Sunday, 24 January 2016

Marathon Training: Gloves, sore knees and frozen lungs

Anyone who knows me knows that I do not run.  Take me to a dance studio or give me a set of weights any day.  But running?  No, I don't do that.  Alas, I am running the London marathon in April so I have no choice but to run.

Now the marathon is drawing closer, it's on my mind more and more.  So I have decided to do a weekly blog post to keep you all updated on my marathon training.

I have been having problems with my knee since October due to a leg injury from ten years ago.  I only started seeing someone about my knee in January, it is now getting better and I am starting to up the training.

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Monday 18th January
I'd had an appointment on Saturday and the osteopath had told me that my knee was getting better, however when I went for a run later on that day my knee was not feeling much better.  However on the Monday afternoon I went for a 4 mile run, it took me 40 minutes and was in fact the longest I had run in months (I had previously been unable to run more than 3 miles due to knee pain).  I experienced barely any pain until the end of my run.  Could it be that my knee was finally getting better?!

Tuesday 19th January
This day was a rest day.  I was used to my knee aching on the day after a run, but this day, no pain and no ache.

Wednesday 20th January
I decided to go for a run after work.  I hate running in the dark, and this evening was cold and icy.  I hated the first two miles. But then got really into it and managed to achieve 5 miles in 49 minutes.  I did not realise how icy and cold it was getting until I stopped at a traffic light and noticed how the pavement was sparkling with ice and I could see my warm breath in the cold air.  I got home and saw that the temperature was actually minus one.  This was my favourite run of the whole week.

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Thursday 21st January
Thursday was my pole dancing class.  Again no aches or pains in my knee.  Brilliant!!

Friday 22nd January
Another day, another run.  I went for my run late afternoon and managed a great 6.4 miles in 1 hour 7 minutes.  I was so proud of myself.  This was the furthest I had ran since October! I had a couple of knee aches and slight twinges but nothing too major.

Saturday 23rd January
Another osteopath appointment, I couldn't wait to discuss the great news of my knee getting better!! She said it was coming along well and to go back in 2 weeks time.

Sunday 24th January
When I set out running today I wasn't sure how far I was going to run.  I got really into it after the first 3 miles and decided that I was going to go for 7 miles.  I can do it!! Or so I thought.  Into the fifth mile I could really feel the knee pain but I willed myself to go on but the pain got more intense and my running got slower and slower and I finally had to stop.  I managed 5.9 miles in 1 hour.

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Tomorrow is a rest day and I will go for another run on Tuesday, I hope the pain will not be as intense on Tuesday!  However 6 miles is a great achievement, I could barely run 3 miles 2 weeks ago!

Things I have learnt this week

  • Running in the cold hurts.  Not only does it hurt your fingers, your nose and your face.  It hurts your lungs.  Your lungs physically turn to ice, or so it feels.
  • Wearing gloves helps, it really really helps.  Especially for someone who always has cold hands.  Apart from when your hands get too hot, you take off the gloves and have no where to put them, and then stuff them down your bra.
  • I have more energy in the evening.  Running in the day time is great, it's a good feeling knowing that I have accomplished a run before an evening shift at work.  But I always tire too quickly in the day time, I can run faster in the evening and for longer.
  • People are rude.  I swear people step in front of me on purpose when I'm out of breath and unable to stop.  Especially bratty little school kids.
  • But then my faith in people is restored when they stop to let me past, or they stop their car so I can cross the road without having to stop running.  I like these people.
  • Metallica is great running music.
All in all, a great week for my marathon training.  I cannot wait to see what next week brings!

I am running for the amazing charity Whizz Kidz, if you would like to sponsor me, you can do so here.

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Summer Holiday: Las Vegas - Hawaii - Los Angeles

I don't know about you but I have been so tired recently! I have been coming home from work, lounging on the sofa under a blanket after work, going to bed early just to stay warm, then waking up and going to work the next day.  I blame the weather and the time of year.  January is officially the worst month ever.

