Happiness · Lifestyle · Thoughts

Cómo estàs?

My running group leader, Mandy said we might feel depressed after the marathon. Committing so much of our time, energy and focus on that one thing for so long can leave you feeling a little lost when it all comes to a sudden halt.  The runners high of crossing that finish line sadly,  eventually does wear off and apparently it is unacceptable to wear the medal everyday for the rest of my life? Who knew?

Thankfully, my hiatus is not because I have fallen victim to Post Marathon Depression, although I miss my Saturday morning group run, I do not miss spending 3-4 hours running.  I am very happy and have been having a whale of a time (that’s a strange expression for a non-swimmer).  I have however felt a lack of inspiration and had zero motivation to write.  I tried reading back my old posts to see what I actually wrote about before marathon training, but that just made me cringe, ha!

I’ve had a well deserved rest.  I ran a whopping total of 3 miles in the last month, I use the term ‘ran’ very loosely.  I haven’t done much exercise at all and have instead invested my time in making memories with friends, family and my newly acquainted running buddies.  My facial muscles and abs hurt from laughing and smiling so I’m classing that as worthwhile exercise.

I have had SO much fun, still, I feel uninspired to write…

My head is bursting with fun, life-loving thoughts after crossing something so monumental off the old bucket list. Following it up with more awesomeness like well earned celebratory drinks with my run group, a triple dating sing along to a very convincing Elvis tribute act, recuperating with a glorious spa day with my best friends, re-igniting my social life with a girls trip to Spain that became a giggle-fest from start to finish, watching two of my dearest friends take their vows at the prettiest wedding ever, basking in extremely, rare Scottish sunshine and watching my twin nieces reach milestones that require baby-proofing EVERYTHING.

Equally, my head is filled with deeply powerful thoughts about recent terror attacks both close to home and further afield, politics (eye roll)  a general election that made me not want to use my right to vote, devastation for the victims and survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and the painful news that one of my beautiful twin nieces will endure lifelong struggles with Cerebal Palsy.

A mixed bag of thoughts, highs and lows, things I’d typically share, even if just to look back on when I forget them in another few months… still I felt uninspired to write…

I have neglected commenting on my favourite bloggers posts and have barely logged into WordPress over the last month – I had to delete the WP app on my phone because ‘cannot take photo iPhone storage full’ became annoying pretty quickly.

Today I logged in and read this post.  Instantly reminding me how much I love reading other peoples memories and thoughts which gave me the motivation needed to write this post explanation of absence.

I am excited to get back into ‘blogging’ and to read about..to name just a few.. Brittany’s recent adventures in Ireland, Liz’s dream trip to Iceland (I’m waiting Liz) to laugh out loud at Fatty McCupcakes and The Captains Speech and to nod in agreement at Quinn’s Thoughts on… not forgetting some of my favourite running blogs, some of whom are beginning Marathon training… I can’t wait to follow training progress knowing my own is OVER, ha!

I’m back, the sun is shining my birthday MONTH is fast approaching and most importantly NO more marathon training updates **crowd cheers for abnormally long time

What have I missed guys? Let me know what you’ve been up to!

Thanks For Reading😊

Have a Great Day❤️

Angela xo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happiness · Lifestyle · Running · Scotland

Stirling Scottish Marathon

**WARNING** 
1.This post is LONG and boring if you are not interested much in running.

2.This post is probably also going to be a bit..all over the place… as 5 days on my memories are fading rapidly.

3. You might want to grab yourself a cuppa.
SATURDAY

I woke up extremely nervous, I had been really excited on Friday but today I was nauseous and any mention of the marathon had me close to tears.  I decided to man up and meet a few of my run buddies for lunch.  Lynne was as high as a kite, Cally was trying to fight off a cold and was worried she might not be fit to run (we made her sit two seats away so she didn’t infect us) and Elaine was ‘just fine’.  I explained that I knew in my head I would finish the race, I just didn’t know if it was going to be a great run or a really terrible run and my gut feeling was telling me it would be the latter, which actually scared me.  A bad 3 mile run is bearable a bad 26.2 is unimaginable.  I had to force down my smoked salmon and cream cheese sourdough as I really had zero appetite but it was delicious.

After brunch I headed to Run4it, they had a therapist from PhysioFocus there applying RockTape for any runners who felt they needed it.  I didn’t think it would help with my IT band, which had been sore for a week now but Lynne said to give it a go, ‘even if it works psychologically’.  I queued for 40 minutes to see the physio but the time passed pretty quickly as I spoke to two girls in the queue, who were also first time marathoners and hearing other people with the same nerves and niggles sort of helped me.  I actually got a bit excited.  Mandy was working and gave me a little pep talk and said she’d be cheering from the shop and would look out for me and the rest of the group.  Eventually, Sara the physio applied my tape and said they would have a station at mile 10 on the route if I needed anything on the day, the poor girl had been rushed of her feet with runners with last minute niggles.

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…but not really ready for you!!

