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Miami or Brisbane…?


I have some big news, which some of you may have seen if you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, but for those of you who don’t know…



…I received my acceptance to the University of Miami this morning as an international undergrad! I haven’t discussed on here what I’ll be doing next year, because I’m not entirely sure yet to be honest. Right now I am planning to either take up my place at UM (that’s dependant on finances) or at George Washington University, or I’ve also been offered the opportunity to take a gap year and live and train with a running team in Brisbane for a while and then go to uni the following year! I’ll talk more about it once I’ve decided :)


Brisbane, Australia! Living and training here for a few months would be awesome:)


I’ve had a pretty wonderful week all round! Last Friday night saw an end-of-exam-week celebration at our favourite pub, followed by an early start the next morning with a 5 mile run and a yoga date with my bestie.


sorry Gabs for ruining a perfectly good photo of us;)


After our BodyBalance class, we headed out for lunch. Our favourite cafe was full, so we headed to a new place to us, which we ended up loving too! I had a soya latte and an aubergine (eggplant) dish, which was delicious!!




Gabby is a photographer, and is doing a music section for one of her portfolios, so she accompanied me to the afternoon rehearsal of a concert I had that day. We had a three hour afternoon rehearsal before the evening concert, and it was definitely one of my favourite concerts I’ve ever played in! The program and energy of the orchestra was so great:)



I had some of the coldest runs of my life earlier this week. For some reason the snow has returned AGAIN and not only was it snowing yesterday but there was also a wind chill of approximately –1000 degrees (possibly a slight exaggeration…). Yesterday involved a run in the park with the team, where we almost got blown over by the wind/blizzard, followed by a circuit session, then a two mile cooldown when I got back home. I honestly have never been so cold on a run, and I’m pretty sure I got face frostbite. I am beyond amazed by those of you who live in much colder places and still brave outdoor runs!!



Our circuit session was a tough one! We started with exercises with medicine balls and a few rounds of planks, and then we did four sets of 40 seconds of the following:

  • Bench dips
  • Alternate side sit-ups
  • Star jumps
  • T-leg raises
  • Push ups
  • Burpees

I cannot do 40 seconds of push ups, especially not four times! I have zero upper body strength, but I’m working on it! :P


I resorted to the treadmill for a couple of runs, but thankfully the multitude of running magazines I have stashed in my gym bag kept me entertained. Being able to read and run at the same time is a talent of mine ;)



I almost always would prefer running outside to on the treadmill, but I do love using the ‘mill for tempo runs. I am one of those runners who absolutely cannot do a proper tempo run outside. I always start off far too fast to maintain the pace, and my tempos always turn into a strange sort of fartlek. Running them on the treadmill keeps my pace steady and honest, and gives me a proper tempo! (P.S. For more on tempo running, see these two articles).


And now I’m off to spend the rest of my evening cuddling my dog and catching up on the latest episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Criminal Minds. Criminal Minds genuinely creeps me out when I’m watching it home alone in the evenings, but my little Buddy will keep me safe;)



Where did you go for university/college, or where do you want to go?


Do you incorporate tempo runs into your training? I don’t do them very often at the moment, but I hope to incorporate more of them in the future! To be honest I’m more of a fartlek/intervals gal…I love speed!


If you could live anywhere in the world for a few months, where would it be? Probably Hawaii or Australia…anywhere where I have access to a beach haha!


Have a great weekend friends! <3

41 Responses to Miami or Brisbane…?

  1. I did my undergrad right out of high school- I was still 17! I went to Clark University in Worcester, MA USA for undergrad (BA Sociology). After, took a few classes at Worcester State College and then did my first Masters at Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA (a small town west of Worcester)(MEd in Elementary Education). I worked/taught for a few years and since the job market in the US is so crap, I went back to school. I got my second Masters at Uni of Glasgow (MSc in Educational Studies) and now I am doing my PhD there (I just started my second year!)

