Weekend fun and Uzuma drinks

So my weekend recap is a little delayed, but hey these things happen. Weekend’s are precious. Sleeping, eating, running (god willing!), cake (separate category to eating because it’s cake and amazing), friends, family…all the best things really!

After getting over the boredom that was pool running on Saturday morning I got home and pottered about waiting for Ben. He was out doing a 30 mile cycle ride. I was tempted to go with them instead of the pool running but I wanted to do something a bit more running-specific and frankly wasn’t up for a long ride.

After eating lunch we headed to go shopping in the wonder that is West Quay in Southampton. It’s like another world. It’s HUGE (I’ve blogged about the amazingness before HERE last Christmas). One of the main reasons I wanted to go is that it’s like the only place that sells frozen yogurt outside of London in Southampton.

I went in a few shops but just felt a bit…old. The fashion right now is just not me – all crop tops and weird skirts. I’m not a fashionista (can you tell? Ha!) and just like normal clothes. So Fatface is where I found success!

After that I was kind of done. We headed straight to the fro-yo!

IMG_7919Notice that my fro-yo has the fruit in it!

The server asked what size we wanted and we both went for the biggest – obviously ;-) And both chose salted caramel.

Embarrassingly as we were paying the lady went “you do realise your top is on the wrong way?”. Erm…nope I hadn’t been aware of this. Epic fail for a basic human skill: dressing oneself. Hopefully it was just after trying stuff on, otherwise it was a bit of an embarrassing day and my husband doesn’t look at me anymore ;-)


Genius right there

On Sunday I ran 11 miles which went well. And then for lunch we went to Nando’s with our friend, Nathan. Nando's luch

I just don’t get bored of that combo: whole chicken (medium spice), corn on the cob and salad. It rocks my world. I could go there every week (let’s pretend I don’t…).

The other week I was contact by the people at Uzuma to test out some of their newly released products. Uzuma are a Dutch company and have released a “green slow juice”. Basically they are vegetable (and fruit) juices that have been cold-pressed and processed under high pressure (HPP) in order to preserve the drinks and give them a shelf-life of 21 days without adding any preservatives.

Uzuma delivery

“We add nothing extra to our green juices, meaning there are no preservatives, fragrances, colourings or flavourings. Nothing. What you experience from Uzuma green juice is the 100% pure power of nature. Our green juice allows us to bring you closer to a healthier lifestyle in a simple and convenient way. We do not use destructive traditional spinning extraction to produce Uzuma. All our vegetables and fruit are slow juiced using the latest innovative methods, allowing you to benefit from maximum vitamin and mineral retention.” Source

Uzuma ZenZen flavour – broccoli, cucumber, kale, apple, lime, avocado etc. 

How is it different to other juice drinks? Basically it’s the method they use in order to extract the juice from the vegetables and fruit. It doesn’t involve heat and so has a better nutritional value than regular juice drinks (i.e. it’s raw). Read more about it HERE.

IMG_7927 Rise flavour – carrots, apple, pineapple, orange, lemon

What did I think? Well, I love vegetables so this is right up my street. Some of them tasted a bit better than others – mainly the ones with more fruit in them as this made them sweeter. But saying that, I quite enjoyed all of the flavours regardless of their sweetness.

I think the big test was how Ben found them. I made gave him one each day to take into work to drink. He is a vegetable dodger so these were more beneficial to him than me who loves veg and eats it regularly.

IMG_7890Shine – melon, mango, carrots and orange

He much preferred the sweeter ones and detested the one that had beetroot in it (Vibe) as he doesn’t like beetroot. But he said they were “alright” and that he could “endure taking them” to maximise his health.

Each one literally just contains vegetables and fruit. They’re dairy, gluten and soy free and they’re around 100 calories (some more, some less).

Personally I wouldn’t necessarily drink these everyday, only because I get enough veg already. Maybe I’d have some if I’d been on holiday and hadn’t eaten much veg and needed a bit of a health boost. I would definitely recommend them to people like my dad and Ben who don’t eat that much veg on a regular basis. It’s an easy way for them to get a lot of nutrition quick and easily.

Do you like juicing? What are your favourite ingredients?

