A quiet post-run Saturday

No review post today as I’m just having a quiet day. We had Kieran and Lisa visiting yesterday, so we got a good afternoon of boardgaming in (we played Eldritch Horror, which we’ve not done in ages!), and then after they headed off this morning, I did my long run. My long runs are getting very long now – I was on the treadmill for three and a half hours today – and so I’ve been experimenting with using sweets for energy (we had a lot left over from boardgaming snacks yesterday). They work energy-wise, but they also give me stomach ache, so I’m going to have to have a rethink.

Looking forward to another quiet day tomorrow.

OOTD 23rd March 2019
OOTD: recovering from the run in my favourite jumper. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Spandau Ballet – True
Bastille – Good Grief
Gary Numan – Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

Conquering the nerves

I decided, when I found out about a week ago that there was going to be a second edition of the poetry night that I went to last month, that I was going to get organised and bring along some poems on the very marginal off-chance that I would be brave enough to volunteer for a reading slot. Of course, I didn’t end up writing said poems until yesterday morning – the morning of the poetry night – because of life and its continual determination to get in the way of my writing. However, I got them written, printed out, and shoved in my handbag. Just in case.

Ukulele class last night was good – we’ve just got one more session now before the end-of-term performance in a couple of weeks’ time, which is yet another thing to be nervous about. After class finished, I got back on the Metro and headed to Drink Art Bar for the poetry evening.

I probably wouldn’t have dared volunteer to read if it hadn’t been for the fact that the bar staff asked if I was going to! Once I had signed up, though, I felt strangely calm about it and just rehearsed everything in my head until it was my turn to go on. I felt quite confident reading my poems, but my limbs decided differently and would not stop shaking. Apparently it wasn’t noticeable to anyone else, but it certainly was to me!

I’m really, really glad I worked up the courage. I never thought I’d be able to tick that New Year’s Resolution off the list so early in the year.

Today was a fairly standard Thursday, with a speed run, Slimming World (I lost six pounds this week, getting rid of last week’s gain plus a bit extra!), and Pilates class.

Our friends Kieran and Lisa are coming to visit tomorrow, so I’m just getting a few things ready, and then it’ll be time for the weekend 🙂

OOTD 21st March 2019
OOTD: comfy Pilates outfit, slightly dishevelled! Hoodie Internacionale (2000), t-shirt Roly for Blaydon Race (2018), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Alison Moyet – Love Resurrection
Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
Barry Manilow – Copacabana
Oasis – Songbird
Pinkfong – Baby Shark

Still another mile

I did my recovery run this morning. I felt a lot more comfortable than I did on Saturday, even with all the aches and pains that have shown up this week. Fingers crossed for a manageable long run at the weekend.

It’s been a bit of a slow afternoon as I was tired post-run, but I got a lot of admin done and made a start on the list of agents for sending out my pitch later this week.

Hoping for a more productive day tomorrow.

OOTD 19th March 2019
OOTD: trainers are back out for spring! Scarf MyScarf (2019), jacket unknown brand (estimated vintage 1990s, bought at vintage shop 2003), t-shirt Punk Masters (2018), jeans Levi (2018), trainers Reebok (2017).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Sam Smith and Normani – Dancing With A Stranger
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
T’Pau – China In Your Hand
Cliff Richard – Wired For Sound
Hozier – Take Me To Church
Rag ‘N’ Bone Man – Human
Lewis Capaldi – Grace
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Robbie Williams – The Road To Mandalay

A quiet Saturday

This is the first of a nice run of quiet weekends leading up to the London Marathon! Geth and I have been away a lot recently so I’m really happy to be able to spend the next few weeks at home, getting on with the final and most intense stage of my marathon training and ticking off the things on my writing to-do list.

