A tale of venturing into the City

My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary yesterday and decided to book into a posh hotel in the City to celebrate. So what was the experience like in these new times of hand sanitiser, distancing and trying to feel comfortable when lockdown is only just easing?

Firstly I have to say travelling by train felt all together safer than going to the supermarket. We were the only people at our station getting on. Once on the train everyone wears masks, which feels oddly comfortable.

All alone at the station

Wearing our fashionable masks 🐝

The City was quieter than when we saw it before lockdown. Then again it was a Sunday. We arrived at our gorgeous hotel and I got to enjoy and tick an item off my bucket list woohoo. The roof terrace wasn’t overly busy and tables were spaced apart appropriately. A great place to enjoy a beer in the sunshine.

Great views of the Town Hall

We then went on to have dinner at the Ivy which was another bucket item for me. I can highly recommend the food and service. The blackened cod cooked in a banana leaf was delicious. The layout was perhaps not what we expected in the Brasserie. I think it might be worth booking ahead to get into the roof garden, however, I’d definitely go again.

Happy anniversary at the Ivy

Later on we enjoyed some champagne back at the Hotel Roof Bar

Waiting for the chilled champagne to arrive

In other news this week we took the “kids” for dinner in our local town. They had removed all tables from the middle of the room so it was easy to sit in a booth around the outside of the room and keep distance from other groups. All very well organised and the food was delicious.

Sporting wise I enjoyed 2.5 hours of running, 2.5 hours of cycling and two circuit workouts including the fun one with our PT. Below some amusing pictures from our workouts.

With straight legs kick out to the side and feel it burn
I’m doing my rotator cuff physio and hubby is giving birth or maybe doing a core exercise 🤔

Cow and cat stretches with the lads

Excited!!!!!

Last two weeks I’ve been able to see family twice and a friend once. It’s so so nice to be able to see people at last and its really easy to social distance in gardens in the sun. I’ve also had calls from my hairdresser, the local beauticians and my sports masseur (although the latter is uncertain as yet) as appointments can now be made woohoo 🥳

I’m seeing (provided it doesn’t rain) a lovely group of friends this evening for wine and chat and in between have a skype call with family planned so life is good. Between that and my second attempt at skate boarding I’m all excited and upbeat today 😀

Bucket List:

So one of my 60 things before 60 was to skateboard. It’s up for debate as to whether I can tick that off yet but I’d personally like to be able to skate all the way down our hill from the top. So once I’ve nailed that I’ll put up a video, however, for your amusement here is me after my second outing on the skateboard from half way down the hill. Amazing how easy it is to spot my errors on the video but I’m chuffed for staying on 😆

Need the confidence to stand more sideways on it so can lean/turn, that’s for next practice sesh

I watched another film from the top 250 imdb list. Well I tried watching L.A. Confidential but got bored so then moved onto Fight Club. I’ve actually seen this one strictly speaking but it was long enough ago that i couldn’t remember it. Pretty good but not amazing would be my verdict. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6cwmHL2tFI

I’ve also been working my way through the top 100 albums on Rolling Stones list. So far I’ve listened to the Zombies (really liked), Sly and the Family Stone, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan (ace), The Who, Miles Davis, Hank Williams (love it) and the last one was Prince. I cheated a bit on Prince as the album was Sign of the Times which was dull as dishwater. I switched it to Purple Rain (brilliant album). Next up Buddy Holly then Elton John whoop.

Sport:

Strava says I did 8 hours this week which is above my weekly average of late. I had a day off work this week so was able to get a longer bike ride in. We rode around Cheshire in beautiful weather and stopped for an ice cream.

Beautiful lanes of Cheshire
Stopping for yummy cliff bar
Trying to look natural and failing

Nommy ice cream en route, mint choc chip mmmm

Other sport included a few turbo workouts, one of which was a fun interval session where I sprinted at 10 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins etc, for 1 min, then 2, then 3 etc. Up to 6 minutes. Definitely a hard one that. Since I’m just beginning to recover Achilles wise I’ve been taking it easier with the running and just did 22k over the week at a pretty slow pace. One more week like that and I hope to get in some hill running again.

And then on Saturday we saw our lovely personal trainer Emma (Peak Trails Physical Training). She is ace, always bubbly and happy and just puts you in a good mood. Since I’ve had ongoing issues with a shoulder injury she did mostly core and leg workouts and then gave us different things to do when it came to arms. I did my physio and hubby did hard weights (ha ha).

