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Let's talk about running

I hate running. I hate that burning feeling in my legs when my body reeeally doesn't want to go any further. I hate getting up early or having to run in the cold. I hate getting stitches. I hate that feeling when your end destination feels like it's actually getting further away the closer you get. But I also love it. I love the feeling of moving fast and weaving in and out, around trees or people, or cracks in the pavement. I love the feeling of stopping and your heartbeat continuing to pound on for a couple of minutes longer than your legs before it returns to normal. I love the feeling of washing a layer of sweat off in a cold shower and being as clean as a baby after. I love the feeling of accomplishment each time I get a little further or a little quicker.

I'm running the British 10k in July. I feel a little daunted at the thought having never run this distance before or even raced a 5k 'for real', but my charitable cause is guiding me through. I've got a decent 5k under my belt and have done for some time, but my hatred of pushing my skinny(ish) legs much further is not helping with the training. I just need to remember why I'm doing it.

My Nan passed away when I was in Primary school after suffering a number of years with Alzheimer's disease. I never knew her without it. I don't have any memories of her recalling who I am, only what she had had for lunch that very day in the nursing home. I was too young at the time to understand what it really meant, but I feel deprived for never having known her as her. I also unfortunately know a few too many people with a grandparent who has suffered with a form of dementia and have seen the pain and anguish it causes first hand.

When I saw that Alzheimer's Society was one of the charities you could run for in the British 10k I jumped at the chance. They are an amazing organisation that not only funds vital research (which is closer than ever to finding real treatments and viable cures for Azheimer's and demetia), but also provides support to sufferers, carers and families in the form of groups, volunteer visits from 'dementia friends' and fundraising.

So, I'll take a little pain in my legs, a little sweat in my eyes and a stitch in my side if it means I get to raise a little money and awareness for this cause. Yeah OK, it's no London Marathon, but it's a fair challenge and is going to take me to a whole knew level (i.e. not running home after 2k because those donuts simply will not eat themselves).

I'll post a few updates on here in the run-up to the event (pun intended), with some more on my progress and probably a couple of playlists too. In the meantime, if you fancy donating then please do feel free. I don't believe in begging or forcing people to support charities as it's a very personal thing, but if you're inclined to give you can do so here on my JustGiving page. Don't forget to select Gift Aid too so the charity can claim a little extra.

See you at the finish line!

4 things you should definitely do this bank holiday weekend

Phew, what a long post title!! Now we've established what I'm about to cover, let me wish you all a very happy Easter. I'm not one for religious occasions but I'm all for chocolate, big family lunches and welcoming the coming spring and summer! I always panic a little bit at the thought of bank holidays - those extra days are oh so important to those of us who work Mon-Fri and I always worry I won't spend them wisely. Here are a few things I'll definitely be doing this bank holiday weekend:

Relax - Obvious to some, but an extra long weekend is an ideal time to kick back and recuperate. I've been super duper busy with work lately, as well as jam-packed weekends, so get the classic busy-body guilt feeling when I sit down and do nothing. Yesterday however I spent the whole day in joggers on the sofa, playing Sim City and watching Netflix. Sometimes you just gotta slow right down and give your brain and body a rest.

Get outside - The weather where I am is a bit of a mixed bag at the moment. One day it's glorious sunshine, the next it's raining, the next your being blown into the road into the path of on coming traffic (it happens, I don't weigh much!). That being said, so long as you've got a coat you can definitely get a bit of fresh air. Whether you go for a walk in the park or a full-on bike ride/hike, a dose of the great outdoors can be good for the soul.

Eat - As if I even have to say it!! Even if you like to eat healthy or are watching your weight, don't let this weekend make you feel bad for parading all its glorious food under your nose - just indulge! There's no way I could ever let myself feel bad about eating something special like a posh Easter egg or a roast lamb dinner...

Be grateful - Gratitude is a wonderful thing, and with Easter bringing with it the theme of taking stock and moving forward, there is never a better time to show it. Whether you spend time with loved ones to show your appreciation, or even just write down things that you're thankful for and keep hold of it, make sure you consider all the good in your life and all the wonderful things to come.