October Life Lately

Hey, November! I'm a couple of days late with this because I've been ill with a cold that turned into maybe a chest infection and then probably laryngitis! I think I'm almost over the worst of it, but losing my voice over the weekend was especially fun!

October was a lovely month. We spent lots of time with friends, watched lots of scary films and TV, read lots of books, and I ran another half marathon!

Here's what I did in October...

What I've been doing
We've booked our honeymoon eeeee!! I am SO EXCITED. We going to do a little minimoon straight after the wedding, and we're doing the "megamoon" in September. We're flying to Vancounver and spending 5 days there, then hiring a car and spending a few nights in a few areas around the Rockies. We're most looking forward to going to Banff which looks incredibly beautiful! Then we're flying to Vancouver and spending a few nights there, before we take a trip to Niagra Falls and spend a night there. I don't think I've ever been so excited for a holiday in my life

I booked some annual leave this month around the weekend of my half marathon which was perfect. I got my nails done, met my friend Kayleigh for lunch, went to the cinema and went to our friends for dinner on the Friday (and met their dog, Kojak, and we are officially in love!)

Saturday I volunteered at parkrun and then we, erm, went to the cinema again! Then we had coffee with my best friend, Eve, which turned into a trip to the pub (and a lime and soda for me!) with Kayleigh and her boyfriend joining us too.

Then I was up bright and early on the Sunday for half marathon number 7! I was feeling incredible apprehensive about this race. It was my first race in nearly 18 months where I hadn't been fighting injuries, I'd trained hard and diligently been to the physio and done the recommended exercises, but I'd had some illness a couple of weeks before and I really wasn't feeling my best. I was feeling frustrated and disappointing that after months of training, I wouldn't quite get there on the day.

This was always supposed to be my "come back" race. I'd run a 2:05 last year and a 2:10 in the summer, and I'd gone into training hoping for a new PB. As time went on, I had no idea of what I was going to achieve, but I'd decided a PB wasn't going to happen, but I knew I'd be thrilled at under 2 hours. Even though I'd run sub 2 hours twice, it's still a huge achievement for me, but I was killing myself looking back at my times from parkruns and long runs from 2016 and convincing myself I wasn't in the peak fitness I needed to be at to run sub 2.

On the day, I told myself I'd be happy with anything under last year's 2:05, but I knew I was secretly going for that sub 2. I found myself in the third pen from the front with a 1:55 pacer (I'd obviously been ambitious with my predicted time!) and no 2:00 pacer in my starting group, so I held back as much as possible, and was one of the last of my group to cross the start line.

I had my pacing plan sorted. Negative splits - a 9:20 pace by 5K, 9:15 by 10K and then by 10 miles a 9:10, giving me some wiggle room for the finish. When I crossed the 5K mark at 29:14, I knew I was going to do it.

I am so proud of myself on a day where I didn't think it would happen. I was so determined that I forced myself to be patient, even when the 2 hour pacer who started 5 minutes behind me overtook me a few miles in. I had to trust my pacing, trust my training, and keep my focus. I crossed the finish line with another 1:59 under my belt, and it felt just as good as a PB!

With the wedding and honeymoon next year, I don't plan to run any half marathons. It will be my first year since 2014 that I won't have run one, but I know I won't have the energy or time to focus on what the distance requires of me, so that made this race extra poignant. I'm hoping to run a few 10Ks next year instead, and look forward to my usual two halves a year in 2020!

And then on the Monday, still hobbling a bit, we had our pre-wedding photos done! They were supposed to be on Saturday, which was exactly 6 months til our wedding, but the weather was awful so we rescheduled for Monday. We got a sneak peek a few weeks ago and this week got the full set back and we love them! I cannot wait for Amy to photograph our big day!

Where I've been
A couple of weeks ago we went to the Plaza in Stockport to see a special screening of The Prestige with a talk about Victorian magic and science, as part of Manchester Science Festival which was really cool!

We also did Foodie Friday at Stockport market for the second month in a row.

We also did some parkrun tourism at Wythenshawe last week, ticking off another one from our list! (I genuinely have a list...).

We had a little Halloween gathering at my friend Riven's last weekend too where I had my face painted and ate some delicious food and it was lovely.

What I've been reading
9 full books and one short story this month:

The Ruin
The Pool - Life Honestly
The Overstory
Bird Box, and the short story Ghastle and Yule
The Friendship Cure
Washington Black
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant
What would the Spice Girls do?

While I've read a lot this month, I've not loved much of what I've read! I enjoyed both The Pool's Life Honestly, which is a collection of articles from The Pool, some I'd read and some I hadn't, and Lauren Bravo's brilliant What would the Spice Girls do?

I also loved Bird Box as a scary story for Halloween, and Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, which was my perfect quiet family story. I'm looking forward to reading more of Anne Tyler!

What I've been eating
I finally (begrudgingly, sadly), broke into my pumpkins this week so it's been quite autumnal around here!

I made my favourite sri lankan pumpkin dal, then this week we've had pumpkin stew, an amazing pumpkin curry from Fresh India and my friend Cate's amazing toffee apple cake.

I also bought the Mowgli book after our friensd cooked us dinner from it, and what I've so far has been amazing. I also made my own paneer this month and couldn't believe how easy it was, so paneer is definitely going to be on the menu more around here!

What I've been watching
We vowed to only watch scary things at home this month, so we watched The HauntingInterview with the Vampire and got my friend Eve to watch The Thing for the first time, but then we started The Haunting of Hill House and that took over our usual Sunday film time. We have one episode left and while I have out-loud screamed twice it has honestly been one of the best things I've watched in ages, and this former horror-scaredy-cat is feeling quite proud of herself!

Oh and I've also started the TV series of Salt Fat Acid Heat and Samin Nosrat is the cutest.

We've been to the cinema 5 times this month - The Hate U Give was a secret unlimited screening and I was thrilled when the name popped up as I loved the book and it was a pretty good adaptation. We also saw First Man which didn't quite live up to my insanely high expectations, and A Star is Born which I reallllly didn't fancy and ended up adoring. We also went to see the new Halloween and Bohemian Rhapsody.

What I've been reading online

WYNC - The story behind the greatest Halloween video on the internet
A Rosie Outlook - Pure, unadulterated joy
The Pool - For years I thought of Topshop as a feminist space. Not any more
The Pool - Why we all need to stumble more
Rebel Angel - Dealing with emetophobia while pregnant (a hugely important read for this emetophobe!)
The Washington Post - Netflix's Salt Fat Acid Heat is unlike any other food show on TV
Writing Between Pauses - Things I love
Yes and Yes - Replace a bad habit
Joe Rivers - Popfessions
The Pool - Why does "good" TV have to be challenging?
Rebel Angel - Slow living: My plans to parent a baby sustainably

What I'm excited about in November

So this Thursday is our 5 year anniversary (!) so I'm looking forward to getting dressed up and going for a nice meal. I've also got my first wedding dress fitting (eeeek!) next weekend and also a meeting with the guy who Phil worked with to custom-make my engagement ring to discuss our wedding rings, which is very exciting!

We're also heading down to London in a couple of weeks for my graduation from my Diploma in Professional Marketing, and I'm also going to be meeting up with my friend Sarah towards the end of the month!

Charlotte x


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