Bicycles great for the core

In other news:

I’ve started reading a book by Ant Middleton on my kindle (The Fear Bubble). Utterly brilliant and I hope I can learn from it and apply it to the scary things I try to do (like cycling down steep hills…). It’s extremely honest and I’d recommend it if you like the SAS who dares wins TV show.

I painted a garden ornament. My brother asked me to paint it (for fun) and I decided it would look good in cycling clothing so here is Rapha because only Rapha will do for our duck 😆

Matching socks were essential

Last 20 things for my 60 before 60 Bucket List

I managed to get back to some sport this week, not as much as usual given a recovering Achilles and now a shoulder injury but it didn’t stop me finishing my bucket list (the writing of it not the doing, that would be insane). I did however, make a start on some things 😁. So here are the remaining things for my list.

41. Ascend Mont Ventoux on a bike. For now I’m going to say just any of the three ascents but it would be nice to do all three, however, this would be very challenging for me.

My husband climbing Mont Ventoux from Bedouin side a few years back (he does make this look easy)

42. Dine at the Ivy. I’ve heard great things about this restaurant and I believe you can go next door afterwards for a coffee on the top floor of a building with great views (all sounds good to me)

43. Do Go Ape. I watched my son do this many years ago. At the time I argued I wouldn’t join in as someone had to be the cameraman/woman. This was of course complete rubbish. I was just scared really. I don’t want to be scared of things anymore so bring it.

44. Invent a cocktail. This will be fun and definitely not scary. The practice and testing will be particularly fun 😆

45. Ride on a skateboard. Ever since I thought of this one I have been obsessed with it and am now attempting to get hold of one or buy one so I can have a go. This may sound easy to many but I do not have good balance, was terrible on roller skates and expect to hit the deck a few times before I master just going in a straight line.

46. Ride in a limo

47. Cycle up Cowlishaw Road

A tricky one for me with these gradients

48. Read a classic novel. I’m open to ideas

49. Attempt to use tri bars. This will again be very tricky for me. I only have my hands on the hoods when I ride (now and again). I tend to ride with my hands in the drops as I like feeling that the brake levers are close and easy to grab. So the idea of not being able to grab them quickly is a bit scary but it would be advantageous if I could master this one.

50. In my last blog I mentioned I wanted to travel around Eastern Europe by train and I reeled off a few places I’d like to see on the way. I decided these deserved individual bucket listings. So first out of these is to visit the castles in Transylvania especially the Bran castle of Dracula. I mean you just have to right.

Not sure how one gets up to this castle but it would be so cool at night

51. Visit Lake Bled.

52. Visit Plitvice National Park in Croatia

53. Soak in the thermal baths in Budapest

54. Watch the top 100 movies on IMDB. Here is the top 250 list. I could bump it up to include all eventually, we will see. I watched ‘Dr Strangelove’ and ‘One flew over the Cuckoos Nest’ this weekend. Both excellent films. The first one is of course a little dated but Peter Sellers is brilliant in it. Jack Nicholson in the latter is superb (as he always is).

https://www.imdb.com/search/title/?groups=top_250&sort=user_rating,desc&ref_=adv_prv

55. Listen to the top 100 albums listed on Rolling Stones

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/500-greatest-albums-of-all-time-156826/the-zombies-odessey-and-oracle-172848/

56. Make a you tube video

57. Go to a festival (not the small local one)

58. Write a list of 101 life lessons and then share them with the world

59. Climb Ben Nevis

60. Do something that scares me although I think there are plenty of things on here already that qualify 😱

In other news, I bought some new running socks which I love

Heart socks
Turbo today was monstrously hot 🥵. My hair is starting to take on a life of its own in this humidity. Reminds me of Monica in friends
It’s the humidity you know

60 things to do before I’m 60

It’s been an odd week. Being unable to do as much sport as usual due to Achilles pain, shoulder pain and an amazingly bad bout of hay fever…..I found myself making a bucket list. I was inspired a while back by my sister doing 50 things before 50 and thought Ill do the same only Ive just passed that goal post so its 60 things before 60 instead.

It would be so easy for me to come up with a hundred things if I had infinite time and money to spend but since I don’t I decided against putting too many travel based things. If I win the lottery I might change that of course but then I’d have to play the lottery first 🤔

So below my list is yet to be completed but I’ve come up with 40 so far and intend to crack on with a few soon.

