Batgirl, long runs and pulled pork

First and foremost, thanks for your kind words and support regarding my last post. It was a hard post to write and even harder to click ‘Publish’. Part 2 will be up this week and will be talking about similar issues.

Anyway, back to more light-hearted and easier topics. This weekend I think pretty much epitomises British weather to a ‘T’. Searing heat and sunshine Saturday and then torrential rain Sunday.

Saturday’s parkrun was amazing. Netley Abbey had a “Superheroes and Villains” fancy dress theme. I know some people can’t stand fancy dress but I really love it. I don’t know why, but I just find it fun. I found a very cheap cape and mask set on Amazon and an even cheaper Batman tank top and that was perfect.IMG_3390 The Southampton Echo also sent a photographer down to take some photos which just made it so much cooler. Though we had to do some rather comical and staged running towards the camera beforehand…

parkrun fancy dress Source

What I didn’t quite anticipate was how hot it would be to run all in black, in a cape with a mask on.

22 Aug 2015 - Photo by Stuart Martin - Runners at Netley Abbey Parkrun dressed as Heroes and Villains as they run 5K around Royal Victoria Country ParkSource

I set off with the intention to give this parkrun some welly and found myself fading by the second lap. A fantastic negative positive split!


IMG_3398 Source

The last mile was tortuous. I was over-heating, could feel myself dramatically fading and my mask had become a little hot house where the only escape for sweat was down my nose. Delightful.

In the end I got 21:10 and second female. I’d hoped to at least break 21 minutes but it just wasn’t happening. As the first fancy dress person in though I’m happy 😉 I have to say though, huge kudos goes to the guy dressed as a full-on centurion.


Puts my Bat cape to shame. Not only that but it was his first ever 5k. Wow. Hugely impressive!

Later on I was back at Netley Abbey country park for a picnic and games afternoon with a bunch of the parkrun and running club guys and their families. It was lovely. I took Alfie and he fully enjoyed himself running around like a mad thing. When we played rounders it was a race against time to get to the ball before he did (though he was an appalling fielder, catching nothing, running off with the ball, getting under people’s feet as they tried to get rounders…).


The weather was fantastic and I had such a fun and chilled afternoon. I was sad about only two things: one) being stumped out on my first batting and b) Alfie not letting me play volleyball as the bigger ball caused him to bark (it confused him I think) and then he wouldn’t let me leave him when I tied him to a bench *sighs*. But it was fun regardless. And he was shattered!

IMG_3405 Sleeping off a hard day’s play

That evening I had a girlie evening with my girlfriends and we ordered a takeaway. With a long(ish) run the next day I kept to my very standard Indian – one that I have tried and tested on many night’s before long runs. Don’t want any repeats of Cheddar Gorge!

There are quite a lot of people from my running club doing the Bournemouth marathon and so it’s very much marathon training central going on and a bunch of them had arranged a 20 miler for the Sunday. Twenty miles would be far too much for me the week after a marathon so I sensibly decided to only join them for half of it. As they were doing an out and back I found out where there turnaround point was and parked there.

This worked marvellously as they were setting out at 7am so this meant I could meet them at the far nicer time of 8.30am – meaning I could have a bit of a lie-in! I was a bit worried when I parked that I’d gotten it wrong or messed up somehow because the route they’d chosen were all country roads and little lanes and it was tricky finding a safe spot to park. But just after 8.30am I saw the crowd of them heading towards me down the road. Whew. I did feel like an absolute fraud though as I was all fresh while they had 10 miles on their legs.

The route was beautiful and had lovely views. Our long run guru, Matt, always does so well with good routes!


The pace was easy (between 8-9min/miles) and I was happy to just chat away and relax into the run. But I won’t lie, I did find it tough. I was tired and could feel that I had run a marathon the week before. I knew if I’d have gone out on my own I would never have run as far (11 miles in the end). It was very warm and people were running out of water. I hadn’t even thought to take any with me as I was ‘only’ running 10 but was starting to get thirsty. A few of us stopped in a pub and begged them for water which they thankfully gave us.


Towards the end the guys were obviously feeling quite tired as they got closer to 20 miles, but so was I. Marathons are no joke and take time to recover from – regardless of how fast/slow you do them.

One of the guys, Mark, offered to drive me back to my car (now 10 miles away) which I was so grateful for. Originally I was going to run five miles with them then turn around and run back to my car but Mark had said he was happy to drive me back if I wanted to run the entire thing with them. This was brilliant as I enjoyed the run so much running with them. On my own it would have been such a slog. I do enjoy running on my own but nothing quite beats a lovely social run.



The rest of the day was boring sorting, cleaning etc. but I also put a join of pork on to slow cook so I could have pulled pork for dinner.IMG_3441 I loosely followed THIS recipe. I seared the joint quickly, then rubbed mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper all over it. Then popped it in the oven (on a baking tray with a cup of water, then wrapped the tray tightly in foil) for 4.5 hours and let the house fill with delicious smells all day.IMG_3447 I then pulled the pork apart with forks while simmering a sauce. The sauce contained cider vinegar, mustard powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce and salt (THIS recipe but I was limited with ingredients). It simmered down to a thick sauce which I poured over the meat.

IMG_3448 The willpower to not eat the entire lot was sketchy. I ate half and froze the other half before I could go back for more. It was AMAZING.

I finished the evening with a slice of red velvet (freezer stock) and an old soppy film, The Way We Were. Perfect.

After doing a marathon, what’s your next longest run? Mine wouldn’t normally be that high but I’m still training for Bournemouth.

What superhero or villain would you have chosen?

What’s your picnic essential? Or favourite game? I love rounders!

8 Replies to “Batgirl, long runs and pulled pork”

  1. I love the photobombing barman!

    I inadvertently got tangled up in a social run on Sunday, but I couldn’t quite keep up with them (oddly, I kept overtaking them – as they kept stopping every mile….but the mile pace was too high).
    Jane recently posted…Oh. So. SleepyMy Profile

  2. I like seeing others in fancy dress, but I feel silly when I do it. I’m not creative enough to think of good ideas too. It’s good when parkruns have themes though, makes it more of a community event.
    That is a super long run after a marathon, and a trail one at that! I think I would not normally run that far the week after a half, let alone a full.
    I love frisbee, was never a fan of rounders as I can’t catch or hit the ball with the bat, so not much use!
    Maria recently posted…Hawaii runningMy Profile

  3. I do love your outfit! And those posed photos are fab! Was there any reason your parkrun decided on having a fancy dress day?
    Our club has a rounders session each year at the start of the Summer with partners and children. It gets quite competitive! Glad to see that Alfie played a part in your game too! 😛
    Mary recently posted…Sheringham parkrun – the friendly oneMy Profile

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