A Marvel-lous wedding and a long weekend

Nothing says the start of summer better than a wedding, cider and a long weekend. In the UK we had a Bank holiday weekend which meant many of us had the Monday off. I also had the Friday as holiday because it was my friend, Ashley’s, wedding.

Very badly timed for me was a team building paintballing the night before…


Luckily I didn’t get hit significantly to create any hideous bruises on me. Though I was on a team with a real suicide squad that just went into the cross-fire like crazy men so I pretty much stayed hidden except for the occasional bursts of bravery.

Anyway, the wedding. Ashley is a good friend from school and there were a group of us who all knew each other so it was going to be good fun. I’d planned to go with my friend Louise to the ceremony but she was late, but not through her own fault. She had made the wedding cake and had to set it up in the morning at the venue but the board was delivered late which knocked on to her getting ready. As a pregnant lady, this was not good stress for her! I really felt for her but luckily she made it in time.


The ceremony was beautiful. Ashley’s dress was gorgeous and really suited her style. The wedding also had a Marvel-theme to it.


The groom, Paul, is a big comic book fan. It was very quirky and individual. Luckily the weather was lovely and warm as well so after the ceremony we spilled outside to sip some champagne and mingle.

IMG_1587My dress is from French Connection

As I stood chatting away to my friends I noticed the photographer. He looked familiar… Yep, he was the same one I had at my wedding. Ahh bit awkward (to any new readers: my husband and me are separated). I thought “nahh he’ll never recognise me so it’ll be fine”. Only he did and he came up to me and chatted away. Apparently a few of my wedding photos go to every wedding fair he does so of course he recognises me! Luckily though he didn’t ask where Ben was.

IMG_1597Pregnant Louise, Jake and me

There were space hoppers, giant Jenga and Nerf balls all about the place to keep us big kids entertained Winking smile

Ashley's Wedding

And then it was time for lunch. It was mushroom soup for starters, chicken with cabbage and bacon and then a chocolate tart for pudding.

Ashley's wedding food

Very tasty! And instead of wine there was apple and pear cider on the table. I’m not a wine drinker at all (apart from Prosecco and champagne) but I do quite enjoy cider from time to time (probably because a) it’s apple and b) it’s very sweet). We also cheekily managed to swap a few of our non-alcoholic fruit drinks with another table’s cider – they were more than happy as they weren’t drinking which was a win-win scenario.


The rest of the celebrations were good fun. There was a HUGE bouncy castle which we all went on (post food and drink probably not the best of ideas…and in a reasonably short dress). But it was a good laugh. And obviously the best part…


Louise’s amazing cake. It was chocolate Bailey’s and vanilla Victoria sponge. Very tasty indeed.


And then of course lots of dancing after Ashley and Paul’s first dance…which went to the tune of Star Wars until Paul jokingly got the DJ to turn it to their proper song (Hero by Nickelback of course).

IMG_1760The groom wore proper trousers for the ceremony!

A lovely evening. Congratulations Ashley and Paul!

I’ll recap parkrun in a separate post as it was a special one (my dad’s first ever!). The rest of the weekend was all very relaxed. I enjoyed a lovely BBQ with my family on the Saturday.


Of course this involved lots of meat. I had chicken skewers, pork skewers and kangaroo burgers. But I did balance it out with lots of salad and roasted vegetables (which you can see part of skewered in the photo – my perfect meat:veg ratio Winking smile).

I also managed to get a great selfie with Alfie.


He was enjoying the sunshine too (and managed to get a sneaky sausage as well! Jammy dog that he is).


We had a lovely walk along the beach as well in the evening. The temperature was perfect! I love the summer Smile


I’d decided against the Cakeathon. I just wasn’t up for it: the long journey there, it being such an early start on the Monday (we’d need to leave before 6am) and then not sure how many laps I’d do to make it worth it and even if I’d enjoy it. So I set it to rest and enjoyed the rest of the weekend now far more relaxed. It is a huge shame and I was gutted not to go but I didn’t want to go and regret it. It was the right decision.

Instead on the Monday I went on a little daytrip to Stockbridge with my parents and we had a lovely walk and a delicious lunch out.


The restaurant was called Woodfire and it was fantastic. I had a feta, butternut squash and nut pesto salad. Delicious!


It was a very relaxed weekend…bit of shopping, chilling in the garden, lots of walks with Alfie and my family. I shan’t waffle on any longer, this post ifs far too long now!

How was your weekend?

What’s your favourite salad?

Have you been to any themed weddings before?

