Post Marathon

I’ve had such a blissful week off but now it’s back to reality. It was exactly what I needed. A whole week of no gym and no running post marathon.

After I finished the marathon I was walking along on cloud nine. I was just so flabbergasted at what I’d achieved. I genuinely hadn’t expected it to go as well as it did so I was fairly chuffed and surprised with myself.

As we headed out of the race village we spotted the area where the winners of the horse races go (the race village was situated in the Chester Racecourse). It did look cordoned off from the public…but the gate was slightly ajar and I couldn’t help but quickly grab a few amusing photos.chester-racecourseAs we snuck out of the area a few fellow runners noticed the ideal photo spot and trickled through. We felt a bit naughty but hey ho, it’s got to be done!

As food is obviously a crucial factor in any post-marathon experience 😉 I’d previously hunted a good spot online for lunch earlier that week. This saved us having to walk around Chester hunting while I slowly become more and more hangry. We had a bit of time to kill as I’d sensibly booked the table for 2pm which would give me some time to feel a bit more normal post marathon. For me it goes something like this: ooof don’t show me any food… bleurgh food… can’t eat a single thing… I can’t even look at a cake right now… SHOW ME ALL THE FOOD… I NEED FEEDING. The switch-over happens very quickly 😉

The restaurant was a Turkish restaurant called Meze. It was an ideal spot for me because it was all about the meat but it was actually fairly healthy so it was ideal for my parents, who are trying to lose weight. It had lots of options like grilled meats, hummus, vegetarian plates, salads and rice so it was a good all-rounder. I went for the mixed grill and it was divine.img_5569Very handy that as I got a bit chilly I had this lovely long-sleeved technical t-shirt to put on! The restaurant was really nice and the service was fantastic. The chef even sent over a freebie little plate for us to try – it was some sort of Turkish-style salsa creation. Very tasty.
After eating, we wandered around Chester and had a look at the Cathedral. The bells were going and the sun was shining so it was perfect.chester-cathderalAfter we got back to the cottage and I’d showered, we headed to the hot tub. Honestly I had been dreaming about this moment. And it was FABULOUS.img_5595Well it would have been fabulous had I not dramatically face-planted into the to tub when I got in. I slipped, fell forwards and then knocked my shin on the side. It wasn’t quite the graceful dip I was hoping to achieve and it was rather painful. I now have the most ridiculous bruises on my shin *sighs*. But the bottle of Prosecco we shared helped!

If I could do this after every marathon I definitely would (sit in a hot tub, not the falling in part). Bruised shin aside, I didn’t actually ache that much. I remember after my first few marathons every step was tough, though my calf was definitely feeling unhappy and niggly.

The rest of the week was very low key and chilled. I woke naturally most mornings between 7am and 8am, had a leisurely breakfast in the cottage (the ease of having self-catering accommodation) and then we’d set off to explore nearby places, such as Ludlow.ludlowAnd Powis Castle, which was just beautiful.powis-castleIt was full of peacocks as well, wandering about all casually. The grounds were beautiful and we had a lovely cup of tea in the cafe (isn’t that what National Trust locations are all about??)img_0902Over the week I ate lots of good food of course. Nothing crazily outrageous. Just a few scones here or there, some hearty sandwiches and a few puddings.
post-marathon-foodI did lots of walking and it was just so blissful. We were very lucky with the weather we had as well. Lots of sunshine, albeit a chill in the air indicating that autumn is very much en route.img_5655One of my favourite days was going on a 5 mile hike with my granddad around Longnor.


We did this on the Tuesday and it was a perfect way to stretch the legs a bit after the marathon. Though during the steepest sections I could definitely tell I’d run 26.2 miles!longnor-hike

It took just over three hours and was fairly hard going but we survived. Not too shabby for an almost 83 year old and a post-marathoner, eh? Both my grandparents are in fantastic shape – heading off for bike rides and long walks.

