Day 35: I ran 17 kilometres and now my end is definitely nigh

I know now is not the time to be flippant about death so please read the above caption with the required level of concern. I THINK I AM DYING. I have had to eat so much sugar just to keep my poor heart in motion; I may be having a very modest, quietly unobtrusive, delicately understated and wholly uncharacteristic stroke.

So severe is my paraplegic incapicatation I’ve watched three episodes of New Girl just because I haven’t been able to summon up the strength to reach the remote. Even as I write this, somewhat reinvigorated by chocolate-dipped brazil nuts and a barrel of tea, my laptop is bleating that IT’S REALLY GOING TO TURN OFF NOW IF I DON’T GET MY CHARGER, I really just don’t think it’s within the realm of probability that I can get off the bed to get it.

I both loathe and live for this adrenaline rush. Like when I’m late to work (eternally) and the petrol light is already on before I’ve even left the driveway and I wonder…..can I make it? Nothing gets you PUMPED for your day like a few beads of sweat on your brow and the life-affirming rush of feeling like you’re racing against time, logic, the whole mish-mashed cosmos of this ker-azy world symbolised in a near-empty petrol tank. We’ve all gotta run out of gas sometime – will my day be my day?

Dear JESUS, the metaphors are getting worse.

Can someone let me know if any of this makes sense? I’m really not sure.

Look, I know some of you must be a tad confused. Holly, the way you choose to talk about yourself is always within the self-deprecating motif of slovenly cretin. You speak of almost impossible levels of self-indulgence, perpetually refer to your status as a stasis being, and seem to spend a lot of your time forced into horizontality (not a word but I’m keeping it) due to the vicissitudes of alarmingly variant hangovers. I know. You think I’ve betrayed you. I’ve pretended to be the cake-eating, second-helping-scooping marshmallow we all secretly need to make ourselves feel better about our own poor life choices and here I am, on a Sunday that should be spent with a cool facecloth and the endless possibilities of a Deliveroo app, absolutely smashing through the kilometres like a quinoa-loving, spirulina-touting, apple-cider-vinegar-slamming asshole.

I know. I’m annoyed at me too.

Look, the truth is, I’m actually kind-of mega into fitness and lockdown has really only exacerbated my love of elevated heartrates and days that either commence or conclude with a few kettlebell thrusts. Yes. Lad. Hook it up to my popping, pulsing VEINS. The reason you don’t know this is because I also love cake and cake sits in and around the general belly area, hiding my superpower fitness like a real chill Clark Kent. I absolutely use exercise as a justification to eat whatever I want. Have I had dessert almost every night of lockdown? Why yes, yes I have.

Ohh, this is all tripe. I really am too ill to write. I need more brazil nuts.

I’ve pretended to be the cake-eating, second-helping-scooping marshmallow we all secretly need to make ourselves feel better about our own poor life choices and here I am, on a Sunday that should be spent with a cool facecloth and the endless possibilities of a Deliveroo app, absolutely smashing through the kilometres like a quinoa-loving, spirulina-touting, apple-cider-vinegar-slamming asshole.

Two weeks ago I ran 16km without stopping (with a truckload of mountains that, if I were to grade them in terms of crest, would be up an undisputed triple G bra-size) and, because of the human I am, I have been determined to outrun myself and prove, once and for all, it wasn’t just some fluke. So even though I was essentially having a hayfever attack and would have been infinitely faster walking, today I steamrolled my by no means limber but definitely limp corpse down dales, up Everestts and then I even made myself double-back for more just for the satisfaction of hearing my running app announce, after the length of three lifetimes and twenty perfectly usable legs, “distance: 17 kilometres; time: ….” actually, I don’t feel like sharing that. I fear it might impede my own smugness and ruin the very flattering mental image you have of me killing it in some eco-activewear right now.

Also, before you feel too inadequate in my presence let’s break this down because, while 17km sounds impressive, DOES IT LOOK IMPRESSIVE THOUGH?


If by impressive one really means impression, AKA a method-acted, absolutely unworkshopped impression of Simon Pegg in most of the movie Run Fat Boy Run. I’m not going to lie to you (said, as ever, in Gwen’s accent from Gavin and Stacey), as I was coming up the final hill, all I could see before me was the fat Indian man on his little motorised wheelchair hurling motivational abuse at me. Through the sweat, the grunting, the unrelenting agony of feeling every sinewy tendon stretch to near snapping as I climbed yet another double G bosom, his buddha-like equanimity, his absolute disdain for my snivelling attempt at jogging kept me going. I may never walk again.

