Seriously painful

Howdy, howdy guys. Happy Friday. And I forgot to say in my last post, happy 4th July to those celebrating it. Do you know, it’s slightly depressing not celebrating a holiday that 80% of the blog world seem to be enjoying. Just an observation.

It’s been quite a busy week here. On Wednesday night Ben and I went to a great running event called Mile of Miles with our running club (did I mention Ben had joined the running club?? Well, he has…). It was at our local track and it was basically teams of 10 people running a relay.


So each team member would run just one mile. It was a beautiful evening and there were quite a lot of teams and running clubs involved.

I was fairly nervous and not particularly looking forward to it if I’m honest. I don’t tend to enjoy 5ks (3.1miles) so one mile was going to be worse. OK it goes quickly but it’s still painful. In my head I just kept thinking at most it was going to be 8 minutes worth of pain.

I was a little worried about only just being recovered from my previous leg issues. And I was on the fast team! Though the team were lovely and reassured me I didn’t need to go full out and to put my well-being first.

I warmed up and got ready to be tagged in. I was number six and so far our team were flying. Miles ranging from 6.30 minutes to 5.48minutes!!

Then I was off! I could feel my heart beating stupidly fast to begin with as I was so nervous but then I got into it and it honestly felt good. I couldn’t even really look at my Garmin because you literally don’t have time. It’s four laps around the track and I thought this would drag but it zoomed by. And the best part was passing the supporters on each lap.


My running club and team cheered me on loudly and it honestly put fuel to my run.

My mile came in at 6.12 minutes!

The fastest mile I’ve ever done! I was so pleased. And Ben, who was on a different team, got a time of 6.25minutes. My team ran our 10 miles in 1hour 1minute. I mean seriously, that’s pretty impressive!

And how do you celebrate a good race?


Check out my Inspector Gadget coat

By cake. Obviously.

The next day though I knew I hadn’t done my leg any favours. *Sighs* So I took it easy at running club the next evening and then enjoyed endured an ice bath afterwards.

It was painful I’m not going to lie. But it did feel pretty damn good. Perverse, I know.

Afterwards I decided to put my new compression socks on. It was so hard. I just couldn’t seem to get them over my ankle, and then when I struggled away I got the worst case of cramp in my calf that I have ever had. I literally screamed the house down.

Ben ran upstairs wondering what the hell was going on and went to touch me and I screamed at him “Don’t touch me!! Don’t come near me!!” as I feared it would only make things worse. Then Ben started laughing (don’t worry I’m currently filing for a divorce) and said “this will be like childbirth”. I then started laughing, then immediately started yelling at him to stop as all my muscles tightened when I laughed.

God. It went on for hours a good few minutes. And I didn’t even get a baby out of it.

In the end, Ben had to put the socks on for me. It was like that scene from Disney’s Cinderella when the guy is trying to cram the glass slipper on one of the ugly sister’s feet.

Then I slept in the damn things because, seriously, I wanted my money’s pain’s worth out them.

Runners, do you prefer roads, track or trail running? I was pleasantly surprised at how good track running felt. Nice and springy and the laps went quickly. I doubt I could run 10 miles on it. Or even three. Too boring.

Do you get cramp a lot? Thankfully I don’t. And after the other day, I never want it again,

How do you recover after a hard run? I’m all about icing and compressing now.

Exciting news!

Morning, morning! And how lovely that it is Friday today. Obviously because it is Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix and Glastonbury is it raining. But of course!

And I’m pleased to say I have spent the last five days not running. I mentioned previously that I was going to do some cross training on the elliptical machine at work this week.


This archaic beast is like something out of a very old (and rubbish) alien movie

How long did I slog away on this machine? Exactly six minutes. Not because of any overriding pain or discomfort. Just plain and simple: I was bored to hell and back. Ambitiously I thought I could do 40 minutes (hahaha),but after being on there for two minutes I readjusted to 20 minutes. Four minutes later and I had given up. Jeeze, power to the people who can remain on one of those for a lengthy period of time!! I guess I’m just used to actually going somewhere and taking my mind of the monotony by having the outside world to look at. But each to their own!

