Trying new things

Happy Wednesday! Hope you’re week is going well and the sunshine (if you’re lucky enough to have it) is keeping you smiling. Or at least stopping you from crying tears of frustration on realising that it is, in fact, only Wednesday Winking smile

I’m excited to announce that I have joined a gym. I know, I know, exciting stuff (ha). I have made the executive decision to balance things out properly with my running. I have been doing stretches and yoga poses in the morning but to be completely honest… it’s just a bit half hearted.

I just can’t motivate myself to do a proper session on my own. Seriously, at home there’s way more exciting things to do. Eat food, watch TV, stare at the wall. I need someone to kick my butt into gear and force me to do these things. So I joined my very local gym (open 24/7 – imagine, I could go to the gym at 3am. Why would I want to?? No idea). And the gym has loads of classes!


Don’t worry, I don’t actually do this. I use Twitter Winking smile

OK I suppose I could creep into the actual gym if I felt so inclined but really I want to go to a class, be shouted out to do this and that, and then leave sweaty.

I’m so keen to get into pump and kettle bells for the strength improvement (read: INJURY PREVENTION). And spin to work my cardio without pounding the pavements all. The. Time.

Speaking of balancing out the running – on Tuesday morning I actually went for a BIKE RIDE. Yep, I set out with my little helmet on and gave myself an hour to basically cycle as far as I could (with getting back in time to get ready for work). I managed 12.8 miles!


I actually have no idea how good or rubbish this is as I know nothing about cycling. After Googling a bit I think there is some consensus that cycling to running has a 3:1 ratio of miles. So my 12ish miles = 4ish miles running. Which makes kind of sense as it didn’t feel too tough a workout (though my butt hurt like you wouldn’t believe – seriously need to think about some better padding).

But moving away from fitness, I thought I’d share some tasty meals I’ve been trying lately in line with What I Ate Wednesday (thanks Jenn!).


So for breakfast…come on, of course it hasn’t changed. Even in the blazing heat we’ve had I’ll sit there sweating eating my piping hot bowl of almond milk oatmeal.


For lunch, at work I take in a zillion boxes of food. I’m like box lady.


It’s all good. Takes me ages to get through it all. I love it. Bloody pain when I get home and have to wash everything up though…

Dinners have been good. I’ve been trying new things. I’m the girl who swore she hated sausages.


But not chicken sausages! I love them! For this meal there’s only two but I split them in half to make sure I cook them properly (paranoid). I had cauliflower cream cheese mash with this and two eggs. Don’t get me started on how devastated I was when that second egg’s yolk popped.

I’ve also still been loving Skippy kangaroo burgers.


I had one with fried mushrooms and onions, and sweet potato and zucchini fries with salad. Love this so much.

And stir-fries are popular quick meal too.


Chicken, cashew nuts, loads of random stir-fry veg and zucchini noodles (and my stir-fry sauce). All I did for the noodles was use a peeler on a washed zucchini. No cooking, nothing. Plonk the stir-fry on top when it’s ready and enjoy.

And the usual million apples as snacks and cake. Always cake Open-mouthed smile

What new things have you been trying recently? Any new found loves?

Cycling: lover or a hater?

How do ensure your workouts are balanced? I have been so bad at this recently…

Do you go to the gym or do you prefer home/outdoor workouts?

UK Challenge

Hi guys. Apologies for being MIA for a while. I’ve been running round lost in Dartmoor (a very hilly and beautiful place in the UK) on a three-day team building event with work. Let me tell you, I am shattered. Possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done physically.

It’s called the UK Challenge and 50 teams took part. My company just had one team of six (me and five guys). We left on Thursday morning and got to Exeter university where everyone was based for the challenge at lunch time. We stayed in the halls of residence (I felt like a student again!). We were then assigned our very cool (*cough* not) outfits.


We had to wear these the whole time on every challenge

The challenges were events where you had to run about (or cycle or canoe) and solve different puzzles within certain times. It sounds fairly easy saying it like that but honestly the puzzles were a nightmare and the physical elements of it were TOUGH.

