A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J Maas

I was so, so excited for this book to arrive in my postbox, and it definitely did not disappoint! After the ending of A Court of Mist and Fury, I could not wait to see what was going to happen next, with Feyre in the Spring Court, war with Hybern brewing, and Feyre’s sisters now high fae.

So, the story starts with Feyre having infiltrated the Spring Court, trying to glean information from them and their alliance with Hybern to feed back to Rhys and the Night Court. This was one of my favourite parts of the book, it was so intense; you never knew what was going to happen next. And Feyre was so crafty, I loved it! Her time in the Spring Court culminates with her escaping with Lucien in tow, which I was really glad about, as I like Lucien as a character and it was good to give him more book time.

They barely make it back to the Night Court alive, and once she’s there, there’s reunions, training, planning for the war, and the attempt to unite the courts in Prythian against Hybern.

I don’t want to go into loads of detail, to spoil this for anyone reading. But it’s safe to say, so much happens, and the meeting with all of the High Lords is pretty great reading, as well as the constant twists and turns and changing of alliances.

It does come to war between Prythian and Hybern, and whilst I probably don’t have to say who comes out on top, there’s quite a lot of battle detail. I would say that about three quarters of the way through, I got to the point where I just wanted the story to be finished, because I’d been reading it for so long, I wanted the end to happen! Not because it was bad, or I wasn’t enjoying it, but because I just wanted to get to the conclusion.

The end had lots of surprises, and i did love it, and wish that I didn’t have to wait a whole year for the next story! But it did feel like the end of a trilogy, which was good, as it means that there’s scope for a new story within the same realm now, with the characters I’ve come to love.

I still can’t help but draw a lot of parallels between this and Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series. But perhaps that’s what makes me like this so much.

My week of running – 28 May 2017

I’ve been super tired this week, so running has been slow, but I’ve made it through. It’s also been gloriously hot and summery, which has been amazing!

Miles run: 22.6

I did my two pre-work 4.25 mile runs, which were hot and sweaty but super nice to finally be running in the sun! The tide has been pretty high in the morning this week, and it’s been so beautiful,  making me feel like I live on a tropical island.

I had originally planned to do 10 miles on Saturday and practice some of the half marathon route for two week’s time. However,  after feeling crazy tired and hungry and weak all week I decided to take it easier and did my 8 mile loop instead. There was a nice cooling breeze pretty much the whole way around, and lots of cute dogs to watch, so I had a good run anyway. 

This morning was thunderstormy with a few showers, but I managed to avoid the worst of it, and get out for a 6.1 mile trail run. The only problem with running through the woods this time of year is that everything is so overgrown and I got stung all over my legs with stinging nettles! (which still sting!) I did see a couple of fluffy little goslings though, which was awesome.

I’m hoping to feel better next week, and have some stronger runs so I’m fully ready for my half marathon race early next month.

Look Incredible Beauty Box – May 2017

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Another month, another mostly disappointing box. It’s safe to say that my trial is over after just two months, and I’ve now cancelled my subscription.

Firstly, I just want to say that for a “premium” box, one of the more expensive out there, the packaging is dire. It really felt like an extra- half-assed effort this month, with the box gaping open and the bow very poorly tied, on the back of the box! and the interior… they just do not try to make it special at all.

Anyway, on to the products. I was quite pleased with the St. Tropez gradual tan moisturiser; I don’t have any, so it’s a new thing for me, and it smells alright and also sinks into my skin really well. Definite win. I also liked the Ciate illuminating blush, which is in super pretty packaging, and is nice and shimmery. Although i think it may be a little bit too red for my complexion.

In the middle ground was the Nails Inc. nail polish, which is in a nice enough colour, and I will probably use.

Super bad for me was the Estee Lauder lip colour, which is a bright, bright red, which just looks ridiculous on me. Why do my boxes always come with this horrible colour!

I was also a bit meh about the Lord & Berry eyebrow pencil, as I find that I look a bit scary with filled in eyebrows. I know it’s super trendy, but I just don’t like it!

So, that was my two month experiment with Look Incredible. Never again…

My week of running – 21 May 2017

Well, it’s been a pretty awesome week of running, even if I did have to race in the rain in Wednesday! 

Miles run: 24.7

I’ve been a little slower than usual doing my pre-work 4.25 mile runs this week, particularly the first mile. I think I may be subconsciously practicing keeping my miles consistent, rather than racing off too fast and slowing down later. That’s my excuse anyway… 

Wednesday was the Canaccord Corporate Cup 5k race, which was wet (oh so wet!) but good. There’s something quite fun about a crazy fast race in the middle of the working day.

