Rants and Raves #28

More raves than rants lately which is all good in my book. Marathon training is going well (*TOUCHES WOOD IMMEDIATELY*) and I’m in a happy place. For no specific real reason really (I’m still single…which I don’t particularly mind right now), just loving that the days are longer, the sun is brighter (or actually present) and I’m enjoying life!

Rave: I’m not a huge shopper (unless it’s to do with running/gym clothes, then I’m the worst) but occasionally I might splurge on non-fitness related items. I recently fell in love with a pair of Timberland boots. My mum has the same size feet as me and has a pair but annoyingly she has them in a deep raspberry colour, of which I wasn’t too keen on (otherwise I could borrow them). I went and perused a light brown pair on Saturday and tried a few different styles. They were quite expensive though so I left without buying them. But then ended up going back the next day as I couldn’t resist. That’s always the sign of a good purchase I think!


They’re really good quality, water-proof and hardy. Though the worst of the weather seems to be behind us, I always need a good pair of ‘proper’ shoes that aren’t just trainers or slip-ons.  I also got myself two new pairs of jeans from H&M that were a bargain (£15!). They fit perfectly so I bought one in black and one in denim (in above pic). When you’ve found a pair of good fitting jeans, BUY THEM ALL.

Rave: OK I have a leeeeeeeetle thing for leggings. Most of my leggings though are more gym appropriate than running appropriate. They tend to be a bit more flashy or the material isn’t as good. I normally stick with either my trusty Nike capris or my slightly longer Helly Hansen ones.  I do have Puma full-length ones but I rarely wear them unless it’s super cold. Anyway, my Nike’s are looking a bit tired (they’ve been around for a few years now…) and I’d seen some cool compression-style ones at the Marathon Talk Run Camp. In the end I went for 2UX 3/4 tights.2XU Compression

I got them from Zalando (I had a £10 off voucher. It made sense. [Not an affiliated link]). They are expensive at £70 (without my voucher) but I know how long my Nike’s have lasted and I wanted a quality product. And let me tell you, they are fantastic. They’re compression so they’re obviously a bit tighter than my Nike’s but they feel great on. They don’t slip down, they’re water-resistant, they have a little pocket for a key and they’re lovely and smooth. And they have the compression technology in them. Fully recommend!

Rant: When you’re one of the few people in an office who regular runs you become known somewhat of a ‘guru’ for all things running related. It doesn’t sound too bad I guess but it’s become more and more regular that people expect me to solve their fitness-problems. One fellow colleague started running with his dog and found after a few runs his knee started hurting. He told me this and then looked at me questioningly as if I could a) explain his knee issue or b) give him some solid medical advice. I’ve had my fair few injuries, don’t get me wrong, but I can barely solve my own let alone other people’s! I suggested getting trainers fitted and laying off the running until it felt OK…and possibly seeing someone about it if it wouldn’t go away.

Another guy told me how he was going to run the Reading Half Marathon which is in a few weeks time. I asked how his training was going and he said he wasn’t really training for it. OK… Yeah so plucked a random time goal out of the air, he then plugged that pace into a treadmill and evaluated how he got on. Apparently he lasted 10 minutes. Riiiiight. I told him normal half marathon training plans were at very least eight weeks long for fairly new runners, though ideally 12 weeks realistically (and that’s probably with at least some running experience behind them). He laughed and said, “Weeks?!”. Good luck, my friend. Good luck.

