Running is tough

Anna Run

Yep, that’s right people. I am back to running my usual stuff (albeit building the mileage back up slowly).

My hubby sent me this picture and I thought it was rather cool. I am a very clumsy person so this makes sense. I have been known to randomly fall over without any external influences.

On Tuesday morning I’d planned to do around 4-5miles and after getting up at stupid o’clock 5.40am I took Alfie for his walk and just prayed that my leg would deliver. I was worried I had taken too much of a chance on Sunday with my nine mile long run. But as I headed off on the first mile I felt no pain and no issues. Just a slight discomfort, which I’m firmly believing is diminishing (every time I do my stretches the discomfort is less and less every day).

But it was hard. I was concerned it was my niggle holding me back (I’m referring to my injury as a niggle as it really wasn’t that serious, despite all the moaning and complaining I did). Partly it was hard because of the niggle, but mainly I was held back because my morning runs are always tough. I’m tired, I haven’t eaten since the  night before and my muscles, in all honesty, aren’t as warmed up as they could be.

However I managed a great five mile progression run:


I’m so chuffed I got the last mile down to 7.20mins/mile as I was worried I wouldn’t be hitting times like that for a while due to my break.

When I wasn’t running, in my head running was easy, running was amazing, I adored every minute. In reality, running is TOUGH. It is pretty much tough the whole damn time. Even when it’s good, it’s still tough. I would be lying if I said I enjoy every run. I would be lying if I said I fling myself out the door with sheer merriment and joyously hop down the road with exultation of the impending miles.

But, I love it.

I always remember what my dad says to me about running:

Brick wall

I don’t truly believe running is like this but I can see his point. 99% of the time, I always feel good after a run. No matter how tough or how bad it went, I’m always smiling afterwards.

Anyway on to food, and in joining the party for WIAW (thanks, Jenn!) I thought I’d share a couple of meals that rocked my world.

First up was Sunday night’s meal. It was one of those evenings when I just couldn’t be bothered to cook anything exciting. Ages ago I bought some turkey sausages to try and they had been living in the darkest corner of the depths of my freezer for too long. I thought it was time to bring them back to life…and then grill the hell out of them (does that even work…?).


Now, I’m not a big fan of sausages in general. I really can’t stand pork sausages. But I love turkey so I thought I’d give them a go (while Ben had regular pork sausages).

I had two of them and cut them in half to grill them (read: paranoid about eating raw sausages), two fried eggs (devastated when one of them broke. Tears almost happened…joking but it was touch and go), and cauliflower/cream cheese mash (and broccoli). Yum! Big thumbs up for this meal.

Then Tuesday night I made this random concoction:


Grated sweet potato with diced onions, cream cheese and a fish pie mix (salmon, mackerel and haddock). Basically a version of my paprika chicken. Oh this was good. The fishiness of the fish (yep you read that correctly) paired perfectly with the creaminess of the potato and cheese.

I love it when random meals work out well!

And I love it when the sunshine means I get to wear shorts to work!


Shorts: Peacocks//Shirt: Next

I’m embarrassed to say these shorts are soo old (we’re talking pre-university). In fact, there’s even a hole in one of the pockets that luckily the shirt covers. Shhh… I’m too cheap and rubbish to buy/fix it.

But can you believe we’re a 1/3 through summer already? Ha. What a joke.

What meals have been rocking your world lately? I haven’t had sweet potato in so long so it was good to get that back in the routine again.

What do you wear to work/school/college/uni/other in the summer? I’m lucky that I work in a relaxed office, but I do like to keep things relatively smart. It helps keep me focused.

When do you find working out the hardest? I love running in the morning but I’m never as fast as I am in the evening or late morning when I’ve had time to properly wake up and warm up.

What I Ate Skiing

Happy Wednesday! Well, I am fully back into the groove of work after my holiday (if you missed my recap of my skiing adventures, check it out HERE).

As much as I love going on holiday and getting away from it all, it is so good to be back in my own home and comforts with my regular food. That might sound boring, but I love our home and our usual routines.