The tape lasted a whole 3 hours as I had my niece, Harper  sitting on my lap, I didn’t realise she was fiddling with it and had stuck me to the sofa, I couldn’t get it to stick back on, so that was that, haha.

After a delicious steak dinner made by my Mum, I tried to put my playlist from iPhone on to my iPod shuffle and failed miserably as my laptop crashed.  I had made a big song and dance about a playlist (excuse the pun).  I had asked everyone who sponsored me to leave a song request, so I had a good variety and exactly 5 hours worth of music, my goal was to finish before it started repeating itself.  I was gutted I didn’t get to use my new pink iPod but I still had the playlist on my phone so all was not lost.

SUNDAY – RACE DAY

I’m not sure I slept at all but my alarm went off at 5.30am and I made Kevin and I breakfast.  Force feeding myself porridge was not fun.  I decided to leave my peanut butter and banana bagel for the journey but didn’t manage to eat all of it.  Kevin scoffed his in less than 30 seconds.

We got ourselves dressed and ready.  My running belt was already packed with gels, jelly babies and some toilet roll, before we headed for our bus.  We got to the pick up point at 6.50, I was meeting my run buddies there at 7 but we were directed on to a bus that needed to be filled to leave in 5 minutes.  I text Mairi to let her know and that I’d get her there.

The weather was perfect, overcast, not too warm, not cold and no wind, but it was estimated that by lunchtime it would either be raining or sunshine (I told you we can’t predict the weather here).  Thankfully it went in our favour, a few showers but nothing too bad, not much fun for the spectators though.

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NEVER BEEN UP THIS EARLY ON A SUNDAY. EVER selfie

We arrived at Blair Drummond Safari Park with just under 2 hours before my start time of 9.20, we chatted to some people, ate a banana and watched Liz McColgan and Zola Budd being interviewed then I headed for the toilet…  50 MINUTES LATER… really there were not enough toilets.. It was time to head to our corral and I was a bit worried I hadn’t seen any of my running buddies.

Eventually I bumped into Catherine, she said she had seen the rest of them earlier, they were just a bit in front so I felt a little better.  Catherine was so excited it made my nerves disappear.

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We were just behind the 4hr 30 pacer/Duracell bunny and I said to Kevin although my 4.30 goal was probably not acheivable, I’d like to stay with the pacer for as long as I could manage.  Kev said his goal was to stay with me for as long as he could manage, he thought he would eventually fall behind due to his lack of training (and was probably still recovering from Vegas).  I imagined he would stay with me to conserve energy before leaving me to eat his dust.

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Finally I was buzzing to get going.  Eye of the Tiger was blasting, everyone joked that the Safari Park had released the lions and we were off!

I tried to take a picture of the giraffes as we passed but it didn’t work so my music went on and my phone was safely tucked in my back pocket. 

I made a conscious effort not to run off too fast but the Duracell bunny seemed to just rocket off, so I gave up on my 4hr 30 very quickly.

My music randomly stopped playing after just one track (Kanye West-Stronger) so annoying but I was feeling great, chatting to Kevin, Catherine and her friend Sarah so I just left it and decided I’d sort it when I had walk in a few miles.  Except, I didn’t stop, I just kept on going, I felt amazing.

The first 3 miles were pretty rural but there was the odd little sprinkling of spectators from nearby farms cheering us on before hitting the village of Doune where the crowd were amazing.  I was watching out for my boss, Iona who lives there and managed to get a hug with her and her little girl.   Catherine and Sarah fired on ahead as we left Doune for another 4 rural, undulating miles before hitting Kevins home town of Dunblane.  During these miles I met sharkey- a guy running with a shark hat on his head, shark compression socks and a photo of a shark on his back, I explained to him I had a phobia of sharks he laughed and then disappeared, I’m not sure if he was run/walking but he popped up a lot throughout the route and I joked with him that he was helping me run faster.  In fact my work colleague told me after that she saw sharkey and thought ‘she must have missed me, as I’d definately be in front of him’ ha.

The crowd in Dunblane was immense and I honestly felt like I was floating through the High Street, high fives from kids and all of the runners were clapping and thanking the amazing crowd.  Kevin’s friend Findlay was in Dunblane with his wife and kids so we got extra cheers and high fives from them before making the climb out of Dunblane towards Bridge of Allan.  It was here I found my friend Kevin, he was running for his Mum who sadly passed away a few months ago, I knew this race would be emotional for him and when I saw him ahead of me I choked up and had tears, I went over and gave him the biggest hug, telling him he was doing amazing.

