Northerly climes

Most of today was taken up with running the Inverness Half Marathon. It was freezing and wet in Inverness, and it took forever to get warm again after the run! At least it wasn’t snowing, which was my fear when Geth and I first booked to enter the race.

After a long hot shower, the rest of the day involved eating a lot and trying a lot of new booze alternatives, which I will review at some point!

A less active day tomorrow.

OOTD 10th March 2019
OOTD: post-race recovery outfit, with bonus TV in background because Geth didn’t want to move from his bed. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Jac (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2018), leggings Primark (2018), socks RNLI (2016).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Arcadia – The Flame
Geri Halliwell – Lift Me Up
Duran Duran – Rio
Irene Cara – Flashdance (What A Feeling)
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton – Say Something
Terence Trent D’Arby – Sign Your Name

Race Review: Inverness Half Marathon 2019

The Inverness half was not one I’d done before. It’s a long way to travel from Newcastle, and so it’s a bit out of my way. However, I’d first seen it advertised in the Edinburgh branch of Run 4 It a couple of years ago, and this year I needed to do a half in early March as part of my London Marathon training, so I thought it was a good opportunity to do a race a bit further afield.

Inverness Half Marathon 2019 medal
Not to mention a race with a gorgeous medal! A new favourite among my collection.

The race started quite late in the day, at 12:30pm, so Geth and I were able to have a fairly leisurely morning before heading to the Inverness Sports Centre to collect our race numbers and get ourselves ready. It was a very cold day, so I appreciated that the organisers didn’t lead us out of the building and down to the start line until the race was nearly due to start! Of course, as soon as we walked out, it started to drizzle, when it had been dry all morning. I was hugely thankful I’d thought to wear a baseball cap, meaning that unlike during the Yorkshire 10 Mile last October, I was actually able to see through the rain, as my glasses were sheltered.

The course actually reminded me of the aforementioned Yorkshire 10 Mile in that only about 10% of it is in the centre of town – the rest is either surrounding countryside or suburbs. There were a lot of twists and turns, though, which kept things interesting, and the only tough-ish hill was over and done with by the five-mile marker.

What felt a bit strange was that they only closed one side of the roads to traffic, so we were running up one side of the road while cars whizzed down the other, and there were many points where the marshals had to act as lollipop men and women, holding up signs to stop cars so that runners could get through. The marshals and police were all brilliant, though, and this aspect of the race is clearly very well organised.

Unfortunately, the very last section of the race was a bit of a letdown – the course finished on the track at the Sports Centre, but the path leading up to the track entrance was absolutely rammed with people who’d already finished the race, which is a real pain when you’re trying to build up speed for the finish! The marshals at this point seemed a bit confused as well, and kept pointing us in the wrong direction.

Another disappointment was that by the time I finished, they’d run out of size small finisher t-shirts. At size 10 these days, I’m fairly average for a female runner, but even a small is usually a little big for me (because race finisher t-shirts are ‘unisex cut’, and as we all know, ‘unisex cut’ means ‘designed for men’, so a size small is designed to fit a slim man). I was stuck with a medium, which on me is a tent. Not one I expect I’ll be wearing often, unfortunately. It would have been nice if they’d used the system where your t-shirt size is marked on your race number and checked off at the end, so that everyone gets the size they ordered when they entered the race.

However, it was really nice to be able to go back into the Sports Centre for some food and a change of clothes before we headed off again. On the whole, it was a very friendly, pretty race, and if they ever invented a means of guaranteeing better weather, I’d be back like a shot! As it stands, though, I expect it’ll be a few years before I consider venturing so far north for a race again.

I didn’t get a PB – my PB from the Town Moor Half still stands – but I was really happy with my much steadier pacing, which shows that my treadmill pacing practice is starting to pay off.

Next stop: London!

Semi-flying Saturday post

Just a quick post today as I’ve been very busy! Will update properly over the next few days.

OOTD 9th March 2019
OOTD: outfit for dashing about! Scarf Marks & Spencer (2017), t-shirt Lauren Ralph Lauren (modern but bought from Headlock Vintage 2018), jeans H&M (thrifted from Steff 2016), socks unknown brand (2007), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Gala – Freed From Desire
Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With A Stranger
James Arthur – Naked
Dee Cooke – Summer Rain*
Dee Cooke – Prayer At The Bus Stop**
Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus – Nothing Breaks Like A Heart
Duran Duran – Save A Prayer
Men Without Hats – Safety Dance
Robbie Williams – Something Beautiful
The Proclaimers – Letter From America
D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
Duran Duran – Come Undone
Duran Duran – Rio
Jess Glynne – Thursday

*One of my own compositions, a chilled-out EBM number from circa 2013, which has only ever existed in my head.