It was, as always, lovely spending time with my grandparents and my family. It was just nice to switch off, sleep lots and rest. I ate whatever I fancied and reset myself basically. On the last day we went back to Chester before heading to pick up the dogs from my other granddad who lives in Stoke and we had a lovely time shopping and then a gorgeous meal at The Botanist.the-botanistI had literally a basket of chicken wings which weren’t amazing but tasty nonetheless (bit too overdone) – though the presentation was amusing. But the showstoppers were the main and pudding. I had a deli board for my main which you could pick lots of different things to have. I went for a baked Camembert with fig syrup, rollmops, honey glazed ham hummus and a fougasse bread (yes, the same as in the Bake Off!). It was delicious.

But the pudding… oh the pudding. It was the perfect end to such a fantastic holiday. A baked cookie with toffee ice cream and salted caramel sauce.img_5843I died and went to heaven. GLORIOUSLY tasty.

Though it’s sad it’s over, I feel very happy and content now I’m back. Exactly how you should do after a good holiday 🙂

What do you like to do after a big race or marathon?

What’s your favourite type of bread?

Have you been hiking anywhere interesting?

Reykjavik, Iceland – part 2

Gosh this feels a long time ago now! If you missed Part 1 catch it HERE. Continuing on my Iceland holiday recap then, on Sunday morning I had just finished my lovely (pain free, smooth) 13.1 miles around Reykjavik.

My next tour was called Inside The Volcano. In true Anna style I hadn’t realised I’d double-booked myself for the Saturday. I’d booked both the Golden Circle and the volcano tour for Saturday and only realised when I received an email on Friday saying that due to the bad weather they needed to move the tour to Sunday instead. Erm…so no change then from what I thought I had booked! How lucky am I!?

It’s not a cheap tour at all, but I would say it’s worth it. We were driven out in a mini-bus to a building literally in the middle of nowhere. We were given a brief that we were to hike about two miles across the volcanic fields to the base camp next to the volcano, Thrihnukagigur. The volcano had been discovered in 1974 and has been dormant for 4,000 years. We were offered more waterproofs if we wanted them (I called them Minion suits; they were bright yellow huge anorak things). I was fine as I was though – the website gives a clear itinerary of what you’re in for so you can properly prepare.

Inside Volcano tour

You can see the minions behind 😉

The hike was tough going as it was so windy across the flat fields and it rained sporadically. But it was fun and beautiful.

Inside Volcano tour 6

We followed a guide who was really informative of the local landscape and history. I asked her how many times a day she hikes there and back and she said three! But she loves it – I mean who wouldn’t!

When we got to the base camp building we were given unlimited hot drinks which was lovely! We were split into groups of four-five (I think there were about 20 of us in total) and taken to the volcano in our groups. This is great for safety reasons and to help protect the volcano, of which they were very keen to do. We weren’t allowed to take any of the rock from the volcano back with us, understandably.

Inside Volcano tour 29

By now it was really windy and the trek up to the volcano itself was one of the scariest things I’ve done, I won’t lie. The path up to it had one rope as a fence along the side and then sudden death on the other side. Imagine Frodo and Sam climbing Mount Doom with no helpful eagles. It was a health and safety nightmare I can tell you.

One of the girls in my group shouted over the wind she’d never been so glad to weigh as much as she did before as it anchored her more to the ground. A slight girl and myself however clung on for dear life as we were almost blown away! I genuinely feared for my life. We then had to walk across a very rickety bridge to get to the lift thing (but thankfully we were strapped on with a harness at this point).

The lift down to the volcano took about six minutes. The area underneath the lift was fenced off and called the iPhone drop zone as so many people had dropped there phones trying to take photos as the lift descended which was obviously dangerous to the people below.

Inside Volcano tour 23

My photos don’t do the volcano any justice. There were so many colours in the rock, it was beautiful. The colours came from silicon, iron, sulphur and copper. It was very cold down there but so still. There are rocks everywhere and you can climb about and touch the sides. It was fascinating.