What’s a restaurant you regularly keep going back to? We have many pubs we go back to, but Nando’s is the main chain we visit a lot.

Ever had an embarrassing shopping-related incident?

*** Full disclosure: I was sent the Uzuma products for free to review. But all opinions are my own***

Tapering? Don’t make me laugh

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the Tweets and comments regarding my last post, it’s given Ben a lot to think about! The fact of the matter is, we’re going to Berlin come what may. Whether both of us or one of us runs the marathon is anyone’s guess at this point.

If all continues to go as well as it is for me then I will be running it. The only thing that will stop me running is if I go on a run and there is sharp pain. At no point have I actually felt any pain – it’s all discomfort and tightness, like a pulling on my shin. A few weeks ago I stopped a run because the discomfort was so bad. It wasn’t pain per se but it was just so uncomfortable to run on – does that make any sense?

Anyway, after seeing my physio last week and Kyle, my go-to sports massage therapist – both are confident I will run the marathon and have said that my shin is fine now. Just need to convince my over-working over-analysing brain…

Anyway, I thought I might update you on my ‘marathon training’ considering that I haven’t done that in a while and hey why not considering it’s less than two weeks away. Now that the injury has passed (TOUCH WOOD) I just have the simple worry of actually getting round the marathon. Like for Paris, I’ve set myself a realistic target (well, apart from just finishing!) My planned pace is very realistic (in theory) as it’s very much an easy pace for me.

So this is last week’s training:

Monday: 6 miles easy run

Tuesday: 40 minutes on the cross-trainer/elliptical machine (5 minute warm-up, 45 seconds hard, 1 minute easy repeated, 5 minutes cool down)

IMG_7900 Tough!

- 2.5mins plank
- 4x 15/leg single leg squat
- 4.5mins crab walk
- 4x 26 Russian twists
- 200/leg clams with resistance band

Wednesday: One hour of yoga (loving this!)

Thursday: 3 miles easy run at lunch and 15 miles speedy (to me!) bike session

Friday: 30 minutes on the cross-trainer/elliptical machine. Didn’t have as much time as usual so tried to blast it.

- 2.5mins plank
- 15x 4 single leg squat


Post workout happy selfie

It was one of those workouts that I felt great about! I really enjoyed it and felt amazing afterwards.

Saturday: One BORING hour of pool running. It all started off great with my waterproof iPhone cover and my Bluetooth headphones listening to a podcast trying to ignore the small people splashing around on floats (I tried to limit my Death Stare a little). Then my headphones ran out of battery.

Bore pool running See the float in the background? I had so many of those things bump into me.

Honestly, nothing is more boring than pool running. I literally stared at the clock. I even did intervals just to pass the time quicker. I felt like this was a seriously successful workout not only in terms of fitness but psychologically – it really tested my mental endurance.

Sunday: The long run I’d been dreading… 11 miles. I was going to do 10 but then I realised two weeks before Paris marathon I did an 11 miler and superstition told me to do that extra mile if I felt good. And I did, so I did. No shin issues before or after…bit of tightness the day after but nothing hugely remarkable. Fitness-wise I feel good. Endurance-wise? Eh…no idea really. I didn’t feel like I was dead on my knees during or after this run, wasn’t tired in the day and the next day I had no muscles aches – it was like I hadn’t run. Good sign? But only 11 miles…! Apart from endurance my big concern is the effect of the pounding on the roads that running does…nothing but running proper can train your body for that.

What workouts did you enjoy last week?

Do you need music/entertainment to get you through some workouts?

Are you superstitious? I didn’t think I was until now!

A post from a husband needing advice…

Today I am taking a back seat on the blogging front and letting my husband take the reigns as he needs some advice…

Hi everyone, I’m Ben. You know of me as Anna’s husband if you read her blog! I’ve been running for 18 months now. I gave up smoking last march and running keeps me off the cigarettes. I’ve run 2 marathons – both disasters! For Portsmouth I had a torn hip flexor and was in pain from mile 8 (read about that fun time HERE). And for Paris I had cramp from mile 4! Berlin was going to be my “good race”.

