I am on a high today! I had a truly brilliant run last night. I ran with the running club and there were only five of us in the faster group and this speedy girl and me were on fire leading the pack. I couldn’t believe it when I checked out my Garmin as we got into the run and just how good it felt.


I felt like it was at least a minute slower than we were going. We did stop a few times so the slightly slower part of our group could catch up so I guess it was like long interval running. Mile 4 and 5 did not feel that fast!!

My only worry now is that I rinsed my energy for Sunday. But you know what? I don’t even mind. Last night felt so good and I know Cheddar Gorge is going to be tough regardless. And seriously, I am not aiming for a PB. It’ll kill me!! I’m thinking at least 20 minutes slower, which I am perfectly happy about. No pressures, just enjoying the views and the challenge. It’s almost a relief this half marathon has a ridiculous course because all time pressures are gone.

After I got in, showered, put my compression socks on (my calves were so achy) and made dinner it was like 9.30pm! I had to leave my compression socks on when I went to bed to maximise the effect.

Compression socks in bed

Yep I get that look from Alfie quite frequently…He seems bewildered by my sudden love for long socks in bed. I’m the girl who has to poke my feet out of the duvet as I get so hot! I woke up in the middle of the night and had to peel them off half asleep as my feet got soo hot.

I also tested out my new hydration belt to see how well it worked and if it would be OK for Sunday.


I did want the Nathan Speed 2 belt but it wasn’t going to be dispatched until September and I couldn’t find the right size anywhere else…so I settled for the iFitness belt. The two bottles can contain roughly 170ml (6oz) of water each. Not a huge amount but just enough to not be weighty as I run. There’s also a zip up poach to fit a phone and gels in. And it has clips for a race bib. Perfect.

Hydration belt

Post-run feeling a bit sweaty…

It rode up slightly as I set out but after I got it into a good position it worked like a dream. It didn’t annoy me, get in my way, leak or bounce. Very comfortable. Thumbs up.

So this weekend is going to be crazy busy. Saturday morning Ben and me are planning on going to Parkrun for a ‘shakeout run’. Nothing crazy.

Then shower and have breakfast to then leave for my work’s annual summer BBQ (at the boss’s mansion house, ooh err). I can’t believe it’s a year since the last one!! Now my aim for that BBQ is to be sensible with what I eat.

Let me put this into perspective, last year I ate three and a half puddings. and we’re not talking mini puddings here. There was a slice of Victoria sponge…a brownie…a scone…and half of something else which I can’t remember…I obviously didn’t like it too much as I only ate half Winking smile


Oh man, I even found a photo documenting the evidence ^^… that was clearly round one of the puddings.

Anyway, my plan is to enjoy the food on offer (particularly the carbs!) and not go crazy on the sweet stuff. Obviously I won’t turn down pudding entirely but I will be sensible and stick to three two two two one.

The BBQ will go on until 5, so then we’ll get back and just chill and have a light dinner (I imagine we’ll only manage a light dinner after the BBQ! But I don’t want to have nothing). Then up early to go-go-go to Cheddar Gorge, which will take around 2 hours.

No time to chill this weekend! Ho hum.

All preparations have been made beforehand so I don’t get too stressed on Saturday…the list of stuff I need to remember:

  • Water with electrolyte tablets
  • Gels
  • Hydration belt
  • Hat
  • Suntan lotion
  • Chafing stuff
  • Safety pins
  • Headphones

And my playlist has been created:


I have quite an eclectic music taste I guess. I wanted music to ‘pump me up’ and keep pushing me, but also not be too pounding in my ears as 13 miles is quite a long way to go! I’m loving Half Moon Run at the moment and Bastille. And I’m a huge Mumford and Sons fan (can you tell?). But can’t go wrong with a little bit of Kanye as well Winking smile

I much prefer running with music when I’m racing as it stops me from thinking “man this hurts” or dwelling on speed and pace. I can just sort of ‘connect’ with my running. But not all races let you where headphones (safety shmafety! Winking smile). But this one is off-road so no issues! Hurrah.

So now all is left to do is run. Wish me luck!

What are you doing this weekend?

What’s your next race or event you’re planning for?

What’s on your workout playlist?

Summer BBQ – WIAW

For this What I ate Wednesday, I thought I’d share the BBQ we had at the weekend. As I said in the last post, we turned up at my parent’s house and found they were thinking about having a BBQ…so we sort of just invited ourselves! I’m sure they didn’t mind really… Winking smile

Thanks, Jenn, for hosting as always Open-mouthed smile

I found my parents had bought some pink lemonade so I started myself nicely on that while relaxing in the beautiful sunshine in my parent’s garden.


