The Wedding – the disposable cut

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|1. the cupcakes and cake | 2. cutting the cake | 3.  Flowery bottoms | 4. Waiting for the first dance | 5.  Bunny gets the best seat in the house |6. Papped |7. I have no idea what this is but it’s v pretty |

We got our disposable cameras developed from our wedding this week.

We had fifteen cameras with 24 photos in each, and we got about 270 photos back.

It was great fun looking at them all and seeing the wedding through our guests’ eyes – lots of them were taken by littles so they’re from a completely different height!

We’re so used to instant results with digital cameras and smartphones, it was lovely to have to wait a bit to see the outcome.

I’m ba-ack!

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Helloo!

My, I am so sorry, my poor little neglected blog. I have been visiting you with the intention of writing another post following July 2012 (JULY!) but life has got in the way.

Mr Charming and I got married a month ago so we’ve spent about 9 months planning and plotting, along with a change in jobs, my sister got married, I ran two marathons, five half marathons, a 20 miler, a 10 miler and I got my 100 parkrun t-shirt too!

I will put some wedding photos up soon (promise) but here’s a little taster (alongside the ones above, of course)

So coming  up – Adnams 10k, I start Paris marathon training, Christmas, a new baby niece or nephew and a bit of a re-cap on life up until now. Oh, and some books too I reckon.

Keep on running

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Phew, July already!

I can’t believe I’ve spent the last two months ‘waiting for summer to arrive’.  I also can’t believe my last post was in March!

The London Marathon was aces – I finished in 4:42:01 on a particularly hot day (come back sun, I didn’t mean for you to disappear completely when I was wishing for rain that Sunday in April!). Best of all, I managed to raise over £800 for Mind, so thank you to all of you lovely donor people.

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There I am, clutching the standard milkshake and the medal, of course! Thanks to Mr C, who rushed off to get me said milkshake as soon as I whimpered pathetically that I really wanted one, in lieu of the usual Mars milkshake I have.

Before that, I had the National Lottery Olympic Park Run, which I ran in 42 minutes. It was amazing – amazingly cold, but also brilliant to know that we were running across the finish line before anyone else. We got free official photos too, which I thought was unusual and a lovely gesture.

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*NB – not an official picture

Then my next challenge was Edinburgh Half Marathon at the end of May, where I swore I’d do it in sub 2 hours, following London where I did the first half in 2:04.

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1:57 later, again, on a very hot day but a beautiful coastal route. Hurrah for me! Special mention goes to the rather phallic medal, which meant I did not do my usual ‘kiss the medal’ photo…

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My most recent race was a 10k a couple of weeks ago – the Humpty Dumpty Brewery/GYDAC race. I’ve joined the Norwich Road Runners club, who are all lovely, and that was my first race as part of the club. I’m wearing my new vest. Ooh. It was really nice running in a vest, but a bit strange as I felt quite pressured to do well. It worked as I got a PB by 2 minutes – 53:23 – and felt pretty comfy all the way round.

So, dear readers, what’s next?

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Get ready Newcastle – we’re coming for you!

I will DEFINITELY post before then. Absolutely.

Twenty-four days to go

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Hello!

So, there are twenty four days to go before the Virgin London Marathon. Phew.

So far this year (basically since I found out I had a place, and according to my Nike+ – more on that later) I’ve run a total of 374.81 miles in 55 runs and burnt 42,803 calories. Norwich to Edinburgh is 360 miles.

Training had been going pretty well, using my Nike+ as a guide to pacing and distance along with that all-important ‘time on your feet’. My longest run was a couple of Sundays ago where I managed 19.2 miles in 2 hours and 55minutes. My target time for the marathon is between 4 hours and 4 hours 30 minutes, so that gave me over 90 minutes to do the last seven miles, more than enough.

Last week on a speed session, I noticed that my running compadre’s Garmin and my Nike+ were showing different pace by around 30 seconds. I was safe in the knowledge that my Nike+ was around 8 minute miles, and yet the Garmin wasn’t registering below 8.30. We calibrated the Nike+ on a 1km stretch of road at the beginning of this week, and found that it was showing .67 of a mile when a km is .62.

