Random Life

Hello lovely people! I was going to do a Rants and a Raves post but decided instead my thoughts were more random and less ranty or ravy-specific. So here we go…

Spotted: one lone lunchbox on top of a car in my office car park.

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I would be really annoyed if this was me (food = my life). I decided to put the lunchbox out of its misery (though I wouldn’t mind lying/sitting on top of a car all day in the sun instead of work if I’m honest…with a book perhaps) and take it to reception so they could email round. The owner had realised he’d left it behind however and met me halfway. Apparently his work colleagues had told him about it – why didn’t they bring it in for him!?

Frozen custard: I’d only heard about frozen custard when I was in the States and you could buy it from a fast food place like ice cream. I never actually tried it though. Anyone had it?

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But anyway, there it sits in the Sainsbury’s freezer in the UK! I was very tempted to buy it it must be said but I managed to resist. Portion control and ice cream in my freezer is tricky Winking smile

Home decor: So this is my TV unit thing that sits beneath my TV which is attached the wall in my flat.IMG_9665

I just don’t know what to put on it though as it looks a bit bare! When I bought the unit I thought the TV was going on it but then I found I could put the TV on the wall which was actually better for where the sofa was going. So now I have this area of space and it feels like I should put something there…like photo frames or potpourri. Can anyone suggest anything? I’m so terrible with stuff like this!

If I were a dinosaur I’d be a T-Rex: If you’re a regular reader of the blog or you know me in real life then you know I’m fairly carnivorous. I could easily give up bread, potatoes, rice etc. But I would really struggle to give up meat. Yes I could get protein from more environmentally sustainable ways but I love it too much.

Instead I try and buy as much organic and free range or outdoor reared meat as possible. As that’s obviously a lot more expensive I’ve found a good trick is looking in the section of the meat aisle where meat is just about to go off and so is marked down in price. I’ll only ever buy free range chicken and it’s at least 1/3 of the price cheaper getting it there. I then freeze it so I have no worries about it being needed to be eaten straight away.

Anyway, last weekend my fellow meat-loving friends, Louise and Tom (and their toddler, Jake), met up for a Sunday meat fest. Instead of going out to Sadlers (ahh that epic meal…) which would have been tricky for them with childcare we decided to recreate it at home. I brought buffalo chicken wings, a HUGE rack of St. Louis-style ribs and salad (#balance). They provided sausages, pulled pork, lemon and herb chicken thighs, BBQ spare ribs and chips.

IMG_1474The chips were buries underneath all the protein

It was amaaaaazing. Clearly far too much for us (yes, even for me) but delicious nonetheless. I mean look at that rib:

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Jake had some cut up sausages and bread and seemed quite happy. It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon with friends.

Family time: For my mum’s birthday we went to Brighton at the weekend for a daytrip. We went by train which, for my family, was quite novel. We normally drive everywhere but we decided to save the hassle of parking.

IMG_1393Brighton train station selfie

The weather wasn’t great but we weren’t going there for the beach. We wanted to do a spot of shopping and have a nice meal.

Brighton

We hadn’t realised it was the Brighton Fringe Festival which explained why it was bustling with people and things going on. Though it was a shame about the weather the atmosphere made up for it. For lunch we decided on Browns. I had done some research beforehand to find some nice restaurants but, in true style of my parents, they made no decisions before rocking up to Brighton and then floundering around a bit trying to find somewhere suitable (*sighs*). Also, a few of the places I suggested probably weren’t what my parents would have wanted anyway…But I have a lovely friend in Brighton that I might be able to persuade to take me (especially to any of the cool sounding vegetarian restaurants.! Yes, I can eat a non-meat based meal occasionally!).

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Anyway Browns was lovely. Though the waiter was ridiculously incompetent. He took forever doing anything. We ordered drinks and saw them sat at the bar for a good 10 minutes before he brought them over, and even then he brought my dad the wrong drink (but he took it anyway for fear that he might die of thirst by waiting for the correct one). In the end though we came out well because he missed off our last drinks order which included a glass of champagne for my mum. The food, however, was delicious.

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I shared this platter with my dad which included calamari, chicken lolly pops, fish pâté, hummus and prawn cocktail. For my main I had a Caesar salad (so predictable) and for pudding I had a brownie. Not my favourite because it was so rich but nice with honeycomb ice cream.

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We then walked around the Lanes and did some shopping. This obviously included the Choccywoccydoodah Shop.

