Feeling Pretty Down

Hi guys, hope you’re weekend was good.

I’m not going to lie. I’m feeling pretty down at the moment. I can’t believe I’m writing this post. I apologise hugely in advance for the tone and for the fact that ‘here I am again’ moaning about my running and my stupid body. I don’t blame you if you click ‘close’. Hey, feel free! This is not a happy post. I’m in a dark and shady place.
 
Since the Great South Run my right knee has felt off. My left hip didn’t feel too great either (when it rains it pours). So I went to my amazing, lovely physio the next week. She worked her magic on my hip and said the knee pain was due to me over-compensating on my right side to nurse my left leg and the wind didn’t help pushing me at an angle. She wasn’t hugely worried, told me to take it easy.
 
I didn’t run until the Saturday (so I’d taken three days off). Then ran 7 miles (3 being a speedy Parkrun) and then ran 17 miles Sunday.
 
Very stupid, I know. I jumped straight back into it too quickly. My 17 mile run felt hard and if I’m honest with myself, it felt unreasonably hard. It felt hard before I’d even gotten to 10 miles – not normal. It wasn’t even as if I was trying to keep my pace down. My body wouldn’t go faster. My knee and my hip niggled all the way through and for the rest of the day it felt pretty rough.
 
I took Monday and Tuesday off. I ran Wednesday night (planned 5 mile recovery run) and could only make 4.
 
I cried walking home. I know this is ridiculous. I know I sound very self-obsessed and oh so repetitive and in the great scheme of things this is such a minor, minor thing. Believe me, I know this. But I cried. And I cried when I went to bed and tried to sleep. It didn’t help that Ben was away with work as well 🙁
 
So I’m currently taking at least one week off of running. No Parkrun. No long run. No running school. Nothing. Then I will reassess (probably this Saturday). If I feel any niggle, I’ll take more time off.

To make absolute certain that I’m going to heal properly I’m not doing anything else. Usually I’d just switch to spin and use the cross trainer (elliptical machine). But I tried that and felt my knee, not being painful just uncomfortable. So all I’m doing is walking Alfie. I’m not going to Pump either. I want to avoid any excessive pressure on my knee and hip.

This also means not running the Gosport half marathon this Sunday. If all is well at the end of this week I need to gradually get back into running, not jump into a half marathon.

 I was so excited about the marathon in December. But at the moment I am terrified. I literally feel sick about it. I don’t feel ready at all.

I’ve hugely reassessed my goals for it. My only goal is to get there in one piece and survive it. Sub-4? I don’t even care.
 
I just hope that taking the time now is enough. I also hope that the marathon won’t be a disaster…that taking this time off now will leave me enough time to prepare a little more.

Sorry to be so down and go on so much about these stupid niggles. Running is such a love in my life that to feel like I’m a prisoner in my own body and not be able to run, it really upsets me.

Cheer me up, tell me something great and exciting happening with you?

 

Let me live vicariously through you, how’s your running going?

 

 

 

 
 

Baby shower and my first giveaway!

Well, this weekend definitely felt like it was spring. The sunshine was beautiful and warm, and there were blue skies finally! And I have my first ever giveaway (is it sad that I’m quite excited about this??) – which I will get to shortly.

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On Saturday morning I got up and went for my usual long run. I was wearing my usual running jacket, long leggings and gloves and within the first few miles I realised this was going to be a fairly warm run. At least I hadn’t warn my hat! By the end I was stupidly hot, but I won’t complain!

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It felt like a tough run. Normally I quite enjoy my long runs as they’re just relaxed and I enjoy listening to my podcast (normally the BBC 5 Live movie review with Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode, or Marathon Talk). But I found this run really tiring and a bit of a slog.

I wolfed down my breakfast, showered and then got on with my usual housework. Then I had a nice huge lunch as I was starving by the time I’d finished my jobs.

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I made one of my favourite meals that I always keep on rotation when I have canned pumpkin (my stocks are getting dangerously low – one tin!! Panic!!). It’s creamy pumpkin chicken (but without the pineapple). Honestly, I can’t get enough of cream cheese at the moment. Philadelphia can do no wrong in my eyes.

Then Ben and I took Alfie for a lovely long walk in the glorious weather.

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Unfortunately as we both stepped out of the house and the door slammed shut we looked at each other sheepishly and said “do you have keys?”…to which neither of us did. Whoops. So our lovely long walk was indeed lovely but a little bit more long than originally intended as we had to wait for my mum to drive round with our spare key! We were very grateful!