Not to get too geeky about the stats, but this meant that on my 10 mile run yesterday, after being comfortable at 9 minute and even 8.30 minute miles for the last six weeks of my training, I discover that my comfortable pace is actually 9.30. Added to that, it might mean that the long runs I’ve been doing have been short.  Not by much, but 30 seconds for each mile is ten minutes over 20 miles.

I’m really trying hard to see the upside:

  • At least I didn’t find out on marathon day, and was disappointed when the mile markers crept farther away.
  • I tell myself that I have not lost 45-60 seconds a mile overnight, I’m exactly where I used to be.
  • Besides, one long run last night when I’ve had a really tough weekend is not indicative of pace for every run.
  • Also, I’ve run a really long way, further than I had ever thought possible.
  • My parkrun PB is now sub 25, so the training I have done has improved my speed beyond what I thought I was capable of.
  • My fundraising page  for Mind   is showing that the target is within reach, and I have been blown away by the generosity of people. Even if I have to walk the whole thing, I’m doing it, for them, for Mind, for all of the people affected by mental illness who are too ashamed or afraid to speak out.

I’ve got one last long run to do, on Sunday, of 21 miles. I’m going to run it nice and easy, ignore the pace numbers and see how I feel throughout. As I said, it’s all bout time on your feet, right?

Before that though, I’m doing the National Lottery Olympic Park Run!

I’m pretty excited about it – it’s a 5 mile run through the Olympic village and it finishes in the Olympic Stadium. Inside, on the track! I plan to get Mr Charming to take lots and lots of photos. Well, as long as we’re allowed. I’ll definitely take a photo of me in my t-shirt, probably with the medal too.

Sorry about the whingy post! I’ll make sure the next one’s a bit more upbeat.

Supertoys last all summer long*

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Hello!

This poor, neglected blog of mine hasn’t had any posts since July 2011! That’s terrible. Poor thing.  I apologise heartily to the few followers I think it had.

I shall endeavour to post more regularly from now. Pinky swear.

So, what’s been going on with me?

First: did the two half marathons to get a PB of 2 hours 12 minutes and 23 seconds. That was the Royal Parks half marathon in October, which was a fantastic course. Both were great and I have signed up for the Edinburgh half marathon at the end of May.  I‘m determined to get a sub 2 hour half marathon!

We raised £140 for Riders for Health and £364 for Leonard Cheshire Disability, so thank you so much for the donations. They’re both brilliant charities run by lovely people, and I really appreciated the support I had throughout my training.

 

Second: I completely (well, nearly completely) failed at the BBC Book List challenge. Sigh. I will absolutely continue it this year though, and will maybe try for a book off that list per month. I’m currently re-reading Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, although I have to say it’s more of a ‘reading’ as I don’t remember anything so far.

The other thing is that I am now training for the London Marathon. This year. April 22nd. Eep. When I was doing the half marathon training I thought that I would never be able to manage 13.2 miles. It’s an awfully long way. But our bodies are amazing and adapt to all sorts of rubbish we put them through, so last week I ran 11.5 miles in 1 hour and 45 minutes, at a fairly steady and relatively easy pace. I could have continued, which is a good thing as I’ve got nigh on 15 more miles to run beyond that!

I’m running this for Mind. Mind are a charity that helps people affected by mental health problems as there is a still a stigma attached to mental health which is not necessarily there with a physical ailment. It’s easy to see a broken arm (well, with a cast on it is!) but not easy to see depression or schizophrenia.

Running straddles physical and mental health by contributing to maintaining (and improving) both, so it seemed like a good fit.

In other exciting news, I’ve got my first proper sports massage on Thursday. What does one wear to a sports massage? I asked the question when I booked it, but got a vague ‘wear what you feel comfortable in’ response.

Enough about me – what’s been going with you?

* so Mr C and I watched ‘AI’ the other night, and I can’t get the name of the short story it was based on out of my head.  Anyone else get that?

Two half marathons and a plea for your cash

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Hello!

In April this year, I did the Bungay half marathon in 2.28:23sec. It was the hardest 2.28:23 of my life, and when I stumbled across the finish line after 13.1 miles, I vowed never to do another one. Five minutes later, I was thinking about doing another one.