Choccywoccydoodah

My dad, a self-confessed chocolate addict, said it was torture as he wanted everything. But he’s trying to be good (and everything was rather expensive – though very good quality!). A good time was had! My dad was perilously close to falling asleep on the train and all our phones had died by this point – what on Earth would we do!? Make actual conversation with each other?? Winking smile Like when I was younger, we played some train journey games like the “yes and no” game where you have to guess what the other person is (literally anything, person, object, place) by them just answering yes or no. I felt like a kid again!

Do you play any games on long journeys?

Do your friends have similar eating tastes to you?

Have you ever been to Brighton?

Easter Weekend

And just like that the four day Bank holiday Easter weekend is over… But it was a pretty good one!

I didn’t do that much on Friday as I was driving up to Cardiff to see some friends and also to do the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff on the Saturday (sounds way more exciting than just saying the Cardiff Half Marathon). From Southampton to Cardiff it’s about three hours and as one of my friends and her husband lives there I went and stayed over on the Friday night so it wouldn’t be as stressful getting up there in the morning.

It was really nice to see them and they cooked an amazing chicken chorizo meal that evening (I stole the recipe, a Hairy Biker’s one, and will be recreating!) They even got slices of cake from a bakery as pudding – now that is good hospitality! Winking smile

The next morning I’d planned on getting up and doing the Cardiff parkrun in the morning as the half marathon didn’t actually start until 2.10pm (which I assume is so they could get optimum TV coverage). As I raced my last weekend’s half marathon I wasn’t intending on racing this one and wanted to try and get to around 18 miles for the day, though it would obviously be a bit disjointed as parkrun starts at 9am.

I went to Cardiff University so it was such a blast from the past to be back again. Though I have obviously been back since, just not for a while and usually just to visit my friends who live in the suburbs. I love the city and have such great memories so this was one of the main reasons I wanted to do the race (and the parkrun).

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The parkrun is right next to a huge Tesco so they’d advised parking there, which was very handy as I knew exactly where that was. I got there just before 8.30am. I was meeting up with my friend, Matt (a good running friend who went to the MT running camp weekend). A few of my running club were doing the Half but most of them wouldn’t be up until later and Matt was happy to run a couple of miles before parkrun with me to get my mileage up.

One half of a running club couple, Mark, who had also stayed in Cardiff on the Friday night joined as well and ran down from the hotel (another marathoner in training) so it was nice to catch him too there.

IMG_9497Matt, Mark and me resplendent in red!

Matt and me ran 2.5 miles nice and easily and quite close to the parkrun starting time so there wasn’t much of a gap. The parkrun course was super flat and followed the Taf Trail. It was such a walk (or run!) down memory lane as I used to live in the student flats literally five minutes away and we’d often come down to the park. I wasn’t a runner back then so it was quite surreal.

Cardiff parkrun

I ran with Mark and we both decided to keep it easy… though this didn’t exactly work out that way as we were both enjoying the flatness and also both being too polite to the other person to slow down in case the other person didn’t want to.

IMG_9583(Photo credit: Danothy Bennett)

So in the end we went faster than we’d intended and tried not to worry what that would mean for the half later on!

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The above splits include the 2.5 miles at the start (obviously). My parkrun time was 22:59. I’m really chuffed with the royal flush negative split for the entire run – not too shabby! (Though it was entirely unplanned).

Mark ran back to his hotel (hardcore), and Matt graciously invited me back to his hotel (wahay! Joke) so I could freshen up and get changed before the next run. I packed so much kit as I wasn’t sure what the weather would be like. I really didn’t want it to rain at parkrun and then for me to be soaked for the rest of the day. Luckily parkrun was lovely and pleasant and rain-free. I sensibly brought some warm trousers and a good coat to put on over my shorts and vest this time. We now had a long time to kill before 2.10pm!

After changing we walked into the centre of town (so handy for me to leave me car outside his hotel as it meant I could avoid ridiculously expensive car parks and could get home quickly at the end without getting stuck in traffic coming out – thanks Matt!).

The city was buzzing with excitement for the upcoming race. Runners were walking round everywhere, brandishing coffees and bananas looking at maps and carrying their race packs.Cardiff Half Marathon

The sky was looking more and more ominous as the time ticked by. There had been weather warnings for Wales and the chance of rain was now almost guaranteed.

To fuel up, keep warm and pass the time, Matt and me headed to a Welsh cafe for breakfast, though really brunch at this point. My friends the night before had recommended this place to me the evening before saying they did great breakfasts and it was just slightly off the beaten trail down one of the boutiquey alleyways.

