Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Month in Review: May 2017

So I started writing this post last week, before the vicious attack in London on Saturday night. Having spent the late afternoon sat on the terrace of the Southbank Centre with a glass of fizz in hand to celebrate my birthday, enjoy the summer sun and soak up a bit of London at it's best, it seemed all the more brutal. I don't discuss politics on my blog and rarely on my social media. I won't be commenting any further on the attacks happening across the UK and further afield by people who think the indiscriminate taking of life is acceptable. I believe we should think before we speak, that we should reserve judgements until more facts from reliable sources can be found, and that in an age of 'instant', we run the risk of marginalising so many people because we could not resist the temptation to push the button on a post, and whilst terrorism is in part perpetrated to create fear, I feel that more often than not here in the UK, it is mistrust, marginalisation and bigotry that often comes to light in the aftermath that does so much more damage. I don't want to be part of that kind of problem, so my final words borrowed from the most poignant social media post I've seen in a while, a question to ask yourself before you speak (before I talk about how my month of May went) are:

Do you need to say it? Do you need to say it here? Do you need to say it here right now? 

So,  the fifth month of the year. I always find May a bit of a funny month. It's often a time where I end up working more than not due to business demands and holiday cover, it's also the month in which Tom has his birthday just a couple of weeks before mind and it has 2 bank holidays in it. This year came the added runner calendar- that meant the end of the spring marathon session and some listless runners in the club and it's been warm for the last few weeks too so do I dare think summer is coming?

So let's talk about running first because that's how it started. On May 7th, I toed the line in Cambridge ready to let David Coulthard (yes, the former F1 driver) chase me out into the villages. I know.

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Wings For Life World Run was a blast and you can click if you missed my race report & see my photodiary from the day!

There was another big running achievement for me in setting a new 5k PB as well. We have a summer Intra-Club championship which is placed on age-grading which inevitably means I'll be fighting it out for the bottom spot on the table but that doesn't take the sine off a 1m19s reduction in the time it took me to run 5k on a warm and humid Tuesday night! I talked about my PB a little bit in a post which the stats tell me lots of people really liked reading about regaining confidence and showing body image who is boss because sport should be empowering for everyone. Click if you missed it. 

And food. There was a lot of freezer food this month. Notably because I used a discount to try out Everdine which provides balanced healthy meals that you keep in the freezer and bash in the microwave whenever you're ready. An indulgent convenience but worth it for a hectic month and one where I would have had to cook for one a whole lot. Click if you missed my full review of Everdine or if you fancy skipping straight to the good bit (£30 off your first box) click HERE for my discount code...

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I have worn some awesome kit this month too. The shorts pictured below I'll be talking a bit more about as June rumbles on, but the ladies at Threo design and make high performance running, cycling & triathlon kit especially for women, and it shows. These shorts are basically life-changing. The tights were a frivolous sale purchase from MyProtein, but they have rubberised trims to help them stay put and who doesn't love a digital print?

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And that leaves one final thing in May to chat about. My favourite running event of the year, the London 10,000. I love this race because it's an amazing course on closed roads through central London. It's also got a great finisher's area, the t-shirts & goody bags are great and the crowd support is brilliant. Oh, and I set my PB here last year, wanting come in at anything below 59:59, I ran 57:27 and had an amazing day. It's fair to say I had to work hard not to set my expectations above and beyond for this one.

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I think it would be fair to say it wasn't my day. My legs felt tired and heavy and my breathing wasn't right and my stomach was really very upset about something. I had tried not to set too much store by another PB, because quite aside being fast and flat, it really is a great day out, so at the 6km mark, when I realised I wasn't going to 'settle into my race' I decided to kick back and enjoy the ride, because that's what #FinishLinesBeforeFinishTimes means and it follows on from my post about regaining a bit of confidence this month. Click if you missed it. 

It was still a great day- very humid, but enjoyable, the crowd support was even better than I remember, the t-shirt is great, if medals are your thing, this one is weighty and at £28 I think it's pretty good value. I'm already waiting for 2018 registration to open!

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So that's May done and dusted. June is my birthday month, so I'm now already another year older, never wiser it seems though? I'm doing Endure24 with a team this weekend which is 24 hours of relay style racing (some crazy people run solo, 5 mile laps for 24 hours), and then it's off to Spain for a couple of weeks of much needed sunshine and R&R. There will still be some new bits and pieces cropping up here, but if you want a few things to read, these are a few bits I loved in May:

Women's Health Magazine are giving away a New York Marathon place, and I want it. why wait until 2018 when I can show 26.2 who's boss this year?  

This video of flowers blooming via Facebook is incredible and reminds us how incredible nature is.

This post about breaking a 2 hour half marathon resonated with me

I am an ambassador to the #RunningDownDementia campaign by Alzheimer's Research UK which went live in the same week I attended a family funeral for someone who had early onset Alzheimer's. Could you run 20 consecutive parkruns? That's 100km and that's the challenge over 20 weeks. Click if you missed my post all about it and for details on how to join Team Chloe Likes To Talk
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