1 month of being furloughed and lockdown life

A friend, who always comments on my blog posts (because, truthfully, I never thought anyone even read them), recently made a suggestion to me about what I should post about. I really like it when anyone gives me ideas, as I do find it hard to find things to write about. So please do comment or let me know what you’d like me to post about!

 

I can’t quite believe it’s been a month since Boris Johnson announced lockdown. Like many of you, I wasn’t surprised. Other countries at this point had already called their lockdown and set stringent rules for the public to follow. Listening to him make the announcement was…mixed. My heart was in my throat, I felt nervous, anxious and worried but also relieved – it was the right decision. The seriousness of this situation had finally hit home. Hard.
A few moments later, I got a call from my boss. He told me, nicely, that I shouldn’t come back into work and agreed to touch base once they had figured out the next step and discuss then. Going to bed feeling exhausted, and life as we knew it, was about to change.

The next day I woke up feeling all out of sorts. It was a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to take myself for a run to get out for some fresh air. We were now only allowed to exercise outside, once a day.
Later on I had a call from my boss, explaining that the only option they had was to put me on furlough (temporary leave). I’d seen this word floating around a few days prior to lockdown but didn’t look into it. It means that I will be paid 80% of my salary, from my boss, who is then reimbursed by the government. I was happy, sort of, with they had proposed by couldn’t help but feel helpless already. I knew that this plan was the best for everyone but as my bosses were still able and expected to work, from home, I felt like I wasn’t pulling my weight in the whole situation. Many friends, and my parents reassured me that I was doing my part in all of this – staying home, protecting the NHS and saving lives. Hard to accept and do, and to this day, it still is.

So now the real challenge began…keeping myself in a routine and occupied.
I decided my days/weeks would be based around my usual exercise classes/activities, runs and very quickly I got myself into a loose routine. I am so thankful to my PT, pilates teacher and friends, who have kept their classes and PT going over zoom. I started looking into ways of helping the local community, by baking and cooking meals, and to help my anxiety and worries, I limited the amount of news I watch and read.
I can’t imagine being on my own through all of this and my heart goes out to everyone who is finding it hard at the moment. I want you all to know that my DM, messages, are always open if you need someone to chat to. Please don’t hesitate to get in contact.

As days turned into weeks, albeit slowly, I do feel like I have settled into this new way of life. Yes some days are harder than others, but I’m learning to take each day as it comes and deal with the different emotions each one brings. Alongside classes I’ve been reading, watching some TV, started Gilmore Girls again, Facetime friends and family, baking and cooking for the staff at local hospitals, helping mum sew bags and scrubs and popping out to get essentials for both us and Granny. I’ve really enjoyed these little things, as it makes me feel like I am helping and doing my part in all of this.

With many more weeks of lockdown to endure, I plan to keep the same tasks and routine in place and my aim is to finish another book.

I wanted to thank everyone for their support, love, kind words, funny quotes but most importantly to the NHS staff, service men and women, staff at the supermarkets, and anyone else going out daily to work. You are all amazing, you’re keeping this country going and I can’t thank you enough.

Take care everyone. Stay strong, positive, remember to smile and embrace the little things that mean so much at the moment. This will pass and will come out the other side.

All my love,

Emma

Happenings March 2020

A little later than I had intended to post this blog, but anyway, here it is! A post I always enjoy doing and, as always, inspired by Heidi.

DOING: Sat at the kitchen table with the backdoor wide open and the sun streaming in.

HEARING: The birds chattering outside and the dog crunching at a pre walk treat.

DRINKING: Water and a very strong coffee. I’m so glad I bought a double bag of beans from a local cafe in town the other week!

BUYING: Local produce, from small businesses. Be it in the form of a veggie box, meat from the local butcher (which we’ve always done) coffee beans or bread. Some of our favourite restaurants and cafes have also been offering a ‘fill your freezer’ menu, so we’ve purchased a few meals from them to have.

EATING AND COOKING: Lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Making do with what we can get, when we can get it. Ocado hasn’t been the most reliable source to get food from, but we’ve been enjoying making meals with what we have to hand – in fact I actually love this challenge. Don’t get me wrong, following a recipe, but also enjoy experimenting and putting different flavours together.

WANTING: Life to go back to normal, for everyone. So badly.

LOOKING: Forward to running with friends, drinking coffee in a coffee shop and watching the world go by but mostly hugging everyone!!!