After a good amount of time, we headed back up and battled the wind to come back down to the base camp. I was fully ready for some hot soup after that!! There was a veggie option and a lamb option. I went for lamb and, as before, it was delicious.

Outside, just casually chilling out in the very cold and windy conditions was Mr Frosty, the base camp leader’s dog.

Inside Volcano tour 13

At first I thought he was a wolf but thankfully not, just a lovely dog.

The hike back was easier as the wind had dropped and I chatted away to our tour guide, Sigun. Her boyfriend was a runner and had run the Berlin marathon! I asked her about the Reyjavik marathon and she said that in the past few years Iceland had had a boom of running. Very cool.

That evening it took me a good while to warm up again. I had a hot shower and it felt divine. I was also very ready for a good hearty meal after my run and the hike. I found a fab restaurant called the Public House which was very quirky inside. It was kind of like tapas in that you ordered a few smaller dishes.


Or sit there with your Kindle…

It had a buzzing atmosphere and I felt a little sad to be on my own. I found it tough to choose from the menu as there were so many tasty-sounding things on it and I had no one to bounce back my thoughts to. I asked the waitress a few things about my choices and she was really helpful. When you’re on your own you need someone to discuss these things with!

Public House Iceland

I chose three plates and honestly they all rocked my world. I had reindeer tataki (basically very quickly seared) with Icelandic blue cheese. I did feel bad for eating Rudolf but the waitress recommended it. For my second dish I had a beef slider with chipotle sauce and bacon with fries. It looks like a full-sized burger (and though I kinda wished it was) it was a mini-burger. The final dish was the best. It was slow cooked lamb in an “Ástarpungur” (an Icelandic doughnut) with apricot jam. It had the right balance of sweet and savoury and was DELICIOUS.

I asked the waitress what I should have for pudding and she recommended the Mexican chocolate cake.

Mexican chocolate cake

The lighting was rubbish, apologies. Basically it was chocolate cake kind of dismantled into a heap of crispy and delicious crumbs, with ice cream and marshmallow fluff. Dear god that was good. Calorie deficit defeated 😉

Monday morning I was off for some horse riding on an Icelandic horse. The riding tour is called Islenski Hesturinn and the raves on TripAdvisor are amazing. And I can confirm true!

Begga, the owner, was hilarious, informative and clearly hugely passionate about what she does. She really made the tour. She went through in a good amount of detail what to expect, what we needed to do and instilled a good sense of confidence in us, even to those who it was their first horse riding experience.

Icelandic horses are different in that they are smaller and have additional gaits, whereas ‘normal’ horses only have the standard walk, trot, canter/gallop. We got to experience the tölt, which is similar to trotting in speed but a whole lot more comfortable. No bouncing! Islenski Hesturinn

Minion trousers were offered of which I was grateful for as my leggings would have gotten soaked

Despite it raining and being rather cold, the horse riding was so much fun. Begga took loads of photos of us which was great, so we could just sit back and enjoy ourselves. My horse was lovely and the scenery was, as always, beautiful.

As part of my tour I got a voucher for a meal at a “healthy eating restaurant”. The restaurant was called Gló and it was amazing! Raw, vegan, and gluten-free options…they had it all! Obviously I went for the Mexican chicken though 😉

Gló Restaurant

With each meal you get a choice of four salads as sides. I had a beetroot one and a sweet potato one and I can’t remember the other two, but it was SO good. I followed it up with a slice of rhubarb and blueberry cake and a Swiss coffee (like a mocha but thicker with Belgian chocolate). Yep. Pretty damn good as you can imagine.

In the interest of keeping things short(er) now… the rest of my trip (as in the rest of Monday and Tuesday morning before I flew back) was fairly low-key as I had no more tours planned. It gave me a chance to do lots of walking around Reykjavik, looking at the shops and sights.Reykjavik

Iceland seems to be full of very cool people. The shops are funky, modern and selling quirky (albeit expensive) items. There was beautiful and interesting graffiti everywhere, interesting sculptures dotted about the place and a rainbow painted on the ground left over from the Gay Pride celebration.


