) to pick it up and put it in the bin. This Monday, they were angels. At the start of the very last period, a class entered and sat down, taking out their notebooks. One boy noticed the Minstrel and picked it up. The conversation followed as such:
Me: [Child], would you mind putting that in the bin?
Child: But it’s a Minstrel.
Me: Excllent observation, [child], but it has been getting acquainted with the floor all weekend, and the underside of many shoes this morning. I think it should get acquainted with the bin.
Child (eyeballing the piece of candy like it arouses him): I think it should become acquainted with my belly.
Me: Seriously, bin.
(At this point the class are enthralled)
Child: Five second rule.
Me: It is way beyond the fi-
He eats it. The class erupt in a unanimous ‘EEEEERRRGHHH!!!’ He swallows.
Me: That is disgusting.
So you can see, children have no awareness of germs and how they destroy weekends. And this results in me catching nasty diseases off them CONSTANTLY. I guess the upside is in about 10 years I’ll be immune to pretty much everything. The downside, however, is that the day before a race I’m hoping to do well in I end up soaking numerous tissues in snot, it hurts to breathe, my head feels like it’s going to explode, and I get cranky. Please witness exhibit A:
Regular readers will maybe remember the ‘dark event’ of April, the Glenlivet 10k, which was my first DNS. The reason I didn’t take part was a monster cold, fever, dizziness, and a concerned boyfriend telling me I should stay in bed. The race tomorrow will not be a repeat. Even if I have to jog the freaking thing, I am not losing out on another medal, and I am not wussing out of a race that is practically on my doorstep. Also, they’ve sent out the race shirts, so I’d never allow myself to wear it if I didn’t actually complete the course. It’s bad luck.
Anyway, since I’ve been too ill to really do anything today, I’ve had some time to think. A while back, I was tagged in one of Danielle’s posts about 7 things she is loving at the moment. The concept (bravo you brainy beasts who can see where this is going already!) is to list 7 things you are into right now, then tag 7 people to do the same. Like chain mail. Or a pyramid scheme. I hadn’t gotten around to doing this before because I was busy and it really is hard to pick just 7 things that rev me up, but I think I’ve managed it. And so, without further ado, 7 things I’m digging just now:
1. My new microwave
This was an impulse buy when I was buying some DVD’s in Asda to shove on for the end of term. I’ve wanted a microwave for years because sometimes you just want to stick a tin of tomato soup in a bowl and have a quick dinner with minimum mess. I also want friends to be able to cook their microwave dinners when they come round at 8:30 pm after a long day at work without having to send them away again for non-microwavable food. So I bought this bad boy because it was on offer. Immediately afterwards, I realized three things:
- I live about a mile and a half from the gym (next to Asda).
- It was raining.
- I don’t drive.
Luckily, I managed to blag a lift off of one of the guys at the gym, and I set it up as soon as I got in.
2. The running track around Rice University, Houston
(Photo above taken by my dad, at my request, about a month ago)
I’m originally from Houston, TX, and that’s where my family live just now. I love my annual/bi-annual trips home because I get to hang out with my family, who I actually think are pretty cool, despite my 15-year-old view that they would always be, like, sooooooo annoying. I also like going back for warmth and guaranteed sunshine. And because Texas is 6 hours behind, even with a ‘sleep in’, I wake up at about 6 am – the perfect time to head to the running track around Rice University for a couple of laps of the 3 mile loop. It’s great because there are always runners of all abilities, the trees make the run scenic despite being practically downtown, and you get a pretty decent share of whack-out pedestrians (there is this one Mexican chick that pushes a chihuahua around in a baby stroller – no joke).
My next trip to Houston will be in October, and in addition to seeing my family, I’ll be seeing my friends. In particular, loads of my high-school class (it’s our 10 year reunion – holy shit, that decade flew by). One of my old classmates is my friend Nikki, who has agreed that we should totally do a race together. So we’ve signed up to the Huntsville Half Marathon, and we’re going to rock it! And then hit IHOP for some carbs!
This one might seem a bit lame to readers that do not reside in Scotland, but I have become so unaccustomed to seeing sunshine, that when it does emerge from behind grey clouds, I can literally feel myself cheer up. Sunny days in Aberdeen are bittersweet, though. They make me appreciate the beauty of the city, but they also make me want to move somewhere where I could enjoy outdoor activities a lot more regularly than Scotland. And in warmer temperatures!
4. Study Leave
Don’t get me wrong, despite all my bitching, I like my job. Teenagers are pretty amusing, what with their ridiculous questions, and their ‘fashion’, and their drama. But with increasing class sizes and cutbacks everywhere, study leave is a blissful time of peace during which you can try to catch up with all the marking, planning, organizing, and paperwork that has been slowly (or quickly) mounting up throughout the year. You can just get stuck into work and soldier through. Unless you get cover.
5. Torture Devices
Items like foam rollers and spiked physio balls. Bringers of pain, but the good pain that you know is ultimately doing you good. NB: Don’t use the wooden Body Shop massage roller with maximum force on your quads whilst grimacing through the pain – you’ll just end up unable to run properly for about a week. Stick with the bright, cheerful devices, like the ones above.
6. Marks and Spencer’s Special Reserve Prosciutto
This stuff is delicious. And it makes me think of my mum’s parents as the tiny village in Italy that my Grandad is from is the same place this delicious meat product is from: San Daniele del Friuli. Anyway, I think it’s cool that I’ve been there.
7. The Spelling Mistake on the Original Race Bibs for Tomorrow’s Baker Hughes 10K
(Photo courtesy of @Dawdles)
I mean, what more can I say about this?
So the final part of this exercise is to tag 7 other bloggers so they can share 7 things they love. And the 7 are:
- Nikki – My friend mentioned in the post above, because her list will be amazing, I’m sure, and I’d love to see some more action on her blog! 😉
- Cat – who has tagged me in a different post that I will also eventually get around to! She has also recently achieved her goal of completing the London Marathon, and has, it appears, been bitten by the running bug.
- Megan – who has recently finished her first ever Tough Mudder (a feat I’ll be doing in July here in Scotland). She also, despite her complaining, looks WAY better than I do in race photos.
- Penny – a half marathon MACHINE!
- Niall – new to running, and new to blogging – the gauntlet is thrown! Plus I thought it would seems sexist to omit a male!
- Rachel – A runner who takes the sensible approach: running when it’s nice outside! Also the owner of a rather amazing name…
- …and last, but by no means least, Happy Runner, whose positivity and love for running comes across in every post she writes, and every encouraging comment she gives.