Running goals and things I’m loving

In the aim of continuing some positivity, I’ve got another rantless post Smile

Running: Ahh running, you little sneaky demon, you. My relationship with running is always up and down. I train well, I run as much as I like, maybe I PB (not all the time – in fact, quite rarely!), I get injured, I’m forced to stop running… But I’m currently at a peak. Running (*touch wood*) is going well. Though I’m not running particularly fast (I’d need to do actual training rather than my “whatever pace” miles…), I’m loving it.

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It’s amazing how much I’ve changed over the years. When I first started running it was purely to keep fit and healthy, then I joined a running club and wanted to RACE ALL THE RACES. This quickly caused me to get injured and get frustrated with myself and my abilities. After many, many injury cycles (mostly of my own idiocy and training bloopers) I’m now at a place where I rarely RACE a race. Or indeed, do many races. I fell in love with the marathon. Just completing a marathon for me is the dream. PBs are superficial bonuses. I have vague lofty marathon time goals to achieve at some point (realistic to my ability and my willingness to really put some hard graft into training) but really just to tick off different marathons is the goal. And ultimately do all the Marathon Majors (Berlin, Boston, London, Tokyo, Chicago and New York).

And this is very similar to parkrun. I can’t see me ever trying to go sub-20 minutes any time soon. Again this requires some hard training and I’m not ready or inclined to put that effort in for a goal that I frankly don’t care too much about. But 20+ different parkruns? Now that’s a cool goal I can get on board with. My friend Adi also mentioned the ABC of parkruns (running a parkrun for every letter in the alphabet). That sounds like fun too… though I have a way to go (I haven’t even done ‘A’!).

So that turned into a bit of a free-wheeling reflection!

My dad: I’ve often mentioned that my dad’s been trying to lose weight. He’s been occasionally going to parkrun but finds it very tough as he’s quite overweight. 5km is a long way to walk when you haven’t been doing much in the way of exercise and you have a lot of weight to carry around with you, especially the impact on your joints. Though I’m so proud of him for doing it, it’s not the best way for him to lose weight (at the moment).

My mum joined Slimming World a go while ago and has lost a stone (and counting). Finally my dad has decided to join as well. My dad knows the food that causes him an issue. He knows his problem zones and he’s not as nutritionally unaware as my mum is (no offence to my mum, but she is). But going to a meeting every week to get weighed and, in a way, explaining himself to a group is far more motivating than having only himself to justify his weight to. He can track and motivate himself, knowing that what he does in the week will be reflected on the Saturday morning weigh-in. Though I do have issues with companies like Slimming World and Weight Watchers in the ways they create a certain dogma about food and their products are all “low fat” but full of crap and sugar. But that said, it is the easiest way for my parents in a world that is so saturated with nutritional information, myths and fallacies.

And in an effort to do more exercise in a way that is less impacting on his joints for the moment (he’ll be going back to parkrun when he’s lost half a stone), he cycled alongside me on my 3.5 mile run on Sunday.

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It was fairly windy but he survived. Three and a half miles might sound like absolute peanuts to any regular cyclist, but this was perfect for my dad. He found it tough and it worked him hard, but didn’t ruin him or his joints for the day. I’m so proud of him.

Savse Smoothies: I was recently sent some Savse smoothies to review. I’ll do a proper post on them another time, but over the weekend when I was trying a few and taking some photos I had a bit of a photo bomb issue…

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Bless Alfie, he just wanted to get involved Winking smile

Awesome Supplements: Talking about reviews, I’ve recently been trying out some Awesome Supplements. I bought them myself and wasn’t compensated in any way for this review. I just thought I’d share my experiences.

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They’re made by Ben Coomber, who I really respect. The ethos behind the supplements is something I can really get on board with. They argue that supplements will only really make 5-10% difference to your health and training. Really you have to get the foundations nailed down first (nutrition, sleep, training, etc.). All the products are backed by scientific research and the doses within the products are clinically significant doses comparable to those studies.

So what did I get and how did I find them?