I spent some time chilling, reading magazines and using the WIFI (which was everywhere by the way) in a very quirky cafe/restaurant called The Laundromat Cafe. The décor was very retro and there was a genuine laundromat downstairs.


On Tuesday I ran another four miles in the morning (which were just blissful) and then spent the rest of the morning walking along the coast, taking photos and listening to podcasts. I picked up a salad from a great restaurant called XO so I would have dinner later (as my flight didn’t get back until 8pm that evening). I really recommend this place as it’s very low-key and a bit cheaper. It’s further out from the main area of Reykjavik but this worked nicely for a long walk.

XO and fro-yo

I’d had a meal from there for dinner the night before (the Indian chicken salad) and it was huge and delicious so I went for the same, but take-away. Next door is a fro-yo place!! I obviously had to try it out. I didn’t hold back on toppings!

For my last sit-down meal in Reykjavik I went back to Gló because it had been so good. Then I got a transfer back to the airport. On a final note, my flight back was amazing. They had movies!! I watched Mad Max: Fury Road, which I initially thought I wouldn’t like but actually really enjoyed.

Obviously I could keep going and going, with more and more photos but I think it would be indulgent (or more indulgent) of me. Needless to say, I fully recommend Iceland as a holiday. It’s expensive but you get so much from it.

What are your top places to visit?

What’s on your bucket list of travels?

Do you like trying the local foods when on holiday?

Jam-packed active weekend

Wow where did August go? Did it even happen? It’s scary how quickly the year is flying by.

This weekend was jam-packed. Like non-stop. I love weekends like that but it doesn’t really give you time to relax and take stock. It started Friday night with me rushing home to meet up with some of my running club for a 20 mile bike ride. As usual I was the slowest of the group – and they weren’t even pushing it! I felt bad that I might be slowing them down but they were all lovely and waited for me if I got too far behind. This cycling business is tough work!

Then I got home, quickly showered, dressed and headed out with Ben to enjoy a nice night at the pub with Kyle (our sports massage therapist and running guru friend – he writes his own blog HERE) and his lovely wife, Sophie. As Ben and me weren’t going to parkrun the next day we decided to enjoy a bit of a drinking evening. We also had a cheeky Indian as well. Good fun!

The next morning we had a luxurious lie-in, had a lazy breakfast and then made our way to the swimming pool. Ben was going to do some lane swimming (he’s still injured) while I did my pool running. Ben’s a great swimmer and he does quite enjoy – unlike me who is a) rubbish and b) hates it.

Pool runningMy new flotation belt. It’s just not running 🙁

Unfortunately the swimming pool was having a “float time” and was heaving with kids. We’re not particularly child-friendly people so this was a *bit* of a nightmare. Ben couldn’t even swim as there were no lanes (we had rung up to check we could swim…clearly“swimming” can be interpreted in different ways). It was screaming mayhem!

IMG_7803 Check out those hotties!

I had piled my hair on my head to keep it dry as your head doesn’t go under the water when you’re pool running – bonus! I had brought goggles though just in case (that’s what’s round my next in case you wondered).

Ben attempted to swim but it was tricky due to the sheer number of kids so he mainly kept me company while I splashed about. I have no idea if I was doing the pool running right so he checked out my form underwater for me bless him.

I’ve watched a few YouTube videos and read a bit about it. So I was trying to master and maintain the correct technique. It was very dull though so to jazz things up I decided to do intervals. I sped my legs up as fast as I could for 30 seconds and then went bit easier for one minute. Suddenly things were a lot harder! I was puffing and panting away. It was tough but in a weird way. It was hard effort to keep my legs moving fast and my arms going, but there was no impact. All in all a good 30 minute work out I think. Some children started jumping in the area where I was floating and splashed me. I gave them the death stare and they never came back 😉

I’ll keep you updated how the pool running continues as I plan on doing it as much as I can in order to replicate normal running. When I get back into running after my mini break I’ll keep at it to supplement my gentle come back. Well that’s the plan anyway!

