Sunday, 20 March 2016

Oh baby, you're a classic. Just like a little black dress.

I could not look less like these photos right now. This morning I ran my last 20 mile run before the race (which is 3 weeks today - eek!) and got changed straight back into my pyjamas when I got back (after a shower, of course!) so I'm currently in my jim jams with a big dressing gown and slippers on, without a scrap of makeup, with my hair scraped back drinking a huge brew. I am exhausted and hungry. So exhausted in fact that I have already had a nap and had to take a break from hanging up washing because I was too tired, and so hungry that I ate a huge bowl of curry and rice two hours ago and am already insatiably hungry again. 20 miles felt really good this morning though. It was nowhere near as bad as my last 20 mile run. Phil came with me for the first three miles which really broke it down, and I didn't have to make a detour half way because of ice. I found a gel flavour that I can just about tolerate (rhubarb and custard flavour Zipvit) and I actually finished the run 6 minutes faster than last time.

It's been a really good weekend for running actually. Yesterday we went to parkrun for the first time in ages, and I finally got to wear my 50 parkruns tshirt! We actually tried a different course to our usual one, as we'd wanted to try it for ages, and last time we went it was closed because of ice! I ended up having a spectacularly good run which really surprised me as I expected to have lost some speed through marathon training! My first mile was my fastest ever mile at 8:21 and I came in at 26:29 which is a PB of over 40 seconds and about 90 seconds faster than my usual 5K pace!
dress - Collectif
heels - Primark
jacket - Quiz
(Seriously I reckon this whole outfit cost about £70)
Anyway, enough about running, let's talk about this dress. I mean, look at this dress. This is the sexiest dress I have ever worn in my life! A few weeks ago I was reading my best friend's cousin's blog and she did a post on her favourite little black dresses and I was completely inspired. I own a few little black dresses, that I love, but I knew I needed a couple more "grown up" black dresses (although I had no idea what for!). I found myself on the Collectif website eyeing up the Trixie pencil dress but £40 seemed an awful lot to spend on a whim. But thankfully, a few days later I spotted the Mel dress for only £20 and jumped on it. When it first arrived I was actually really nervous - this kind of dress is so far out of my comfort zone! So I did what we all do - tried it on, took 30+ photos, posted to Instagam and then left it in the bag for another 6 weeks. I knew I wanted to keep it, but I just wasn't quite ready for it.

But then last week Phil mentioned that his Grandma's 80th was going to be quite fancy, and planted the idea that maybe I should wear the "sexy dress". I dithered for a while, and almost wore the dress I wore to my friend's wedding last month but my logic was "how many opportunities am I going to have to wear a dress this gorgeous and not feel completely over the top?" In the end I'm so glad I wore this. I wasn't overdressed at all and felt amazing - and maybe a little bit ready to start dressing more out of my comfort zone? Maybe.
It's been a pretty busy weekend actually! Friday we went out for dinner at Artisan, which is one of my favourite restaurants in Manchester. With us preparing to move out of the city to buy a house next year I've started to get really, really sad about not living in the city centre and worrying that we don't take enough advantage of where we live, so on Friday we went out for date night. As it happened, I got an email from Artisan offering me a free meal for my birthday (which is on the 30th) so we decided to go there. I had seared tuna and Phil had some incredible fish and chips, and we reminisced about our one year anniversary meal that we had there, almost a year and a half ago (turns out I had tuna steak then too!). On Saturday, after parkrun, we headed to Phi's Grandma's 80th, which was at a gorgeous restaurant on the Wirral. After drinks at Phil's Grandma's we were straight back to Manchester to pop into my best friend's birthday party too! And as I mentioned earlier, I've spent most of today either running or recovering from it.

And speaking of which, I think it's time for another snack...

Hope your weekend has been lovely!

Charlotte x

Thursday, 17 March 2016

No stars, all stripes

Ooh I do love a good stripey jumper! I can't believe I hadn't worn this jumper on my blog until now. I'd eyed it up for months in Oasis last year and was absolutely over the moon to find it reduced to £20 in the sale. I adore Oasis - it's probably my favourite shop - but I sometimes find it just a little bit too expensive. Thankfully the sale is brilliant and I quite often find the things I want get reduced if I can hold out enough!

I decided this jumper would be a great match for these ballet pumps I received last week from Butterfly Twists. I mentioned last year that I've been much more a jeans-and-jumper kind of girl over the last few years, so I thought these navy flats would be perfect for the warmer months when I live in jeans and tshirts! 

