Being ill sucks and {giveaway winners}

Happy Monday everyone. I’m glad we got that rather nasty little week out of the way. The week where you just resent that you suddenly have to work again after eating mince pies and doing whatever you fancy 😉 The routine is back and we’re go go go again.

After my optimistic post on Thursday about all my lovely workouts planned for Friday and the weekend I promptly became ill. Sod’s law. Throughout Thursday I started feeling worse for wear: achy, tired and just not right. Then after a terribly night’s sleep and a failed attempt at the gym Friday morning (I ended up doing 15 minutes before realising I shouldn’t be aching and sweating as much as I was) before going home and back to bed. I was supposed to be working from home but I just called in sick instead and spent the rest of the day comatose on the sofa under a blanket watching crappy TV and films. How depressing!

Saturday I wasn’t much better (despite sleeping for 12 hours solid!) so Spin was definitely out of the question but I refused to let it ruin the whole day. We’d planned to go to Nando’s and then see The Hobbit with our friend, Nathan (who’s just returned from an epic month-long trip to Indian and Thailand). I wasn’t up for sitting in a cinema for hours so we just did Nando’s instead.

IMG_8973First Nando’s of 2015! It went down very nicely. The waitress laughed at me and my whole chicken but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Serving sizesWe watched two films at home instead: Guardians of the Galaxy (very funny) and XMen: Days of Future Past (love the XMen films and really enjoyed this one). But I struggle with sitting down and not doing much else so I made sure I dragged Ben on lots of walks with Alfie despite not being 100%. I found the fresh air helped a bit, though it did shatter me more than usual. It’s funny because Ben and me are so different in that respect. He can spend the entire day just watching movies or playing the Xbox whereas I can only sit about for a while before I need to get up and do something. I drive Ben mad at times because I’ll get him to a pause something while I go off and do something to stretch my legs. I’m just an antsy person I think.

Sunday I managed to get a workout in the morning as I started feeling better. We had another lazy day (with housework of course…) which basically sums up our weekend! Next weekend will be busier with Ben’s mum’s birthday meal on Saturday evening and also we’ll probably going to the shops. We’ve done a bit of online clothes shopping before our holiday and I imagine we’ll need to take some items back or exchange for different sizes. But I much prefer to do to it this way than go to the shops hunting for clothes. I am not a natural shopper as I get fed up and frustrated. At least online you can just flick through stuff quickly and they usually have your size.

Well I really wish I had more exciting stuff to say but being ill doesn’t really give me much! I’m feeling much better this morning thankfully. Annoyingly I woke up at 4am (whhhhhhhy??) thinking it was almost time to get up (my alarm was set for 5am) and was in that weird hazy dreamy state for an hour so when my alarm did go off it wasn’t hard to get up thankfully. I got in a good hour’s workout and worked up a good sweat (I did a slight variation of my Strength Routine A and my running strength stuff).

And lastly, the two winners of the Nathan hand-held torch light giveaway are *drum roll*:…

Ken C and Liz!

Please can you send me your address to my email and I will have the torches sent to you.

[Full disclosure: I gave each competition entrant a number and then used an online random number selector to determine the winner so it would be a fair selection]

How do you cope being ill? I hate it. I hate not being able to do anything and being useless. I tend to drink lots of squash as well as I find it quite easy on the stomach and comforting!

What restaurants do you always go back to? Nando’s is one of those easy restaurants where it’s close, it’s easy and it’s relatively inexpensive – and they do tasty whole chickens!

What films have you seen lately? I can’t wait to watch some good movies on the plane.

Running ain’t cheap

Being ill really sucks. I couldn’t believe that I woke up Monday morning, after getting back from North Wales the afternoon before, feeling incredibly sick. I thought it was just something I ate but as the day progressed I just felt worse and worse. Luckily (?) I had the day off from work anyway so I just laid on the sofa in a miserable state of achiness and lethargy.

All that fresh air and I get ill! Unbelievable. Well it took until Tuesday evening before I felt human again. Ben woke up feeling rough on Tuesday as well so we had a day off work together, both pathetically lying on the sofa. At least we’d recently signed up to Netflix so we just watched a lot of Breaking Bad (sooooo good).

I went to work on Wednesday feeling much better. We had another RR10 race that evening and had planned on going but I got stuck in ridiculous traffic (how many times have I moaned about my commute??). I think this was actually probably for the best as I’m still gently getting back into running and decided to do a solo run on my own instead when I got home.

