Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Month In Review: March 2017

That's a quarter of 2017 done and dusted right there! I always used to wonder how it's possible to forget how old you are- oh the naivety of the 10 year old, this week I had to think hard and pause for a second whilst I worked out that I am currently 27 (not 26 and not yet 28) years of age. I'd say it's a sobering thought but actually it made my reach for the wine glass all the quicker.

This month is running heavy. Call this fair warning... It sometimes seems like all I talk about is running, sports and food. This is such a huge change from the interest and lifestyle I had even 2 years ago and unrecognisable from 5. I won't apologise for that because running and becoming active has given me far more than I take from it. I wouldn't say I'm a natural sports woman and staying healthy is not something that has come easy to my either but friends I've met, the confidence I have gained and finding some joy in activity are things I wouldn't change. Having a good relationship with food is something that is prized by so many, especially I feel of my own generation, and not talking openly about food- especially about food which is healthy without otherwise branding it as 'good' or 'clean' or automatically assuming it's dull can only help with this issue in my humble opinion.

So, my March started on a high. I completed my first ever half marathon and achieved my goal of finishing happy. I wasn't fixated on my time, I wasn't miserable or in pain, I was just pleased I'd done what I set out to and that I had enjoyed it. Well... as much as one can do in arctic winds and rain at the start line... I created a bit of a photodiary for the Cambridge Half Marathon, so click if you missed it.

Cambridge Half 2017 medal photo 4d7ef059-9ce9-42ad-a134-0f081c2d4e6d_zpssygepmpo.png
It was really bloody cold...

The other half marathon event I've had my eye on for 2 years running is a local to me event- the North London Half which starts (and finished) at Wembley and takes in the Saracens stadium- Allianz Park at the halfway point. It was too close to the Cambridge Half this year and last year I didn't find out about it in enough time to train, so when a call for volunteers to marshal the event was coupled with the offer a of a free place next year in return, I pushed the button and found myself trying to get into the Allianz Park stadium at 0630 on a Sunday morning... We had a proper party on the sidelines and you can read more about our experience as volunteers for a big running event via my photodiary - click if you missed it. 

North London Half Marathon 2017 photo 33400651365_d8ec1419c8_o_zpsyv5o5msl.jpg
Early doors does not even begin to cover it!

And then there was the virtual race. In aid of International Women's Day I signed up for the Women's Running Magazine race - the idea is that you can run your distance anywhere within a time frame (usually a week or two) in this case, you were free to set your own distance, so I went for 5k, which is a bit out of my comfort zone.

#InternationalWomensDay 2017 Women's Running Virtual Run Medal photo 32560601293_8da8eb69c2_o_zpsz4yiujbp.jpg

And in the theme of IWD I posted about continuing to inspire the younger women in our lives after big events like IWD

I also ventured north this month, and I don't just mean north of London. We headed up to Leeds to visit Tom's parents who moved there at the beginning of the year. I'd heard loads of good things but never had a need to go, but we loved it. The food culture in the city is booming and vibrant with none of the scary southern prices and a much more chilled out atmosphere. We met at vegetarian Indian street-food restaurant Bundobust for lunch as Tom's parents are both vegetarian and it's always my mission to find us somewhere that caters really well for them, Bundobust certainly delivered. In the evening, after watching the 6 Nations final, we wandered back out to Candlebar which was near to the apartment we had booked for the super large wine glasses and woodfired pizza (although I gather this is about to move on to a new home and sushi is coming in place of it...)

Leeds MAR 2017 photo 32701338773_983d81a747_o 1_zps5juo5kpw.jpg
Lift selfie... Tom didn't seem impressed with the idea...

So, more food, more running, more sports and more joy. Unfortunately, by contrast, the nasty snotty cold I went down with on return from our trip was conducive to precisely none of these things- fizzing with ideas and things to do but being under the weather and unable to do it all was grim. And an eye-opener given the growing need for awareness around disability & chronic illness. But that's another post currently sitting in my drafts as it slowly, slowly comes together into something coherent. Well, vaguely.

When I finally pulled myself together a bit better I was able to enjoy the fruits of a current lucky streak I'm on. My Brooks Ravenna 8 running shoes finally arrived and they got their first proper outing for club speedwork. So far- a springy shoe with loads of hell cushioning and plenty of mid-foot space as well as being a moderate-heavy support shoe.

Brooks Ravenna 8 Running Shoes photo 33305002322_a4b97b8647_o 1_zpspfyssbdf.jpg
So far, so good

And what better first event to christen them with than what was essentially a giant obstacle course? A giant inflatable obstacle course. 10 obstacles over 5km. It was insane, I ended up doing two laps and burned over 1200 calories over the 2 rounds. Madness!

Inflatable 5k Peterborough UK Running Events 2017 photo 33788632015_b455023e02_o_zpso5ihjwlq.jpg

And I followed the bouncy castles on steroids with a 40s night which a friend organised for charity as she's running VLM for Meningitis Now. Considering it was a bit of 'throw it together, that's kind of 40's' dressing up we did, I thought we looked pretty good, except I completely failed to get any proper pictures of us. Selfie it is.

40s Night Selfie photo 33757148246_3eb319bab8_o 1_zpsfs9v4paf.jpg

I think I was mostly just impressed that a decade after I first wore this dress for my 18th Birthday, it still fits!

A busy month. It's not really surprising that I didn't read a lot- or at least on the internet. I've been making a conscious effort to reduce my screen time after work lately and been reading more in print. I currently have a very decadent 4 magazine subscriptions and it's been enjoyable to dip in and out of them more this month. That said....

I posted this Aubergine Shakshouka recipe- baked eggs served in whole baked aubergines. It was a joy served with homemade (cheat's) sourdough, let me know if you give it a try.

 photo 33661747325_53f769b56c_o_zpsk5wxqtve.jpg

Dreams of doing a pull up? This Womens' Health UK article about developing the strength and correct mobility by using a TRX set up is genius.

Phoebe wrote about creating the perfect blog post- great considerations if you're looking to properly engineer your posts

Given the rise of the Social Influencer, reading Vogue attempt to define the label was interesting.

And now it's April. I have a pleasantly less busy month planned. I don't have any races booked, I'm not heading off on any trips, just a bit of weekend cycling, plenty of running training for a May feast of races, volunteering at the London Marathon for Cancer Research and I'm volunteering as a Marshal at the Hackney Half on 30th April- wave if you spot me-0 I'll be at the finish line of VLM and Hackney Marshes for the Hackney Half.


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