Speaking of jeans, these are also new. I am always desperate to find an alternative to my beloved Joni jeans because at £40 a pair, they're just too expensive and I rarely get more than a year out of them. I had a whole post planned a few months ago celebrating the bargain find of some Matalan jeans which were supposed to be great Joni dupes, but they quite quickly went baggy and I've really struggled to find jeans that fit quite as well.
I'd heard good things about ASOS's Rivington jeans, so I ordered a black pair and also got these as they were £15 in the sale. The black ones are a great fit (which they kind of had to be as I first tried them on with wet nails and got nail polish all over them...) but these, unfortunately, are a little bit big. I did try the size down and while I could get them buttoned... let's just say it wasn't a good look! So while I love the look of these jeans they do keep falling down so I'm secretly hoping they might shrink a bit in the wash haha. I nearly sent them back but for £15 I thought they'll do as a backup!
jumper - Oasis
jeans - ASOS
ballet pumps - c/o Butterfly Twists
I had a rare day off work today and it's been lovely! I did my 8 mile morning run at 8.30am instead of 5.30am, got some stuff done around the house, did some baking for our Sport Relief bake at work tomorrow and spent the afternoon with my Mum! It was really lovely, and she treated me to another stripey jumper in the M&S sale! 

I've got a bit of a busy weekend ahead - on Saturday we have two birthday parties! We're off to Liverpool to celebrate Phil's Grandma's 80th, then back to Manchester for my best friend's birthday party! Then on Sunday I have my last 20 mile run before I start tapering for the race - I can't believe there's only 3 weeks to go!
I'm home alone tonight so I'm about to get myself a nice cold Toffee Apple cider and snuggle up on the sofa to watch football!

Have a lovely weekend!

Charlotte x

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Thoughts on a 20 mile run

Mile 1: Ooh god, this hydration belt is really annoying. It's so heavy. Do I really need this much water?
Miles 2-3: Whoof I'm really tired. I really don't know how I feel about this.
Miles 3-4: Okay, I'm alright, this is fine. Let's just focus on one mile at a time, not the 16 more to go.
Mile 4: Uh oh. I think I'm starting to need the toilet.
Mile 4.5: Oh bugger, I'm gonna have to go for a wee in Tesco.
Mile 5.5: *pauses Garmin* *walks into Tesco* *eyes up security guard* I wonder if you can get in trouble for using the toilet without buying anything. I wonder if I beg I'd be okay.
Mile 5.5 part 2: Okay, back on it. 
Mile 6: Maybe I should bust my sports drink out.
Mile 6.2: OH MY GOD I'M CHOKING
Mile 7: Hmm, it's pretty icy here. Maybe I'll walk these bits.
Mile 8: Oh it's really icy
Mile 8.5: Oh that bit looks awful. How will I navigate that? Better turn around
Mile 9: So how am I going to add those extra 3 miles on? I'll pause my podcast while I figure it out.
Mile 9.2: Maybe I could do the 17 miles to home, then do a 3 mile loop?
Mile 9.3: Nah, by the time I got near home there is no way I would want to keep going. Plus I know my points when it's three miles to go, two miles to go, one mile to go. It would actually be soul destroying to have to keep going.
Mile 10: Ooh maybe I'll try an energy gel
Mile 10.1: Jesus Christ that was gross
Mile 10.5: Ouch ouch ouch. I think one of my plasters just came off.
Mile 11.65: Okay, if I run an extra mile and a half up there, then run back, then when I get back here I'll be back on track.
Mile 12: I am dying
Mile 13: I am dying
Mile 14: I am dying, and now I need another wee. I am not going into Tesco again.
Mile 15: Okay home stretch!
Mile 16: How many miles left? 3? Oh, 4. Damn.
Mile 16.5: Maybe the orange energy gels are better? 
Mile 16.6: Oh no, not better
Mile 17: Garmin low battery? Urgh great
Mile 18: TWO MILES TO GO! GET OUT OF MY WAY PEOPLE.
Mile 18.5: I am so hungry
Mile 18.75: I wonder what time it is
Mile 19: ONE MILE TO GO! COME ON! Time to get my pace on!
Mile 19.1: No wait, maybe not.
Mile 19.5: COME ON LEGS. GO FASTER.
Mile 19.6: I must be nearly done now
Mile 19.7: It's like time is standing still
Mile 19.9: SPRINT FINISHHHHHHH
Mile 20: Oh my god, I did it. *dies*