Stress, friends and dessert

Firstly, thanks for the lovely comments for my last post. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stressed as I do right now. Usually I’m quite a calm person and let things wash over me but when everything is in my hands and my responsibility for big ‘Adult Things’ I get panicked.

But the weekend was a nice escape from it all. My university friends popped down for the day on Saturday and it was so lovely to see them and have a rant, a moan and a good old chat. I managed to squeeze in parkrun quickly before they arrived too, which is always good 😉

I had a terrible run though. I thought I’d try and use it as a tempo run but my legs felt heavy and drained straight from the start and my pace just slipped slower and slower. What annoyed me at the start as well was that when the whistle blew these four lads – and I say “lads” because they were very much laddy teenagers – pushed past me and several other people yelling “urgh this is ridiculous, we needed to be at the front” as they bolted off. It was just not very parkrun-y, you know?

Anyway as my pace dropped, I consoled myself with just doing a ‘t-shirt run’ (just getting the parkrun point rather than aiming for a time). My friend, Mark, who was running a long-run and doing parkrun in the middle ran up next to me and I moaned to him a bit about how rubbish I was feeling and he chatted away to me and kept my mind off it, which I was grateful for. On the second lap we over-took the lads who were run-walking by this point which was somewhat of a silver-lining… 😉

Netley Abbey parkrun pace




I sort of pulled it back on the final lap (with Mark’s help) but it still felt awful. I’m putting it down to having run 20 miles the week before and a tough week mentally!

My friends arrived shortly after I was showered and breakfasted and, as normal, it was lovely to catch up. We try and see each other for everyone’s birthdays ad events and sometime around Christmas. So five or six times a year? They all live in different parts of the UK which always makes it a bit tricky

We went to an old favourite pub right on the seafront for lunch, The Osborne View.

Osborne View lunch


We shared two mezze boards between the four of us which is always a winner in my eyes (and I’m glad we got two as I’m such a greedy eater!). I had feta and Mediterranean salad (with added chicken) for main and chocolate brownie and ice cream for pudding. Perfection!

Osborne View Hill Head

The sign on the right is very apt to me right now!

The pub is lovely and I’ve never had a bad experience there yet. And it’s so handy being close to the beach that we could come out and do a long walk next to the sea in the sunshine. It’s near to where I do my long runs if I stay with my parents so it feels very homey with good memories surrounding it.

I had an early night that evening because I just felt shattered. Though annoyingly my mind started to catalogue all the packing I still needed to do and I struggled to get to sleep. My alarm was set for the delightful time of 5.50am as I was going to Bath the next day for a race with some running club friends so this was stressing me out more. Grrr.

I’ll recap the race proper in another post but the race has made me really think about how I need to approach the Bournemouth marathon. I’m someone who needs a game plan. I can’t just rock up and do whatever on the day. I need a structured plan, with some sort of back-up as well just in case. But I’ve not really made a plan as I don’t have any real goals.

The Bath Two Tunnels half marathon was meant to be a training run as I was running with my friend, Mike, who was aiming for a PB, which handily was around my marathon/long run pace. But the race didn’t go to plan really for either of us as we both felt exhausted and the supposedly “fast and flat” course was anything but that (I suppose the give-away is that it was in Bath…). I know I’m not in the same shape as I was before Liverpool marathon so to aim for anything close to that time would be unwise. Yes I could risk it and power through but mentally that sounds awful to me and I don’t want to push the pace. So after thinking about it…My goal is to aim for sub-4 definitely, but around 3:45-40 would be nice and if I fancy anything better towards the end I can give it a go but I don’t want to ruin myself over it. Liverpool was a perfect race with perfect (for me) training, it would be foolish to recreate that! I just want another tick in the box enjoyable marathon.

Plus, I see the marathon as the end point to my major stresses. Whether I go to Iceland or not will have already happened and I’ll have moved house. Finishing Bournemouth will just be like one massive sigh of relief. I might just go into hibernation after that! 😉

Do you always like to have a game-plan for a race? I mess up when I don’t have a plan! Plus for every marathon I’ve always had a plan and it’s always worked well for me.

Do you meet up with old friends often?

How does stress affect you?

The one with all the selfies…

This past weekend was quite a strange one for me. Ben was off camping for a running event called Ultra 12 (solo or relay runners running Saturday 7pm until Sunday 7am). I had planned on doing it as well and being part of a team of six with Ben but as it got closer I realised my time was probably better spent focusing on the marathon.

I didn’t feel too bad leaving the team because this actually meant they could get more laps in without me and they’d get a better running experience (I hoped) from it. Obviously I was sad I wasn’t going and being part of the team but I knew my decision was sensible (albeit boring). I’d get to go to parkrun on Saturday and do a longish run Sunday.