For example, for one of the challenges you had to run 5km (with pit stops in between to solve puzzles) to then get on your bike and cycle 5km (with puzzle stops) and then run 2km to finish. But this is Dartmoor, and we were basically running up mountains (or so it felt like).


Sometimes the hills became so tough we had to get off our bikes and push them as it was just impossible otherwise.

Doing one challenge would have been tough but fine. But there were multiple a day. It started late Thursday night with our first challenge. Running around collecting picture fragments to make up an entire picture.


The first night was very misty


At the start one team member had to sprint to get an envelope which contained the map we needed

You had to stay in pairs and run around together picking up clues. It was good fun running around trails with our head torches on. So after two hours of running around we got to bed at 1am, only for the next day to be at breakfast for 6am and then the next challenge at 9am.

This involved canoeing and another run around.


We had to canoe over the lake to get to the point to start running

Four of the team had to canoe across the lake, than two of us ran off to collect things while the other two had to canoe around the lake to collect other things. Then meet again to canoe back.

Then after that we had a packed lunch of sandwiches which we inhaled quickly. Then it was off to the next challenge… A running and biking challenge lasting three hours. We had to run around to collected certain things, to then cycle off through trails and up and down hills to collect more to then get back and run to the finish. The challenges were quite complicated if I’m honest and I didn’t always know what the hell we were doing haha. There were maps and compasses involved…my navigation skills are severely lacking!!


Honestly, I have never felt so absolutely drained in my life. It wasn’t so much the muscle pains or the aching; it just felt like I had nothing left inside to give. We got to one hill and I almost wanted to cry. I had to stop and push my bike. My team mates were great and kept me going but I honestly felt the ‘wall’ looming. But something takes over you when you’re in a team and all I could keep thinking was “I can’t let me team down”. I dug deeper than I think I ever have (I know this sounds really cheesy but it was honestly like that).

And you wouldn’t believe it but then there was a third challenge starting at 10pm. This involved lots of running through all these mud tracks for three hours. Luckily I was the substitute for this task and basically struggled to not fall asleep in the van while I waited because I might need to be subbed in (I was in the end, for the last 15mins).

Then it started all over again on Saturday (the last day). Again I was substitute for the first task as it was a construction/engineering style task that I honestly would have been rubbish at.


And then after lunch was the last challenge (the 5km run and 5km bike ride). Like I said above, this was just ridiculously tough. But we did it. We pulled through as a team and finished. It felt so good to cross the finish line.

I loved every minute of it. It was tough as hell and it really tested you but it was great. As a team we worked well and helped each other through.

For breakfast and dinner we ate in the university where the food wasn’t brilliant but honestly you ate to SURVIVE. This was no time to be fussy. I piled my plate high I tell you. You needed all the energy you could get!!


Yep that is spaghetti Bolognese

If you read this blog regularly you will probably know I hate pasta. But I ate it. There’s no messing about here. You’ve got to make do! Each night I ate like a horse. I was famished and easily polished off every meal. Breakfast there unfortunately wasn’t porridge, but I still ate a good amount of bacon, eggs, toast and beans to keep me going. Lunch were sandwiches and I made sure to also eat a big handful of my fruit and nut mix and a banana to keep me going. And we all had the camelback style water packs with us at all time to ensure we had enough water.

Would I do it again? Most definitely!!


It really pushed me to my limit but also showed me how much I can push myself.

Needless to say I slept a good 10 hours last night. I was dead on my feet when I got home!!

Would you do something like the UK Challenge if you could?

Have you ever felt like you’ve been pushed to you limit? How did you cope?

What did you get up to this weekend?

Running with the big boys

Well hello there Friday, nice to see you around again. These last couple of days in the office I have been FREEZING. A choice few of my fellow workers have decided to commandeer the air con dial and make it sub-zero temperatures. I spend my time glaring at them while hunching over my laptop sipping hot drinks all day long. They’re comments of “there’s nothing of you” for reasons why I’m cold are not well accepted. I mean, what if I was to say the reverse to them hmm? I’m not sure that would go down so well.

