I’ve booked my place in the race now I just need somewhere to stay…

Last night I must have spent about two hours trying to keep up my enthusiasm for the Edinburgh Half Marathon I’ve entered as I searched for accommodation for the night before the race. Now I know Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland but I really thought I would have time to pick and choose the ideal hotel for that night, I mean the race isn’t until the end of May.

However, I searched and found everything handy and remotely affordable had been sold out! I was shocked and when I looked further I found the only available accommodation for that date was very much the high end of the market.The hotels I could find were gorgeous, luxurious and serve fabulous meals. Great, the only problem might be I won’t exactly be able to eat rich food the night before a race. I’m sure even if you don’t run you might gather the potential problem. I know I won’t have time to make full use of the hotel facilities but if my only misfortunate of the night before a race is simply suffering a luxurious bedroom and superb bathroom, I suppose I could do worse. I considered all my options,that meant I had to make a decision, I mean I am training specifically for that race, it looks beautiful on the map and if I remember rightly from previous races I’ve run in that area, it is beautiful scenery. A little windy maybe but beautiful all the same. I’ve bitten the bullet on this one. I think I’ll need to earn a wee bit more money so paying the bill for ONE night won’t hurt so much. The hotel I choose to book into is so dear but looks amazing, the full Scottish breakfast looks fantastic and I’m just sorry I won’t be able to eat it – I wonder if they do packed lunches? 😉

Do other runners manage to find their accommodation before the race alright? How do you do it?

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I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine…

Tonight – being only the 13th February I wouldn’t thank you for a Valentine (look to Liz Lochhead’s fab poem) but I would probably kiss you for a hot toddy. I’m loaded with the cold so you might not want a kiss from me anyway. I wonder, does anyone have any amazing – or even practical cures for the common cold? My nose is sore. I keep sneezing. My head is sore – feels like it might burst. My throat hurts, my eyes are red and rhummy -it looks and sounds like I’m crying when I try to talk. Maybe I just need to lie down and have a sleep. Running’s out tomorrow thought and to my mind and waistline, that’s probably the worst part.

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Running Writer

I had a fabulous run today even though it was freezing cold there was no ice, no snow and I just ran. In fact I ran 12k when I’d only intended to run a little over 10k but the day was so delicious and such excellent weather for a run, I couldn’t cut back.

What I love about running is it opens you up – opens your lungs so you breathe deeply, opens your mind and it relaxes you so much even though you’re putting a healthy amount of pressure an strain on your heart and your legs, it just makes you feel so good. I don’t understand why everybody doesn’t run. I should though, until only 5 or 6 years ago i was always a fat bookish one. Same at school, fat, fun, I’m sure of that but once my beer drinking, junk food addict sister told me she had run a 10K race, I knew I’d have to do it too – and beat her time. Ridiculous in so many ways but sibling rivalry continues forever. I know my grandmother and her sisters were always competitive even in their 80s.

But running is the key in the blog today. Once I decided on running 5 years or so ago, I felt better in every way and the big selling point is always – I lost weight, went down 2 dress sizes and I’m more relaxed, because I’m away from sitting down at home of a Sunday morning (and some others) my mind feels fresh to explore new ideas for writing and to be honest – anything else. I just love it. I love that feeling of a legal high, the feeling I can do anything.

If you don’t run (yet) you should really give it a healthy shot. A chance to relax even in action and a fabulous way to meet other runners once you start the topic of training, which race? What time are you hoping for? Free and easy conversation topic at parties or just meeting new friends – even at work.

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…So we are three weeks out from the New Year.  I heard someone the other day exclaim “Where did the time go?!”  And this phenomenon can happy to us very easily… if we are not paying attention or on the look-out for it.  Our month “flies by.”  All of a sudden it is summer, fall, the holiday season, and “Oh my goodness where did the year go!?”  Ever get that feeling that time is passing you by?…

…As this is a common complaint I offer some reflections and thoughts on time, mindfulness, slowing down, and enjoyment.  If you find yourself struggling to figure out where the time has gone, then maybe these strategies for you.  If you feel like your world is a whirl-wind of meetings, appointments, hustle, and bustle then read on.  I hope you can take these words and implement some of these tools to make enjoyment of…

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Think positive!

