C’est moi!

I can’t believe I left my blog to die in an electronic ditch somewhere in the vast cyberspace. I’ve seen many Uni acquaintances this week writing online and it’s encouraged me to take it up again. So I found myself sifting through my old posts and recognising what an incredible self-help tool writing is. Hello, WordPress…. again!

I liked my writeandrun journey and thinking I’ll have to do something similar to ensure I commit to writing every other day.

A lot has changed since I last wrote and I feel my conversation flow has become somewhat sticky since then, too. I think I’ll need to familiarise myself with the various settings, tags and excerpts, too. Who knew blogging was a skill akin to piano playing? If you don’t practice regularly, you soon fall out of the way.

Let me get back to you on that one. Things that I’m interested in a the moment are metafit and salsa. But I certainly couldn’t do metafit every day for 31 days! Surely if I scour the internet hard enough I’ll find an inspiring challenge… In fact, I’m going to do that right now!

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Joe Passed!

#writeandrun31
Day 30

It’s the penultimate day of my resolution to exercise and write every day for the month of January. This evening, filled with a dirty virus, and not been able to exercise for three days, I’m eating pizza. Well, I’ve actually stopped eating the pizza because I ate too many crisps. Great. Binge eating practically, right? Sometimes I can’t help myself.

I wish I would have been able to finish this month as healthily as it started, but it’s been great fun and I’ve learned a lot about myself. I never knew I could,d spin so hard and run so fast!!

Joe passed his exam! Yaaay! So we will actually get free time together again. It’s been really difficult for us both. But Joe has worked exceptionally hard and deserved every correct mark and more! So to celebrate, we can enjoy our holiday to Israel without worrying about any studying and exams! Just on to applying for jobs!

And speaking of jobs… My one week temporary position as Receptionist at the local car dealership has been upgraded to a promoted permanent position. I must admit, it is quite tempting given it’ll give me a few months of skills building before Joe and I move in August.

Running Again

#writeandrun31
Day 27

I am stuck for words today. I think it might be because I haven’t stopped talking from 0800 – 1810.

I’ve spoken to Joe and it seems his exam went okay! We’ll find out his results tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed. Remember, depending on how well Joe has done today, he’ll be ranked and that’ll ultimately determine where we can move to in Summer!

In fact, it was because I was asking every question imaginable about the exam that I missed the 1800 spin class so gingerly got on the treadmill. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the treadmill today as it was the first time for, what?, two weeks? A little longer, maybe? I didn’t even have my running shoes, just gym trainers.

I needed to do something and the pool just didn’t tickle my fancy. I wanted to feel the sweat dripping down my cheeks and stinging my eyes. I started at a reasonable pace to complete my 20 minute Tempo run and reached 3.55km, a relatively respectful distance, actually. It was a comfortable run, too.

But I couldn’t help notice the 6 girls surrounding me. That is, 3 pairs of girls. Six treadmills is a lot when there are, say. 20 in total. I wouldn’t object if they were working out, but to just non committedly jog-walk-hold on is a little bit of a waste, no? They continued their workouts on the stretching area to do ‘circuits’. It was a snug jumble of legs, squats and dumbbells. I’m not sure how it all worked, really. I untangled myself from their web (I unconsciously got wrapped in) to hit the shower.

I think tonight will be a movie with an Options hot chocolate. I’m desperate for a chocolate fix today so choosing the healthier option. It’s lucky Joe didn’t leave chocolate or biscuits hidden in the house because I would’ve needed to tear through everything to find them, and I’m already in pyjamas so not bracing the Aberdonian dark night.

Remember to indulge yourself this week. Plan it in to ensure you give yourself that treat.

Indulgence

#writeandrun31
Day 22-26

Has it really been this long? Does it mean that I haven’t filled up my writeandrun31 quota? Excuses, lazy, busy or forgetfulness? The reason why I haven’t been keeping my blog can be up to you, but I’ve been keeping a healthy lifestyle behind closed doors or, in this case, shut iPad.