The men folk did what men folk do best…play with the BBQ, drink beer and set fire to stuff. Supposedly cooking Winking smile


The women folk did what we do best…sit and relax!


I found a BBQ cookbook at my parents and also borrowed their mini iPad, score!

In the morning I ran 10 miles so I was definitely ready for a lot of food! And happily, my parents seemed to have bought enough food to feed an army…or at least a very hungry Anna Open-mouthed smile

BBQ July

I thoroughly enjoyed several glasses of pink lemonade and snacked on lots of carrots and cucumbers dipped in the amazingness that is avocado and hummus dip (seriously this is amazing) while the meat was cooking.


Whoops, caught red handed!!

For the meat I had a very large kangaroo burger. FYI: kangaroo is amazing. It’s like beef but slightly gamey. Really flavoursome. Ben kept reminding me I was eating ‘skippy’ though. My dad thought it was funny that I didn’t want a bun with it. To which I replied: why waste valuable stomach space on boring bread?? I had a lot to get through and I did not want to be hindered Winking smile

Next up were chicken tikka skewers which their local butchers make. Heavenly. I’m not going to lie. I ate three.

Then came the piece de resistance. BBQ ribs. Unfortunately I didn’t grab a photo. I was too eager to scoff them down and by the time I realised, my hands and face were a state. Two big chunky ribs. And my mum even had two as well – I never knew she liked them!

I was stuffed. But then came pudding.


I had a few scoops of rocky road ice cream and also millionaire shortbread ice cream (thank you M&S). It pretty much was as good as it sounds. I added fresh strawberries as well.

I then had to be crane lifted home. I was so full. I personally blame it on the pink lemonade Winking smile


Sam, Dylan and Lexi (my parent’s dogs)

I’m sure the dogs enjoyed the BBQ too…but they don’t looked amused do they?


I think Alfie really just wanted that avocado dip. I don’t blame him.

I have to share this photo. My mum, bless her, is not the world’s greatest cook (but is the world’s greatest mum). She was in charge of only one food-related thing.


Boiling the eggs for the salad. In the largest saucepan known to man. That’s global warming for you right there.


Anyway it was a lovely very chilled afternoon. And I’m not ashamed to admit that Ben and me got home and had a little nap. I don’t even like naps usually!

What kind of BBQ food do you like best? I’m all over chicken, ribs and fish. And vegetable skewers. And kangaroo now.

Favourite ice cream flavour? Usually I’m all about Ben and Jerry’s but Marks and Spencer’s was pretty darn tasty.

What’s your favourite dip? I didn’t even know they did avocado and hummus dip. It was so creamy and tasty. I also enjoyed a blue stilton dip which was very strong.

Bank Holiday Weekend – Part 2

Howdy! My last post covered Saturday of the long weekend – catch it HERE if you missed it Smile I’m going to miss WIAW as I wanted to carry on with the rest of the long weekend recap. Hope you don’t mind!

So carrying on with Sunday and the 10k race

Ben and me woke up early again, had breakfast and prepared for the race ahead. It looked warmed and sunny which is great if you’re not running 10km…I started to feel really nervous as my legs felt tired from the Parkrun the day before and I didn’t know what the course would be like or anything. It was in the New Forest in an area that it being improved (planting trees etc.) and isn’t usually open to the public. The 10k was an event to raise money for the improvements.

Ben’s mum (Di), my parents and me all piled into Di’s lovely shiny BMW and headed off. When we arrived we realised that it was going to a be a bit of a bumpy parking situation…


The ground was basically just peat and random chippings and branches with lots of mounds. I felt very bad as Di had offered to drive and had only washed her car the day before…it got very dusty Confused smile


The course was stony underfoot and basically all out in the open. In the sun.


I always have about three pees before a race. I’m sorry if this is too much information but it’s true. I get nervous that I’ll need to pee during the race. So I used the porter-loo (my worst nightmare) three times before we began.

There were about 100 people and we all crowded up to the start just before beginning. And then we were off! There was a guy right at the front with his dog attached to him by a lead and as soon as we all started running the dog just went mental. He wouldn’t stop barking. It was quite off-putting to be honest and I think a lot of people were annoyed.


I think the first mile was downhill because we were all zooming along. It felt great! I saw the girl in green ahead of me and decided to try and overtake her at some point. I kept her in my sights and it motivated me to keep my pace up.