This is really going to die soon. Let’s give you some important info before that happens:


*Important sidenote: I would just like to premise this list with the important disclaimer that this IS in chronological order and did happen within a five minute period. If you know of any eating competitions happening in lockdown, please do consider me. I believe I have untapped potential.

**Final important sidenote: These were also consumed while I decided what I really wanted to eat. Anybody else do this: have a meal while deciding what to have their meal? If not, you are incredibly weird and I suggest you go and talk to someone or at the very least stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself why you’ve grown up believing you don’t deserve to be happty.

  • Thickly-buttered slab of bread with the ends of a sharing pack of salt and vinegar crisps heaped on top. On this, we were talking about calorie consumption the other night because we believe our fitbits are LYING to us and my sister very rudely insinuated I consume more than 2,500 calories a day “because of all the bread I eat.” I barely even eat bread!! I just have one slice for breakfast, one hunk as a side and general mop for my lunch, one crust as I’m preparing my lunch, one pre-run fold-over for ENERGY…
  • Oreo cheesecake. This I ate standing in front of the fridge, my face practically in the pie a la Mrs Doubtfire.
  • Apple crumble. Directly after this. I think, rather like a messy ménage-a-trois, there might have even been a little bit of overlap between this and the cheesecake.
  • Doritos – cool original. Obviously.
  • Ok, fine, just a LITTLE more cheesecake.
  • Did I have more bread?

It was at that point I went into the hall and shouted, “DOES ANYBODY WANT TO GET LITERALLY ANY KIND OF TAKEAWAY?”

Then I went in to my sisters who were watching Love Island reruns and lay down by their feet. I told them I was feeling sick and didn’t know why but I imagined it had something to do with all of the running. They grunted a noncommittal nothing and I felt comforted.

Nobody talks TO each other on Love Island, do they? They just talk AT each other. The full four minutes of it I could stomach was during some intimate “get-to-know-you” breakfast the couples were having and I was flabbergasted by the two parallel conversations happening at each table. Were these just edited to make every person seem like a robotic narcissist who only responded to key words with completely useless and impossibly dull personal facts. One guy was building up towards a big overshare about his now-realised dream to become a doctor and then his date interjects, while stuffing a piece of pineapple in her mouth to say, completely unprompted, “yea, well, I wanted to be a vet.”

I do not understand. I suddenly realise why guys tell me I’m so good at dates.

Definitely at least one person has said that to me, don’t you dare roll your eyes!!

I went to leave and go back to my cheesecake. As I turned to go, my sisters sighed, as they have several times now, and expressed their ardent wish to see me on Love Island one day.

So I guess I’m applying to Love Island now? At least I know, should things go awry (which I can’t really see happening given my tolerant personality and non-existent qualms about appearing on a show which legally requires me to share all my jiggly bits with a bunch of PTs and a casual few million people) that I can run home. I’ve heard it said that once you run 17 kilometres you can pretty much do anything.

…Except walk the four steps to your laptop charger.

Tree Tings

Has there ever been a greater need for some frivolous JOY in our lives right now? I’m focusing on the SMALL in all aspects of my life right now as to attempt to think bigger ends in hyperventilation. So, the seemingly insignificant yet surprisingly hearty things bringing me joy on this Sunday are:

  • ‘Hands’ by Macy Gray. I am ashamed of myself that I keep forgetting this is the best song in the world and only rediscover it when it randomly comes on shuffle. That clangy guitar beat came in on kilometre eight and I swear to God, I was like Joseph Gordon-Levitt in that infamous 500 Days of Summer scene pounding along to it. If you’re fond of a bedroom boogie, this one is for you.
  • The indescribably pleasure it gives me when I get to move Lola, our most-perfect of Golden Labs, from the discomfort of our pebbled patio onto her soft outdoor bed. She always likes to sit beside me when I’m having my morning coffee but to do so means suffering the agony of our stony seating area. Bringing out her bed and seeing her stretch luxuriously onto it, while I stroke her absent-mindedly with one hand, turn the scintillating pages of whatever book I’m reading with another, is a kind of bliss that can only be described as ‘home.’
  • Chocolate-covered brazil nuts and Dylan Moran. AKA how I will be spending the rest of my evening.

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