As soon as I got moving I knew I felt terrible. My legs felt like they had weights on the bottom of them. Everything just felt so hard. I guess I wasn’t fully healed from my illness. Ho hum. I just hope I start feeling a bit better for Sunday as we have a 5 mile race (the Beer and Cake race – we did it last year and loved it. Here’s my recap). I know I need to adjust my expectations for it though as I am no where near the shape I was in last year.

Interestingly Ben had a very similar run to me on Wednesday evening. He decided to go for the RR10 (he got home in time – the joys of only working 20 minutes away). He said he felt very lethargic and it was a rubbish run. Guess we both need to take more time before jumping back into running post illness!

Before the illness swooped down and knocked me over, on Monday morning Ben and me headed out to buy some trails shoes for the RR10 on Wednesday (thinking I was going). We got buy one get one free on trainers so Ben got another pair of road trainers and I got some racing flats.

Lots of new trainers

This means recently we’ve bought new road trainers, new trail shoes, racing flats and walking boots for us. Four pairs of new shoes each!! I cringe at the cost of all this…Don’t tell me running is a cheap sport!

In a month these are the things Ben and me regularly buy or spend because of running:

  • New running gear – whether that’s trainers, socks, tops, shorts, runderwear, etc.)
  • Race entries – this year we’ve entered a total of 14 races each and this is likely to increase as the year progresses. Some are local and cheap (£9 what a bargain!) to Jesus are you serious (hello, Great South Run – over £40!)
  • Physio and massages – thanks to seeing Kyle and him being so damn convenient it’s very easy to have a massage every week to keep our legs fresh and cheerful. But then the bad times mean serious physio visits to fix injuries, which are more expensive (£40 a pop).
  • Gels and hydration – we’re big fans of High5 gels and water tablets and when we get into marathon training we’ll be getting through them again (though I plan on avoiding too many gels this time around, more on that another time).
  • Food – more running = more food needed. I am like a food (cake?) machine when it comes to running longer distances and higher mileage weeks. And Ben (and maybe me…) just rinses out our chocolate fridge shelf (everyone has a chocolate shelf right?).
  • Plasters – for every run Ben uses two blister plasters for his nipples (he’s going to kill me for putting this on the blog). Don’t get me wrong, they’re not expensive but do you know how many boxes of blister plasters we get through?? They have to be specifically blister plasters as well – normal ones won’t do apparently!
  • Cross training – road bikes, gym memberships, swimming sessions, etc.
  • Misc – cost of parking for races, petrol to get to races (flights & hotels even), cups of tea after Parkrun in the coffee shop, Vaseline/chafing stuff, the amount of extra washing we do with running gear, going for a meal after a big race…

Yeah it isn’t cheap. Oh sure we could knock a load of stuff off that list but at the moment it’s OK. We don’t have children, don’t plan to have children for a fair while, and we both have decent jobs. I suppose you could say we work to run!

But it’s our passion. We don’t go out boozing every weekend and we don’t spend lots of money eating out regularly. We’re fairly boring in that we like to run, so we run a lot. And that’s just the way of life for us right now.

What passion do you have that isn’t free?

Do you spend a lot of money on workout gear?

Do you workout when you’re ill?

Highs and Lows

Hello! Well that was a fairly rubbish weekend. OK, not all of it was rubbish but pretty much 70%. I was not a well bunny 🙁

Friday Ben and me had the day off. We both slept in which was just divine (for us this is just before 9am – normally we’re up 7.30am-8am if we don’t have anything going on ). I then had my final running school session. I started this ages ago in November but had to stop going because I got injured (ironic really – I started doing the running school to stop getting injured).

Anyway, in my first session the coach filmed my running to see where my problem areas were. I dropped my hip, I bounced up and down unnecessarily, my leg flicked out…not great. Though I haven’t been to the running school in months I have been doing lots of specifically running-focused strength work to target my weakness: my glutes and hamstrings. Lots of bridges, single leg squats, clams…twice a week at least.

He videoed me against this time to see if I’d improved. Thankfully I had! He put both videos next to each other and the improvement was clear. I no longer bounce but use that energy to propel forward. My leg doesn’t flick out excessively. My pelvis and hips are more level. And the whole running motion just looks like a smooth and natural forward propulsion. I was very pleased.

Unfortunately after the appointment I started feeling a bit dodge. My tummy didn’t feel great but I could ignore it. Anyway Ben and me had a nice meal to go to that I was excited about.

