Easter and the last long run before the London Marathon

To think this time last year I was in Boston running the marathon the year has ZOOMED by. It’s mental. This weekend for me, instead, was all about Easter.

Like a lot of people, I had Friday to Monday off which was just perfection. Having not had a lie-in last weekend due to going to Salisbury and Brighton, it was nice to sleep in on Friday. For me a lie-in is anything from 7am really, so sleeping in to 8am was heavenly. I was staying at my parent’s house as in the morning we were off to Salisbury (again). It was so nice last weekend and we didn’t get much of a chance to do much moseying about so we thought it would be an ideal spot for a little bit of shopping and some lunch, this time with my mum as well.We walked to Salisbury Cathedral and enjoyed looking at the lovely old buildings around it. I do love Britain and the fact we have so much history. It’s incredible how old some of these buildings are (some having being built in 13th century!).

I also enjoyed looking round a few different sweet and fudge shops. I got myself some chocolate covered foamy bananas which are such a weakness for me. I love them!I also saw a HUGE Lindt bunny. It was enormous!

Then we headed to The Giggling Squid, a Thai tapas restaurant. There’s one in Brighton that my friend had recommended so I thought it a good shout to try the Salisbury one. That and the fact that I’d been craving Thai food since trying my hand at cooking it.As it was quite a chilly day I had some peppermint tea which was delicious. Fresh mint leaves in the tea pot! I had chicken satay skewers to start and, rather than tapas, I had a main dish. It was a standing sea bass! It was on a bed of salad and very tasty indeed. It had been lightly deep fried in order to make it..er, erect. My dad and me shared some boiled rice and it was a very lovely, and, I must say, light lunch for me! The meal and the service were fantastic.

Saturday morning saw me heading to Netley Abbey parkrun after not being there in ages. It was nice to be back in the fold and to see my parkrun friends again. We were on the summer course which meant no more six hills, just the usual incline three times. I ran with my friends Mike and Mark. Mark ran with a buggy and was recovering from the very hot Brighton Marathon a couple of weeks ago. This photo made me laugh a lot:

Photo credit: Chris Stapleford

The runaway buggy! A momentary lapse of control I believe. No one was hurt 😉

I felt quite strong on the run and put some effort in, though trying to talk to Mark and Mike at the same time probably wasn’t entirely wise!On the final stretch I was overtaken by a running club team mate who I thought was pacing someone. I looked a bit outraged as I thought it a bit mean to overtake so near to the finish when he’d been pacing someone. Though it looks like I’m genuinely annoyed, I was actually joking!In the end I got the exact same time as last week’s Salisbury parkrun which was quite amusing (22:36).I seemed to have stepped it up from lap one!
What made the parkrun especially good was the fact that Mike, who had celebrated his 100th parkrun the week before, had brought with him some saved pieces of shortbread that he’d made. I’d been sad I’d missed celebrating his 100th the week before and I was uber grateful he’d put a few pieces to one side for me.I took them to the cafe with me after clearing down parkrun and made it very clear: Anna does not share food ;-P To be honest, I ate them so quickly it’s unlikely anyone saw I had them anyway. They went very nicely with a mug of peppermint tea.

Sunday saw me waking up early(ish) again at 7am to meet some guys from the running club to do a long run. There were quite a few of us and despite not being a huge fan of waking up early when I could be sleeping in a little longer, it was so much nicer to go for a long run with a crowd than muscling it out on my own. Especially as at the moment I’m feeling so tired and a little fed up of marathon training.

The plan was 12 miles but I wanted to get a few more in, purely because I haven’t done that much long running for the marathon. So I ran to and from the meeting point to add on some extra. The longest run I’ve done since Tokyo has been 16 miles. Lord knows what this means for how the marathon is going to go!To begin with it felt quite tough going. Though there were a good number of us we seemed to be clipping along a bit faster than I’d intended. I was looking for 8.30min/miles. I enjoyed listening to people chatter but kind of closed in on myself a bit as I wondered about the marathon ahead. Quite a few in the group were either doing London or the Southampton marathon, which is on the same day. Everyone around me seemed so much more trained.

It just emphasised to me that I need a break from marathon training so that when I target the next one I can be fresh and put in some proper training, rather than struggle along. It would be nice to go in to one feeling confident and wondering if I could get close to my PB again. But it is what it is!

I felt stronger as the run went on and we finished on quite a clip, though it was tough. I ran the last mile back to my house with one of the ladies and was happy to get 14 miles in in total. I’d have liked 16 but it was hot and I felt tired. Best not to push it the week before!