Anyway, it’s Friday!

This week has been fairly good (hypothermia aside). I’m really pleased with a few runs I did –especially my out of the blue super speedy run the other evening for example. And though I skimped on the Tuesday night running club run, I did go to the Thursday night (last night) one instead.

I didn’t really know what to expect to be honest. I got to the meeting place and there were like 30 people. And they were planning on doing an off-road style run, but in different paced groups. There were three paces 11mins/mile, 9-10mins/mile and 7.30-8mins/mile. My plan had been to take it easy and just enjoy the run but I really didn’t want to be running 9mins/mile or slower. I hugely faffed about not deciding what to do. Then after speaking with the three guys who were doing the 7.30mins/mile they persuaded me to join them.

It started well, I was happy with the pace. UNTIL we got to like three consecutive hills. Oh my goodness, these hills. And these guys were just bouncing along happily while I was quietly dying. It was definitely an ego check for me. I’d say about 60% of the run I was trailing behind them. To put this into perspective, one of these guys had just done the Paris marathon and was treating this as a RECOVERY run.


I think I held my own quite well, and the guys looked after me well and looped back if they went off too fast and pushed me on when I lagged. There was a great team-feel between us. But by the end I was just couldn’t maintain the pace and had to lag back. I felt terrible that I was holding them back but they didn’t seem to to mind.

I was so shattered by the end that when I past a fellow runner (not part of the club) who said hello to me I replied “morning” in a spluttering daze.

But it was brilliant. Though at the time there were many points where I literally wanted to cry it was so hard (ahh OK maybe it wasn’t that bad) and when we ran close to where I live it took every ounce what strength I had left to not run away home, it pushed me and I felt hugely satisfied by the end. I’d run with the big boys and done myself proud. They seemed happy to have a female member in their clan as well! Haha.

When I got home it was just after 8pm and I literally didn’t want to eat at all. Though obviously I did have dinner it was really hard to get myself motivated to feel hungry.


But I am never one to miss dinner and I knew it was really important to refuel after such an epic run. So I had three whole eggs, a LARGE scoop of cream cheese, and lots of veggies.

When I stood up after dinner my calves had massively cramped and were so painful, so after I showered I made sure to get some of this action in.

IMG_4078 Yes those are my PJs

And I am so glad I did because honestly this morning my legs were still quite painful but I imagine not half as bad as they would be. THOSE HILLS!!!

Though I enjoyed running last night it did mess with my system last night. Like not wanting dinner, feeling a bit unsettled in my tummy (lots of strange noises going on in there when I went to bed) and not being able to feel tired at all. Usually I’m ready for bed at like 8.30pm 9pm but I got into bed at 10pm and just didn’t feel sleepy. I didn’t fall asleep until after 11pm!!

I know this is because of doing quite intense exercise in the evening and it is a bit annoying but I’m happy to have a change in routine, and plus the next day is FRIDAY so it isn’t that big a deal.

On a non-running related note, I am so excited that my lovely parents have let us borrow their slow cooker so we can give it a test drive to see if we want to buy one ourselves. I have seen so many recipes using slow cookers that I’ve look longingly at and pinned in the hopes that one day maybe we’d invest. But the thing is, I know the slow cooker is potentially one of those appliances that could end up on the Dead Shelf. You know the shelf. The shelf where those amazing, gadgety appliances you bought ages ago because they’d save time and looked cool and of course you’d use every day…that you now never use. Yes, hand-held milk-frother, I’m looking at you.

To stop this from happening, I’m going to see if I’d actually make use of a slow cooker before parting with my hard-earned moolah. I’m hoping it’ll work out well. Especially with me doing the running club now it would be ideal to not have to worry about cooking when I get in late.

So watch this space… if you don’t hear anything about it, you know it’s gone back to my parent’s Dead shelf after failing.

Right, lovely readers, have a lovely weekend!

Do you exercise in the morning or at night?

