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I woke up in a strange bed this morning to the sound of my alarm.

It was 6.30am

I switched it off quickly not wanting to wake anyone else up.

I got out of bed and changed from my PJs into my running gear before leaving the guest bedroom and walking quietly down the stairs and out of the front door of the home I had just spent the night in.

Let me explain.

I gave a talk last night at the South West Region of The Proffesional Speakers Association which takes place in Bristol. My talk was titled “Fear and Other F Words” and it went down swimmingly.

My accountability partner and conference roomie Bryony is the regional president and had invited me over a year ago when the region was first set up. She is based in Bristol and offered for me to stay at her lovely house…hence waking up in a strange bed.

My daughter Rose was having a sleepover at a good friend of mine, acquainting herself with Dizzy the dog…which has resulted in her pleading with me for one all evening tonight. (That will teach me)

So the bottom line was…I could actually get up early and go for a morning run in Bristol.

But wouldn’t my mate think I was a bit strange or rude even? So I mentioned I might pack my trainers and go for a run and she was like,

Cool

Why wouldn’t she expect me to do something like this, I am a fitness blogger after all.

So anyway, back to my run. I headed out of the door (her lovely instagram ready yellow door) just before 7am not having a clue where I was going. I had meant to sketch a route the night before, but had managed to delete the maps app from my phone and didn’t have wifi access to reinstall it.

I have a reasonable sense of direction so I headed out and hoped for the best.

Now I am not overly familiar with Bristol, but I have been there probably 5 or 6 times for different things. So I headed downhill towards central bristol and the harbour…the area I am probably most familiar with.

The weather forecast had been rain for this morning. But I must have missed it, because although it was a bit brisk…the sun was out and it was a beautiful morning.

I passed a few other runners, but actually the roads were quite empty.

I felt strong which was odd because the most I have run recently is 5K, but I have been quite consistent with my crossfit so the running felt quite easy.

The harbour was lovely to run past, my pace wasn’t particularly speedy and there was some stop starting at traffic lights and around the roadworks (of which there are lots at the moment) so by the time I had covered 3 miles, I knew I had to start heading back….I reckon I could have quite easily covered 10 miles.

My mate had to leave at 8.45 and I wanted to make sure I caught her before she did.

Only one problem.

What goes down, must go back up.

Oh and….

I was kind of lost.

With no wifi, and no maps app I couldn’t rely on my phone, only my basic sense of direction and the road signs.

Time was running out.

I had been out for just over an hour and I hadn’t even found the long road I had to head back up again. I was now at 4 and a bit miles and would have quite liked to have just walked up the hills…but there wasn’t time for that.

So I was now running uphill, squinting into the sun, without my trusted headbuff to catch the sweat or glasses to protect my eyes oh and dodging commuters on their way to work.

It’s quite funny when I think about it…I don’t think I’ve ever had to work so hard on the back end of a run.

I arrived back just as she was leaving…her daughter and husband thinking

Who is this strange sweaty woman?

But do you know what? It was absolutely 100% worth it.

I love morning runs
I love running in new places
I love multitasking
I love taking advantage of having childcare
I love getting lost
I love Bristol
I love hills

OK let’s not get carried away Julie.

IMG_7881I ended up running 5.6 miles in just over an hour and a half. As I said not speedy but a challenging enjoyable run, which makes me much more confident for next weekends Disneyland Paris Half Marathon…but before I get to that I have the small matter of a Tough Mudder to get through to.

Thank you Bristol

Thank you Bryony

Thank you Sarah

I am feeling enormous gratitude for this mornings run, and looking forward to my daughter starting big school tomorrow so that I can get back into some routine of morning running again.

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