Three months later and I’m training for two more !

On September 25th 2011 I’m running the Run to the Beat half marathon for the amazing charity Riders for Health.  I’d really appreciate donations towards my £150 target.

 http://www.justgiving.com/SuzeRunToTheBeat

On October 9th 2011 (yes, that’s a mere FORTNIGHT after the first one) I’m running the Royal Parks half marathon for another amazing charity,  Leonard Cheshire Disability. I’d really appreciate donations towards my £350 target.

http://www.justgiving.com/SuzeRoyalParks

(this is a different page for a different charity, so please feel free to split the donation between the two, especially as the target for Royal Parks is nearly three times the Run to the Beat one!)

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Off With Her Head

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I finally finished a book from my ‘books I need to read list’! It’s a miracle.

 

Apologies for the delay – I read “Alice In Wonderland” a couple of weeks ago but just haven’t found the time to sit down and write the review.

Here’s some information about the book which you may or may not know. Thanks to Wikipedia for providing, as per. Alice in Wonderland was written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pen name of Lewis Carroll, and published in 1865. Seriously. 1865. He wrote it for his friends’ daughter, Alice Liddell, after she asked him to tell her and her sisters a story one lazy sunny afternoon on a boating lake.

 

The plot synopsis goes as follows: Alice is a young girl who falls asleep in the garden one sunny afternoon.  She follows a talking white rabbit down the rabbit hole, finding herself eventually at the bottom and after a small struggle, in Wonderland itself.

I had thought Wonderland (as in the place, not a ‘hip’ contraction of the title) to be quite fun and slightly strange, basing my knowledge on the Disney version, which I last saw a good decade (and possibly a half) ago. The book is very familiar as that adaptation is very faithful to the source material, but I was struck by how scary it is. Alice tastes food and drink which makes her grow and shrink in size. Perhaps when you’re a child that’s where imagination comes in, but to be honest I was a bit worried she’d never get back to her normal size.

I also found the Queen of Hearts and the Cook (as well as the trial at the end) to be less dream-like and more nightmarish. ‘Off with her head’ sounds hilarious until you stop to think about it, and realise it’s actually a petty dictator screaming for the execution of your subjects, who are merely a frightened pack of cards. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it.

Added to that though, the themes and ideas explored are very adult. Although it’s ostensibly a children’s book, Alice discusses and examines mathematical equations and ponders complex philosophical ideas throughout, based on cognitive understanding and existence. The fact that all of this may or may not take place in her mind, as a dream, adds a whole new level which probably got missed when read as or to a child. I think that’s part of the beauty of it – the story does have many layers and each time you read it, more things emerge. I read some information around the characters and how they’re based on notable people of the time. I won’t bore you with all of the theories now, but suffice it to say that the lizard is apparently Benjamin Disraeli. And the Dodo is Lewis Carroll, who was prone to a stutter and therefore sometimes pronounced his name as Do-Do-Dodgson.

This does rather neatly bring me on to my next point. As it was written nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, some of the in jokes of the day are somewhat lost. Alice spends a lot of time reciting poetry in an attempt to prove that she is still ‘she’ and not someone else. Most of the time she is admonished by whatever creature is listening for not getting the words quite right. This would be funny (or funnier, at least) if I knew what the words were meant to be.

Still, if that’s the only reason I can find for disliking it, it’s doing pretty well.

It was by no means an instant hit, perhaps for reasons I’ve touched on. That aside, the figure of Alice and the cast of anthropomorphic characters that she meets along the way in her Wonderland journey, have entered the collective unconscious the world over. She is instantly recognisable as a blonde haired, blue eyed girl in a blue dress, as is the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat, among others.  There are literally countless adaptations of the story, found on the big and small screens and even onstage.

Phrases have found their way into our everyday conversation such as the aforementioned ‘Off With Her Head’ along with ‘Curiouser and curiouser’.  The sheer staying power of the story of Alice and the countless adaptations/parodies/slightly creepy spin off merchandise coming from it is testament to the complexity of what appears to be a simple story about a girl having a dream.