Does mixing up your exercise (or eating) regime mess with your system?

Do you use a slow cooker? What’s your favourite recipe?

A few firsts

Well, my post for today was going to be very different from this one! It was going to be my standard WIAW post, but something a bit out of the ordinary happened.

Yesterday (Tuesday morning) I woke up, got up out of bed and headed to the other bathroom (which is just down the hall) while Ben was just finishing his shower in the en suite. The next thing I know I’m lying in a heap at the top of the stairs and Ben is shouting at me to wake up. I’d collapsed and fallen (part-way, thankfully) down the stairs! [Before I go on, I am fine and this story has a happy ending]


You can see the knock in the wall where I hit my head. Apparently I was lying face up and out cold. Ben had heard a bang and rushed out of the bathroom to find me in a bit of a crumpled heap. I woke up very confused and very dizzy, my vision all starry and feeling extremely sick. Ben called an ambulance and I went and sat on the bed. They were round in minutes – I am so impressed.

I’ve never fainted or been unconscious before. And I’ve never had an ambulance called for me before (thank goodness). It was all very dramatic!

The paramedics were amazing – I am so thankful for how quickly they got round and helped me. Because I had pain in my back, they got me onto a stretcher and took me downstairs to the ambulance. [I bet my neighbours loved this]. Then I had an ECG to check my heart, which was thankfully fine, and my blood pressure. My blood pressure is normally quite low but apparently it was very low.

Then we dashed off to hospital. At this point, Ben had rung my parents and my dad was on the way (my mum was already at work – she’s a nurse incidentally, but at a different hospital). And then the waiting game ensued. I’m honestly so grateful for all the hard work doctors and nurses and other hospital staff do, but honestly, the waiting does suck.

We soon found that essentially, I was OK. My back was just a bit sore, no x-ray needed, and I wasn’t critically ill. Whew. But they wanted to run some tests and ‘run some fluid through me’ to give me a bit of an MOT…their words not mine haha.


[Yep I am still in PJs!]

As you can see, by this point the panic was over and we were just waiting around to find out what had caused me to faint. Ben and my dad were playing on their Iphone games and I was just feeling a bit queasy from the concussion.

I was a bit excited by the fact that I had a drip. I asked the nurse if it was full of a magical powerhouse of ingredients to make me feel better. Nope, just saline solution. Clearly I don’t watch enough ER or Grey’s Anatomy.


[You can see my boredom from the random photos I was taking…]

In the end, the doctor concluded that I had simply woken up dehydrated and stood up too quickly and due to my low blood pressure, fainted and unfortunately fell down the stairs and hit my head. So essentially, I’m fine. If not a little on the pathetically weak side. To be honest, I think the wall got the raw end of the deal.


There’s a fun job for Ben at some point Winking smile

On to less dramatic but more fun things…food!

I won’t do much of a meal recap as I’ve blathered on a bit long already. So my WIAW post will be a bit disappointing on the food side I’m afraid.

On Monday night I finally made a recipe that I’ve had earmarked for ages ever since seeing it on Chelsey’s blog.


I made chicken pot pie calzones (originally based on THIS recipe). I followed the recipe pretty much exactly but left out the celery. I made the pizza dough using a simple recipe I had to hand but unfortunately ran out of normal flour and had to use half chickpea flour which incidentally worked very well.


I might have also been a bit greedy on the filling side and had to have a spill-over into some ramekins.


But it was very good none-the-less!

Snacks have obviously included a lot of this…


And a little of this…


Delicious frozen fruit. It’s nice to have frozen fruit for a change as I don’t tend to gobble it up quite as quickly.

Apologies for the abnormal WIAW, but I didn’t want to miss out completely! I’m feeling much better now, if not a little stiff. Obviously I haven’t been running!

Have you ever been to hospital? I hope for nothing serious!

What’s your favourite calzone flavour? I’ve never had calzone before but this was a great introduction.

What Easter egg(s) did you get this year? Normally I have a milk egg but I’ve been loving dark chocolate lately so this was a wonderful change.