One year, eight months, eight days…

…before I broke my New Decade Resolution ?

I suppose that’s not horrible.

I said at the start of 2020 that I was going to spend the whole of the decade Not Buying Shoes (other than running shoes, which need to be replaced often due to my daily run habit), as I had more than enough high heels and ballet flats and Reebok Freestyles and I wasn’t getting much wear out of a lot of them.

However, something I did not take into account is that the cheap kind of shoes I used to buy in my teens and twenties when I was usually flat broke are not designed to last for decades, even if you don’t wear them to death. For Jen and Chris’ wedding at the weekend, I was wearing a green outfit, so I dug out a lovely pair of dark green peep toes that I originally bought in Schuh (when Schuh were still doing high heels… like most high street brands, they’ve largely moved to trainers and flat boots in this age of athleisure). However, that Schuh purchase was made in 2008, and it turns out that high street level shoe glue doesn’t stick for thirteen years. By mid-afternoon on Saturday, both of my soles were detaching from my shoes, and I had to switch to my emergency smart flats. (Good thing I brought those or I’d have been there in a dress and trainers all evening!)

So RIP to my emerald peep toes then. But it left me without a green pair of high heels, and I plan to wear that green outfit again many times before 2030! So I succumbed to an ASOS bargain…

Green high heels
Sixteen quid. Bargain! As such, I won’t mind too much if they disintegrate in 2034…

Oh well. The resolution was perhaps a bit ambitious!

I have however been inspired to go through my neglected collection of high heels again though… just in case I can identify any more that are on their last legs!

Light at the end of the tunnel

No pesto post again this week, sorry, there’s too much going on.

I’m very nearly (I think) done with my months-long busy work period! Even if I get the usual amount of Masters dissertations over the next month, it still won’t be anywhere near as hectic as it has been for the entire summer so far. One more day of work and then I can have a bit of a breather.

I’ve been going through a bit of a saga over the last few weeks with my feet really hurting on long runs. This has always been a thing but it’s got a lot worse recently (to the point that I can barely walk, let alone run) and I’m getting fed up. My next long run is Thursday and I’ve got a lot of strategies that I’m going to be using to try and mitigate the pain. I really hope they work, because marathon training has been a bit miserable so far with this going on.

Running shoes
The latest pair of ‘extra wide’ running shoes bought in an attempt to solve the problem. Unfortunately it is apparent that I need ‘extra extra wide’ running shoes, and they don’t make running shoes that wide. I also cannot justify buying any more running shoes (they’re expensive and I’ve bought a lot recently to try and solve this problem), so I’m going to have to think about some other solutions.

The next day or so will involve a lot of Googling for the best ways of applying moleskin tape! And work. Gotta finish the work.

Flying Sunday post

Still chilling out this weekend.

On Cloudflyer Wide
I’ve been trying out short runs with this new pair of shoes. They’re nice but I can already tell they’re not going to be my holy grail shoes for comfort on long runs, so my search continues.

Only one month to go until meteorological autumn. I am starting to think about it…

A quieter weekend ahead

One more mile-ish run today…

…but tomorrow I’m going to go for three miles in order to get back into my Saturday morning routine of doing a parkrun-length run. I’ll be taking it very easy as I’ve still got a few twinges and stiff joints, but it’ll be really nice to try running for a bit longer again.

Geth is doing his longest run of the year on Sunday so our weekend is going to be based around that – in non-running terms it will be very quiet and hopefully quite relaxing.

I’ll post my usual running vlogs over the weekend (and possibly a couple of race reviews if I can get them written!), but otherwise I’ll be back with an update on Monday.

Doc Martens
This week I cleaned up my old Doc Martens in preparation for the winter. I’ve been neglecting them in favour of a pair of Clarks boots the last few winters, but said Clarks boots have now died a death and my shoe-buying rule for the 2020s is that I’m only allowed to buy new shoes when absolutely needed for practical purposes (hence the three new pairs of running shoes this year and nothing else), so the Docs are going back into service. I also have a patent white pair that are not quite as winter-practical, but will be nice to wear on dry days.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Queen – ‘I Want It All’
Doves – ‘Catch The Sun’

Sleeping and walking

Just a mile for my run again today…

…but I did go out for another walk in order to pick up my repaired phone. I had to wait in a coffee shop for an hour as the phone wasn’t quite ready when I first arrived… and it was the first time I’d been in a coffee shop since March! I had to give track and trace details, which I hadn’t done before. On the whole, I felt really safe – the table layout had been done well and everyone in the shop was keeping a good distance. It sort of felt like a nice piece of normality for the first time in ages.

