this is gonna be a long post so get some coffee or tea, grab a comfy blanket, and brace yourself!!
i woke up at 5:30 this morning to give myself plenty of time to mentally prepare and enjoy my coffee. i know some runners say not to have coffee before a race, but i find that having it 2-3 hours before a run works for me.
i was lost as to what i should wear. it was going to be cold in the morning, but once the sun came out, it would be a steady 50s, clear, with light breezes. i ended up wearing a moisture-wicking short sleeve top, my shorts, and throwing a uniqlo fleece long sleeve over top.
my uber driver was such a sweet older man and he said “GO GET EM HONEY. SHOW EM WHAT YOU GOT” when he dropped me off. i love people.
i got to the starting line around 6:50am to pick up my packet, and L O R D it was beautiful but so so cold. i hid in the bathroom because it was warmed hehe.
i don’t have any pictures of me during the race, but here’s a mile by mile recap:
miles 1-3: the first couple miles were downhill, and then flat. i took it slow because my biggest fear was going out too quickly and losing steam later on. it was a good call, and i stayed in the 8:40s for all three splits.
miles 4-6: i was feeling GREAT and started to pass by and run with other really strong runners at this point. i stayed in the safe zone, in the low 8:30s. it was completely flat, save for two steep bridges. i was smiling the entire time because it felt like flying.
miles 7-8: i had to pull myself back a bit here, because we had hit a turnaround and there was a slight increase in elevation. it wasn’t too bad, and i ran exact 8:45s for both miles. the bridges were definitely harder this time around, but i stayed strong and stuck to my conservative pace.
miles 9-12: this is where i started to hit the wall. the race corkscrews around. there was some downhill and uphill, but it stayed flat for the most part. i knew that i had to stay at an easy pace if i wanted to finish the race strong, so i ran at 9:05 for these three miles. the mental game was loud and i was neck and neck with a few really amazing women who were running at my pace too.
mile 13: for whatever reason, i thought that the race was 13.6 and not 13.1, so when i hit mile 13 i stuck at a slower pace- around 8:55. it wasn’t until i saw the finish line that i started sprinting.
My overall time was 1:57:30. I don’t know what my chip time is, but I will be updating the post later with my official!
I cried at the end of my race because this is something I’ve been working towards for years. When I was 16, in 2012, I had signed up for the BAA Boston half marathon. But because of my eating disorder’s restrictive habits, I injured my ankle (more on this later). I gave up running for two years after that.
Finally, years later, I ran it. I ran my half marathon and finished with an amazing time. My goal was just sub-2 hours, but I surpassed that.
This is a day I want to remember forever- not just because it’s a half marathon, but because it symbolizes everything I have gone through to live life in joy, in health, and in love. Grateful to God for all of this.
May 19th - A gentle afternoon amble into Birmingham along the canal was a lovely trip - but I did get drowned on the way home. I went from work, along the Tame Valley canal and down the Walsall Canal to Aston. It’s nice to see the route to Birmingham now smoothly surfaced all the way from Rushall Junction at Ray Hall, a real improvement that will see me coming this way more in future.
On my way I saw cats, geese, and my nose noted that the flag irises were out, which although gorgeous - in this case growing around an unexpectedly beautiful pond in the shadow of a huge recycling plant in Saltley - always set off my hay fever.
A lovely canal ride on a grey, showery day that still showed the best of urban Birmingham.
I photographed Blur in 1997, a year or two after their Britpop peak. The photograph was taken on the Regents Canal towpath in Islington. I’d just taken a series of photographs of them in nearby Holborn Studios and we took advantage of the sunshine to shoot a few photos outside as well. I found them polite but rather taciturn.
Summary: In which Joe’s so enthusiastic about how great (Y/N) is, the rest of the boys get suspicious as to why jack hasn’t introduced them yet.
Dedicated too: Everyone who requested a part two and/or supported the first part. I hope you all love this xo
“She’s fucking incredible.” Joe breathes out in shock as he walks into the living room of Caspar’s apartment where all of the boys were gathered. They all turn to look up at him with their eyebrows furrowed, all but Conor, who catches on immediately and smirks smugly. “She made brownies, and she played Fifa with us, and then she sketched me a tattoo because I said I’d always wanted one and it’s amazing and I literally wanna go and have it done now.”
“Oh my god, you lucky prick!” Oli huffs, glancing over at the rest of the boys who somehow still haven’t caught on. “You’re all such dumbasses, he’s obviously taking about (Y/N).”
Joe nods quickly, jogging over and taking a seat on the couch, passing Josh his phone and pointing out the photograph. “I managed to get her to follow me on Instagram, look how pretty she is.”
Josh whistles lowly after scrolling for a second before [passing the phone to Caspar who’s eyes widen as he scrolls up a little before passing the phone on and nodding in agreement. It was true, she was hot, and she had such a lovely personality it was crazy. “Jack’s such a dickhead, I can’t believe he hasn’t introduced us to her yet.” Mikey grumbles, scrolling up and down for a moment before passing the phone back to Joe. “Did you notice anything, unusual, about her? Any reason he’s keeping us away from her?”
Conor snorts, causing everyone to turn to face him. “Oh come on, do you seriously not see it yet? Jack isn’t trying to keep you away from her; she just has a busy schedule and any free time they have they spend together. Alone, like a normal couple.” He shrugs and picks up his phone, checking the date and time quickly. “She has today off so she’ll be at Jacks, I’m sure they won’t mind us popping over to say hello.”
Oli narrows his eyes at Conor and frowns. “You sure? I don’t wanna walk in on something disgusting.”
Conor laughs and shakes his head. “You guys are so stupid. I’ll just text him, so get ready. We’ll leave in a few.”
