Crumbs of 2011

Crumbs

It’s the end of the year already?! WTF!?! That went quickly didn’t it? Or is it just me getting old and senile? Yes. perhaps it is. Oh well, there’s a history of mental illness in the family, and who I am to fight genes. Bring on the lunacy I say. And cake. Yes. Definitely bring on the cake.

So I understand it’s the norm for bloggers to post a summary of what they’ve done during the year. Ah yes, a bit of self-indulgence and proclamation – I can get on board with this :D. Based on the blogs I dip in and out of, these tend to be bursting with so much awesomeness it makes my year look like the scrawny, kinda odd-looking pale kid in the corner of the playground, not getting invited to play kiss-chase. Um. Yeah. That analogy is a little too close to home I think. Stupid psyche! OK, lets move quickly and silently away from that can of worms… and awkward moment successfully avoided. Just.

Ok, back on track now, and I have actually done some pretty cool stuff this year! So here we go, trumpet to hand ready for blowing, here are my crumbs of 2011, with a smattering of pics for some added sparkle:

  • After about a a year away (bad Cuplet!) I made a triumphant return to the gym. At my peak I was working out 5 times a week, 2.5 hours a session, as well as doing two road runs a week! Pretty impressive huh! It didn’t last though, as I knocked the gym sessions on the head in May to “concentrate” on my marathon training (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!). And I haven’t been back since. Oops!

Trainers

  • I felt pretty guilty about my non-attendance at the gym, so in June, as part of my marathon training, I joined a free running club, run by my local branch of Sweatshop (by the way, if you’re a runner and you’ve never visited one of their stores you are missing out!). Every Monday I pull on my luminescent yellow SRC running top (very fetching it is too) and join the group for a 5K run around town. I wasn’t sure how I’d take to running with others, as I’ve always been a lone exerciser, and I’m pretty competitive. Which is kinda odd when I think about it as I suck at sports! But it’s actually been really great! I’ve made some friends, and hopefully I’m getting a little better at running too. So thanks SRC!

Gotta love the SRC running top

  • In July I completed my first half marathon! Round the streets of London. On a very hot Sunday afternoon. In my bra. Don’t worry, it was for walkthewalk’s first ever daytime event in London – and asking participants to complete the course in a bra is kinda their thing :). Although not happy with my time immediately afterwards, I’ve been assured that my 2hrs 55mins was good for a first attempt at the distance, especially for an event where you’re not allowed to run. And power walking 13.1 miles is hard! I swore at the time that I wouldn’t unleash proof of me walking around partially exposed, but I think enough time has passed now, so here’s a picture of me in said hand decorated apparel. Enjoy!

Sunwalk 2011

  • In the summer I turned 30. Man am I old. I’m almost like a proper grown up now! I’ve found since making this milestone I am getting grumpier and grouchier by the day, and caring less and less about it. Awesome :). As a result of the big 3-0, I did a couple of things I’d never done before. I decided I’d treat myself to some pampering, so booked myself a full makeover – oooh get me! Off I popped to the smoke where a professional make up artist taught me how to make my face look a little less stupid, and then I had my hair sexed up by an extremely talented award wining celebrity hairdresser! No name dropping now, that’s just tacky. It was completely extravagant and cost a small fortune, and I loved every blinking second of it! And what was the result of their primping and preening? I looked hot! For about a week…

i looked hot... for about a week!

  • With my new look in the bag, I wasn’t going to just waste it lying round the house, so I decided to have my very first birthday party. Yes I know, 30 years old and never had a birthday party. Altogether now… “awwwwwww”. So I went all out, throwing an epic 80’s kids themed party, with retro party food and drink, an amazing playlist of classic 80’s tunes, and lots of traditional party games (some with a slightly adult twist…). It was brilliant! All my friends left with prizes from the games (everyone won something), a balloon and party bag – with essential mashed up birthday cake in a napkin of course – and big grins across their big stupid faces. I had the best time EVER! So maybe not quite so grown up after all. But do I care?! Do I Thundercats!

Who's birthday was it again?