I did think this was slightly ironic in the changing rooms on the lockers…

IMG_7798Come on! Seriously? Mock me at every turn why don’t you, universe!

Anyway it didn’t feel like the hardest workout of my life but it felt like something at least.

Later we had a lovely meal at Ben’s mum’s that evening. Like I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love spending time with my family and it was nice catching up. And the food was so good! We had a lovely choice of puddings as well – fruit, ice cream, meringues and homemade rhubarb crumble. Ben went for everything.

IMG_7827 Underneath the mass of ice cream and meringues there is a HUGE slice of rhubarb pudding I assure you.

The next morning we met up with our friend, Nathan, and went for a 41 mile ride on the bike. This is my longest ride to date! I did find it really tough from the start – my legs felt like lead and I had no energy (could this be from the pool running..??). The route wasn’t easy and it was really warm.We’d decided to not eat breakfast before going so half way we could stop for something to eat in a little cafe and then continue to the end of the ride.

Annoyingly I’d somehow started my Garmin 10 minutes before we actually started cycling and only realised when it told me my first mile was 14 minutes long. So I had to restart it.

It was a nice cycle as we’re all reasonably the same speeds so there was no pressure and no worries. There were a fair number of hills but we kept each other going. At 21ish miles we went to Lilly’s in Wickham (where I’ve previously been for afternoon tea a few times) and we had breakfast (at about 11am…).

The boys had waffles with bacon and maple syrup but I went for a full English as I was starving (no photo, too hungry sorry). Slightly regretted that decision though when I got back on the bike. I was so full! Thought I might be sick as we hit some up-hills. Foolish, Anna!


We didn’t break any speed records but it was hard work for us newbies. Definitely a tough long workout!

To keep our Sunday working hard we got showered and dressed and met back up with Nathan to go for a long walk in the New Forest with Alfie.

IMG_7835We were all feeling pretty knackered but it was a nice walk. The route said 10k but in the end it was almost 7.5miles!!


By the time we got home it was almost 6pm and I’d only had two apples since my brunch. Needless to say I was starving. Ben and me had lunch/dinner (?!) and collapsed on the sofa. Exhausted! Even Alfie was worn out bless him.

IMG_7847 Usually he hates car journeys but he was so tired when he got into the car he just laid down and chilled.

It’s funny because usually if I don’t run at the weekends it can seem a bit empty and not that ‘epic’, if you know what I mean? I adore running and I love my long runs, but it was really nice to do something completely different. The long cycle was epic and we felt so good afterwards. I fell into bed before 9pm and was asleep straight away. I had the beautiful exhausted feeling that my body had been worked hard in a good way. Obviously I don’t need running or cycling to make my weekends good, but I’m an active person and can’t just sit on the sofa all day long. That’s not how I relax.

And in terms of the impending marathon? Ben and me have agreed to take each day as it comes without thinking to far ahead. I can’t think about what ifs at the moment. I haven’t decided if I will do it or not yet. It’s very much up in the air, but I’m only thinking about the day I’m on at the moment, not the weeks that are coming. Otherwise I might be sick with panic…

How do you like to spend your weekends if you got to do everything you wanted?

Have you done a long bike ride before?

Do you enjoy going to the swimming pool?

Visit to North Wales

Hey, hey, hey. I am back from my long weekend in North Wales and back to the blogging world. I’m very behind on all my blog reading as well…this both stresses me out and makes me happy as I love reading blogs but hate getting so behind.