This past week or so I’ve had a few niggles I wanted to put to bed so have been focusing a bit more on cycling and hoping the niggles don’t develop further. So far so good. Just means I haven’t been able to run as far in my long runs as I’d want at this point. But I’m not dwelling on it or panicking.

Friday night I was on my own and watch the Dallas Buyers Club (a film I knew Ben wouldn’t want to watch) occasionally interrupted with a few selfies from the husband to keep me informed of all his good behaviour…

IMG_7589 Preparing well for the race the next day

Saturday morning I cycled the four miles to parkrun and helped them set up.

Parkrun selfieParkrun selfie 

Then ran a nice and easy parkrun with a friend from my club. I just ran on feel and didn’t want to push it but felt good at the end and picked up the pace a bit (to the surprise of my running partner, whoops!) I would like this documented that this was my first ever royal flush negative split parkrun (I know it’s only three miles but still, this is something for me!)


Very pleased with that! Then I helped pack up and cycled back home.

Ben was away until Sunday lunchtime-ish so I’d planned on hanging with the parentals for Saturday until Sunday morning, where I’d planned to do a nice long run along the seafront (as my parent’s live closer to the sea than we do).

I took Alfie with me and we headed there at lunchtime. I enjoyed a nice walk down to the local village with my parents to pick up some supplies for the evening dinner.


Then we had a nice lunch and headed out for another walk, this time along the seafront to stop for coffee in one of the little tea rooms. The walk was very windy but lovely in the sunshine.

Lee on Solent walk 9.08 I do love being near the sea. And this helped take my mind off that I was missing out on all the Ultra fun and Ben 🙁

IMG_7541 Sea-side selfie

I sent some selfies to Ben and he responded likewise so I sort of felt in the loop.

IMG_7580 Ben and Nathan

The weather was looking to turn to the worst however…

IMG_7573 Some less happy than others!

Anyway, back to the walk. Our plan was to have coffee and to also buy a slice of cake each to have after dinner. Well that did not work out at all after seeing the amazing selection and having worked up a bit of an appetite for a snack.

Lee on Solent tea room Yeah right I could walk a slice of cake the two miles back to the car without eating it!! We all agreed cake would be far better now than after dinner. Good decision, yes?IMG_7568

That absolute beast of a slab is red velvet. So. Damn. Good. My dad had an incredibly sized slice of carrot cake and my mum had the same as me. I think I need to return though for test purposes because they said they had a cinnamon bun cake and I’ve never tried one of those before.

IMG_7571 Our walk back was powdered by cake; we were stuffed! As we continued to walk we all agreed our planned steak dinner was probably not a good idea anymore. It’s a shame because it was going to be Steak Diane and this is one of my favourite recipes my dad cooks.

Anyway we had a lazy evening of a snacky dinner (soup for me) and a good film, the Guilt Trip. This film is just made to watch with your mum. Seriously. It was very funny and the perfect choice for the evening…while Ben and the team were working hard in the night…


 Head torches to the rescue?

The next morning I planned on running 10 miles down the beach…until I looked outside.

IMG_7581It was absolutely pelting it down and the wind was unbelievable. Hurricane Bertha was saying good morning it seemed. Running along the beach in this? No thank you! I’m not a fair weather runner (I’ll run in wind, rain and snow any day) but this was stupid. I’d get blown away! My parents agreed I shouldn’t go out so instead I enjoyed a bit of Xbox with my dad (geek at heart I’m afraid).

Then I made my way home and had the lovely company of my returned exhausted runner. The team absolutely smashed it and came first for the mixed relay runners – how about that! They were amazing and I’m so glad they all enjoyed it. Ben managed four laps (of the 5 mile course) so he was pretty spent for the rest of the day.

IMG_7585 His well deserved medal still round his neck

I’m a very proud wife! He did amazingly. Though I don’t regret not going, I am sad I wasn’t involved and didn’t get to see them all do so well. Next year!

What films have you seen lately?

Have you ever done a relay race?

Do you enjoy spending time with your parents? My parents and me are very close and I’m not ashamed to say I like spending time with them. And Ben’s mother in law as well. I’m very lucky to have such a lovely family! (Cheese alert sorry)

Mexico – Part 2

Hi guys, so I thought I’d do Part 2 of my Mexican holiday. (Catch up HERE for Part I)

Ben and me did a few excursions while we were out there. I’m not one for just lying on the beach the entire time and this was a great way to see a bit more of Mexico. One of the things we decided to do was go parasailing.