I have been struggling with an injury for some time and I always expected it would recover weeks, if not months, before the Berlin marathon. However, here I am less than 2 weeks before Berlin and I haven’t ran in over 5 weeks! I need some blogger advice from runners so I thought I would hijack Anna’s blog to ask anyone reading this…

It all started surprisingly enough in marathon training. I went out and ran an 18 miler, averaging 40secs per mile slower than marathon pace and I felt my hamstring get a bit tight. It wasn’t enough to stop me but was enough that I could feel it. The day after it was tight but I thought it was just a tight muscle so took an extra rest day and then ran a local RR10 (local 4-5 mile race). Again after the race it was tight so I took another extra rest day before running Ultra 12 (a 12 hour through the night relay race).

Ultra 12 Ben (2)Did I mention we won it? I’ve never won anything before in my life! I don’t run to win; I’m not a fast runner so this was a big deal.

Ultra 12 Ben

I ran 4 x 5 mile laps and after each one my hamstring was agony. That was the start of my break. I took 10 days off. In that time I went to physio, he wasn’t bothered and said take time off. The hamstring was tight because of an issue with my back. That was also causing pain in my knee which was more painful than the tight hamstring. I listened to him and decided to take time off, not run, I kept my fitness by cycling and occasionally swimming. I expected to be running within a few weeks.

The last 6 weeks have been a pretty bad time for me, I know Anna has been injured on and off for a while and I have tried my best to support her throughout that time but it is tough to support an injured dejected runner. When it was my turn to get injured my usual positivity around injuries was replaced by negativity and almost a defeated attitude. I haven’t eaten well and have drank more alcohol than usual. Mainly because that’s what I do, if I can’t run I eat cake, chocolate, fast food and drink beer and wine.

IMG_7857Anna’s drink of choice (squash) and mine (wine) 

Anyway, enough of that. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it looks like I might be able to do a run this weekend. My hamstring is still ridiculously tight but I have to at least try the run. If it goes badly then I will have to admit defeat and say Berlin is off. I will go and support Anna and get absolutely obliterated on German beer.

But what if the run goes ok? I have kept up my fitness so that I can run the marathon but can I actually get around 26.2 miles with such a lack of miles in my legs? My plan if I run it is to go out at 9 min miles (3:57 marathon time). Ironically if I ran this consistently then I would PB. But I am not going for a time. Anyway, if I go out at 9 min miles (which is a comfortable pace for me the last time I ran) then I push that as far as I can – hopefully 15-18 miles. The next 11-8 miles are then going to be a world of pain, walk running to get to the end. I know the sensible thing would be to not run it but I mean seriously – this is Berlin. I am not after a time, I just want to get around.

What do you all think?

OM Yoga Magazine September – Yoga while pregnant and a giveaway

I’m not pregnant. Have to quickly put that one in before any rumours start (or hopes are raised – I’m looking at you, mother). However, the latest issue of the Om Yoga Magazine has a lot of focus on yoga through pregnancy, which I just find fascinating.

OM Yoga August 14 (2)

To be honest, I find the whole pregnancy thing in general fascinating and can’t wait to be pregnant. My dream would be that I could still comfortably (to some extent?) work out, run and also do yoga through my pregnancy. Obviously I know that’s quite a tricky thing and I’ll have no idea if possible until that day arrives – maybe I’m being very naive!

Anyway the latest issue of the OM Yoga magazine focuses on practicing yoga while pregnant and has lots of great articles and tips. I think this is brilliant and I’m so glad the days of pregnant ladies being told to remain as sedentary as possible are long past us. Healthy exercising mums usually means healthy babies!

OM Yoga August 14 I think it’s always safer to have practiced yoga before trying it out when you get pregnant (I could be wrong though!) – which is why I’m quite glad I’ve gotten into it now. Hopefully I can continue when pregnant.

There are some great yoga moves within the magazine for pregnant women which don’t look that daunting but also don’t look too easy. I guess you still need to challenge yourself even when you’re pregnant ;-)

OM Yoga August 14 (4)And on a random note, I also love this issue as it has a lot of beetroot recipes (I love beetroot). I always have beetroot in my salad – I just adore it. But I do not love having pink fingers long after I’ve chopped up beetroot. Not a good look.