Last Thursday Ben and me were off work as we were heading up to visit my grandparents again in North Wales, Llandudno. Though the weather didn’t look to be amazing we were really looking forward to the trip. I decided to get a longish run in before we went (13.1 miles to be exact). It went OK and I was happy enough. I tried to keep the speed down but I wanted to try a faster finish.


Sort of anyway! Annoyingly my left shin has been niggling me. It’s been niggling for a little bit, hence why I have been lighter on the running side of things and not racking up any great mileage. But after attempting to run again on Saturday (3 miles) it just felt bleurgh. I saw my physio today and he’s not worried but he says it’s inflamed and I need to let it rest. I can bike and swim to my heart’s content but the pounding of running isn’t letting it rest and heal sufficiently. Not ideal at all during marathon training but I’m trying not to stress too much about it. I’ve come to realise that running and me is a bit of a messy relationship. I just need to get through Berlin and then I’m going to have a bit of a break to let everything in my body that feels the urge to niggle settle down.

Anyway back to Wales. Our journey was 5 hours of being in the car which was boring and stressful for my teeny tiny bladder. We did however see a giant dalek in Chesire.

Chesire DalekRandom!

We arrived and caught up with my grandparents and had dinner. The next morning we were up to do a gentle bike ride (just under 10 miles) with them. I love how cool my grandparents are – along with their mountain bikes that they often take out to the surrounding hills and mountains they have their Boardman road bikes as well! So we all had a bike.

IMG_7705  The weather was a bit dubious but then the sun peeped out and we all got very warm. We stopped for coffee and a nice walk in the RSPB enclosure.

IMG_7712There were lots of birds to see but I honestly couldn’t tell you what we saw as I am no bird watcher! But it was a lovely walk in the beautiful scenery. IMG_7716 Then we cycled back home, while having a bit of selfie fun on the way of course…

IMG_7769 We’re fairly pleasant people I assure you

Then we had some lunch. My grandparents are quite health-focused so we had a delicious salad for lunch (you know I love my salads). Ben and me quite fancied another walk as the sun was shining and I wanted to have a little mosey around some of the local little Conwy shops so my granddad gave us a route on a map and sent us on our way – he’s very good at devising routes being a retired mountain guide!

IMG_7722Ben point out the sheep

It was a bit of a trek up some hills but we saw some beautiful views and I got my retail urge out of the way, though I bought nothing. IMG_7725 The next day I got up early and went out for a 3 mile run in the pouring cold rain and it was just terrible. My legs felt tired, my shin felt niggly, the rain was AWFUL and I was soaked. But I had a lovely hot shower and breakfast and was ready for a nice long walk with Ben and my grandparents. The walk was going to be very long and would basically find seventeen lakes (yep, seventeen). We started together but my grandparents sent us on so we could find our own way using our map navigation skills following a route my granddad had once again written.

IMG_7736The weather was strange. It rained a bit, it got sunny, it rained a bit more. But otherwise it was a lovely cool temperature, perfect for walking up very steep hills!

The first half of our walk went well and lasted about an hour and a half covering 3.8miles. We met up with my grandparents and had a packed lunch in the sunshine on a bench which was lovely. Then we went off again for the second half. We didn’t do quite as well this time…we missed a turning and got ourselves a bit lost.

IMG_7776 This was the ‘path’ we missed – doesn’t look much like a path does it!?

In the end it worked out fine as we met up back with my grandparents and we all decided to cut the walk short as we were feeling a bit tired (3.6miles in just over an hour and half).

IMG_7735 Serious navigation going on here

But we did get to see some very beautiful lakes.

IMG_7741 That evening we headed out for an Indian. Can’t beat a good Indian! The family loved that I was happy to be the designated driver and they could enjoy a pint (or three). I was just happy tucking into copious amounts of tasty food!

The next morning we had a shortish walk planned, then lunch out and then Ben and me would make the long drive home. We drove to Parys mountain, in north east Anglesey. Parys mountain used to be a very large copper mining area, which was quite clear as we were walking around.

