Can you believe it’s Monday again? The weekend felt like it zoomed by. How depressing! I feel shattered! The weekend was brilliant though.
On Saturday morning I got up early and ran my 12 mile long run. For the first 6-7miles it was brilliant. It felt easy, I was running a fast pace; I was really chuffed. Then I started to feel quite tired around mile 7. So I thought I’d have a sweet to pick my energy up. Last time I had a mini Tootsie Roll but found this really annoying to eat because it was so chewy. I chose a boiled sweet I got from Bulgaria in our epic pick ‘n’ mix swag instead so I could just suck it as I ran. However, it wasn’t a boiled sweet at all but another chewy sweet. I find chewing really hard when I run because I ordinarily breathe through my mouth when I run so when I have to chew I find myself gasping and not taking in enough air.
By the time I had finished the damn sweet I then had a stitch (this is about mile 8 now) and it was a killer. I knew at this point I had stupidly started too quickly – of course it felt easy and amazing at the start: I had only just started!! I didn’t think that maintaining that speed for another 10 miles would feel so hard. I know, I am incredibly dim.
Mile 9 was the hardest. The stitch was so painful I had to stop. I stopped my Garmin and took in huge lungfuls of air for 30 seconds just to get rid of the bloody stitch. Then I got back to it and everything was fine again. But it did really worry me.
My time was great but if I’m honest I feel really stupid and sheepish about it. I was too fast. I shouldn’t have run like I did. Maybe for the actual half-marathon it wouldn’t have been so bad, but not while I’m training. Really, really stupid. Risking all kinds of injuries…stupid, stupid.
So I’ve learnt my lesson. No matter how good the run feels at the beginning, always start slower. Your legs will thank you at mile 8 or 9 or whatever mileage your aiming for.
Anyway, so after running I quickly got myself together, had breakfast, and got on the road to Bristol. It wasn’t a bad drive and I listened to a Marathon Talk podcast which reinforced how stupid I had been earlier.
It was so lovely seeing my university friends again. And I got to meet Kate’s (the girl who lives in Bristol and who we were staying with) little pug, Doug.
Awww, look at his little face. He is adorable. Completely different persoanlity to Alfie, but adorable none-the-less.
After catching up for a bit we headed out to grab some lunch and do some shopping in Cabot Circus, which is a huge shopping centre in Bristol. So good. Designed in a way to get you lost though so you spend more time and money there!
We had to wait 20 minutes before we got a seat in Giraffe (love this restaurant) as it was so busy. So by the time we were sat down ready to order it was like 2.30pm and I was quite extremely hungry by this point! I ordered a feta super salad…
There was avocado and bulgar wheat and borlotti beans in there as well. The menu said broccoli as well but as you can, there wasn’t any. As my friend also ordered this and was broccoli-less too I complained and the waiter brought us out a plate of broccoli. I think he thought we were a bit strange, but seriously I want what I ordered!
On the side I also had sweet potato fries (because I was so hungry!)
Can I just say, hands down, they were the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.
After lunch we did a bit of shopping and I bought some jeans and…three scarves!! I just couldn’t stop. Here’s one of them that I’m wearing today.
I love this! It’s got skull and crossbones on it. So different from my usual scarves.
After shopping we dropped into Tesco to buy something for dinner and then headed back. We chatted some more and relaxed. Then it was dinner time. I had bought a beetroot and horseradish soup (sounds weird but really, really good) and had that with a bit of bread and then my apples for dessert (well, what else?). My friends know me so well they know about my apple obsession. In fact, Kate had even bought a load of apples purely to feed my addiction! Bless her. She also bought porridge oats for me as well for the morning
Really yummy. Going to see if I can find a recipe for this soup.
Now, every time my friends and me meet up and stay over someone’s house we always have a tradition. We make the world’s best brownie. Technically, it’s probably not a brownie. Not the way we eat it! I can’t disclose exact the recipe (because it changes every time & I’d have to kill you ) but it vaguely goes like this:
World’s Best Brownie (serves 4-5 greedy girls) – edited for an evolved better version
- 90g flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2x 400g tin of prunes in own juice (with stones)
- 300-400g milk chocolate (ideally Cadbury’s – more chocolate is never a bad thing)
- Bar of Mint Aero/bag of Mint Aero balls
- Optional piggy extras: digestive biscuits or 120g Milky Bar
– We mix the flour and sugar together.
– Break up all the milk chocolate and then melt it over a pan of simmering water. We like to reserve half the Mint Aero bar to add in just before it goes in the oven as finding semi-melted mint bits is incredible.
– De-pit the prunes and get rid of the juice (or reserve for another recipe?). Then cook in a small pan until all broken up and squidgy. Allow to cool.
– Then add melted chocolate and beaten eggs to the prunes and blend together. Blend really well because seriously, a big blob of prune in a brownie rocks no one’s world. We always use a hand blender.
– Then fold in the flour and sugar and stir in the added extras.
– Bake for an undefined period of time. This is where it gets interesting. For how we eat it, I’d say 15mins. For normal people, I’d say 20-25mins (but this misses the point as you will see).
Important points: We don’t bake it for long enough to cook the entire thing ‘properly’. We make sure it’s cooked 3/4s of the way so that underneath the crust it’s seriously gooey.
We also don’t cut it. We literally put it in the middle of the table and each have teaspoons. We wait, oh, all of 5 mins and then dig in. Then proceeds the expressions of pain and gasping of “this is stupidly hot!!”
The Mint Aero is a delightful addition to the brownie. Big blobs of melted mint chocolate are scattered throughout and it’s like a treasure hunt. It’s closer to pudding then a brownie as you can see, but it is bliss whatever it technically should be called. And between 5 of us, we finished the lot. Though, as usual, we all felt quite sick afterwards. But a contented sick feeling.
This brownie, and it’s long-standing tradition, came about because when we were at university we all lived together (this is years ago now) and would often make cookies. We got bored of cookies and wanted something different. Something a bit healthier so we didn’t feel so bad scoffing it. Also, a measly cookie never satisfies the need for something really naughty.
So we Googled a recipe and I think it was THIS one we found. We wanted a recipe that didn’t have butter (as God forbid we included something as fattening as butter! Don’t worry about the sugar and chocolate haha). However, this recipe obviously does have butter and I think we just didn’t read it properly.
Since then we’ve always made this brownie, but it’s been tweaked and adapted and extras have been added through the years to increase it’s amazingness. Obviously, it is not a healthy brownie anymore (or was ever?) but the prunes instead of butter allow us to live in our dream-world that it’s better than a normal brownie haha. Also, the texture is SO good. We do this about twice/three times a year.
Anyway! We then chatted and went to bed at like midnight – seriously past my bedtime! Haha. The next day we had breakfast and then took Doug for a lovely walk around a beautiful park.
And then I drove home! My lovely husband had done all the chores, bless him, so I just got back and could have lunch and chill. Perfect weekend!
What did you guys get up to?
Do you do any crazy/weird traditions with your friends when you see them?
Have you ever learnt from a fitness mistake?