That’s not us, but it’s what we did!

I was so excited about this. We got to go on a jet ski as well! We were escorted at top speed to the boat where we’d be launched from. I jokingly said to Ben as we were whizzing along “We’re going to have to jump onto the boat while it’s still moving like James Bond, ha ha ha”. Yeah, we actually did. We had to stand up and jump onto the speeding boat and be grabbed by the guys on board. James Bond I was not.

After getting all harnessed up and sorted, three seconds before we were launched up the guy goes “if you want to come down move your arms like this…” and whoosh! we were up. I was left wondering what the hell the arm movement was!!

It was amazing. Looking out at the ocean, the hotels and beach. Incredible. But then I looked down. Jeeze I was scared. I remember saying to Ben “If we fall we’re going to break our legs and die!!” It was so high up. I thoroughly enjoyed it; it was so exhilarating, but I was terrified.

But we survived. Thankfully we didn’t die or break our legs. Hurrah.

One night we decided to go out and boogie a bit We went on a crazy night out to a club called Coco Bongo.

IMG_5345Basically it was a nightclub with a show that went on from 11pm to 3am. And what a show it was! So many different acts and performances by all these dancers. They did songs from Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Moulin Rouge…they did recreations of the Batman and Tron fight scenes…songs from Madonna, Beyoncé, Elvis…

Coco Bongo

It was crazy! And we had our own bar waiter who supplied us with never-ending drinks all night!


Pina colada

We got home at 3am…I was shattered. It was very good though. A feast for the eyes!

Another excursion was going for a romantic dinner on a boat from Cancun. P1000152

We both got all dressed up and set off in the afternoon. In retrospect, a longer maxi dress would have been more suitable. Damn it is windy on boats.

Mexican boat trip

There was a saxophone player on board to set the mood

The ladies were given a flower, drinks were on tap and the music was beautiful. But yes it did feel somewhat cheesy!Cheesey romanceBut the sunset was perfect.


And so was the food!

Romantic boat meal

For starters it was Caesar salad. I love Caesar salads so this was perfect. Yum.

For mains, we had the surf and turf: lobster and steak. I’ve never had lobster proper before (I’ve had lobster bisque and lobster in things, but never on its own) so I was quite excited. This came with a jacket potato (in the foil), vegetables and a random bread roll. I ate everything but the bread roll. Though I must admit I finished off Ben’s steak (and vegetable). Amazing. Like I said previously, I am a machine when it comes to food. And for pudding it was cheesecake with raspberry sauce.

All in all, fabulous. And the best part was we saw it cooking on the boat!


Such a lovely night out. If not a little windy! Winking smile

And some random photos that I just had to share:Holiday Extras

The free booze in our room//Elephant towel//Furry friends around the hotel//More towel fun

A truly brilliant holiday with lots of memories made Smile I’d definitely recommend it!

Now business as usual…the holidays (or ‘vacations’– I’m not giving up Christmas!) are officially done and dusted for this year!

What makes a holiday special for you?

What day-trips do you like to do on holiday? We had a bit of everything: thrill-seeking, cultural, bit of partying, food and romance Smile

What’s does romance mean to you? Ben and me are simple people. I don’t need flowers and candles (though that is nice, don’t get me wrong). I just need Ben to listen to me talk running for hours on end and me together, relaxed and having a giggle at something stupid, coming up with our own in-jokes and sayings.

I’m back! Mexico recap–part 1

Hello! Wow it seems ages since I last blogged. Yep sadly, my holiday is over. 


I am back in the UK. Well, I’ve been back since last Wednesday but needed a bit more time to normalise back into reality. You know what it’s like. Blissful time in the beautiful sunshine…then bam back to the real world.

Honestly, the holiday was amazing. And do you know what? We had half a day of rain. The rest of the time it was HOT, HUMID and sunny, sunny, sunny. So my fears of rubbish weather were unfounded. Hurrah!IMG_5182

Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin with my recap. I will save all the food yumminess until Wednesday and focus on what we did instead for this post. Though I will say, the food…oh wow, it was so good. So much, so good, so yummy.

We left at 5am on Friday morning to get to the airport and have some breakfast.IMG_5041

Very excited, but a bit tired and dishevelled looking

OK, OK I will show one meal! If you’ve been a long-time reader (kudos to you Winking smile) then you know how I adore Jamie Oliver restaurants. So we had to go to the Jamie’s Italian for breakfast. It’s just a holiday essential in my eyes. And believe me, you cannot start a holiday in any better way.

