A parkrun “almost” and a doggie day trip

The mood of a Monday morning couldn’t be more perfectly demonstrated than the current weather of where I am in the South of England: rain and wind. Well, at least the weekend was nice and sunny. It’s not like I could enjoy the weather anyway as I’m at work!

Saturday morning I went to parkrun as normal.

IMG_0606 Setting up in the morning

It was lovely and sunny! I tried my best, though my legs were a little heavy from intervals on Thursday and the gym on Friday. I ran quite consistent miles (just under 7min/miles) and as I crossed the line I saw my watch said 20:58. I was really hoping I’d finally broken 21 minutes for that course, but the later results confirmed that I got exactly 21:00. Ahh damn!

Then I rushed back to get a bit of housework done before meeting my lovely friend, Bhuvana, for a walk and lunch in Winchester.

IMG_0619 Winchester Cathedral

We decided to bring our dogs along for the outing too as we weren’t planning on going shopping but rather just chatting and walking. She has an adorable bichon frise called Rain.

IMG_0608 The weather was lovely, so sunny and bright. As we walked along the river I let Alfie off his lead. He seemed to be looking longingly at the water but after a few stern words avoided it…until I wasn’t looking and he launched straight in! He clearly regretted it immediately as he swum to the edge and scampered out quickly. His legs looked so skinny with his fur flat against them, bless him.

For lunch we stopped in the same place we did the last time we went to Winchester, Cafe Monde.

IMG_0611We sat outside because of the dogs and I ordered the same as last time, Caesar Salad, as it was so tasty. I think it was a little smaller this time though with less toppings. I was a little disappointed.

IMG_0612 We also made sure we had some treats for the dogs so they would settle down. It was a lovely lunch, despite the portion size.

Then we looked around some of the castle ruins.IMG_0618

We even attempted a dog selfie, which believe me was no easy feat!!


We had a hunt around for some cake as well – obviously! We stopped into a cafe called Ginger Two. We tagged-teamed with the dogs so we could both pop in a buy some cake to take-away. My Freezer Cake Stock was running low so I wanted to top it up…

IMG_0617The choice was amazing. And they all looked so good! I restrained myself (somewhat) by buying just two slices: a raspberry Victoria sponge on a brownie base (yes there is such a thing apparently!) and a slice of red velvet. Heaven! I’m sure I’ll be back here for a roper afternoon tea soon as the scones were like the size of my head!! It was a very pleasant and peaceful cafe so it definitely has my seal of approval.

In our quest for cake I also found myself a slice of lemon and blueberry in another tea room (I can’t remember the name though) just because…well…I have no rationale! I just love cake – don’t judge me! It was a lovely day out walking and chatting, and Alfie and Rain both got on very well. It was nice to know Alfie was with me rather than waiting at home, not enjoying the sunshine. It also meant we could just get home and chill rather than me then having to go out and walk him as soon as I got back.

I ate a quite random dinner of butter beans, pumpkin puree with cream cheese and loads of random veg (courgette, kale, etc.).


Hmm doesn’t look that appealing but it was delicious!

If you like pumpkin and you’ve never mixed pumpkin puree with cream cheese, it is a SO good. Gives a really thick creamy sauce. I pretty much was limited on what I had in my fridge, hence the randomness!

The next morning was my planned 18 miles. After having such a good run last weekend and enjoying running with the guys at Southampton half I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the idea of running 18 miles on my own. I can do it but it’s just mentally a harder slog (which I know is good training in itself I suppose).

Many of my club mates were running the Netley 10k race on the Sunday, so earlier in the week I decided to sign up to it and combine it with my own long run. I planned to drive to the race area (it’s the same place as parkrun so very close by), park and then run 12 miles out and back. Then I’d quickly change into my HERC running vest, grab my bag and water and run to the start area where my friend, Karen, would already have kindly picked up my bib (as you had to pick them up on the day).

I wasn’t going to race Netley but I hoped to pick up a bit of speed. I’ll do a recap on the race in another post as this one is getting lengthy and it was a fun (albeit hard) race.