A friend and I have been dreaming of summer.  Hot weather, the beach, the sea, so last night we decided too book a holiday.  My friend came round and over a Chinese takeaway, cups of teas and excited squeals, we managed to book our dream holiday.  Me being me, it was nothing uncomplicated.  I do like an elaborate and complicated holiday.  I am going to give you a little insight to what we booked.

We had carried out lots of research over the last month.  We had checked prices with a few travel companies, and calculated the price of doing our own thing.  In the end we called Virgin, who were really helpful, patiently listened to out girlish high pitched excitedness, and offered us the best deal.

In July we are flying out to Las Vegas. Where we stay for 3 nights.  I cannot wait to check out the fancy hotels, visit the Neon Museum, go to the Grand Canyon, go shopping and check out what else Vegas has to offer.  Virgin threw in a limo ride from the airport to the hotel, what a great start to the holiday!

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We are then flying over to Hawaii where we stay in a hotel on Waikiki Beach for 6 nights.  I am excited to check out the beaches, hike up diamond head, go to Manoa Falls, go to thHanauma Bay Nature Preserve and visit Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor.

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I feel like I will never want to leave Honolulu but then we are off to Los Angeles where will be spend three nights.  Here I am looking forward to check out some rooftop bars, maybe do some yoga, look at the Hollywood sign, go to the Hollywood Bowl, visit the Runyon Canyon and much more.  We certainly won't be able to fit everything I want to do into three days.

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As you can imagine, I am SO EXCITED!! I am doing two of the things I wanted to do this year, visit somewhere I have never been before and travel outside of Europe.  I don't like to wish time away but I cannot wait until July!!!

Have you been thinking of summer holidays?

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Woah! You're 25 now?!

Being 25 is such a weird age.  Six months ago I turned 25, so I feel that I am fully qualified to comment on the great things and stranger things of being this age.

You turn 25 and your friends say "halfway to fifty!" Your parents ask where your walking stick is, and your brother declares "quarter of the way to 100!"  You go home and cry into your cup of tea whilst watching the news and wondering what you can put into your packed lunch tomorrow.

25 is great.  Is it closer to 30 or 20? I mean, technically it is closer to 30 as no one is getting any younger, but you can get away with it.  You're friends with 30 year olds.  You're friends with 20 year olds.  Your friends in their 30s are more fun.

You don't care what you look like anymore.  When you make the effort you can look great, even you fancy yourself when you're ready for an evening out.  But during the day what does it matter if you're not wearing make up? Who cares if your clothes aren't matching?  Sure, it's acceptable to go to the supermarket looking like a homeless person who has been dragged through a hedge backwards, and then you bump into a work colleague.

You get invited for drinks with the neighbours.  What?! Me?! Seriously?!  You have to act grown up, sipping on champagne and nibbling on whatever food they offer you, making adult conversation.  This feels great! I feel so grown up!! The next evening you let loose with your friends doing handstands against the living room wall and sliding along the kitchen in your socks.  Just because you can.  You can act like you're five with your friends.

You get told you're old, way too much.  You go to a festival and get chatting to a group of people , you find out they are sixteen, they find out you are 25 and they say "that's old".  You're at a bar and you get ID'd. the guy checking the ID says "woah, sorry" when he realises how old you are.  You get chatting to a guy on a night out who turns out to be 19 and when he learns you are 25 he says "that's so old".  CHEERS EVERYONE.  Make me feel good about myself why don't you.  It's not like I am ancient.  I am only TWENTY FIVE.

You get told you're young, quite a lot.  You get ID'd all the time, which is great.  Please ID me forever people.  You get your ID out for the older lady who works at the supermarket, who then gets out her magnifying glass and asks if your ID is real.  Erm look at this face, does it look younger than 18?  I don't think so.  You get talking to a guy on a night out who turns out to be 20 (why do the young ones always choose me), and when he discovers I am 20 says that I don't look that old, I only look 23.  THANK YOU! I don't care if you are just saying this.  I love you!! Just kidding you're way too young for me.  You're in your day job at the hospital and often patients ask if I'm old enough to be in this job.  No.  I'm not actually.  I'm just some young impostor off the street who happens to know what they're doing.