Indulgence
The fact is that I became tiresome of social media. I get like that a bit sometimes. Sometimes I like to close off from technology as an act of selfless indulgence in being mindful to the here and now. I spent the weekend feeling a little under the weather and I think that’s part of it; to finish #writeandrun31 I’ve got to finish healthy. So despite sheer determination to exercise every day of January, by allowing myself rest days so I can complete January without injury nor illness. It’s also incredibly important to me to support joe as much as possible. The days have been creeping towards his exam which is tomorrow.

I love an old book; its silky pages, cracked spine and musky smell. I picked up The Nuer last Thursday and it’s wonderfully reminiscent of my days studying in the sleepy town of St Andrews. I had 4 hours of classes per week so spent a lot of time reading interesting (and sometimes not so interesting) ethnographies and was captivated by prolific anthropologists. Thursday though, I indulged in Evans Pritchard’s technical writing.

I’ve committed myself to a week’s Temping job at a local car dealer’s Service store. It’s remarkably fun given my role is outlined as to connect customers to the right staff regarding their enquiry. So I am indulging in administrative duties for some pocket money. Well, since not teaching I have been living relatively modest and haven’t been able to spend as extravagantly, to be honest, so my pocket money will most likely go Joe’s way, to pay my way!

So I urge you to indulge yourself this week. Take a bubble bath, read the book you’ve been meaning to start, enjoy a date night, get your nails done. Do something for yourself and take a break from the normal. You’re worth it.

#writeandrun31
Day 22 & 25
The weekend was pillared by an hour of spin on each day. I deliberately push myself hard during every track so by the time there are 20 minutes left, my legs are burst and abs burning.
Day 23 & 24
The weekend wasn’t as adventurous. I shamefully snoozed through Friday night’s Body Pump class and slept most of Saturday. Crazy weekend, right?
Day 25
After my first day of work in a while, I was starving by the time I got home. A hunger pang that big could only be filled with an over-sized portion of Veggie Chilli with sliced jalapeños and a double dose of grated cheese and guacamole. Yummy!

Untameable Hair
Crazy over the weekend but professional and sleek for today.

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Cold Runnings

#writeandrun31
Day 21

Social media exploded last night with running in cold weather. To prove me right or to contradict me, who am I to judge? But I’m still undeniably against running outside in such extremities. These guys, however, seem to relish the cold, snowy days and the unique runs they offer. They boast about muscle seizing and lungs bursting because of the cold.

There are even organised races for those crazy people who enjoy pushing their limits in below zero conditions. I don’t know, unless you live in an area that’s like that (and no, Aberdeen’s annual -2C doesn’t count) and so there’s no other way (there’s always a treadmill, but anything over 5K get boring for me) to run, then it’s ludicrous.

I’ve already admitted that I’m a seasonal cyclist and I’m ok with that. There’s absolutely no way you’ll get me out when there’s any ice on the road. Not only is it dangerous for club runs, it’s also dangerous going solo. If you have a slip or skid and get badly hurt on isolated aberdeenshire roads, you’re stuffed. Hello hypothermia. But I love running outside when it is a cold, crisp day. There’s nothing better than running with a low sun, sunglasses on and wrapped up. But, have you ever come back from a cold run and your skin is a patchwork of bright orange and pinks that sting so bad? Well, this blog suggests that’s us just one step away from frost bite. Is that reason number one to move somewhere hot? Mmmm… yes, please.

writeandrun31
Day 21
A cold is working on me. I feel it under my skin and in my nose. So it is difficult not to discourage myself from getting active today, but I realise not exercising could become a habit when feeling slightly under the weather. Nothing hurts, I’ve had enough sleep and I ate my weight in pizza last night, so I’m well fuelled on carbs. I’m now faced with a question: rest day or lazy day? Last night was a peaceful swim, the day before Body Pump and before that, rest day. So today, I’m just being lazy… time for spin!