As it’s WIAW, I thought I’d do a What I ate Skiing post.

I mentioned in my last post that the food in Bulgaria didn’t rock my world. Don’t get me wrong, I fully enjoyed skiing and the whole experience of it, but honestly the food at our hotel sucked. We went half-board so got breakfast and dinner. On the first morning we went down to breakfast and it was a small buffet of strange fried meats, fried bread, really dodgy looking yogurt, cold meats and salad. Yes, salad.

Now I don’t want to offend any Bulgarians, but it really wasn’t me. I didn’t know what the meat was and it all looked very sausage-like, which I am not a fan of so I tried to play it safe.


I had a piece of toast, two boiled eggs, some ham (I think?), jam and fruit and salad. Very strange combination I know but I wanted to make sure I had enough fuel for skiing later. Basically I was making the best of a not great situation. Maybe I’m really fussy but Ben wasn’t liking it either.

To be honest, the whole breakfast experience felt very canteen-like with people rushing around grabbing food and piling their plates high. I much prefer a calming morning and slowly enjoying my breakfast. This was not fun. What also irked me was that breakfast started at 7.30am, and as Ben and me wanted to get up and get out skiing asap we’d get to the breakfast room pretty much dead on. One morning we were TWO MINUTES early and the waiter looked at his watch, looked at us and then shut the door IN OUR FACES without saying anything. I mean, seriously, how rude is that? As I said in the last post, the hotel was shocking (food, rooms, customer service) so at this point we weren’t surprised.

One morning I was overjoyed to find muesli. You better believe I enjoyed a big bowl of this!


But it ran out the next day and obviously they didn’t re-stock *sighs*. So breakfast was a bit of a dud if I’m honest. The first morning back from holiday I practically danced my way to kitchen to make my oatmeal. I am that cool.

Lunchtime on the first day wasn’t amazing either (sorry I know this is so whiney). It was all fast food meats and chips. Meat that was vaguely “beef” or “pork” which you just ordered on it’s own and then could order slices of bread or greasy chips. Not fancying this every day Ben and me decided to hit the local supermarket and make our own lunch to take with us. Not only was this cheaper but it meant we could have a tasty lunch in the snow away from the hubbub.


I had a ham sandwich, some stolen cucumber from breakfast, an un-pictured Babybel (they had Babybels!!) and an apple. Oh and I stole some of Ben’s crisps each day.

IMG_3704It was great eating lunch sat in the sun on the snow. I’d have a diet coke and Ben would have a beer and we’d poke them into the snow to keep them nice and cold. Perfect!

We also treated ourselves to a more extravagant lunch one day at the more posh restaurant (you had to book). It was in this beautiful cabin with a lovely warm fire. They even offered us slippers to wear if we wanted to take our snow boots off!

IMG_3672 As we only had an hour to eat, we kept to just a main course. I had a pork chop with lentils.


This was so good. The pork just melted in my mouth and the lentils were cooked to perfection. They also had warm bread on the side so we could fuel ourselves fully for the day. We thought it would be really expensive but actually it was surprisingly cheap (more expensive than buying the cheaper food elsewhere, but for a good meal out very reasonable).

Dinner *sighs*. Well I didn’t even take any photos of the hotel dinners because honestly it wasn’t worth it. When I asked the waiter/chef what one of soups was that was on the buffet table he shrugged like he couldn’t care less, picked up a spoon and swilled it around a bit and said “Um, not sure. It has beans in it.” Ah right. Thanks but no thanks. After a night of dodging some really suspicious bullets (seriously, all crazy processed meats floating in thick sauces and no vegetables), Ben and me decided to have dinner out each night. Best decision ever.

We went to a small, cosy tavern with some very friendly owners.


So rustic! We got a salad to start. Now Bulgarians know their salads that’s for certain. The list of different salads was quite extensive! We went for a standard Bulgarian classic.


Lots of vegetables and big chunks of feta cheese with a basil dressing. Even Ben loved this!