DECIDING: What to do on my birthday….this year it falls on Easter Sunday. I feel like I want to do a challenge of 30 things…any ideas more than welcome!

ENJOYING: This beautiful, warm and sunny weather. It’s making being at home, and not working, a lot easier. I can play in the garden with Mungo and sit in the sun and read my book. I’m also enjoying just moving slowly, especially in the mornings.

WATCHING: A few films on Disney+, ‘The Nest’ on BBC 1 (which I HIGHLY recommend to everyone!) and ‘The Morning Show’ a recommendation from Anna!

READING: ‘The Giver of Stars’ By JoJo Moyes. My mum was reading it, as I was half way though ‘Cilka’s Journey’ at the time. A book I highly recommend alongside ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ (both written by Heather Morris.

WEARING: Gym leggings, fluffy socks and my favourite high school sweatshirt! All about the comfy clothes at the moment and I honestly can’t tell you the last time I wore “proper” clothes…maybe a goal for my birthday on Sunday!!

PLANNING: Tomorrow….I’d love to say I was planning things for next week or next month or the summer, but right now I feel like we are living day by day, and at a push, week by week.

PLAYING: Staying sane….and occupied! I’ve written a list of jobs I want to get done and they will all be ticked off by the time this is all over!

CRAVING: Seeing friends and family/social interaction! I am very lucky that I still live with my parents, so I’m not alone, but boy do I miss seeing familiar faces! Sorry zoom and Facetime, you’re great, but just not cutting it!

LOVING: The huge amount of people who have clubbed together to get fabric to people to help make scrubs for the NHS staff. Along with companies etc who are donating gloves, masks etc. The sense of community and coming together to help each other out, at this hard time, is overwhelming and such a warming feeling. Well done everyone, and a massive thank you to NHS staff! 💙

SAVOURING: This period of time where, those who are able, can slow down and be at home. Safe and with loved ones, be it our boyfriend, husband, children and pets.  To those of you at home alone, I hope you are doing well and just know that you are in my thoughts everyday, as I can imagine this can’t be easy.

FEELING: Loved. Safe. Lucky. Thankful. For everything in my life.

To everyone who is reading this. Stay safe, stay well, stay positive and strong. Sending lots of love and positive vibes your way and remember –

“This, too, shall pass” William Shakespeare.

Much love,

Emma xx

London Marathon Postponed

As you’ve all probably heard, the London marathon, along with many others, have been postponed. To say I’m gutted, annoyed, sad is an understatement, but I know it’s the right thing. I’m sorry to everyone who has trained so hard, for it all to be put on hold.

So what happens now? Well, I plan to continue with my training. I’ve not worked this hard, put a large amount of time in and woken up at 4.30am to run before work, to let it all go to waste. I have one back up marathon – Newport Marathon in Wales – however I feel, that too, will be postponed. If that is the case, my plan is to run 26.2 miles on the day of the London Marathon around where I live. I know a few friends who plan to join me for parts and my parents will be out along the “course” to cheer me on.

The world is a funny and unknown place at the moment. I don’t like it and I hope this virus dies and buggers off soon…wishful thinking, I know!!

So, be prepared for more running spam on both my instagram and blog, because I’m not stopping until the final run is done!

Stay well everyone, wash your hands often and well, and check on elderly and loved ones!

Emma xx

Brooks Run Happy Team – class of 2020

At the beginning of the year I was chosen to be part of the Brooks Run Happy Team and couldn’t have been more excited! An absolute privilege and honour to be part of an amazing team to represent a brand I love and continue to inspire people to run.

We weren’t told much on our “invitation” except that we would be meeting in Hammersmith for an afternoon of learning, meeting the team and lots of fun! I jumped on the train mid morning on Friday, coffee in hand, having planned to meet a few of the team at Paddington. We travelled together to the venue and welcomed with open arms to this –

Goodies awaiting us, alongside a bag of kit!

With many hellos said, we all sat down to be told what to expect for the afternoon ahead. We introduced ourselves by playing a quiz game and then the “classes” began. We were mixed up into three groups and rotated our way round the three “classes” which consisted of Photography, Technology and History.

Learning all about that perfect shot!
Technology lesson!
Taking us back to where it all began!
Between “classes” we got to have a bit of fun….here I am with Jez (he runs every race in a Stormtrooper outfit – legend!)
And Dan, our very own running banana!!!