I slept for ten hours last night as I’m still catching up on my missed sleep from the weekend. As such, I’ve not really had much time to do stuff today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get caught up with all my admin and then I can maybe have some me-time on Friday 🙂

I did some reorganisation of my shoe shelves this evening, as my ‘easiest access’ area was still full of high heels… and I’ve not worn high heels all year as there’s been nothing to dress up for. I’ve put all my trainers centre stage instead, as they’re getting a lot of use due to all the walking I’m doing. I cleaned up my Doc Martens in preparation for the winter too 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Bill Conti – ‘Gonna Fly Now’
Justin Timberlake – ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’
Gunship – ‘Rise The Midnight Girl’
The Midnight – ‘Gloria’
Queen – ‘I Want It All’
Michael Jackson – ‘Beat It’*
The Midnight – ‘Crystalline’
Rage Against The Machine – ‘Killing In The Name’
Sacre – ‘The London Marathon [Theme From The Trap]’
Alien Ant Farm – ‘Movies’
Idina Menzel – ‘Into The Unknown’

*RIP Eddie Van Halen 🙁

I’m allowed new shoes when I need them for running

Another mile run this morning…

…as I was testing out a new pair of shoes – one of two new pairs of running shoes that arrived this week! Since I started running every day, I have been burning through running shoes a lot more quickly, so I’ve decided to start getting older models on discount sites every few months. It means that I will have a better range in my rotation (meaning less chance of injury, which is always a bonus), and if a pair doesn’t happen to suit me, then I won’t have spent quite as much money on them as I would have if I’d bought the latest model (and any not-quite-so-suitable pairs can be used for short runs anyway).

It was quite a relief to be able to relegate my Brooks Transcend 6 to the ‘gardening’ pile. They were already worn down to the foam when I bought my Brooks Adrenaline 20 in Inverness in March, and having continued to rotate them with the Adrenalines over the last five months, they now have absolutely no tread left at all after 550 miles. Meanwhile, the Adrenalines themselves are starting to wear to the foam at the edges after only 200 miles, so maybe Brooks shoes just aren’t as resilient as they used to be (my first pair, which were Brooks Vapor 4, did 650 miles and still have plenty of tread on them). Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see how my new pairs fare in comparison – I’ve bought a Saucony pair and a Mizuno pair, both of which are brands I’ve been meaning to try for a while.

Anyway, in non-running-shoes news, I’ve managed a good clean of the house today, and got a bit of day job work done for a client as well. Looking forward to seeing Kieran and Lisa, who are popping in for lunch tomorrow – it will hopefully feel like a nice bit of normality after so long!

New running shoes
Saucony Guide ISO 2 and Mizuno Wave Equate 4. The Sauconys did well this morning, but I can already sense that they’re going to be better on short runs up to three miles, as they feel quite fast and light but less cushioned. Going to try out the Mizunos tomorrow 🙂

Today’s earworm playlist:

Toto – ‘Africa’
Dave Cummins – ‘LINC’

Hints of autumn

A still-fast-ish mile on a mizzly grey day…

…which really made me feel autumnal. I run a bit faster in the autumn because the weather conditions are best (and also usually because it’s my last push of race training for the season – we are yet to see if my last two autumn races standing will actually go ahead, but things may be very different this year… anyway, autumn is still associated with zipping along through the crunchy leaves for me, among many other things!). I expect we’re still due a bit of nice weather this month, though, so I won’t start hunting for Hallowe’en chocolate just yet.

I also didn’t run until lunchtime because I had a deadline for a client today and wanted to get the work done first thing. In that sense I was quite lucky with the weather today, as the last few days it would have been too warm to run comfortably after around 10am.

I’ve otherwise spent today getting on with admin and housework, and am looking forward to some videogaming time tonight as usual. I finished Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World yesterday, which is a decade-old game I’d been meaning to finish for years, and am planning to move onto Beyond A Steel Sky this evening.

Same again tomorrow, though I’m hoping to be awake earlier.

Running shoe wear
My most recent pair of running shoes (bought in Inverness in March when we were up for the half marathon… the last week that felt normal) are starting to wear down to the foam on the edges, even though I’ve been alternating them with my previous pair. I think I’m going to have to ease up on the leggings-buying and invest in one or two new pairs of shoes as my next running purchase – running every day really does wear them down.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
New Order – ‘Blue Monday’
James – ‘Come Home’
Traditional – ‘The Blaydon Races’

Casualer and casualer

A slight diversion on a usual running route today…

…which made it a three-mile-plus run. Always good to get the extra distance in.

