Team Empire! Aka, The Running Mag *ahthangyor*
On Sunday, under the most beautifully Spring-like baby blue skies I’ve seen without dreaming them, me and a team from Empire magazine ran the Marrowthon 10k for Anthony Nolan, the blood cancer and bone marrow registry charity. £1380 raised so far, HOLLER!
I left Empire in 2006, but help out* at the Awards, and it doesn’t take much for me to do a race with Helen and Olly “Is there a medal?” Richards. I named our team: the frankly horrifying The Running Mag. I am so sorry. (I am not at all sorry).
*drink their booze
Sunset at Persephone the Forked Woman: an entirely unseeable Anna and our friend Cat in Durham c. 2004
My university friend Anna was the first person I went running with. We did Race For Life in 2006, and it was exhausting. I’ll never forget the horror of schlumpfing down Barbican, only to see runners coming the other way and realising I’d only done 2k. THERE ARE MORE K?
Anna now runs a wonderful website – more of a community really – called Any Other Woman. I wrote this for her on AOW, for International Women’s Day (which is tomorrow, but tomorrow is Saturday so they’re doing it today while people are actually looking at the internet.)
The moment I realised that I was a woman wasn’t when I got my period, or mastered nail polish, or achieved something otherwise monumentally female. It was in France, surrounded by male friends, all of us high as a kite on mushrooms. Continue reading
I googled “orchestra conducted by bears” and now we may never sleep again
Prepare to be underwhelmed on an as-yet undefined scale of shodditude. I’m wildly behind. Wildly.
But you can also be prepared for a cheering inspirational last act, probably with the swell of a really well-packed orchestra behind it, so you know – bear with me. Ready? Ok. Continue reading
The view from my room at sunrise. I KNOW!
Weeks without a mention of running – not a whisper, not a complaint, nothing.
No, I haven’t dropped out of the Marathon and yes! The banging on about running will continue ALMOST IMMINENTLY! But really it’s because, for the last fortnight, I have been in Thailand with my family. As holidays go, it was a good one. Chat, horrible jokes, gin and tonics, games of Snatch It and Bananagrams, new places (for me, at least) to eat and watch the sun set, and the inestimable luxury of stepping outside and it feeling as though you were stepping into a warm bath, only without the humidity.
I read more books than I have in ages, stuffed myself with everything, and got to spend time with my brother and his utterly fabulous girlfriend who has just moved out to Singapore to live with him. From the sounds of their first dinner party this weekend just gone, they will either be high society by March, or dead.
And what of Cat Brown? My neighbours, and friends, very kindly offered to watch her or have her at their houses, but whether I was worried for Ambridge, my flat, or her running off/destroying things and never coming back, I decided to put her in prison for the duration so at least I’d know where she was. Continue reading
All the veg. All of it.
If I absolutely have to, I will cook recipes with great, long lists of ingredients that require great, long trips to assorted shops.
But most of the time, I cannot be arsed. I want to cook, not go to bloody Mordor, and that requires recipes that give me maximum bang for at most 10 ingredients. Shepherds Pie. Risotto. That sort of thing. My recipes for Domestic Sluttery all seem to be along the “mum recipe” or “sod this, add condiments” line. A rut? You don’t say.
On Sunday night I cooked Maria Elia’s Slow-Roasted Paprika Chicken with Butternut Squash, Smashed Butter Beans and Tomatoes which I’d read about on Pip Cooks The Books ages ago, and looked simple and delicious. And oh dear God, it was. Apart from having to spatchcock the chicken. I swear: after the harrowing nightmare of figuring out which way is best to wrench a chicken’s bones off, I am writing to the Girl Guides to suggest that modern cookery techniques replace semaphore in Brownies. Continue reading
Teeth of an angel c 1987. They never saw it coming.
When I was 10, I was racing my brother down a hill on our bikes. I went into his back wheel and landed on my face. Don’t say the jokes – I heard the lot at school. I’ve had ongoing dental work since then, and the end it in sight – in February, I will have an implant and a new crown that should put an end to my teeth problems for ages.
Because, it turns out that my dentist 10 years ago didn’t notice a fracture in one of my teeth. That fracture meant that my bones started rejecting the tooth and CANNIBALISING it. WTF, horror film life! Anyway, since November, I have had a bit of plastic replacing my two front teeth covering up a lot of dental wizardry, leading up to the end of February when I should finally have two completely perfect, non-cannibalised horror film teeth. Mid-dentist, I took a picture of me with only half a front tooth when two should be – full hag.
Week 5 was a bit of a fizzling non-starter because I had a dentist visit on the Tuesday, and assorted meetings and cool events during the week meant that getting out didn’t happen. Still – focusing on the teeth. The good teeth. Bring on the teeth. Continue reading
Some enterprising high-ups at work have launched a series of events in which high-profile women in different areas talk about their careers and interests. I am surrounded by kick-ass women doing very good jobs, but I also spend most of my day at my desk so don’t get to talk to many of them outside Twitter very often. This was an opportunity to step away from it and hear a varied panel having a chat about their careers and problems. And then have some beers and a natter, which was excellent.
- Rachel Richardson, editor of Fabulous magazine (chair)
- Deborah Haynes, defence editor at The Times
- Deidre Saunders, agony aunt at The Sun (legend)
- Victoria Newton, editor of The Sun on Sunday
- Emma Tucker, deputy editor of The Times
- Eleanor Mills, editorial director of The Sunday Times & chair of Women in Journalism
- Tiffanie Darke, editor of Style magazine at The Sunday Times
Pretty bloody good panel for a first event. Continue reading
The anxiety of last week melted away, as it usually does, which is a huge relief. Unfortunately, I’m then crushed by the ghastly realisation that there are weeks more of this to go. I’m also colossally tired, pretty much all the time, and when I’m tired, I eat sugar and my brain falls apart – apologies in advance for the terrible writing in this update, but did I mention I feel like a pitiful small animal gif?
I’ve signed up to do a half-marathon in March with Olly – bring on Richmond! And hooray for Olly, getting all carried away! (It’s totally flat, right? I can only run if it’s flat.)
Week two schedule:
4 mile + strides
5 mile slow/fast
4 mile easy run
11 mile long run
I forget I’m not good at winter. Even though it happens every single year, the days when I get a punch in the brain from the lack of light always come as a surprise. It can take me hours until I go “Oh wait: you aren’t going mad, you know how this works, it’s just your brain having a sulk about January.”
I’d had a proper case of the back-to-schools since New Year’s Day. Anxiety: my heart going like the clappers, too wired to sleep. All very boring, and all very much like last January. I ran through everything in my head and couldn’t think of anything to be anxious about: it’s just an irritating physical thing. Continue reading
OH HEY YOU TURNED THE BRIGHTNESS UP TOO HAI
As Red tells Nicky in Orange is the New Black, “You’ve gotta hit rock bottom before you know which direction to go in.” But they were talking about heroin, and I’m just talking about running. Oh man.
This week, unless I hit new lows in future weeks (please, heavens, no) I hit rock bottom. I know, right, week two. Christ knows what’s going to happen in week 12. Continue reading