Sunday I had to get myself into gear and get some food made for my sister’s baby shower which was later in the day. As I mentioned a few posts ago, my sister had a beautiful baby girl the other week, called Megan. But she was 6 weeks premature so very unexpected! She’s all well and lovely thankfully, if a little small (dinky I like to say). Anyway, the baby shower was obviously planned ages ago when we thought Rachel would still be pregnant. However now little Megan could join in the fun too.

For the food, I made a few things and also bought some nibbles, like crisps and sausage rolls.

I wanted to keep things fairly simple and easy for myself, so I made hummus.

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Hummus (based on THIS recipe)

  • One tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150g tahini paste
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 large garlic gloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • A good pinch of salt

I basically whizzed up the chickpeas using my hand blender with a few tablespoons of water to begin with and then added the lemon juice. I whizzed again and then added all the other ingredients in. Simple as that really!

I peeled and cut up some carrots and took breadsticks with me for dunking.

I also made a large batch of coronation chicken.

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Lime and Mango Coronation Chicken (based on THIS recipe)

  • 1 cooked chicken (about 1.5kg)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 200ml Greek yogurt (I used 0% fat but any would do nicely I think)
  • 150ml mayonnaise (again I used light)
  • Grated zest of 1 lime and juice of ½
  • 2 tbsp. mango chutney
  • 1 small ripe mango, cut into chunks
  • 25g toasted flaked almonds

I removed and discard the skin from the chicken and then basically pulled the meat from the chicken using my hands which I put into a large dish. [The entire time I did this Alfie sat at my feet and didn’t take his eyes of me]

I then dry-fried the cumin, turmeric and curry powder on a low-heat to ‘release the fragrance’ of the spices.

Then put the yogurt, mayo, lime zest and juice, and chutney into a small bowl and mix, then add the spices. Add this to the chicken and mix in well. Then add the chopped mango and almonds. I didn’t have any fresh coriander, but I sprinkled dried coriander on at the end to add some oomph.

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It was very creamy, fragrant and tasty. As I had made stupid amounts I was able to take some home with me after the shower and Ben and me had that for dinner as well. Yum.

I also made a very simple couscous salad which was basically couscous, herbs, and roasted vegetables. I added in a spoonful of harrissa paste, lemon juice and garlic as well to liven things up.

The baby shower was lots of fun. There was a quiz (of which my team did not win, boo!) and a ‘guess what’s in the nappy’ game. There is something quite wrong about seeing mango chutney and marmite in a nappy. It ain’t pretty.

But the best part by far (OK maybe after Laura, my sister’s sister-in-law’s AMAZING cupcakes) was holding Megan. She was so beautiful, soft, warm and lovely.

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Literally a bundle of joy.

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But after hearing all the different birth stories from the different mums and watching one small child, Leah, eat a chocolate cupcake…I wasn’t quite convinced about having kids just yet!!

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A very proud nana!

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[Apologies for the terribly dark photo] This was Rachel feeding Megan.

As I said above, Laura (who occasionally reads my blog – hello!), made some extremely tasty cupcakes. Usually I’m not a big fan of chocolate cake but these were heavenly.

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I only managed a bit of a skewwhiff photo as I didn’t want to look like a weirdo taking photos of my food but check out how good that cake looks! I’ll need to get the recipe I think Smile

It was so lovely to spend the time with Rachel, friends, my mum and, of course, Megan.

After getting home I was shattered. I felt like the weekend was a bit non-stop. I did have a meal planned but in all honesty I couldn’t be bothered so Ben and I had leftovers.

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Coronation chicken, couscous and salad. Perfect.

Now… time for my first ever giveaway!

SlimKicker recently contacted me asking if I would host a giveaway for the blog and of course I thought this would be very exciting. I haven’t had a giveaway before!

Baiscally SlimKicker is an online calorie tracker where you can track your workouts, exercises and calories. It’s a great way to stay accountable because you can enter diet and fitness challenges with others and “check-in” to report on how you’re doing.

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And if you’re looking for recipes, SlimKicker has a bunch of them for many diets such as Dukan Diet.

So if you needed that boost to keep yourself on track with whatever goal you have in mind, it’s a great way to stay organised and stay motivated.