Mile 10, still feeling great and keeping to pace, I bumped into my run buddy Lisa, more hugs.  We ran chatting with Lisa, she said the group had been worried when they hadn’t got to speak to me at the start line.  We hit Bridge of Allan and the crowds were going wild.  Mandy was outside the shop, like she said she would be, with a microphone and full sound system she was screaming our names, Lisa ran into the shop to use the toilet and Kevin and I continued on to the half way mark loop up and around Stirling University.  I ran this loop a few weeks prior with the group and remember struggling up the hill, today however, I barely noticed the hill, powering on chatting to Kevin, pointing out runners in costume and laughing at funny signs ‘IF TRUMP CAN RUN SO CAN YOU’ my favourite was one of Dory from Finding Dory that said ‘Just Keep Swimming’ …I’m a sucker for a Disney movie.  My sister had made one that had Buddy the Elf and read ‘I just like to run, running is my Favourite’ 

Looks like I was doing cartwheels at mile 11

After the decline from the University, back on to the main road I remember saying to Kevin ‘how are we halfway already?’ ‘Why do I feel so great?’ ‘I’ve been smiling for two hours’

I saw lots of familiar faces in the Bridge of Allan crowds and it just felt amazing, some of my run buddies family members were on bikes to cheer us on a several spots  throughout town which I thought was amazing.

Mile 15,  we passed the 4hr 30 pacer although we hadn’t changed pace, I knew he had set off too fast.  I noticed Kevin starting to drop back then catch up again, he said he was ‘OK just starting to cramp’

The next two miles headed into the city centre, I knew it would have few spectators but I did get a hug from my work colleague Tracy, who missed her sister passing because she shouting for me, ooops!  Kevin decided he would jump into a bush for the toilet and I made an effort to start chatting to the nearest runners so that I didn’t feel lonely and lose my momentum.  I ran with Chris and Sophie who had just met but were as crazy as each other as they are both running Edinburgh Marathon this weekend…  a week later!!!  Sophie was taking a 10 second video at every mile marker so I ended up in a few of those.  Kevin caught back up at mile 17 just as we reached the bridge into the heart of the city.  The crowd in the city centre were amazing, I couldn’t believe how busy it was especially as it was still raining.

Miles 17-19 were the first half of the 2.5 loops of the town that everyone had been dreading and at mile 18 Kevin’s sprint to catch up with me after his pee bit him in the butt ‘Just keep going, youre doing amazing but I’m going to have to walk’.   I made sure he was ok and then headed on up Dumbarton Road.

Between 19 and 20 I saw my friends and family who were all going bananas screaming for me, my Mum missed me, she was too busy cheering on other runners, but I knew I’d see her next time round.  As I passed through the lapping system (we were to pass through on the right twice and the third time pass through the left to the finish line) I stupidly looked to my left, seeing all the finishers running down the tunnel.  It hit me hard – I have to run round this loop TWICE.

I tried to keep pace but I think I slowed.  I tried to speak to other runners but everyone around me seemed too exhausted (maybe they were already on lap 2) and at mile 22 I lost my mojo and slowed to a walk, I don’t know why I didn’t think to have another gel or get my music playing to spur me on (I just thought of that now, ha) 30 seconds walk and I picked up the pace and tried to run for as much as possible which turned out to be only another mile and a half.  The loop was 3 miles and although mostly flat it was undulating slightly and we had to run through narrow underpasses with steep little climbs out of them.  Back over the bridge into the city centre the 4hr 30 pacer passed me, this spurred me on, as well as hitting those awesome crowds again.  Massive cheers from my family at the lapping station where I nipped past that Duracell Bunny once again.  Last time through the right hand side and one more loop to go… I questioned this in my head for another mile? I was still on schedule for under 4hr 30, which to me was crazy? Had I missed a lap? it was so confusing on the loop you could see mile markers for each lap. Only 3 miles to go… sounds easy right?

Mile 23,  Ahead of me I spotted Catherine’s friend Sarah who I had started with, she was having a walk, also on her last lap, so I walked for a minute chatting with her then we had bursts of running that saw us pass and be overtaken by the pacer several times.

I know the walking breaks were all just mental weakness because with the exception of my hips starting to hurt very slightly, I felt great but I just couldn’t get my groove back and the miles felt so long!

Sarah said we should nail the last two miles when we hit the 24 mile marker, I agreed.  I lasted half a mile before I was walking again.  With a mile and a half to go I tried my hardest to walk as little as possible but watched as my Garmin reminded me my 4hr 30 finish was now out of reach but I thought hopefully still a 4hr 30-something.  Run/walking got me to the last half mile and the crowd got me running to the lapping system where I very happily moved over to the left hand side, gave my family a wave and sprinted the final 200m to cross the finish line in exactly…

4 hours 40 minutes and 07seconds

I have no words to explain how awesome crossing that line felt. 

  I felt a bit lost at the end, the place was packed and I didn’t know where to go.  I checked the tracker app and it looked like Kevin would be another 9-10 minutes.  My friend Lynsay had been tracking us and was sending messages, she sounded excited haha, am I right Lyns?  Our friend Kevin wasn’t too far away either and for the first time the whole day I had a bit of a cry.