I also have an exciting giveaway to launch! OM Yoga and Lifestyle magazine are running the annual OM Yoga Show in London at the end of October. They have kindly given me weekend tickets to give away to two lucky lovely readers! The pairs of tickets are worth £54 each, and the winners can come along for all three days of the show, and bring a friend. 

image“The Yoga Show offers the perfect introduction to this ancient Indian practice with workshops and classes on all kinds of yoga, including BoxingYoga, Hot Pod Yoga, and even Hip Hop Yo’ga! For those who are experienced yogis, there is the opportunity to learn new skills, or improve on existing ones. When it’s time to take a break from practicing yoga, visitors can take some time to explore over 250 exhibitors who will be attending the show. They are committed to ensuring that the yogic lifestyle is as fulfilled as possible, with yoga clothing, accessories, complementary therapies, super foods and so much more on offer.”

As well as the classes, workshops and exhibitors at the OM Yoga Show, there’s also the opportunity to enter the Mind Body Soul Experience for free. The two shows are being held at the same time in adjoining Olympia Halls – two shows for the price of one!

The dates are 24th, 25th and 26th October 2014 (Opening Times: Friday 11am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 10am– 5pm) at the Olympia National in London.

TWO lucky readers the chance to win two tickets for all three days of the show!

To enter (each of the below counts as one separate entry, so please leave a separate comment below for each one that you do):

  • Leave a comment below telling me why you’d like to go to the Om Yoga Show
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Follow @OMYogaMagazine on Twitter
  • Tweet: “Want to win two tickets for the Om Yoga Show @yogashow? Take a look at @annatheapple88 blog and giveaway: http://www.annatheapple.com/?p=5460”

Please note: This giveaway is open to everyone and is international, however you’ll need to get to London obviously. The giveaway ends Sunday 12th October 2014.

OM Yoga Magazine

**This post contains affiliated links**

Nature is out to get me

Last weekend after getting back from our cycle, I took Alfie for a long walk. I didn’t bother showering before I left because it didn’t make sense and Alfie needed a walk. I got back from the walk and experienced something quite horrific.

I got ready to get in the shower. My hair was in plaits so I took them out and ran my fingers through it to untangle it. I felt something stuck in my hair and a sharp sting to my neck. I had already take my contact lenses out so couldn’t really see but when I looked in the mirror there was definitely something in there.

I panicked and shouted to Ben. I flipped my head upside down and yelled that there was something in my hair that had stung me. I was flailing about a bit and he couldn’t quite see through the voluminous mass that is my hair. His demeanour instantly changed as soon as he found what the ‘thing’ was. He started speaking in that calm, slow voice that you use with panicked animals. This freaked me out even more – the thing in my hair must be deadly, must be massive and dangerous.

He grabbed my hairbrush and started whacking at my hair in true Man Style. This scared me even more that he didn’t even want to touch the thing. I started crying and wailing like a lunatic, terrified this giant flesh eating spider was about to crawl up my hair onto my scalp.

Eventually he got it off me. The verdict: it was a wasp. I flopped onto the bed in a heap of emotional drainage.

Wasp I know I reacted in a very whimpish way but frankly it terrified me. Though it was quite funny afterwards. All occurred butt naked. Good times ;-)

But then, not two days later another attack of nature. IMG_7889

I was drying my hands on our tea towel which was hanging from a hook and suddenly out dropped what I thought was a dead spider. It was all scrunched up and not moving. Then it jumped up after lulling us into a sense of false security. I balked and ran up the stairs, Alfie got the hell out of the kitchen and Ben was left to deal with the fiend. but I’m a bit of a weird one in that I hate killing thing so I made him take it down the road and throw it in a bush – far away from our house. I don’t want that thing making it’s way back to us!

Whew. Jeeeze. Nature is a bitch.

In other news. Alfie has been keeping a keen eye on my foam rolling lately. I’ve been using a tennis ball on my calves to help loosen them up. Sadly for him I’m using his ball. He used to get exciting but now he realises that ‘catch’ is no longer what’s about to happen.

IMG_7901 And again, where are his paws???

And on a random note, I found one of these at a petrol station.

Coconut Water and Lime It tasted amazing and was very refreshing. I’m quite impressed how mainstream coconut products are becoming!

What are you scared of?

How do you get rid of spiders?

What’s your favourite coconut product?