Batman
Joe has me hooked onto a podcast called This American Life. It’s a weekly, hour long podcast which chooses different themes per week and puts together different stories. It’s a unique format that they say is

like movies for radio. There are people in dramatic situations. Things happen to them. There are funny moments and emotional moments and—hopefully—moments where the people in the story say interesting, surprising things about it all. It has to be surprising. It has to be fun.

This week is about a guy who doesn’t feel blind, but is medically diagnosed as blind. He has learned to construct the world around him using echo location through clicking using his tongue. He has had an interesting life, where his mum was marginalised by society for encouraging her son to develop socially unacceptable habits (the clicking) to help him trust his senses and navigate. Even as a child, he would ride his bike and climb trees.

Untameable Hair
Whispy and tucked into my scarf… It’s cold!

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Sore Squats

#writeandrun31
Day 20

I was wondering yesterday just how many people have given up their resolutions now we’re in the full swing of January, or at least struggling to keep to them now routine has seeped in and the Festive period is over. I certainly am finding it difficult, especially the last couple of days.

I had a sick bug on Sunday so spent most of the day in bed sleeping it off, although Joe took me out later so we could walk together in the snow. It would’ve been very romantic if my tummy wasn’t so sore! But it was magical with the snowflakes falling on us but I chose not to do any exercise that day!

writeandrun31
Day 19 & 20
Yesterday though I was back to normal and in Body Bump! I even managed to put my weights up! Sweat was dripping off my elbows for most of the routines. I was a bit unsure of Release 92 at he start of the year, but I’m enjoying now that I know the choreography and knowing which weight to use when.

Squat weight is tough again. When I first started weights, I had a Personal Trainer so I’ve only ever known proper posture. So, with my new weight and keeping good posture, it’s difficult to squat really low. But it’s awesome because it’s definitely something to work on and I’m looking forward to every low bum, sore hammies, sweat pouring squat.

But, oh my goodness, for the first time in months, I’m feeling it today! My legs are tight! Which can only mean one thing… Today’s swim and sauna stretch to loosen them off! Tuesday night at the pool is a treat. The lights are off and all the boys are very pretty… But they know it! Three boys joined my in the sauna and all they could talk about was “gym farting” (way TMI) and who had the bigger muscles, then they were replaced by a trio of slightly more mature guys who were flexing their muscles, too!

What is about people who take the gym so seriously?! I’m lucky if my clothes are remotely coordinated! Nevertheless, my shins are getting better through rest and ice but I’m definitely going to leave off running until next week at least.

I’m a (running) addict
Especially when I’m not in tip top shape, all I can think about is running. I came across this list of reasons you know you’re addicted to running. Many are true to me, but I do believe numbers 17 (running on holiday) and 18 (too embarrassed to go for a pedicure) are most relevant to me. Running around a city when you’re on a business trip or holiday is a great way to explore a city by foot, but is quicker than walking.

I passed 4 runners today…4!! The layer of snow had turned to ice overnight and most pavements now resemble ice rinks. Jogging today, no matter how wrapped up you are is one sure way to saying hello to a cheeky little injury.

Raw Veganuary
If only everywhere was as sunny and warm as this vegan’s life! I’d love to be able to fuel up on purely veggies and fruits, but it is a little too chilly to be eating cold foods on Aberdeen! Maybe I should invest in vegan clothing to keep me warm as I eat my chilled salad? Unfortunately, Veganuary for me finished a little while ago. While I dream of going back to vegan I’m just not sure it’s the right time for me. We’re in Israel for 10 day of February, so if I’m eating vegan there, I’ll continue on for the rest of the month. Promise.

Untameable Hair
Furiously wild today. Body Pump finished at 7pm last night and I was being picked up at 7.30pm as I mark a popular local pub quiz every fortnight. It was a very quick (and cold!) shower, hair wash and toasted bagel! So my hair dried naturally into a wonderful frizz!

