Parkrun

This week hasn’t been my healthiest week ever. Whilst I’ve only just started to work my way through my Easter chocolate, I’ve been doing a pretty good job of indulging in other ways!

For Mum’s birthday (excuse #1), we went to an amazing Italian restaurant in Covent garden. I was forced by both parents to have a dessert, which they promised to help me with. (For future reference, 1 measly spoonful does NOT consitute as helping when the dessert in question is an icecream sundae as big as my face.)

For a friend’s birthday, we went to TGI’s. The meal itself was pretty unhealthy, but SOOO TASTY! I had the French Canadian burger, with bacon and melted brie, and it was the tastiest burger I’ve ever had! As it was for another birthday, it would’ve been rude not to have cake. And the cake was insane – a black forest gateau, pirate style – with chocolate chips and various bits of candy (I cringe at how American that sounds, but the cake was devised by an American, and that was how they worded it .. and it seems wrong to word it another way!)

Yesterday evening, my boyfriend and I had a rare evening together, and decided to have dinner at ASK. I discovered the tastiest salad EVER (in all honesty, it was more salmon than salad) which was about the healthiest I had been all week. For dessert, I might’ve indulged in a small mocha, and a chocolate and almond cake .. It was a teeny slice, but as before, I was left to eat all but a tiny spoonful of it myself.


To be fair, I’ve been cycling 12 miles a day all week, and I made it to the gym on Tuesday for a 40 minute run! Talking of running, today I went to my first ever (5k) parkrun. It was so good! The sun was shining, it was crisp and fresh, and 3 uphills meant plenty of downhill, too! 


I took it easy, finishing in 35:49, as I’ve been slacking on my outdoor runs recently. My age group ranking was 41.32%, and I was the 38th female finisher; 121/138, overall. When they emailed me my result, I got really excited for a second:

Congratulations on completing your 1st parkrun and your 1st at Guildford today. You finished in 121st place and were the 38th lady out of a field of 138 parkrunners and you came 1st in your age category SW20-24.’

.. Turns out, I was the only person in that particular age category. Boo!

I’m excited to make it a regular thing, and to work on getting my PB down to sub-30, and then hopefully sub-25! 

I’ll keep you updated 🙂

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A person who rides a bicycle

I was talking yesterday about how I don’t really feel like a proper ‘cyclist’. Then again, despite running 2 half marathons (one not official) and a 16-miler (once), I don’t feel much like a proper ‘runner’, either.
I was curious to see what constitutes a cyclist, or a runner, and so I looked up the terms in the Oxford English dictionary.
First, I checked ‘runner’, given that I’ve been working on my running for the past year or so, compared to the last two days or so for cycling – and this is what it said:
runner
Pronunciation: /ˈrʌnə/
noun
A person that runs, especially in a specified way
A person who runs competitively as a sport or hobby
Then there was ‘cyclist’, which said the following: 

cyclist
Pronunciation: /ˈsʌɪklɪst/
noun
A person who rides a bicycle

So according to the Oxford English dictionary, I’m more of a cyclist than a runner. This is despite the fact that I’ve run regularly for a year or so, whilst I’ve only been cycling for 2 days. Then again, when I stop and think about it, maybe it is easier to be a cyclist. Most people who ride a bike don’t do so competitively, whereas most people who run, run races. But then, if they’re both sports, and both offer organised events and races, why should the definitions be different? Why can’t a runner simply be ‘a person who runs’? Is a runner simply ‘a person who runs’? Running in races certainly hasn’t made me feel more like a runner. Probably because I finished in the last half a dozen participants each time ..

Do I look the part? 😀

I can’t say that any of this has made me feel more like either one. Maybe I should do away with labels completely, and simply stick with: ‘I run, and I cycle’.

I definitely don’t intend to participate in any formal cycling events! Unless ‘surviving a busy main road commute’ counts ..

When did you start to consider yourself a runner or a cyclist? Why?

Discovering the joys of cycling

Yesterday I took my first steps – pedals? – into the land of the cycling commute. As I put on my helmet and manouvered the bike out of a very tiny flat, I wasn’t feeling much like a proper cyclist:

I might not have been high vis, but I sure was well patterned!
(Yes, I dress like a 14 year old).

In fact, I kind of felt like avoiding the humungous main roads and the tempermental drivers in their big, fast cars and getting the train. But I didn’t! Probably because I had promised my friend that I would join her on the way in; though I think she expected me to be slightly tougher than I actually was am. Five minutes into our epic (ok, 6 mile) journey, we hit a REALLY BIG junction with traffic lights and cars coming from all directions. I tentatively asked her – with crossed fingers – if we were going to turn left. Unfortunately, we had to turn right. Driving on the left hand side of the road, this seemed somewhat problematic! Somehow, I survived being sandwiched between two lanes of traffic, although a pothole on the other side nearly wiped me out!

I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised at how considerate the drivers are around here; in the mornings, at least. I guess it’s something in the coffee that turns them into maniacs come the evening. (I’ve seen first-hand just how much coffee real-life Surrey office workers get through in a day. It’s insane. As is their evening driving. End.) On a related note, my boss has stopped asking me if I’m a robot – now he simply states it as an explanation for people that ask if I want a coffee, and look confused when I say no.

Well, from tomorrow morning I’m going to be a briiight, flourescent orange robot! High vis, yaaay! Because I bought this jacket:

Waterproof, windproof, stormproof and FAR TOO BRIGHT to do it justice in a photo. Win!
Also, it was reduced from £120 to £35. DOUBLE WIN!

It’s awesome, and means that the city-workers-slash-boy-racers in their gorgeous and really fast but REALLY INCONVENIENT WHEN OVERTAKING YOU WHILST LEAVING BARELY AN INCH OF SPACE cars can no longer pretend not to see me. That goes for the Surrey tractors, too.

Yeah, I see you.

Bring it on!