Life Lately: December 2019 Catch Up

I recently graduated with my degree in Dietetics and Nutrition, and although I’ve technically been qualified for a while (I officially passed my degree in September), wearing my gown seemed like the end of the chapter. However, it makes it all the more real that I haven’t really used my degree yet aside from the nutrition info in my book! Pre-order available here 😉 

When I finished my placements I was sure that I wanted to work as a Band 5 (the entry level graduate job here in the UK) for the NHS, so I’ve been applying for hospital positions…so far unsuccessfully! 

After posting about it on Instagram last week, lots of you were so kind in sending me jobs and giving application advice…it’s been over 5 years since I last applied for a position! 

Although I consider my blog, instagram and book as a job, unfortunately its not a regular monthly income (my income flucctuates massively from it, and companies almost never seem to pay on time which is an issue when you have bills to pay!) My family and Tom in particular are keen for me to get a “real” job with more reliable finances. And to be honest, I am too. I hate chasing invoices, worrying about whether I’m going to be paid in time to pay my credit card bill, mortgage and invoices. 

Plus, being real, I’m struggling with all this online stuff right now. When income relies on likes and engagement, it’s scary. And, as you might imagine, it is not always great for my mental health. The truth is, I love it 90% of the time, but that 10% can be rough. There’s a lot of anxiety, insomnia and self doubt, (and arguments) along with the seemingly glamorous travel lifestyle. 

There are so many inspiring bloggers, vloggers and instagrammers out there, and often I feel like I can’t compete. But I want to do my own thing…so whilst everyone does Vlogmas I’m planning on doing something in January…the question is…WHAT? What would you like to see more of? 

I am SO nervous about putting my book out there, although the feedback I’ve had so far has been good! I’ve got some exciting features coming up in Runner’s World, Women’s Running, as well as National Newspapers and radio (EEEK!) 

Pick up a copy of this month’s Runner’s World to catch a few more sneak peek recipes… 

Runners World UK Runner Beans feature

Travel

I’ve been so fortunate to travel a lot this past year, most recently with trips to Jordan and Nepal with Impact Marathon.

Last month I earned my Silver Status on British Airways, which was one of my goals this year…A lot of my flights are booked by brands/tourist boards sticking to one Frequent Flyer program (although I have to be honest Tom working for the airline does help, however I don’t get points when I fly standby). Getting to silver means you get lounge access, early boarding, fast track security and can pick your seats when you book. Plus 50% extra airmails when you fly meaning more discounts on future flights. 

In an age where the environment and flying is under a lot of scrutiny, I get a lot of messages about my thoughts on the amount I travel. (Also let me caveat this by saying that the airline industry pays my husbands wages…) I am trying to  become more conscious about flying, and so I’m saying no to more of the shorter trips and definitely think more carefully before saying yes to the long haul travel.

Jordan Impact Marathon

I’m more aware of the response from a lot of you to my travel, and not only the environmental impact but also how un-relatable some of the content has become. And whilst I LOVE to travel, I do want to be more mindful of the opportunities I say yes to…things that mean something to me, visiting friends and family, destinations that I know will resonate with you all, and going to places where travelling there can make a positive impact. Like Nepal and Jordan.

With that said, Tom and I are going to California and Mexico in January with my entire family, 20 of us, on holiday. I have family living in New Zealand/Australia and so meeting halfway is often the most cost and time efficient, plus with my Grandfather’s (aged nearly 88  and loving Instagram!) arthritis, he spends most of the winter months somewhere warm. Whilst there we are visiting friends in LA and San Diego, and exploring Palm Springs and Joshua Tree – please send your recommendations. 

Upcoming Races… 

Chatting with other runners recently, I have realised that I have fewer races on my calendar than I ever have before… so I started booking!

Gut Buster – A trail run in Berkshire that one of the boys from Nepal Impact week and I are considering signing up to on December 29th.I think it will be QUITE different to Nepal trail running!

Resolution Run – a 10K in San Diego in Jan with a couple of my cousins.

Brighton Half Marathon – excited to do this race, my cousin is at uni in Brighton so am crashing with her for the weekend which should be fun although perhaps not ideal race prep.

Atlanta Half – I’m going to Atlanta for the Olympic Trails with friends (combining with book stuff in the US) and have heard that they’re hosting an open race the following day on a similar course…sounds like fun!

Manchester Marathon – the big goal race at the start of April.

What races have you signed up for for the 2020?

Last year I sent out Christmas Cards to a number of you and I want to do the same this year – sign up for my newsletter (going out tomorrow) to find out more, the lentil Dahl recipe plus plant based sources of iron to add into your diet!

15 Comments

  1. Ella
    9th December 2019 / 8:47 am

    I was reading your feature in runners world yesterday and the recipes look great! I’m going to try the avocado carbonara one this week 😊

  2. 9th December 2019 / 8:55 am

    Palm Springs is one of my favourite places! There’s an amazing hotel we stayed at to celebrate our engagement called The Wescott. It’s run by a British Guy called Matthew who is lovely and there’s cocktail hour every day (seriously frozen margaritas!) plus it’s super close to town. The whole town is lovely and there’s some ace shopping too! Oh and take the cable car up into the mountains!