IMG_7743 Huge quarry area

Sadly Ben’s leg had been quite painful the whole weekend but he was soldiering on. Looks like we’re both off running for a little while. Least we can mope together! What are we like??

IMG_7754 We made it to the summit. Our walk was under an hour and 2.1miles, with lovely views and lovely company of course.

We’d worked up a fair appetite by this point so headed to Anglesey to a fantastic restaurant, Dylans. I loved it! It reminded me a lot of Jamie’s Italian with it’s decor and food options. They mainly specialised in fish and pizza but did a wide range of different meals. Ben and me shared a huge sharing platter called the Forager’s platter which had roasted vegetables, olives, bread, goat’s cheese and cheddar. I let Ben have most of the bread and cheese so I could have all the veg (we work well together in that respect).

Dylans Restaurant I had Caesar salad…what do you expect really? It was lovely. Good thick Cesar dressing, crispy bits of bacon, nice chunks of chicken and crispy lettuce. However, no anchovies (not that they were on the menu). Point deducted.

Ben got a fiorentina pizza (spinach, mozzarella, egg & parmesan). He loved it.

Pudding though…ohhh pudding. Originally I was like “nah, nothing really calls to me”. But Granddad and Ben were ordering pudding and the blueberry pancakes sounded quite nice.

Dylans puddings

Honestly the best pudding I’ve had in a while. Perfectly fluffy, good amount of blueberries and the best butterscotch sauce EVER. I could drink that stuff. Ben had a rhubarb sundae and he was equally impressed.

And that was our long weekend in Wales. I love spending the time with my grandparents. They’re such good company, so easy-going and so very active! I’m sure I’ve said this before, but we hope we’re like them at that age. Such great role models. Use it or lose it!

Do you enjoy active mini-breaks and holidays?

Is your family active?

What’s your favourite pudding?

Adventures in North Wales

Ben and me are back from our adventures in North Wales. We left Thursday afternoon and after around five hours of driving we got to Llandudno to see my grandparents.

I don’t know about you but I get so bored on car journeys. I need lots of drinks, lots of snacks and a few stops to stretch my legs and empty my tiny bladder.

Car snacks Essential snacks!

Anyway, we got there safely and had a lovely meal before heading to bed as it was quite late by this point.

My granddad is a very experienced mountain climber, mountain guide and seemingly all things outdoorsy. They both regularly still go hiking, walking and mountain biking. Considering my granddad is in his 80s this is amazing! This was not going to be relaxing weekend and that was fine by us.

The next day we headed out for a walk in Conwy.

image We started in Dwygyfylchi and walked over a rather large hill…it was great fun!

Conwy walk The views were fantastic. And it felt great to be outside in the fresh air on a beautiful day. My granddad knows so much about the area and about walking we were just like sponges trying to learn as much as possible.

Conwy Walk 2

We walked from there back home and did a total of over seven miles. Not too shabby at all! We had a lovely lunch of salad with ham, cheese and avocados and then headed out for a walk along the Llandudno promenade.

Llandudno promenade We had a mosey around the pier where there were all your usual sorts of British seaside bits and bobs, like trinket shops and arcades. We also found a great old fashioned sweet shop where we bought some chocolate honeycomb and buttered popcorn flavoured lollies (think I got one piece of the chocolate honeycomb before Ben ate the lot!).

Then we met up with my grandparents again and had a little spot of tea and cake.

Cake in Llandudno Well it wouldn’t be a proper trip without cake after all! I enjoyed carrot cake whilst everyone else had lemon sponge. It was delicious.

The next day we got up early and headed out to walk up Snowden. It was only about 30 or so minutes from my grandparent’s which is just amazing. To live so close to such beauty is brilliant. Ben and me were green with envy.

Snowden walk Ben and me headed off with a challenge set in our mind. We wanted to get to the summit in under two hours. My grandparents were taking a more leisurely walk and the idea was that we’d walk up and then walk down and meet them wherever they were on the path.

