Thursday, 30 October 2014

Running like a girl

My life in exercise

First school: aged 4-8
Always last on sports day. I was once carried to the end of the running race by the head teacher. Out of pity probably.
Always chosen to do the demonstration in swimming lessons.

Middle school: aged 9-12
Belonged to, and later Vice Captain of, Mellstock, one of the 4 houses of the school. This house was renowned for its athletic ineptitude and never ever won a sports cup. APART FROM in the swimming gala. We always cleaned up there.
Was once forced to do a gymnastic display in assembly. Nailed the handstand-forward roll I had been practicing.
Played tennis on weekends.

High School: aged 13:15
Still hated sports, apart from swimming. PE and games were feared.

Sixth form: aged 16 and 17
Bunked off all PE classes instead choosing to stay in the common room and talk to boys about music or talk to girls about boys.

Shunned all forms of physical exercise in favour of drinking tea and watching Friends 50 times a day. Swam sporadically.

Year abroad
Took dance lessons as a good way to learn French and sound cool.
Swimming pools were grossly busy and full of men in Speedos. I naturally avoided.

After University
Took up Pilates, and then yoga. Discovered I love yoga, especially the hot yoga classes at Yoga Fever.
Flirted with spin classes, Zumba and circuits but no true love match was made.

It is fair to say I never had that competitive nature so required for most team sports. I preferred to keep myself to myself and participate in solo activities such as gymnastics and swimming. Because of this I always had the mentality that I "wasn't a runner". Back in 2010 my lovely, sporty, energetic mother signed me up for the Cardiff Half Marathon. I reluctantly got training and gradually realised I could run an hour on the treadmill without much of a problem. It appealed to all the things I liked about swimming, yoga etc. I could do it alone, it cleared my head but it had an added bonus of providing a sense of achievement.

Since then I run regularly, sometime with massive breaks in between. And often I will hit mental blocks where I convince myself I cannot do it. Running is a mental battle for me as much as a physical one. I have to get over more the 20 years of telling myself I am not sporty enough to do this. So when I read Alexandra Heminsley's book "Running like a girl", I could really relate. Being a runner does not have to mean you are the most sporty person in the world. It just means you like to run. Time and distance are not important. I just do what feels right for me and set my own goals.

Friday, 24 October 2014

I am not going to buy any new make up in November. No I'm not. I'm not

Boots and I have a ongoing love affair. I go in only needing ibuprofen and come out £50 lighter justifying it with all the Advantage card points I am amassing even though I lost my card a year ago. Hywel and I are currently trying to sell our house so last night I had a little sort out. Just look at all the make-up I have. I only have one face! And this is after I chucked loads away.

So, no more make-up. For a month. I'm hoping the money I save will allow me to buy those books on my wishlist which I think are just a little too expensive (but still less than that lipstick I impulse bought in Boots last week).

Seriously, who needs 15 eye-liners?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Power down

Yesterday at work there was a power cut which meant, once our laptops had run out of charge, we couldn't do much work. I decided to take the afternoon off. It's quite strange having an unplanned afternoon off on a weekday. My husband and my friends were in work so it was just me on my own with some free hours to kill. To begin with I did some boring things I've been meaning to do for a while (had my fringe trimmed, booked a dentist appointment) then I though I should actively do something otherwise I might waste my newly acquired free time playing Bejeweled Blitz and watching How I Met Your Mother repeats (not funny but always on TV).

After watching Sunday's Downton Abbey I remembered that I had started making the Margot pyjama bottoms from Tilly and the Buttons' pattern book. My beloved sewing machine broke before I was able to finish these but I now have my mother in law's much better sewing machine, which is actually made for grown ups. I think I might just keep it a bit longer.

I have sewed many a garment before but always with the knowledge that my infinitely talented mum could help me out if (haha IF) I made a mistake. Not so this time. I was on my own. Tilly's book is so helpful and clear to follow though which really helped. I will confess to making a few slip ups along the way (that piece of lace is not a sexy garter but covering up where I accidentally cut the leg in two) but I am very happy with the outcome. The pyjamas even survived a night of sleeping in them and were extremely comfortable. I hope they also fare ok in the washing machine.
The finished product!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Bunking off work (kind of)

On Friday Hywel and I took a cheeky half-day off work to go to town, shop, eat and go to the cinema. There is something about walking around town on a weekday that always makes me feel like I'm bunking off (mitching, skiving, whatever you want to call it). I used to love it when I had a doctor or dentist appointment or something and mum would take me around the shops for a bit before driving me back to school. 
Sophie's on High Street Arcade

First stop on our bunk was Sophie's Crêperie in the high Street Arcade for what turned out to be the perfect lunch. We have tried other crêperies in Cardiff before (naming no names) which have been disappointing but Sophie's was amazing. Hywel has cheese and ham while I went for the complete which is basically cheese and ham with an egg. They were really filling and très délicieuses.  Go there!

After shopping some serious bargains we went to see Gone Girl at the cinema. I loved this book and was a bit worried the film would be a let down but I really enjoyed it. I think Rosamund Pike in particular was extremely well cast as Amy. Even though I knew what was coming, the suspense was just right.

Today I am massively aching as I power marched the Cardiff half yesterday with my mum. We smashed our predicted time with the help of sheer determination and free doughnuts (serious thanks to all supporters, especially ones with free baked goods). With my aching comes an insatiable hunger. Send food please.
My well deserved medal