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It was called Garlands Eatery and it was a lovely quaint cafe with beautiful, random decor (lots of old pictures all over the walls). We both saw the ‘Full Meaty’ English breakfast (Welsh breakfast I suppose!) and ordered that with some coffee and some added black pudding for me – I love the stuff!IMG_9509

It was about 10.30-11ish by the time we were eating and I thought this was pretty safe for such a big meal before a race. I’m too greedy to resist a Full English and it was a training run (these were the arguments I told myself as I tucked into that epic meal). It was, as you can imagine, delicious.

To pass some more time we had another coffee and just chilled out chatting. Then we left for a wander around and to help digestion!

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We checked out the bag drop area and race centre which was packed already full of people and good atmosphere. Matt then indulged me by walking with me to my old psychology building where I used to go to lectures etc. Compared to the beautiful Hogwarts-style university building nearby, the psychology building is so ugly!IMG_9514

A 12-floor tower block of ugliness. But it brought back good memories nonetheless. At just after 1pm we headed to the bag drop again as the race drew closer. The race pack came with ponchos so we quickly put those on after de-robing. It was windy and chilly but nothing as bad as I’d felt in Weymouth the week before. The rain was just about holding off…for now.

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This obviously required a poncho selfie Winking smile I then met up with my running club mates who were equally attired in the latest look.

IMG_9562Hedge End Running Club (Photo credit: Andy Cockerell)

I’ll recap the race in full in another post as this will be far too long otherwise.

So skipping instead to Sunday… I had a terrible night sleep on the Saturday. I think the combination of the later than normal race, a Costa coffee late afternoon on the journey home, aching legs from a big mileage day and just general excitement and buzzy-ness from a good day meant I was a bit wired. I didn’t fall asleep until about 1am, and then woke up around 7am (though because of the clock changes it was actually 8am now). I was at my parent’s house so I did have the absolute bliss of laying in bed and watching stuff on my iPad for a couple of hours  as Alfie could just go out in their back-garden with the other dogs so I had no reason to have to get up straight away.

I also had no long run as I’d done it the day before! I did want to have a 3 mile recovery run though to shake my legs out as they felt pretty terrible (especially after the three hour car journey home). I was a bit dubious to go for a run after such a hard day the day before but in the end it was the best thing I could have done.

The weather was sunny and the temperature cool, though it was still so gusty. Surprisingly my legs felt OK. I thought they’d be niggling and heavy but they felt good. I just ran comfortably and went with it, listening to the radio (Radio 1 had a requests show all weekend so there were some great and random songs being planned, not just the top 40). Then at around two miles it suddenly went really dark and the heavens opened up. A ridiculous amount of rain and hail descended upon me and I was literally drenched. This sped me up somewhat as I ran back to the warm and dry. My dad found it hilarious when he opened the door for me.

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But I’m glad I got it done as my legs felt a lot better afterwards. I’ve never really been fully on-board with recovery runs as I always fear the pounding will only make things worse for me and my injury prone body…but actually it worked nicely.

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A hot shower felt so good after that run!! After breakfast my parents gave me my Easter egg. I realise this makes me sound about 12 with that sentence but I’m doing my parents a favour in a few weeks and I jokingly said they could repay me with an expensive Easter egg… They thought it a great idea and who am I to disagree?? Especially when it’s a Hotel Chocolat THICK chocolate egg (£25!).

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It’s a ridiculously thick egg (as you bloody well should expect for that price!). One half of the egg is packed full of cookie and puff rice pieces and the other half with caramel pieces. Inside the egg it’s full of different chocolates. Best. Egg. Ever.

The rest of the Easter break was full of a) lots more food with my family and enjoying some film-time and walks, b) lots more chocolate, and c) lots of chilling out and a bit of shopping! I did manage to get the gym on the Monday but it was heaving with people. Not a fun experience! Clarifying why I prefer to go so ridiculously early normally! Everyone clearly had some calories to burn Winking smile

What did you do over the Easter weekend?

Did you get any Easter eggs?

Thoughts on recovery runs?

Rants and Raves #22

I can’t believe how quickly October is flying by! It’s almost Halloween – I thought that was ages away until I realised I had a Halloween party this weekend and didn’t have a costume… Anyway, here are my latest rants and raves.

Rave: I forgot to mention in my post about my trip to Wales that I got ID’ed for entering one of the beer tents at the Food Festival!! This made my day. I’m only 27 so really this ins’t that big a feat but in my head I believe she thought I was under 18 😉 Bahaha!