Daily Dose

It’s essentially a high strength fish oil and a multivitamin, containing:

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The reason why this appealed to much to me was because I always take a fish oil supplement anyway and I’ve previously been considering a zinc and magnesium product to help with recovery. But most of the Zinc and Magnesium products out there aren’t the best quality. For example, Zinc Citrate is far better than Zinc Sulphate or Zinc Gluconate, which are cheaper but have less actual zinc in them. The rationale behind each vitamin included and the percentage of it is well thought out and rationalised (Coomber links to Examiner.com).

The downside is that it is expensive (£35 for 360 capsules). For the quantity and quality it has to be. And not only this but you have to take 12 capsules a day. That’s a lot of tablets obviously (though they are small and easy to take). It’s advised to take six in the morning and six in the evening to break it up. But I don’t feel like I’m being duped or taken for a ride. I feel like the product justifies the price. I do eat healthily but I’m a stickler for keeping with the same foods and I feel like this just tops me up with some things I might be missing.

Electrolytes

I’m a big fan of electrolytes in general. I love nuun and High5. I’m not a fan of carb-based drinks that contain electrolytes as they’re often sickly sweet and not refreshing at all. When I was at the Body Type Nutrition Retreat, Ben Coomber (who organised it) brought along a load of his products for us to try out while we were there. I tried out the electrolytes and fell in love. The taste is really good. Like really good.

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The ingredients: Electrolyte blend (Potassium sulphate, calcium citrate, di-potassium phosphate, magnesium oxide, sodium chloride), dextrose monohydrate, flavouring, malic acid, citric acid, colouring (turmeric), sucralose.

And it’s 20 calories per serving. And a tub is only £8 for 250g.

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Why are electrolytes important? Well, they basically keep you hydrated above and beyond what plain water would do. It allows your muscles to absorb liquid and reduce cramp and hyponatremia (where you lose far too much salt through sweating and your body can’t regular it’s level properly).

During this hot weather I always drink electrolytes before and after running. I sometimes fill my water bottles as well and take them with me. The flavour reminds me of sherbet lemons. It’s very orangey and tangy. It’s about the strength of squash, rather than the very weak flavours of High5 and nuun, which always annoyed me a bit. This is a game changer for me. I love it. I also like that you can dictate the serving size. Have a huge water bottle? Put a bigger scoop of it in. Just fancy a very small drink? Do half a serving. Though obviously it’s not as easy to transport as the electrolyte tabs (in their handy Durex wrappers Winking smile). But you could always put it in a container to take with you.

Recovery Spray

I’ve been wanting this for a while. Basically each ml provides 300mg of magnesium and 10mg zinc. Doing intensive exercise depletes our magnesium and zinc levels which are essential for good performance and energy levels. This spray is applied directly to the muscles and reduces the feelings of DOMs (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

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I get really bad DOMs after squats and hip thrusters after the gym. And this is annoying because I’ll want to run the day after and I feel like I’m hobbling along. I need to go to the gym to keep myself strong for running but it feels horrific…catch 22. I tested this out by spraying one leg and, er, cheek and not the other.

Honestly, the difference was incredible. (Incredibly annoying incidentally because it meant I was a bit unbalanced but it showed how much of a difference it can make). While one leg and bum cheek was still feeling the effects of the day before, the other leg and cheek were far fresher! Not 100% amazing of course, but markedly better than the other. It’s so simple as well. You spray it onto the skin, rub it in a bit, wait three minutes, shower it off. Boom.

Really chuffed with these three products and fully recommend!

What products have you been loving lately?

Do you take any supplements or use electrolytes?

Are you a smoothie fan? What’s your favourite flavour?

5 Great Cycling Destinations in North Wales

Happy Friday everyone! I have a great guest post today all about cycling and in such a beautiful part of the UK, North Wales.

Cycling is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK, and we’re lucky to have a nation covered in quality cycling routes. Combined with North Wales’ popularity as a family holiday destination, you can’t go wrong planning a cycling trip in the area. Get yourself a holiday cottage in Snowdonia and spend a weekend, or maybe a bit longer, on your bike in the beautiful Welsh hills.