I’ve been feeling like my personal fashion style has changed again recently. When I reached my target weight in 2018 and had to buy a whole new wardrobe as a result, I went for a mixture of timeless investment pieces, which I knew would last me for life if I took care of them, and fun vintage finds, which satisfied my obsession with ’80s fashion.

I have not worn any of that stuff in months. My lifestyle, even before the lockdown, has shifted to that of a sort of active homebody – I get up in the morning and change into running gear, and after my run I go for my shower and then throw on a comfy leggings/t-shirt/jumper combo, because I know I’m going to be spending the rest of the day either on the sofa, doing housework, or doing a bit of yoga or Pilates. The numerous pairs of good quality jeans I bought two years ago are not comfy or casual enough for a spontaneous yoga session. My vintage ’80s stuff, other than my well-loved collection of cosy winter jumpers, is too fancy for lounging around the house. I have not worn shoes other than running shoes for over a month: I have two pairs in rotation for actual running, and one ancient pair that I use for going out to the garage or garden.

Even pre-lockdown, I rarely had anything to go to that required dressing up – nobody minds what you wear to Slimming World or ukulele class, and even poetry night is far from a formal affair. This year, I have only been out of leggings a handful of times – New Year’s Day, the LeBrock gig, a couple of family meals in February… and I think that’s about it. Most of my leggings cost £2 from Primark, but they’re getting a LOT more wear than the £50 jeans hanging in my wardrobe.

I’m not about to get rid of what I bought in 2018 – there may come a time when I’m interacting with the world on a regular enough basis that I might make the effort to wear something with actual fastenings again, although I expect it will be a slow road out of lockdown for me personally seeing as I’m appreciating the peace and quiet so much – but I don’t see myself buying any more investment pieces or filling up my bag at vintage fairs again for a good couple of years at least.

I may start spending slightly more than £2 on leggings though, seeing as they’ve been so good to me recently.

High-heeled shoes
I’ve always loved high-heeled shoes, but they are so far removed from my current lifestyle that it’s laughable. At least they look pretty on the shelf!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Hiroki Morishita – ‘Just Across This Mountain And We’ll Arrive Soon’
Nina Nesbitt – ‘Stay Out’
Nobuo Uematsu – ‘On Our Way’
Cast of The Muppet Christmas Carol – ‘It Feels Like Christmas’
Red Hot Chili Peppers – ‘Road Trippin”
Duran Duran – ‘A View To A Kill’
Gordon Duncan – ‘Sleeping Tune’*

*This has been an earworm today because Dad recorded a nyckelharpa version and put it on YouTube. Well recommended for the Scottish scenery pictures.

Stretching out

I ran with Geth again this morning…

…and since then we’ve just been in the house, hiding from the cancelled world outside. Geth went to Sainsbury’s, and came back with approximately half the things I’d sent him out for (panic-buying has officially set in here in Newcastle), but we’ll manage. I also went to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription – the outside world feels a bit odd and apocalyptic at the moment.

It’s felt like a long day, but I’m not about to complain, because extra time is my most treasured thing and suddenly having a lot more of it is a real silver lining. Sage Gateshead has now closed, so my ukulele classes are not happening for the foreseeable future, and I don’t know when they’ll be rescheduled. The UK Games Expo confirmed this evening that they are postponing the event to August; parkrun will make an announcement tomorrow.

The North Tyneside 10k has also postponed to October, so that’s the last of my spring races fallen by the wayside. I’m amazed and grateful that none of my postponed races clash with each other (or with the GNR), and also feel quite lucky that I hadn’t booked any of my planned autumn races before this all kicked off. I had wanted to run the South Shields 10 Mile and the Great Scottish Run this year, but they’ll be there for me in the future.

Keeping in touch with family as the daily situation changes is my main priority at the moment, along with keeping myself and Geth safe and sane. Running is a big help with the latter, and I’m really glad I have that in my life at the moment.

Brooks running shoes
I was able to try out my new running shoes from Inverness this morning. They’re super bouncy and did give me a slight but noticeable boost!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Lightwood Games – ‘Link-A-Pix Theme’
Ollie Wride – ‘Back To Life’
Mesh and Mechanical Cabaret – ‘Born To Lie [Duet Version]’
Koichi Sugiyama – ‘Unflinchable Courage’
EMF – ‘Unbelievable’