After the Marathon

Fitness, running

This was my first half marathon so do excuse me for the drama that is about to entail.

So as I crossed that finish line and spent up all of my reserves I saw Gavin. Standing in front of me with a can of Coke in one hand and Frank our frenchie in the other.

I was so exhausted.

Physically

Mentally

Not sure I was functioning probably.

The finish

When I finished there were helpers holding out bananas medals and water.

I think there were also sweets but I had already eaten too many and needed sustenance.

I took the banana and said that I needed a wee. I hadn’t gone on the run but I was really afraid I would never get up again.

I had no faith in my legs any more, they were like jelly and I couldn’t trust them!

But they still held me up. Gav took a picture of me on the podium

And I struggled to get up and even more to get down. I have never been this tired in my life.

Ever

I was happy that I had done it but I had no want to ever do it again. 10K yes nothing anything further!

Then we sat down and waited for Jacqui to finish. She is almost 60 and said she would walk it but ended up jogging most of it.

The whole team was brilliant I was proud of us all.

It was another hours wait but it gave me time to rest.

I took of my shoes and feared the blisters and bruises that were fewer than I imagined. Two tiny blisters and one black toe. Not bad for a 2 day old pair of trainers. They looked after my feet well.

When jacqui joined us we all joked and laughed and then went for lunch.

We were all starving but when it came to eating we all stumbled.

Our legs and bodies where aching and we struggled to stand up with our muscles so taught.

I had a pint of doombar and was feeling sleepy.

I threw a jumper on to keep warm and just wanted to sleep.

Heading home

When we got in I ran a bath and Gav watched me get in in cases needed help. I had a drink, watched @annaedit on YouTube and let the water get cold.

I had put Epsom salts in the bath to soothe my muscles and struggled to lower myself down.

I also kept my medal with me!

I was shattered so put on a movie and rested till bed time.

Recovery

My feet were sore but not painful.

My toe went a bit black so I will probably loose a nail.

But no other injuries,

Movement was hard and for two days I had still legs and struggled with stairs.

When I mean struggled I mean I was afraid I would fall down the stairs. I had to psych myself up every time I went up stairs. Long distances were also a no no.

I had no speed and no power.

But after day 4 I felt human again. There is a park run next Saturday so I may try that out and see if I have improved at all!

My medal is at work where it shall remain.

I don’t want to run that far again but I am already looking up 10Ks for next year. A half marathon will need some actual training I think!

lessons learned!

Our wedding day set up!

Advice, Cricut, Flowers, Planning, Wedding, Wedding Budget

We got up at 7.30 and we were both mentally exhausted from the week. Planning a wedding where you have to bring in absolutely everything is so hard. Our wedding day set up was a labour of love, blood sweat and tears. Except on the Tuesday when we legally tied the knot we didn’t really have any time for ourselves. I stayed up each night making bits and bobs. Gav was on the computer sorting out music and checking off lists.

It was more than a full time job.

The night before I was cutting out the name cards on my Cricut, it made it easier but I still had to cut out 140 name cards 6 to a sheet. I ran out of the house at 8.30 to get to the shops when they opened and picked up a few more bits or the toilet boxes. ( I will explain in a later blog)

Then my brother arrived at 10.30 with the van he had to hire because we had so much stuff. The cake was a bit of an after thought so we precariously sat it on top and it fared well.

The last thing we packed was my wedding dress and though all the mad packing we almost left It behind. We had paid for our cleaner to clean for us so we came home to a nice clean house. She was already there when we left and promised to bring anything if we forgot it.

I hadn’t packed the top table tablecloth but we just got on with it!

Dysfunctional planner strikes again

Chris drove to the venue with me Gav and Frank on board plus the majority of the props and bits we needed for the day. When we arrived we unloaded the van. This bit was a bit disorganised and people came to me asking what they wanted to do. We piled it all on the grass and tried to get started from there.

I had dreams of clipboards and lists but none of that happened!

My brother in law set to work hanging our Mexican wedding flags which looked truely beautiful! We still have some left which I am excited to keep for a party! And also he and my dad hung some streamers behind us so the top table had a pretty back drop.

