Sunday, 12 April 2015

This Girl Can

Just over two years ago I was overweight, desperately unfit and worryingly unhappy with my life. I had zero confidence and often struggled finding ways to get by from day to day. 
Then I discovered running. 
What started out as a way to essentially lose a little bit of weight, completely turned my entire life around. 
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Today I ran the Plusnet Sheffield Half Marathon - a race I had my heart set on running for a very long time.

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Here is my heartfelt and honest account of today:
I was so anxious and nervous yesterday as nerves began to set in, waking up this morning I felt excitement and eagerness to arrive in Sheffield city centre. The fact I was running completely alone daunted me, especially as groups of people began to gather at the starting zone. I felt a little bit like a little fish in a big sea. But I knew, my passion for running would get me through. 

The pursuit out of the city centre upto Ecclesall Road was truly brilliant; I felt a thrill running past some of my favourite haunts. It was when approaching Ringinglow Road (dubbed the King of the hill) - I began to feel the pain set in. I have little experience of hills and the quite ironic gusty wind did not help. But, I pushed through and I spotted a work colleague in the crowd who eagerly spurred me on.

Once up the hill, the course really took me on a whole new experience - trail running, in the tip of the Peak District. I was absolutely in my element running through the amazing scenery, Sheephill Road was a breath of fresh air. It was after this point, I really struggled - coinciding with needing the toilet (really badly); I did have a moment in my mind wondering how I was ever going to get to the finish line.

The downhill pursuit back into Sheffield centre, was a little more relaxed, but on approaching the final 3mile mark - I ached, I pained, I felt absolutely drained and exhausted. I kept thinking I wouldn't be able to make it, and felt so disappointed in myself. I reminded myself how far I’d come and giving up was not an option.

I don't know how - but I found that final spur of energy in my gut, and that last 10 minutes seems a complete blurry image for me. Seeing the final finish line, I gave it my all. Ran passed the cheering crowds and passed the line literally into the arms of a paramedic! I was shaking, and could barely walk - this was definitely the most I have ever pushed my body. 
I did manage to walk after this and then eventually find my husband and family, after a little cry on the side of the street. Gosh, the emotion I cannot even describe.

It was every inch physically and mentally draining today. But, up until the age of 23 I had never done any sort of exercise, I dodged PE like the plague and never took part in after school activities – something I deeply regret. Running like I did today demonstrated that being physically fit is not a gift nor something you are born with – it takes time, dedication and focus to train and transform your body.

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Finishing the race was my ultimate goal, and as the pain had overtaken all my thoughts on a decent finish time. As you can imagine, I was completely astounded and shocked, when I realised I had finished in less than 2 hours - my absolute ultimate dream for the race originally when I applied back in January. 

This is a tale of hard work, determination and having your heart set on changing something. All I ever wanted was to find confidence in myself and happiness and fulfilment in life – running has undoubtedly provided me with that and I couldn’t ever be more thankful.

Literally, believe me when I say: anything is possible.

 
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Monday, 6 April 2015

Bohemian Dreams

As we are ever nearing our Asian Adventure, I am dreaming of bohemian style.
Bohemia to me is … freedom to completely dress as independently as you wish. For as long as I can remember I have had a longing desire to dress in as many charms, bangles and flowers as possible. I love the idea of magical folklore and hippy chic so to speak.
When I was younger I always kept a drawstring bag of worry people nearby, had incense burning in my room and a dream catcher hanging above my bed.  Embroidery is an art close to my heart, and I have lost count of just how many crochet tops I own.

My Thailand wardrobe (or shall we say suitcase), is coming together now – there’s some of my favourites from our Honeymoon last year, but I am slowly adding a few more to the mix. I’m determined to pack light, and only take the bare essentials – but that being said, those essentials need to be the 'ones'.

I have been incredibly lucky in finding is some jewels – all second hand, mostly from my local charity shop...
 
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 Earrings: £1.00 charity shop
These earrings are bohemia in a heartbeat! I love the neon tassels, I have a feeling these are going to be my favourites whilst there.

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 Necklace: 50p car boot sale
This necklace I have had nestled at the back of my wardrobe for a couple of years now, I have never felt an occasion suited to wearing it – but I’m determined to wear it whilst in Bangkok.
 
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Necklace: £2.00 charity shop
This one caught my eye – I wouldn’t usually find myself drawn towards statement necklaces, but something about the colourful beading really swayed me.

I still have the mammoth task of sorting my clothing, footwear & bikinis (now that’s a whole other issue), but I’m pretty pleased with my jewels – especially as I will only be taking costume jewellery on the trip (besides me wedding bands).
To be continued…

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