Saturday, August 31, 2019

2019 So Far: A Year of Pretty Cool Stuff... So Far

One of the things I have loved about blogging in years gone by, is the ability to reflect on what I’ve achieved. From the major ones like jobs and marathons and homes to the fun stuff like holidays, trips and events right through to all the little things that so often add up to a month or a year of cool stuff. 2019 so far has been a busy year- it’s not all been plain sailing, but when is it? But there’s been plenty of cool stuff packed into the year so far and it’s nice to not only reflect on that but also to remember a bit of gratitude for opportunities and abilities.

I saw in the new year pretty poorly, which I’ve banged on about quite a lot, Although it was pretty minor in the scheme of things, it was a real kick whilst I was down having had a house purchase fall apart on us and a rough year in 2018. We spent a lot of time regrouping on plans and working out where we were going to live come March when the contract on our rented flat would be due to come up. I did commit to running more regularly as my marathon training plan kicked in properly, and something that has become a real positive constant stemming from the commitment I made back here in January is AR London.


After resolving some of January’s woes, Feb was a huge improvement for me. I managed to build my running base right back up in January and marathon fever well and truly kicked in as the half way mark in training was heading my way rapidly. I reaped the rewards of training with a Half Marathon PB in Hillingdon (not only that, but I had a great time doing it)!

And probably the most exciting thing in the world ever, I got to feed a tiger!

It was my Christmas present from Tom and it’s the most amazing thing I think I’ve ever done in getting SO close to such an amazing animal. We also lucked out that day and got to see Red Pandas being fed by someone else super close up, and the Jaguars were spending some time inside too.

As the legals on our house purchase 2.0 dragged on it became increasingly clear we were going to need to move out of our flat, but we wouldn’t be completing on our house and had to think about temporary accommodation and storage. With both Tom and I marathon training and working particularly hard, it was far from ideal. We spent a lot of late nights packing our belongings trying to second guess how long we’d need to store them and if we had kept the right things out for the duration and season.


Oh and on the night that this happened, I cycled home from work just as the snow started falling. Wearing jeans and flat shoes... I was COLD.


I embraced run commuting to bolster my training and contend with a much longer journey to work from our temporary flat.


Tom ran Manchester marathon. We completed on our house. Moved into our house and I ran London Marathon.



Doesn’t sound like much, but it was mental. I still managed to fit in a session at the Printworks to see Above & Beyond and we also managed a little trip back here too....


Ah, birthday season. After mayhem of April, we tried to gather ourselves a little bit before big birthdays came our way. We celebrated both of us turning 30 within a couple of weeks of each other by heading out to our favourite place on the planet: Vietnam. But not before Tom turned 30 first...


I did manage to squeeze in one of the most hilarious and slightly mad runs ever- urban orienteering around London Bridge as part of the Recode Running events. How hard can it be to read a map and run?


Feels like we spent most of June in Vietnam too, and I embraced a new decade by feeling like I'd done my 20s to the best of my ability and looking forward to some fun in my 30s.

We did try and think about house renovations because we’ve got plenty of that to worry about over the coming months. I discovered the joy of a crow bar. With London Classics in my sights and Ride100 coming at me in August, we managed a sneaky little trip to Herefordshire to visit some of my family, but more importantly get the bike out on some hills. I got tan lines and some serious speed and joy going on the downhill stretches.

Most important of all though, this absolute babe came home with me. My birthday present from Tom was having my frame resprayed to this glorious shade of green as chosen by me, and these incredible decals of MY NAME added.



I got my swim on this month. My third and final event of the Classics is Swim Serpentine. I can swim, I didn’t think I was too bad in the water, and then I realised just how far 2 miles is to swim. As well as my own stints in the pool, I started regular coached swimming sessions to improve my technique and efficiency in the water. Learning new things really started to reignite some of the passion in me that had been lost somewhere along the way and I started to reflect a bit harder on what is important to me and how I keep including more of that in my life and let go of the things that are deadweight.


And so it’s the final week of August. I’m not sure how that happened exactly. I kicked the month off with Ride100. I wasn’t really feeling enthused for it and although I had a decent ride, it’s not one I’ll be entering again I don’t think- it’s an amazing route and great to give my road bike a good stretch out, but the crowds are a bit much for me. 2 out of 3 Classics medals in hand though.


I bit the bullet and bought my wetsuit for Swim Serpentine whilst we’re on the subject of the Classics as well. It’s possibly the least flattering thing I’ve ever worn, but it fits at least.

I got my head into goal setting for all kinds of things this month too. A natural follow on from prioritising the things most important to me. I’m going to talk about this separately, because I could go on for hours! But for all the digital in my life, pen and paper still owns my heart.

I went to my first full on festival this month too. Back in November Swedish House Mafia announced they were headlining Creamfields, I didn’t hesitate to book it. We got lucky that the weather was dry, making camping an infinitely more pleasant experience and I covered about 45000 steps dancing my heart away to SHM, Calvin Harris, MK, Laidback Luke Oliver Heldens and quite a few more. An experience I would repeat.



I also put myself out there a bit more this month. I have faltered at times with confidence as I’ve tried to make positive changes, but as a lead on from my post ‘Feel The Fear: Do It Anyway’ I’ve entered submissions into competitions, attended events and been more honest with myself as well as those around me which has felt like taking ownership back of a little piece of me that’s been absent. I didn't necessarily expect anything back, the act of doing something for myself was enough, but it turns out that sometimes risks have rewards and some exciting opportunities I'm not ready to share are developing.

So here's to 2019 so far. I'd like to go back to doing a 'month in review' type post if the writing continues to flow... let's see.


1 comment

LillianZahra said...

Love this round-up of the year so far! Well done on all the running, swimming and cycling. I love having these sorts of blog posts to look back on in the future and really need to write more of them too! x