I changed the seating arrangement at the last minute so we had one kind top table and then six lines of 2 which worked out beautifully.

Give me a job

My sister took charge of the tables. She said she was going to set up one and we can work from there. The theme for the seating was snowboarding. The tables were supposed to be slopes

  • Green
  • Blue
  • Pink ( no blood and bandages at my wedding)
  • Black ( the one I forgot)

I left the top tables table clothes at home still not found! Great. So I just used the ends of the longer ones to make our top table. It didn’t bother me!

I had so many good people come up to me and say give me a job! We dressed the first table then the second then the third.

Charlotte and my mum were busy making the table flowers. We used a lot of gin bottles to use instead of vases and they looked so pretty!! I asked Charlotte for bright happy flowers with lots of colour, Dahlias, sweet Williams and daisies but what she did was so incredible they were perfect. I will do a whole blog on how amazing she was later!

I didn’t want a matchy matchy wedding. Lots of colour lots textures and silly things.

Napkins and table cloths

I bought the Table cloth fabric of eBay and dyed all the napkins myself. I didn’t want black napkins so I used a yellow dye to brighten things up. I had 120 guests and made sure I had a spare 30 napkins. I was so proud of them they looked great. I had a vision of how I wanted it to look and everyone who was there helped me achieve it.

After Vicky laid out the table Becky went through and straightend the edges. Sorting out the napkins ( Vicky folded them beautifully ina loopy way) and we had to repeat it 120 times. I didn’t want too many flowers on the table because of the food going in the middle of the table.

More Cricut crafts

I bought wooden discs and made slope markers from all our favourite places, Val Disere, Chamonix , Le Duce Alps it was so hard finding photos of the markers that I had to make a few from scratch but they came out so well! We tied them the bottles.

I was going to make a seating chart but in the end I just let people find their names. It was an open venue so after the ceremony people could go in and out while they waited so it wasn’t a big deal. Also because a quarter of the wedding helped set up they found where they were sitting.

The name cards were all cut out on my Cricut. I drew a silly mountainscape and cut out that shape on the card. Charlotte being a super star made badges for everyone. We had 3 themes for our badges, Star Wars, Harry Potter and Snowboarding. We attached the badges at the top with foam squares.

Whilst we were dressing the tables my brother and his wife where folding and hand writing our peoples names!

I told you it was a team effort!

Gavs mum was in the chiller van organising the food and booze. Rosco (papa smurf) was setting up the signs helping gav with the beer. I don’t want to miss anyone out. But there was a lot of hands on deck.

Hayley arrived later with another car full of bits! We had flags of all the countries where our family’s live to semi cover the bales of hay. Charlotte used the excess bottles and flowers and put them at the end of the hay bales.

My dad cooked dinner for everyone! All the men gathered round the fire and had to test the booze while the rest of us soldiered on. I stopped when I realised I was tired and wanted to enjoy myself. It was about 8pm at this point!

So it was all sorted with just a few tweaks to do the next day! We enjoyed the evening, had a few cheeky drinks and went to bed early!

That was the set up. A massive thank you to everyone involved you have no idea how great full we both are.

It was a mission but it was worth it.

It looked perfect!

Half Marathon my first run

Fitness, Personal Experience, running

Yesterday’s blog was about prep! Today I am updating you on the race, I was too tired yesterday! I was surprisingly calm when I arrived for my first Half Marathon. Because we were a group we got to talk and laugh.

I forgot to tape my knees which was silly

I went to get my name and my boss had given my married name. This is the first time I had been called Mrs Townsend at an even which was strange. It didn’t bother me but I did think Dana PAYET was running!

We were lucky

The rain had miraculously stopped but there was still a chill in the air. I decided to set myself a target or 2hr45 as a best and 3hrs I would be happy with! I read that an average half marathon runner normally run it in 2hrs30 but I hadn’t put enough training in to get that score.

We had to fill out our incase of emergency and attach our numbers to the front of our tops. We waited at the back of the queue and I tried to stay behind my 3 hour pacer but I lost them.

