Shin Splints are essentially every runners nightmare. And, for this runner, it was a nightmare that I forgot existed until it landed straight on my doorstep. Shin Splints effect the lower half of the leg, by your calf. 

So how does a runner get shin splints?
Shin splints happen when you increase your mileage too quickly - basically if you only run 1 mile a week, running 8 miles the next week is how shin splints will waltz their way into your life.

Shin splints can also pop right in your life if you are wearing worn out sneakers - as in if you've already run 200 miles in your sneakers, it may be time for a switch!

What was my case of Shin Splints?


I fit in the second category. I was really excited to get back into running after Ramadan ended and I went from running 0 miles per week to running 8 miles in one week. Towards the second week of running, I felt pain on the lower part of my leg and hello shin splints that I forgot actually existed. I've tucked shin splints pretty far into my memory - I haven't had shin splints since my high school track days! - and right after I googled 'pain in lower leg running' shin splints was the first thing to come up.

Now, as I think back to what I did wrong in my training, it's also something that should have been obvious. You can't go from 0 to 8 miles and expect not to get some sort of injury. The reason why I found myself taking a two week break was because my shins weren't strong enough to handle that type of mileage just yet.

I'm still getting used to having a tripod on the track - so! enjoy me trying to figure out what to do in photos

This is why shin problems are more common in less-experienced runners: their bone has not yet adapted to the stresses of a high-impact activity like running.

Now, I myself have been running since middle school (12-13 years old) so I wouldn't really classify myself anywhere near the term 'less experienced runner'. Here's the thing, I am an experienced runner. I know I am. However, my body after Ramadan - a full month with no running & no mileage increase - was the shape of that of a beginner runner. In my mind I somehow managed to not process that my body, my shins, and my calf muscles were not the same strength they were before Ramadan started.

During the two weeks off of running, it was hard to be believe in the dream I had of making the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Team in the 5000M. I keep finding myself making mistakes and sometimes it gets hard to believe in my ability to make it there. For a recent video I made on my youtube channel I discussed the importance of not giving up on yourself even though you don't get something right the first time  ~ granted I was discussing baking banana bread HOWEVER ~ it's the advice I've been telling myself for the past two weeks.

The easiest thing in the world is to quit. However, as easy as quitting would be, I won't give up on myself or this dream of mine. These mistakes I make as a runner - although annoying and make me have REALLY deep dives of motivation - they're all building blocks and lessons to learn from. Although increasing mileage too quickly should have been a no brainer, my excitement got the better of me and I burned out before even getting the chance to speed up.

I've overtrained before, and since then I've always ensured that I didn't push myself off a literal cliff with my training to the point of exhaustion. Now, I've had shin splints and I've relearned the importance of having a gradual build up in mileage and not increasing up my mileage as if I were on a pogo stick and someone asked me to jump high.

Mistakes are building blocks & lessons to learn from - although it's been a tough two weeks motivation wise, I've gotten back up and I'm going to keep showing up at the track/road to run. (I'm still icing, I'm hoping next week I'll be back to running.)  As a religious person, I have faith that God will guide me the path I am meant to go. Sure, these pauses in my running training schedule get me down, but I choose to get back up and I will continue to get back up. 

Are you a runner? Have you ever gotten Shin Splints? LET YA GIRL KNOW!

p.s. I'm really proud of this video I made on Youtube, it's just less that 3 minutes, and if you have the time I'd love for some feedback!

I upload every Sunday now!

Now, I know what you're thinking, why exactly am I writing a crash course about sidewalks? Well, I was curious how we pedestrians went from fighting for space for ourselves where horses, carriages with horses, and cars were chilling to having our own lane right next to cars zooming past.

When did present day sidewalks become a thing?

Well, that wasn't until 1860's in France!

Who invented present day sidewalks?

The person we have to thank for giving us the room we needed to walk alongside traffic and take aesthetic photos next to said road is George-Eugene Haussmann.

Ok so how did this actually happen, did he just wake up one day and was like Y'KNOW WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS? A SIDEWALK THAT'S WHAT. TIME TO MAKE THIS MAGIC HAPPEN. DO I NEED A PATENT FOR THIS?!

uh nope that's not the quality history tea that happened. Napoleon III phoned him up [or were they still using birds for communication?] and gave him clear instructions: redesign the country of France. Before Haussmann took over designing the city, the streets were pretty tiny and just enough room for horses, carriages and the early version of cars. 

So I'm talking about where the main inspiration for present day sidewalks came from however! In 1666, after the Great Fire of London, sidewalks began coming into the conversation of the architecture of the city. At that time sidewalks were still not something countries thought their cities needed. And WAY before then, there's evidence of Ancient Greek & Romans having a path for pedestrians to walk alongside the road.


On a scale of 1 - 10 how awkward is it to point at a bench when people are sitting on the other bench right across? I'd say a solid 12343.

Haussmann designed France to have similar apartment buildings repeated throughout the country, wide roads rather than tiny ones and you guessed it! Sidewalks to chill right next to those roads. But this wasn't a sidewalk where you could only squeeze in if you walked in a single file line, no, this was a sidewalk that had benches and trees decorated alongside.

