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Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Girls who run are more FUN

As one of my New Year resolutions, I challenged myself to run a race (of any distance) every month this year.  In 2009, I ran two half-marathons but I’m not looking to run that distance again in the near future.  So I tried to find a not-too-strenuous run (and proscrastinated if I’m honest).  I had gone for a few runs, played tag rugby, taken pilates, aerobics and combat classes so I don’t feel too guilty exercise-wise.  At the same time, I wanted to get my bum in gear and back into running!

My first official run of 2012 was last Tuesday evening.  The Docklands run took place in Dublin city centre, starting across the river from the O2 arena.  Luckily, it was a dry sunny evening (you never can rely on the Irish weather).

It was a 5k run so should have been easily do-able for me.  I even got in a 5k run with my sister at the weekend.  However, my slight nervousness prior to the run, combined with waiting around (I could have done 5k twice in that time!), put me off.  When the run eventually started, I kept with the pace of the crowd (which always seems to happen to me) and my running partner (who is naturally fitter than I am).  This was slightly faster than my usual pace and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain it.  I completed the first 2k in about ten minutes although my usual pace is 6 minutes per km.  When I saw the 2k sign, I knew I needed to slow my pace.  I let my running partner stride ahead of me and settled into a more comfortable pace.  I passed the 3k mark at 16:22 and (eventually!) finished at 28:03.

I was happy to finish under 30 minutes but realised I have a lot of training to do before the Docklands 8k run on 19th June.  My last year’s 8k time was 45:06 so I hope to beat that and make it a PB!  Watch this space….

Hair today…

Having finally bought a GHD straightener only a few months back, I was devestated to learn about the damage it’s doing.  I know it seems obvious that moving two hot plates along your hair is damaging but I thought hey, how else would I possibly tame my mane?

Last weekend, I took a trip to Steel Magnolias hair salon in Stoneybatter. I was a bit nervous about going to a new hairdresser but fed up of ‘production line’ experiences at big salons. Luckily, Shelley put me at ease immediately.  I got a wash & cut and then she set me straight on ehhh straighteners:-)  She advised that I go cold turkey on my GHD & blowdry instead. My GHD was doing more harm than good & undoing the benefits of my weekly treatments. So I let her to it… Even though mousse &rollers were involved, I must say my hair looked great with volume and a ‘natural’ flicky curl at the ends. Shelley challenged me to try blowdrying for 2 weeks & I would notice the difference in my hair’s condition.

So here I am, five days in and it’s killing me not to grab my GHD before work. I blowdry my hair at night after a shower & it looks reasonably okay after 40 minutes of moussing, applying rollers & wishing I had a third arm to do the back of my head.  The following morning, I resemble someone who has been dragged backwards through a bush (Think crazy cat lady from the Simpsons).

This morning, I gave up trying to fix it & just tied it back. It has to get easier than this!  I’m going back to Shelley this weekend to get highlights done… hopefully I will pick up a few more tips then!

Newgrange

A recent spell of good weather brought us to Newgrange in Co Meath. Like many Irish tourist spots, I had heard of it but had never ventured there. I read up on its history here: http://www.newgrange.com/  The Lonely Planet informed me that a limited number of visitors daily is allowed. A sunny day in March seemed like the perfect opportunity to see Newgrange before it became swarmed with overseas tourists.

The visitor centre is big, but doesn’t overwhelm with information.  We had about an hour to grab a bite to eat and then board the bus.  (Visitors who drive to the monument will be turned away so it’s best to buy a ticket at the visitor centre and hop on the bus.)  Newgrange glistened in the sushine.

Our tour guide brought us inside the tomb (sorry, no pictures allowed), which is much smaller than I thought it would be.  A narrow walkway opens out into a chamber with three smaller adjacent chambers.  The tourguide dimmed the lights and demonstrated how the sunlight creeps in during the solstice.

Several standing stones surround the tomb outside.

Years of effort and precision went into the building of Newgrange.

Another visit is on the cards … all I need is an excuse to go back!

 

The Beautiful Wesht

Upon my return home from an amazing year travelling around exotic places, I have become more appreciative of Ireland’s beauty.

I recently took a trip out wesht with himself. We got a great deal on Groupon to stay at Carrygerry Country House. It was worth it for the restaurant alone. The house is in a beautiful setting and we admired the views whilst enjoying porridge, scrambled eggs with salmon, homemade scones and bread, and fresh fruit from the orchard.

After fueling up, we drove to the Cliffs of Moher. It was an overcast day but the cliffs were a sight to behold.

We walked towards Hag Head, which took about an hour and half.  It was a tad breezy but worth it!  After a quick lunch in the cafe, we drove to the
Burren.  I wanted to see the real Burren and I got my wish!

The following day, we took a trip to Dromoland Castle followed by Loop Head.

A 10km drive south of Kilkee signposted “scenic drive” was absolutely amazing.  I found this little treasure in my newly purchased Lonely Planet Ireland book.

If you look closely, you can see the remains of a house on top of this cliff.

We were lucky to be blessed with such great weather.  I’m looking forward to planning our next trip already!

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