A dinner treat

Last night I was so exhausted I didn’t make it to club for a tempo run. Instead I made it home from work by 6:30 and all I wanted to do was slob on the couch. I’d already prepped the batter for a toad in the hole that morning so left tea to Dan. My mind just felt wiped out and I couldn’t concentrate on anything at all. Not even when Dan put an episode of How I Met Your Mother on. I managed to play with some designs for the blog though as on older monitors (at my school) the runner in the header appears to blend into the background of the page. Expect to see some tweaks appearing next week as Dan is working from Birmingham all week and I shall be home alone (with the cat!)
A fail to complete Janathon with two days to go, but to be honest I’m surprised I managed to find something to write about for 29 days in a row, and 30 days out of 31 of exercise and blogging ain’t too shabby!
Tonight Dan treated me to dinner after a rough week of work.

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We went to the Samuel Pepys restaurant in Slipton and the food was lovely. I went for the vegetables topped with goats cheese and walnuts and served with new potatoes and a colourful side salad. Even though I’m not vegetarian I always chose veggie dishes when I go out.

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(Before the side salad arrived.)
I’m a very predictable orderer but so is Dan. He would have been able to order this dish without asking me and I would also have been able to tell the waiter he would have the sirloin steak!

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Obviously I stole his mushrooms, tomatoes and onion rings! There is really no point in me ordering any food when we go out. I could live off of his fruit and vegetables!

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Wine was required tonight. It’s been a week full of after school detentions, expelled kids and of babysitting kids waiting for parents. Our school finishes at 4pm, but about half of the parents can’t pick their kids up until 5:30-6pm. Although it’s great that they are working parents it can also be rather frustrating if you plan on leaving work at 4 only for a parent to arrive two hours later and you end up drained from entertaining a seven year old all evening!
There are talks in England currently of extending the school hours in a week to 45 hours, or nine hours a day. (Bearing in mind most adults only work eight hour days!) I’m not a fan. Kids can barely concentrate now and by Friday afternoon lessons have gone downhill. The kids are tired and can’t concentrate. I can’t concentrate! Most days I am in an intense environment for nine hours a day (9-6) and then also work outside of those times but towards the end of the week I’m left feeling like I need to take a break before I can be productive again. Yet I am someone that wants to learn and who loves their job. What about all those students that struggle with school? It won’t be productive for them! Education should happen outside the classroom too!
I’m having a complete break from the classroom tomorrow when I head out to marshal the Thames Trot. If you’re running tomorrow, keep an eye out for me on Checkpoint two and at the finish!

An unintentional long run

This post is going to be quick and photo less I’m afraid. Just to keep within Janathon rules!
Wednesday nights I head out on a trail run after work for about six miles with a regular group of six or seven others.
Tonight, there was a bit of a mix up. We always meet in the bowls car park. The meet place for tonight was listed as The Embankment. We have met there in the past but usually during the Summer time as this time of year it’s often too flooded by the river. That was the case tonight and I couldn’t pull into the car park as the attendant had locked the gates to prevent cars getting stranded there. I was about ten minutes early and couldn’t see anyone around so decided to drive to the outskirts of town where we usually meet. No sign off anyone there. Now two minutes before meet time and I floored it to the Tesco carpark which is quite close to The Embankment. As I pulled into a space I could see four or five headtorches on the other side of the road then heading off in the direction of the park. The road was unusually busy and it took me several minutes to cross over both sections, by which point I’d lost sight of the headtorches. I sprinted (sub 8mm!) towards the park but as I turned the corner I could still see no headtorches in front and was pretty sure they hadn’t gotten too far away from me.
As I jogged slowly back towards Tesco I passed the steps down to the river edge. I’ve run this route a few times although again, mainly in Summer. It goes right through from Northampton to Peterborough although I’ve only ever ran from Northampton to Wellingborough before. I ran alongside the river for about half a mile in the hope that they might have headed that way before admitting defeat and realising that running alone on a dirt track alongside a deep river at night probably wasn’t one of my brightest ideas and heading back towards town.
I did scream as a swan spread it’s wings next to me at one point. Nobody came to my rescue… This confirmed my decision to turn back!
There was nothing for it but to head out through town to get a few miles in on my own. I decided on five in total, including the mile and a half I’d already covered by this point.
I’ve been heading out on runs in Wellingborough at least twice a week, every week for the past two and a half years but not often been able to decide my own route so decided to alamgamate a combination of my favourite runs tonight.
Epic fail!
After another four miles I didn’t have a clue where I was and had crossed parks, bridges, roads and footpaths that were all vaguely familiar to me. I saw a couple out walking their dog up ahead so jogged up to ask them for directions back to Tesco. It turned out to be a lady from the running club and when I asked for directions she pointed me towards their local Tesco…I was so far away from the Tesco I’d started out at that until I clarified it hadn’t even crossed her mind that I meant the one at The Embankment! When she did realise I meant that one she told me that I was at least 4-5 miles away! Luckily the directions to head back weren’t too difficult to follow and 45 mins later I was shivering in my car with the heating on full and ordering Dan to put a pizza in the oven for tea! I’d told him I’d be home before 8 but it was actually gone 9 by the time I got back!

Is it just me that gets lost on runs? Or does that make me more adventurous?!
10.9 miles on a school night! I’ll take it!

I have my wedding shoes!

This morning I bought my wedding shoes.