Guys, I beat KEVIN, I never beat him at anything, well except maybe hide and seek, ha!  Kevin done amazing too considering his lack of prep and I honestly don’t think my run would have gone so well had he not been with me for 19 miles. ❤️

I found my Mum, sister and brother-in-law and we all watched Kevin cross the line before catching up with the rest of my cheer squad.

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Me and my Dad

I tried to catch up with my running group, who all done absolutely amazing but didn’t quite catch all of them.

Mairi, emma and me

Afterwards I went to a BBQ at Kevin’s sisters, she had ran the 5k in the morning and had some friends over, then I went to the pub to share a gin(or two) with my friend Kevin, who had done his Mum so proud.

If we look tired it’s because we are!!!

I’m joining the run group tonight for dinner and drinks to celebrate becoming marathoners.  Dress code: flip-flops and medals, ha!

Mandy or group run leader from Run4it, Bridge of Allan shared her thoughts on training the group here.
 

I know my time isn’t great by any decent runners standards but I am so happy to just tick RUN A MARATHON off my list! 

….you know those last few miles cost me a sub 4.30….just kidding guys! I loved every minute but it’s definitely my first and last!

Next goal SUB 2 -13.1

Thanks so much for reading❤️

Have a great weekend😊

Angela xo

Fitness · Happiness · Lifestyle · Running

Sunday Run Down #9 Running, Sunshine, Drake..a week that came up Trump

Remember I said I need to be strict with my marathon training, well this week wasn’t that week….

MONDAY  – should have done cross training 

Rest.  After running Alloa Half Marathon on Sunday, although my legs felt great I decided to have a rest day.  I had to work late as I had a cheeky little day off on Tuesday…

TUESDAY should have run 4 miles

Spa Day.  Extreme rest day.  Kim, Danielle and I have had this booked since the start of February.  We got an offer on itison for Trump Turnberry.  Mixed feelings as we’re not Donald Trump supporters, a lot of Scottish people really dislike him so we were a little weary about posting where we were on social media.  (We ended up sharing because the view was pretty epic, even although the photos didn’t do it justice!).  DT may not be world leader material but the guy sure knows how to make nice hotels.  Our package was a treatment, full spa access and afternoon tea with prosecco.

Being off alcohol, I decided to drive. FAIL. It was SNOWING on Tuesday Morning.  It’s also a 2hr drive (Liz I drove there and back, that’s the most I’ve driven in a day.  Ever! Haha) my car is old, I spend 14 minutes in my car a day, I don’t look after her, at all. I  didn’t even realise the CD was stuck in the CD player (George Ezra has been in there for 14 months) Danielle brought a CD to play for our road trip we eventually removed George Ezra the last 30 mins of the home trip, haha! Now her cheesy pop songs CD is stuck.

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Wednesday Morning banter
We arrived at Turnberry Spa at 11.30am and were shown around before heading to get changed for our treatments.  I opted for a back, neck and shoulder massage which was bliss, I wish it had lasted longer and I might have dozed off for a minute.  Post treatments we sat in the relaxation room where we chatted and drunk grapefruit infused water before heading to the pool, we spend the rest of the day in and out of the pool/jacuzzi and lying on loungers, feeling like we were somewhere exotic, looking at the view blessed with sunshine and no snow. There was a blizzard at home!!


At 3pm we headed to the main hotel for afternoon tea which was gorgeous.  We had such a lovely day and just laughed so much.

AWKWARD photography BUT that VIEW THOUGH!!!!

Sure you can have my prosecco… I’ll have ALL the cakes

WEDNESDAYshould have run 8 miles 

I planned to get up early and hit the gym before work for some treadmill miles but I ended up staying with my sister the night before to help with the twins, after work I went to a Drake gig… I’m pretty sure had 20 years on most of the people there and I really could have been doing with some wine but I still had the best night with my sister we even managed to get ourselves into a VIP lounge.  Donna thinks it was because we looked really old and like we needed a seat, she’s probably right, ha!! She was delighted it had one of these..



THURSDAY
should have run 5 miles

8 miles.  It was good run.  I ran with Mairi, i was more tired at the start than the end of the run, we made a pit stop half way so Mairi could use the toilet in Waitrose but my legs must have needed the rest because they felt much better when when we got going again!! It’s so light at night now which makes me soooo happy.  I might start running home from work now.

FRIDAYshould have run 8 miles

Rest.  The programme scheduled an 8 mile run but I knew we were planning 17 on Saturday morning with the run group and I wanted fresh legs so I gave myself another rest day…  treat yo self!

