Thursday 31 December 2020

My Second Half Marathon


This year my running focus has been to complete 1000 miles.  To complete this with 2 months to go was kinda cool, but also weird.  Although I got medals for this I still don't feel like I earned them, and I don't think I'll try this sort of challenge again.

I don't race much but I have missed it, so even though it wasn't a normal race I did take part in the Basingstoke 5k in November, a race I normally attend in May.  Run in the dark on the roads round my house I did enjoy this challenge.  I think because it was a time challenge against myself.  I knew what my 5k PB was and ran to beat it.

With that in mind I decided on one last challenge to finish 2020.  A half marathon.

I've only run one offical half (the Reading half back in 2014), although I must have done several when training for the marathon

At the time it was the furthest I had ever run and seemed quite amazing to me that I could push my body that far.  Having now run a full marathon and regularly running 10 miles for my Sunday long runs, a half doesn't seem quite so awe inspiring.  However it is still a good distance and one that needs commitment.  Also I know what my PB was so I had something to race against.

So this morning, a cold, frosty and grey day, I went out and ran 13.1 miles on the roads around my house.  I was well chuffed when I stopped my watch to find a time of 1 hour 53 minutes.  Not just under 2hr which had been my main aim, but 3 minutes faster than my half PB. 

This was a virtual race, logged with the Lonely Goats Running Club.  I love their medal and I'm very proud to have it hanging on my wall. 


Over the course of 2020 I managed to run 1271.89 miles.  I find that quite amazing.  I won't be trying to beat that number in 2021 but I hope that I can keep my mileage up in that regon. Here's to more new PBs in 2021.

Monday 28 December 2020

Gift boxes

I'd normally be blogging about the things I made friends and family for Christmas about now, however due to Covid19 I haven't seen many of these people to share gifts with and so I can't really blog about them yet, not wanting to spoil the surprise in case they look here.

But while I can't share the content, I can share one of the little gift boxes I made.  


One of my Christmas/Birthday gifts was a subscription to Uppercase magazine.  It's sent out in a cardboard envelope (it does travel all the way from Canada) and they suggest you keep the envelope to do creative things with, or just simply to re-use.

So using an old gift box that I had been given as a template I cut out and scored the shape from the envelope which gave me a beautiful gift box.  The card is thin enough to flex, without being too thin to hold its shape.  And it's good enough that the recipient could re-use it themselves if they wanted.

It's a lovely little box and I think I'll be making more.

Thursday 24 December 2020

Hand Printed Christmas Cards


This year I finally had time to create my own hand printed Christmas cards.  

I've wanted to do this ever since I spend a day at my neighbours house learning how to lino print last year.

I started by drawing out my design in my sketch book before transferring it onto my block of lino.  I then spent ages carving it out before doing my first test print.


I used way too much ink that first time, but my print still came out well and knowing that it would work, I started preparing my paper for printing.  I wanted my star to be coloured so I painted each sheet yellow first.  (the yellow is more lemon in real life)


Once they were printed I hung them up to dry and a week later cut them out and mounted them on old wapping paper before sticking to the cards.


I'm really pleased with how they've come out and I hope everyone who received one liked them too.  Maybe next year I'll be a bit more adventurous and try something bigger!


(Note to self: if you want people to know they are hand printed, you need to tell them - maybe by writing it on the back or something!)