For the main, I had sea bass with grilled vegetables. The funniest thing was when I was ordering the fish the waiter asked if I wanted chips with it and I said no could I get the grilled vegetables and he looked at me oddly and went “Erm, no. You’re having vegetables to start.” I really had to force my point that, yes, I wanted vegetables AGAIN with my main. He seemed bewildered. Quite amusing. Clearly he hasn’t met an Anna before.


So good and so nice after the horrible dinner the night before.

Another night we tried somewhere else and, again, I ordered salad to start.IMG_3754

This is a really bad photo sorry, but basically it’s lots of salad, the feta cheese (which seems to be a Bulgarian speciality), roasted mushrooms, and beans in a tomato sauce. Very yummy. Ben ordered goat’s cheese roasted in honey.


Oh my goodness, this was the best tasting goat’s cheese in the world. Fact. I managed to snag a few pieces before it was gone in a blink of an eye.

For main I went for a Bulgarian chicken shashlik. This was basically chunks of chicken cooked on an outside BBQ with vegetables on a skewer. They brought it out on a huge wooden board and then removed the meat for me.


Honestly, this might not look that huge but the pieces of chicken were massive. I was absolutely full to my brim after this. As yummy as it was it was a bit overkill on the amount of chicken!

We didn’t snack much at all during the day because we were skiing all the time. We did however enjoy some après ski drinks.


Ben enjoyed a beer while I had a pear cider. So lovely sat in a warm bar while watching the skiers and drinking.

We also had some hot red white with fruit in the evening.


This was lovely and warming. There were bits of orange in the drink which added a lovely flavour.

We also went to a little sweet shop in the nearby village (how could I not??)


We went in to have a browse around and it became very clear we needed to buy something as the man was looking at us so expectantly. It looked like a pic ‘n’ mix so I thought we could help ourselves, but he took charge and I had to point at the sweets I wanted which meant he put HUGE amounts in our bag. It wasn’t expensive and we told him to keep the change so he threw in even MORE. We now have like a life-time supply of candied and chocolate covered nuts. Well, it was great to snack on those in the evening!!

And there was soo much Milka about.



So though the food didn’t hugely appeal to me in the hotel – breakfast was such a disappointment every morning and dinner just not our thing at all – we managed to find ways to ‘cope’. That was the downside of the holiday that food wasn’t particularly easy like it was on our honeymoon holiday in that we had to really search for good stuff. But in the end we were there to ski!


As we are hoping to go back next year, we know where to avoid now!

And on an unrelated note. We found a Bulgarian Alfie in a little cafe.


Aww, isn’t he lovely? So soft as well. Just don’t tell Alfie, he might get offended.

Foreign food: do you try the local delicacies?

Ever been disappointed on holiday with the food?

How do you cope with horrible breakfasts in hotels?

Creamy dreamy WIAW

Happy What I Ate Wednesday, people! It’s that time again.


I think that most people are intrigued about what other people eat. I mean obviously WIAW is clear evidence – it has a huge following. But I’m pretty sure that even people who don’t have as keen an interest in food and fitness have a bit of curiosity.

Everyone eats. But everyone eats different foods, different amounts, at different times and even for different reasons (we can try and convince ourselves that chocolate is a good sustaining fuel but really who are we kidding??). And I think people are nosey and like to know what their neighbour is doing. Whether to compare, trade notes, or just curiosity for curiosity’s sake. And I’m a great believe in food bringing people together.

Sorry random tangent!

Riiiight, on to the good stuff. I’ll share Saturday’s eats just because it was so darn tasty.

As I mentioned in the last post I did a really scenic 7 mile trail run in the snow. I never eat breakfast before a morning run. I know I probably should but I like my sleep and I don’t want to get up earlier than I have to. Plus I love getting back from a run and really enjoying my breakfast. Yes I could just have a snack beforehand but honestly, I literally wake up, walk Alfie and then run – pretty much 20 minutes from waking up I’m outta that door. I can’t run if I’m digesting.