Jamie Oliver breakfast

I umm’ed and arr-ed for about five seconds before thinking “sod it” and ordering this beast of a meal. Go big of go home Winking smile And how I love my husband. He got the same but he hates black pudding so I got his. Amazing. I’m not ashamed to say I cleared this plate all except a few spoonful’s of beans and a couple of fried potatoes. Embarrassingly I wasn’t hungry at all for our in-flight meal (how unsurprising) and had to have it in sat front of me on my little table for so long a flight attendant thought I didn’t want it! I was like “hold up lady, I will eat this. But give me a little time!”.

The flight was fine (movie watching makes everything good in my book) and then we got a coach from Cancun airport to Playa Del Carmen. Instantly the heat hit us. It was unreal.

The hotel was beautiful. It was just amazing. We went to bed quite early Mexico time as it was six hours behind British time so we were pooped! Then we got up early (5am!! Thank you jet lag) and decided to go for a run. Might as well!


This was the hotel lobby at 6am. It was still really hot but the sun wasn’t out yet so it was much ‘easier’ to run in the morning. Plus the beautiful sunrise along the beach definitely helps!


We didn’t do any actual beach running. It’s really not my thing. Sand in trainers and way too much hard work…so we stuck to the roads. We weren’t alone in our running – there were a fair few locals and other tourists out and about so it didn’t feel strange at all. But the heat. Wow it was oppression. Within one minute of running I was sweating and tired. It added at least one minute on to my usual running times. There was just no way I could go faster. Plus it was nice to just run at a slower pace.


You might think I’m mad running on holiday but I loved it! I feel weird not running and it’s such a big part of who I am that I couldn’t not run. At times it was tough (when is running not??) but it felt great being out so early and seeing Mexico wake up. Getting back all invigorated for the day as well was brilliant.

Ben and me enjoyed a lot of chilling by the pool time…


Chilling by the beach time…


And chilling by the bar time…


The bar was right next to the pool and a great place to take a break from the sun. I’m not a big drinker so I stuck to tomato juice (where have you been all my life??), iced coffee and diet coke (my absolute addiction). Ben enjoyed the local beer Winking smile

I quite enjoyed putting a podcast on and walking along the beach as well (I’m not overly good at sitting and doing nothing for long periods of time), which I didn’t realise would be quite a work out for my calves!

And lots of swimming in the sea!IMG_5330

Ben and me were so cool, we had goggles (damn you contact lenses)

The sea was perfectly refreshing, not cold but not warm. And so, so clear.

We also did a few excursions. One day we went to Chichen Itza which is a city that was originally built by the ancient Mayans where we saw the Temple of Kukulkan – a seventh wonder of the world!


We had an hour long tour and found out so much interesting information – there’s a smaller pyramid inside that one! And the Mayans used to sacrifice people at the top of the temple (if you’ve seen Apocalypto it’s similar to that).


We had such a hilarious day. Our tour guide was a hoot. He wasn’t even meaning to be. He was just was hilarious. We still do impressions of him now. Yep, we’re that couple.

From there we then went to the ‘Sacred Blue Cenote’. Here we got to swim in a crazy underground pool of fresh water (there’s a small hole in the ‘roof’ and that’s it). It was freezing but so refreshing considering the humid heat.


Another day we went speedboating. We had our own little speedboat and there were about 4 others and we followed the speedboat in front but we could speed up and zig-zag which was quite terrifying. Then when we got so far out we stopped and the instructor gave us snorkels and we went snorkelling and saw some amazing coral reef and fish.


Terrible photo sorry – it’s a photo of a photo we bought

Unfortunately the afternoon of our anniversary saw a major downpour of rain. But we didn’t really mind – it was quite a nice break from the intense sun. And we had prime positions at the bar.

Mexico rain

For our anniversary meal we chose to go to one of the restaurants that you had to book for in the morning. We chose the Steakhouse.

Anniversary meal

I enjoyed a lovely glass of Sangria with fresh fruit!

It was perfect. Not to get too mushy, but I do love my husband and it’s been such a truly amazing first year Smile

Right, I will leave it there. I have a few more excursions to talk about which I’ll save for another post. Wednesday will all be about FOOD (and a bit more about my running). And as an all-inclusive holiday, there was a lot of food. And puddings. Open-mouthed smile

Have you ever been to Mexico before?

Have you ever been to an all-inclusive? I had never been to one before and I was just amazed (and a little shocked) at how much food was available ALL THE TIME.

Running/working out on holiday – do you take it easy or carry on as normal? Or have a break entirely?