Despite that epic fail, I have still been stretching, doing yoga and icing crazy amounts. My leg’s been a lot better. I missed running club last night as I thought that would be too intense as my first run back so I did a fairly easy 3 miles run this morning.


Most days this week I’ve been able to get up at the rather leisurely time of 7am as I haven’t been running. However, this morning I had to get up at 5.30am to fit the run in (and enough time to properly stretch, foam roll and ice after showering). And do you know what? I didn’t even mind! I miss my regular runs so much.

So in my last post I mention I had some exciting news…


I have entered my first marathon!!!! Both Ben and me have signed up to the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon for this year December 22nd.

I know it’s not London, Paris or Berlin but it’s about 30 minutes from home so the whole family can easily come and pick up the pieces afterwards watch. I always knew I wanted to do a marathon but it was planned for next year (probably a US based one as we’re looking to go there for a holiday).

But I’d been reading this book:


Really good book, loved it!

And honestly I was just itching to get out there and do one. And funnily enough the author, Phil Hewitt, comes from Chichester which is reasonably close to where I live and he got his first ever running trainers from the same shop I got my first ever running trainers (a tedious link, yes I know). And the other week I went there to have a mosey about for some running gear as I was in the area and I saw this massive poster for the Portsmouth Marathon. It was like my stars had aligned. I know this sounds like a ridiculous story but it was honestly just perfect. The book, the shoes, the location, my desperation to do a marathon…everything just pointed to do this.

I quickly checked the dates for the races I’ve got planned in the next few months to make sure I wasn’t being stupid and not giving myself time and it works out. So boom, we signed up. Marathon here we come, baby!

This weekend my uni friends are coming over and I’m so excited to see them. It’s always so great to catch up with them Open-mouthed smile But this means tonight I need to get all the housework done as tomorrow I won’t have time. No rest for the wicked!

Have you done a marathon before? If so, did you enjoy it?

If you haven’t, would you ever?

What are you up to this weekend?

Do you enjoy the elliptical machine? How do you stay motivated?

Sushi and Watercress

Hi guys! Hope you had a great weekend and, if you were celebrating Father’s Day, I hope you spoilt your old man rotten. I just want to preface this as well by apologising for being so moany in the past few posts about not being able to run. I realise how melodramatic I’m being.

Ben and I took my dad out for dinner on Friday night. We went for sushi. I haven’t had it in so long. I was quite impressed that both my dad and Ben were happy to go for sushi. My dad’s comment “as long as there’s noodles I’m fine” did make me chuckle.


Two fine looking gentleman if I do say so myself

We left my mum at home as this was purely to treat my dad (if you remember, for Mother’s Day we just took our mums out). I guess that sounds strange but sometimes it’s nice just to fully spoil one parent (unfortunately Ben’s dad lives in Essex so we couldn’t treat him as well). Obviously this meant a lot of Xbox and PlayStation talk and the inevitable football discussions. Fun for me…

We went for the ‘all you can eat’ buffet of sushi, noodles and rice dishes. Honestly I was in heaven. So we began with a few bits and pieces…


Spring rolls (for Ben), chicken pieces (for my dad) and BBQ ribs (for me)

And we had miso soup as well. Maybe it’s just me but I could eat/drink miso soup all day long.


And then came the main…which was never ending.


So much food, so little stomach space. My dad, predictably, ordered his noodles and thoroughly enjoyed them. Ben, surprisingly, partook in some sushi with me. Even salmon sashimi!

Needless to say Anna + buffet = stuffed


Aren’t I catch? Winking smile

And my dad had a great time. On a slightly mushy note, my dad is brilliant. He has a great sense of humour (sometimes embarrassingly so, especially when we’re in the office) and a big heart. He might kill me for saying this, but seriously he gets teary eyed at the funniest things…X-Factor, sad adverts…And besides from Ben, he’s my number one supporter in running. Come rain or sun, he’ll be there cheering me on and being the biggest ‘soccer mom’ in the world. He’ll listen to me drone on about races and running gear and genuinely seems interested. Big pluses in my book Winking smile

Saturday I went to support Ben doing his Parkrun. Sensibly I was sitting this one out. I decided to volunteer instead of run it and so I got to look all official and see how it is ‘from the other side’.IMG_4516

I felt very important with my high-vis top and clipboard

I got to stand and cheer as Ben zoomed past.