It's Saturday night.  You're in bed, with your favourite blanket and a hot water bottle, whilst sipping on a cup of tea and writing a blog post about being 25.  It's 10pm and you are in bed.  You were in bed by 9pm last night, and that was a Friday night.  It's the weekend, SORT YOUR LIFE OUT.  Wait.  It's January and it's cold outside.  I couldn't think of anything worse than going on a night out right now.  I love nights in!!

You go on a night out.  It feels like your group of friends are the oldest in the bar (maybe because this is a Thursday and it's student night).  Everyone is downing pints and acting so immature, a 10 year old (perhaps he could pass for 18) touches your bum.  There are girls wearing just bras.  Are they not going to get frost bite?! But then you and your friends rip up the dance floor, show them how it's done, dancing like it's 1989 (I wasn't even born in '89.)  It's been a great night.  You're knackered, it's late.  You go home at 1am.

It's Christmas.  You have friends over, the collection of empty wine bottles grows larger and larger.  You end up on a night out, there's shots, there's beers, there's all types of drinks you don't even remember.  You leave the club at 3am, and invite everyone over for a party.  You go to bed at 6am.  You have work that afternoon,  You can still do it (just).

You know how to avoid a hangover.  You know how much alcohol your body can take.  You know to eat before drinking.  You know to drink water during the night out and plenty of water before going to sleep. You know mixing drinks equals a headache.  Never drink beer after consuming wine.  Most shots make you sick.  You know all this, and often stick to it.  Those times you feel young when you wake up in the morning, yesssss you still don't get hangovers.  Sometimes you choose to ignore this wealth of information.  Very stupidly may I add.  Those are the times you wake up wanting to chop your head off.  You swear to never drink again, at least not that month.  You feel old.  You can't do hangovers anymore.

You have a job.  Make that a full time career.  You have to be responsible in your job.  You got a promotion not that long ago, that means the managers actually believe you are responsible enough.  It is your duty to train people, to organise people.  What?! Me?! I can't even organise myself.  But somehow you are doing it, maybe sometimes blindly, but you are actually doing it.  20 year old you would be shocked and proud.

You save money and think about the future.  Every weekend used to involve some sort of drinking and spending money. Now the drinking and spending has slowed down, you save money like a responsible adult. Sure, you used to save money but then would dip into it at the end of the month.  But that is now forbidden.  You have realised that you are actually capable of saving money and thinking sensibly about the future.

What is age really though?  You are only as old as you want to be.  Right?!

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Switzerland Adventures: Part V

Earlier on in the week I shared my stay in Bern with you, which you can read here.  Whilst I was staying in Bern, I took a day trip to Geneva.  

Monday, 4 January 2016

Switzerland Adventures: Part IV

Bern was like no place I have ever been before.  After researching the place before I traveled, I expected it to be smaller, I didn't expect to enjoy it so much.  I took 621 pictures in Bern (don't worry, they are not all in this post!!), expect clocks, the amazing buildings and architecture, creepy stalker men and Albert Einstein.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Winter Wonderland

In December, a friend and I decided to plan a trip to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, but with both of us being so busy we did not have a single day free so decided to visit on the 2nd January, the day before it closes.  So we finally went yesterday and I was super excited, I love Winter Wonderland.  It contains everything I love about winter.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

What I Got For Christmas

Is it too late to do this sort of post?! It's only the 2nd January.  Christmas was only 8 days ago.  I had a lovely day spent with my family, getting to hang out with them, catch up on gossip and having a laugh.  That was the best thing about Christmas day, getting to hang out with my beautiful family.

Let's have a look at some of my presents.

Friday, 1 January 2016