Snowden walk 2 As you can imagine the views were incredible. I was just awestruck the whole time. Because we’d started quite early (just before 9am) it actually wasn’t that busy at all. Though we did see quite a few runners running down. I was both amazed and shocked. No doubt if I’d try doing this I’d injure myself stupid. Speaking of injuries, my hip is much better! I ran Thursday morning before we left and it felt niggly but not too bad. I actually think all the walking helped strengthen it because it just felt better and better as the days went on. Yipee!

Snowen walk 3 Well we made it to the summit in 1:51.


The last mile was really tough. Finding good footing, the steep gradient and just maintaining a good pace. We were over the moon to beat our target though.

Snowden summit And what views! It was fantastic.

After reaching the summit and admiring the view, we headed to get a hot drink and something to nibble in the cafe (yes, there’s a cafe at the top!)

IMG_6839 Ben had a flapjack and a hot chocolate while I had a cappuccino and two apples (but of course). Can’t beat eating an apple in such a beautiful place with the one you love.

Then we headed back down. Obviously downhill was miles easier and we got to the bottom in 1:30. Piece of cake! We met up with my grandparents and then enjoyed a little picnic of smoked salmon sandwiches and fruit. Perfect!

Then we took a little drive along the Snowdonia marathon. This is definitely one for the bucket list. But when they say undulating, they truly mean undulating. There were a crazy amount of slow inclines, sharp hills and long steady up-hills. One for a couple of years time I think!

Snowdonia marathon This is part of the route towards the end. Fantastic views but a punishing course.

That evening we enjoyed a very nice Indian for dinner. We’re are huge Indian fans so this was just perfect. A nice end to a great day.

The next day Ben and me ambitiously decided to go for a run. My hip felt pretty damn good (while the rest of me felt fairly shattered). We ran together and decided to keep a fairly easy pace. We ran down to the Llandudno promenade. It was so warm, even before 9am. We stupidly didn’t take water and were devastated when we found a water fountain on the prom that was broken.







We actually struggled quite a lot on this run. Both our legs felt so heavy and tired and we were very hot and thirsty. Also, I haven’t run properly for almost two weeks and depressingly my running fitness has once again gone down. I can’t tell you how much this really frustrates me. I could whine on about it but I’ll spare you 😉

We finished on a sprint because my grandparents live on a hill and we decided to just go for it (as you do). So we were shattered at the end.

For our last adventure my grandparents took us to the Great Orme for another walk. Ben and me have absolutely fallen in love with hiking and walking and just want to keep at it and tackle new challenges. But we realise how very inexperienced we are in terms of map reading, navigation and just general knowledge. My granddad offered to give us a quick map reading 101 on this walk. He printed us out some maps and guided us along the walk, often stopping to ask us questions and give us advice.

Map reading on the Great OrmeBen showing off his map reading skills

image It was brilliant! You can really tell he was a guide and a teacher because he was very patient with us and explained things really well. Great Orme Walk1It was just under 4 miles and we walked for about an hour and a half. It was great. I felt afterwards a lot more comfortable with map reading, though I must say I think I have a fair bit to learn! So this is our challenge at home now, to get out to places like the New Forest and local walks and try some map reading of our own. Maybe this sounds boring, but we think it’s fantastic. We can’t wait to be able to do bigger mountains and other challenges but we need to be prepared first.

We had such a great time in North Wales and hope to come back soon. My grandparents are just brilliant – we hope to be as active as them at their age. It really is quite inspiring. It just shows that growing old doesn’t mean your life ending or having to become inactive. Use it or lose it. They have a great quote that they bare in mind all the time: make the days count, don’t count the days.

Have you been to North Wales before?

Are you a fan of walking, hiking or mountaineering?

How do you cope on long car journeys? For me it’s having lots of do (podcasts, books, magazines) and lots of snacks (sometimes healthy, sometimes not…).

Who is your fitness inspiration?