Magic Beans

#writeandrun31
Day17

I (re)downloaded Twitter and Instagram today. Not because I have the urge to share even more of my life than what I already do blogging, but because of a faulty gift. Joe brought me a Magic Bean Can by Tiger Stores. After unsuccessfully searching for an email, I took to Twitter because who wants their company publicly slated? In this day and age, we are all too aware of how social media can not only enhance but manipulate public image.

Well, my Magic Bean Can (the size of a small, hotel-sized soda can) was tipped onto the desk (only a little dust went on Joe’s study books) and the hunt was on for my magic bean. Carefully sifting through the gold-leaf-look-a-like soil and anticipation high, I was searching for my little bean with a heart shape motive. My heart sank when I used a teaspoon to put the soil, bit by bit, back into the 250ml can and I hadn’t found my bean.

Why wasn’t it there? I wanted to know. The instructions said to empty contents, repack, push bean 1cm into soil and water every 3 days. But how could magic grow without my bean!? So, I took to Twitter to find out! 1hour later and they want my address to send me my magic bean!

writeandrun31
Day 17
I tried a very slow jog on the treadmill for 3 minutes to test my shin splints. I didn’t last 2 and I could honestly cry out of desperation to get back into power-gear-go! So before breakfast, I treated myself ice cubes wrapped in a towel. Very chilly!

I went to Run for It yesterday to ask about treatments. I felt embarrassed explaining that I might have pushed too fast too quickly (but I was enjoying it)! I saved face by saying I’m icing, stretching, cross training and foam rolling every day. They only had Skinz shin compressors, but I’ve also been recommended by Alan another, bulkier wrap, which helped for him. I’m not convinced. I know I need total rest from running just now, but are these things not preventers rather than treatment? They’re too pricey if they’re not going to help.

Untameable Hair
Crazy, fluffy and unclaspable from Body Pump last night. It was a quick shower because we were going out so I decided to leave washing my hair to today. Big mistake. Not even dry shampoo can thwart it from becoming ever more uncontrollable.

Starbucks Dining Hall

#writeandrun31
Day 16

Starbucks seems to be the local School Dining Hall. Chips and cheese included. After a Barista asked them relatively politely to leave the girls sat down again. A group of girls, likely 2nd years, are bad news when they start to jeer each other along. They’re loud, rude and a bit of a nuisance by disturbing the relaxing atmosphere.

They returned 10 minutes later. They’d obviously finished their delightful main course and now each grasping 1L bottles of Lucazade for desert and pinging elastic bands at a group of 4 geeky boys in the back. Their afternoon teachers are going to be psyched to have this bunch of caffeinated and carb-overloaded giggling girls in their class.

You’ve no idea how hard it was to suppress my inner teacher.

Medical WAG
I recently wrote about my experience being the partner of an Anaesthetist. This morning joe came home after a week of nights, exhausted as he tumbled onto bed fully dressed, eyes closing. I had to wake him up to get him into his pyjamas. I missed him last night. At the start of the week, it’s exciting to have the house to myself. I usually read, take a bath, paint my nails and watch a film. It’s a strange feeling because I think I stay up late because I want to be surrounded by his things. By Thursday night, I just want him home. I’m wearing his pyjamas, cuddling his childhood toy and I miss sleepy conversation, so I climb next to him in the middle of the day (his night time) just to get my cuddle fix. Is that sad? Too much information? Or, cute?

writeandrun31
Day 16
I’m booked in for Body Pump tonight and you have my word that I will go!… I won’t be sleeping through it! Combining running and blogging for my resolution has made me make a commitment to get out there and it’s a huge motivator! Its a huge motivator not to take lazy days… I had good intentions yesterday!)! But I still think it’s important to know when it’s important to rest (lack of sleep, pain, dizziness) and recognise when I am just feeling lazy (I’ll go get to go to the sauna afterwards and have a Kinder Bueno). Jen pretty much summarises it in her blog.

Ps. Treadmill
I’m really missing the treadmill! I was reading 21 fantastic reasons why it’s the best here. Turns out, I’m not the only one who takes a sneak peak at the treadmill next to me to see who’ running faster…! I fell a little less guilty now… Let the treadmill races begin!

