Karma and Cosmic Balance

I’m not religious and I don’t think that we will be punished for our sins in the Christian sense. I do however think that you get back what you give, whether it is directly inferred or whether you feel good or bad about something.

This video below was circulating on facebook (or at least that’s where I saw it) last week, and the message is quite a straight forward one. We all care when it’s easy to care, but look away when it get’s a little bit harder… I’m the same, and so it did hit home quite a lot.

As a result of this video, I’ve been trying to be a little bit nicer to strangers, and on our way back from Dave-o’s birthday drinks in Shoreditch last Saturday I got my chance. There was woman at the end of the platform crying. She was crying in the way that you can’t really control, so something must have made her really upset. I walked up to her to ask what’s wrong to which she answered that something really horrible had happened (not sure how much of someone else’s story I want to share here, but it was quite horrible), which made me very upset, despite not knowing the people involved at all. We got on the train and I sat down with Orsi and Sam a couple of seats down from here, giving her a bit of space. She kept crying, and we tried to ask if anyone had tissues to give her (we didn’t have any ourselves).

No one else in the carriage asked her what was wrong, no one asked if they could help or if she needed anything. I guess my sympathy showed and my attempt to comfort her meant something, because as she got off the train she came up to me and thanked me for being nice, and she handed me the bottle of champagne (looked like one she’d won in a raffle or something) that’s she’d been carrying. I told her to look after herself and that was that as she left the train. I hope that she’s feeling better now.

My point with this is that it’s really not very difficult at all to show some kindness to people around you. It doesn’t have to cost you anything, or take up much time at all. At worse you might be asked to leave them alone, at best, you will have really meant something and made a difference to that person. And whether the kind act comes back to you in the shape of a kind act when you need it, a good feeling or a bottle of champagne, there’s no doubt that it will come back somehow, and that we can keep passing it along.

Marathon Training – Week 12

M-Day is fast approaching it feels like, and the London Marathon yesterday in all it’s glory reminded me even more of the task ahead. It’s been a good and bad week in different ways, or different sections rather, with the week taking a dip in the middle but peaking again for the long run. Here’s what happened.

Tuesday: 7 miles (1M jog + 5M fartlek + 1M jog)
Actual: 6.8 miles in 1:11:28

Wednesday: 8 miles steady (80 min)
Actual: 2.85 miles in 27:51

Friday: 5 miles slow (57 min)
Actual: 5 miles in 51:37 + 1000 m swim

Saturday: 18 miles slow (max 3h 15min)
Actual: 18 miles in 3:15:07

Sunday: 1000 m swim & London Marathon Cheering!!!!
Actual: Moral support for Liverpool v. Man City football game

Things were shuffled around a bit this week to accommodate for Dave-o’s birthday drinks on Saturday evening and the London Marathon/Football on Sunday. The week started well enough with the (almost) 7 miles I had planned, stopped just shy of 7, as the last 0.2 miles were up the steepest hill ever, and I really couldn’t be bothered with it.

I’d had some achilles pain carried over from previous runs, and a weird pain on the ‘knuckle’ (?) of my big toe had started developing… The 8 miles on Wednesday were cut short due to this. And I don’t know if it’s a mental thing, but running home from work, down Old Kent Road really takes it out of me, I just never feel like I want to finish. Anyway, as my achilles got better, my big toe got worse. Thursday was a rest day (went out to play table football with work instead) and I managed to do the planned 5 miles on Friday + the weekly swim. My toe was aching, but it wasn’t sharp or unmanageable… so I continued.

I was apprehensive about the long weekend run, and the first couple of miles started off with a pain in my foot. I had to stop for a wee about 1 mile in but by the time I hit around 4 miles, the toe pain had gone back to just being subdued, and I could run past it. Me and Orsi decided to take our re-fueling breaks walking and keeping the clock running, rather than stopping and stopping the clock like we’d done previously. This was to give us a more realistic time as the clocks will keep running during the race. I think our method of re-fueling every 4 miles works well, it breaks the race down into nice and achievable chunks. Unfortunately Orsi had to drop out at 8 miles as her knees are not doing very well, and I can tell you the mentality of running alone versus running with someone is so different. I managed to finish the last 10 miles, but they felt looong. And by the last 3 the subdued toe pain was back to throbbing! By the time I got home and took my shoes off, my knuckle was a nice shade of blue/purple and properly swollen. It feels better now, and I’m hoping two rest days and some easy shorter runs will get me back to business.