And on Saturday I did my May half marathon, which went so well! The miles just disappeared; I could not believe how easy it felt. I finished in a solid 1 hour 44 minutes, which was awesome, and felt amazing the whole way around. It’s made me feel really good for my race next month.

It’s supposed to be super hot this week, so I’m looking forward to some lovely runs.

Canaccord Corporate Cup 5K Race Series 2017 – Race 2 – 17 May 2017

As mentioned last month, the Canaccord Corporate Cup is a series of 5K races, one a month from April to September at lunchtime. Companies submit teams of four people, everyone runs the race and the times of the first two people in each team across the line count towards the team’s score.

Race two was yesterday, and it poured with rain! I found out today, we had two weeks worth of rain in one day, that’s how bad it was! Still, we dutifully marched out of the office to the race start, and thankfully didn’t have to wait too long for everyone to gather to start running. 

As well as the rain there were super deep puddles the whole way, and I was definitely torn between trying to avoid them and just giving up and running through them! Still, it wasn’t too cold, and there wasn’t much wind, so I ran pretty well. I definitely set out too fast, and each, I’ve got slower, but I managed to pick up the pace for the last few hundred metres and came in at 21.07, and placed fifth lady. Not too bad.

By then I was totally soaked through and glad to head back to the office for a shower. 

And I was even gladder when I got home and my new running shoes had arrived, so I didn’t have to wear wet shoes for my run this morning! 

Durrell Challenge 13km 2017 – 14 May 2017

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The Durrell Challenge is a 13km race in aid of our local zoo, and the work that they do around the world. It’s run from St Helier (our town) up to the zoo, and finishes in the grounds, allowing all runners free entry to the zoo for the day. The race is also supported by Henry Cavill (Superman), who runs the race and then hangs out in the zoo for the day doing various activities.

The race debuted in 2016, and has definitely grown in popularity this year, with just over 500 runners taking part. The route starts off with a pretty tough hill, you are pretty much running uphill in various gradients for the first 2-3 miles. It then levels off for a couple of miles, before finishing with steep up and down rolling hills, and then a flatish few hundred meters to the finish line.

I remember last year being totally unprepared for the hills and feeling absolutely awful for the whole race! And admittedly this year I almost regretted signing up, recalling how bad it was. However, I adore dressing up for races, and dressing as Wonder Woman was too good an opportunity to miss (I figure, Superman is taking part = dress up as a super hero), so I was actually pretty excited for it in the end. And I got loads of comments on how good I looked, which was pretty cool.

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But, I needn’t have worried, as this year was totally different! I felt totally amazing the whole way, and really paced myself perfectly. I cruised up the hills (well, maybe not the really steep bits), powered along the flats, and put my downhill running form into practice.

And I think the reason for this was twofold. 1., I ate a banana in addition to my Clif bar before running. I am terrible at fueling for running/races (thanks brain!), so pushed myself to eat a banana and, wow, it was such a small thing, but I’m so glad it had a positive effect as that’ll make it easier to make small food changes in the future. And 2., I ended starting off quite far back in the pack, so it was a slow start, but that stopped me from racing off too fast (waaaay to fast usually!) at the start and using all of my energy too quickly. So I know what strategies I’m going to use going forward!

Anyhow, the aim of the day was to beat Superman (which I did, easily), and to try and get in the top ten women – and I came 11th, which I am so, so pleased about. I also knocked two minutes off last year’s time, and came in at 1:04:17, which is amazing! I literally could not have had a better race, which is so perfect as I know it will help reinforce my better eating habits.

I will stop going on about it now… here’s a picture of Henry Cavill finishing, piggybacking one of his entourage for some reason!

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My week of running – 14 May 2017

This week has been a great week of running! The sun has been shining, and I’ve had a couple of days off work so I got to do some extra trail runs. And I topped it off with a race today, the Durrell Challenge 13km!

Miles run: 27.25

I took Monday off as a holiday, and went for a 6 mile trail run, because I hadn’t had a chance to do one over the weekend. It was beautiful and sunny and I loved running through the woods – I was feeling great again, recovered after my blood donation.

Tuesday was Liberation Day in Jersey, a day that we celebrate the anniversary of the island being freed from Nazi occupation. It’s a public holiday, so I made the most of an extra day off by doing another trail run! I went through a different set of woods, doing a mostly there and back route, and loved the beautiful bluebells and wild flowers that were everywhere.

I then did two 4.25 pre-work runs on Thursday and Friday, managing to avoid the rain on Friday by minutes I think. I tried to push myself up the hill in preparation for Sunday, but I was actually running quite slowly for some reason.

And today was the 13km (8 mile) Durrell Challenge, which I am writing about in a separate post. But in summary, it was a beautiful morning, and I felt amazing and had a great race! Such a good end to the week.