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

Photo Friday

 

 

Today I am flying back to the UK after a week in Oslo. And for fun, because it’s Friday, I thought I ‘d show you how my week looked in photos. Soooo.. Enjoy!

 

It started on Saturday with the Night We Took All The Selfies. My camera is full. of. them. It’s like a time lapse video.

 

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And the next day, I got the best present. It came in a huge purple box and contained two very important items:

 

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On the same day, I saw this on Twitter and thought it’d be fun to do:

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You can catch my very exciting #BookadayUK updates on Twitter here: @ElinorJR

 

Then in Oslo, the day after birthday Tiramisu, I went for a run:

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It was a slow run because I kept stopping to take photos. Oslo is great for running  – it’s pretty flat, and has wonderful waterside views. It was cold though!

 

And today I saw the best taxi in the whole wide world:

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I would literally pay someone to drive me around in this all day long, and all my money would vanish.

 

And finally – in our Oslo office, I saw these words of wisdom on the wall:

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Have a fabulous weekend everyone – go out there thinking that you CAN!!!!! (Whatever it is you want to do)

 

Ellie B