Then on mile two I was still feeling strong and managed to just gradually overtake her. I think she slowed down though so that helped!


Look how happy we look there…we didn’t know what was coming

The parents got a good spot to spectate as there were several loops that came back to where they were so they got lots of times to cheer us on and take photos. We would definitely need that cheering later on!

As we got to mile 3 I had slowed down form my first zippy mile and was really feeling the heat, the undulating course and the pain. It was the first time in a race I genuinely considered stopping. Or at least stopping to walk. It was so tough.

Painful running

No more smiles now!

The photo above of me is on the last mile. When my parents and Di cheered me on I just shook my head and gasped “it’s so hard”. There was only one water station half way through and I can never run and drink very well so in the end I just threw it on myself.

I kept looking at my watch. I elatedly thought as I got to around 5.6miles I’m almost there. Ha. My watch beeped 6 miles and I saw what was ahead of me. A MAMMOTH hill.


The photo doesn’t quite do it justice, but I assure you that hill felt like a mountain after 6 miles of hot running. I finished and as I crossed the line and stopped I felt a little bit dizzy with heat. I quickly headed to the drinks stand and only then realised to turn off my Garmin. That’s how shattered I was!


My official time was 45:47 and I was the first female, 14th overall (out of 90). Quite pleased considering how painful I found the race. Mentally and physically tough to keep going and not give up on that last hill as well.

When I saw Ben in the distance about to start the uphill I headed down with some water for him as I could tell he was finding it just as hard as I had. He pushed through it and finished in 58.32min. Not a PB for either of us but I definitely felt a sense of accomplishment.


The race organisers had a good spread of post-race snacks as well.


I had one of the orange slices and honestly it made me feel terrible. Note to self: don’t eat fruit post-run. I got really bad cramps.

Being first female I got a prize: £30 off of a running website!!


Of which I have already put towards a new sports bra and a pair of running gloves (with a cool thumb but that allows me to work my Iphone screen).

After dying for a little bit we decided to head off and find a nice coffee shop to have a bit of tea and refreshments.

Lavnder Teashop

We went to a little coffee shop/garden centre called Lavender Tea Rooms. And it was so pretty! There was a field growing lavender and all these beautiful plants. Inside the tea room they sold all these pretty little trinkets, lavender teabags and lavender-flavoured biscuits.



My dad had a bacon roll (which looked very posh!), my mum had cream tea, Ben and Di had toasted teacakes (no photo sorry) and I had mint and pea soup. I would have normally had a scone but my tummy still felt a bit dodge. I thought soup would be a better call! And I am so glad I had it – it was the best soup I have ever had. So good in fact that my mum tried a bit and ordered some for herself as well! And the baguette was lovely and warm.

Then we headed home. When I got home I quickly showered and then headed out (with a couple of apples for the journey) to a BBQ with my friends. I didn’t partake in any food (apart from a slice of cake) as I had just had lunch and was later having an Indian with Ben but it was lovely to hang out with my friends in the sun. Though I felt a bit like I had heat-stroke and I was burnt from the run on my chest and arms.

I met their little guinea pig as well, who was lovely. I used to have loads of guinea pigs so I was quite content to stroke it on my lap.


UNTIL IT PEED ON ME. There’s gratitude for you.

We played some games and chilled out and then I left early to get back to Ben to eat a very well deserved Indian.

Though we both noticed how thirsty we were after the Indian. I mean I know how salty Indian takeaways are but I think that combined with losing a lot of water during the race really hit us. We both went to bed with water by the sides of our bed.

Monday was a lovely relaxed day with the family enjoying a tasty BBQ.

Family BBQ

And so a great Bank holiday weekend if I do say so myself! Family, running, tasty food and sunshine. Perfect!

What do you prefer: tearooms or coffee shops? I do love coffee but there’s something so terribly quaint about a tearoom. I’m just sad I missed out on the scone. Next time for definite. They even had lavender flavoured scones!

What childhood pet did you used to have? We had two dogs, hamsters, nine guinea pigs (at one time!), fish and rabbits.

What do you like to eat post-race? I think I just prefer to drink lots of water and then have a proper meal a little while after.

Hills at the beginning or a race or then end? I thought I’d prefer the end but now I’m not so certain!

**I’m sorry if you’re getting bit sick of me going on about being the first girl in races and things like that – I don’t mean to sound like I’m bragging at all. I’m just pleased with how my running is doing. The races I’ve been doing are by no means huge races. They’re smaller informal races, so there’s a better chance to do well!**