SATURDAY

17 MILES 16.43 MILES.  Tom who was leading the group had run 29 miles on Friday (ultra marathon prep). So he advised this run would be slower than normal (Halle-freakin-luyah!!!) what he failed to tell us was that it would be hilly, really, really bloody hilly.  As usual the first 3 miles were a mental struggle for me, one of the girls turned back at 2.5 miles and for a split second, I genuinely thought about leaving with her.  I didn’t.  I trundled on with the group who were going at a much slower than normal pace but only because it was a pretty steep climb. At around 5 miles we all felt like we’d ran 10 and I honestly was getting so frustrated with the climbing.  Every turn I was expecting a decline but no…more hills!! I started to notice a slight discomfort on the outside of my left knee and although there weren’t many it felt worse on decline.  At mile 8, We were heading off road and Amanda who was also feeling pain in her knee decided she would head back to the shop again I thought about going but my knee wasn’t painful as such and other than that I felt great, the sun was shining and the views were amazing!!! 10.5 miles we stopped for a group photo then finally we were heading downhill.. rapidly, it was so steep I was actually scared I was going to fall and a few times I felt shooting pains down the side of my left knee.  Mile 12 was back on the flat, my knee felt fine again and I felt great, the pace was slower than normal which was good, I felt like I could have run forever.  It’s amazing what a little sunshine can do!  At mile 14 we realised we were going to be a mile short for the 17 so we headed off the main road for a run around the loch at the University except when I headed up the hill to the university I felt a pain again in my knee, I slowed to a walk which made it worse, I walked, jogged and stopped to stretch my leg all the way around the loch (1mile) then I decided to leave the university grounds and head back to the shop really annoyed as I knew I’d be 0.5 to a mile short.  I practically walked the mile back to the shop as the pain just got worse, I limped, I walked, I stopped and limped, then walked until I realised that once the initial 30 seconds of severe pain was over running was actually much less painful than walking.  Having had IT band issues when I was training for Edinburgh Half Marathon I knew exactly what it was.

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HOLY HILLS BATMAN!!!!!!
I iced my knee when I got home and rested for a few hours before heading out to enjoy the sunshine with a trip to Balloch, Loch lomond Kevin.., we’ve got to make the most of it, while it lasts.

Knee feels a bit better but still painful going downstairs and the first few steps when walking.

Found a cute place for lunch..

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He didn’t want to be in the picture
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Then took a slow (dodgy knee) walk by the Loch side..

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FYI -Swans are evil
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SUNDAY
should be REST DAY

Rest.  It’s Mothers Day today so I’ve had a day with all the family.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY ❤

I’m going to rest tomorrow too and see how my knee is before running on Tuesday.  Fingers crossed!!!!

Weekly miles: 24.43

Total rest days: 5😳

Weeks until marathon: 8😱

Thanks for reading😊

Have a great day ❤

Angela xo

Happiness · Lifestyle · Travel

Don’t grow up, it’s a trap!

Wow! November, where did you go?

I’ve had a pretty busy month.  Marathon training is in full swing.  Well I have a training plan and I stick to it, most days, kinda.

Anyway enough about running it’s my rest day!!!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll probably know I’m a big kid, I read a quote somewhere once that said ‘Don’t grow up, it’s a trap!’ And I quite frankly live by it!

I’m the first to defend us thirty-somethings to the younger generations who think us over 30’s are old and boring and also to the older generation who think that we are too OLD to be going to Drake concerts **I’m looking at you Mum!

I have to admit it though, they might be right, I am known to now enjoy things that I once found ‘old and boring’, I probably can’t party like a rockstar anymore (well not for two nights in a row) and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be double the average age at the Drake concert in January.  I am getting older, I’m really not all that cool anymore(I’m not sure I ever was though. Ha) and there’s no anti-wrinkle cream that can stop it!

If I’m honest I think it’s been creeping up on me slowly without me realising it.  As I think back to just last summer, there was a time I would have felt I was too young and cool to do things like …. stay on a canal boat, but I did and I kinda loved it.  However it only really occurred to me that we’ve gotten OLD recently when some friends of ours invited us to spend a weekend in the Highlands in the North of Scotland at the start of November.

Now don’t get me wrong had my friends asked if we wanted to spend a weekend partying in Ibiza, I would have jumped at the chance, but they didn’t, they offered us hiking, possible snow, nights in by an open fire all the types of things I’d have felt too young and cool to do had my parents offered (and they did offer this on several occasions) and still I jumped at the chance, I needed a break and it sounded like bliss. Bliss? Really?! How did this happen, when did I get sooo old?!   Just to hold on to that slight glimmer of youth though, what actually sold it to me was the hot tub and champagne that was promised *winky face

Packing for a weekend in the North of Scotland in winter:  Forget those gorgeous fashionable winter coats, scarves and boots.  You need thermal underwear and warm jackets (the unflattering, sleeping bag type) and every other piece of clothing you own because you’ll need layers…lots of layers. Socks lots of socks.  Don’t even think about heels.  Sleep naked? Forget it! You would rather wet the bed than get up naked for an icy, cold toilet visit! **I am known to slightly exaggerate, it’s not quite as cold Antarctica.

We set off on Friday night after work with two of our friends, our other friends had left earlier in the day and were meeting us there.  So no scenery to admire on the journey, it was pitch black.  Kevin’s friend Mark kept talking about Jeepers Creepers and every other scary movie that involved people driving in the middle of nowhere with no phone signal at night. FYI.  It doesn’t take much to scare me.  We also realised about an hour in to the journey that there was a problem with the car on acceleration (Yes Kevin is a mechanic **rolls eyes) so we had to limit the speed which meant the journey was even longer.  Off to great start guys!!

