It’s been a mad couple of weeks and I’m heading into Manchester this weekend (for lots of 25th birthday celebrations), but I wanted to get this on my blog (I've got alot of Barcelona content to get sorted next week). I had mentioned previously that I’d been busy planning some exciting summer months, and here's my latest event – Rough Runner!
Last weekend Danny and I took part in a 15K obstacle race located at Arley Hall (or as I know it, Tommy Shelby’s house), in Northwich. Rough Runner is an obstacle race that takes its inspiration from Ninja Warrior and Total Wipeout (among other game shows). I signed us up a few months back and was pretty excited when it finally came around. A huge positive is that it is much more friendly to those of different fitness levels, as you can choose to do a 5, 10 or 15K route on the course. We went for the 15K because I'm used to running for long periods of time, plus this meant we could tackle all the obstacles!
I’m doing Tough Mudder again in September, but wanted to mix things up and thought this would be something a little different (plus it meant I could drag Danny along). I am already looking at events like X Runner and Wolf Run for next year, because there are so many different courses to get involved in. I honestly love getting down and dirty with my fellow mudders and even going it alone doesn’t phase me, because you don’t have to look far for a helping hand.
By 9am we were parked up and headed to the bag drop zone (which was free and manned so I felt safe leaving my stuff), before checking out the rest of the place. There was coffee, food, merch and all the typical stalls you'd expect. They were even handing out pre-race protein boost sweets that were quite delicious, almost as good as the protein peanut bars we had after the race (I took a couple of extra freebies home). We headed over for a safety video, far more entertaining than expected, then after a warm up and the Rough Runner pledge... we were off!
Although on a smaller scale than Tough Mudder, I was impressed with the set up. People were friendly and everything was clearer signposted, plus they even had music going on arrival and a photographer to capture all the action. The overall course was less hard going overall than I expected, although some of the farm ground was a little harsh to run on. It was about 9 miles with approximately 15 obstacles total, this meant you weren’t running for long before you had a challenge to tackle.
Your given a coloured wristband at check in, that corresponds with the route you do (5K was white, 10K was blue and 15K was yellow). This is so if you get lost along the way their volunteers can guide you back to the correct route, they do have coloured flag markers, but it's easy to miss them if there's lots of people.
The obstacles ranged from 'Nelsons Column', where you have to avoid volunteers dressed up as pigeons, trying there hardest to take you down (I know it was bizarre but hilarious, definitely reminded me of Takeshi's Castle). 'Ramp It Up', is a half pipe that you take a run at to climb up and over, with a few ropes incase you need a helping hand. 'Beam Me Up', this was a thin ladder like piece of scaffolding that you had to climb down, I ended up with my legs wrapped around it hanging upside down (definitely felt like Spiderman). 'Fearless Fall', essentially a long slip and slide so this was just a good laugh as we raced to the bottom. Then the moving obstacles like 'Swept Of Your Feet' and 'The Revolution' (think Total Wipeout), it’s simple avoid the moving arms or you’ll end up in the water (Danny learnt this the hard way). Finally the best part is at the finish line, ‘The Travelator’. You are presented with four lanes, they are all on an incline, the first three go down in speed but the fourth is known as 'The Lane of Shame'. This is because it actual takes you up instead of going against you, so if you're knackered by the end you can still make it to the top.
After running for 15KM, being submerged underwater, getting muddy and climbing over varying obstacles... we were obviously not as confident as we had been in the morning, when we first saw 'The Travelator'. However, that wouldn't stop me giving it a good go. We both fell flat on our faces on the first lane, it was already slippy and that meant I just lost my footing. I wasn't quite sure what to expect because I don’t usually jump on the treadmills in the gym, so falling at the first made me better prepared for the second. We managed to redeem some dignity on this lane, which we both made it up (as you can see in the above picture, Danny was determined).
I’d recommend everyone to sign up, even if it’s just the 5K. You could do it with work or friends and family! It’s only as hard as you make it, as there’s no obligation to do any obstacles you aren’t comfortable with. This was the first time Danny had done anything like this and I think for the most part he enjoyed it (apart from the getting soaked), it’s a good laugh and we definitely earned the takeout we had afterwards.
I’m getting back in the gym now to continue training for Tough Mudder, still mastering my pull up technique (as I don't currently have one). Plus I'm hoping to do some big trekking next year so it's important to keep my fitness levels up!
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This week I started watching (for the fourth or fifth time) one of my all time favourite shows right from the pilot episode. With its sarcasm, wit and spot on life advice – 'Gilmore Girls' is guaranteed to make me smile no matter what else I have going on in my life.
I watch a lot of TV, ranging from Game of Thrones and 24 to Greys Anatomy. My taste varies, but there are some shows that you can watch on repeat and never tire of. I’ve also decided when I have a kid, that they will be named Lorelai (if it’s a girl), that’s how much of an impression it has left on me.
You've been Gilmored
The show (for those of you who don’t know) focuses on Lorelai Gilmore, a privileged girl who grew up with overbearing parents. At 16 she falls pregnant, moves out, refusing to marry her boyfriend just to please her parents. The show begins years later with her daughter, known as Rory starting private school.
