Tag Archives: summer

Running.

Whistler is a very active place.  People make full use of the mountains; in winter they ski and snowboard, and in summer they bike and hike.  There are trails made specifically for walkers/runners/cyclists so that no one has to travel at the side of the motorway.
Frequently walking past all these active people started to make me feel lazy.  I wanted to start doing something.  A few years ago I started running for a brief spell, then I moved to England for university and stopped.  Since I had done it before, and it didn’t require the purchase of any expensive equipment (aside from proper shoes), I decided to take up running again, only ‘for real’ this time.

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This is the first pair of proper running shoes I’ve owned, and wow, it really makes a difference.  It’s a bit of an upfront cost, but it’s definitely worth investing in a pair of proper runners that are designed to support your feet and ankles.

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I started out with no real plan.  I just jogged/ran for as long as I could and then slowed down to a walk until I felt able to go faster again.  If you follow me on Instagram (@njmarcus), you may have noticed that a lot of my photos lately have been around Lost Lake.  This area is perfect for running because there are no vehicles, just cyclists, walkers and runners.  Plus, it’s a beautiful area.

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I have to go running first thing, otherwise I won’t go.  It’s never a good idea to head out on an empty stomach, but at the same time it’s unwise to exercise with a full stomach.  I’ve found that, for me, the perfect thing is a small glass of fresh smoothie.  I blend a banana, a handful of strawberries, some orange juice and soy milk.  Or a few slices of peach, or fresh mango, or apple, or grapes.  Or whatever I have in the fridge that morning.
I like to set off about half an hour after I’ve had my smoothie, so in that in-between time I get dressed into my running gear, and set out my clothes for the day so when I get home I can just hop in the shower then get ready.

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After about three or four weeks of just running, somewhat aimlessly, I decided I needed more structure, and maybe something to aim for.  I’ve said (mainly to myself) for quite a while that I want to run a marathon some day, but it’s gone no further than me thinking that.  To be honest, it’s something I’ve thought would be awesome to do, but at the same time I knew I could never actually do.
I read quite a few health and fitness blogs, and I read Katie’s post about surprising her sister by turning up to run a half marathon with her.  Then I flicked through some other posts on her blog, and saw all these other people posting their accomplishments and achievements, and something in me just clicked and I thought maybe I could do this.  But not on my own.

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I mulled it over while I ran by the lake that morning, and by the time I got back, I decided to look into races I could possibly enter.  The first one I found was the Whistler Half Marathon, which is happening this weekend.  Uh, yeah, I’m not quite ready for that.  I knew that for any type of race, no matter how short, I needed time to prepare and train.  So anyway, I searched and searched, and finally found a 5k in Ireland in October.  I don’t think I’ve mentioned this, but I’m going to be back home for the whole of October (to be my big sister’s Maid of Honour, woo!), and so I pitched it to my family to see if anyone would run it with me, and virtually train with me.  Turns out my family are an easily led bunch ;)  Even my dad agreed to run.

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5 kilometres may seem like nothing to some people, but to me it is huge.  I’ve never done something like this before, so while I am excited, I am pretty nervous.

Since the decision has been made, I’ve started the Couch to 5k training program, which promises to have me ready to run 5k in nine weeks.  I’m at the end of week one, so I have a long way to go, but I am so happy to be actively (excuse the pun) doing something about this dream.  Right now I feel like I am walking more than I am running, but as the saying goes, you don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.

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Missing the sea.

Until I moved to England, three years ago, I had always lived by the sea.
Was it intentional, Mum and Dad, that throughout several house moves, we stuck to the coast?
I took it for granted, never having known anything different.  And then I moved to the middle of England, and the first warm day came and I realised there was no beach nearby.  Everyone flocked to a park, we spread out our blankets on the grass, and enjoyed the sun (all fifteen minutes of it).  And sure, it was lovely, but there was no salty breeze, no sand between my toes (for days to come) and no icy cold waves to jump over.
Even on brisk winter days, I miss putting my wellies on and taking the dogs for a walk on the beach, while the wind rips my scarf off and chills me to the bone.

This summer I was more than excited to be going on two holidays to seaside towns, back to back.  Not fancy, hot, different-language kind of beaches, but proper seaweedy, disappointing-weather, packed lunch kind of beaches.