Chester to Holyhead

Chester and Holyhead are already worthy destinations in their own rights – and for cycling fans there’s a really charming, but quite challenging, ride between the two. You have a multiple options along the way: National Cycle Routes 5 and 8 are available at various times, or you can hop off the main roads and take a scenic detour to avoid traffic. Strong cyclists are required for this route, as it takes up to eight or nine hours to complete in a day.

Coed y Brenin

For mountain bike enthusiasts, Coed y Brenin is kind of the big one. It hosts a huge network of mountain biking routes of varied levels of difficulty. We recommend trying the Tarw Trail, if you’re an experienced mountain bike rider, a reasonably tough trail that starts off quite easy but, over the course of the ride, accelerates you into twisted rocky corners and some challenging terrain cambers. If you’re not a technically skilled rider, there are plenty of other options in the area.

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Dolgellau to Barmouth

If you’re interested in a more family friendly experience, the Mawddach Trail is a great bet. Both ends of the course lead to plenty of parking, cafés, and bike hire facilities. The ride itself is spectacularly scenic, giving you views of Southern Snowdonia and the gorgeous Mawddach estuary. The route is 9.5 miles long, so younger riders need not be overtaxed by taking in the whole route. If you plan a trip, don’t miss the iconic bridge railway at the Barmouth end.

Note: The flat, paved terrain and traffic-free ride make this a great route for any wheelchair users, or for disabled cyclists to build confidence before taking on other routes.

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Talacre to Penmaenmawr

Forming part of National Cycle Route 5, the bike path between Talacre and Penmaenmawr is a charming coastal course. You’ll pass through Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Conwy, Llanddulas, and more. The full route is 34 miles, so a competent rider should be able to complete the round trip in a day quite happily.

Caernarfon to Bryncir

The trip from Caernarfon to Bryncir is a 12.5 mile stretch of scenic cycling on a section of National Cycle Route 8. You’ll be skirting the edges of Snowdonia with some wonderful vistas of nearby ridges and the occasional glimpse of Mt Snowdon over the hills. An usually-wide bike path with good tarmac, you’ll have wonderful views of the sea as you descend towards the ocean overlooking the Lleyn mountains.

If you’re screaming at your monitor because you can’t believe we left out your favourite route, let us know in the comments!

Do you do much cycling?

Have you ever been to North Wales?

Mountain bikes or road bikes?

The most sensible route to take

Continuing on from my trip to North Wales recap…I’d planned to run 18 miles on the Sunday. My grandad, the legend that he is, had said he’d cycle alongside me while I ran.

Before the trip I previously asked his advice on where to find a good running route for the 18 miles I needed to run and he came back with a fantastic route (below) that was comparable to the Boston marathon elevation. My grandfather is truly inspiring. He’s 83 years old and used to be a mountain climber and mountain guide, but is still very active cycling, playing golf or walking most days. One of his most exciting jobs back in the day was taking 40 SAS men out to whittle them down to the 10 best leaders during a gruelling week’s worth of outdoor activities and traversing the 15 peaks of North Wales (which my grandad did in just one minute over nine hours!).

Boston marathon prep

So my grandad is in great shape and knows his stuff when it comes to being outdoors. On Sunday morning I joined my family for breakfast while they all had normal stuff while I munched on a tasty, albeit rather sad, Trek bar and black coffee.IMG_8373

I would have much preferred a hot bowl of porridge but that would have meant getting up a lot earlier to allow it to digest. After quite a big meal the night before I was happy enough to settle for something small instead and get more sleep.

Ginny, my step-gran, was quite worried about my grandad going out with me as it was very cold and windy but my grandad had his plan and felt confident. He had on lots of layers (as he’d be cycling alongside me at my running pace, so fairly slowly as a cycling pace) and a rucksack with snacks, drinks and First Aid.

Ginny drove us up to to our starting point at the Great Orme and we got ourselves together.