Although I adore all of the shoes below…Wedding Shoes

Shoe 1 | Shoe 2 | Shoe 3

…and could pin pretty shoes all day long on Pinterest, I’m a Converse girl at heart and when Dan told me “No!” to my request at wearing running trainers (several times) I knew wedding shoe shopping would be my least favourite pre-wedding activity!

Dan and I are approximately the same height, and at 5’8″ I’m pretty tall anyway so have never been a fan of heels.  Not only is it impossible to find flat shoes, but my feet also range anywhere from a size 8-10, (my current running trainers are a size 10.5!  Eek!) and are also incredibly wide.  New Look size 9 tend to fit me, and New Look also offer a wide fit shoe, often being my saviour for work shoes.

Before Christmas, Dan and I went to a wedding fair in Wellingborough where I happened to see a display of outfits alongside some larger sized wedding shoes.  I enquired at the stand and the lady there said that she had just stepped in for a friend but gave me a card where I would be able to locate the store and check out the shoes in full.  It’s been on my to-do-list for several weeks now, ever since the Wedding dress shop called just before Christmas to say that my dress had arrived and once I had my shoes to pop back in and get a fitting done.

This morning I headed over as I had a few bits to get done in town anyway.  It took me a little while to find the shop, but it was definitely worth it!  From a tiny door on a side street I stepped into a narrow shop with fascinators and bags hanging from everywhere, even the ceiling!  I told the owner my usual frustrations with shoes and followed him through a maze of ‘Mother of the Bride’ outfits for several minutes before we reached what I thought was the back of the store.  It wasn’t even close to the back of the store!

He unlocked another door and took me into a room filled with shoes.  No word of a lie, the floorspace in that room was at least four or five times the floor space in my whole house!  There were shoes EVERYWHERE!  Neatly stacked up to the ceiling all around the outside of the room and then stacks and stacks of piles relating to different colours or styles of shoe.  He stocked shoes right up to a size twelve!  I’ve never known ladies shoes to be so large!

Shoe shop

The owner knew exactly what would suit my foot and pulled out several for me to try on.  The ones I have gone for are quite plain, but at the end of the day, hardly anybody will see them under my dress!

My wedding shoesMy wedding shoes

And at least that means I could wear them again.  They do have a little heel so I might need to work on getting Dan to wear thick shoes for the day, so that we appear the same height again!

I would without a doubt recommend Au Bon Marche.  Unfortunately they don’t seem to have a website though which is a shame.

Au Bon Marche

I ended up paying a little more than I intended for wedding shoes, but I know they are great quality and I cannot fault the service I had in the shop this morning.

Now, off to do something less girlie and pound out a speed session at running club!

This move is getting real now

Any tips on moving between two houses?
My ultimate one is ‘Don’t move in Winter’ after discovering countless spiders in the shed this morning and spending the afternoon shivering  trimming the hedges whilst wearing a ski jacket!
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Look how neat the front hedge looks now though! I used to cut this with secateurs and it took well over an hour. It seemed that everytime I used to cut it back the guy over the road would be sat in his garden having a smoke watching me. He would wait for me to finish and then head inside, come out with an electric hedge trimmer and have his trimmed before I’d picked up all of my cut hedge pieces! This ritual continued for two years before we caved and bought our own hedge trimmer!

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We went to have one last final look at the house this morning before we start the ball rolling. Both my parents came along too. My Dad worked as a self employed builder for most of his life, mainly building houses from start to finish but over the last ten years he has also renovated several properties.
I’ve moved plenty of times before. I lived with my parents in Norfolk until I went to uni in Stafford at age nineteen when I moved into the uni halls of residence. After my first year at uni I took on a house share with four guys. (Another tip, never live with four guys!) After uni I moved into another house a few roads away with some different friends I had met at uni and then lived there for two years whilst I worked as a restaurant manager at Frankie & Benny’s.
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Things then got a little crazy and whilst training to be a teacher my friends moved into various other houses so in the space of nine months I moved from a house share, to a six month long rented flat on my own, in with Dan and his uni friends for a few months then back to my parent’s house. After two months of doing up my first ‘proper’ house and commuting the 100 miles each way daily, whilst working in my first teaching post full time I then settled into my current home in December 2010 and Dan moved in the following Summer. Can’t believe it’s really been that long!
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Last time I was moving from parents to a repossessed property so didn’t need to worry about the housing chain. This time we plan on taking on a new mortgage for the new empty house but will still need to sell our current house in order to afford to do all of the work the new one needs doing. We have enough money to make a start on it though. I’m crossing my fingers there’ll be no sleeping on mattresses on top of concrete this time round, or sneaking in to use gym showers before work. My new school doesn’t have showers!
Of course there are still many things that could stop us in our tracks. Houses are a frustrating process. Even though we won’t technically be part of a chain we still need a sale on our house to go ahead so this week is all about the mowing of the lawn, the trimming of hedges, the painting of walls… My list is endless. Hopefully it will result in a good all over body workout though!

I saw my physio for the last time this morning following my foot injury in November. He was pleased with my progress and is happy for me to extend my mileage fully again which is excellent news. He watched me do a few squats and commented on how my form had improved over the past two months. He has given me some more exercises to fine tune my right side and ensure that I stay on track whilst increasing my mileage. Then he gave my legs a massage. How do physio massages feel so awful but at the same time so good?! I think I’m still going to be wary about pounding my foot on road for speed training and will continue to take these sessions steadily for a while to come.