April has been a great month, not least because I spent half of it on holiday with James! Two weeks in Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, staying in six different places (Chicago x 2, South Bend, Grand Rapids, Manistee and Wilderness State Park). I also went to Stockholm, Helsinki and Paris so I really got around a bit this month!
My most popular instagram posts (I’m @adarling575) were:
3. Medal pic! New PB of 3 hours 51 minutes at Paris marathon.
4. After Paris I jetted off to Chicago resulting in visiting 5 different countries in 7 days…
Swimming: no swims once again.
Cycling: no cycling!!! An entire month and I didn’t get on my bike once!!! That is a bit ridiculous – it has been so long since I haven’t cycled. I went out for a little ride today and I loved it, I will be back on my bike soon 🙂
Running: 170 miles – 30 miles more than last month, which was my biggest month so far at that stage, and 45 more than my third biggest month. So that’s where all my time and effort has been going! To put things in perspective, this month I mainly just ran and I spent about 35 hours doing so. Since I started tracking my exercise, back in 2014, I have only gone over that twice….
Yoga: again – not one single yoga class.
Cross-training: a little bit of strength training and a few lovely hikes in northern Michigan.
Favourite run: my long run – 28.3 miles along the North Downs. My favourite because it was a mental challenge and I was so pleased to manage it, it didn’t hurt anywhere near like as much as I thought it would, and because the North Downs are just beautiful.
My name is Leon by Kit de Waal: a beautiful small book told from the perspective of ten year old Leon, who’s life is torn apart when he and his much loved younger brother are taken into care and his brother is then adopted. For a storyline that follows some quite traumatic moments, it is a really lovely, hopeful book.
Capital by John Lanchester: I loved this book, which follows the lives of the inhabitants of one street in south London. I loved all the characters, I loved the storyline, I loved that I recognised the places the characters inhabited and the types of people they were. I love books set in London!
Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen: a collection of short stories by the author of the Sympathizer – all the short stories were great, perfectly crafted and gripping. However, I stupidly chose this book to read on a work trip where I was going to spend hours on a plane. A collection of short stories is not the best book to read on a plane journey! I got through about 3 in one go!
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain: a story about love and friendship, and about Switzerland’s role in the second world war – how they treated Jewish refugees despite remaining neutral in the war. A fascinating historical moment and a really interesting story.
My best moment in April was a two week long moment – a holiday with my boyfriend and my best friends. We drank, ate and slept too much, laughed a lot, went on some beautiful walks in the countryside and generally had a great time.
Reading: The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, a history book about the development of the world as we know it today, looking at the rise and fall of empires in the west and in the east. It is fascinating.
Listening to: Talk Ultra! I love these long podcasts and they are just fantastic for long runs. Particularly the episode focussing on the Marathon de Sables recently – listening to how hard that is was a great distraction on my own long runs.
Enjoying: a few restful weekends back at home after a whirlwind of a month.
Looking forward to: the ultra marathon!! Less than two weeks to go