Are you training for a marathon?

Do you like running long runs in a group or on your own? Usually I prefer to run them on my own, but when my motivation is low it’s nice to have some friendly company.

What’s your opinion on people overtaking you right at the end of parkrun?

Easy Detox by Amrita Review

So I’ve never actually done a detox before. I’m in the group that believes your body doesn’t actually need an external product in order to “detox”. That’s what your liver does, right?

That said, I was intrigued when I was contacted by Amrita to do a review of their “Easy Detox“. My initial thoughts were “this isn’t for me”. I don’t do meal replacements or juice detox programmes. I like physically eating my food and I like to eat a good amount. However, after reading a bit more I found it wasn’t actually a detox to replace meals, but rather as well as. Well OK, I can get on board with that.

What is it?

It’s an “all natural body cleanse” which is designed to support your body’s natural detox abilities and “clear out toxins”. It’s a 100% organic blend of herbs, spices and Thai fruit (interesting). It’s apparently used in their Luxury Wellness Retreats and was featured in Vogue, which sounds all very grand.So the blend itself is an interesting concoction. And may I say, not an entirely pleasant looking blend. I was sent the Easy Detox Mini Kit, which contains nine sachets of the detox blend which are taken over three days (before each meal basically). You get quite a comprehensive guide with the sachets to explain how to take the sachets, what’s in them etc.

As part of the detox there are certain guidelines to follow too, such as avoiding these things:

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Meat
  • Fatty foods

Now I’m not going to lie. I didn’t avoid caffeine. I enjoy coffee and don’t think I drink too much to be an issue (see my caffeine post from the other day). I naturally don’t eat that much dairy as I drink almond milk and have Alpro soya yogurt (I just prefer the taste). During the week I don’t tend to have many exciting treats or use sugary sauces on food so other than naturally occurring sugars I think I did OK with this (I’m no dietitian though!). Meat? Well, it may also surprise you to know that I don’t eat a huge amount during the week. I eat salmon for lunch and I just made sure to eat different fish for dinner instead. It was quite easy.So you mix one sachet with 180ml of water. 180ml isn’t that much at all so makes the “concoction” quite potent and, well, bitty. It doesn’t all dissolve. But I found the mixture with water really unpalatable. No disrespect to the company but it was revolting. So I quickly switched to adding coconut water (which was advised if water didn’t cut it). You can add the mixture to smoothies or soups but this was a bit too much faff for me. Coconut water was FAR better. It’s still not an entirely pleasant experience but a lot better than plain water.

So what did I achieve?

It’s tricky to say really. Though the detox isn’t primarily for weight-loss, it is one of the purported outcomes for strictly following. But I’m obviously not trying to lose weight and I’m pretty sure that would be a hard feat considering I’m quite small already and I eat a lot.

I think if you were on the first steps of a weight-loss journey and had weight to lose this could be a helpful way to supplement healthy eating and exercise. The sachets are packed full of ingredients that sound rather good which could support a healthy lifestyle. It’s also supposed to help things, er, move through quickly. I can’t say I noticed much difference as I don’t have any issues with getting blocked up. I eat enough fruit and veg! It perhaps made me feel a bit more alert and fresh but who knows if this was down to the detox.

Amrita offer a few packages of detox:

 

  • Mini: 9 sachets taken over 3 days with food
  • Classic: 21 sachets taken over 7 days with food
  • Deluxe: 35 premium single-serve sachets, taken as either a 7-day “intensive” or 14-day “relaxed” programme with food.

As detoxes go, this was rather painless and didn’t disrupt my lifestyle too much with suddenly not being able to eat my normal food or being hungry. It was more of a supplementation than anything. Ideal for people who need a jump-start to weight-loss perhaps if they’ve not been eating great beforehand.

Have you ever done a detox?

Are there foods you actively avoid?

**Full disclaimer: I was sent the detox for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Brighton 10k Recap (BM10)

Now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while or know me at all you’ll know I detest 10ks. This is kind of amusing considering how many I used to do back when I first started running. I was doing a 10k every weekend it seemed. But it eroded my enjoyment of running as I was always after a faster time and was disappointed when it invariably didn’t happen.

So now I just stick to half marathons and marathons and any other race I do is usually just for fun, or if I’m in the height of fitness (rarely) I might target it to simply see how I can do or as a good speed session.

