Brighton Half Marathon Recap

Hey everyone! This weekend was almost a perfect weekend. Parkrun, cake, a race, seeing friends, good food and lots of chilling.

Netley Abbey Parkrun cricket pitch course

Saturday we went to Parkrun. It was a bit chilly, very windy but the rain held off…for a little bit. We were on the cricket pitch course which is very flat but very boring (5 laps!). Also a bit precarious underfoot at the moment as it’s quite wet and muddy. In the summer it’s excellent for PB potential. At the moment it’s better than the other more hilly course but you still need to mind your step a fair bit, especially round the corners!


I decided just to see how I felt for this run. In the end one of my running friends from a different run club ran with me. At first I felt a bit pressured as he’s normally quite speedy (we used to be fairly evenly matched but since my injury I’m definitely slower than him) but it was nice as it pushed me harder. I didn’t want to hold him up too much! 2nd female with 22:30. I just couldn’t catch the first female!

Then we rushed home, did the housework, showered and headed out for…yep, afternoon tea – again!

Elsie's Valentine's afternoon tea That’s Ben’s “I hate you taking photos” face

It was, as always, lovely. Ham and mustard sandwiches, fruit scones (with ginger and rhubarb jam) and butterscotch banana cake with chocolate chips.

Elsie's afternoon tea 15.02 If you’re ever in Botley check out Elsie’s Tea Rooms – it’s lovely and very reasonably priced.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing after a drizzly walk with Alfie. And in bed fairly early because we had a delightful 5.20am start the next day.

Ah yes…I may not have mentioned this on the blog. I had a bit of a change of mind. Ben and me decided to do the Brighton Half (despite deciding against it a few weeks ago). We reasoned that if we survived the very tough 11 miler the weekend before without issue, 13 very flat miles would be OK. I promised myself I wouldn’t go faster than 8-8.30mins/mile and would see it as a training run – a lovely route with thousands of other people.

So we left at 6am. Ouch.Early start Brighton half On route to Brighton

I ate my porridge and drank a coffee as we drove over. It was about an hour and some to get there. We parked in the Park and Ride and then got the bus down to the race village.Pre Brighton half Feeling lovely and warm in the bus, but dreading standing the cold!

Through Twitter I managed to find someone to run with who was in a similar situation. Cathy (check her blog out HERE) kindly offered to run with me and we agreed it’d be way more fun to run together slowly than on our own!

image So we met up in our optimistically fast pen. The race was like no other half marathon I’ve ever done in that I was quite relaxed, didn’t care about pace and was able to chat someone the whole time.

The weather was fantastic. Cold, but clear, sunny and no wind! Perfect running conditions.

Brighton half marathon 2014

It was a fairly flat course (though there were some minor sneaky gradual inclines). The views were great of the seafront and surroundings. But I just found it a little dull running all the way up the seafront and then running all the way back.


But the company was lovely. We chatted about races, running and life in general. It was great! We both were a bit miffed at not being anywhere near a PB but reflected it was for the best at the moment.

The pace felt very comfortable and chatting was easy so I feel in a good place about that 🙂 We had a little sprint finish (to pick off some females…just couldn’t help it) and then finished. 1:49:01 official time, 2,126th.


Thank you Cathy!


My knee was OK during the run. At times it felt slightly uncomfortable in that it felt tired. Not painful, nothing like before…just hard done by. But this was intermittent and nothing I’m worried about. No pain on finishing and afterwards either. Well, my whole body ached but that’s to be expected!

Ben got himself a cheeky PB as well, despite saying he was going to take it easy (1:52:30).

Brighton half finished

We then met up with some friends who live in Brighton for a lovely roast.

Post Brighton half roast I had roast venison with the largest Yorkshire pudding known to man and lots of veggies and roast potatoes. Food never tasted so good.

Then we headed home and I fell asleep in the car! I did lots of stretching, foam rolling and icing while just chilling on the sofa, before promptly heading to bed at 9pm shattered.

Brighton Half was a great race, definitely PB potential, well organised, beautiful scenery and great crowd support. The goodie bag not too shabby either.

Brighton Half Goodie BagBen picked up quite a few Lucozade drinks as he loves them

So that, my friends, is what a great weekend in my eyes looks like. I wish I could have smashed a PB out to make things perfect but I have a bigger goal in mind to jeopardise anything at the moment. Slowly, gradually, I’ll hopefully get there.

