MRI results…

I had my MRI results for my knee on Thursday.

I was so worried and nervous. I didn’t really know what to hope for. If it turned out I needed an operation then at least I had a firm answer and could take strong actions to sort it. Yes it would take time (to schedule and then recover) and would be painful and scary, but at least it would (potentially) fix the issue. But to hope for that wasn’t making me feel any easier. I don’t want to have an operation. But equally I want my knee to feel better and so far nothing else has helped.

Anyway I sat in front of the surgeon and he showed me the MRI scans of my knee and told me that I had a “structurally perfect knee”. In fact, he was very impressed with how good my knee looked for someone who has run 20 marathons and so many miles. Instead of relief I just felt frustrated. It was like I was being told that the discomfort and pain was all in my head. I sat there literally feeling my knee aching while he said my knee looked perfect. What the hell.

He could sense my disappointment and reassured me that while having an operation was probably (relatively speaking) an easy option to curing the pain it wasn’t the ideal option. He said I should be grateful I don’t have to have an op and that usually this point of action ends up in needing another op later on down the road. And as a young (why thank you) female, taking a piece out of my knee wasn’t something he’d want to do even if I did need an operation.

But what now then? Well he said there was nothing else he could do for me and recommended a highly rated knee-focused physio. She sounded good and I rang her up and got an appointment for the next day.

She checked my knee and leg out and told me that, as we could now definitely rule out it being a tear or anything to do with the meniscus/cartilage, it was likely to be a misalignment of my kneecap. This was probably down to my calf and quad being tight. The calf wasn’t something I had considered, but it made a lot of sense. The trainers I’d changed to had made my Achilles and lower calves super tight, but I didn’t really suspect it an issue. But apparently this is pulling my knee from the bottom, and then my quad is pulling from the top.

The pain is due to my kneecap (or a specific part of my kneecap at least) being irritated. So she advised stretching (shock), foam rolling (shock), better trainers (happy days) and Ibuprofen gel specifically in the crevice of my knee where it’s causing issues. She gave me some stretches and massaged my leg and off I went.

This does all make sense to me, and of course I’m relieved I don’t have a tear, but part of me wonders if this is really it? Stretch more and foam roll? Are you kidding me? Asides from my calf, I have been stretching and foam rolling my legs weekly. Urgh. I just feel either incredibly stupid that it’s this simple or a bit cheated that it’s this simple.

At least I’ve been given the go-ahead to strength train my legs, albeit gently. So I’ve been doing TRX single leg squats and body weight squats, slowly and with good form. Maybe it’s a case of getting the strength back up to get the muscles firing appropriately?

I feel a bit at a loss if I’m honest. Sure I can try new trainers and do the whole “Ibuprofen reduce inflammation” thing but it feels a bit of a catch-all diagnosis, you know?

Anyway, I could moan and whine for too long about this. I need to gather my thoughts and see how things progress. On to something else…

I was recently sent a pack of TRR Nutrition supplements to try. It’s an advanced collagen supplement containing 10,000mg of hydrolysed marine collagen. Designed and created by a host of scientists and nutritionists (including Glenn Kearney, nutritionist to tennis superstar Andy Murray) with the aim to support joints, bone health and immune system. Collagen is a protein which helps form connective tissue in the body. We do naturally produce it but the production slows down, so adding it to your diet is a good way to pump it back up. The benefits are that is can reduce wrinkles (wahey!), support strong bones and keep your joints strong and flexible too.

So anyway I tried the supplements… I mean, I guess it was probably the best time for me to be taking it with all my knee issues. Of course I can’t say for certain but my knee has certainly improved from the terrible shape it was in after the marathon, though equally time and healing go hand in hand.

The supplement comes in a little bottle – it’s like a shot of health basically. Not only does it contain collagen but it contains turmeric (good for inflammation), glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and copper.

I’ll warn you though, it doesn’t taste great. I would advise taking it like a shot: quickly just swallowing it down. The cherry flavour is far better than the citrus, but it still has quite the turmeric flavour.

I am very keen to continue taking this as the research on collagen seems strong and it’s something in my comeback to running (is that ever going to happen…?) will probably help. I really like the ethos behind the company and if I can be 1% of the athlete that Andy Murray is then I’m on to a winner!

By the way, they currently have a 50% off sale right now!

Have you ever taken collagen?

Have you ever had an MRI?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the TRR supplements for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

What I’m Loving Lately – August

August has come and gone. I’ve realised that I’m totally ready to say goodbye to hot weather. I much prefer cooler weather. So bring on autumn!

This “what I’m loving” post is going to be heavily food-related but hey they’re the best right?

Have you seen the new White Giant Buttons from Cadbury?? They only sell them at Asda so when my dad was there the other day I panic text him to buy me some.