But I was contacted by Millet Sports to ask if I’d like a place at the Brighton 10k to do a review for 2XU, who are one of the main sponsors, and would include some free kit from 2XU. This is obviously a runner’s dream so I thought why not. I like Brighton, I’ve done the half marathon before and enjoyed it, it’s a nice day out and it might be a good idea to avoid doing a long run and do a slightly more tempo shorter run (my running mojo has been a bit duff recently – more on that in another post).

Initially I was going to get the train but theys weren’t early enough for the 8.30am race start. So this meant driving (and leaving ridiculously early). The Park & Ride was sold out but luckily I have a lovely friend who lives in Brighton and gave me a visitor’s parking permit. My dad, bless his heart, said he’d drive and support. But, ooof, a 5.30am leaving time was painful for both of us!My dad wanted in on the leg photo action too 😉 #dadsofbloggersWe got to Brighton just after 7am. Though it was super handy having the free parking space it was in Zone W which was just over three miles to Preston Park, where the race start was. We did know this beforehand but obviously the reality is something else! We got a stomp on and headed our way there. Can I just say, I’m so proud of my dad. This was basically a parkrun for him. We couldn’t hang about, we had to move quickly to get to the area in time (and I needed the loo somewhat critically and needed to find a toilet – a long queue at a portable loo in the race village was not going to cut it). After losing three stone, power walking three miles (and a fair portion uphill) was far easier than it used to be for him!As we got closer we started joining other runners walking their way to the start and the buzz of the race atmosphere became bigger and bigger. It was a beautifully sunny morning but boded to be a rather hot day. Perfect for the beach but probably not for the marathon that was starting at 9.15am.

I was a little dubious about wearing the full-length leggings for the race and had intended on switching to my shorts but having wore the leggings all morning I was quite enjoying the super tight compressed feeling they were giving my legs. And to be honest, the faff of changing was far too great. Yes I might be a bit hot, but at least I’d be super streamlined!I wore the new 2XU MCS Run Compression Tights which were really comfortable. Yes they’re tight but not in a “oof I need to lay off the cake” kind of way. More like compression socks but for your entire legs (obviously). And they didn’t slip down ONCE. Not ONCE. They kind of stick to you while allowing lots of movement. They also have these detailed bits on them which are apparently for “anatomical mapping for targeted support to muscles to reduce soreness and improve recovery” [Source].I also wore the 2XU GHST Short Sleeve Tee which was SO light and very cool. This was an ideal top to wear for the temperatures as it wicked away sweat and was very thin. It did pain me somewhat to attach my bib to it using pins!The race village was great. A number of portable loos – though I didn’t use any nor the bag drop. There were also a selection of food vans, one of which was a smoothie and oat-based one. I thought this was brilliant (and clearly very popular looking at the large queue). There were non-dairy options as well as a variety of smoothies. Great idea!

My dad said goodbye as he was off to find somewhere to spectate on the course and I headed off to the start funnel. It was all rather smooth and we started on time. It was fairly busy at the start so I had to be careful of not stepping on people’s heels but it stretched out after a bit. There were loads of people cheering from the sides which was great. There were lots of marathon runners walking to the race start so that helped boost spectators and cheering.Clearly doing a bit of window shopping while my dad was taking a photo of me! There was lots of crowds and interesting buildings on the course.Do you know what was really nice? A pretty much entirely flat course. There was no “oh god, mile X has that hill” to dread. Yes flat courses (especially for a marathon) can be a bit dull but it was just so nice to know the only thing really keeping me back was my own fitness and race strategy, rather than something external like inclines.

Having said that, it was warm and within a mile I was overly hot. The leggings were lovely to run in (no slipping down, no chafing, I felt very streamlined) but they were hot. But it was only 10k so really it wasn’t terrible.My aim was to take the first half steady. There was no PB going to happen today, not in my wildest dreams. I’m not particularly fit (I say this all the time, I really should do something about this if I do ever intend on getting PBs again). But I did want a good, controlled race. I felt good running around 7.30s so I stuck there. I was comfortably uncomfortable if that makes sense.Hitting the seafront (basically the second half of the race) things began to get hotter and harder. I tend to enjoy out and backs when they’re short as you can see runners coming the other way and it’s a nice way to take your mind off things. Though it is a long out and back and the whole time you’re thinking “I’ve got to come all the way back”.

But, as more of a long distance runner, it was easy to stay motivated with the hard effort because it was less than a parkrun to go now. I’d stepped up my pace to closer to 7 min/miles and it was less comfortable and more uncomfortable.

As we hit the last mile (and .2) we were turning around. So mentally I just thought “run to the finish”, which I vaguely knew was near the Brighton Pier. A blip in the horizon but a blip nonetheless.