IMG_8375Sorting the bike out

I did my warm-up routine (leg swings and lunges etc.) while I was waiting and then decided to hop back into the car as it was very cold and windy at this elevation.

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My grandad had sent me the route before the weekend and had talked it through with me, but I was still a little nervous in case I got lost if he decided to speed on ahead or turn back because of the cold. He said once we saw the sea though it was really straight forward: keep the sea on my left and continue along the path all the way to 18 miles. Even I can handle that!

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We set off straight away with a fairly steep downhill for the first couple of miles. This is very similar to Boston so was a good test for me to hold myself back and not go crazy burning myself out for the following miles.IMG_8380

I took it nice and gentle and my grandad chatted away to me. It was really nice having the company. My grandad remarked that he was like a boxing coach cycling with me! It did seem like that way – he was able to chat away quite easily and though I could talk too it was harder for me than him. The wind though was tough going and we soon realised it would be against us the entire way.

Despite the cold wind, the views coming down the Great Orme were fantastic. It’s such a beautiful part of Britain I can’t believe more people don’t come here. Llandudno is somewhat touristy but not as much as it deserves considering all the natural beauty it has to offer.IMG_8379

After the first couple of miles I started feeling a bit of discomfort in my left foot, just under the arch. It felt like something was sticking in to my foot or that my trainer wasn’t hugely comfortable. As it wasn’t painful I just ignored it, thinking of stopping at some point to maybe have a fiddle and readjust.

We got to the Llandudno promenade and the wind was really tough going now. My pace was forced to slow. My grandad said he was going to make sure he wasn’t drafting me as that would be unfair training… I value that now but at the time in the thick of the wind I didn’t appreciate this Winking smile When training is hard it means racing is easier!

Anyway, the wind slowed my grandad down and he dropped behind me. It’s harder to cycle into the wind than to run due to the surface area and weight I guess. I just wanted to get off the direct seafront as quickly as possible so powered on. As soon as I reached the end of the prom though I reached a hill. It was tough going! As my grandad was a distance behind I decided to take the time to check my foot out. I stopped and took my trainer off, fiddled around, felt my foot (slight niggle spot where it felt like it had been rubbing) and then put it back on and retied it back up slightly looser.

The niggle disappeared for a bit so I felt a bit happier. My grandad caught me back up and we carried on along another part of the seafront, again against the wind, but at least back on the flat.

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Ginny appeared occasionally alongside us in the car to check how my grandad was doing – which was very sweet but I think exasperated my grandad a little. He’s very driven, so when he plans to do something he gives it his all to complete it.IMG_8384

The miles ticked by. The foot niggle reappeared and I started to worry. It was annoying me and I couldn’t seem to shake it. Eventually my grandad called it a day with cycling as the wind was so relentless and Ginny was persistent that he’d get cold cycling so slowly alongside me. I think he stopped around 10 miles. Ginny had stopped ahead and we could see the boot was open, basically her saying, “End of the road. Time to stop”. Hehe. In the distance I could see where I was heading (Rhyl) as the route just wrapped along the seafront so I was in no danger of getting lost. But now that I was alone I felt the demons come into my head.

This foot niggle… what was it? Was it serious? Was I making it worse running? Should I try and get to the end regardless? Would my grandparents think I failed?

After a mile of umm’ing and arr’ing I decided that the best thing to do was stop. The niggle wasn’t going away and 7-8 more miles of running on it wouldn’t help at all and could compromise later weeks of training. I rang my grandparents and they said they’d meet me at the next car park as I was now on an enclosed cycle/walkway away from the road. When I got there I sat down, took my trainer off and poked and prodded. Hmm, very tender and painful if I poked hard.

A man started walking over to me, quickly saying “don’t worry, I’m not trying to chat you up! I think I know what’s happening here though”. He looked vaguely familiar. “Running injury?” he asked. I nodded sadly. “I’ve been there many times! I’m a past runner too.”

