Sunday morning

Going for a run has become more a mental process than a physical one. The day I reached 15k I became pretty confident that I would not die in Hyde Park (though my tombstone would say 10-10-10, which would almost make it worth it.)  Today I decided to go for 20k (not the whole distance, there needs to be a challenge on the day right?) So it all started when the alarm goes off…

Alarm goes off – snooze. Obviously. 07:30 is waaaaaaay too early for a Sunday. A few weeks ago I was out of the door at 07:30am because I had a fear of running in public. The need for sleep has conquered that fear.

After breakfast and a bit of stretching I start my run at 8:30. In the cold wind, dressed in just jogging bottoms and t-shirt, my body does not want to run. Protest from my ankles to my knees, my calves that threaten to cramp up. I ignore it because in the first 10-15 min I Hate Running. My midriff starts to join in the protest, sometimes by creating a stitch, my right arm is telling me the bottle of water it is holding is too heavy. My lungs don’t want to take in oxygen properly, I cannot regulate my breathing and therefore my pace is all over the place. If you see a girl at the start and struggling, basically running like a lunatic, don’t worry: that would be me. My  first 10-15min are hell on toast. Then as soon as I literally turn a corner, my body resigns itself to it.

At this time in the morning on a Sunday there are not a lot of people out. Usually huddling in groups and blocking the pavement are the tourists who want to see London in one day and they marvel at you as they would the Big Ben. ( Once an American tourist decided it was appropriate to greet me with a wink and a ‘ Hello babe!’  Having  just done 10k, starting the 11th being sweaty, red-faced and gross, it was anything but appropriate. ) You also find the workaholics around this hour, suited and on mobile phones already, yes on a Sunday.

Then there are the walk-of-shamers, easily recognisable in their blatant Saturday evening attire, bottle of Lucazade/Red Bull in one hand, post coital fag in the other and a sleepy yet smug expression on face. They radiate not so much shame, more confusion to where on earth they have managed to get themselves the night before.

There are the dogwalkers, recognisable by their dogs of course and slowly the streets fill up.  You can see the bed-hair boyfriend who ran out to get two croissants for breakfast in bed or the dads who are taking the child out in its stroller to let mum have her lie-in. People waiting by the bus stop mostly in work uniform. By the time I pass the church on my route for the third time around 12k, the families start gathering around. A father trying to keep three little brothers in similar Sunday best outfits together, an eight year old girl with a Hello Kitty shoulder bag trying to imitate her mum. 

I am still running and when I near finish 15k the couples come out. All shapes, all sizes, all ages but mostly loved up. The younger ones usually walk hand in hand, her leaning on him a little; the older ones he has his arm around her, they usually have a bit of banter and she doesn’t know whether to push him away or to smile. The elderly couples seem to walk together, very much in tune with each other’s speed and preference of side of the road. They don’t talk much, they just are.

Thus went the thoughts and observations until I reached 16k and I suddenly realised something happened that hadn’t happened before: I was hungry. This is why you have those silly sports drinks I had forgotten to buy on Friday. I went for a run anyway cause would it really make a difference… Trying to fight it, by 18k I knew I was fighting against the clock as I was envisioning burgers and pancakes; then when I could see my flat, my Ipod playlist ran out, I was most definitely hungry and running on empty. Wow anti-climax…

For twenty minutes, sitting on the sofa, stuffing my face with pasta I am so delirious I think for a moment that I love running. I realise then that I don’t: I love eating and after the 10th of the 10th there will only be one of the aforementioned activities that I will keep up. 15 more days to go!

Put your money where my mouth is!

What seems like a long time ago now, I agreed to run the 4×5 +1 which will happen in two weeks.  Works been manic, so this week I actually had to start my day with a run and really people at 6.30am I too want to stay in bed and not start a 5K just to keep training. Weekends have been devoted for long runs and I tell you I can think off 1001 things I’d rather do on a Sunday morning…but still we are doing it and it is all for charity.

So please click on this link if you can spare a moment and some cash.

Thank you, have a lovely weekend x

Psst Secret!

One year when we were little – and I mean really little, I went to kindergarten and my sister not even yet, it was my mums birthday.

After the excitement of bringing her breakfast in bed (no doubt cold tea, orange juice with sugar decoration around the glass,  burnt toast with jam and a very special colourful birthday napkin) and self made presents, we got ready for school.