Arriving at night when it was pitch black, we couldn’t really see much of the place so after a celebratory alcoholic beverage..or ten, we went to bed to explore in the morning.

No hangover, fresh air for the win, people! I got up at 8.30 and went for a run (marathon training doesn’t stop!!) it was a little icy but not bad there were no cars on the road, no people at all, it was so quiet.

I did bump into one local, not sure whether that’s an approving look or not?!

We stayed at Achaderry Farmhouse in Roy Bridge, it was gorgeous and one of the best equipped self catering holiday places I’ve ever stayed in. It sleeps 10 people (we were a party of 6 adults, 2 kids and a dog) and was super spacious.

I did not take nearly enough photos, our phones were barely touched all weekend due to a lack of service.  There was free wi-fi that worked in one room in the house but we were having too much fun to bother with it.  No social media, no phones, no Donald Trump chat (we did put the TV on for Music channels only)


You can’t really see it here but the hot tub was in a sun room that had amazing views of the snow capped Nevis Range.


Most of the weekend we spent at the farmhouse in the hot tub, drinking, eating and chatting, or walking around on the woodland grounds with the dog.

We did venture out on the Sunday.   We took a cable car up the Nevis Range and then had a small hike to a viewpoint. We weren’t equipped to hike Ben Nevis and we had the kids with us…who am I kidding we were slightly hungover and probably too unfit!!!


It’s started snowing while we were up there.  It was so pretty and so peaceful.

Only girl in the world!

We got some gorgeous sunshine for the journey home so managed to catch some of the scenery.

It was such a good weekend, with great friends even if I have officially become old!

Before you write me off completely though.  The following weekend was spend with another group of friends trying out some new bars in town.


A chilli challenge for Kevin..

Chilli Burger, chilli dog, chilli cheese fries and an Oreo cookie milkshake with 15minutes to complete.



A challenge he failed.  Although in his defence I had one chilli cheese fry and I thought my tongue was on fire it was so hot!!!

The boys also fell for a marketing scam when they were promised an all singing, all dancing, flame throwing, exploding cocktail that didn’t really meet the hype….I’ve watched this video so many times! Haha!

 


Eating, drinking, laughing till it hurt and dancing with my bestie…there’s still life in this old dog yet 😉
Do you enjoy doing things you thought were boring or uncool when you were younger?

Have you ever attempted an eating challenge?
Thanks for reading❤️

Have a great day😃

Angela xo

Happiness · Lifestyle · Running · Travel

30 SINCE 30

Last Saturday was my birthday.

Thirty-three.

 I don’t even know where the last 10 years have gone! OMG.. If I ever said anything that made me sound like my Mother, that was it!

In all honesty though, my age has never bothered me (I freaking love birthdays!) but I do know that the 30+ club gets pretty bad rep of being boring, I’m on a bit of a mission to clear its name, life is still awesome this side of 30!

Although they sound like great fun I didn’t do a 30 before 30 list. I have slight OCD so if I hadn’t completed it by my 30th birthday, I’d have been pretty annoyed with myself.

  So to mark my birthday I thought I’d do a list, but change it up a little (make it more awesome) and list 30 things I’ve experienced/done for the first time since turning 30, 3 years ago(but feels like 3 months ago).

Things I’ve crossed of the old bucket list

…30 SINCE 30

Disclaimer: Don’t expect any jumping out of planes though I’m not that adventurous…….yet!

1. Partied in Las Vegas 


2. Took a ride in a helicopter

3. Ran a half marathon

4.  Watched 24 start to finish

….because that’s an accomplishment and the world needs you right now Jack Bauer!!!

5. Walked the Hollywood Hall of Fame

These aren’t as glam as I imagined, I’m not sure why I imagined names on the street would be glam, but it was fun finding our faves amongst the stars!

6. Went out dressed as a famous landmark

Funny story: when I got to the fancy dress party my friend burst out laughing apparently when she’d asked what I was dressing up as she thought I’d said “an iPhone cover!” ….I’m the Eiffel Tower incase you are wondering!

7. Measured Marilyn up for size

FYI a perfect fit


 8. Started a blog

Well, hello

9. Fell in love with Santorini

It’s like, literally heaven!

10. Said YES

11. Gave blood

I couldn’t do this until 18 months ago as I was under the weight criteria (which is ridiculous, I’m small but have a healthy BMI), I’m so happy I can now…. Although I guess that means I also gained weight since turning 30 *oooops

12. Completed a zip wire assault course

13. Lived on a long boat

…..for a week.

14. Watched the most beautiful sunset.

I’m obsessed with sunsets since this one!