He gave me some solid advice about icing and elevating. He also kindly offered me a phone or a lift but I assured him I had people coming for me. I asked about his running and he said he doesn’t run as much anymore now he was a bit older but he likes to stay involved through race photography. Ah ha! I knew where I’d seen him before. I mentioned that I ran Conwy parkrun the day before and he smiled and said he’d been the photographer there. What a small world! It was lovely to chat to him.

Then my grandparents picked me up. I felt like a huge failure and had a huge amount of disappointment for not completing the entire 18 miles. My grandad was frustrated too as he had wanted a good cycle as well but found the wind just too much in the end.

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I managed 12 miles in the end (8.38min/mile pace) which were tough in the wind and mentally tough with all the injury fears flowing through my mind. I’m actually quite grateful for the wind because I think if it had been a perfectly still day my choice for stopping might not have happened as soon, if at all. The wind had mentally drained me and not having my grandad alongside me wasn’t as fun.

I know I did the right thing stopping. I don’t believe I have an injury, I reckon it’s a niggle that might take a few days or possibly a week of rest to calm down (FINGER’S CROSSED). I wasn’t limping at the end, my gait wasn’t changed, it just felt like something had kept battering against a certain spot in my foot for too long. And today (Wednesday) it feels much better, still not 100% but barely noticeable.

I wore a different pair of trainers for this run. I’m so annoyed at myself. I saw on Strava that my older Brooks had only been worn just over 100 miles and I thought, to save money, I should wear them out a bit before having to buy new trainers. I forgot that they were my gym shoes for a long time and that there was probably a reason I no longer ran in them. What an idiot. Though I don’t know for sure if it was the trainers it’s the only thing I can think of as it’s sort of out of the blue. Perhaps the steep downhill at the start aggravated something? Who knows! What I do know is I’ve purchased a new pair of trainers that I trust.

Ahh well, as per usual injury prone Anna picks up a niggle. But on the plus side, it’s a small niggle (I’m confident but not certain…) and I have about nine weeks until Boston so it’s not panic stations yet Winking smile

Anyway, the run, despite not ending as I wanted and being tough with the wind, was a fantastic experience. Running with my grandad was great and 12 miles is still a good distance. I also felt like I could have gone on and on (which is another frustration that it was just my foot letting me down rather than anything else). The scenery was beautiful and I enjoyed it. So not a fail at all!

Importantly, it didn’t take away from the enjoyable and fun weekend I had with my family anyway!

Have you ever run with someone who was on a bike?

Have you ever had a foot issue before?

Do you enjoy spending time with your grandparents?

150 parkruns and a glamping experience

The weekend gone was truly fantastic. It was non-stop amazingness. The pinnacle of which was the Cakeathon race I did on Monday (there was a Bank Holiday weekend for most people in the UK so I enjoyed a long weekend). I will do a full race recap on the Cakeathon in another post because honestly it was just plain AMAZING.

My weekend started, as usual, with a parkrun. Originally the plan was to go to Southsea parkrun again with some running club friends but we realised it was Geoff’s, another running club friend, 150th parkrun (yes, 150) and he was running at Netley Abbey. So we decided to go there instead to help celebrate with him. Southsea can wait for another week! Geoff is one of Netley’s ‘core’ parkrun people and he is fantastic in his volunteering and general support – top guy!

He also brought 100 cakes to celebrate. All baked by his nephew (who’s a chef!). Each cupcake had “150” on them and they looked (and tasted) fantastic.IMG_0671

After setting up, I warmed up with a few guys and we discussed what we hoped to get that day. One wanted a sub-22, another a sub-23 and I wanted sub-21. I was so close last week. Also, different to normal, I had had breakfast and a black coffee before coming to parkrun that morning and wondered if this was the go-go juice needed to push the pace. Normally I don’t eat beforehand but I was having an early lunch.

IMG_0666Porridge, chia seeds, almond milk and a black coffee

As soon as the race began I knew I felt good. My pace was exactly where it needed to be and I felt smooth, strong and speedy. The second lap got tougher. I always find the middle mile the worst as you’re basically holding on for dear life and there’s still a way to go. On the last lap I could see Iwan Thomas (the Olympic 400m runner who’s hilarious on Twitter) ahead and decided to just stay as much with him as I could (well, behind him anyway).

