My How Things Change

Well, wasn’t March long! It was a great month and a tough month, involving trips to London, Berlin, Dublin and Copenhagen. That sounds awesome, and it was, except when you’re setting your alarm for 3.45am. But then, I do love the chance to run in a different city.

 

I didn't run in Copenhagen, but here's a nice pic :)

I didn’t run in Copenhagen, but here’s a nice pic :)

The other thing that I’m having to contend with is of course this growing bump of mine. After a very easy first 14 weeks, things are suddenly slowing down. My overall pace has remained even since I found out, but is slower than I was running before: before a typical kilometre would take approximately 4:50, where as now it’s about 6:10.

 

When I run now, I can definitely feel something  inside. It’s so weird! It feels like a tennis ball is wrapped up in a spider’s web, and with every step you can feel the tennis ball move within the suspension of the web. And then it settles down with the rhythm, but there’s an undeniable weight that I can feel squeezing against whatever is inside when there used to be nothing!

Moody running in Durham on Saturday morning

Moody running in Durham on Saturday morning

 

As a result of all these changes, I think I tire quicker. In flat Berlin, I ran 9k and stopped every 2k or so, where as in hilly Durham I’m stopping approximately 3 times in 5k. Each time I aim to walk about 30 metres, or two lamp posts. Each run is unpredictable: there aren’t any goals, and I  have no idea how each one will go. It all depends on how I feel at the time, and I’m loathe to really push myself.

 

So what does all this mean? Fewer runs! I can’t say ‘I’ll just go out and do a quick 5k’ because who knows whether the pace will have slowed yet again, or if I’ll need to stop more than usual. Then when I do run, it makes for lazy evenings: sometimes I feel as tired as when I was marathon training, but I’ve only done 7k, not 30! So, I can’t fit it into my life as I have done previously, and each one needs more planning and flexibility.

 

On the other hand, I was starting to suffer from bad headaches, which apparently are a symptom (to be honest, everything can be written off as a symptom). Once I started running more regularly, they cleared up. And every health professional I have asked said it’s far better to run throughout pregnancy than not, as long as my body was used to it.

 

There are so many changes happening: my emotions are all over the place (that’s according to SB: I think I’ve been a dream), my body is changing shape, my clothes don’t fit, head rushes, low blood sugar and nausea if I don’t eat – with all this, it’s SOOOOOOO nice to have something to cling on to which makes me feel like ‘me’. Not to mention there’s a little thing called labour which I will need to contend with, and it seems to me that it’s far better to go into that being fit and perhaps more mentally prepared for the physical challenge that will be….

 

I’m sorry I’ve not been writing as much recently. But I’ve not been running as much! This month will hopefully be different as my travel isn’t as intense: I’ve already done two 5ks this week, and tomorrow will hopefully make a 3rd. I hope you all had a great Easter. SB and I went to the Lake District, and found a rope swing. I was not above waiting amongst the kids for my turn….I mean, I was almost the same height as most of them anyway!

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Ellie B

Berlin – Shoreditch’s bigger, sexier, poorer cousin

Hey everyone. Two weeks since my last post, and two weeks since my last run. I’ve learned that if you’re planning to move across the country, travel for work, and are growing something that basically uses all your blood and eats all your food, you get tired. Before I could squeeze in a run pretty much any time, but now I have to consider things like whether there’s a three hour drive ahead of us, or what time I need to get to the station the next day.

 

Anyway. This week I am in…… Berlin! Despite my whining above, I really like being here. Berlin feels like one giant Shoreditch. For those who don’t know London, Shoreditch is the current oh-so-cool suburb, complete with hipsters, coffee shops, bars and graffiti. My work is based in the East side of Berlin, which has loads of graffiti everywhere and loads of cool restaurants and bars.

 

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After work today I took myself on a run to Checkpoint Charlie, which was the most famous crossing between East and West Berlin. It was 9kms there and back, and it was cool to run from the quirky East side into the more commercial CBD.