Untameable
I’m enjoying tender no to my hair after the gym so my hair is still sitting quite nicely today. Wavy and shimmering red in the sun!

Sweat a Little

#writeandrun31
Day 15

I went with Joe to the Dentist today. I told him jokingly it was because I wanted to make sure he actually went in, but it was really because I know how nervous the Dentist makes him. We had a short wait, then the time came when he was the patient! He came out with a sparkling smile, even though he has to go back next week, and twice told me “how strange it was to be on the other side of the table”.

writeandrun31
I had a long lie in and woke up at midday(!!) feeling sluggish. That meant I slept through my Body Pump class and had to have lunch rather than breakfast. I hate missing meals.

I decided that maybe fate was telling me today should be a rest day? But I couldn’t help it thinking if I really needed a rest day or if I was just feeling a little bit lazy. I made peace with having a rest day after my shins started to tingle a little again. But, once Joe left for work and dinner was finished, I was too restless and headed off to the gym.

I basically just went to the gym to shower. Standing in bra and shorts, I remembered my trainers are waiting by the front door at home. Not to worry, I’ll go for a swim. But then I remembered the Old Wife’s Tale and my mum always said that he ou shouldn’t swim after eating because I’ll sink! So, my ‘run’ turned into a 15 minute sauna! It was very relaxing!

Personal Diet
I wrote about the BBC’s report how genes affect the way we eat, posted a link to their test and now want to share the TV Program. It suggest that our different body types affect our relationships with foods and, by taking the test, you can figure out what kind of eater you are and get recipe ideas to satisfy YOU!

It’s remarkable if it works, but I’m unsure. I’m a constant craver (I do always think about food), but I’m also a Feaster (I have no sense of control) and an Emotional Eater (I might have once demolished a whole tub of Ben & Jerry’s during my exams). There’s also a What’s the Right Diet for You series. I have yet to see it, but you can catch it on iPlayer. I’m somewhat suspicious because they chose people who were very much one Eater and not a mix. Would they get the same weight loss results? Plus, the volunteers are overweight and, if eating healthier and with portion control, they will loose weight no matter which Eater Diet they followed.

Untameable Hair
Hot and fluffy after my sauna.

Run, Bike, Dance, Repeat

#writeandrun31
Day14

If you have ever had shin splints, then I need not explain the earth shattering pain that they cause. Twice I have iced both shins for 15minutes each which sends, without fail, a dull and numbing freeze throughout my lower legs.

When training for my half marathon in 2013 I caught my first, and I had hoped only, batch of shin splints and today I vouch to recognise my mistakes from last time. Which is why I was balancing running with body pump, to strengthen my legs. Alas, fate decided otherwise, or maybe I just got carried away, and crippling pain and fractured bones have indeed returned. Nice. So I’m doing everything they say to help healing and have turned to rely on the spin bike for this week until I recover. Maybe I should hire a masseuse and relish in the benefits of reducing DOMS?

writeandrun31
Day 14
As mentioned, I now take to the spin bike to fulfil my daily fix. I love road cycling and am excited for when the weather picks up so I can take to the road for 50+ mile rides. Jeer if you wish, but I am a seasonal rider and have no wish to balance on top of two very thin wheels on an immaculate bike when the meandering and wild aberdeenshire roads are glistened with ice and snow.
So today I was spinning a mis of stick hills and HIIT for 55 minutes followed by a quick 15 minutes abs workout. I was starving by the end of it!

Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Something I like to do when I’m alone, and yes that includes being in the car.
Promise me that you will pick at least one song and dance like nobody’s watching. I’ve selected a few of my faves:
1. Wrapped Up, Olly Murs
2. Bang Bang, Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
3. Uptown Funk, Mark Ronson
4. Lips Are Movin, Meghan Trainor

Untameable Hair
Brush and hairdryer is hand, I tackled the mane and coerced it into the socially acceptable some up some down.

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