Rant: Since realising how close Halloween actually is I’ve just bought a costume for parkrun. I have no idea if I will be able to actually wear it to run in though and I’m thinking it will be too cold to stand and marshal in. *Sighs* Well it’ll do for the Halloween party anyway on Saturday night so it’s not a complete waste… I also bought a (very cheap) costume for Alfie as well. “Costume” sounds quite elaborate, but it’s really more of a jumper. If I can’t run and wear my outfit then Alfie will be coming to parkrun again and will be wearing his. He doesn’t know it yet 😉 I reeeeeaaaalllllly wanted this one but they didn’t do his small doggie size.

Halloween dog costume

Plus I’m pretty sure he’d pack his little bags and leave if I attempted to put him in that (but how cute, seriously??).

Rave: These little chocolate cupcakes are so scrummy!

Salted caramel chocolate

I wish I’d bought more from the sweet shop in Wales. The salted caramel one was to die for.

Rant: DNS’ing the same races I’ve DNS’ed for the past two years. How weird is that? I’ve now been injured at this point in the year three years in a row. It’s getting a little silly now. I wouldn’t have signed up so far in advance but these are really popular local (and cheap) races. Who was I to know Bournemouth would cause me such an issue? (Probably every other sensible runner in the world who suspected I was running too many marathons too close together…).

I’m desperate to run the Gosport Half marathon (in a few weeks time) as it’s literally where my parents live and where I’ve done so many long runs before. It goes along the coast and has the view of the Isle of Wight, which is rather nice. But it seems this one, as with the Lordshill 10 mile this weekend, it’s not meant to be.

Rave: I’ve entered the Chester marathon for next autumn. I know, I know. So far away but it was cheaper to enter now than to wait and I like having things down in the diary.

Chester marathon

I was tempted to do Bournemouth again as it was such a disaster for me this year, but marathons aren’t like 5ks or 10ks that can just do at a drop of a hat and I want to do lots of different ones rather than revisit the same ones. Chester was voted as the UK’s number one road marathon by Runners’ World in 2012 and 2013 so should be good. I can also time it nicely with a trip to Shropshire with my grandparents and parents (that also means more parkrun tourism, wheee!).

But next year I will not cluster marathons together either and ensure I have proper breaks afterwards. Oh the wise words of an injured runner…

Rave: I signed up to Tribe Pack to test out their snack boxes.

Tribe Pack

The concept is like graze where you get a box of snacks delivered weekly/monthly/etc. and it’s a surprise what you get. The range of snacks include things like seeds, dried fruit, cereal/protein bars, etc. all made by Tribe. In a box you get two bars, two trail mixes, a ‘discover’ snack and a Tribe Life magazine. My box contained Tamari Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin,  hulled hemp and chia seeds and tamari), Tumba trail mix (pumpkin seeds, almonds, organic goji, toasted coconut), Organic Mountain Berries (sour cherry, raisin, goldenberry, goji, aronia, barberry & wild blueberry) and a Baobab bar (superfruit energy bar) and a Wild Apricot, Pecan & Lucuma bar.

Tribe

Use the referral code TRIBE42383 which will get you a pack like I got for £1 (I would also get my next Tribe Pack for free).

Rant: Still no running. I could go on and on (as you can imagine). I had an extremely deep and painful massage on Monday though which I’m still feeling the effects of so I really can’t judge. The person I saw said try in a week but I won’t unless it feels absolutely fine walking, which at the moment it (intermittently) doesn’t.

Rave: I’m hoping to see Spectre tonight. And I have six free cinema tickets from my bank as part of the bonuses I get with my account. I foresee lots of film trips happening… I’m actually not a huge James Bond fan but the film does look good and I feel like I need to see it because I’ve seen so many of the others. Plus, Daniel Craig. And Nandos.

Rave: When I was in Wales I bought myself a pack of four pastry forks.

Pastry forks

Basically they’re little forks with a sharp edge that you use to eat cake. As a regular cake eater I thought it would be nice to have the proper utensils to fully enjoy the experience. I’ll be keeping one in my handbag at all times of course.

What are your rants and raves of late?

James Bond: yes or no? Who was the best Bond? I like Daniel Craig. Less cheese but still a lot of smooth moves.

Are you doing anything for Halloween? Any costumes?

Happy things…when I’m still waiting

I still haven’t moved. I wouldn’t mind but it’s hard to really plan ahead for weekends if I don’t know when I’m going to be moving… meaning I’m kind of in limbo. I know a lot of people have been in this situation so I’ll stop moaning. It’s just the negatives of moving house!