 

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I wasn’t running on traditional running routes, and I only saw a couple of others out. However. In Berlin there are loads of cyclists. There were cycle lanes on every street I ran down, and the cyclists are not only speedy but assertive: god help you if you’re in the lane when they come speeding down. There are bells and yells all over the place. The cycle lanes are more on the footpath than on the road, which seemed safer for the cyclist – as long as you aren’t some stupid foreigner who forgets to look the opposite direction and almost gets run over (this happens to me every.single.time).

 

What better time for a selfie than Checkpoint Charlie?

What better time for a selfie than Checkpoint Charlie?

 

Berlin is a very flat city to run in, and there are loads of landmarks to see. I would have loved to make it to the Brandenburg Gates, but for reasons (see first paragraph and also I met my colleagues for dinner) I didn’t. It’s also a city with loads of parks, which would be nice to explore.

 

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So. This week’s run has been great. On the weekend I’ll be in Birmingham – probably not as many cool graffiti spots or historic landmarks, but you never know…..

Dublin

Oh, hey everyone, I’m just typing this in a brand new running city. Yep. I am in Dublin for work, and yesterday managed to get out for a quick run.

 

I did 4k along the River Liffey. I know, 4k’s not so long, but here is what happened: 1) it was getting dark and Dublin is one giant maze. 2) I had to meet my colleagues for dinner. 3) They were already in the pub and thought I was very smug for running instead of joining them. So, in the interest of keeping my (minimal) street-cred with my colleagues, and to ensure I didn’t get lost running in Dublin forever, I did a quick 4k.

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From what I have seen, it seems like a fairly flat city, and that got me thinking about Loughborough, which also seems flat. Oh sure it made for a nice easy run now, but I’m not sure about running on flat surfaces as standard. Having to run up a 3k hill at the end of your run is great because you have to do it to get home, and it’s also good training. Durham hills basically force you to get faster because everywhere you run means you’ll face a hill.

 

Anyway, my run was very pleasant and took me past some good sights, like the St James’ Gate Brewery (home of Guinness), and a nice church. Or something.

 

Yep… there are some gates with the Guinness logo painted on.

Yep… there are some gates with the Guinness logo painted on.

I'm not sure what this is, but it looks nice against the dusk.

I’m not sure what this is. But it looks nice against the dusk. 

 

In my opinion, Dublin looks very European in a way that English cities don’t, with its curved bridges. Gilly said I should hunt out the canals for running, and I didn’t see too many runners on the route I did, so I’m sure I’ve missed the real Dublin running scene bit.

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So, after being here for one night and doing a 15 hour work day, here are my fave things about Dublin:

  • Everyone here is so friendly and chatty and happy to help
  • Toasted sandwiches seem to be a pub staple. But awesome toasted sandwiches, not soggy or lean.
  • There is a lot of live music
  • Pubs here serve food late
  • People actually do drink Guinness: not like when foreigners arrive in Australia and are shocked to see no Fosters at all!
They drink Guinness AND they put a shamrock on it.

They drink Guinness AND they put a shamrock on it.

It would be lovely to stay here for longer (and maybe find my way around the maze!), but we have another day tomorrow and then I’m home on Saturday. So I’ll just have to come back. Soon I think.

 

Ellie B

Dancing Queen…

…Young and sweet, only seventeen As if I’ll tell you! A true lady never reveals her true age!

 

So this week = no running. This week = partying! My only form of exercise this week was hitting the dance floor, and this happened in quite.a.big.way. Unless you count eating cakes and pastries because I also did a lot of that too.

 

It all kicked off with my sister-in-law’s hen weekend. Because she is the next Beyonce (although not marrying a hip-hop star), we booked in for a Beyonce workshop on Saturday afternoon. We learned a dance routine to ‘Run the World’, with my sis-in-law starring as Queen B herself. We were rocking it all over the place, and we though it was pretty damn hot – until we got the video later on this week! Then we realised just how far from Beyonce we actually are. Still, never give up on your dreams and all that….