Lorelai is an independent woman, smart and kickass, whose relationship with her daughter is heart-warming. We explore Stars Hollow (there home), the complicated relationships with family, as well as dealing with her daughter growing up. My favourite thing about this show is the quirky commentary mainly given by Lorelai. Here are some of the quotes from the show that I can only benefit your life.
There's a few extra illustrations thrown in this post, with sayings that aren't necessarily advice or helpful in any way, but they certainly made me smile.
Do you like coffee? Only with my oxygen.
Anyone who knows me I love coffee, I’d take it in an IV. I connect with Lorelai on this level, first I drink the coffee then I do the things. It’s the stuff that makes me a functioning human being.
I wanna be good, life’s just not letting me.
Sometimes bad things happen or you get stuck in a rut. A bad day doesn’t make you a bad person. If you make a poor decision or are mean to someone, it doesn’t define you and it’ll get better.
I’m afraid when your heart is involved, it all comes out moron.
Never have I heard anything so accurate. Relationships can be awkward and you don’t always say the right thing but that’s love. If you love someone it’s inevitable you’ll say something stupid.
If you’re going to throw your life away, he’s better have a motorcycle.
Everyone loves a bad boy. This is more of a sarcastic comment aimed at Rory, she considers not going to Private School because the guy she likes is at her old High School. It’s an important thing to remember that you shouldn’t throw your life away for a guy. Don’t put what you want on hold, if it’s meant to be it’ll work out. If you are going to then a motorcycle would be nice.
People can live a hundred years without really living for a minute.
Rory is quite a safe girl; she goes to school, studies hard and does what she’s supposed to. Logan brings her out of that shell and this line from him is perfect. It’s something I believe in whole-heartedly, a lot of people’s ideas of living are very different. If you never step outside your comfort zone or chase after what you want, are you really living?
I smell snow.
Lorelai can literally feel the snow before it falls and it’s kinda amazing. She says it’s her gift and that everything is magical and pretty when it snows. It’s important to find something little in life that makes you feel that way, like anything is possible.
This thing we’re doing here, you, me. I’m in. I am all in.
Lorelai and Luke are the couple you route for throughout the show, they belong together but life gets in the way. If you really want to be with someone, you have to be all in. Don’t just tell them how you feel, show them and don’t get embarrassed or scared. You’ll only regret it if you don’t say how you feel.
What she tackles, she conquers.
You can do anything, don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t.
The pop tart tasted like freedom and rebellion and independence
Lorelai grew up in a household where she wasn’t allowed to have or do a lot of things. That first pop tart was her first taste of freedom. Everyone can understand that experience of asserting your independence. Plus food can be pretty orgasmic, I’m sure we’ve all got that one treat that makes us feel this way.
If you haven't watched it, go binge! What are you even still doing on here, get onto Netflix right now.
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I'm a Graphic Designer by trade (for those of you who don't know), I spend a lot of my free time doodling or out with my camera, capturing anything and everything! Here are a couple of recent illustrations, my Monday motivation, all with a positive message to help get you through the
end of the week. My life has been busier than usual lately (which has resulted in only one post the last two weeks) and I'm trying to find that balance, between work, blogging and spending time
with the people I love.
My Trek America is officially 50 days away! I'm off down to London tomorrow, taking the polaroid camera, with Danny for company and there should be plenty of ace content to come on Sunday all about that! I've got 4 birthdays in the next 5 weeks, including my very best friends. While I try and plan for all of that, it can be a little overwhelming sometimes, I like to produce illustrations that remind me of the simple things. Life moves pretty fast as Bueller would say, so I try my very best to appreciate all the experiences that come my way.
If you want to see a bit more, visit my website abydesign.co.ukabydesign.co.uk
1. Bear with it, no matter what you're working on at the minute or whatever isn't quite working
out for you. Don't give up, keep pushing yourself. You'll either succeed eventually, or if you fail
then there is always a lesson to be learned.
2. This didn't need any text, its all about loving the people around you. Hold on to them and
don't let go. You have to appreciate the time you have with them and show them you care.
3. A little quote taken from Game of Thrones, 'I am a wolf and will not be afraid'. Don't let
anything or anyone scare you, fear stops you from doing what you really want. Remember
you're strong and can do anything you put your mind to.
4. We've all had those tough moments, days, weeks or even years. Whether its
financial, work related or heartbreak, don't let it define you. Come back stronger, forgive
and move on. Never forget what it taught you though, that's the important thing.
5. My favourite thing to do. Life wasn't meant to be lived in one place and I never feel
more alive than when I'm off exploring a foreign land. Whether than be travelling
abroad or climbing a mountain. Explore the unknown, 5 or 5000 miles away.
6. Be yourself. People judge me for my sense of style, my taste in music,
my tattoos and what I post online. Don't let their opinions stop you from being yourself.
7. We can all admit we spend way to much time living digitally, so put the phone away
at least once a week and just take an afternoon or even just an hour for yourself. Go without it,
trust me you'll be much happier that you did.
I hope you found one of these positive messages was helpful, or gave you that little bit of inspiration we all need on a Monday morning or a Friday afternoon. Life is short lived, don't waste it worrying about anything.
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Aby, 24. Northerner.