But anyway, so I finished the run and decided it was that time again. PANCAKE TIME. It has been too long! I used THIS recipe but also added 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to get some really beasty, chunky pancakes.


Yep, I am not ashamed to say I wolfed all those bad boys down no problemo.


With a side of PB2 which I intermittently smeared over them. Oh it was divine! Oh pancakes how I missed you.

So then after some housework and mooching about we had lunch. I’ve been really loving my soups lately. And as we actually didn’t have that much food in the cupboard since the snow prevented our weekly shop, chicken soup was the perfect choice to just kind of throw the dregs of the freezer together and hope for the best (really selling this aren’t I?).


Basically chicken with a lot of frozen veg as we had nothing fresh, apart from a couple of lonely onions. But it was goooood. Especially with the cold weather. I also had a side of (unpictured) roasted butternut squash. I have tried putting the squash in the soup while it cooks but it’s just not as good as roasting it and then dipping it in the soup – is that weird?

Hmm I’m sure I did some fanscinatingly interesting activities on Sunday but I can’t quite remember them…maybe watched some reality rubbish TV, read a magazine…took Alfie for a walk in the snow…usual Sunday leisure activities post-household chores are complete.

Then dinner! I have found my latest favourite recipe. And unfortunately cannot recreate it until I get more pumpkin puree *sobs uncontrollably*. But apparently Waitrose sells it and my parents shop there quite a lot so I might put in an order to them Smile


OK I realise it doesn’t actually look that appetising. However, it tasted amazing. I didn’t use a recipe, I just kind of threw some bits and pieces together due to lack of alternate options. Ben refuses to eat pumpkin (can I get a collective, whhaaaaat??) so he had a corned beef sandwich…enough said.

Creamy Pumpkin Pineapple Chicken (serves 1)

  • 1 tsp. oil of choice
  • Clove of garlic, diced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 small tin of pineapple and 2 tbs. of pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup of pumpkin (I roughly estimated this, I probably used a bit more to be honest) 
  • Big dollop of light Philadelphia
  • 1 tsp. paprika

– Fry the onion in a little oil until golden, add garlic and fry for another minute before adding chicken.

– Add the pineapple, juice and pumpkin.

– When heated through add the Philadelphia and paprika.

– When all combined and heated through feel free to add some random veggies to bulk it up a bit (that’s what I did!)

It was creamy, dreamy and I didn’t want it to end! The hint of sweetness from the pineapple really complimented the creaminess of the sauce. Seriously, this needs to be in your life. I am devastated that I have no more pumpkin.

I have to say that Philadelphia is my saviour for meals. It can liven up anything. The other night when I had fish I didn’t have anything apart from vegetables to accompany it. Now I’m not much a carb fan. You can take your rice and pasta and, to some extent, bread. I’d much rather have some more protein or fat, like cheese. So I roasted up some butternut squash and added a dollop of Philadelphia and blended it all together.


I had the fish with a herby/spicey sprinkle, veg and roasted creamy, dreamy butternut squash.


It rocked my world. It rocked my taste buds! Really delicious. And really easy.

In the evening we treated ourselves to some ever so yummy but probably not healthy at all Krusher dessert.


It’s basically angel delight. You mix the powder with milk (I used almond milk) and then put it in the fridge for 5 minutes and it goes all airy and thick. Then you sprinkle chocolate sprinkles on it and voila. Done. Creamy and dreamy Winking smile

On Sunday we did a task that has really been too long not done. Bathing Alfie. Oh he was not impressed. He literally stood in our bath with a look of absolute indignation on his furry face. He didn’t even try to escape for the futility of his situation, but just shot daggers at Ben and me. But afterwards he smelt so clean and lovely and he was so fluffy!


He still needs a haircut though…

On a fitness-related note. I’ve been trying to get the runs in early this week as I’m off to Derby on later today until Friday for work and though I know the hotel has a gym I can’t guarantee I’ll be bothered get there. So I ran 6 miles on Monday.