Here’s what’s planned for week 12:

Tuesday: 7 miles (1M jog + 4 x 1M fast with 200m jog recoveries + 1M jog)
Wednesday: 7 miles slow (80 mins)
Thursday: 5 miles (1M jog + 3M brisk + 1M jog)
Friday: 1000 m swim
Saturday: 16 miles slow (max 3h)

I quite like doing the long run on Saturday as it gets it out of the way for the weekend. According to the plan I’m following I’m supposed to up it to 20 miles this week, but everywhere else I’ve read, it says not to do 20 miles two weeks in a row, so I’m stepping it down to 16 here, to do 20 next week instead! Hope it works :)

I read a Harper’s Bazaar article about spinning and it made me sad

Catariya Lundgren:

This woman says everything I want to say ever, but in a much better way than I can. So just read!

Originally posted on Fit and Feminist:

I guess I shouldn’t expect much from an article on spinning that is illustrated with this.

I’ve been spoiled.  I’ve taken advantage of the internet’s ability to cater to any microgenre of information to immerse myself in blogs and online magazines that tend to share my philosophy regarding women and fitness, and I was starting to feel like we were making a substantial incursion against the “skinny at all costs!” mindset that has consistently informed the vast majority of mainstream women’s media for as long as I can remember.

And then yesterday, courtesy of Fit Chick at Bicycling, I was reminded that we still have a ways to go.  Fit Chick singles out a Harper’s Bazaar article from August 2013 entitled Can Spinning Make You Fat?, and after I finished reading it, I basically turned into this guy:

(BTW notice that just below the end of this article…

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Stockholm Stories

The three friends met up at Heathrow Terminal 5 on a Thursday evening, and we embarked on our adventure starting classy with Starbucks wine and beer!




Once in Stockholm a quick catch up before hitting bed would suffice for the evening. Playing with the stripper pole was tempting, but we quickly discovered that none of us were strong enough to hold ourselves up on it, let alone look graceful!



Sweden treated us to glorious weather the whole weekend and we wandered the streets of old town Stockholm soaking up the sun!






We tried to plan the evening – me rooting for us to hit the casino, and Martin pushing for the ferry to Tallinn! Neither of these two happened, and we ended up watching Underworld with moderate amounts of wine and a longed after kebab pizza… (living the life)



After our failed ‘night out’ on Friday we decided to really go for it on Saturday… Staring with a big gaming session at the Science Library (Geeks and proud!). The exhibition showcased all computer games since the beginning if gaming with all the different consoles from the 70′s onward and you could try them all out and play all sorts of game. I beat Ina at an intense game of Pong – don’t thing I’ve even concentrated that much at a game before.






We did eventually manage to do something more social, having a fantastic meal at Bar Nombre – if you’re ever in Stochkolm visit it! After that we carried on to the Tiki Room where we stayed until we noticed that poor Dave was falling asleep! This was probably a good thing, as I don’t think my credit card could have handled another round. And as we had a stash of rum and homemade ginger beer to try out at home, we headed back. Success at last, as we eventually got to bed at around 5 am (still got it in me!).




Sunday was as expected slow and lazy. A final fika got squeezed in before heading back out to the airport. And a promise that we should do these weekend trips more often. The next one is booked in for midsummer in June, destination: Aberdeen!