I called out to him to smile at the camera and he did a brief smile which I caught and then glared at me. Oops Winking smile

I cheered on everyone who ran past (5 times as it was 5 laps) and I started running out of things to say… “Well done!”, “Keep going!”, “Good job!”, “Dig deep!”…and my hands started hurting from clapping so much. People kept smiling at me so I think it helped!

So I’ve been icing and stretching my leg like it’s been going out of fashion in the hopes I could run on the Sunday 10k race we’d signed up to ages ago (yes, yes I know another one).


Always a big fan of frozen veg!

I was fully prepared to drop out if in the morning there was any pain when I did I tester run up the road and back….

And there was no pain! Woohoo, so I got to run it!

It was in a lovely little town with a load of watercress farms all around it. It was a 5km run out and then 5km run back on the same route.IMG_0505

I felt very nervous because of my leg. I don’t believe it’s 100% back to normal as I could still feel a bit of discomfort so I took this race easy. I ran with Ben and it was great as I’ve never ran a proper race with him before. It was tempting to run off but I was sensible and just enjoyed a nice, scenic run. Up several nasty hills!


It was really nice to run a race with no pressures and just enjoy it – hell, it was just nice to run again!! Though I did wonder how fast I could have done it if I was 100% Anna again…probably not very fast considering the hills!


I even managed to take some photos during the race! You can see the people on the other side of the road heading back. The guy in the lead was SUPER fast. He must have been doing around 5-6mins/mile. Very impressive.

Along with our medals, we got a free bag of local watercress! Such a great idea Smile


I was quite jealous speaking to the guys from our running club and nearby clubs who we always see at these races and how they got on. One of them runs around my speed and did make me a bit jealous to hear how he got on. But enough of that nonsense!

And on getting back I promptly did all my stretches like a trooper and then got the frozen veg out of freezer and fully numbed my leg. It ached a bit but absolutely no pain while running or afterwards. Hurrah! So I have another appointment with the physio tomorrow to ensure it’s all good and then hopefully I’ll be easing back up to my usual mileage and runs. Though this was my last 10k for a while.

Things I’ve learnt:

– Don’t think you’re invincible. You’re not. I have certainly been taking too many risks and thinking I’m above silly little things like injuries.

– Stretch. Stretch before running, stretch after running. And then stretch some more.

– Do more weight training. I don’t do enough for the amount of running I do.

– Don’t be annoyingly miserable when I get a (let’s be honest) very minor injury which stops me running just ONE WEEK.

– Don’t do consecutive races. Doing a Parkrun and 10k every weekend is a recipe for disaster.

But like I said, that was my last 10k race. I’ll be back to my usual runs now until my next race which is mid July. A month of normal running will be really good for me. My next races are more my style as well. Longer and slower. The next race is a 10 miler and then we’re doing a half marathon in August. So for now it’s all about easy, slow long runs. My favourite Smile

How was your weekend?

Did you do anything for Father’s Day?

What do you prefer: short and fast races or long and slow?

If you like sushi, what’s your favourite dish?

Would You Rather…

I think it can be safely said that Anna not running is like Anna without apples: not a happy bunny. I’m grumpy and I’m surly. Yes I know I’m being pathetic and yes I know the bigger picture is way more important. Let me wallow in my self-indulgent pit of woe-is-me for a little longer.

I haven’t run since Sunday Disappointed smile

That’s a lifetime ago. OK, no it’s not. But it feels like it is. But the rational side of my brain knows five days is just five days and not five weeks or five months. I know I am very lucky not to be out of the game for longer. I know I’m being melodramatic.

And let’s be serious here, this can only be a good thing.

You only have one body. You only have one set of muscles. You only have one set of bones. Treat it well.


Can you hear the desperation in my voice text trying to convince myself this is a good thing? Do you believe me? No neither do I. So let’s go back to glaring at every runner I see, convinced they’re doing it to annoy me.

