Sunday, 30 June 2013

The end of Juneathon, but not the end of the road!

The last day of Juneathon! I've really enjoyed it, despite a slight wobble last week. But even in the wobbly times, there are things to be learnt. Setting goals, achieving them, then moving on to new ones. Realising that I can do it, that I am strong. Thank you legs! Joining the Chorlton Runners was the best decision, it has really helped me to run further than I've run before - 14 kilometres this morning to be precise! Juneathon may be over, but my training is not, I hope to keep up the motivation and positivity over the next few months until the big day arrives.

I just need to remember that when doubts and excuses rise up, the best thing to do is put your trainers on. And go for a run.

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Penultimate Post Provides a parkrun PB!

Hello! This morning I dithered around before pulling myself together and cycling down to Platt Fields Park for my second South Manchester parkrun. The weather was perfect, overcast and quite cool. I shed my waterproof jacket (lesson learned) and joined the crowd. There were pacers this week, ranging from 20 minutes to 30. I decided to stick with the 27 minute pacer as my last 5k was 27:54 and I felt I should have improved in the last couple of weeks. It was a pretty good run, I felt better for knowing the route, not being too hot and being able to focus on keeping up with someone, rather than thinking about my legs. I picked up the pace a bit at the end and started to feel sick, so a bit of a mixed run! The results came in and I managed a PB of 27:05, hooray! It's the last day of Juneathon tomorrow, so I'll write a bit more about how I've found it then. The Tour de France started today, so I'm off to see how that's going. Bye!

Quack. These guys thought I had some bread for them in my bag. Sorry dudes.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Not jogging or blogging

Ok, so I have neither jogged nor blogged all weekend. And I feel baaaaad for it! My excuses are as follows: I was working, the weather was crap, I was tired. I slept in yesterday then felt really bummed out and beat myself up for not going to running club. Bad times! But, it's the start of a new week and I promise I will do better for the last leg of Juneathon. I cycled to and from work today and printed some bear posters.

Instead of running have been drinking fun beers and seeing my friends.

Bear screen


Grumpy/sleepy bear posters

Friday, 21 June 2013

Summer Solstice Slacker

image from LavanderMoonWitch on etsy. Mystic!

No exercise for me today, slept crap so running 8k before work did not happen. I'm going out tonight after work for my good friend Kathryn Edward's leaving drinks as she is moving to London :(
Here ends the lamest post of Juneathon so far!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Soggy Cycling

Easy exercise day today, cycled to the studio in the rain. Felt quite refreshing! I'm working on a few commissions and quite a large wholesale order, so I'll be busy printing over the next few days. Ordered some materials and a new screen, which is always exciting, but not so nice for my bank balance! Eek! Damn you cash flow.

Some jolly badges.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I am no longer a woman, I am a machine...

Donned my short shorts for a 'speedy' 5k this morning. Felt good and really tried to pick up the pace, but wasn't actually much quicker than usual. C'mon legs! Ah well, enjoyed it anyway, it's a beautiful day. Did some squats and super-light weights when I got in. Gotta get tough. Tough like a...robot!

Printing in progress.

Nellbots drying

How's that for a tenuous link?? Today I am doing more editing and updating, you can now buy little robot bibs on my Not on the High Street store. Other nice new things are on their way!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Busting out some speed and witnessing some bumcheeks.

Had a great run at run club tonight. Did a slightly unexpected 10k, including last-man sprints, which I only agreed to do because of the rest of the group said they were doing them! It’s a conditioning exercise, where a group of runners jog single file at a steady pace, and then the last runner in line sprints to the front of the line, taking the place of the first runner, and so on. I surprised myself by actually really enjoying them and getting a pretty good pace on. I finished feeling strong and came home to so some yoga stretches for my hips and legs. Hopefully won't be in pain tomorrow.
Earlier I went out on my bike to do a reccy of the canal to see if I would be able to do a nice run to work down there. I was disturbed to see a man with his shorts down past his bumcheeks, so I'm putting that plan on ice! 