This weekend started really well with a Friday night movie and take-away evening with my friend Louise and her husband, Tom. They have a small person called Jacob and I got to witness the whole ‘evening routine’ with him which was quite enlightening. He’s around 17 months (I think??) old so is walking and babbling, very sweet.

The movie of choice for the evening (after Jake was safely in bed) was Silence of the Lambs. It came up in conversation a week ago that I’d never seen it so we arranged the movie evening. It’s an iconic must-see movie so I knew I needed to watch it, I’d just had a mental block on it as when I was little my parent’s had a VHS copy of it and the cover alone used to give me nightmares (I was a sensitive child…).

It actually wasn’t that scary or gory at all (the fact that it had a very 80-90s feel helped). I felt like I needed to watch it as I’m still so obsessed with the Hannible series and the film comes after the series in the time-frames. Anthony Hopkins does Hannible really well but I still prefer Mads Mikkelsen.

Lou is an amazing baker and she’d made a carrot and walnut cake for the evening as well. Look at that beast!

Carrot cake

Despite eating an Indian take-away I still had room for a slice (*cough* or two) of the cake. Superb!! She even cut me a huge chunk off to take home with me.

The next day I went to parkrun to volunteer again. My leg still isn’t better… a post for another time. I took Alfie again and headed down to set-up. Alfie absolute loves it as he races around off his lead while we set up. It’ll be a bit of a shame not being able to bring him when I do get back to running. I can’t run with him as he hasn’t run that far before and, no offence Alfie, but I’m not keen to go on one mile runs to build up his mileage. I’m not sure he’s suited to running anyway – he stops and sniffs far too often. I can’t leave him tied to a bench while I run either as he’ll get anxious and probably start barking. It’s not very fair.

It was my friend Mike’s 50th parkrun and he made chocolate tray-bake biscuit things (one Toberlone-style and one Malteser-style). I enjoyed a Malteser one while having a hot drink sat outside the cafe afterwards with a few of the running club guys (another pitfall of having Alfie with me means we need to sit outside).

Malteser tray bake

So tasty! I even got to take a few home with me! People just love to give me cake it seems hehe 😉

Then I headed to go shopping with my parents to pick up my new phone (iPhone 6s). I needed moral support as (and this is embarrassing to admit) but I haven’t really dealt with getting a new phone on my own in quite a few years. Ben had always dealt with the phone side of things. I pride myself on being an independent woman… but seems I need to get myself sorted in certain areas!!

And while passing through John Lewis I couldn’t help but look at the beautiful bags, in particular the Michael Kors ones. I am very much a saver. I rarely make large purchases (apart from holidays) unless they’re absolutely essential. Yes I have a weakness for workout clothes and good food but other than that I’d rather put money into savings, just in case.

That said, I saw a gorgeous handbag that just seemed to call to me. I was feeling down about not being able to run and not having moved yet and just thought “sod it, I’m going to treat myself”.

Michael Kors rose handbag

I have zero regrets. It’s beautiful and I love it. I do have a weakness for handbags but I’m very lucky that my mum does too. She often gives me her ‘off castes’ and I’ve been lucky to have some very nice second-hand handbags from her. But to buy my own and for it to be brand new… well it was just exactly what I needed to make me feel happier. Yes material things are a shallow way to gain happiness, but I can be sad now with a pretty handbag 😉

I’d love to say I had a jam-packed Sunday but the reality is… I didn’t. I packed, I cleaned, I walked Alfie and I rested my leg while watching TV. It was a lazy and dull Sunday, but I felt the better for it.

And my little niece, Ellie, got a Junior parkrun PB!

Junior parkrun

Look at that running form – what a pro!

Her mum (my sister) and dad are split up so she did the Junior parkrun nearest to her dad which is some distance away annoyingly. I hope at some point I can take her to my local Junior parkrun. I saw my sister on the Saturday and Ellie was telling me all about how she wants to be just like me and do lots of running. I have never felt so proud! I won’t lie, I do struggle with young children and knowing what to say or do but it’s lovely to have something in common and something I can hopefully help her with. I feel useful!

How do you make yourself happy? 

Have you ever been to Junior parkrun?

What iconic movies do you love and recommend?

Finding the small things

I don’t know about you but when I get stressed, or angry, or sad sometimes I can find myself wallowing in the emotion. This isn’t good to do for long periods of time obviously. It’s not good for your mind, your health or you spirit.