    Good luck deciding! It’s a hard choice, I am sure. :)
    Cindy recently posted..The ethics of blogging

  2. You always seem to be on the go! how do you balance everything? i always struggle to find time and energy to have the “get-up-and-go” mentality that i had before getting sick. how do you manage to fit in running and socialising AND music/study etc. Do you have a set routine or a timetable or do you just wing it?! how often do you run nowadays? thats so awesome about the potential future options… looks like you have a tough decision ahead lady! good luck!! :)
    clemmy recently posted..to yoga or not to yoga…

    • Haha I’m definitely a very busy person, but I manage it by planning out my schedule for the day beforehand. Sometimes I have to do a very early or very late run to fit everything in, but it usually works out! I run six days a week usually. I still mess things up and double-book things sometimes, and I’ve really had to learn how to prioritise, but I’m quite a chilled person so I usually just take it all in my stride :)

      Thank you, I hope you have a fab weekend! <3

  3. Congratulations Emma! What fabulous options you have open to you, and well deserved. Have fun choosing what you want to do! And might I add you are looking so so happy nowadays, it’s great to see :)

  4. Squee! Huge congrats, Emma! Whichever you end up choosing will be a fabulous option, but in all honesty… I’d probably be tempted to go with Australia. It’s been on my list of places that I have to visit FOREVER now, and going to school there would be amazing.

    • THANKS Amanda!! I am going with the Australia option…uni can wait for a year ;) Same, it’s been on my travel bucket list forever!! Although I think I’ll die if I run into any giant spiders haha! <3

  5. Wow exciting news! That’s a tough choice to make! I went to university in Cardiff which was my home city anyway. I lived in Bolivia for 2 months and loved every minute of it, I am in love with south america so would love to go back for a while. San Francisco is another place that I fell in love with, could totally live there, or Berlin is amazing also. I want to live everywhere ha!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted..The Low-down on Vitamins

    • Aaah one of my best friends goes to uni (okay music college!) in Cardiff, and she loves it there!! Wow, Bolivia?! That’s amazing! I’ve never actually been to South America, but it’s on my bucket list for sure!! I love both San Fran and Berlin too! :)

  6. I go to Penn (the Ivy League school – not Penn State ;) ) in Philadelphia. If I had had the opportunity to take a gap year to run though, I’d have taken it in a heart beat!! You’ve got some great options :)

    • Aaah that’s awesome! I also got accepted to Stanford before Christmas, but as an international student I couldn’t afford it! Thankfully Miami have offered me a scholarship, but Penn looks awesome! Aaah thanks, and I hope your studies are going well :)

  7. Congrats on your acceptance :) I just got into McGill in biology with math and I couldn’t be more excited!
    Picky Nicky recently posted..I Shot A Gun!

  8. Eeeeeeek, choosing schools!! I’m actually going through the same exact thing right now but for grad school. I went to (undergraduate) school in Vermont (Middlebury College) and love, love, loved it, so I’m hoping to love my new school just as much.

    Personally, I despise the state of Florida (for totally illogical and unfounded reasons, mostly having to do with the weather and what I stupidly assume to be an older population obsessed with golf), but I’m sure you will love wherever you go. Washington, DC is a really fun place (although their weather is just as bad!) and George Washington is a great school, but it all depends on what is the best fit for YOU, not what other people think. And of course, Brisbane would also be an amazing opportunity! It seems you’ve got some tough decisions ahead of you. Good luck!
    Jean recently posted..Close Encounters (of the Viking Kind)

    • I know, it’s stressful right?! I hope you choose the perfect grad school for you, good luck with that! :)

      That’s hilarious! Good think I enjoy golf then ;) Honestly, I would normally choose George Washington over Miami, but the running is better at Miami and they offered me a better scholarship! I also got accepted at Stanford before Christmas but they don’t really offer financial aid to international students, so there was no way I could afford the fees! But you’re right, it all about what’s right for you, and I’m excited for what’s to come!

