Bluebells in the Chantries Woods

I’ve been itching to go and see the bluebells for a couple of weeks now (I live an exciting life, clearly!). Our neighbour recommended that we go and visit the Chantries Woods, and after looking it up we realised that it’s only a mile or so from our front door – handy! (Also, how have we not been there before now!?)

So this weekend we laced up our walking shoes, and set off for a wander.

Walking in the Chantries Woods

There are miles of footpaths to explore through the Chantries, and the North Downs Way actually goes through some of it, too – so it’s easy to pick up dozens of different routes. I can’t wait to get out there in my trail shoes for some long training runs 😀

Chantries North Downs Way

… Though we discovered at times that some of the footpaths we used weren’t actually on Google maps, so there’s a high chance I’ll get lost… But that’s part of the fun, right? 😉

Chantries Woods Bluebells

I even managed to get James to pose for a photo or two. He caught on pretty quickly, and stopped slowing down to wait for me after a while! And I learned to stop asking him to take my photo unless I wanted to hear him sniggering about how dumb it was 😉 Instagram Husband, he is not!

P.S. LOOOL, you have to watch that video. Absolute genius!

Chantries Bluebells

Isn’t this place stunning though!?

Chantries Woods

As well as the gorgeous woodland, if you fancy a bit of a climb there are some stunning views across the Surrey Hills.

They’re almost as good as the views you get on the Bacchus Half, which I still need to sign up for! (And so do you, if you haven’t already. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have on a run! Here’s last year’s review, if you need any convincing…)

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How was your weekend? Did you get out and enjoy the sunshine? 🙂

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Bacchus Half Marathon: The one I did for fun

No, really. I know people often say they’ll do an event ‘just for fun’ – I’ve said it a lot in the past, myself. But then it gets closer to race day and we know how it can escalate. Firstly you think, ‘well I don’t want it to be the slowest one ever, so I need to at least do the same time I did in the last one’, and then it’s ‘if I’m going to do that then I can probably push it a bit at the end if I’ve got energy left’, and suddenly it’s ‘I wonder if I could hit that PB I’ve been secretly aiming for?’

… And then you’re secretly disappointed for not hitting a target time in a race you KNOW that you didn’t train hard enough for. Facepalm.

But after a week’s holiday, then a cold that wouldn’t give up, and then a crazy work schedule, my running fell straight off the radar… For about 4 weeks. I’d been cross training a little (spinning and body pump, mainly), but the only runs I managed after the 4-week break were a couple of 5k runches in race week – neither of which went particularly well. (As you’d expect, really).

But this half marathon had the promise of neon face paint, and wine, and chocolate, and looked like it could be a bit of a giggle – ignoring the crazy hills in the course profile, of course.

And I’m SO glad I gave it a go. Because in summary, it went a bit like this:

Hills, wine, biscuits, wine, hills, sunshine, giggles, sing-offs between St Trinians and a bunch of nuns, wine, biscuits, more giggles, photobombs, new friends, more food, more wine, a big fat downhill (seriously, mile 13 was my quickest at 9:32 and the last .36 – I clearly weaved around a bit – was 8:45. This was compared to an average of about 13:30!!) and a big fat medal.

I’m pretty sure this was my favourite event, EVER.

And as words don’t do the atmosphere, the fun, the wine or the views justice, here’s the day in pictures! (Warning – there’s a heck of a lot!)

At the Start of Bacchus Half MarathonLooking composed and sober at the start!

Wine and Biscuits at Bacchus Half MarathonMany wine and biscuits. Might have gone back for seconds with the latter.

Running Solo

There was some running involved…

Cows at the Bacchus Half Marathon

… And cows!

View from the Bacchus Half Marathon 1

Stunning views made up for the hills.

Gorgeous Views at the Bacchus Half Marathon

Taking a well-earned break at the top!

Aid Stations at the Bacchus Half Marathon

The best aid stations I’ve ever seen. For real.

Getting Photobombed at the Bacchus Half

‘I totally photobombed that last one!’ Yes, yes you did. And very well, too!

Bubbles at the Bacchus Half Marathon

… And there were bubbles.

View from the Bacchus Half Marathon 2

And even more stunning views!

Having a Blast at the Bacchus Half Marathon

Then there was a bit more running…

More Biscuits at the Bacchus Half Marathon

… And more biscuits.

Rose at the Bacchus Half Marathon

The rose was pretty good!

Sunshine at the Bacchus Half Marathon

… So was the white.

White Wine at the Bacchus Half Marathon

… And the other white.

Cake at the Finish Line - Bacchus Half Marathon

And at the finish line, there was cake!

… And hog roast.

The end 🙂