Recently I have been convinced that a positive attitude is the way to go in life. I mean looking on the bright side and trying to take something positive out of every situation even if the situation seems awful at first.

It started when someone told me to see myself first and foremost as a writer and to positively affirm that declaration several times a day – mostly to myself so I can build confidence and maybe even convince other people of my ability and certainly my attitude. From that I was told to try meditation in order to focus and envisage where I want to be and push any negative thoughts out of my head by replacing them with a positive thoughts. I have found an odd solace in images of The Colosseum in Rome in my head. Also I was told to smile because it forces you to be happy – to some extent, can’t do anything but add to positivity.

I’m new at this positive thing but when I was out with my husband the other Saturday our positive attitudes seemed to help both of us to focus on what we wanted, even what we needed and this resulted in the ideal mirror we had been looking for,  about two years, just appearing – it seemed – in a furniture shop when we’d actually gone in to look at lamps. Funny what turns up – we waited until we’d measured up at home, phoned the shop and order that same mirror within the hour.

Another positive thing that happened that very same afternoon was that the manager of a restaurant decided to give us our lunch “on the house” because he liked our attitudes and the way we encouraged him to make his business even better by trying out a new positive attitude instead of worrying all the time. He was worried about money but having given us a free lunch that day I bet he got lots of new customers to his restaurant because we told people how great his place was.

I have to think of happy songs to make me smile – hey might make the world a brighter place if everyone were to sing, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bNE-5TVAmg)  or “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley (www.youtube.com/watch?v=LanCLS_hIo4) because they must be a couple of the happiest songs about.

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Nano Wrimo Redraft Time

I wonder how many Nano Wrimo writers end up editing their November novels? November 2011 was my third attempt at 50,000 words in the space of one month, I managed fine in 2007 with my YA novel but I haven’t ever spent any time editing that novel. It simply sits in my desk drawer quietly going out of fashion so whenever I do decide to try and edit it, I’ll have to look at the characters’ world in a different light – involving wii, more high tech computer games/ideas and who knows what else so that only slightly explains my delay (huge) with that novel. However my 2010 Nanowrimo attempt was abandoned less than half way through which means I’m pinning a lot of labour and a lot of time on my latest novel: “A Life Wasted“.

Today I managed to edit the first three chapters and did feel rather a lot of positive energy about it. I read it from yesterday and felt happy that I wasn’t physically cringing after looking at it for the first time since the end of November. I know that writing needs a bit of time to rest and the writer (me in this case) should only look at it again after it has had time to cook. This afternoon while I was editing I felt almost happy about my work however the expression: “Murder your darlings.” kept popping into my head and I remember being told that in my main writers’ group so that we are never complacent with the quality of our work. Complacent is the last thing I want to be about any of my writing but I do want to edit my novel to a good standard before I start involving readers and editors.

I still do wonder though, what do other Nano Wrimo Novelist do with their completed novels?

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The Cara Ellison Year In Review

Your year review is impressive – makes me want to work harder too. Good luck for 2012.

Cara Ellison

2011 was marginally better than 2010. It was an average year with average accomplishments. I expect 2012 to be better by an order of magnitude. This is my year-end review for myself.

Total miles run: 446.654
Total number of run workouts: 170
Fastest 5K: 17:09
I ran 3 times per week on average.
My average pace was 10:44 per mile. (Yuck).

I attended a pilates class 122 times in 2011.
I attended 2 times per week on average.
Lori is my favorite instructor and I took her class 86 times.
One thing I can do now that I could not do last year: 50 perfect pushups.

Number of books read: 101
Most surprising thing about the books I read: I read 7 memoirs and I gave 5 stars to 5 of them on Goodreads. I had no idea I liked memoirs that much.
Goal for number of books…

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