Sunday, July 30, 2017

Month in Review: July 2017

July has been insane. It's usually a busy month in the office, but there's been so. many. other. things.

After spending pretty much the entire month of June drinking more than I should and eating anything I fancied, I got back to a more balanced routine this month, and training kicked in for the upcoming series of half marathons I'm running this Autumn. Given the first one is now only about 10 weeks off, I felt the need to get focused and get back out there.

What better way to focus on training plans than to treat yourself to new trainers thanks to #PrimeDay

As well as training I have raced this month, but just the once. I went off to the British 10k on Sunday 9th July. It's a beautiful closed road route through central London that takes in Westminster (including crossing the bridge) Embankment, Regents Street and more. This was  free place because I volunteered at the Hackney Half earlier in the year and although the event was well organised, I still felt that £50 entry was far too much given there are comparable races for almost half that. The day was hella hot, so I treated it as a long-ish run and took in the sights.

Not a bad place to pose for a (very sweaty) finisher's photo

As if that wasn't enough for one weekend, probably one of the biggest achievements this month was qualifying as a Ride Leader with British Cycling. That means I'll be able to take groups of women out to experience the JOY of life on two wheels via the Breeze program. Free bike rides for women of any and every ability, what's not to love?

I got really lucky that a friend of mine happened to be on the same course which made a long day a bit easier, and we're already hatching plans for more rides! We're also both fond of a glass of wine and traded pics of our post-training treats. I felt like I'd earned this glass of wine after a full 9-5 training day with a 100 mile round trip drive plus cycle commute into Cambridge!

Those who know me or have been following my blog for a while know that I work with my parents from their home office. I essentially live in shorts or jeans and t-shirt or jumper all year round, when I'm not wearing running or workout kit. I did used to have a 'proper' job and wear 'proper' grown up clothes every day, but that was almost 3 years ago. So it's nothing short of a miracle that I wore my proper grown up clothes and posted about it not once, but twice in July...

Actually. It's not a miracle at all. Albeit very unexpectedly, I'm moving on from my ops manager job with my parents into something completely different at the end of August and didn't think it prudent to attend either of the meetings to secure the job and hash out the details wearing a race finisher t-shirt and my (now blood stained thanks to blisters from my new trainers) trainers.

I'm actually moving into a sports related field working with data insight, it's all very exciting but scary as hell. I'm going back to living in my flat in London 7 days per week for the first time in 3 years and I'm going to have to start completely over trying to make friends, find people to run with and make a life for myself which I had started to do in Cambridgeshire, where I have been based for work for the last few years. Yeah, so there's that. I'm sure I'll be wittering on about all these new things in good time, but for now I'm slowly extricating myself from the current business situation and concentrating on trying to look like a competent adult ready for August 29th!

We went to the World Championship Para Athletics on a total spur of the moment. We scored tickets for £25 each and had the best Saturday night watching sprint finals at varying distances and classifications. Hands down a recommendation if we do get to host the worlds again or you get the chance to go watch para sport- you get SO much for your money and more support can only help to gain more coverage and awareness for athletes.

Queuing in the rain at Stratford, so worth it. But £5.50 for a plastic bottle of Heineken in the stadium... not so much.

Food has been terribly dull this month. We ate at Inamo on an AYCE barbecue menu via Groupon in the early part of the month- the food was average, the service was appalling so we won't go into that too much, and otherwise it's all been tried and tested favourites where my schedule has been tight and I've been trying to get back to something resembling a routine again, that and of course paying off holiday spending on our credit card lead us to curb our enthusiasm for eating out too much, no bad thing.

I did treat myself to this much raved about book though. I'm going to be back in my own kitchen and able to cook for myself whenever I want, all the time soon and this kind of 'chuck it all in' kind of cooking is how I love to do it. The book itself is simple but beautiful and I can't wait to try a few roast-esque meals from it.

The Roasting Tin - available on Amazon and I've seen it in major bookshops & supermarkets too

I got gobby when it comes to opinions on my blog this month. I heard some horror stories, including someone who has started running and was laughed at by their friends which reminded me that other people's opinions say more about them than they do about you- click if you missed it

And the floral skirt from the my aforementioned fashion post- click if you missed it, has had a lot of attention so if you want one, you can buy the very same floral midi skirt from eBay for less than £10.

This month, Friday to be precise, my great-grandmother also passed away. She very literally fought dementia for 15 years and it was a blessing that she left this life behind, albeit less peacefully than we had hoped. I've talked about #RunningDownDementia before, but do take a look if you fancy doing a little something to help a disease that robs you of so much, not least your dignity- click here to read about it. 

What I've been reading:

I am standing with the #boycottBoots campaign after their completely outrageous moralising of their decision not to lower the price of the morning after pill in line with other UK retailers. The Pool have eloquently summarised the saga and included a handy link to the #JustSayNon bpas campaign where you can send a pre-written email straight to the inboxes of those in charge at Boots to express your displeasure with their attitude. . Boots have now apologised, but it's still worth a ready of the post because it really highlights the problem of moralising access to contraception.

This post from Women's Running Magazine on why women make better ultra-runners is a fascinating look into how different genders approach problem solving and endure hardship. 

Cancer Research UK discussed the impact of the ban on smoking in public  full 10 years after it came in. I was doing a lot of pub and bar work as the ban came in and I remember it well. 

How to wear denim shorts as an adult, this post on The Pool caught my eye as someone currently very attached to my DIY cut offs after being sick of bum flashing shorts available to purchase!

A brilliant read on body size, body image and making your own clothes.

Should there be cut off times for major running events such as big city marathons? An interesting view point and a great read.

ZSL are collaborating with Oasis and the items are BEAUTIFUL! I slipped and fell onto some tiger trainers and a stunning shirt. Check out the whole range on the Oasis website right HERE

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