As I can’t run, I might as well bore you death indulge in a bit of survey fun on running from the lovely OliveToRun blog.

Run survey

#1. Would you rather bike 100 miles or run 100 miles?

What do you think? Obviously run. Though 100 miles is a fairly epic. Maybe 20 would be run, 80 would be walked and progressively changes into crawling.

#2. Wear TOO many clothes and then have to carry them because it’s too hot or wear TOO little clothes and endure a little coldness?

Hmmm ordinarily in every day life I’d always rather be too hot than cold. I hate feeling cold. But with running, however bad the first initial start is I always know within a few minutes I’ll be toasty and warm in a cocoon of sweat. So less is more for me when running. But gloves are always essential in winter. And a hat when it’s really bad.

#3. Would you rather run without your GPS or without your Music?

I’d run without music. I’m a numbers kinda girl and love seeing the splits and stats when I’ve finished because I’m sad like that.


So true. Especially when you’re just hanging around outside your house.

The other week I was running and my Garmin told me my lap database was full (OK, I did ignore the previous 10 warnings leading up to this) and then just stopped. Gave up on me. DNF. So annoying. It was like my run didn’t exist in the running universe.


I need to get me one of these!

#4. Would you rather run socially or run competitively?

Tough. I love races and I love club running where I run with other people in a more relaxed way. Hmmm. Though I’m a competitive person through and through so I guess I’ll take races!

#5. Would you rather start a race in the front or in the back?

I prefer the front. Not because I stand a chance at winning but because I like to start fast and not be held back. It stresses me out to be hemmed in by people. Though obviously this means I get overtaken a fair bit…I like to remember a couple of people who overtake me so later I can try and catch them again.

#6. Would you rather run a race to raise money for a charity or in remembrance of someone?

Either. I think both are a great thing to do. Money to a charity is always good as it’s helping in a tangible way.


This was ages ago – 2011 I think when Ben and I did the 5k Great South Run. We raised money for Alzheimer’s Society (this year we’re running the full 10 mile race)

#7. Would you rather have an awful race experience and PR or have the time of your life and NOT PR?

Time of your life and not PR. Hands down every time. I know I go on a lot about my recent PBs (not peanut butter –> personal best Winking smile) but there will always be a chance to try and beat your PB in another race. I prefer to enjoy the experience. I run because I love it. If I stop loving it I stop running.

#8. Would you rather run on the right side of the road during a race or the left?

I run in the middle…? I’m a trail blazer Winking smile I joke…I have no idea.

#9. Would you rather shower and take a nap after a long run/race or shower and be productive?

After running I am wired. On a Saturday after a long run or Parkrun I come back and eat and then power through all the chores with a crazy amount of energy coursing through my veins. It isn’t until I sit down with a coffee that I’m like “jeeze I am shattered”. I also never take naps.

 #10. Run with your significant other or your friends?

I love running with my husband but at the moment it’s just not ideal. We both have different paces. No disrespect to him at all, but if I want an easy run I’ll run with him but then that’s a hard run for him so it helps pace him. I’ve been running a lot longer than he has so it’s fair enough I suppose. He is quickly gaining on me though.


Your turn: answer some of the above questions!

I think the most interesting question is the PB/PR one and enjoyment. This has been a big thing for me lately to realise that times are not everything. When you start caring too much the enjoyment just goes down. It’s important to not take things so seriously!

If you’re not a runner: why the heck not what’s your passion? What can’t you live without? What would send you into a spiral of despair if you could no longer do it? Winking smile

What a surprise…

Howdy people. How’s your week going? Mine has been dampened by the cold weather and some bad running-related news (I’ll get to that in a minute).

But firstly, to pull me out of my dark and shady place (OK, I’m being dramatic), I must share a couple of the new-to-me meals I’ve been having lately. After spotting THIS recipe on Jessie’s blog I knew I had to try it.

IMG_4482Basil Avocado Chicken

I changed it slightly as I added in a load of random veg with the chicken and I also added a big dollop of Philadelphia cream cheese (because, let’s be honest, everything tastes amazing with cream cheese). Also, being lazy and reluctant to do more washing up than strictly necessary, I didn’t food process the avocado. I just chopped everything up, fried it until it all became melted and then threw in the cream cheese.