It was a good run but my route was all over the place trying to find a safe place to run without a) falling over in the snow and b) getting hit by cars. I’ve found I have to run on the road to guarantee that I won’t hit any ice but then I can’t guarantee I won’t get hit by cars!! Nightmare.

Then yesterday I ran 4 miles with intervals spread through it.


So I’m pleased I’ve banked some runs in early. Today I’m off out at lunch with the guys from work but I’m seeing this as more of a recovery run than an intensely fast run.

Now please don’t judge me. I’ve had my Garmin a while now. Until recently, I haven’t ever connected it to my laptop…I  know, that’s terrible isn’t it? I finally did it on Monday after getting hassle from the people at work for being such a technical dunce and seriously what have I been missing?? Full stats of every run, splits, maps, times, average paces, fastest paces, PBs. Oh wow!! You could waste hours analysing your runs. I haven’t. Yet…

Annnd lastly, here’s what I’m wearing today!


Yay new jumper from Next!

That’s all I’ve got! Have a lovely day Smile

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week?

What do you prefer, carbs or protein? A warm crusty piece of bread or a lovely roast chicken?

Confession time

I have a confession. Actually I have a few confessions. Nothing major. I just feel the need to get it out there into the universe. Then let the universe judge me, or something or other.

I am becoming an old lady (I hasten to add that there is nothing wrong with elderly ladies, I hope to be one someday – just not at 24!) Consistently now I have started to get tired at 8.30pm. And then 9pm I’m in bed. Actually in bed, pyjamas, brushed teeth, ready for sleep in bed. Now I have every intention of having a good read of my book to chill me out. However, I begin reading and 10 minutes later I’m asleep.

And considering I don’t get in from work until 7pm, this is not very good. Ben is no longer surprised. Alfie no longer joins me as he knows lights off is quite soon.

But you know what the worst part is? I love it.

I get a full on 8 hours sleep. *Drops head in shame* I am an embarrassment to all those hip young twenty-year olds out there. Judge away. What can I say? I’m definitely a morning person. I start waking up from 5.30am onwards feeling nice and refreshed ready to hit the ground running (literally).

Next confession. Over Christmas I didn’t really go crazy on eating vast amounts of chocolate or biscuits. I just didn’t fancy it. Now January’s hit and it’s like BOOM I just can’t get enough. And all the chocolate from Bruges I got is just calling to me. And I just can’t get enough of my favourite chocolate (which I put in the fridge for that extra bite).IMG_2779

And I have since discovered the dark chocolate and mint flavour. This isn’t good people. Well, obviously it is! Winking smile

I’m fine throughout the day, it’s just when I’ve had dinner and I’m chilling on the sofa and I get that feeling. I’m sure you’ve all felt it (if you haven’t, tell me your secret!)…that “I NEED SOMETHING NOW!!” feeling. And it’s never savoury.

So most evenings I’ve been scoffing it and our supplies are dwindling…but I will be buying more. Life isn’t worth living if you deny yourself these pleasures! I just need to work out how to control the beast within.

My last confession is a dull one I’m afraid. I used to eat fish twice a week – proper oily, omega laced fish. Rainbow trout, salmon, mackerel….but now it’s somehow been forgotten. I’ve focused my energy on chicken. I’m not even sure how this even happened! So to remedy this sharply, I had sea bass.

IMG_3406 I dusted it with some ready-made seasoning (a fish-specific one) grilled it and had it alongside mashed cauliflower with goat’s cheese (heaven!), roasted root veg and my favourite veg, broad beans. What a meal! The lightness of the fish worked as there was quite a lot on my plate (maybe another confession of mine is that I’m a greedy eater – it’s all about volume with me! Stack is high and I’m good to go).

Whew, I feel better. The confessions were nothing major, I’m sure you’ll agree, but I do feel a bit lighter after holding in all of that Winking smile

What are your secret confessions?

What do you love having a naughty snack sesh on in an evening?