So I just started going. Because of the rain the crowds were a bit thin on the ground but the cheering was lovely. I just put my head down and focused on my pace. I didn’t want to go too fast too soon.

Getting into the zone

I ran without music, and it was fine. Because my longerst run was 8k I wanted to give myself a task of no walking until I hit 10K. There was a drink station at 9k6 so I did rest before. But I kept it up. There was a nasty hill that we had to run up but the park bit of the run was lovely.

I just got into the zone of running and it was fine.

Then we ran through the fields. This road was gorgeous, nice tarmac and beautiful winding path. The 2hr45 pacers caught me up and I found new strength to run with them. The fields were so gorgeous I wanted to take a photo but I didn’t want to stop so I kept going. Then right before we turned left I had to walk for a bit.

It’s October and we were surrounded by pumpkins. I managed a quick shot and then ran on.

Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself.

Then we went through a muddy lake Forrest area and it was so pretty and my second favourite part of the run. I was shattered so there was more walking then running at this point. But the group I was in was doing the same. Pushing yourself is not the same as punishing yourself! I had moments of struggle and after an hour and a half I realised I didn’t want to run for much longer. So I quickened my pace and walked less.

We had to go through streets which had people cheering us on which was nice and encouraged me to run at these points. My foot was aching and when I walked I limped so it was easier to run. As I turned the corner I saw my husband and dog cheering me on. I passed him my cap and a single tear ran down my face. We were at mile 9 and I was still running!

That’s me blowing him a kiss but it doesn’t look like it. I was very focused. Having loved ones to support you makes the run.

It got narrow and muddy but I just kept going I had to!

I caught up with Jay and he kept telling me to run when I didn’t want to. So I ran off a fair distance so I could rest to my time table not his. Running is personal and when I just had two miles left I was totally spent. Plus I beat him which made me feel great!

So I kept going.

I ran when I could and walked to take the edge off. My foot was so sore and walking made me limp so walking was only an option for a few paces.

When I saw that finish line through the fence nothing could stop me.

I just wanted it to be over!

I was so tired so I pushed through and ran.

I ran to the end. The announcement said the time was 2.45 so I ran a bit faster!

I wanted to hit my target!

And I did!

2.45.19 and I was happy!

13 miles 21kilometers I did it.

I was so tired but I did it. Gav and Frank being there filled me with such joy!

That was my elation.

It lasted about 1 minute until I was tired again!

It felt good to know that I can push myself but I needed more training!

That will have to be an update in my next blog!! Right now I need more rest!

Morning of my first half Marathon

Fitness, running

Woke at 6am

Ate a banana and hopped in the shower!

My clothes were all laid out the night before but I still did a last minute panic. It’s torrential rain outside and although an Uber is picking me up I don’t want to get too wet too soon.

I have Vaselined everywhere that my skin will rub. Paying more attention to my feet. My trainers are just a few days old so I am going to destroy my feet today. Rookie mistake I know.

I have had a pint of water and I am ready to go. There will be water on the way so I am not worried about dehydration. I don’t want to Pee to much on the routes but I know I may.

The nerves are kicking in.

If I struggle I am not going to punish myself I will push myself to run the first two hours straight and walk if I have to.

I will trust my body and energise with the gels!

Wish me good luck!

I brought plastic ponchos for the wait in the rain. I have my world zombie day hoodie on to keep me warm and a rain mac which I don’t want to through away.

My hair is tied back already and I am wearing a peaked cap, this is something I can also throw away. I feel very wasteful right now.

I have eaten a granola bar for energy and the pockets of my running top have my gels in them. As well as a few tissues and my phone.

The event prefers no headphones as the course loops back on itself. So my longest run ( also in the rain) I tried without headphones. I was so worried about slipping that it was fine to run without music. So hopefully today will be fine.

It’s raining

Massive drops of water, even if it does clear up it is still going to be a muddy run.

I am nervous now.

I am layered for the cold and the wet but the chill is creeping in.

My Uber should be pulling in now. I will be one of the first in my group to arrive and I wish I wasn’t. I wish they would all be there as I have no idea what to expect.

Today is miserable.

I will keep you updated!

I almost made my own wedding dress!