They are SO good. Do you remember how tasty the Milky Bar was before it changed its recipe? Well it’s like that. Creamy, slightly custardy and so moreish. I could easily eat an entire packet.

They also sell the white chocolate bar but I haven’t found it yet (apparently it’s even better than the old school Dream was).

And following that, I’m also loving the Tony’s Chocolonely.

I tried the pretzel caramel dark chocolate bar, but there are a few others I’m keen to try too. It’s so thick!

You feel a bit like Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory eating it. And money from the sales go towards ending slavery. So you can feel good about gobbling it up.

Moving on to more savoury things. I’m still on a big carvery love right now. I think I just love that you can pile your plate high with vegetables, stuffing and gravy.

I’m a big fan of cauliflower cheese and roasted parsnips too. Yum! We had a carvery when we saw my friends in Bristol last weekend.

The cake selection was incredible too. And despite being fairly full, I couldn’t say no to a slice slab of chocolate fudge cake.

Heated up with ice cream. Omg it was DIVINE.

Last food-related item… The Good Cookie cookies. I literally ADORE these cookies. Vegan and refined sugar free, but you would never know.

So soft!! I need more of these in my life. Thank you to my lovely friend Emma for introducing them to me and then gifting me a pack. What a friend!

Now on to more things fitness. I’ve been really enjoying the stair machine. It’s better for my hamstring than the elliptical machine and I’ve become a pro at just grinding away and supplementing my running fitness with this.

I love watching the new series of Peaky Blinders while mindless stepping. Don’t get me started on Tommy Shelby… *sighs*.

I was also recently sent a pair of the OOFOS sandals to try out. As I’m back into running again these came at a perfect time.

They are so fricking soft! My feet feel so comfortable and like they’re walking on clouds in them. After a run I love slipping them on and just enjoying the bliss.

They have a footbed designed to absorb impact, cradle your arches and allow your body to move naturally (check out some science-y bits HERE). They’re apparently supposed to reduce stress and enable a more natural motion of walking. And you can really feel it. These bad boys will be joining me in Chicago for after the marathon (*touch wood* I make it to both the start and finish line!).

And that’s all folks!

How do you look after your feet post-run?

What’s your favourite part of a roast dinner?

What’s your favourite chocolate?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the OOFOS recovery sandals for free to test for my blog. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Silver Biotics

A few weeks ago I was sent quite a few products from Silver Biotics, a company who specialise in using silver to help keep you in good health.

To be completely honest, I’ve never heard of silver being good for your health. But it was quite cool to see the range of products this company has, from improving your immune system to wound dressing. Apparently it can protect your body from infection, prevent illness and help you recover from injury. Interestingly, back in the day silver coins were used in casks of water to prevent bacteria growing!

Silver Biotics have created this “advanced nano-silver” compound that is meant to do great things for your body. So I tested a few of their products…

Immune Support

I’ve been taking the immune support for a couple of weeks. It’s a liquid that you drink (a teaspoon three times a day).

I won’t lie it actually tastes pretty grim, but I have a great technique of swigging some back and chasing it immediately with water. Now I no longer taste it.

Taking this apparently helps boost the immune system (happily it’s also vegan so I was able to continue taking it during my vegan challenge). When I began writing this I had’t been ill for a while but then I got sick last Friday/Saturday but I’m not sure if that was a virus or something to do with what I ate. So I think it’s unfair to say this failed. Who knows.

Tooth Paste

This is a “triple action formula” containing their silver compound, Xylitol and peppermint oil. It’s natural and organic, very minty and leaves my mouth feeling very clean. I like this!

Teeth Whitening Paste

This is similar to the tooth paste but aims to whiten your teeth. It contains SilverSol, Above-Sea Coral Calcium, Xylitol and essential oils. From the website it says that “Above-Sea Coral Calcium helps to clean, whiten and re-mineralize your teeth”. I haven’t used it for that long but my teeth feel very clean. Whiter? Maybe but I can’t really tell.

Hand Cream

This is meant to help dry and damaged skin, and again contains their silver compound, Hyaluronic Acid, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E.

This was lovely! It was quite a thick cream but it rubbed in really well and it wasn’t greasy at all. My hands felt lovely and smooth. I had a lavender scented one, a grapefruit scented one and an unscented one. It was nice to have a hand cream that was unscented as sometimes scented creams can be a bit much (though the lavender was nice).

Armor Gel

So this is a gel you use on wounds (like open cuts and burns). At first I was like “yeah when am I going to test this??” and then I got some curling irons for my birthday and burnt my face. Silver linings eh (OH SNAP LOOK AT THAT PUN).

