Four Years Of Us: An Open Letter

Dear Toby, 

So, it’s been four years of you and me. Sometimes I feel like I’ve known you forever and other times it baffles me that so much time has passed already. And what a ride it’s been, eh? Even in the last three months we’ve been through so much! Between your broken ankle, my family emergencies, and a global pandemic, it’s been hard to make time for each other. But make no mistake, you’re in my thoughts and in my heart every single day. 

I know that public displays of affection aren’t really your thing, but I wanted to post this today because in this uncertain time, I want to put out as much love, kindness and positivity into the world as I can. Thank you for giving me your blessing to write and publish this online. 

I am, as you know, the kind of person who during hard times, likes to look back on happy memories for comfort. There are so many with you sweetheart. And ours are my favourite to reminisce. 

As I sit here writing this, I’m listening to our song. Do you remember the first time you played this to me? I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. There are a few little moments that pop into my head often and never fail to make me smile. The first time you told me you loved me, in the car after we’d spent an afternoon soaking up the sun in the Cathedral Close. When you came back from uni to surprise me on Bonfire Night. That time you turned up at my work with a bunch of roses just because I’d had a rough night the day before. 

I love how with you I’m always laughing. Even when I’m angry or sad or tired, you’re always trying to make me laugh and despite my best efforts sometimes, you always succeed.  

I love the way you’re truly my best friend. You’re the first person I want to tell when I’ve got good news, the first person I want to cry to when it’s bad news. You treat me with such respect, compassion and love. We can talk about anything and there’s nothing I’m afraid to share with you. We call each other out on our bullshit. We’re quick to apologise when we fall out. We can discuss our flaws and help each other grow and learn. 

Your work ethic and determination are two of my favourite things about you. It makes me so proud to see you working so hard towards your degree and your future. You inspire me to want to find something I enjoy that much and work hard for it. 

You give the best hugs that make me feel safe and loved and protected. You’re such a comfort to me. When I’m having a bad day or an anxious moment, hearing your voice or seeing your face brings a sense of calm over me. Thank you for supporting me, for cuddling me, for letting me into your life four years ago and not letting me go. 

My heart aches at not being with you today and I can’t wait to be able to have a belated take-out and movie night as soon as we can. 

Life is full of ups and downs but there’s no one I’d rather ride this rollercoaster with. You have my heart forever.

Happy Anniversary sweetie!

All my love, 

Hermione xx

Happy Global Running Day!

I just found out that today is Global Running Day! An appropriate day to have completed my first run since last week; 3.52km in 30 minutes.

It’s been just over a week since I went to London and ran in the Vitality London 10,000. I already wrote about how proud I am of myself, but to celebrate Global Running Day today, I want to tell you about some observations I made about myself while I was doing it.

The major one was that rather than becoming tired, having expended my energy, I actually found that the experience, in particular the actual running, got easier as I went along. My total time was 1h22m19s but the timing devices on our shoes also recorded the time at which we crossed the 5km halfway point and it turned out that I completed the second 5km 8 minutes faster than the first 5km!

One factor of this I think is the breaking down of the mental barriers that had got me so nervous. In training I’d be getting tired and sore around 2 or 3 km and I’d think ‘I can’t do it’ and stop. On the day of the 10k though, giving up and going home wasn’t an option. I had to push through whatever I was feeling and just get on with it. Doing that, and finishing the race gave me the proof that actually – I can do it!

Another observation which was slightly less positive was that my ankles were BURNING. That’s part of what I had to push through and fortunately that got more bearable and less severe as I went along. I ran from the start line and the first time I felt like I had to slow down and walk was because my ankles were hurting. But as soon as I slowed down, they hurt even more! That was a pretty unpleasant conundrum. I’ve been to see a sports physio who suggested that the burning pain may be some irritation/inflammation of the tendons around my ankle joints. I need to take it easy until I’ve had that investigated a little further I think, because I was told that that type of irritation can increase the chances of stress fractures. But I’m not going to stop running and I’m going to aim to run 5k regularly now as part of a general exercise routine.

This newfound ability to run makes me feel like a kid with a new toy!

I Did It!

10 weeks ago I decided to take on the challenge of running 10 kilometres in the Vitality London 10,000.

In that time I’ve been through a range of thought processes from ‘Hell yeah I can run 10k’ to ‘Running is actually quite hard’ to ‘It’s okay, I’ve still got time to pull it back’ to ‘Crap, it’s in 2 weeks and I’ve barely run more than 3km’.

I stopped writing so much about it as the event got closer ’cause I became really scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it and I knew I hadn’t trained as much as I thought I would. This was down to a range of reasons including bad mental health days, family members in hospital and stressing about uni exams.

At the beginning of the process I felt really confident and was running in the gym every couple of days. Then I took my training outside and realised that running on the road is way more impactful on my ankles than running on a treadmill. Before Monday, I hadn’t run more than about 3km in one go.

And yet, I completed my first 10k in 1 hour, 22 minutes and 19 seconds! When I crossed the finish line I was so bloody chuffed with myself and two days later I actually still can’t quite believe I did a 10k!

I need to shout out my amazing boyfriend, Toby, for coming with me and waiting for me at the 8.5km mark to spur me on for that last stretch! I ran with my phone in my hand so that I could listen to music and he kept sending me encouraging messages along the lines of ‘Keep going! You can do it!’.

I intend to keep training and keep running, so it probably won’t be too long before I’m doing another 10k! I’ll let you know!

61411312_2950881074944528_6544433722672807936_o