30 March 2015

Run or die? Run or Dye!

Running and racing is serious business...at least that's what one would think based on the majority of my race photos where I look like I'm about to die. For once it would be fun to have how I was feeling on the inside be reflected on the outside so instead of the usual run or die, let's 'Run or Dye' instead!

Run, walk, skip, or dance the 5k--Hula-hooping is probably not advised though!

The powdered dyes you are showered with is plant-based and eco-friendly so that means it's safe to become part of the rainbow.  

Have kids? Run or Dye is family friendly and children aged 6 and under get to run for FREE!  The event is not timed so there is no pressure to finish in a certain time. Fido has to stay home though.

A few tips for the day: Take glasses to cover your eyes if they are sensitive like mine, coat your hair in conditioner beforehand to make washing the powder out easier, white kit will make the colour show up better and fancy dress is highly encouraged (where's my tutu?)! 

Which Run or Dye event will you be attending? Use discount code KISDISCOUNT for £3 off your entry fee.

*Full disclosure stuff--I am receiving an entry into one of the events in exchange for writing about the Run or Dye series. 

26 March 2015

Evening Walk

We don't always go for a walk with the camera but when we do...

Beautiful Bella

The mutts in motion

Ben taking a breather

Just posing and hoping for a carrot

England is absolutely gorgeous when the sun is out and you have to take advantage of it as much as possible no matter what the temperature is.  Pictures taken and edited by +TWBrit com, the last photo had 2 strands of pipe covered fencing across it and he was able to remove them from the finished product.  Give him a shout about prices if you need any retouching or editing done. 

24 March 2015

Things I should have learned by now

1. Don't attend a concert wearing 4 inch heel boots where you are going to be on your feet for almost four hours. Yes, you would have thought I'd have learned that after the Lacuna Coil gig. At least I didn't have a 10k to run this morning like I did after that night.

2. Stay away from the cheap cider. Even watered down it's not going to do nice things to your body.

3. If you're short not even wearing 4 inch heels is going to help you see if you stand at the back.

4. The Kontours are interesting, I'm going to keep an ear out for them from now. Their set was far too short though.

5. Birmingham city centre is worth visiting again.

6. Monday night gigs mean you can usually score a parking space close by that's FREE!!!

7. The Subways put on a fantastic show--they have edged out Kasabian as the best gig I've seen here in the UK. I should have definitely known this from all the youtube vids I've watched of their concerts but to see it live was amazing!

8. Charlotte is not only a kick ass musician, she's also a triathlete!!!!!!!!! No wonder she can headbang and bounce around the stage with that much energy! Yes, there's a girlcrush moment happening. 

Huge thanks to Tunes, Trends, & Threads and SJM Concerts for the tickets via the twitter contest! 

21 March 2015

Ramblings and Nordic Walking

I had debated whether or not to write a blog-post about this and I'm sure my friends on twitter and facebook are already tired of hearing about it but back in late February I had the opportunity to meet Clare Balding when she came to Nottingham to record an episode of Ramblings with Catherine and her Bramcote Park Saturday afternoon EZ Nordic Walking group.  This season's theme of Ramblings is bonding and in my opinion there isn't/wasn't a better group to interview for it (I'm not biased at all!).  I occasionally help out with this class and enjoy my time with them immensely--it always seems like the hour flies by far too quickly!

Clare, if you haven't figured it out by now is kind of a 'big deal' over here in the UK and people either seem to love or hate her--all based upon her television/radio persona of course. I received my first inkling of this back in December when we had the chance to attend the Olympia Horse Show and my partner spotted her while she was doing her interview prep. He pointed her out and with an extremely rare tone of admiration (and a wee bit of awe) that I rarely hear from him said "There's Clare Balding! Watch how she works, it's amazing."  Of course there was the flip-side when someone else remarked they couldn't stand her because (paraphrasing here) she's always on every time they watched television.

The day that Clare spent Nordic Walking with the group has left me firmly in the camp of being impressed with her though, totally professional yet very personable.  She took the time to speak with everyone, was very patient, and appeared to never be anything less than fully engrossed in what each person had to say.  We were out in the park for several hours for her and her producer Lucy to record what ended up being condensed into 23 minutes and the result was fantastic and very moving--when one of the girls (Jessie) started talking about where she wanted to travel to Nordic Walk it left me in tears. Thankfully the only time you can hear my voice is in the very beginning during the introductions.

Rachel, Clare, Catherine, and me
And how did Clare do at Nordic Walking? She took to it quicker than anyone else I've met!

Ramblings: Series 29 Episode 5 Nordic Walking in Bramcote Park, Nottingham  It's already aired on BBC Radio 4 but you can listen online or via podcast

Sport Nottinghamshire article

Broxtowe Sport Facebook

INWA Nordic Walking Facebook

14 March 2015

An adventure at the ashmei ambassadors day

ashmei ambassadors run 2015
Nicked from the ashmei twitter feed

Still on a bit of a runner's high at the moment after spending a few hours meeting up and then running with the other athletes shortlisted for the ashmei ambassador programme.  Such a fun day out getting to admire the beautiful kit (I'm loving the skort!) while finding out about the who, what, when, where, and whys of how it all came about.  The run reinforced how much I've been missing running on some proper trails--it's almost like a dance over the tree roots and around the rocks and my body and mind are craving more of it.  The company was excellent as well, no egos, just other like-minded crazy runners/cyclists/triathletes out for an adventure and the words just flowed in time with our footsteps.

ashmei merino wool and carbon socks
Happy but not stinky feet

We did get Merino + Carbon socks today to test out and I must say so far I'm impressed.  I could have done with these for the Belvoir Challenge and I think they may have jumped to the front of the queue for most favoured status and I'm notoriously picky about the socks I wear for running--can't be too thick or too thin, can't come too far up the leg, and they should never slip down.  Of course it will take more than one wearing to decide but I didn't take these off until five hours post run and I usually can't wait to peel the socks off.  Bonus points in that they match my fell running trainers!  The only thing I would caution people about is to wash the socks before the first wearing, the pair I received left my feet covered in a thin layer of black--it was very reminiscent of when I used to haul carbon black for Goodyear tire/tyre plants in my trucking days and the trailer would always have to be washed out afterwards because of the black dust EVERYWHERE.