I loved it. It was nice to have smooth avocado bits and chunks of unmelted avocados randomly throughout. I don’t eat avocado that much (mainly because Ben runs screaming from it hates it) so this was such a nice change. Basil and avocado are a great combo.

Salads have been a regular meal as well when the weather was sunny.


This was a citrus themed salad. Chicken with goat’s cheese and loads of different veggies and chunks of orange drizzled in lemon juice and olive oil. Fresh and zingy.

And just to throw this one in there…Cake of the week (though strictly speaking there were two cakes of the week, but this one ROCKED – no pun intended): rock buns. I’m loving how ‘non-artificial’ this brand is. Let’s be honest, cake will never be classed as a superfood (I know, it’s upsetting) but having a ‘clean’ cake is surely the closest thing to it.


I have never had a rock bun before but when I saw them in the shop they looked like giant cookies so I was sold. And honestly the jokes are endless Winking smile


Surprisingly they weren’t rock hard. They were soft in the middle. Like oh-my-god-this-is-amazing-soft-in-the-middle. With raisins, sugar dusting and a hint of cinnamon. I’m going to aim to not buy these every week but seriously it will be hard.

This is yesterday’s outfit. I’m not a massive fan of the selfie photo but when I feel particularly happy with an outfit I feel the need to share because most of the time I don’t have much style. Though arguable the below picture doesn’t prove otherwise Winking smile


Tops from New Look, Owl necklace from Mango, Jeans from Topshop, Shoes from Tesco

Loving the peep toe shoes: let’s pretend it’s summer. And gotta love the photo bomber having a good old stretch there.

In terms of running…ack. Surprise surprise I have acquired a small injury. I knew this would happen – and I’m sure you’re not surprised if you’ve been following my huge running obsession lately. Serves me right for running so many damn races. I could feel something wasn’t quite right last week (hence the sports massage I had). It was fine during the runs at the weekend but afterwards my right thigh was really painful when I went up and down stairs. I thought it was fine but when I went for a run Tuesday morning within minutes I was in pain and it just wasn’t happening. So I turned round and went home. There’s a way to ruin your day before 7am.

I did a bit of Googling (as you do) and worked out it was my IT band.

Self diagnosis

So I booked in with the physio (again) and managed to swag an appointment that day. She confirmed it was my IT band and that I needed to take five days off of running. FIVE days. She did some ultrasound and acupuncture on me and gave me some stretches to do at home. She’s a great physio but I couldn’t help but be miserable. But I’m going to be sensible. Five days is a lifetime isn’t that long and it’s not worth risking a serious injury and being out of the game for weeks or even months.

Even if I start twitching…

I’m not bitter that bitter. I didn’t glare at Ben as he went for a run this morning…much. I’m going to try to use my time productively. In effort to be a better, healthier runner it’s time to get back into the strength training groove. Woo, woo, party on. So instead of running this week I’m working on my strength training. Joy of joys.


For all the you gym bunnies and proper strength training experts, I know this looks pathetic. Humour me.

So at the moment it’s nothing leg-focused as I want to fully heal. I want to start working on my core again. After reading a gazillion few running articles on injury prevention I realise I’m definitely not being a smart runner. I need to be more balanced and not just run, run, run. So I’ll be aiming to do this at least once a week to begin with. When my leg is better then I’ll add things like squats and lunges, etc.

I can hardly contain my excitement. Not Winking smile


Make sure to check out Peas and Crayons for the What I Ate Wednesday link-up!


Pssst, also check out Jemma’s great Simply Bridal giveaway – click HERE.

Have you had an injury before? Did you cope well with resting? I’m just feeling all annoyed that I let this happen and that it’s stopped me just as I was feeling like a superstar. But I guess that’s just it really, never take it for granted and let your ego take over. Don’t be stupid: stretch, foam roll, listen to your body.

Have you ever had an issue with your IT band? I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t know what the IT band was before this…

What’s your favourite avocado recipe?

Have you tried rock buns before? Because you should. Like now.