Marathon Training – Week 11

After this past week, I can safely say that I’m back on it! All runs completed and I’ve kept generally on the healthy side of things. Now it’s only a matter of keeping it up! Here’s how things went:

Tuesday: 7 miles (1M jog + 3 x 1.5M fast with 400m recoveries + 1M jog) + weight training
Actual: 6.6 miles (1M jog + 3 x 1.5M fast w. 400m recoveries + 0.7M jog) in 1:05:45

Wednesday: 7 miles slow (80 mins)
Actual: 7 miles in 1:15.38

Thursday: 5 miles (1M jog + 3M (30 mins) brisk + 1M jog) + weight training
Actual: 5 miles in 49:01

Saturday: 1000 m swim
Actual: 1000 m swim (around 35 minutes)

Sunday: Half-marathon Aim for sub-2:00 (15M inc warm up and cool down)
Actual: 16 miles in 2:47:38

So a couple of things happened this week. I had one really great run (Wednesday) and one really horrible on (Thursday) which made me think a lot about why certain days it feels wonderful and really natural to run, and other days it feels like I’m working against nature? I’ve tried analyzing the time of day that I run, what I’ve eaten, how hydrated I am, and pretty much everything else that could have played part… But no common reason was found. This worries me a little bit, because it it’s all down to mood and (subconcious) mentality, then there’s very little I can do to control it on race day… I’ll just have to hope that 18th May won’t be one of those horrible ones.

For the Sunday long run, I decided that as I missed last week’s 16 miles, I’d do them this week instead. I feel like clocking up the distance is more important that trying for a sub 2 hour half at this point. Miles over speed, right? The 16 went well, we kept a steady pace throughout, stopping every 4 miles to quickly have our supplies of skittles and sweets. We’ve decided that in the race, we’re going to walk these bits, as we probably end up being still for up to a minute and a half each time we refuel. Towards the end of the run yesterday my legs felt very tired, and a much needed cheer from a friendly passerby gave us the boost we needed to get that last mile in there. I was super proud of us when we finished our longest run to date!

My calfs feel tight today, so will have to add in another stretching session, but overall, I’m please with how much energy my legs have, and I’m amazed by the body’s healing capabilities! Here’s the plan for week 11:

Tuesday: 7 miles (1M jog + 5M fartlek + 1M jog)
Wednesday 8 miles steady (80 min)
Friday: 5 miles slow (57 min)
Saturday: 18 miles slow (max 3h 15min)
Sunday: 1000 m swim & London Marathon Cheering!!!!

We are all going to die, study says

Catariya Lundgren:

What?! I can’t cheat death…? :(

Originally posted on Fit and Feminist:

It appears as though the old saying may be true – no one is getting out of here alive.

A recent study conducted by the University of East Essex found that every single human being on the planet is going to die some day.  This held true regardless of what the person ate, how much exercise they got, and whether or not they flossed.

“We were stunned by the results,” lead researcher Joe Schmoe said. “We thought we might be able to find some combination of lifestyle choices that would lead to immortality, but we couldn’t find a single one. It turns out that no matter what we do, we are all going to die one day.”

The study comes after decades of research connecting higher mortality rates to a wide range of factors, including trans fats, red meat, soy, too much running, too much sitting

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Laughter Yoga and Discovering Diversity

Sometimes I get pleasantly surprised even at work. We’d been invited to a meeting titled ‘The Benefits of Laughter’, and I went along ready to sneak out, and not quite knowing what to expect (no I’m not a cynic or a pessimist, but this is work!). Anyway, we were introduced to something called Laughter Yoga and then quickly moved on to performing some of the exercises. Although I felt silly and a bit strange doing all these weird exercises in front of my colleagues I actually walk out of there feeling all giggly. Even coming back home in the evening and telling Orsi and Sam about it made me laugh all over again. In fact I was in a good mood all day, so maybe there’s something to it?


Another nice thing that happened yesterday was a meeting I went to after work. A couple of us ChemEng folk here around London are trying to set up a Diversity Group for the area. I know I’ve always focused on women a lot in my campaign for inclusiveness and equality, but yesterday really opened my eyes to a lot of other smaller groups who are even more under-represented and overlooked. I’ve got a good feeling about it and we managed to set out some main goals and fun events to plan for a start!