Lovely shiny, but ultimately disappointing, avocado.

Longford Park in bloom.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Monkeying Around on Monday

Nearly forgot to blog today! Didn't go for my 12k run as my legs are still mega-achy. Not sure if it's from Saturday's run or inappropriate dancing to Salt n'Pepa. I dropped dangerously low, readers. Instead of a run I was lucky enough to win a little freebie via Twitter this morning and took myself off to St John's Primary school for a yoga for sport session. I'd seen it mentioned online somewhere, so was pretty chuffed to be able to try it out for free and give the old legs a good stretch! I enjoyed it, but my attempts at push-ups were pretty comedy.

Cheeky Monkey!
Other than that I have started editing some of the new product photos I've been taking, you can now buy my little Monkey organic cotton hats on Not on the High Street here! More updating to come...

Sunday, 16 June 2013

No Run Sunday

Ok, I didn't do any exercise today, unless you count wandering around the streets of Chorlton desperately seeking a decent all-day breakfast. I must sheepishly admit that I have just awoken from a hangover-induced slumber. I hope my Dad doesn't read this post! I went out in Liverpool to visit my pal Luke (available for all your illustration and animation needs, plug plug plug) and his lovely girlfriend and to finally go to the 10 Bands, 10 Minutes night! It was David Bowie night, so 10 bands played sets of around 10 minutes and played their own songs and did some Bowie covers too. So much fun! So much rum :(
I'm off to eat pasta and stretch. 12k planned tomorrow! Bye!

Absinthe bar. Fortunately it closed just when we decided we wanted one, probs would've puked!

Labyrinth-era Bowie. Yipes, those leggings!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

parkrun participation!

Last night I checked out the MMU degree shows with my guy and some pals. We had a jolly time, it's always nice to see the work students have made and to have a catch up. The new art school building is very impressive, much nicer than the dingy old building that was there when I did my Masters! Afterwards we went to the pub and had a few pints, but I was conscious of running a 5k in the morning so was eager to get home to eat and get some sleep!

The Bird.

The new art school buildings. Futuristic!

I managed to talk my pal Nick (available for all your film and photography needs, plug plug plug) into doing the parkrun with me, so we met at 8.15 in the morning on our bikes in the cold drizzle and cycled down the Fallowfield Loop to Platt Fields Park and waited around nervously for the run to start. There were quite a few fit and healthy folk around and I spotted a few familiar faces from run club. The race started and Nick sped off into the distance. So began a mental battle for me, half saying, "my legs are like lead, so heavy, I can't do this", the other saying, "yes you can, you know you can, keep going!". The sun made an appearance and it was pretty perfect running conditions, nice and cool but bright. At least it would have been if I wasn't wearing a waterproof! When will I learn? Anyway, I managed a pretty decent pace the whole way round and sped up a little at the end for a strongish finish. It felt like a lot longer than 5k somehow, but I ruddy well did it! I thought I'd taken over half an hour, but on checking the results a pleasant surprise, I managed 27:54 and was 40th woman! Plenty of room for improvement and maybe next time I won't have 3 pints of ale the night before.
Pre run face

Turned out nice!

Post-run faces

It's Nellybob to you.

Friday, 14 June 2013

2 weeks in to Juneathon!

Did my 8k route slightly faster than Wednesday this morning, hurrah! Then I went to a much-needed Pilates class. My hip gives me quite a lot of pain, so it's becoming more important to keep limber with all the running I'm doing.
I go to a beginners/mixed ability class led by the very lovely Jo Murphy. Feel so much better after a good stretch!
Feel pretty proud of myself for getting 2 weeks into Juneathon - I've only missed one day of exercise! To be honest, keeping up with the blogging feels more challenging than getting out and doing something. Remembering to take photos, uploading them and finally thinking of something interesting to write! I always seem to think of lots of things when I'm out running, then they all escape my mind when I sit down to write. Hey ho. Anyway,this seems like a good juncture to remind anyone reading that I'm doing all this to help my training for the Great North Run and to put up the link to my JustGiving page! I'm raising money for Diabetes UK, a very worthy cause. Any amount is very much appreciated and will spur my little legs on!