Youghal in County Cork was beautiful.  The house we stayed in overlooked the bay, and we sat in the bay window seats for hours watching for dolphins.

We never saw any, but my mum and I saw loads of other interesting things.  Well, interesting to us, right Mum?  (That man is swimming by those rocks, but there’s a sign saying no swimming!  That boat looks awfully low at the back, do you think it’s got a leak?)


This is the old pier in Cobh (previously known as Queenstown, Cork) where the last passengers boarded the Titanic.  Sad :(

And then on to Whitby, North Yorkshire…


Actually this is Scarborough, right next to Whitby.


I think I’m in love with that ice cream van.

What is it about being by the sea that makes me feel calm and rested?
I love it.
All of it.
Waves, lighthouses, boats, long stretches of sand.

And just to balance out that nice photo of me sitting by a boat, here is a photo of me on a boat looking somewhat less composed…

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Feels like summer.

It really feels like summer today.  We lost an hour’s sleep last night, but it is definitely going to be worth it come 7pm when it is still light outside.

Today, I would love to be sitting in a garden, with a huge plate of salad…

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… drinking chilled lemonade…

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… and snacking on fresh fruit…

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But alas, I am stuck inside writing an essay.
For now.
It will all be over soon, and I am kind of sad about that.

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Paris [1: Eiffel Tower]

I can’t lie; I’m getting a little bored of fighting with the Thailand photos.  I haven’t finished editing and sorting them, but I have got all my Paris photos done, so I’m going to share those today :)


View from our hotel balcony.

 

The metro was one of our favourite things! So much nicer and less crazy than the London Underground.


We got to the Eiffel Tower on our first day and could not believe the queue for the lift. People must have been waiting about three hours. The queue for the stairs, however… well actually there was no queue. I can’t lie, it was pretty exhausting, but it felt good once we got up there.


View from the first floor.

 


View from the second floor.


It was pretty windy!
So once you get up to the second floor (and remember how to breathe again), if you want to go on up to the very top you have to pay extra to get up there in a lift. I didn’t realise how much further there was to go until I saw this sign –


It’s really high up!

The walk back down was much easier than the hike up.

 

       

We came back that night to see the Tower all lit up. It was amazing.

Loved it.

Have a great weekend :)

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Fun things.

Have you heard of Pinterest?
I have heard a lot about it from other blogs that I frequent, and decided not to look at it until all my work and exams were done for this year, because I knew I would spend hours and hours on the site.
Well, my exam was yesterday and my assignments have all been submitted, so I am all done for second year (one more year to go, eek), so today I logged on to Pinterest.

Oh my.
It is fantastic.
I have requested an invitation to join.  Now I eagerly await.

It is basically a giant catalogue of fantastic things.
Like these…

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Today I am loving colour.

It is sunny, I had a productive evening in the library and my favourite for dinner (Caesar Salad).

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Hello Summer.

It was so hot today, I got a little bit sunburned :)

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My mum is coming!

I am trying to cram in a week’s worth of uni work in about an hour and a half.
I won’t get any done the rest of this week,
because…

My mum is coming to visit!

She is currently in the air, zooming over at x-thousand feet, soon to land in very cold England.
Mum, I hope you packed a coat.

I am so excited :)
I reckon we’ll spend most of our time shopping, drinking coffee and shopping some more.

We’re going to go and visit Steph, my sister, on Friday (she goes to uni a few hours north of where I live).

Steph will kill me for this photo, but I love her enthusiasm :)

Both of the pictures were taken at Portstewart Strand (the best beach in Northern Ireland) at the end of Summer 2009.
That day is one of my happiest family memories.

Anyway, if I don’t post for several days you know why.
Hope you all (who am I talking to? myself?) have a great weekend :)

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Bex&Phil

I hate sounding cliche, but there is no other way to describe these two people as utterly perfect for each other.  Seriously, I have never known a couple like them.
It was such an honour to be a part of their special day yesterday as they said their vows and celebrated with their friends and family.

I cried so much.  (What a girl.)

I don’t even need to wish you guys luck, or best wishes, or happiness for the future, because you’ve already got it in the bag.

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