**Another of my own compositions, a campfire-style song from circa 1998, which again has only ever existed in my head. I’ve not had any of my own daft musical attempts as earworms for years, and suddenly two of them come along on the same day. Rather like buses, appropriately enough.

Final edit

I finished editing down that book draft today! I am so looking forward to working on everything EXCEPT said book from next week onwards. I didn’t quite get the pitch sorted, but that will be the first thing I do on Monday.

Now to spend the evening relaxing and getting a few things ready for the weekend.

OOTD 8th March 2019
OOTD: ‘finishing the edit’ celebratory outfit! Cardigan Primark (2016), t-shirt Gildan for Preverse (2015, modified 2018), skirt The Only 1 Clothes Company (1997), tights Pretty Polly (2018), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bros – I Owe You Nothing
The Bangles – Hazy Shade Of Winter
The Beatles – Please Please Me
Duran Duran – The Chauffeur

New Hits Friday: 8th March 2019

Four new hits in the chart today.

Sigrid – Don’t Feel Like Crying

It’s a nice tune, and the synthy backing track is good, but the lyrics are a bit cheesy.

There’s no official video for this one yet.

Swarmz and Tion Wayne – Bally

It’s an okay tune, but I find it a bit generic.

The video is mostly monochrome with lots of people in balaclavas. Early on there appears to be a kidnapping of some sort, but this subplot doesn’t really go anywhere.

The Plug, Roddy Ricch, Chip and Yxng Bane – How It Is

I like the atmospheric backing track. Could do with a bit more melody though.

Again, there’s no video for this one.

Jonas Brothers – Sucker

Hmm. Not a group I’d expected to get back together so soon (what happened to Joe Jonas singing with DNCE? I really liked their stuff). I quite like this track, though – it’s sort of standard tuneful pop.

The video is set in a mansion with tons of fancy costumes and excess, which seems to be a video trend at the moment.

More new hits next Friday.

A slightly off-kilter Thursday

I did my speed run and went to Slimming World as usual this morning (and got some editing done for a client inbetween), but my Pilates class was an hour earlier than usual (which is going to be the case for the whole of the current course), so I didn’t have as much getting-stuff-done time in the afternoon as I’m used to. I’ve shifted everything to the evening instead, which makes sense as Geth’s out boardgaming tonight, but I need to have a think about organising Thursdays a bit better for the next few weeks.

Looking forward to a quieter day tomorrow, and to finally getting my book draft finished and submitted!

OOTD 7th March 2019
OOTD: too busy and rainy today for a proper photo. Jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ariana Grande – Breathin’
Chic – Le Freak
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Whitney Houston – How Will I Know?
Jennifer Lopez – If You Had My Love
Steps – Tragedy
Glenn Frey – The Heat Is On

Phone Box Thursday: River Street, Mevagissey

This is another phone box that Mum and Dad spotted while out on their travels.

Red phone box
Red phone box, River Street, Mevagissey, 13th September 2018.

(Coordinates 50°27’02.4″N, 4°78’79.7″W.)

This is another good example of the ‘two-for-one’ phone box and postbox combo. It’s also got one of those ’00s updates that gave phone boxes basic email functionality, making it marginally more useful for the 21st century.

Buried in books

It’s been a fairly relaxed day – I got a bit more editing done on my book draft (so nearly there now!) and have been looking into online resources to help with sobriety and mental health (I mentioned this in my two-month sobriety update yesterday).

Now looking forward to a chilled-out evening of reading before the usual hectic Thursday tomorrow.

OOTD 6th March 2019
OOTD: sunshine and showers today! Scarf MyScarf (2019), hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt H&M (2018), skirt Dark Star (2004), tights unknown brand (2010), shoes Office (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Ava Max – Sweet But Psycho
Duran Duran – Hold Back The Rain
The Power Station – Communication
Duran Duran – A View To A Kill

Booze Alternative: Pret A Manger Ginger Beer

It’s yet another ginger beer! We first found these in the Pret A Manger at Leeds train station, and Geth has been bringing them back for me from town ever since.

Pret A Manger Ginger Beer
Pret A Manger Ginger Beer.

This one is gorgeously sweet – probably the sweetest of the ginger beers I’ve tried so far. It does make me cough a bit with its spiciness, but it’s a lovely taste overall.

Ready to eat all the pancakes!

A bit of a day off today, which has been nice. I did my Tuesday morning recovery run, went to the hairdresser, and then did a few things in town.

Pancakes and boardgaming with Geth tonight, and then back to the editing tomorrow!

OOTD 5th March 2019
OOTD: my fringe only ever looks like this on hairdresser days! Scarf unknown brand (2015), top Cyberdog (2008), jeans Levi (2018), boots Moda In Pelle (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Housemartins – Build
Julian Lennon – Too Late For Goodbyes
Roxy Music – Love Is The Drug
Sheena Easton – Nine To Five (Morning Train)
Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
Billie Eilish – Bury A Friend