We went to a lovely rustic pub in Basingstoke called The Purefoy Arms.The Purefoy Arms And it was lovely. The service was impeccable; our waiter knew the menu inside out and everything was sustainable, local and fresh.

We both decided to have scallops to start, and, unusually for both of us, the butcher’s steak (rare) with a duck’s eggs and dripping cooked chips. For pudding I had a brownie with a scoop of ice cream.

IMG_6080 The brownie was dark chocolate with crumble crumbs and chocolate covered nuts alongside. The ice cream is in the jar.

Ben enjoyed a rhubarb panacotta with a side of rhubarb infused gin!

IMG_6079 We were pleasantly full afterwards as the portion sizes weren’t huge.

Sadly though I just felt worse after the meal and basically just had to go to bed when I got in. I really enjoyed the meal but my stomach was just not happy.

I had a fairly rough evening and didn’t sleep a huge amount, so Saturday’s Parkrun was off the cards for me. Instead I slept in and read my book. I was quite depressed by this point. And sadly I had to call off going to Karen’s 30th birthday afternoon tea celebration in the afternoon (*sobs*). Not great to be ill around a pregnant lady! Ben stayed at home and played on the Xbox looked after me. On the plus side, we did watch a lot of Game of Thrones.

Sunday, thankfully, I was feeling better but still shattered. And not well enough to run my planned 18 miler. CUE PANIC. Postponed until next weekend now. Let’s just not talk about my marathon rubbish training shall we??

But we had a meal planned for 2pm to celebrate Ben’s birthday. So I actually got dressed and looked presentable for the first time of the weekend.

IMG_6091 The meal unfortunately didn’t go as planned. We were slightly late (*cough* parent’s fault) and we rung the restaurant to tell them we’d be 10 minutes late. They were quite rude on the phone and told us to get there ASAP as they stop serving food at 2.30pm.

When we did arrive at 2.15pm no one served us and when we hurriedly tried to get notice of someone (because we were running out of time!) they either ignored us or said rather tersely “I’m with a customer”. Finally we managed to get the attention of a waiter and he vaguely pointed at a table and told us “well, there’s your table” and then said “you have nine minutes to order”. Oh right. Well we told them no thank you and left. It was just terrible. Yes we were late, but we had rung and if it was so much of an issue they should have told us on the phone. And then to be treated really rudely and in an off-hand way. Hello, we’re paying customers.

FYI, that’s The Plough in Winchester. I’d walk on by that one in future.

Well, in the end we found a lovely restaurant called The White Horse in Otterbourne. Lovely service, lovely food.

I had an orange, chicory and goat’s cheese salad to start and then my favourite, Caesar Salad with a side portion of braised red cabbage (yep I am that strange).

The White Horse Absolutely delicious! Ben forced me to order a pudding at the end. Not for me, I’ll hasten to add as I was quite full, but so he wouldn’t look greedy as he wanted two. Yep that’s Mr Two Puddings Smith.

IMG_6095 Ginger cake with caramelised bananas followed by pear and apple crumble with salted caramel ice cream. He had run 16.5miles in the morning so I’ll let him off 😉

And then we got home where I promptly collapsed on the sofa exhausted.

So a strange weekend of lovely peaks (good food, family time) and depressing troughs (sickness, no running and no cake).

What are your highs and lows of this weekend?

Have you ever ordered two puddings at a restaurant?

What’s the worst service you’ve ever had?

A few firsts

Well, my post for today was going to be very different from this one! It was going to be my standard WIAW post, but something a bit out of the ordinary happened.

Yesterday (Tuesday morning) I woke up, got up out of bed and headed to the other bathroom (which is just down the hall) while Ben was just finishing his shower in the en suite. The next thing I know I’m lying in a heap at the top of the stairs and Ben is shouting at me to wake up. I’d collapsed and fallen (part-way, thankfully) down the stairs! [Before I go on, I am fine and this story has a happy ending]


You can see the knock in the wall where I hit my head. Apparently I was lying face up and out cold. Ben had heard a bang and rushed out of the bathroom to find me in a bit of a crumpled heap. I woke up very confused and very dizzy, my vision all starry and feeling extremely sick. Ben called an ambulance and I went and sat on the bed. They were round in minutes – I am so impressed.

I’ve never fainted or been unconscious before. And I’ve never had an ambulance called for me before (thank goodness). It was all very dramatic!