There was a slight headwind (a mild breeze which is amplified about 100 times when on the last mile of any race – whether a reality or in your mind). I was steadily overtaking people which was nice and I prayed to hold on to the pace. I overtook one lady just on the finishing strip (the crowds were fantastic! So many people cheering!) and she pipped me about 50m to the line. I thought “fair play, you deserve that!” I had nothing left to counter it. She also came up to me afterwards and said she was grateful I overtook her as it gave her the boost she needed to up her speed.

I saw my dad on the sidelines which was great and he shouted encouragement. I saw the gun time on the finish as it was ticking towards 46 minutes and just hoped to finish under that arbitrary figure. I did 🙂

I’m really pleased with this time. Not a PB (my PB will stand at 42:50 for a long time yet I think!) but faster than I thought I would. It felt very controlled and manageable.

I met up with my dad and he told me he’d walked about 5k himself to get to the three locations he saw me at and then be at the finish. Bless him, I’m so lucky to have such an encouraging dad.
We then started the long walk back… another three mile walk to the car. I had a little post race photoshoot before starting the trek, of course 😉 What with such beautiful weather and views, it would have been foolish not to!My dad found it amusing the lengths I’d go to get a good photo for Instagram.And then the walk back to the car. There were lots of foodie vans on set-up which was cool, but as it wasn’t even 10am I avoided the temptation. We did buy a large Diet Coke from a soda fountain to share though (ahhhh my nectar). I liked the fact that they had water fountain areas for people too that had been set-up.My top supporter! It’s safe to say we were both fairly knackered when we finally arrived back at the car an hour later. We’d both covered quite a distance that day – and in some rather warm temperatures! I really felt for those who were running the marathon at that point. It would definitely be a tough one.

Despite the heat and it being a dreaded 10k, I thoroughly enjoyed this race.
Do you wear compression gear?

How far do you like to walk before a race?

What makes a good 10k for you?

**Full disclaimer: I received a free entry and 2XU top and leggings in exchange for a review post. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

The best parkrun?

My dad turned 60 in February and for his present I bought him a Taste of Thai cookery course at the Waitrose Cookery School in Salisbury. I decided to get myself one too so I could do it with him.

Salisbury isn’t that far from my parent’s house and the cooking course didn’t start until 10am so I floated the idea of doing Salisbury parkrun beforehand. My dad honestly loves supporting my running so was happy with this plan.

We left at 6.30am to get there with enough time to find it and park/faff about. Actually we made such good time and got there and parked at 7.40am. With some time to kill we decided to walk to find a coffee spot and some breakfast for my dad (I don’t eat breakfast before parkrun).

We settled on a McDonald’s as Starbucks wasn’t open yet (seriously). My dad had a bacon roll thing which in the great scheme of McDonald’s was actually that bad in terms of being healthy. I think it was around 400 calories. I had a black coffee.

Then we walked to the parkrun. We could have parked in the actually park but to be honest the walk was nice as the morning was so sunny and, as my dad commented, we were getting our steps in.The parkrun area was easy to find and the park (Churchill Gardens) was beautiful. Lots of winding paths, a pretty river, and a skate park and play area for kids.It was a really good set-up. The parkrun area was already fairly busy (it was about 8.45am) and suddenly an elaborate warm-up began.At first I thought maybe a boot camp class had randomly started near us but no it was actually a person leading a proper dynamic warm-up – all high knees, squats and lunges going on! I was rather impressed. There were quite a lot of people as well – and most of them doing the warm-up.I noticed a box of clappers next to the volunteer table which I thought was brilliant. It meant volunteers could grab one and enthusiastically cheer people on. There was also a guest book to sign for tourists, which I did of course.I quite liked the sign for returning the barcodes as well, the parkrunosaurus! It’s a cuddly toy dinosaur mascot!

The course was four laps around the park, which at first I thought sounded a bit, well, repetitive. But actually it was a really lovely course. It was very flat, apart from a slight incline and then decline at one point, but really nothing horrendous.

Photo Credit: James Ballard

It was very busy at the start and the path was fairly narrow but it kept me from doing anything crazy like going off too fast. Along the course there were some signs which I thought were such a lovely touch, such as “Lizzie’s Corner” and the toilet one below was right next to the public loos.I loved the motivational ones as well and had to whip out my phone to take a photo. There were probably 4-5 of them, saying motivational things as well as humorous ones. Unfortunately after taking the photo I didn’t put my phone back in my FlipBelt securely and it fell out, luckily on the grass. So I had to race back to pick it up quickly.