Advice, Wedding

Can you believe that two years ago I sat down and considered making my own wedding dress. I thought it would a, save me money and b, be an amazing achievement.

I can sew. I trained in theatre design and part of that was making costumes. I had a pretty in pink moment were I turned a 60s wedding dress into a Victorian wedding dress Mrs Havershem style. So I know I could do it.

Not that I have picked up my sewing machine to sew anything trickier than curtains.

But I considered it,

I started looking at material and trainings and I was even contemplating embroidery and bead work.

Because I know I can do it but would I.

I decided I didn’t want the pressure and although I was probably being ambitious with the whole idea I know that I probably wouldnt finish it.

So I googled how to buy a wedding dress.

The thing about wedding is normally you only plan one once!! So it’s not like you have any information or really know how to do things. Which is why it is so easy to miss something off.

But I didn’t go wedding dress shopping.

I bought one from the high street and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted anything else. It was perfect. Especially when beck lent me her veil which just made it look even better!

I love my dress it didn’t need to be fitted or taken in.

Regrets about the wedding

Advice, Wedding

It was a pretty perfect day to be honest! I don’t have many regrets at all.

The weather and food was perfect and the music was awesome from start to finish!

Our friends and family all seemed happy and had a wonderful time. All the effort that was put in was well worth it. It looked amazing!

A few things….

A few silly things that had no baring on the day but I wish I could change.

I wish we hadn’t stressed as much as we did. There were a few arguments over seating plans and other silly stuff which actually didn’t matter at all.

I wish I had gathered my danettes together to give them their boxes before hair and makeup began. I bought them all hair slides and we had to open the box to give them the hair slides to put in their hair! It wasn’t important just I wish I had thought it through.

Ghosting

I wish I had had a pint. There was a lot of booze and Ghost Ship is one of my favourite ales. Gavin wished we had made a sign to tell everyone it was Ghostship. I would have loved a picture with me and a pint!

We had amazing sunny weather but when it set it was pretty cold. Luckily we had the fire pit and we bought some blankets ,then guests took to them back to their tents so they all got used!

Oh that’s a regret I wish I had bought warmer pjs! I was so cold in the tent even though we had layers of blankets! But we didn’t care. The day was wonderful and I can’t wait to share the rest with you.

The cake

Our cake was gorgeous and tasted well the best! But it was a bit neglected in styling and if I had gone back I would have asked Charlotte to dress it up with a few flowers. It wasn’t that important but as we spent a few pennies on it it would have been nice to decorate it a bit more. The taste was the best so that all that matters!

So not many changes!

That’s pretty much it. No one wore white or denim that I saw!! Ha ha but I was worried. The day ran pretty smoothly. The ceremony was my favourite bit, as it should be.

It was honestly the best day of my life.

3 pairs of shoes is this a step too far?

wardrobe, Wedding, Wedding Budget

At first I struggled to find one pair of shoes now I have 3.

In my defence the middle pair are flatter so that I can wear them all day.

My legal wedding shoes are sky high and I love them but I know I won’t last in them. My dad treated me to my wedding shoes and I bought them on Vestiere website so they have been authenticated and had never ever been worn before.

Still I know I had 4 days before the wedding so my feet can heal plus I have bought these shoes so when I need to change I can still feel comfortable and stylish!

I went for a classic strappy sandal with a block heal and I am planning on taking them to Madrid with me so I can break them in. My Aquazurra shoes are also coming to Madrid.

This way I can break them in before the wedding and fall in love with them again.

Shoe shopping

I bought them off La Redoute as my search for silver sandals came up with them.

I love them simple and stylish but the best shoes I have are being upcycled by my friend and bridesmaids Jess. Who have covered the heal in Swarovski crystals.

They shimmer and sparkle like nothing else and I broke them in at my London hen do when I wore them for 8 hours.

I wanted mermaid colours and that exactly what I got. I love the colour and I will get to wear them again and again which I love.

Green is my favourite colour and they couldn’t be any more beautiful.

On the heel sole bit she even stuck some gold bees and a crystal.

What are you planning on wearing on your wedding day?