In the end I did 12.5 miles on my own and it went well. Mentally I broke it up into two 6 mile chunks, knowing when I hit the second 6 miles I was on my way back.

image As you can see there was one gradual incline that went on for a fair way which I obviously had to do twice. My pace is all over the place despite trying to remain consistent and not go too fast.

(Average 7.47min/miles)


Not sure how a 7.20min/mile snuck in there but I’m pretty sure a downhill was involved!

I did panic a little thinking I wouldn’t I get back in time or I’d be too early. I had planned to arrive 15 minutes before the race began as it was quite a relaxed and small race. I arrived about 10 past but was able to pop to the loo and chat to the guys at my running club.

Netley 10k (1)Thanks Gary Trendell for the photo! 

My legs did start to get a little stiff and I was worried they were settling down thinking the running was over now. I drank lots of fluids beforehand as well which was good because it was quite a warm day. I didn’t feel nervous, like I’d normally do before a 10k, as I wasn’t racing. But I did feel tired and mentally had to perk myself up. Then we started heading over…

Sorry another ‘cliff hanger’!

What’s your preference: running with friends or running on your own with music/podcast/nothing? I love running with other people but you’re less in control of pace and distance which I find tough sometimes.

Do you combine races and training?

What’s your favourite breed of dog?

17 Replies to “A parkrun “almost” and a doggie day trip”

  1. Im not sure its a good idea for me to read your weekend recaps, you make me jealous and wish I was home….and I only just left! Maybe I can use it the other way to live through you!!! that victoria sponge!? Oh my! I made one the other day, a mary berry one, it was so nice to have! I am loving learning more about park runs through you, its really cool!
    Tina muir recently posted…Meatless Monday- Buffalo Chickpea Lettuce WrapsMy Profile

  2. Love the dog selfie, and I am not normally a fan of either (well, I don’t mind dogs but I wouldn’t want one of my own!!)- very impressive!
    So close with the parkrun! One second! Argh! You will get there soon!
    I think mentally breaking runs up like that is such a good idea- with my second 20 miles I did that sort of thing- a loop of just over 10 miles, the out for 4.5 and back, so I never had any of the really big numbers in my head.
    I get more stressed running with others as I have to keep up, so there are pros and cons really 🙂
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Birthday cake tea!My Profile

  3. Again…seriously admiring those splits. And tacking a 10K on to the end of that? You’re brave! But I know you have the ability, so I wouldn’t be surprised if we see some fast splits for your 10K time too.

    I always run alone. My lack of sociability means that the solitude of running was one of its main draws, and although I do like to listen to audiobooks or music sometimes, I mostly run with no distractions at all.

    I love German Shepherds, Greyhounds and Salukis. Even though I’m not much of a dog person, those three breeds are so stunning that I admire them almost as much as I do cats (almost…)
    Jess @ One Step Closer recently posted…Blackpool Marathon and Sunderland Half Race PhotosMy Profile

  4. Love all of the doggy photos, cute! I’ve always loved West Highland Terriers for some reason, not sure why, but always fancied one ever since I was a kid.
    Strangely enough, I’ve been addicted to cream cheese this week and have some squash to roast and I think your combo sounds really tasty. I’m going to have to give it a go! 🙂
    Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes recently posted…How does your garden growMy Profile

  5. I did this at Hackney, ran 7.5 to the start but waited around too long before the race and I was so stiff-and hungry!- by the time we got under way! I think it’s good to mix things up in training- running alone is definitely good for mental strength, but running with others, using races as training keeps things interesting. I’ve stopped listening to anything on the majority of my runs now, and I’m actually really enjoying it.
    Lauren (@PoweredbyPB) recently posted…Hackney Half 2015 (You can’t win them all)My Profile

  6. Great dog selfie! I seem to have hundreds of cat selfies on my phone of me and Bella but I imagine it’s a little easier with cats. Bella is asleep most of the day!
    I love running out with friends and having a good old natter along the way. Most of my friends are faster than me so it also helps to pick my pace up and help me become a stronger runner. I do love runs out on my own after a busy day at work though. Just a chance to get away from everyone and spend time thinking on my own.
    Mary recently posted…Heart rate training bl***y works!My Profile

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