Now this obviously meant France loved Haussmann for changing their city life to be safer for them to walk outside, right?

HAHA no. Napoleon III was not born-to-party with the cost of redesigning France, and fired him. Now, if you're sitting there like NAPOLEON YA BOY BLESSED FRANCE WITH SAFETY AND MADE CITY LIFE, CITY LIFE WHY DID YOU FIRE HIM? 

Well, you see, after Haussmann's redesign, the city's debt levels increased by 15-fold.*

So, I'm assuming 15-fold means 15 times the original amount, if you notice that isn't correct, please correct me! That just seemed the most logical explanation as I was researching!
this white pin I'm wearing REALLY wanted to shine so for most of these pictures I'm attempting to tuck the scarf over the pin

Even though Haussmann was fired, that doesn't mean his influence didn't spread to other countries. Vienna, Barcelona, Chicago, Washington D.C. followed in his footsteps and included sidewalks in their plans of the cities.


Did you think Haussmann was going to get fired? I for one was that white man blinking meme when I read he was fired.

I haven't done a crash course in so long and suddenly found myself staring at sidewalks and TADA CRASH COURSE IS BORN

p.s. I've recently been filming on YouTube and would love to know what you guys think of my first video back, I'll be uploading on there every Saturday (that's the plan!). I would love for some feedback on it if you have a few minutes to watch it.


After watching a recent video Jack Harries - The Stories We Tell, it had me thinking on the reality that we've created online. And by we I mean everyone - bloggers, the casual instagrammer, the ones who have theirs on private, the sarcastic person on twitter etc. For one thing, it made me realize that there is a fourth wall that we aren't able to open - all we see on social media is the user wants us to see, nothing more. When Jack mentioned what we see online is what we've curated for ourselves, it kind of lit a miniature lightbulb in my head. And by that I mean hello social media existential crisis. 

I started thinking to myself when others see my Instagram or Twitter what do they think? What type of person do I come across as? Am I the same online as I am in person? 

I began scrolling through my Twitter account and I can 110% confirm sarcastic me in caps lock most of the time is me in real life. I'm invested in politics and there is a sprinkle of that here and there too. Okay, probably a bit more than a sprinkle. (I'm actually genuinely convinced a few of my internet friends have me on mute because I may clog up their timeline).

If I scroll through my twitter, the politics side of me is there and that sometimes worries me. I put my blog on my resume - of course I did ya girl was not a dedicated blogging cupcake for this not to be on full display - and something I worry about is am I too political? Am I speaking too much about the separation of child & parent and the children being in cages like animals? Will this be the deciding factor of do I get the job or not? But, whenever these thoughts float around in my mind, I remember the quote by Desmond Tutu: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

There are some sarcastic - a little bit too sarcastic - tweets that never make it onto my twitter account because there's always the lingering fear of will this hurt me professionally? That's usually when I put the tweet to my drafts and come back to it later in the day.

There's also a sprinkle of coding, running, and a little extra stuff here and there on my account. I'm trying to find a balance between coding, running and politics - still juggling a bit with the evenness of all three but I'll get there eventually.

Next stop, Instagram. Two weeks ago, after scrolling for a bit, I realized something. My captions are full of my personality - I'm pretty sarcastic and always find the humor in things so that was a check in the is-this-really-me category. My fitness photos usually have pretty long captions as I describe the workout I did & my thoughts on progression/building up mileage etc. My other photos - on the rare occasion that I'm not actually in workout gear and someone actually takes a photo of me - this rarely happens as you can see by my instagram account - are me, obviously. All of them are. But not really. There are some photos where I'm gazing in the distance - what's in the distance? Nothing. It's in those posed photos that I don't see me. The squint in the distance? I don't know her. 

Me taking a photo goes a lot like this: Fumbling with my hands, not knowing what exactly I should be doing with my hands most of the time, making awkward expressions because uh wow not sure if I should smile or look cool and stare into the distance. Those photos where my personality was on 110% were tossed into the category outtakes. 

There is a photogenic side of me that kind of exists (maybe somewhere WAY deep down. If inner me can find her and call her to the surface when I take photos for my blog that would be GREAT) and then there's me in my natural habitat being awkward and random at the same time. This video, and the process of me scrolling through my social media accounts, made me realize something. 

Maybe the perfect picture that we want to be taken of us lies in the imperfect ones. The outtakes of you fumbling what to do with your hands, the random facial expressions, the shrugging of shoulders. Maybe those are the ones that capture your personality the way it is supposed to be captured, not ~perfect~ lean to the left, head tilt at an acute angle and hands placed ~naturally~ at your sides.

I've recently been making more of effort to take y'know natural photos of me in my natural habitat. Still have a bit more to go but if you follow me over on instagram, you may have seen a shift in photos I've been uploading. You can be sure to expect some more photos of me cheekily grinning at the camera, shrugging my shoulders, and a sprinkle of awkward facial expressions. All of that is the real me and won't be tossed in the outtakes category anymore. 

So, now I have a question for you! If you scroll through your social media accounts - is that the real you?