My only problem was feeling sick on the last lap – which I put down to effort level and the breakfast I had in my tummy. But overall I did feel better; I could feel the energy in my reserves (OK this might have been psychological). My time was 20:34 and I was over the moon!! Fastest for the three lap Netley course (by a second) and eight seconds from my overall Netley PB (done on the flat cricket pitch course in 2013). Yesssss! But I was flat on my back at the end, pooped.

IMG_0669I obviously celebrated with one of Geoff’s cupcakes and a nice sit down in the cafe afterwards with the guys. The other two almost managed their goals but were still relatively happy overall. It was a hot morning!

From the results it said I was 2nd female, but I know I was third as my speedy friend Karen was first and I was overtaken early on by another girl. But she didn’t scan her barcode. Apparently she’s done this a few times – for what reason I’m not sure. I think this is a bit ridiculous. Why wouldn’t you? It just seems a bit unsportsman-like and makes a mockery of the parkrun. Don’t use the other runners for your run and then not go through the parkrun motions. If she doesn’t want to be on the results, don’t run the course. Simple. It also mucks up the results for everyone else.

Anyway Geoff force fed me another cupcake (who am I kidding?? There was no forcing…) and then I dashed off home to prepare (mentally and physically) for a camping hen do adventure…

My friend, Sarah, is getting married in July and she loves camping. In fact, she’s requesting for everyone to camp for their wedding (yes, really). They themselves are camping on their wedding night and where they’re getting married there are not hotels nearby. Madness. It was therefore no surprise the hen do would involve camping. Thankfully, it was more ‘glamping’ than proper camping. Though there was still no electricity, running water or toilets except for ‘on site’ a short walk from our tents.IMG_1267 I was pleasantly surprised at how nice the interiors of the tents were. Airbeds, carpet, duvets, pillows and a hamper full of utensils and cutlery. Very posh and swanky. And lovely fairy lights for the evening (battery-powered of course).

The hen do was going on until Monday but I couldn’t stay for the entire thing as I had the Cakeathon in Kent and was staying there on Sunday night. But I was able to do the Saturday activities at least. This involved hiring bikes and going for a nine mile cycle through the New Forest.

IMG_1266 There were 15 of us for this activity and we got three tandems as well. Cycling a tandem with someone is not easy – especially up hills! Initially when I heard the distance I was like “pffft! This is easy, I’ve cycled so much further!”. But with a load of excitable and non-cyclist females and three tandems…well, we took a long time!! It was bloody hard work cycling the tandem up hills I can tell you! And a fairly frightening process at that, especially for the person on the back who can’t see what’s going on.

Thankfully we survived. That evening we got dressed up (as best as you can really on a campsite) and headed to a local pub for some dinner.

IMG_1269 Initially everyone poo-pooed my chef salad selection…until they saw how massive it was and the size of the slices (wedges really) of brie I got as well. It was full of chicken, olives and the cheese. It was delicious. I also got someone’s unwanted goat’s cheese wedge. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much cheese before in one sitting! I also had a sneaky small bottle of Prosecco. The others were drinking, but not too heavily (that was Sunday’s plans I think) and I didn’t want a hangover so I stuck with one drink.

Pudding was a chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. It was more a of crumbly cake…it let me down in the brownie department as I normally expect them to be dense and stodgy but I forced it down regardless… 😉 Tough times.

The evening involved just some girlie nattering and then falling asleep. It was cold though, but this is probably because in our tent we’d accidentally left a large air vent open which basically acted like an open window. The next morning we were woken by bright sunshine, children and birds. Nothing like being on a campsite!

Thankfully I could forgo the showers as I was leaving early and could shower at home. I also left having breakfast until home as well. They’d planned to go for brunch and I needed to get back to pack and get sorted for my next outing. But I did have a cup of tea using my friend’s camping kettle.

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My mug of course

Quite a cool piece of equipment. I’ll have to invest in one of these if I intend to camp again…not sure when that’ll be though!! I’m a creature comforts kind of girl. Not high maintenance per se, just I like warmth and proper food.