Back at Jack’s apartment, he glances over at (Y/N), who’s stood in the kitchen in her pyjamas with her hair up in a messy bun and dancing to the music playing out of the speakers as she began to make some milkshakes. They’d been craving one since the night before, and so she’d sent Jack on a quest to hunt down the ingredients and agreed to make them herself if he complied.
“Babe, the boys are all coming over; that okay?”
She looks up from the blender with a surprised smile on her face. “All of them?” Jack nods and smiles when she squeals in excitement and jogs over to the cupboards. “Okay, I’ll make enough milkshake for everyone.”
Jack stands up and walks into the kitchen, wrapping his arms around her and swaying them side to side, following the beat of the music. She hums in content, turning around in his arms and placing a small kiss onto his lips. “Should I get changed or anything?”
He looks down at her leggings and his shirt which hung off of her shoulders and shakes his head with a adoring smile. “You look beautiful; and I can almost bet that Caspar’ll be wearing pyjama pants when he arrives. So don’t worry about it.”
“M'kay.” She smiles, pecking his lips one more time before pushing him away slightly and laughing. “Go away, I can’t concentrate on the ingredients if you’re here distracting me.”
“Distracting? Me? Never.” He chuckles, but follows her orders and walks back over to the couch, glancing over his shoulder dramatically and blowing her a kiss which makes her laugh as she throws a few more Oreos into the mix. He turns off the TV and instead focuses on editing his new video, smiling a little whenever (Y/N) could be heard giggling in the background and deciding just to leave it in.
It wasn’t long before there was a knock at the door, and (Y/N) glances over at Jack quickly. “Want me to get it?”
Jack shakes his head and peels his eyes away from the computer screen, placing it down onto the table and standing up. “No, I got it princess.”
She nods silently and goes back to concentrating, pouring the exact amount of milkshake into each cup before adding whipped cream and crushed up Oreo for decoration on top; followed by long plastic straws and a small cherry. She was known for going way over the towpath everything she did and made, but that was just (Y/N).
The boys all flow into the apartment, and she greets Conor first, seeing as he walks straight into the kitchen to give her a hug, knowing exactly where she’d be. She hands him a milkshake and giggles when he kisses her cheek sloppily before running off to make himself comfortable in the den.
The rest of the boys were just as she’d expected, they were all funny and there was no awkwardness between them at all, she just seemed to fit into their little group. They seemed to appreciate the milkshake, especially Caspar, who was done within a matter of minutes and was already asking the boys for theirs.
She ended up playing Fifa with a few of them, helping Jack edit his video and even played a few drinking games, though she substituted her vodka for cranberry juice seeing as she had work early the next morning. Eventually the clock shows two am and (Y/N) and Jack are the only ones still awake, and she can tell Jack was just itching to snapchat the whole scene in order to embarrass them all.
She yawns and stretches her arms up, placing a kiss on Jack’s cheek before standing up and smiling down at him tiredly. “I’m gonna head to bed, you coming?”
He nods, eying the boys one last time before standing up and wrapping himself around you, guiding you away from the human puppy pile and toward your shared bedroom with apleased sigh. “They all really like you, told me that they wanted you to be their girlfriend when you went into the kitchen to grab the spare controller.”
She smiles in relief, pausing in the middle of the hallway and pulling Jack’s head down, pressing their lips together and humming against them. “I like them too, but I’m yours.”
He smirks and pulls her flush against him. “Mhm, and don’t you ever forget that.”
• I finished my first full semester of undergrad with what I’m pretty sure is a 4.0 • Took myself on a celebratory bike ride on my beloved towpath and even though it was chilly and overcast, it was so beautiful and heartwarming and exactly what I needed. • We went to a friend’s birthday party and I had my inaugural grapefruit shandy of the summer at the ballpark. • We stayed out way too late drinking and singing karaoke and now this morning the sun is out and I am officially on summer break (minus the one online class I’m taking).
Ran twice today again!! Both runs were kind’ve bad though :(
I set out to run on the Mt Vernon Trail in D.C., but I couldn’t find the parking lot I was looking for, ended up getting lost, and I just drove back towards home. Then I decided that instead of going home in defeat, I wanted to find an old spot that I trained at during high school xc practice. I didn’t use gps or anything, just kept driving in the general direction that I remembered and I eventually found it! Turns out it was part of the C&O canal towpath in Maryland. When I started the run, I was excited, but it was super super hot. Plus my calf was sooo tight, and even though I stopped to stretch, my foot fell numb. I decided to just call it quits after 2.35 miles because I had to poop too. The last couple runs I’ve done this week, I’ve really had this issue where I have to use the bathroom mid-run, and it’s super frustrating. At least I explored a new spot for running, I’m definitely going to go back there! The towpath is mostly dirt with rocks, good practice for me.
2nd run was 4 miles done on a familiar route that I ran earlier this week, in the suburbs. I had high hopes for the weather because it heavily rained before I left for my run. But by the time I made it through traffic to the parking area, it was back to being uncomfortably humid. There was even what looked like steam coming off the road, I guess because the cold rain was hitting hot concrete. My calf got tight early on, but the first mile is pretty much downhill, so I wasn’t in awful pain. Eventually though my foot fell numb, and I had to walk a few times to resolve the discomfort and bring back feeling to my foot and leg. I had another issue of feeling very faint, almost like I was hungry. Guess I’m hoping back on the Gatorade train since it’s been so hot. I think my electrolytes were low and I was dehydrated. Now that I’ve eaten dinner I feel much better!
Made a little motivational wrist band for tomorrow’s race and my general training! I’m excited for tomorrow’s 10k race, but I’m definitely going to take it easy, since I’ve run so much this week and my left calf/foot have been super problematic.