With a bit of learning done and some things to take away and put into practice, it was time to run in the new Hyperion Tempo, that we had kindly been gifted!!! We were split into two teams, we ran first and the other team did a yoga class.

Let’s go!
So lovely spending the day with this lady 🙂
An amazing bunch of people!

Back from the run, it was our turn to be treated to a easy, stretchy yoga class. An experience, to say the least, for some of the members of the team!!! Runners back, pizza delivered and eaten, we were then told more about the Brooks partnership with Parkrun – which I’m afraid you’ll have to wait a little bit long for some more information!!

Soon our day was over and it was time to head home. With a massive smile on my face and some very tired legs, I made my way to the train feeling very content and happy. I’d had the best day. It was so lovely to meet everyone and I can’t express how kind, welcoming, friendly and hugely inspiring every single person is. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds with them!

The most beautiful sunset in Hammersmith!

Hope you have all had a wonderful weekend!

Emma xx

Wokingham Half Marathon Recap

Sunday morning, the wind (again!) is blowing a gale and it’s raining. Yet another storm is beating us but after a good nights sleep I’m feeling rested and ready to run. It’s been a drop back week, and I have really enjoyed/needed it! 13 miles, easy, let’s do this!

I turned up at Peter, my friends house, just before 8am. We jumped into the car and made our way to his friends house, who live opposite the start line, so we were able to keep warm, dry and take full advantage of a nice toilet!!!! The race didn’t start until 10am but I hadn’t registered, so we had to make our way over a little earlier. We ended up hanging around for a bit longer than expected, and I’d wished I’d bought a foil wrap or bin bag as I felt very cold and quite miserable. Nevertheless, we chatted and soon it was time to start.

The race had a whopping 3,000+ runners taking part, and the start line was packed. Not helped by the fact we started on a small footpath and I was wedged on the edge of the grassy slope, trying not to slide down. I’d also missed the chance to use the toilet again, and I really needed to go….with no time, the gun sounded and we slowly started to filter our way over the start line. I felt mentally ready and prepared for this supposedly flat course, and enjoy some easy miles.

With 3 miles under my belt, I came across the first incline, over one of the main roads. It wasn’t too bad, over the top and down the other side, I continued, feeling good but going a little too fast…thankfully the rain had stopped but the wind was still quite strong. Then around mile 5, I had a huge strop. The wind was strong and we were running right into it. I was swearing quite loudly, and I think the guy running next to me was having a good giggle, but he then offered to run in front and shield me from the wind. I’m so thankful for his kindness and around mile 6.5 waved him off. The next 6.5 miles were a mental battle and all I wanted to do was finish.

The course had started to double back now and continuing at a faster than normal pace, my legs felt ok. I did try to slow my pace but I was desperate to get the run over and done with, I carried on and tempted to try and get a PB. That soon went out of the window at mile 12 when I hit one of the last hills over the road bridge and up towards the finish area. Keeping my eyes on the field where everyone was, I kept my mind occupied by watching those running past me, spectators and thinking how close I was to being done. As I turned the corner, I saw Peter, I ran hard and over the finish line. Crossing with a time of 1:53:25, not a PB, but I was damn happy and so glad.

I grabbed my medal, some water and wondered over to a patch of grass to take a breath and register what just happened. I was proud of my perseverance, my battle against a very unhappy mind and legs that felt so jelly like towards the end, I wasn’t sure if they were still with me! I soon found Peter, we grabbed our bags and headed back to the car. As we were passing the finish line, I saw Jez, a fellow Brooks Run Happy Team member crossing as I passed. I shouted his name and was able to snap a quick photo before parting ways! HOW he runs in this stormtrooper outfit, I don’t know, but I take my hat off to him!

Back at the car, we were both glad to be sat down and home we headed. I felt wiped and sore. I won’t lie, I actually hated that race. I did NOT expect the hills and I still can’t get my head around it being a PB course – even though I know a few people who got PB’s….!!!

Although I didn’t enjoy the race, I do want to say a massive thank you to everyone who volunteered and helped run a very smooth and well organised race. The bag drop was extremely well managed, there were constant updates and people around to ask questions.

A massive well done to everyone who ran last weekend in the horrid weather and it looks like we are in for another battering this weekend! Stay positive and good luck!

Emma xx