After saying my good byes I headed home. I was able to shower, eat, pack, do washing and hoovering before being picked up by the lovely Laura, from my club, who was doing the Cakeathon too. And off to Kent we went! We live in Southampton so it was a good 2 hours 45 minutes away. Road trip!IMG_1271

Which obviously included a Costa stop to keep us going 😉

The Cakeathon (which I will recap properly soon) is a 3.2 mile lap race that you can complete as many times as you like within 6 hours. For every lap you complete you get a coloured wrist band.

One wrist band = one slice of cake

What a fantastic idea!! As soon as I heard about this race a few months ago I immediately went to sign up, but found it to be fully booked with a waiting list. I was devastated. But, due to high demand, they decided to run another event and those on the waiting list got first shot at applying, which I did immediately. I knew it was in Kent but, being the simple-minded geographically clueless idiot that I am, I thought that wasn’t too far away…Until I Google mapped it: almost three hours in the car! And it started at 8.30am. Riiiiiight. My friend had signed up too so we both decided to get a hotel for the night before. Hence the road trip!

And I shall leave it there…

How many parkruns have you done?

Do you enjoy camping?

If you run, what’s your motivation? Amongst many, many things, one of my reasons is cake. Simple!

Rants and Raves #4

Do you know, I think I have a lot more raves than rants today. Surely this can’t be right, I’m British after all 😉 We do love a good moan! But what can be done, eh.

Rave: I’m working from home today which is always nice. Easy access to a fridge full of lovely food, warm house, comfy clothes (dare I say PJs? There’s something so wonderful about showering and then getting into clean, fresh PJs), Alfie and my very own makeshift standing desk.Standing desk

As I type this I’m standing, not slouching over my computer. I wish I had the nerve to create my own standing desk in the office but it really would look odd with no one else doing it. Ho hum!

Rave: And as you can see above, Ben bought a very jazzy looking Kenwood KMix. This is a very good sign for the possible baking ahead…I am EVER HOPEFUL!

And helps with my standing desk as well obviously 😉

Rave: Coming in to work on Monday to find an advent calendar from my boss! You just can’t beat a chocolate advent calendar. And my lovely mum bought me a new mug as well. But after the drama with my last mug, this one will be safely stowed at home in case it gets snagged.

Advent Calendar 2014

Rant: Do you know what beats chocolate advent calendars? Better quality ones! Clearly the Hello Kitty was not breaking the bank and consequentially the chocolate is indicative of this.

image Rave: Christmas! And Christmas parties and gatherings.

IMG_8578I have quite a few exciting events coming up which I’m looking forward to. Sadly not going to my work’s Christmas do as it’s midweek in London (actually it’s tonight) and it just seemed a bit of a faff. It’s sad because a lot of people have thought the same so not many are going. It’s so different from the other year’s AMAZING trip to Bruges. Well anyway I’m going to Berlin (again) this weekend to meet up with friends and visit the Christmas markets, Ben and me have a few different meals and evenings to go to and well it’s Christmas! Christmas music, food, cheer and festivities! I love it all 🙂

Rave: coconut oil! Having this big tub of it makes me a very happy Anna. This, along with a few other products, were sent to me to review from MyProtein (which will be in a future post).

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And spoiler alert: I love it! But then you can’t go much wrong with coconut oil, can you?

Rave: Freebies from friends at work. A guy at work does a lot of cycling and his wife is starting to get into it too. They got some cycling shoes (the special clip-on ones) and they haven’t been working out for her so he gave them to me for free! I have no idea if they’re any good or not but at least they were free.

Cycling clip-on shoesJust need to get the special pedals (can you tell how much of a cycling dunce/newbie I am? All the gear and no idea…).

And that’s my lot. Obviously I could rant until the cows come home about still not running but I’m in an OK place. I have strength training to be getting on with and with going to Berlin this weekend it’s sort of good timing anyway (can anyone say that an injury is good timing???).

What are your rants and raves this week?