Running a marathon is hard

It’s not meant to be easy, I know. But I forgot how much of my time it takes up. I ran the Edinburgh marathon in 2013 and forgot that I need more rest than usual. Trying to fit my work life, cake life, and day to day life into my schedule is tough. Especially when my brain just wants to quit and play Skyrim all day.

In my old age I’m barely social as it is, but this new training has left me shattered. I have recently spent some time with a nutritionist who took one look at my food diary and said I clearly wasn’t eating enough. So that’s something I’ll be working on.

Eating and preparing food has always been an activity I’ve struggled with. Which sounds strange from someone who loves baking. I always feel guilty for eating too much, or eating something considered wrong. Maybe it’s societies expectations for male bodies and whatnot. But no matter what is said, it’s just how I process the eating to survive “habit.” It usually crops up as an issue when I’m trying to regain control. By controlling my diet I feel like I have more of a hold on my life. I’m also aware it’s usually when I’m avoiding something I could easily change or do. Isn’t it fun how the brain works?

It’s not that I feel shame about my body, or that I feel disgust or anything like body dysmorphia- I just know I could have a healthier body, because I did once. I know what I was eating, how my life was, what I was doing, my social life etc. And the result was an outer body that matched my ideal self. I also had more energy.

Back to marathon training. This time around, and 6 years later, my legs have taken a bit longer to get used to the training. Probably because I was doing a lot more running on a treadmill. The Chicago winter was too brutal for outside running. so inside I went. My style of running has been hard to adapt to “hopping” on the treadmill, and I usually find my calves are sore for much longer than when I run outside. But any movement is better than no movement, so I take it easy if I have to do a treadmill run.

Today I ran 9 miles. I loved it. I had so much fun. My ultimate goal is to run this marathon under 4 hours. In reality, I just want to finish it having enjoyed myself. The Edinburgh marathon was so much fun on the day, and I still remember how much I loved the cheering from the crowds. What can I say, I love applause.

In conclusion to this stream of consciousness, marathon training is hard, my legs are tired, I’ve had to sacrifice some future goals in order to train properly; but I am happy. Oh and I got new trainers.

Colin xx


I don't have a clue!


There are known knowns, and unknown knowns, and I don’t know either! I have been searching the internet for the best way to set up my cake selling business- and so far, I am confused.

After recently moving to Chicago, and having an obsession with making cakes (and feeding people) I realised my dream is to own my own Tea Shop. Since I am terrified of doing that straight away, I thought I would begin by selling cakes and baked goods- to build a brand and also get money!

Here is what I have learned so far:

Chicago has two laws regarding the sale of baked goods as a small business (that relates to my plan anyway). The Cottage Food Law, and the Illinois Home Kitchen Law. Both of which allow you to sell cakes from home, providing you have the relevant documentation and H&S certificates.
One law prohibits you from selling anywhere but Farmers Markets, but also- may not limit you to that. The other means you CAN sell foods directly to people, but also limits the money you can make per month. I think.

I need to register as a sole proprieter, register the business name, do a food safety course, (maybe) get my home inspected by health officials, get insurance/business liability… the list goes on. I have asked for help from a mentorship based in Chicago (SCORE) which should hopefully give me some sort of clarity into where to even begin.

Their reply has given me a great step by step plan for doing it correctly, in keeping with the laws, so I should be off to a good start.

I understand the registering self as sole proprietor, I knew I would need insurance, and that I would have to do some sort of Food Safety course. Having working in food based jobs since I was 16 I have taken multiple courses both here, and in the USA. That should be fine.

My other main obstacle that is coming up, is the cost of all these things. I have a credit card that can happily take the brunt- but without a solid income, I am worried to take the plunge.
I will keep searching the internet for information- but I now have a base of information from SCORE, I just need to take the plunge (and get a job on the side).

Wish me luck!