15. Ran 5k everyday for a whole month

16. Fired a gun

A typical bucket list item is facing your fears.  However, I’ll never willingly get into water with sharks so my next phobia is guns.  Turns out I have a pretty mean shot, even if I did mess my underwear…sorry!!!

17. Watched my little sister get married

18. Seen the Grand Canyon 

19. Went Vegan for a month.

My friend is a member of the ‘vegan police’ so I decided to give it a go.  Still can’t believe I managed a whole month without chocolate!!! I really only missed chicken, chocolate, cheese and eggs…which is basically my staple diet!

20. Tried wake boarding

Tried” being the operative word.  I still haven’t worked out how something can be so much fun when you are so bad at it!!! Note there is not a photo, that’s because I wasn’t on top of the water long enough for a photo!

21. Had a champagne picnic on the beach …in Scotland!!

Got Sunburn, windburn and rained on all in one day but it was a great day!


22. Took a random trip to a city I’d never visited before 

There were a few but Liverpool was the most recent


23. Learned something new

I took a make up artist course (I passed) it may not be a new language or a musical instrument but I can assure you contouring cheekbones and winged eyeliner takes skill!!

24. Paddled in the Pacific Ocean

My first and only time on the west coast, I really hope to go back soon and explore more places!!

(Santa Monica Beach, Los Angeles CA)

25.  Bought a stranger coffee

She actually screamed down the street after me… ‘Thanks but I can afford my own f***ing coffee’ . 

LIFE LESSON: you will never please everyone!!

26. Raised money for charity



Kevin and I raised £1000 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research at the children’s hospital. after receiving sponsors to run a second Half Marathon.

27. Became a morning person!

I may not have a 100% record but I never imagined I would EVER get up at the crack of dawn to work out!

28. BOXING!

I can’t even explain how much I love boxing.  I’d advise everyone to try a sport they have never tried before. You might just surprise yourself!

29. Seen Beyoncé in concert

…..ok I may have seen her a few times, before I turned 30 too,  but it’s Beyoncé!  I did see Bruno Mars in concert…oh and BoyzIIMen after I was 30 though!

30. Became an Auntie

To beautiful identical twin girls 💗💗

I’m sure I’ve missed loads of other fun stuff but there you have it my 30 since 30!

Have you done any of these things too? Or do you want to?

What’s on your 30 before or after 30 list?

Thanks for reading 😊

Have a great day💗

(An older but not much wiser) Angela xo

Happiness · Thoughts

Coincidence or Synchronicity?

Have you ever had a coincidence happen to you that made you feel like it was meant to be? A sign from the universe or some other higher power perhaps?

I had a situation like this recently and It got me thinking about some other coincidences I have encountered…

The numbers 11 11 and 16 07  frequently show up for me, usually  it’s the time I happen to look at the clock but they do pop up other places too.  My birthday is July 16th so I guess that’s why I notice 16:07 so much.  I was once told 11:11 has something to do with angels…maybe I have a guardian angel or maybe it’s because my name is Angela?

i always seem to text my sisters at 11:11

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

My family often comment that Kevin is really like my late Grandfather, I do see some similarities like being 6ft3, growing up on a farm, similar interests(CARS!!) but other than that I don’t really see it as much as they do…. Strangely enough they do also share a birthday.  Maybe its a sign from my Grandfather that he approves of Kevin? 😉

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

I was seated beside a girl I’d never met before at a wedding last year (the groom was my cousin, the bride was her friend) after chatting for a while we figured out that we had some mutual acquantinces.  My friend Kat is her husbands boss, my cousin from the other side of my family has been her  friend since pre-school, her in-laws live next door to Kevin’s best friend AND the biggest shock of all. One of my good friends was secretly dating her brother!!! Six degrees of separation? Or was I supposed to find out my friends secret lover?

table seating plan at my cousins wedding

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Before she got married my sisters name was Cheryl Martin.  Our (Kevin and I) best friends are a couple called Cheryl and Martin! Meant to be?

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

Early last year a new girl started in our office, her name is Jane Martin, we share a surname but are not related. Bizarrely, my parents were actually going to call me Jane too, Rod Stewart’s Baby Jane was topping the charts when I was born…my Dad changed his mind at the last minute and randomly named me Angela instead! It soon transpired that it wasn’t just the surname Jane and I had in common though, both our Dads are wheelchair bound after being diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in their 20’s and they are both the same age!!! No our Dads are not the same person! Ha!

jane, me, kirsten…office party

🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

At the end of last year one of my best friends, Lynsay invited me on a day out in Edinburgh.  Lyns had arranged to meet up with her cousin Margaret who had travelled up from her hometown of Hexham with her friend Catriona to spend a few days in the Capital.  We had a fab day, shopping, lunching, chatting and of course no Edinburgh trip is complete without a few cocktails.  FastForward 5 months and I get a text from Lynsay…

my best friends cousin is best friends with my cousin?!?!?

…it’s true we’re cousins too and didn’t even know it!!

😱😱😱😱😱😱

Most recently and the reason for this post.