  3. W. Purves
    9th December 2019 / 10:00 am

    Thanks for the mention! Keep going you great doubter.G

  4. 9th December 2019 / 1:16 pm

    Can you carbon offset your flights? There are some great schemes out there for carbon offsetting. Perhaps you could personalise what project you want to support depending on where you’re flying to? Some of the airlines have great schemes already. Some however don’t and could certainly do much better.

    • charlotte
      Author
      9th December 2019 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks that is such a great idea – I’ll take a look into it. Thanks for suggesting it x

  5. heiki
    9th December 2019 / 1:37 pm

    I am doing the Super Half Series in 2020. Plus I am returning to Chamonix and the Mont Blanc Marathon (doing the 23k though) end of June. Can’t wait!

  6. Kira
    9th December 2019 / 4:37 pm

    Gutbuster is great fun – I would definitely recommend it. I’m doing the 10k, but 10miler is always muddier 😉

  7. 9th December 2019 / 5:25 pm

    While you’re in San Diego, make sure to get dinner at Enoteca Adriano in Pacific Beach. Best Italian food you’ll ever have – save room for the Pope’s Pillow dessert!!

  8. Dolly
    9th December 2019 / 6:02 pm

    You seem to have a lot on. Saying “no” to things is important to avoid being stretched.
    With regard to job applications- have you considered that your blog/influencer role may in fact be working against you? Typically those working in the NHS would not be working endorsing brands (especially food/supplements as it’s a conflict of interest). Perhaps working in food development etc would be a better suited job ?
    Also the goal to earn silver status air miles seems a an odd one! That could also be in conflict with marathon training goals as all the travel must make consistent regular training difficult. When I know I have phases of heavy travel for work, I don’t make any specific marathon time goals, until I know I have a decent chunk of time with no long haul travel. Works better than trying to do everything!

  9. wendie
    9th December 2019 / 6:09 pm

    Will you be doing a book event in Atlanta while you’re there? I’m headed to the Trials too (and have your book on preorder)!

  10. kristi O'Donnell
    9th December 2019 / 7:05 pm

    Do you have a US book tour planned? I hope so.

    The races I’m doing next year:
    1. 5K Race Series at the Horse Track on January 1.
    2. Chevron Marathon (Houston’s biggest race), but probably dropping to the half marathon on January 20.
    3. 10K Race Series at Minute Maid Park (the Houston Astros ballpark)

    I’m planning to do all five of the race series next year so that I can either get a fancy medal or a seat cover. I’m also looking at doing the Vintage Park Half so that my friend could watch me. I have toyed with the Independence Relay through the Texas battle sites and a half ironman, but that is up in the air.

  11. kristi O'Donnell
    9th December 2019 / 8:27 pm

    Highland Bakery in AtL is very good for brunch.

  12. Marianna
    11th December 2019 / 4:30 am

    I love how honest this post is, Charlie. We are similar ages and I identify with a lot of your writing. I would most like to see more posts about your daily life and runs, how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. For what it’s worth, I don’t have instagram so my main means of engaging with you is your blog. I hope you have a peaceful and joyful Christmas.

  13. Pat
    17th December 2019 / 9:44 pm

    I appreciate the honesty regarding travel, but at the same time, if it’s something that you like to do and if it’s something that you feel broadens your perspective then it doesn’t seem to make much sense to limit it.

    The world is so incredibly globalized now that travel is almost a necessity for us who are able to afford it for pleasure. Looking at all of the nationalist movements going on literally world wide, you almost wonder if the world would be more amiable if people were more readily exposed to other cultures. Living in the U.S., I can see a lot of “us” vs. “them” and a rise of xenophobia. From personal experience, I think that travel helps people realize that it isn’t a clear cut distinction between cultures and that we have a lot of things in common. Travel helps people realize that their way of life isn’t the only “valid” one.

    Yes, the environmental impact of any mode of transportation(including electric vehicles) is always a pause for concern, but at the same time we’re no longer living or working in isolated villages. Likewise, not everyone is Greta and can spend six weeks crossing an ocean.

    Maybe you travel but offset your “carbon footprint” by eating less meat, consciously using less electricity or buying more locally sourced produce.

    Sorry for the essay, but the whole “travel less due to environmental impact” struck me as rather simplistic and unrealistic.

    • charlotte
      Author
      18th December 2019 / 2:45 pm

      I really appreciate your comment Pat, and you are very right it is a simplistic and unrealistic idea for me (and many!). With the rise of far right, perhaps travel and experience of other cultures is more important than it has been. I definitely don’t want to stop travelling or exploring, but I do realise that nipping to the US multiple times a month ‘because I can’ is not necessarily a great attitude either!