What was also a nice touch was the fact that they have paces every week. I thought I was just lucky enough to be there for a pacing event but apparently it happens regularly. Which made sense that one guy had his very own personalised pacing top on. I tried to stay in front of Mr 24 Minutes as I was aiming to dip below that.As the parkrun continued on I felt myself getting stronger and more confident. It was good to see my dad three times as well.It was also nice coming back past the main marshal area as the noise of so many clappers was really encouraging. As well as this, there was a stereo playing music in one section which was great. Honestly, this parkrun was just fantastic. It was like they’d thought of everything! And it was only their 99th parkrun (I was sad to not be there for their 100th as it sounded like they were going to have a good event with fancy dress and cakes). Though there was a dinosaur running (I imagine he was rather hot!).Basically it was such a fantastic parkrun – one of the best I’ve done. The volunteers were just super. I mean, seriously this guy high-fived pretty much everyone!

Photo Credit: James Ballard

I finished 41st with 22:36 which I’m happy with (actually looking at my previous parkrun times I’ve slowly sped up from 22:43, 22:39 to 22:36 which feels quite nice!).Then my dad and I had to head sharpish back towards the car. I walked to Starbucks, ordered another coffee (decaf this time) and got changed in the toilets. My dad picked me up and we got to the cookery class with 5 minutes to spare. Honestly, this was such a military operation that was carried out with such perfect precision! Unfortunately what we didn’t realise was that breakfast (well, yogurt, fruit and bacon rolls) had been provided of which we missed! I wasn’t too bothered though. Food wasn’t going to be an issue that day!The course was great. It’s run by Waitrose and is actually in the Waitrose supermarket, but in a little side area in a professional kitchen.We first watched the chef run through the recipe, while giving us good little tips and tricks (such as leaving meat out a good time before cooking so the fibres relax so stops the meat becoming tough, and using a spoon to peel ginger, and lots more!). The first recipe was chilli caramel chicken with hot and sour salad.We then tried it out for ourselves. We had lots of help if we got stuck or forgot what to do but it was fairly easy (and fun!).This was so tasty! A little hot but not too spicy. More aromatic and warming – lots of ginger, garlic, lime, sweetness from palm sugar, saltiness from fish sauce and freshness from coriander.We worked in pairs (me with my dad obviously) and had a portion each. Some people decided to portion up one on a plate and then put the other portion in a container to take back home. As I hadn’t had breakfast and it was almost midday my dad and me agreed to eat our portions there and then. Everyone sat back down at the table (there were 12 of us in total), which had now been relaid and had wine and soft drinks available. It was lovely! The meal was very tasty.

Then we saw prawn pad Thai being made and then tried it out ourselves.Though the flavours were still delicious, I was less a fan of this as I’m really not a noodle lover. There was a lot of noodles in comparison to how many king prawns there were. We potted one portion and shared, though didn’t finish, this portion (it was quite large!).

The next recipe was a duck curry.This was really tasty. A coconut milk-based sauce, and more aromatic than hot or spicy.This was SO good. We had the curry with white rice, deep-fried shallot slices and another fresh salad. The colours were amazing and the flavours just popped. We both ate our portions of this!

I chose a Thai cookery course for my dad because I know he loves the food and I thought it might be a fun one to do because of all the flavours – plus it’s not very “everyday style cooking”, you know? I’m not a big Thai food fan but I really enjoyed this and loved the food we made. It’s definitely changed my mind a bit!

I now have a good few recipes to take away and try myself at some point. I fully recommend the Waitrose Cookery School – very thorough, professional, FUN, and a great way to learn general cooking skills as well as specific recipes and cuisines. (This isn’t a sponsored post, I bought both places for the course.)

My dad and me went home very satisfied and my dad said he loved the present 🙂

Have you ever done a cookery class before?

What’s your favourite cuisine?

What makes a good parkrun?

Unpopular opinions and things I’m loving lately

Well this is really a random post! It’s a mix of things I’m loving at the moment and some unpopular opinions.

The unpopular opinions idea came from a post from Hungry Runner Girl and I thought it would be a fun post to do as well. I’ll throw my hands up and say it’s mainly food related but that should hardly surprise you 😉

  • I really don’t get Nutella. Yep starting with a big one. I mean, I like chocolate and I like hazelnuts. But together? As a weird thick paste you put on bread and crepes? Nope. Doesn’t do anything for me.
  • I also don’t get the craze for peanut butter (or any nut butters really). It could be because I don’t often have bread or toast. But I don’t see the appeal even on it’s own. It’s alright but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find any or eat it. I quite like a peanut butter chocolate flavour combo with cookies and ice cream but as a fun change rather than something I’d crave.
  • Toppings on porridge. In fact, I could say a whole lot about porridge and what people do to it. Cold overnight oats? Nope, no, nooo. The most exciting I do is putting protein powder in it.