This is where I go to Pilates class!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Pelting Rain and Pecha Kucha

An easy exercise day today. These legs gotta rest. Didn't actually feel that easy when I was cycling to work in the pouring rain, sweating in my waterproofs, backpack stuffed to the gills.

I worked on a secret project today, will post pics when the time is right. Did a few commissions and played with my new photography set up. Had a bit of a stupid day actually, I always write things down in my diary, then forget to check it, frustrating my plans.

I skipped yoga again this week, in favour of going to Pecha Kucha at Manchester Art Gallery. My friend organised this free event and it was great! Really interesting, diverse range of speakers, covering topics from birdwatching to microbiology. There are 4 more planned to come, the next one is in around 3 months, I urge you to go if you can!

Planning on Pilates in the morning for the first time in ages, my muscles are crying out for a good stretch! Oh sacroiliac joint, why you hurt me so? :'(

Banana omelette thingy, inspired by Nicola Rowlands. Totally delicious breakfast!

Personalised organic cotton t-shirt, you can order here if you like 'em!

Pecha Kucha at Manchester Art Gallery

Long tailed tit! One of my faves.

Dave Carden singing his presentation!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Nearly Laming Out

I *almost* didn't run today. My plan was to run 8k before cycling to work, but when my alarm went off this morning that all felt like an impossible challenge. Instead, I cycled to work then berated myself for being so lame. I could easily have done it! My fear is that once I skip a few sessions, my whole training plan will slip and I'll lose all motivation to run.

Printed up some koalas to post to Jersey 

Just before leaving the Craft Centre the heavens opened and I groaned with despair. I had my waterproof jacket, but jeans aren't known for their wicking properties. I got soaked, properly soaked. When I got home I peeled off the sodden denim and tried not to think too much about how much I didn't want to go for a run. Trainers on, off I went, telling myself the hardest part was over (lies!)

Spot the jay!
 I tried to push myself to go a bit faster and ended up running my 8k route 7 minutes faster than last time. Hurrah! I feel pretty proud of myself, but not unbearably smug. Scranned down a delicious tea and am now in my pyjamas. No run planned tomorrow, thank the lord!

This is the sweaty face of victory!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

New Kit Excitement!

This morning I cycled to the Nike outlet at Salford Quays to buy some new kit as a reward for sticking to my training plan. Running for an hour on Sunday in the heat with leggings on was a bit foolish, so I wanted to get some shorts and interim capri pants, plus a jacket that was reasonably waterproof without making my arms wither away from perspiration. I also got several pairs of socks, because you always need socks! A friendly assistant helped me find what I needed and I was pleased to get a lovely Stormfly jacket at a reasonable price. My eyes started to glaze over when he talked to me about trainers though, I wasn't mentally prepared to talk about trainers! 

I've just come back in from my first Tuesday night run club with Chorlton Runners, did about 4 miles at a quicker pace than I would usually, sweaty but a beautiful evening and met more nice people. Winner!

Salford Quays looking glorious in grey.

Imperial War Museum North

The Lowry

Old Trafford

Snazzy! Who likes short shorts?

Monday, 10 June 2013

All de way to Alderley Edge

Feeling pretty frazzled after cycling at least 50 kilometres today, so will keep it short and let the pictures do the talking! Andrew and I rode to Alderley Edge via Coffee Fix in Gatley, which I'd been meaning to visit for ages! It was a great ride along some beautiful country lanes and up a few challenging climbs! Poor little legs, they did me proud today up Artists Lane. Didn't try to tackle Swiss Hill this time, the cobbly swine! We made a slight error coming back home which meant a detour and I was doing quite a bit of swearing and groaning I must admit. Hopefully will be able to walk tomorrow.

A fine flat white

To the Edge!

Carlo in buttercups

Not today my friend!

Rewarded with sunshine at the top.

Add a bitter shandy...mmm.