1. Get a bike fit – Ok this one was pencilled in before lockdown. I cant wait to get it booked in again.

2. Ironman – Intend to book onto one in 2021 now (aiming to book this one: https://www.ironman.com/im703-mallorca )

3. Do an Ultra – Unfinished business here. My first one was slow and a tad too hot for me but it was beautiful and well organised. Sadly my second got cancelled (well I had to cancel it due to back issues). So there’s always been this desire to go back and try again.

Piccy from first Ultra – Lakeland Trail 55k (https://www.lakelandtrails.org/ultra/)

4. Do a longer Ultra – Well you know, if I do a 50k one for 3 then a 100k has to be done for 4.

5. Running dream – sssh its a secret

6. Buy and run with new cool running backpack – well you have to have some easy ones on your bucket list right (currently debating one of the Salomon backpacks after recommendation from a friend, will let you know how it is when I finally get around to buying it)

7. Get an iconic running photo – I stare longingly at instagram photos where people post seemingly impossibly beautiful trail running photos. A recent one was a guy running up the side of a mountain and the photo was taken from the distance. The sky was perfect, the views were perfect and he even had both feet off the floor which is optimal for a good running photo right?

8. Design my own silly cake – years ago a friend made a cake in the shape of a tampon with the appropriate bits of red colouring etc. I’m not suggesting I’ll make something that gross but I’d like to come up with something novel.

9. Kill Zombie boss in wii game solo – this was my sons idea. I love playing the wii zombie game and we’ve defeated the big boss once or twice together but I’ve never managed it alone. This is a good rainy day one.

10. Ride on the orient express – been a lifelong dream…sigh

11. Ride a Segway – can’t believe I’ve never done this

12. Sleep in a tree house – you know like posh camping, in the middle of a Forrest etc.

13. Go to a winery in France – well I love wine…so any excuse

14. Visit a tourist attraction near to my hometown – one of those things I just don’t do…so nows the time (well when lockdown eases)

15. See singing in the rain show – love love the film and I’m told the show is awesome.

16. Go on a picnic – this should be easy to arrange

17. Do a colour run – I’ve never bothered, mostly because I’d have to travel to it to do a 5k run but it would be fun so yeah Lorna get it done

18. Have a spa day – no words required

19. Stand up on a paddle board – I really fancy this, not sure I’d be good at the balance but would love to have a go

20. Get an article published – hopefully this will happen soon

21. Make home made chocolate eclairs – they are yummy so I’d like to have a go

22. Go bouldering – my son does this. I have rockclimbed and thoroughly enjoyed it also tried a bit of ice climbing (indoors) but I’ve never done bouldering.

23. Ride Andratx to Puerto Pollensa – My husband and I love to cycle in Mallorca and the highest mountain is on the stretch between Andratx and Puerto Pollensa. Due to my past issues with downhill rides (and still sometimes) I’ve never attempted this. I’m getting more confident now so I have to go for it.

24. Visit Canada – I have always wanted to. I’d love to see the Rocky Mountains. I’d also like to visit my cousin who seems completely ace and I’ve just never met her.

25. Look at property in France and/or Spain – could be fun and its a good excuse to do a cycling tour.

26. Camp again – haven’t done this in years

27. Come first in age group in a race – I came second in age group in a sprint tri last year (much to my surprise). I just need to shave off a few minutes and first is a possibility.

28. Run at night on trail (in the dark alone) – would be such spooky fun, might have to get a head torch. Could be combined with 32.

29. Learn some Spanish – I keep going to Mallorca and I can only say can I have the bill please, a beer, please and thank you. Honestly could do better

30. Shoot a gun at a gun range – just for fun, not a gun supporter, they should only be at ranges in my opinion.

31. Train tour of Eastern Europe – I want to see Lake Bled, Plitvice National Park, Transylvania, Lakes and forrests in Slovakia.

32. Experience a sunrise/sunset

33. Sing to an audience – this may require inebriation

34. Fly in a helicopter – I think I’d be terrified but it just looks so cool

35. Have dinner with my husband in a really romantic location – awww

36. Have a drink on a rooftop bar

37. Kiss in the rain – like you see people do in the movies (hope hubby is reading this one)

38. Dance on a bar – see number 33 (drinking maybe necessary)

39. Volunteer for something – maybe a park run or race

40. Raise money for a charity close to my heart

I’ll think of 20 more things this week. If anyone has any ideas let me know, preferably inexpensive and silly is always good too 😁