How my partner entertained himself while I was oohing and ahhing over the ashmei kit, running, chatting, and eating cake

There's so much more I want to write about but I'm so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open. Good luck to everyone and I can't wait to find out who the next #ashmeiambassadors will be!  Thank you Stuart and the ashmei team for providing us with such an amazing opportunity, it was a fantastic day!

Update: I didn't get chosen as one of the four for the ashmei Ambassadors programme but I was chuffed and surprised to have even been shortlisted in the first place! I think I was probably amongst the oldest there (but not quite old enough to be in the inspirational category!), I certainly am not the most photogenic and my athletic feats are firmly in the middle of the pack category so to be included was a huge honour.  Good luck to all and I am looking forward to finding out who the ambassadors are!

 It was great fun and this vid by @jimmymacke summed up the day perfectly. 
See if you can spot me in my Runner's Booty shirt!

12 March 2015


Today's earworm is the Dead Flowers, not to be confused with the Rolling Stone tribute band.  Enjoy!

08 March 2015

One Week and One Day After The Belvoir Challenge Marathon

More soup please 

So how does one recover from a cross country on steroids, ├╝ber muddy marathon? I'm not sure of the correct way but if you have any tips please let me know! I've been craving soup like crazy and based on today's run I'm still fairly dehydrated.  The first slog (slow jog) 2 days after was a bit painful on the quads with the downhill section but by Tuesday that was sorted out which I'm still surprised by.  The feet though are still a little beat up and I'm trying to avoid rocky, muddy and wet routes which can be a bit of a problem with the Nordic Walking.  Thankfully the weather has been cooperative and most of the easier (read: less fun) trails have been drying up slightly.  The toe that I mentioned before is beginning to heal up, it's no longer almost the same size as my big toe and the warmer temperatures mean that all the tootsies are less blue than usual.  

Gross, eh?

Hope everyone's recovery is going well!

Looks like Dreamlight Photography has uploaded all the race photos, I'm kind of pleased with this one.

06 March 2015

Today's Earworm and how to say Derbyshire like a native

Today's earworm is a catchy tune from Drenge, it sort of reminds of a cross between Buddy Holly and The Ramones.  What I really want to talk about though is David Letterman's pronunciation of Derbyshire...and why didn't his people brief him on the way it's pronounced in the UK? Someone who watched the show please tell me that he was corrected at some point.  FYI it is closer to DAHR-BEE-SHUR (or SHEER).  I hear it both ways and I'm sure my interpretation isn't quite right but at least it won't make the locals cringe. Shire is never pronounced with a long I when it is combined with another word but it is when said on its own. Confused yet? Imagine how I feel!

01 March 2015

An apple a day...

Last weekend we made an impromptu trip to Southwell* a very pretty and somewhat affluent town in Nottinghamshire in the hopes of getting some pictures of the minster. What we had forgotten was that it was Sunday and church services were going on so we opted for a little drive/stroll around instead.  It was at that point I remembered Southwell was the location of one of the 50 Great British Trees, the Original Bramley Apple Tree.  For those outside of the UK the Bramley Apple is a much revered cooking apple and my partner gets positively rapturous when talking about Bramley Apple pies--it's never just an apple pie, it's a BRAMLEY APPLE pie!  It ranks right up there with Battenberg Cake in his opinion.

The Bramley Apple Tree Cottage blue plaque
Plaque outside the cottage, 75 Church Street

I don't want to rehash the entire history of the original Bramley apple tree (you can read about it here)  but what I found interesting other than it is over 200 years old and still bearing fruit is the lady who was the caretaker of it for the last few decades, Miss Nancy Harrison. It would more than likely not still be alive if not for her ministrations.  Sadly she passed away last November but from all accounts she was quite a lovely lady who was always more than happy to show visitors the tree and even send them away with an apple plucked from it.

The Original Bramley Apple Tree
The original Bramley Apple Tree

On our stroll around to the cottages we were lucky enough to meet a nephew of Miss Harrison's that allowed us into the back garden so we could take photos of her beloved tree and gave us a bit of the family history.  He was quite gracious and very patient with our questions--although he might have just been glad to have an excuse to take a break from his work! He did seem quite bemused by the fact we were there to visit the tree because it was one of the 50 though.

The Original Bramley Apple Tree 50 Great British Trees
The plaque commemorating the tree for the Queen's Golden Jubilee

I'm very much looking forward to a return visit to Southwell, hopefully on a day with sunny skies so we can try and get some decent pics of the Minster and have a potter about the inside of it.

*There is some argument about the pronunciation of Southwell as to whether it is "South-Well" or "Suthell" and even the residents of the town seem to be divided on it.  Rest assured though, as an expat or tourist you are not going to get laughed at for either unlike Leicester (Lestah) or Belvoir (Beaver)!