The paramedics were amazing – I am so thankful for how quickly they got round and helped me. Because I had pain in my back, they got me onto a stretcher and took me downstairs to the ambulance. [I bet my neighbours loved this]. Then I had an ECG to check my heart, which was thankfully fine, and my blood pressure. My blood pressure is normally quite low but apparently it was very low.

Then we dashed off to hospital. At this point, Ben had rung my parents and my dad was on the way (my mum was already at work – she’s a nurse incidentally, but at a different hospital). And then the waiting game ensued. I’m honestly so grateful for all the hard work doctors and nurses and other hospital staff do, but honestly, the waiting does suck.

We soon found that essentially, I was OK. My back was just a bit sore, no x-ray needed, and I wasn’t critically ill. Whew. But they wanted to run some tests and ‘run some fluid through me’ to give me a bit of an MOT…their words not mine haha.


[Yep I am still in PJs!]

As you can see, by this point the panic was over and we were just waiting around to find out what had caused me to faint. Ben and my dad were playing on their Iphone games and I was just feeling a bit queasy from the concussion.

I was a bit excited by the fact that I had a drip. I asked the nurse if it was full of a magical powerhouse of ingredients to make me feel better. Nope, just saline solution. Clearly I don’t watch enough ER or Grey’s Anatomy.


[You can see my boredom from the random photos I was taking…]

In the end, the doctor concluded that I had simply woken up dehydrated and stood up too quickly and due to my low blood pressure, fainted and unfortunately fell down the stairs and hit my head. So essentially, I’m fine. If not a little on the pathetically weak side. To be honest, I think the wall got the raw end of the deal.


There’s a fun job for Ben at some point Winking smile

On to less dramatic but more fun things…food!

I won’t do much of a meal recap as I’ve blathered on a bit long already. So my WIAW post will be a bit disappointing on the food side I’m afraid.

On Monday night I finally made a recipe that I’ve had earmarked for ages ever since seeing it on Chelsey’s blog.


I made chicken pot pie calzones (originally based on THIS recipe). I followed the recipe pretty much exactly but left out the celery. I made the pizza dough using a simple recipe I had to hand but unfortunately ran out of normal flour and had to use half chickpea flour which incidentally worked very well.


I might have also been a bit greedy on the filling side and had to have a spill-over into some ramekins.


But it was very good none-the-less!

Snacks have obviously included a lot of this…


And a little of this…


Delicious frozen fruit. It’s nice to have frozen fruit for a change as I don’t tend to gobble it up quite as quickly.

Apologies for the abnormal WIAW, but I didn’t want to miss out completely! I’m feeling much better now, if not a little stiff. Obviously I haven’t been running!

Have you ever been to hospital? I hope for nothing serious!

What’s your favourite calzone flavour? I’ve never had calzone before but this was a great introduction.

What Easter egg(s) did you get this year? Normally I have a milk egg but I’ve been loving dark chocolate lately so this was a wonderful change.

Chicken Soup and Christmas

Hi all, thought I’d do a very quick post before taking a break for Christmas.

I’m feeling miles better than I did but still not a hundred per cent which is still driving me crazy. But I’m able to get on and do stuff so it’s fine. This weekend has been all about cleaning and getting things ready.

Ben’s dad will be down tomorrow to stay until Boxing Day, which will be lovely. The three of us will go over to my parent’s house for tomorrow evening to celebrate Christmas eve. And then Ben’s mum will be over on Christmas day to spend the day with us. My parents and granddad will pop over on Christmas morning briefly I think as they’re then off to have a Christmas meal out.

I really want to run on Christmas morning but I’m still not certain if I’ll be able to yet. I think I’ll be fine I just don’t want to push myself too soon after getting better, you know? But I really really want to go out for a lovely early Christmas morning run and just enjoy that time. Otherwise it will be a walk with Alfie instead!

Then Boxing Day everyone is over ours (including my sister, brother-in-law and niece) for a buffet that I’m rustling up. All this cooking is feeling a bit daunting at the moment as I’m still not 100% but I’m hoping it will run smoothly. I love cooking so it should be fine.

And that’s us! I don’t have much else to add. Unfortunately I’ve not been doing any Christmas baking (apart from marzipanning the Christmas cake) though I have been eating some really yummy home-made chicken soup in the spirit of getting healthy.


Really simple. Just chicken or vegetable broth with garlic and ginger, and a small chopped onion, carrot, diced chicken breast and some peas. Then simmer for like 15 mins and add some pepper and coriander. I’ve been living on this stuff!

So have a great Christmas everyone! Enjoy the food, the time with your family and friends and relax!

xx Merry Christmas! xx