And the giveaway prize that SlimKicker have kindly offered is a Hamilton Beach Powder Elite Multi-Function Blender!

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For all your smoothie and milkshake needs! Especially with summer coming around the corner as well (apparently…).

To enter the giveaway, you need to leave a comment with what your fitness or health challenge idea would be. For example, “do 20 squats a day” or “do a 1 minute plank every day”. SlimKicker will then pick the best one after 1 week, and use it on their site!

So Monday 15th I will announce the winner that SlimKicker have chosen and they will ship you the blender!

**Unfortunately I can only limit this to USA residents though due to shipping costs. Apologies to my non-US readers!!**

Have a great start to the week everyone Smile

Some new experiences

So nice to wake up late Friday morning. I had that lovely experience of naturally waking up when my alarm would have gone off and rolling back over to sleep for a few more hours. Then waking up and feeling like I’d slept forever. I don’t lay in for that long (until 9am really) but it’s so much longer than when I usually get up.

Lo and behold! The sun was shining and it looked like summer. Only downside of that is that it meant my run this morning was a bit tough due to the temperature. But it was nice to get out there anyway.

Running 20.07

I went a bit further than my normal weekday runs and chose a different route which mixed things up a bit. I really ached from yesterday’s weights though. I worked on my arms and every time I bounced along the pavement I really felt it.

Here’s my routine for yesterday:

  • 5 sets 12 squats (5kg)
  • 3 sets of 12 bent-over row (5kg)
  • 3 sets of 12 triceps push
  • 3 sets of 12 ‘cleavage creator’ [Not my naming I hasten to add!! It was from a magazine…*mumbles quietly* not blessed in that department…]
  • 1x 1min30sec plank
  • 1x 1min side plank on each side
  • 50 sit-ups
  • 50 cycling sit-ups

I’m really trying to focus on my arms a bit more. But I’m not very good at varying it up. I used to go to Body Pump and I loved it. But I don’t go to a gym anymore so have to make do at home, which is never the same. So I plough the internet for ideas of different exercises. I have some weights but that’s it so I’m limited with equipment. I really miss the gym and the different classes there. Don’t get me wrong, I love running but I miss the choice of doing other things, like the rower or the elliptical machine. I wonder if I should have a look at DVDs…?

On another note, on Friday my package had arrived, which I was quite excited about:

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OK, not a massive package but enough to make me happy. I want to get back into making more smoothies so I’d made a couple of purchases from Holland and Barrett’s website to jazz them up a bit. After my run I decided to have a smoothie as it was too late to eat breakfast and too early for lunch. I don’t usually eat anything before runs as it makes me feel quite unwell. So I made my first ever green monster smoothie. I used Angela’s recipe here. I didn’t have any ice which was a bit annoying but I had some frozen banana chunks. And instead of using flax I used a couple of teaspoons of wheatgrass. I used non-sweetened almond milk as my choice of milk:

Smoothie 20.07

I was really dubious about what it was going to taste like. But, honestly, it was so yummy! I could have drunk it all day. I got Ben to try a mouthful as I thought he might like it. Nope. Ah well, can’t win ‘em all! He had a banana and fruit smoothie with cow’s milk and seemed quite happy with that.

I can’t wait to make different variations of the smoothie. I want to take it to work but (and I’m ashamed to admit) I’m worried people will look at me strangely. See, I work with a bunch of men who’s vision of ‘healthy’ is choosing a jam donut over a cream cake because the donut has fruit in it. Well, I’ll see. The point is, I need this in my life!!

Also wanted to share my first ever peanut butter-based meal:

19.07 dinner

Sweet potato and a dollop of crunchy no-added sugar PB and a load of veg. It was so good. Thank you blogging world for opening my eyes to this possibility!

Has anyone else had any new experiences lately?

Just Getting Started…

Hello!

This is my first blog and my first post…here goes.

My name is Anna. I live in the South of England with my husband-to-be (The Other Half) and our little dog, Alfie. We’ve recently just moved out of The Parents’ Houses (hurrah! Freedom!) and have a very small, but very lovely, little house. We’re also getting married in September. So basically, we’re just getting started.

I wanted to start a blog because I love writing and wanted to give myself some direction in life. I’m a keen runner, I love healthy food and cooking, and am struggling away at my first ‘proper’ career-orientated job since leaving university.

Oh, and I love apples.

I know that I may be the only one that ever reads this, but I’m going to give it a go 🙂