Pardon my French, but when the shit hits the fan I just want to run away and hide. I want to moan, cry and beat my fists: “why me?”. But what good does this do really? OK sometimes it’s very cathartic and I’m not saying to have a good cry is wrong from time to time. But you still have your life to live and things to get done. So when I’m feeling this way I try and find stuff to keep me smiling and make me happy.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love reading. I’m a self-confessed book worm and I am not ashamed! After the very sad death of Terry Pratchett I realised I hadn’t actually read many of his books (possibly just one, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents which was one of his younger books). My dad is a huge Terry Pratchett fan so I asked his advice about where to start because the Discworld (where most of the books are set) is massive. I was slightly dubious as I’m not that into fantasy but I thought I’d give it a crack. My dad leant me Going Postal and I’m hooked.

Going Postal Terry Pratchett Source

It’s exactly what I need right now – a story about a world far enough from reality that I can forget any problems I have and just sink into the story. For me reading is a brilliant escape and perfect to help you relax just before you go to bed (that terrible time when the demons always appear).

And in daily life seeing the hints of spring always makes me feel good. Knowing that better weather is round the corner, lighter evenings, lighter mornings and wearing less layers.

Spring daffodilsLet’s not think about losing an hour this weekend though! Meaning my 5am gym wake-ups might feel like 4am for a bit. Dear lord.

And spring time means my motivation to walk Alfie is far higher. It’s no longer a trudge through the cold, but sometimes the sun is shining and it’s just perfect. I know I keep going on about them, but the Jabra ear buds are also making walks with Alfie easier.

IMG_0174 Having a dog lead and ear phone cables to contend with makes things a bit stressful and occasionally I’ll accidentally catch the cable and yank one from my ear, which is always painful. But as the Jabra ones are wireless it means just one thing to contend with – Alfie…who’s hard enough on his own with chasing birds and pooing in bushes!

Obviously running makes me happy and is a fabulous escape and refresher of the mind. I’ve been running the same very hilly 10k(ish) route every week around Basingstoke where I work before I go home on a Wednesday night. Strava is brilliant because it let’s me compare runs when I do the same route. I’ve now done this route five times and so far I’ve just kept improving slightly.

image To be honest though I don’t think I can continue this trend. It is a hard run and I’m not sure how much faster I can do it. But it’s not necessarily just about the speed for the run – it’s about those horrific hills and the strength I’m hoping I’m building up in my legs.

image There’s no point just running easy flat routes all the time. Make your training hard to make racing easy is my plan. Though always remember to make it easy when your body tells you to – we’re not superheroes!

As I run from work on a Wednesday night it means I’m not going to get dinner until I get home. So by the time I’m home and dinner is prepared it can be at least an hour and a half later. I do need something to refuel me to make the next day not feel like hell. The people from Upbeat sent me some protein smoothies to review for my blog.

IMG_0167 So I’ve been taking them to work and having them post-run on a Wednesday night when I drive back home. Luckily we have a fridge at work so I just grab it as soon as I’ve finished my run and drink while I do some stretching in the mini work gym.

Upbeat smoothie Post run stretch and refuel

Upbeat drinks are dairy protein drinks. They’re high in protein (20g per bottle – and this comes from whey protein from the milk), low in fat and relatively lower in sugar than most smoothies. Each bottle also has less than 150 calories. The available flavours are Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry and Mango & Passion Fruit. The ingredients list reads very nicely without any crazy artificial flavourings or chemicals.

Mango and Passion Fruit Upbeat

My thoughts? I actually really enjoyed these, which I was surprised about as I thought “ooh whey protein and a smoothie? Hmm”. The consistency was fairly thick (like a smoothie) but lovely and, well, smooth. I definitely felt like I was being filled up when I drank it. It didn’t feel like “empty calories”. I never want actual food straight after a run but the length of time between running and dinner is too long to not have something and this fits the bill perfectly.

Upbeat bag

They also sent me a lovely material bag for life and notepad as well, which just made me smile. Maybe I’m not feeling that upbeat right now, but it helps to have a reminder to at least try!

And if all else fails, just have a bit of what you fancy. I don’t believe you should eat for your moods all the time but I do believe sometimes you just bloody well need chocolate.

IMG_0198How good does that sound?? Salted fudge! It’s currently sat in my fridge just waiting…I’ll crack into it soon (no pun intended…) but just knowing it’s there like an old friend ready to help me when I most need it is just wonderful.

How do you get yourself out of dark moods?

What is making you smile lately?

What is your perfect East egg?

***Full Disclosure: I was sent the Upbeat protein smoothies for free to review. All opinions are my own honest ones.***