  • Not one for the veggies… I really like eating my chicken with the skin on, and in general I’m a big fan of meat on the bone. I think it’s because I’m a mini T-Rex.

  • And one non-food related one. I’d rather get up at 5am to workout in the gym than do it in the evening. I can be motivated to run whenever, but going to the gym? Nope.

And onto things I’m loving lately…

This is fairly random but it made me laugh. Have you ever wondered what animal you’d be if you were to be one? On my two holidays I was called two different animals. The first was a hyena. This goes back to the eating meat from the bone (see above).I’m pretty good at getting as much meat as I can off it. It’s a well-honed skill. I like to think that back in the day (you know, a few million years ago) I’d have survived for a good amount of time as a neanderthal with that kind of ability.

In Tokyo I then got called a squirrel. This is because I have a fear of food running out and so to combat this I constantly carry snacks round with me. On the flight I had three different packets of crisps, two apples, a mini bag of pretzels and some turkey jerky. I didn’t eat them all but I felt happier knowing they were there.

This doughnut. Now I’m not a huge doughnut fan. I’m more of a cake-lover. However when I was in Southampton West Quay shopping centre I saw a “make your own doughnut” stand. Basically you could choose your own toppings…as many as you liked! For £1.50! I walked over to have a look – just a LOOK – and found myself with my purse in my hands perusing the menu before I knew what I was doing.I got a white chocolate covered doughnut with caramel sauce and caramel shrapnel.Caramel shrapnel? What a wonderful way to describe little droplets of sugary heaven. I won’t lie. I got it all over me in the middle of the busy shopping centre and I did not care.

Odd but tasty gels. My lovely friend, Mat (AKA triathlon legend) sent me some gels a while ago and I was FINALLY able to try them out during the marathon. Well, one of them anyway! Maple Bacon flavoured GU. Yes really.I have quite a strong stomach and have never had an issue with gels before so I was confident to just try it for the first time during the race (I live life on the edge…). It was really good. I love the flavour of maple bacon anyway (Kettlebites I’m looking at you) so this wasn’t too weird for me. Sweet and salty yumminess! (FYI: I believe he bought them from Amazon).

Tokyo goodies: When I finished the Tokyo Marathon (I’ll stop talking about this one day), we were first given a towel as we walked from the finish line. I was like “oh cool…but we still get a medal, right??” Thankfully we did, but getting a towel as well was pretty cool.I’ve only ever received a mini gym towel (and that was in place of a medal) but this is pretty damn good. Get me to a swimming pool/beach/plumbing disaster immediately!

I also got a technical t-shirt which (hallelujah!) actually fits.As I’m a fairly micro person I always opt for extra-small if it’s available as an option and this fits like a glove. I suppose it helps that Japanese women in general are quite small.

ASICS running gear from Millet Sports: Millet Sports kindly sent me a pair of ASICS leggings and ASICS running jacket to review.Firstly, apologies for the most ridiculously cheesy pose in this picture. Catalogue pose eat your heart out.

The jacket is brilliant. It’s quite thick, so perfect for when it’s really cold outside (like those ridiculously cold mornings or evenings we’ve been having). It has the fabulous thumb holes as well as a couple of nice pockets. It’s waterproof, breathable and has reflective dots over it so great for visibility when running in the dark. I just love the colour as well.It matches my new trainers!

The leggings are full length made from a breatheable stretch material, with a short zip at the ankles to give a bit of ventilation (I personally wouldn’t when running as it would flap, but I imagine after a run it’s lovely to have a bit of air). There’s a drawstring around the waist so there’s no worries about them slipping down mid-run as well. Though they’re not baggy they are less tight than other leggings I have, like ones from Fabletics or Lululemon which literally suck you all in. This makes running in them a lot more comfortable.

There’s also a back pocket slightly to the side which I like as sometimes a back pocket can annoy me with the zip, whereas slightly to one side is a bit more comfortable.

A great winter running outfit. Check out Millet Sports for more running gear!

What would be your ideal doughnut topping?

What animal would you be and why?

What’s your unpopular opinion?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the leggings and jacket for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**