How was your weekend?

Did anyone run any races? Eat cake?

Has anyone done Brighton half/marathon before? Thoughts?

A spot of afternoon tea

Hello! It’s Wednesday – half way there! Not that I’m living for the weekend or anything… Winking smile

This week I’m joining the blogging link-up What I Ate Wednesday and share the delightful treats and meals I’ve been loving lately. Pop over to Jenn’s blog to see what’s going down Smile


So here’s a recap of Saturday’s eats as they were pretty damn good. As I mentioned in my last post, I didn’t run Parkrun on Saturday. This was really hard and sad for me. Without sounding overly dramatic, it sucked. Ben went but I went to spin instead. I could have volunteered but I wanted to get the endorphins going and to be honest I was in a bad mood.

And let me tell you, spin was hard core. The usual person was sick apparently so we had a stand-by person do it. I assumed it would be a cop-out session. Ha. Usually we have little breaks between songs but not this time. It was just non-stop. And then the instructor goes “right, time for a 5 minute sprint”. Seriously?! It was 30 seconds of sprints, with about 10 seconds recovery, over 5 minutes. I was a sweaty mess.

After this I had my usual breakfast:


Same old same old. Porridge (oatmeal), almond milk and chia seeds.

Then after getting ready and usual house stuff, Ben and me headed to my parent’s where I dropped Ben off for some ‘man-time’ with my dad to watch the football and play Xbox. I picked my mum up and we headed off for a lovely spot of afternoon tea for lunch.

Besides from getting immensely stressed out trying to find a car park in the world’s smallest village square and ending up giving up and parking in a ditch, we arrived at Lilly’s Tearoom in Wickham in one piece (not always guaranteed when I drive).

We ordered soup to start because we weren’t sure afternoon tea would be an adequate lunch (rookie error right there).


Delicious pea and ham soup

I loved how beautiful all the crockery was. In fact, the whole tearoom was beautifully decorated and the service was fabulous.

Tea at Lillys

Obviously we had tea Smile

And then our ‘main’…

Afternoon tea

Heaven! We had the choice of so many different cakes (carrot, chocolate, lemon drizzle, coffee and walnut, rocky road, millionaire shortbread or Victoria sponge). Well, my mum and me both adore Victoria sponge so we both went for a slice of that. It also came with crustless chicken sandwiches and crustless cucumber sandwiches (but of course!) and scones with clotted cream and jam.

Yeah so we clearly did not need that soup!! We were both quite full by the end, only leaving a couple of the sandwiches (choose your battles I say – cakes all the way). It was perfect.

And then we looked round the little square at all the lovely little shops. And lo and behold I found the most amazing chocolate shop.

Chocolate shop Wickham

Because after so much cake, surely this makes sense??

So many beautiful and tasty looking chocolates! Well, I pushed the boat out and went crazy. I bought Ben and me a box to share.

Box of chocolates

I forgot to take a photo of inside, but I will share soon as it’s pretty impressive

The shopkeeper thought it was hilarious that I was buying this for just Ben and me to eat ourselves. How terribly indulgent, I know Winking smile

Well, dinner wasn’t needed for quite a long time afterwards! Luckily Ben had had a pub lunch so we were both happy to have a nice late dinner.

Roast sausages and veg

I kept it simple and had roasted vegetables and sausages. I threw in a chopped cooking apple as well (because I don’t eat enough apples – it’s something I’m trying to work on Winking smile). I threw some herbs on it (rosemary and thyme) and then drizzled it with some oil and balsamic vinegar. LOVED this. Definitely happening again. And so easy – everything just went in a casserole dish and then in the oven for 20ish minutes.

And that’s that!

Last night I went for an easy 8 mile run and it felt pretty good. No pain, no major discomfort. Just a bit of aching but I was more concerned with the raging thunderstorm going around me! But more on that another day.

Have you ever had afternoon tea? I think it’s pretty much the best thing in the world. OK I’m easily swayed by anything cake-related.

What treats do you like to buy? A box of chocolates is fairly extravagant for us, but I just couldn’t help myself. Usually it’s Cadbury’s chocolate or Lindt!

What’s your favourite filling in a sandwich? I am a bit turkey or chicken fan, with loads of salad. And cranberry sauce.