      Have a fab weekend! <3

  9. well, both are amazing opportunities! but i would love you in US!!!
    lindsay recently posted..Starts with F

  10. Omigod GO TO AUS! But seriously, if you have the chance (which you do) and the means (money, etc) to go to Brisbane, you should NOT pass that up! You never know if or when you’ll get another opportunity like it, so you should absolutely go. University will always be there, waiting.

    Im finishing up college at NYU, but studied abroad in Stockholm last year, and it was the best decision I ever made. I almost didn’t go because it was a logistical nightmare to plan, but it was WELL worth it. Sure, I spent a lot of money and didn’t get much done on my degree, but that’s not the point. It was an amazing experience!!

    That said – congrats on your acceptances!!
    Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! recently posted..Fun Things Friday

    • Thanks so much for your advice Rachel!! I’m taking it and deferring my place and going to Brisbane woo!! :)

      Wow, that sounds amazing!! Stockholm is an amazing place, and studying abroad there must have been a wonderful experience!! So lucky :)

      Have a fab weekend! <3

  11. Woo hoo, hey from Australia ;)
    It’s an amazing country (might be slightly bias hah) but Brisbane is a really beautiful tropical city with fabulous beaches!
    Good luck with it all :)
    Kloe @ Running Shoes & Chocolate Mousse recently posted..The Power of Cacao Powder & Don’t Worry, I’m Still Alive!

    • Haha somehow I guessed you’d be for the Brisbane idea! ;) It does look amazing though, and I’ve always wanted to visit Australia! Plus the WEATHER is awesome, and I could really use a beach right now… ;)

  12. I live about half an hour from Kloe, so I’m all like BRISBANE too. :-D

    Congratulations! There are huge things happening in your life right now.
    Kate recently posted..It&#8217;s ok, we can keep eating yogurt

  13. Both are really incredible choices and wow. You will have your entire life to run and you will have your entire life to learn. I don’t even know what I would choose because they are both such great opportunities.
    Hollie recently posted..More Cyber Bullying

  14. Congratulations how exciting!
    I went to Hertfordshire Uni, and lived at home as it was my local one. Whatever you decide I am sure it will be amazing.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted..Avocado obsession

  15. Hi Emma! Congrats on the amazing opportunities! I’m excited to see what you choose since I would have no idea what to do if I were in your shoes.

    I remember that you wrote something not too long ago about not doing BodyPump anymore because your running coach doesn’t want you to, and I was only wondering why that is? I am a runner myself (not anywhere near as fast as you though) and do BodyPump 1-2 times a week, but should I be concerned?

    Sorry if my English is bad, it isn’t my first language! Best regards from Maria :)

    • Hi Maria!! Your English is great, I didn’t even realise it wasn’t your first language!

      Yes I don’t do Pump any more on my coach’s advice. To be honest, any strength training is beneficial to running in terms of preventing injury and improving running economy, but my coach just prefers me to do more “running-specific” exercises, usually in a circuit training format. You shouldn’t be concerned at all, because any strength training (including BodyPump) helps your running! It’s just my coach’s personal preference really :)

      Have a great weekend, and thank you!! <3

  16. Congratulations on your offers! Sounds like you have so many exciting options! I reckon wait for the outcome of scholarships – if you don’t get one this year defer your place, get your results, go to Oz, get fast, apply again for scholarship.

    I went to Oxford University (Hertford College) for my BA, then to University of Birmingham for my masters, and am now doing Bar Exams. If I don’t get taken on straight away, I would like to try to go to the Ivy League or Stanford for a year, run an NCAA season and dual qualify out there. If hadn’t been set on studying law, I would have considered the USA for undergrad (obviously, law is different so I had to stay in England!). I think the way the undergrad is structured out there so that you can take lots of subjects that you are interested in, the running scene, and the fact that classwork and attendance contributes to grade as well as just exams is a good system, as it encourages consistency rather than cramming!