 

For a while I got confused and thought I was at a Nicky Minaj workshop

For a while I got confused and thought I was at a Nicky Minaj workshop

Later that night we went out to a club in Mayfair because it was also her 30th birthday that day too. Run the World came on, so we all lined up in our places, and the crowd formed a circle around is expecting something great. And not even 5 hours after the workshop, we failed. We were all convinced that we knew the right part, but in reality we were all doing something else. It was like this (totally worth watching – the dance starts a minute in and you won’t regret it!).

 

We fueled with afternoon tea. Every one of these cakes is inspired by an haute couture creation by the big designers.

We fueled with afternoon tea. Every one of these cakes is inspired by an haute couture creation by the big designers. Sorry the pic is so dark….

Anyway, the next day my legs were sore. My quads were burning – they hadn’t had a workout like that since I was doing pole routines last year. So even though there was no running that weekend, I consoled myself with my dance floor workout.

 

And this carried on throughout the week! On Monday I went to Miami for a work conference. I know. Before you judge me, let me tell you we had to do Very Important Work in the day, and only got to see Miami really by night. Even then we didn’t really see Miami. We saw a lot of a nightclub called Liv, and we liked it so much that we went back there again the next night. So there were another two nights of solid dancing there. So Miami summed up would be: lots of dancing, lots of work, lots of pastries, and no roller blading.

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This is actually what Miami looks like. In Real Life.

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Don’t get me wrong. Just because I’ve done a Beyonce workshop and have spend 3 of the last 7 nights partying on down, I haven’t upped my game. I still have my trusty 4 dance moves that I rotate throughout the night, and they serve me well. At least, they raise my heart rate and cause sweat to run down my made-up face. I don’t think they look good though.

 

Anyway, it was a lovely change to running in the cold (it has been colllllddddd here!). I’m sure that all the work I did last week equates to at least a ten mile run…. what do you think?

 

Ellie B

Four Fact Fun: Satisfying the my Nosy Nature

I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine consisted of fighting a cold, and rueing the gorgeous sunny weather we had here, while I wasn’t well enough to run. But I balanced all that out with lots of coffee and brownies: it turns out rueing is hungry work.

 

For today’s post, I saw this little quiz on Shut Up and Run, who in turn saw it on Hungry Runner Girl, and wanted to join in with the cool kids.  I definitely have a nosy streak, and love reading these about other people so I thought some of you might be as nosy as me….

 

Four names that people call me other than my real name:

  1. Buts. Because now I am a Butler.
  2. Norbit
  3. Nell
  4. Cherry

 

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Barista at Starbucks. For about a million years. And in multiple countries.
  2. Cinema Steward
  3. Secretary
  4. Graduate Recruitment Manager

 

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. The Sound of Music
  2. The Terminator
  3. My Girl
  4. Apollo 13

 

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. The House of Mirth
  2. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
  3. The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
  4. Moranthology

 

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. Melbourne
  2. Sydney
  3. London
  4. Devon

 

Four places I’ve visited:

  1. Serbia
  2. Peru
  3. Tokyo
  4. Hong Kong

 

Four things I prefer not to eat:

  • Onion
  • Anything vegetarian
  • Haribo
  • A bad hamburger, the ones you can taste in your mouth for three days afterwards. You know the ones.

 

Four of my favourite foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Curry
  • Sushi
  • Pancakes

 

Four TV shows I watch:

  • 30 Rock
  • The Fall
  • It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  • Luther

 

Four things I’m looking forward to this year:

  • Going to Miami with work (hooo-raaahhhh!!!)
  • Running a half marathon
  • Moving to Loughborough – BOOM! That’s new! Although I am really sad to leave Durham.
  • Seeing A View from the Bridge

 

Four things I’m always saying:

  • Dude, that’s awesome! (sometimes I confuse myself with a California Skater kid)
  • Do we have any chocolate?
  • No, I took the bins out last time.
  • Shall we get a coffee?

 

So. Not much running today. Plans went awry and runs didn’t happen, but thanks to little  quizs like this, we can all still have some fun.

 

I’ll hit you all up with some more relevant posts later this week! And also – please feel free to tell me four facts about yourself in the comments. I’m nosy, I tell you.

 

Ellie B