Rave: But on that similar note, it’s always nice people from other companies (we share an office block) coming up to you and saying they saw you running after work and asking what I was training for. They did London, they’re planning on doing this or that and the conversation just flows nicely. Running brings people together Smile

Rant: When I was in Bristol the other weekend Alfie joined me. This is a tad gross but Kate said when they took Alfie and Doug, her pug, for a walk in the morning when I was at parkrun she noticed Alfie’s poo wasn’t, er, optimal. She suggested feeding him pasta to help his tummy as that’s what the vet has always told her (Doug’s had a few sick times). She kindly cooked him a little bowl of plain pasta (fusilli if you’re interested) for him to eat. He absolutely wolfed it down. Now Alfie is far more a grazer than a wolfer-downer (I just leave kibble in his bowl and he has it as and when he fancies it). I was really shocked.IMG_8979

My little Alfie is a carb-lover it seems! However, when I tried to recreate this at home but with rice instead of pasta (as I never have pasta) he played around with it and then left it. I’ve now been finding rice grains all over my floor since. *Sighs* Thanks Alfie. Clearly he’s picky with his carbs. But his poo has become more normal so it’s all good (TMI?).

Rave: I’ve been doing so well in reducing the number of artificial sweeteners I eat in my diet. I’m really quite bad at this… Sugar-free squash, sugar-free jelly, Options Hot Chocolate. It isn’t pretty.

But I’ve managed to cut back on my squash successfully; only two glasses a day. The rest have been swapped for herbal teas (peppermint and raspberry & Echinacea are my two current favourites). I haven’t been able to stop the jellies (choose your battles). But I have been able to stop the Options Hot Chocolate. This is a big move for me as I literally have one every single night. Not now though!


I now have real cocoa powder with Stevia to sweeten. Stevia, though yes is still technically a sugar, is far better for you than other more chemical ones. At first it wasn’t the same… Not as sweet, a little bit too bitter, but now I’ve adjusted. Cocoa actually has some great benefits for reducing inflammation and contains antioxidants. Win win!

Rave: Still loving the gym. I thought I wouldn’t be able to balance the two: strength training and marathon training but I listen to my body and go with it. When I’m tired or ache from a run, if I still fancy going to the gym I’ll lower the weights or do less reps. Or avoid some exercises completely. IMG_8726But I’m really pleased that I’ve managed to reach 75kg for my squats (six reps!). My depth probably needs to improve a bit but I focus on that on a different day when I do higher reps (12) with a lighter weight. My deadlift as well is coming on better. I had a break from it for a while as my lower back was bugging me (trampolining…). When I went back to it I needed to lower the weight again and work on my form but it’s all nice progress Smile

Rant: Easter eggs. They’re everywhere. How am I going to resist?!


It’s just a nightmare. I love Easter Eggs – especially the ones with bits in the actual egg (Thornton’s do a great peppermint speckled egg and ones with fudge pieces in) .I can give or take the plain chocolate ones but anything that’s remotely a bit more exciting I struggle to resist. I do want one this year but I know that it’ll only goad me from it’s see-through prison and then when I break into it it’ll be game over. I just have no self-control.

Do you buy Easter eggs? What do you go for?

Do you eat a lot of artificial sweeteners?

What kind of ‘proper’ shoes do you usually go for?

14 Replies to “Rants and Raves #28”

  1. I don’t really use a lot of artificial sweeteners. When I was a kid my mum would always get sugar-free squash but now I don’t really like squash, I prefer water with cucumber/mint/lemon or just green tea. I am really very boring but I rarely drink anything fizzy or artificially sweetened! I do like hot chocolate but one tub of Options has lasted me all winter I have it so rarely. My vice though is chocolate! We have a chocolate box in our house and we are continually topping it up. Reeces peanut butter cups are my biggest vice or anything peanut buttery. I love creme eggs too but I actually haven’t had a single one yet this year because I’ve been trying to resist temptation! I will make sure I indulge in a few next weekend though 🙂
    Helen recently posted…Liverpool Half Marathon – new PB!My Profile

    1. Wow that’s really good. Yeah I’m terrible. I bulk buy the Options!! Which is why I really needed to change…
      I’m not too bad with chocolate surprisingly (cake, however…). I tend to just not buy it as if I do have it at home I’ll have a moment of weakness one evening and scoff too much. And then I can’t sleep!
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #28My Profile

  2. £40 for an Easter eggs? Yikes! Do people know how many other eggs you can get for that money.
    I have had my eye on those boots for ages and you have made me want to buy them even more now. I always walk away if I want to buy something and if I am still thinking about it a few days later, then I usually go back and buy it.