Due to the snow (and latterly Geth’s decision to go to a gaming tournament this morning), we didn’t go to parkrun today. Instead, I did my weekend long run, and it didn’t go that well. Due to a few setbacks, I wasn’t able to run for as long as I’d planned. However, I’ve got enough wiggle room in my training that I can swap weeks around, so I’ve decided to count this last week as a ‘rest week’ and try the same distance again next weekend. This means I’m still on schedule to do my longest long run on the correct weekend. Also, on the plus side, yesterday’s broken glasses have held together with the superglue, and so I was able to see while running!

I’ve spent the rest of the day relaxing with my 3DS! It’s been really nice to get a bit of videogaming done again.

OOTD 16th March 2019
OOTD: comfy post-run outfit. Jumper unknown brand (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2019), leggings Primark (2018), socks unknown brand (2007), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Pulp – Sorted For Es And Wizz
Squeeze – Up The Junction
Chic – Le Freak
Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
The Human League – The Things That Dreams Are Made Of

It’s been a bad day, please don’t take a picture

Things have…not gone to plan today.

I didn’t get my run done because I’ve still got a twingey ankle after Sunday’s race. I’ve been resting it all week (apart from walking, of which a lot has been necessary), but if it’s still complaining on Saturday I’m just going to have to run through it, because I need to get back to the training plan now.

Geth didn’t come to Slimming World because he was still feeling unwell, so I went on my own, and I wish I hadn’t. I’ve had weeks and weeks where I’ve been on plan and barely made a dent in my Christmas weight gain. One bad eating week due to being away and I’ve put on five and a half pounds. I feel like I just can’t catch a break with it at the moment.

More crappy things contributing to my bad day included: (1) my prescription sunglasses frames snapping, which means I have to go and buy new ones; (2) forgetting an essential item on the shopping list, meaning I had to trek out to the big Sainsburys twice today; and (3) general stress and anxiety about what’s happening in Parliament.

At least Pilates class was semi-relaxing, when I wasn’t doing exercises that killed my post-race legs. Also, I finished some editing for a client, so I guess that’s…something?

Hoping for a better day tomorrow.

OOTD 14th March 2019
One of the few takes where my hair wasn’t being blown in my face. Jumper Carlo Colucci (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2017), leggings Primark (2018), trainers Reebok (2018).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Abba – Dancing Queen
Squeeze – Up The Junction
Jean McCarthy – I Own It
REM – Bad Day

Home again

I’m back in Newcastle after a few days in Inverness. Apart from some travel stress on Saturday due to missing a connection, Geth and I have had a really nice break, and it was good to spend some time in a city I hadn’t visited for a while.

The Highlands
It was also nice to watch the snowy Highlands whizz past during the train journey today!

Once we got home, I spent an hour or so this evening battling the complex and stressful online system for getting into the Blaydon Race. The website had a lot of problems due to the demand, but happily I’m in for the third year running!

It’s nice to be home, but I’ve got a busy few days ahead.

OOTD 12th March 2019
OOTD: just a selfie today as we got home late. Glasses Emporio Armani (2017), jumper Ellend (vintage 1980s, bought at vintage fair 2019).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
Swing Out Sister – Breakout
Jason Donovan – When You Come Back To Me
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Squeeze – Up The Junction
Lily Allen – LDN

Keeping the legs ticking over

Geth and I were both a bit tender after the Inverness half yesterday, so today we went for a long walk to make sure our legs didn’t stiffen up too much. I took lots of photos and will do a proper post about it tomorrow!

Other than that, we’ve just been eating a lot, so the aim is to get back on plan for the rest of the week. The calories you burn during a half marathon will only let you get away with so much!

OOTD 11th March 2019
OOTD: plenty of space for overeating in my too-big race t-shirt. Hoodie Sonar (2006), t-shirt Inverness Half Marathon (2019), leggings Primark (2018), socks unknown brand (2007), trainers Reebok (2013).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – Somebody To Love
Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton – Say Something
Duran Duran – American Science
Gala – Freed From Desire
Anastasia – I’m Outta Love
Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved
Roxette – The Look
Prince – Raspberry Beret
Bananarama – Nathan Jones

And a bonus track that Geth was humming earlier:

Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton – Islands In The Stream

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!

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