Now that's what I call a retro spread :)

  • The summer also saw me celebrating my 10 year wedding anniversary :). It seems very surreal when quantified like that, and I don’t know where the years have gone. We’re definitely older, but I’m not sure we’re any wiser! If anything, we get sillier and more childish as time goes on. But that’s our dynamic :). To mark the decade, we did something we haven’t done in 6 years… we went on holiday. If you were expecting me to go somewhere else with that then you are dirty, dirty little readers! 6 years without a holiday is pretty full of suck, and this was a very special occasion, so I arranged for our anniversary celebrations to take place in New York! And. It. Was. AWESOME. I had booked an absolutely incredible apartment in Chelsea with stunning views – we could see the Empire State Building from our bedroom – using the fantastic holiday rental apartment site Airbnb – if you’re planning on travelling I really recommend looking here first, there is a mind-boggling amount of choice of places to rent all over the world, and living in someone’s home really makes you feel more like a local than staying in a hotel. We did all the touristy things of course; Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, Times Square, Grand Central Station, NY Public Library, Ground Zero, a carriage ride in Central Park, and spent any down time exploring as much of the city as we could. It was a tough ask being we were only there for 5 days, but it was our first visit, so we barely stopped. I even squeezed in a run in Central Park before our flight home! Yup. And the local runners kicked my ass! We had an amazing time in the city that never sleeps (by the way, if you’ve never been, it really doesn’t), and can’t wait to go back.

Celebrating our 10 year wedding anniversary in New York

  • My love of the cake hit new levels this year, culminating in me learning how to decorate and bake my very own devilishly tasty cupcakes, courtesy of my awesome friends at Angel Food Bakery in Brighton, and their seriously addictive baking courses (I’ve done two in three months, and I’m poised to do more in 2012!). If you love baking, or eating cakes, or just want a really enjoyable afternoon, check out their courses. They are great fun, and you get to take everything you make home with you! Days of cake gluttony after a few hours of fun and frosting. YUMS!
  • In October I completed my first full marathon! Round the streets of London again. On a very hot Saturday night. I wore more clothes this time round (the Londoners were very thankful for this), and I was covered in lights. It was a midnight marathon you see, for Shine – again, another first for this charity – and light is their symbol. 10,000 other sparkly clad people turned up to take part, and what a great night it was. Well, apart from the marathon part ;). This was another power walking event, so no running allowed, and I completed the stunning moonlit course in 7 hours, bang on my target time :). Power walking 26.2 miles is super hard!

Shine 2011

Now that's what I call a medal!

  • In November I decided it was time for a new little project, one where I didn’t need to be in my trainers for a change. So instead I chose to chain myself to my laptop (only leaving the house to go to work) and attempt to teach myself how to code, in two weeks! Yup, just a little different from what I normally do then. It all came about as part of another challenge I was going to be doing in December, and the two-week time frame I had given myself was directly linked to that. So the idea was to teach myself some HTML with the view to creating my very own basic webpage, just to see if it was possible for someone with no programming background to do it. Goodness knows how I did it, but I somehow managed to pull it off! It seemed like a good idea at the time, but coding is really, really hard! If you want to read the full story, check out my blog post Code Runner.

  • And so to December. Aside from eating a few too many handmade truffles – well it had to be done, right? – the most festive of months in the calendar has seen me back in my trainers. Again. Every. Single. Day. Yup. That’s right. Me, the self-confessed hater of running, choosing to run every day in December, as part of the Marcothon Challenge. I really am a glutton for punishment huh? I’ve been blogging about my progress every five days, including my own take on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol, so chances are you might have seen one, if not all, of my posts. By the way, thinking up 31 running related lines for a carol is bloody hard! I don’t think I thought that all the way through at the beginning – oops! If you haven’t seen the posts, the twitter based challenge (courtesy of @themarcothon) was to run at least 3 miles or 25 minutes every day in December. And as of about 10am this morning, I can officially say, I DID IT! YAY 😀 Check out my last Marcothon post On The Final Day of Marcothon… for my summing up of a month running myself crazy!

  • Daily running aside, I also managed to squeeze in a little lantern making and burning in the Ton, taking part in my very first Burning the Clocks parade (check out my full post here), which was super fun! Thanks to all the lovely guys at Same Sky for organising such a great event; I met some really nice people and what a fun way to spend a December evening by the coast. I really hope they can secure the funding they need to continue next year. I’ll definitely be there if they do!

So that’s it. My 2011 wrapped up in wordy-words and pretty pics. And, looking back at it like this, I can safely say, it’s been a good one :D. I have some things planned for 2012 already, but I’m saying nuffin’. You’re just gonna have to pop back and see what I’m up to, aren’t you… :P.

Happy New Year everyone!

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