Currently – March

Thursday, hurrah! Or as I like to call it…Friday Eve 😉 Here’s a little update of how things are currently going for me.

Running: TOUCH WOOD, TOUCH WOOD IMMEDIATELY. Things are actually going OK. I am tired and feeling the effects of continued marathon training but my marathon training in comparison to others is kind of weak. No 50+ miles a week going on over here. But that said, I am running consistently and attempting the longer runs at the weekend.

What I’m really pleased about is the run I did last week after work. I picked a reasonably flat route (which is tricky given I work in Basingstoke Amazingstoke). I didn’t intentionally set off to run fast but I did want to do some fartleks so I popped on some motivating music (“banging tunes” some might say, I would never say that…out-loud/in public). As I started running my legs suddenly felt pretty good so I went with it. And consequently ran my fastest 5k in almost two years. TWO YEARS (to be precise, since July 2015 20:43, at Little Stoke parkrun).I was so in the zone that an elderly man cycled past me and said “you go girl!”. I stopped my watch exactly at 3.1 miles and couldn’t believe the time! OK not my fastest and still over a minute off my PB but for not having done any real speedwork lately, I WILL TAKE THAT.And happily, a royal flush negative split. Pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. And this has encouraged me to do one speed session a week. So last night I headed out to do a speed session (my intention was some 1km repeats with a couple of minutes rest between) but my legs went “nope” so I decided to do hills instead. Four hills (0.3 miles long, 11% gradient)…ooof. I do prefer hills though because even when you’re not feeling it, it’s still a good workout for your legs despite not actually going that fast. So mentally I can deal with it.

Books: I’m a keen reader so I’m always reading a book. When I finish one I move on to another. I usually read before I go to sleep to chill me out and with my breakfast in the morning (#nerd) so I can get through them fairly quickly. I signed up to (NOT an affiliated link, just a random recommendation) and you get emailed about discounted e-books around the web so I often take advantage of that. I rarely ever buy a book over £4. Anyway, I’ve just finished The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult.

It was fantastic. I love Jodi Picoult. She has such a great way of writing. This was really thought-provoking and I didn’t know how it’d end.

Before that I read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.Whenever a film comes out that is based on a book I’m always prompted to go and read the book if it takes my fancy. This book was quite short but sad. I was literally crying into my porridge one morning reading it. But a good story.

Gym nutrition: I’ve been trying a new BCAA drink from Sci-Vation. I fancied a change from my usual BSN Amino X Intra-Workout.

I chose this because it contains no proprietary blend (which is a supplementary company’s way of cost cutting because they don’t have to state the dosage of the ingredients within the blend and you’ll likely be fobbed off with an ineffective dose to have any real effect) and 7 grams of BCAAs (a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine; plus an additional 2.5g of glutamine per scoop and 1g of Citrulline Malate) and 1.1 gram of electrolytes. Basically, a good BCAA drink! It’s more expensive, but more effective. And it tastes DELICIOUS. I use it during my fasted gym visits.

Slow cooker fun: I’ve been back on the old slow cooker wagon again.My meals are verrrrry basic but it’s so nice to come in to a home smelling of food and having dinner ready. LAtely I’ve been throwing in chicken drumsticks and thighs with butter squash chunks and other veg and just adding some basic seasonings and spices, like paprika, garlic, fish sauce (trust me, it works), Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce.

Quickly back to running quickly, this week has been feeling tough (probably because I’ve suddenly started doing speedwork again and did a fairly tough 16 miler on Sunday…oh and I ran a marathon last month!). I don’t feel injured but I do feel worn out. I am “meant” to run a long run on Friday morning (as I’m away this weekend) but I’m just thinking it’s not going to happen. I’d rather turn up to London undertrained and than overtrained (or injured) so I’m probably going to skip it. Listening to my body and all that 😉 I might be able to get out Sunday afternoon when I’m back but I won’t cry about it if I don’t. And it depends how I feel!

Do you use a slow cooker?

What book have you read recently?

What signs tell you when to take some rest from working out?

8 Replies to “Currently – March”

  1. Hi Anna, nice to know that someone else likes to read last thing and first thing.

    I also can’t get to sleep unless I’ve had at least a little read no matter how tired I am. My thing is non-fiction, and I tend to read a lot about crime (and psychology of crime) and predictably about sport. Reading for me is as much about comfort as anything – I take comfort in learning but also in familiarity so I’ll read the same books many times. I tend to find that the things I reread are usually things where I got the biggest buzz out of learning something new the first time, or it’s a comforting topic (for example the inside story of a sporting event I feel nostalgic about). Probably weird, but it’s got me through some stressful times and lonely moments. The Kindle is amazing for this, especially when travelling and commuting. I’m currently reading a book about the Kennedy assassination by on the Kindle which is a modernised version of a paperback I have that was printed in 1980. It’s acknowledged as one of the definitive works on the subject (by a guy called Anthony Summers, a Brit), and much more information has been released in the intervening thirty plus years between versions so I’m finding it a good read.

    Slow cooker we love, the best way by a mile to cook a curry, even from a jar! Sainsbury’s do a nice low fat sauce that comes out well when cooked for a few hours with some chicken cubes so you can even be health conscious with it.

    Running fatigue I can relate to as I felt it on my 10k training run last night – legs heavy, mental wherewithal to get through hard to summon. Glad I did it though. Consequence of putting a lot in to Eastleigh, and upping my long run distance again to prepare for the Southampton Half. Since I’ve been following a plan I’ve noticed my easy runs have got faster, but I wonder if that’s taking its toll a bit. Fingers crossed a rest day will help.

    Oh well, tea break over – nice post!

  2. The last book I read was Shantaram – it’s pretty long but I read it really fast as I seem to have more time for reading since moving away! My work out routine has suffered this week as I’ve had the worst cold, really thought I’d avoid such things in a hot climate but sadly not – hoping to make it out for a run tomorrow as I’m still trying to find decent running routes and acclimatize to running in the heat! x

  3. I’d love to try a slow cooker. We have a rice cooker, which is brilliant (and having leftover rice heated up in almond milk for breakfast is awesome…).
    I’ve just finished Nick Frost’s Memoirs, I’m reading a book of articles by David Mitchell, ‘Interesting Times’ by Pratchett, and ‘A Glastonbury Romance’. This last is incredibly long, and I keep leaving it for a month and returning to it. Powerful stuff, but also too heavy to schlep about, and I can’t find an e-book version.
    Right now, I am anything but guilty of overtraining. But I think I’m beginning to overcome the jetlag.
    Jane recently posted…Panic overMy Profile

  4. Resting sounds very sensible- you have the training behind you as you did just run a marathon, so you just need to keep things ticking over and not go too long. Nice work on the speedy 5k- that’s amazing!
    I always read before I sleep, even if it is one page before I fall asleep holding it and have to wake up to put it down! I loved the book by Rosie Swale Pope about her run around the world- the first chapter was a hard read, but the descriptions of where she visited sounded amazing. I also read the book about running in Japan, by the guy who also wrote Running with the Kenyans (that’s the trouble with a kindle, I can never remember what they are called as I don’t see the spine…). I’ve just started a Stephen King book called Mr Mercedes- a bit of crime solving for some variety.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…A lovely run, almond milk yoghurt, yoga with a tree view and warmer weatherMy Profile

  5. Sounds like your training is going well, keep it up! A friend just completed a Marathon over the weekend, the location has escaped my mind. Our family LOVES a slow cooker! We literally cook most things in there, even lasagna!

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