Mum tried to explain that she would like us to keep her birthday quiet and not tell everyone.  But why? we asked. Why do you not want to shout the best day in your life of the rooftops? Well… she decided that if she would tell people they would want her to throw a party and she didn’t feel like doing that. (My mother hates being the middle of attention, but that is a difficult concept for any child.) So ok, agreed? Let’s not say anything. Ok we agreed.

We opened the front door to start the walk to school, when my sister who was really little at the time spotted our neighbour. The neighbour waved, so my sister toddled over and shouted:

IT’S MY MUM’S BIRTHDAY!!!

Happy birthday mother! Wishing you many happy years to come x

Brighton hostel aka getting old

The moment we walked into the room, we heard a guy on the phone who started with the immortal opening line: “Hi it’s Steve, we met in the bar the other night” [ insert here what I imagine confused answer, then he goes] “Oh hang on…No that’s right, you are the other girl.” Nice Steve.

In any case Steve invited us to a house-party of the girl he couldn’t remember, trying to entice us with the promise: There will be loads of drugs! To which my brilliant neighbour answers: Er it sounds like a private affair, we wouldn’t want to impose.

Steve’s brother was also in the room, he was a tree surgeon. They had been living in their car for a week because they didn’t have any money and couldn’t find a job. He was also dairy intolerant and really that was the reason why his skin was so bad. He bought coconut milk though as a substitute. That didn’t have lactose in it did it? Oh and exfoliating your face twice a day was also really annoying and irritating. Literally.

Next there was a lovely French girl who hesitated when I asked for her name: Er Amanda. Really? Well no actually it is Amandine but… For the love of God darlin Amandine, do not bastardize your gorgeous name to Amanda just to please the Anglophones.

She was cute, she went to the party. Ah well can’t save them all. Stupid o’clock Steve thunders in to announce he’s going to get his guitar and play and just think about life. Great Steve, you’re about 12 so there is still lots to think about. Thinking is also usually done without shouting.

The second time I woke up with Steve’s brother shouting (though I am sure that he thought he was whispering) I’m In Need, I’m In Need! All of a sudden awake I listened again and heard what he said: Amandine! Amandine!

Cue to two love birds making out on a bunkbed. I’m in Need indeed.

(Plus come on girl, you’re French, you’re cute and well… he’s lactose intolerant! )

Ah  young love… Young love and the sudden realisation that by epic age of 25 you’re really too old to deal with all this!

A sneaky peak…

It seems surreal: I am typing this in the living room of my flat whilst both my sister and my parents are watching the tiny tv that we own. My parents have come over for a couple of nights to bring my sister’s stuff up from the land of the Dutch.

That is right, they drove up. They have now embraced the TomTom and even dared the congestion zone after having kittens about trying to avoid it. Why avoid it you ask? Well as the £8 really didn’t matter after such a long drive, it was more a panic about not knowing how to pay for it. Turns out they never had to cross it in the end. Panic over.

Last night they took us out for a lovely dinner, though we had a little incident at the end where my Dad forgot to press Enter to confirm the amount and started typing in his PIN, almost paying over a £1000 for the meal – Oops.

We had a lot to celebrate: my sister’s new flat, my flatmate’s new flat…

Yes this is one of the things that was on the cards: my darlin’ flatmate has bought a lovely one-bedroom flat East and unless we want to take our friendship to a whole new level, it is time to go our separate ways.

Take into consideration that the project I am working on will end in two weeks, I might well find myself jobless and homeless soon. * insert dramatic gasp*  Funnily enough I have never felt more ok with this idea. (Though B, when I come to visit you in Scotland next month you might have found yourself a live-in nanny until your eldest son is old enough to legally marry me. Though by that time I will be the decrepit age of 34… anyway guess that offer of an open return was a mistake!)

Really, it is not as dramatic as it sounds as I will move in with my flatmate for a couple of weeks, which is a win-win situation as it will settle her in living on her own in a new home and gives me a little more time to… well I don’t know to what?

To think, worry, procrastinate? This whole blog is written with an underlying ” What to do with my life” perspective – so perhaps, just perhaps now it is time to be brave and to make a couple of  decisions.

So watch this space, the next few weeks will be interesting and there is nothing like a minor crisis to stir things up a bit!

To be continued….