It’s very cooling and soothing and is supposed to last up to three days though I don’t really understand this if you wash your face… It can even be used for your pets apparently! There seems to be a lot of independent studies that back up the company’s claims as well, so that’s reassuring 🙂

It does feel nice on my burn and genuinely my burn has all but disappeared. It absorbs really nicely and doesn’t feel like it’s on your face afterwards. Granted it wasn’t a third degree burn but it was pretty obvious on my face but I applied this in the morning and night and it really has seemed to make a difference (obviously I have no control to be certain but I personally think it worked).

So although I might not be a full silver convert, I do like a lot of these products as they do feel good quality and nice to use.

Have you ever used silver products before?

What do you look for in a hand cream?

Have you ever burnt yourself?


**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own.**

Loving my job and getting geeky

When I left my old job I desperately wanted to work in digital marketing.

I was bored as a test analyst) and felt a bit lost. But I wanted to stay within the realms of IT…after doing some research I found that digital marketing sounded really appealing. It’s a huge area and, personally, I find it fascinating. How companies use social media, web design and email to engage with customers and, yes, promote sales.

I always wanted to work in marketing – ever since I did a Psychology degree. The psychological side of business is how I saw it. What encourages someone to buy a product or like a brand . There are so many factors. It’s not about hoodwinking people though, it’s about providing good services and products to the people who most want them, and helping them get a good understanding of the company.

Because I enjoy the job I do and want to progress I often read articles and books to help further my knowledge. In the digital marketing world, like IT in general, things move quickly so you kind of have to be on the ball. What might have worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. Look how quickly things like social media move and how many updates and changes the different platforms go through.

I recently heard about a company called Campaign Monitor, who are a leading provider of email marketing services. It’s a company used by many small and large businesses alike (even schools and churches actually!).

They have a great resource of articles to do with email marketing that can help companies improve their best practices and increase customer retention and engagement. They also have funky looking info-graphics, like the below.

It’s exactly these kind of articles I love to get geeky about and find really interesting. This might not be of interest to you at all and be a bit random, but I love reading stuff like this. I’m in such a good place with my job and find it amazing that I genuinely enjoy reading outside of my working hours to further my career. FINALLY I can get excited about my job and actively read stuff in my own time. I’m one of THOSE people now. Yay!

Do you enjoy your job?

Do you know much about digital marketing?

**Disclaimer: though I was commissioned to write this post, all opinions of the website are my own honest ones. I’ve read many of the articles on this site and genuinely find them interesting and useful.**

Legging loving – SKINS DNAmic Ultimate Compression review

Leggings… oh leggings, how I do love you.

I’d say 80% of the time at the gym I’m wearing leggings. I feel less “exposed”. The harsh bright lights of the gym and the fact that you’re not really flying past people, but rather hanging out with them in the same space. And doing squats in shorts isn’t my favourite thing it must be said. So leggings at the gym = BIG tick.

But for running I do prefer to be a bit more “free”. In general my legs don’t get that cold. It’s more my upper body that feels the chills. However, I was recently sent some SKINS leggings to test out from their new DNAmic Ultimate Compression range. Though I was keen to just keep them for the gym, the Biblical rain and wind the other night pushed me to be a bit of a wuss and pop the leggings on.It was dark, miserable, cold and wet and I frankly didn’t want to go outside. But the idea of being a bit more covered up made the experience feel a bit more appealing. So on they went. Yes I realise actual skin is waterproof but these aren’t just regular leggings, they’re compression leggings. As a big fan of compression socks I was quite keen to give them a try.Compression gear enhances your natural blood flow, which can increase the oxygen supply to your muscles and remove lactic acid quicker. The compression is design in a way that it’s strategically placed on the areas where you’d need it the most, helping to keep you going and reduce injuries. For every single marathon I’ve run (and all my long runs) I always wear compression socks. I find they give my calves a bit of extra support and keep cramp at bay.The material of the leggings, as you can imagine, is quite tight but not overly so. I mean, let’s be honest, over the Christmas period I don’t think anyone is feeling their leanest but once you’ve got them on you don’t feel overly restricted (a big concern I had, even after all the Christmas chocolate I’ve been scoffing ;-)).

The design is high-waisted (apparently helping with core-support) – which I love. Anything high-waisted I’m totally on board with. And there’s a back pocket (always handy) and reflective details to keep you seen during those dark runs.

I personally really like these leggings. Though I’ll probably use them more for the gym and super cold runs, they do stick to you like a second skin but they’re not restrictive. I felt very much “at one” with the leggings, not fighting them – even though they had a compression feel to them. And happily they’re squat proof! No nasty see-through issues.They’re launching officially in February 2019, but have pre-launched just last week (18th December), replacing their existing A400 range.

Do you wear leggings or shorts for running?

Is that the same for going to the gym?

Do you wear compression gear?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the leggings for free in return for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own honest ones.**