Back into training and blogging

NORMAL blogging service can now resume, because yesterday I handed in the final assignment for my English literature degree.

There was an awful moment late yesterday morning when I uploaded the essay, pressed send and then got a note to say it had been rejected.

‘Do NOT do this to me!’ I screamed at the computer. ‘Please.’


In all my six years of studying for this degree, I have never had a problem uploading assignments. I needed to get the assignment in by midday and the clock was ticking. Frantically, I tried again.

When I got the same message, I almost broke down. I was going to fail my degree because of an IT disaster.

I had to stay calm. I took a deep breath, and turned the computer off then on again, keeping my fingers and toes crossed that all would be well. I uploaded the document for the third time, pressed send, and it went. Everything was fine. Panic over.

I sat back in my chair, stared at the screen and cried. It wasn’t just the pressure of the final hand in, but the fact that this degree has taken six years of my life. Six years! I’ve juggled assignments with work, horses, a master’s in writing, and running commitments, and there have been times when the workload was just too much. Thanks to the support of Chris and my family, I managed to get through it. But I am so pleased it’s over. All being well, in a few weeks I will have a degree in English Literature, which has always been my ambition.

This final week before hand in has been very stressful. I had no choice but to stop running and concentrate on writing 3,000 words on what I think is the best book of the twentieth century (Wide Sargasso Sea, if you’re interested). I trained on Saturday morning but missed Sunday’s long run and Monday’s steady run and Tuesday’s track session. I did squeeze in a three-mile jog before work on Tuesday, but then had to miss Wednesday.

Thankfully, last night with the degree completed, training resumed. I joined my friend who was doing a combination interval session. It was great to be out running again. Afterwards Chris and I undid all the hard work with a curry. We were celebrating after all!

Today, now that I don’t have an essay to write or a reading list a mile long to tackle, it feels a bit strange. This degree has been part of my life for so long that I feel a bit lost without it. I’m mad, I know.

So, instead of signing up to do a master’s degree in literature, I’ve decided to sign up to a half marathon. With so much free time, I’ll be able to train properly and have a good shot at getting a personal best. The race is the Great Eastern Half Marathon in October, so I have just over four months to get in half-marathon shape.

After having my head buried in literary criticism for so long, I’m looking forward to hitting the road and the trails and enjoying running without having the worry of assignments and reading lists. Bring it on!

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