    1. I didn’t think about that – quantity over quality (well, presentation really as let’s be honest, it’s all just chocolate really and even the higher grade stuff is still a whole lot cheaper!)
      I fully recommend the boots. They’re GORGEOUS. They’ll last for ages as well…
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #28My Profile

  3. I am with you on the Nike’s- I have tried lots of different brands but I always go back to them as they fit so well, are so comfy and also last a million washes.
    I do like an Easter egg, although I tend to put them into the cupboard and then forget about them- last week over a few days we shared a Lindt bunny that someone gave me last Easter! I thought we should have it before it got to a year old! I bought some Montezuma’s peanut butter filled eggs in Brighton the other week, so they shall be our treat, although I do get more tempted after Easter when they are being sold off cheap!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Finally a parkrun pb!My Profile

    1. Yes I’m the same with Eatser eggs in that I don’t open them for ages. I know that when I do they won’t last long so I always end up saving them for when I really want some (or a fair amount of) chocolate. When I moved I found an Easter egg that had been in the cupboard for two years, but just hadn’t been touched because it was SO huge there never seemed to be an occasion for it.
      Those peanut butter eggs sound tasty. My mum recently got me some passionate fruit flavoured truffly filled ones from M&S and they were deeelicious.
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #28My Profile

  4. Oh, I’m definitely an egg fan. And a mini egg fan. We have emergency mini eggs…

    Other than that, I like brogues for proper shoes, and I tend to avoid artificial sweeteners except in squash (drink of choice at home, but it’s all decaff tea and herbal tea at work). I am all about full fat, full sugar in general… with a weakness for Diet Coke. Hmmmm.
    Jane recently posted…It’s been that sort of weekMy Profile

    1. I love the concept of emergency mini eggs. Good plan.
      I always go for diet drinks in general. I’m a HUGE Diet Coke fan and Fanta Zero. Luckily for Diet Coke I will only ever drink it from the tap in a pub as it’s the only way I like it (can and bottle taste awful to me).
      AnnaTheApple recently posted…Rants and Raves #28My Profile

  5. I have cut down artificial sweeteners a lot although I do still have an occasional Diet Coke… I’m much more aware of what they are in these days then I used to be. I love the running advice rant – I get asked questions all the time and sometimes it is a bit frustrating. Especially when people want to know if they can “wing it” for a half marathon…erm, probably not…. x
    LilyLipstick recently posted…Travel: 36 Hours In…AmsterdamMy Profile

  6. Well done on cutting back on the sweeteners! That’s a good move.

    Mum used to feed our dog on rice, veggies and meat (usually she’d mix normal dog food with a bit of the rice and veggies) and that helped a little bit. Our dog did like pasta too

    I know what you mean about the Easter eggs. As soon as the Christmas stuff was put away, out came the eggs in January. I like a good quality Easter egg, though I am happy with normal chocolate too. We usually get a bar or two on Montezuma’s chocolate (lime and chilli is my favourite).

    I was looking at some Timberland’s recently too, but opted for a similar-ish looking pair from Clarks. I get so fed up of wearing trainers or pumps too.
    Steph recently posted…Killerton Secret Supper ClubMy Profile

  7. As soon as I open an Easter egg it is gone in approximately a day. I have absolutely zero self control.
    I am also really bad with ‘proper’ shoes. Trainers are a million times comfier, as is sports gear in general (it’s great to work at a sports marketing agency that gives you some leeway on rocking up in running stuff!). I either wear pumps that trash my feet and I get cold feet, but this winter I’ve lived in a pair of little ankle boots that are a bit like Pochahantas shoes. Come summer it will be flip flops. DONE!
    Katie@These Girls Do recently posted…Knowing your limits – how ill is too ill to race?My Profile

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