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Decisions and Hill Love!


Thank 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, spoke to friends and family about it, and talked it over with the admissions tutor and I will almost certainly be deferring my place at UM. In many ways, it seems ridiculous to defer an offer with a very generous scholarship attached, but honestly this just feels RIGHT.  There are so many things that I had to take into account, but many of you also encouraged me to take the chance to travel while I have it, and I don’t think I’ll have a chance like this again in the future, so I’ve made the decision to take a year out :)


So the plan at the moment involves working for about half a year, and then spending six months travelling. My tentative current travel plans involve spend a few months living, training and racing in Brisbane, because my running club is partnered with one there, and a friend of mine did this last year and had an amazing time! Their athletics club usually competes in track races every weekend, so she travelled and raced with them and was in amazing shape when she came back! And I’ve always wanted to visit Australia, so training and living there would be awesome :)



And possibly even MORE excitingly, I am planning (again, this is isn’t set in stone by any means!) on attending a running camp at the High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, Kenya! For those of you who don’t know much about the running mecca that is Iten, check out this article.

2011-12-13 18.12.12



It would be the most amazing (and undoubtedly humbling!) experience, and being able to meet and train in the same place as the best runners in the world would be incredible. Plus it would be the perfect opportunity to stalk my fave athletes Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe ;)



So hopefully I would be going into college as a better athlete and a better all-round person :) I’M SO EXCITED bring on 2014 already!!


Aside from making big life decisions, this week has been pretty standard. Yesterday I had a great hill session on my favourite hill circuit with the team. Its a triangular hill circuit on the roads, with about 600m steep uphill climb. So the session was 16 hill sprints, followed by a relay around the circuit. Sprinting down the hill is the scariest thing ever, especially when you can hear a car coming behind you(!), but it’s one of my fave sessions for sure! Nothing kills your legs more like speed and hills! And I don’t know quite how I manage it but I somehow always get mud all over my legs no matter where my run is…




Hill training will do wonders for your running, and is definitely something every runner can and should try to incorporate into their training! The benefits of hill running include:

  • helps develop power and muscle elasticity
  • helps reduce injury risk, as it strengthens your leg muscles
  • improves stride frequency and length
  • develops maximum speed and strength (short hills)
  • improves lactate tolerance (longer hills)
  • helps develop MENTAL TOUGHNESS (so important in racing!!)


In summary, hills are fab. Let the legs meet the lactic!!

Nationals 2.bmp

racing up the longest hill ever at Parliament Hill


After the hill session, our team all signed a good luck card for one of our teammates who has been selected to run for England this weekend! GOOD LUCK JESS!!



This week has been more busy music-wise than normal. I had an early start for a studio recording earlier this week. I’m not a big fan of studio recordings because the microphones pick up absolutely EVERY sound, and I always mess up a  perfect take by just shuffling my feet or rustling the music slightly! Plus after hundreds of takes you are just EXHAUSTED. I think the most takes I’ve ever had in a recording is over 400! That was nine hours of fun right there ;)


on the train on the way there with my beloved viola <3


There have been lots of rehearsals, concerts and quartet jobs on top of that. I had a quartet gig at the Foreign Office in London for a delegation from China, and it took me twenty minutes to get through security alone!



If nothing else, we definitely impressed them with our professionalism ;)



Where would you most like to RUN in the world? I have a running places bucket list! So far I’ve ticked off running across the Golden Gate Bridge, running along the Seine and running up a volcano (Hawaii). Still got running in Kenya, running in Central Park NY and running in the mountains in Canada to go!


What is your favourite running workout? Hills, tempo, intervals, long run, etc.? I think hills are my fave right now, although I change my mind approximately every other day.


Have a great weekend friends!! <3

9 Responses to Decisions and Hill Love!

  1. I must have missed your last post! Going to read that now! Sounds like you have some amazing stuff in the near future! I swear…your life is incredible!
    Kaila @healthyhelperblog! recently posted..Lend a {Healthy} Hand #10

  2. I admire your decision to take a gap year. It must be a scary one though, but I wish you all the best ;)! You really seem to have more and more interesting life-in a great way! I am going to face the big decision about choosing my uni next year, but I am in the process of finding the best ones right now. I’ve set my mind on going to uni to England, on wednesday I am meeting a lady from Uni of Worcester to talk about things, I am so exited!
    I have a favour to ask if I can :)- Do you know something about Uni of Surrey?- I mean if it has a good reputation among students. Sorry to bother you but I would like to know your opinion :)

  3. Thats brilliant that youve made a decision…. a hard one, but i think youve made the right choice. you will have such an amzing time :)
    AND, im going to australia at the end of the year too!!! i finally handed in my notice at work and decided that i needed to take a break, get away and find myself abit. i never got a gap year or travelled that much, so now is the time to see abit of what the world has to offer… i cant wait!!!
    clemmy recently posted..guess what!

  4. This makes me so happy to see! You’ll have an amazing time in Brisbane :-) I actually live in NYC but have yet to run in Central Park! In my defense, it’s 5 miles away from where my apartment is and I don’t like to take the subway somewhere just to run. BUT I am doing a half in the park in just a few weeks!
    Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! recently posted..WIAW &#8211; The Random Side of Things

  5. Wow your hill sesh sounds tough! Think you made a great decision, I never for one minute regret choosing to take a gap year to travel, it has such a huge impact on your development as a person and I would go again tomorrow!
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted..Halfway to Fifty

  6. As much as you know I would love to have you here with me at UM, I think that what you’re going to do is EPIC!! I can’t wait to hear more about it as you embark on this adventure. That is such a cool opportunity. My gosh I’ve always wanted to go to all these places this is just so exciting!!
    Tara recently posted..My Spring Broke

  7. Wow honestly the fact that you are going to be running in Brisband alone is amazing. But possibly going to the High Altitude running camp in Kenya is just CRAZY – crazy awesome!! I am so jealous but also very pleased for you.
    I need to have a bucket list for running I think – such a good idea.
    My favourite runs are my long ones as I just love to zone out and run. It’s just simply running, no awareness or care for pace. I love it.

  8. Seriously what a great choice and I feel like every life update you give-I’m always so jealous. Can I just live your life? I’m with you on the bucket list. Totally going to make one.
    Hollie recently posted..Training Blog Somewhat

  9. Hey, loving catching up on your posts! :) Wishing you the best on your college/travel decisions! You’re gonna do awesome. :)

    BTW…I think I have found your TWIN – Raquel from http://god-sdaughter. blogspot.com/

    check out this picture… http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-0tQcsmCDI3Y/UTVEGXG-oYI/AAAAAAAAIUk/1X94L8_98Nw/s300/DSC_0079%2B%2528edited%25292.jpg
    Sharon recently posted..beach run, bare feet and blisters

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