    Best of luck with whatever you decide!
    Charlotte recently posted..Rehab 2

    • Thank you Charlotte!! I heard back and got an amazing scholarship, but I spoke to the admissions person and they agreed to hold it for me while I travel, which is great! :)

      Wow that’s amazing! Both my cousin and my brother go to Oxford Uni, so I was the black sheep in applying to the US instead haha! I in fact applying to Stanford Early Action and got in before Christmas, but unfortunately it’s unaffordable for me! I agree that the system is better too, and good luck with that!! :)

      • Just seen the update in your last post. Sounds like the perfect compromise! Think you will def. benefit from a year of hardcore training before going out there as well, to help you make the best of the racing scene out there and get your mileage up in advance.

        I wouldn’t be able to go without a scholarship either… all my studies so far have been scholarship funded – I’ve been lucky!

        Massive good luck with your exams! xx

  17. 1. I went to Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for my undergrad! But I spent a year of undergrad at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada, and have never regretted the decision to leave Aug for a year and experience something else.

    My best advice for choosing: do what YOU WANT to do. Don’t do what anyone else wants you to do. Don’t do what you feel like you SHOULD do. I can’t tell you how many people hassled me for doing my abroad year in Canada, but it was a marvelous year! I learned a lot about a new culture, about myself, and about my academic field in classes I could not have taken at Aug. And besides, none of THEM have ever lived on a maritime island! :) so do what you truly want to do.

    2. I’m with you: treadmill for tempos. I love love love to run outside but I get so caught up in the joy of being out (like a dog!) that I don’t pay much attention to pace, at lesat not enough for a proper tempo. So I hit the dreadmill for that. My current training (for my FIRST marathon!) has a tempo every other week, but I’m going to start experimenting with fartleks once my race is done.

    3. Portland. Vegan food EVERYWHERE.
    Maggie recently posted..Day 32: an excerpt from today.

    • Thank you so much for your advice Maggie!! Honestly, it helped me with my decision making so much, and I decided to defer and travel for a year :) Studying in Canada for a year sounds amazing!!

      Haha we are exactly the same as far as tempos go!! Aaah GOOD LUCK with your marathon training, so exciting!! Fartleks are really fun and you’ll see great improvement in your speed with them too, so I really recommend them :)

      Oooh and in that case Portland is being added to my travel bucket list ;)

      Have a great weekend! <3

  18. Oh wow congratulations! Imagine the weather out there in Miami or Brisbane…no more cold wintery runs for certain!!
    I went to Cardiff University, it was brilliant and I loved it. But the rain was a bit tiresome haha.
    Tempos are my worst runs. They’re just so tough to maintain a pace for a period of time. At least with intervals you know it’ll be over fairly soon. But they are great for improving speed.

    • Thank you Anna!!! Haha that’s really the reason I chose those places ;)

      One of my friends is at music college in Cardiff, and she loves the city! I feel you on the rain though ;)

      Have a great weekend!! <3

  19. STR, I traveled the world in Up With People in 1996, and I have never regretted this incredible experience. It was right after I received my Master’s degree and after the completion of my very first year in the professional world, but it was the most amazing experience of my life. And it sparked an interest in travelling and seeing more of the world. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you, and you can start UM the following year. Go for Brisbane – the experience will shape the rest of your life. May God bless all of your pursuits!

    • Thank you SO MUCH for your advice Linda!! I have decided to defer and go to Brisbane :) I honestly feel like a year out is the path God is leading me down, so I am excited to see where He takes me!

      Have a great weekend!! <3

  20. [...] you all SO MUCH for your comments and emails on my last post! Your congrats and advice were much appreciated I thought and prayed about it a lot this week, [...]

  21. Your plans for net year sound great whatever you decide to do, I wish I considered going abroad, but I always assumed going to somewhere abroad would be so expensive, and I went to Leeds Met Uni in the end!
    Ffion (Chocolate and Raspberries) recently posted..Giveaway: Hotel Chocolat Easter Egg

  22. Congrats on all your opportunities and acceptance to University of Miami! I just started training for a Marathon and I understand about the upperbody strength thing but i have to say it does help in running so keep it up! Well, where you decide to go I would suggest getting some sweet apparel to show off your new school! Check out our website and I think you will enjoy our styles!


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