My friend from work Kirsten is running a 10K next Sunday, she’s a newbie runner and was asking me for some tips about running…yeah ME, obviously she hasn’t read this blog lol!  During our chat she mentioned how she thought marathon runners must be off their trolleys, “I mean why would anyone would choose to run 26.2 miles?”

I replied ‘Its on my bucket list, I’d love to run a marathon one day!’  I’d never actually said that out loud before, I’m not even sure if I had even said it in my head before.  However when I opened up my Facebook for a nosey seconds after saying it the first thing on my newsfeed was this…

My hometown is hosting a marathon for the first time.  Ever.

Obviously that was a sign, right? So I pretty much signed up for the race there and then!

I keep telling myself I have a year to train but……eeeeek!  I HAVE SIGNED UP FOR A FULL MARATHON!!

Have you ever had any unusual coincidences happen to you?

Do you believe in synchronicity?

Thanks for reading💗
Have a great day 😊
Angela xo

Happiness · Lifestyle · Thoughts

Update & Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey you guys!! (Did you think of The Goonies when you read that?)

It’s been a while.  Currently in my drafts I have.. a half written letter to my sister that I wanted to post on her wedding day but failed to finish, a post on the …erm… joys of being bridesmaid (also unfinished) and a post on the wedding that has a title, some photos and nothing else! Also I’m not sure if you noticed but last night I published a blank post. Haha, what a douche, I opened a new post and fell asleep so it published itself!!!

I’ve neglected you all thanks to a combination of being crazy busy and a lack of motivation.  At the weekend, just when I finally had some free time to catch up on my favourite blogs and attempt to write, the sun came out.  I’m not sure how well you know Scotland but when the sun comes out we make the most of it, being online is not an option.

I needed a good kick up the butt to post and like she sensed it, my awesome friend Lynsay at LadyLivBlog kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award.  Thank You Lynsay your bestie intuition is second to none!

I haven’t done anything like this for a while, They are good fun and I love reading other people’s answers, so here goes!!

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The rules are –
1. Thank the person that nominated you
2. Answer the questions from the person that nominated you
3. Nominate some other bloggers for this award
4. Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated
5.Notify the bloggers you have nominated

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Lynsays Questions


1. Modern technology, is it beneficial or harmful to our society?

A: Oh the debate! I can see pros and cons if I’m honest! My biggest concern is that we all spend too much time online and too little time communicating face-to-face which in turn can affect relationships and communication skills, on the other hand we all have the option to control/limit the time we spend online so I guess it’s only harmful if we allow it to be!

“Life was simpler when Blackberry and Apple were just fruits”

2. What is your desert island makeup or skincare product?

A: SPF50 …needs no explaining! Enjoy the sun responsibly guys!

3. What is your favourite clothes shop/designer? 

A: My go to shops are Zara and Topshop.

4. What is your favourite time of year
?

A: Summer! I’m a July baby and happiest with my toes in the sand.

5. Who is your favourite makeup artist?

A: LadyLivBlog obviously

6. Who has influenced and inspired you most in your life?

A: I wouldn’t say there is just one person, obviously my parents hugely but I take a little something from all the people I share my life with.


7. A song that takes you back to your childhood
?

A: Queen -Bohemian Rhapsody.  Absolute classic, my Dad was a big Queen fan back in the day my sisters and I had many an air guitar performance to this….and occasionally still do!

8. Favourite lipstick? 

A: Really, just one?? MAC Rebel


9. How do you stay positive when things get tough?

A: I live by the mantra that gratitude is the key to happiness. So when the going gets tough I tend to focus more on my blessings.

“Count your blessings

10. The most beautiful place you have ever seen with your own eyes?

A: Wow! Too many the world is so beautiful. I had my breath taken away when I visited the pyramids in Giza and the Grand Canyon.  Santorini was picture perfect but I guess there’s really nowhere like home.  When it comes to a beautiful view we have it pretty much made.  When the sun shines on Scotland it is beautiful.  Hills, lochs, castles, beaches and beautiful cities.



11. What is your must have beauty item? 

A: Mascara, I have a pretty heavy hooded eye which can make me look really tired, even after a litre of coffee.  A good few coats of mascara and all is good with the hood! 😂

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My questions are…

1. When you lack motivation what gets you going again?

2. What do you love most about yourself? Appearance and personality.

3. How would you describe your style?

4. The most beautiful place you have seen?

5. What makes you feel better working out or vegging out?

6. What accomplishment are you most proud of in your life so far?

7. Do you have any phobias?

8. What is your guilty pleasure?

9. Where do you see yourself in 5years from now?

10. What movie do you know word for word?

11. Beauty treatment, product or procedure must have?

I nominate these lovely ladies 💗

Pumdiets

WhatWouldRubyWoo

Allison 

CronutCouture

Evhid 

And you if you are reading this I nominate you too, if you do let me know on the comments and I’ll check it out!

Thanks for reading ❤️

Have a great day 😊

Angela xo