9 miles, Bath and lots of fudge

Thank goodness January is over. OK it wasn’t a terrible month for me, but I just hate that sort of fog of depression that everyone has after Christmas. February is where we really start getting on with the year and looking forward.

I found Friday a day that just draaaagged. Everyone at work seemed a bit sleepy. Doing Pilates in the morning as well really didn’t help things.Morning PilatesIt’s so relaxing and gentle. But this Friday it was actually quite tough as well. I feel like we’re really getting into it now and getting to the good stuff, like the hundred move which just kills your abs.

I had a fairly early night on Friday as I was getting up at 6.15am on Saturday to do my long run before heading to Bath.

image (Along with Garmin Connect I use Strava to upload my runs – follow me if you like! I like Strava as it shows my GAP pace which is basically adjusting for elevation, up and down)

I’m really happy with how things went. It was tough but I kept an eye on my heart rate and general effort level and I wasn’t going crazy. I just listened to a podcast and ran as naturally paced as I could. The only thing I did notice was a slight ache in my other knee when I’d finished. Nothing near like I’ve had with my bad knee but just like a ‘hello what’s this’ feeling. Possibly because I could have been slightly nursing the right one and putting more pressure on the left? But it feels fine now. Honestly, I can’t take anymore injuries!!

Then I jumped on the train to Bath. I was supposed to be meeting one of my uni friends on the train but sadly her train had been cancelled which meant she couldn’t come. Really sad as I was looking forward to a lovely train ride catch-up. And I hadn’t brought my Kindle which meant I was a little bored on the journey.

Bath train trip

Normally I don’t put my feet up on seats in trains but it was empty, my boots were relatively clean and I was elevating my legs post-run 😉

So I did a lot of looking out the window. It made me appreciate living in such a beautiful country though – so green and picturesque. But so much flooding!

I met up with my friends and we straight away went for coffee…time for a good catch up and chin wag!

We then went for lunch in one of my favourite chain restaurants, Giraffe. I could eat just a plate of their sweet potato fries for lunch. Seriously so good.Giraffe sweet potato fries

I had these with a chicken, prawn and mango salad. At first they brought me a really small salad. I poked through it and found it really wasn’t what I had ordered! But the waitress quickly swapped it for the right salad – which was so much bigger. But still a little stingy on the chicken I have to say. But it was still nice.

Then we walked around Bath and saw the Cathedral.Bath

And then the highlight of the day…an amazing fudge shop (The Fudge Kitchen) where you could see them making the fudge. And they offered free samples!

Fudge KitchenI tried the salted caramel, after dinner mint and butterscotch. It was so hard to decide between them. They were so tasty. The mint was very creamy whereas the butterscotch was very crumbly. They were so friendly in the shop as well, it was a lovely experience. I bought Ben a cheeky slice of the mint one – he was very pleased.

We also went to another fudge shop (the Fudge Factory) and I got a rather large marshmallow dipped in chocolate.

Fudge Factory Yum!

Then we finished the day with a lovely tea/coffee in one of the small tearooms.

IMG_5901 How lovely is that tea cup?

Then our farewells and back to Southampton for me. Such a lovely trip. And we missed the rain in the end which was fantastic.

My legs felt pretty good the whole day. Just a bit achy. And Sunday they felt the same. Just achiness and tiredness. Ben thinks I’m over thinking everything (very possible) but it’s hard not to when it’s been this way for so long now. It’s hard to remember what post-long run feels like…whether that’s a normal achiness/tiredness or not.

I was going to run this morning (Monday) but I’m going to give myself another day as I really don’t want to push myself too much. Nine miles was a long way for me, I must remember that. I’m not where I was three months ago where nine miles was just a normal run. But I plan to run tomorrow morning, I think. Just an easy three miles.

After an injury, how slowly did you get back into things?

Have you been to Bath before?

What’s your favourite flavour of fudge? I need to try more before I make my mind up 😉

Cake and 17 miles

Happy Monday! I can’t believe we’re into November. Crazy!

This weekend was jam-packed. On Friday night Ben and me went out for our running club Christmas meal. It was so funny seeing everyone wearing their normal clothes, their hair done and without a drop of sweat on them! We usually just see everyone for a race or at the running club.

We enjoyed a very tasty Indian buffet. No photos, but basically I had a lot of chicken tikka (my favourite), butter chicken, salmon (I’ve never had salmon in a curry before!) and vegetable curry. Mmmm, with lots of poppadums.

Then there was the cake!

Hedge End Running Club Cake

Amazing. And it was made by one of the ladies at the club. It was very tasty but we only had very small slice. I’ve become a bit too accustomed to having huge slices of cake or multiple slices…so this was a little disappointing. I know, I’m just being greedy!!

Saturday morning came a little too quickly for my liking. I ran to Parkrun nice and easily:

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Then we lined up for the actual Parkrun. Running to Parkrun my stomach was not feeling good – the Indian was not happy bouncing away in there! But I wanted to give it my best as I’m so aware of the lack of speed sessions I’ve been incorporating to my routine.

I found the run quite tough and even though it was on the flat course (PB potential) I just couldn’t maintain a decent enough pace to get anywhere near my PB.

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A bit disappointing but, let’s be honest, very much expected. What with my annoying niggles and no speed sessions, getting back to my speedier times will take some work. But at the moment my main focus is the marathon. 5k times will just have to be side-lined for now.

Saturday evening Ben and me headed to my sister’s and brother-in-law’s for dinner. It was lovely seeing Ellie and Megan, my nieces, and also just having a good old chin-wag. My brother-in-law, Nick, made an amazing meal. Hungarian goulash from none other than my favourite chef, Jamie Oliver.

Hungarian goulash

Very tasty. This was very easily finished off! And then pudding was a slice of Bakewell tart with salted caramel ice cream and a dollop of what I can only describe as toffee trifle (…because let’s be honest, when is one pudding really enough??). I thought it best not to take a photo purely because I’m not sure I want to remember quite what a pig I was…

The next morning Ben left early to get in 5 miles and then left for a 10 mile race (he had a 15 mile long run on the plan). I had decided not to sign up to the race purely because I needed to get 17 miles in and though I could have done something similar to Ben I wanted to make sure it was a consistent pace and non-stop. I couldn’t trust myself to not be stupid and race the 10 miles and then hamper my following training week.

I was very jealous Sad smile But I got in my 17 miler.

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I tried to keep my pace slow and easy as I’ve never run this far before. And though I have done 16 miles in a day, there were gaps in between as I sandwiched in a half marathon race in the middle.

Overall it went OK. Annoyingly I had decided not to take my gloves as it didn’t look too cold. But then the wind picked up and it started raining and my hands were freezing. Around mile 10 I stopped quickly at a shop to buy a drink and I couldn’t get my fingers to open my bum pocket. They were so numb. I must have looked ridiculous desperately trying to unzip the pocket without success. Thankfully I did manage in the end.

When I got home I literally laid on the living room floor for a bit. I was shattered. I enjoyed endured an ice bath after my lovely hot shower and I screamed the house down. In the summer it was so refreshing (sort of) and now it’s like torture. For the rest of the day I pretty much moved in slow motion.

Clearly I need my body to get used to running such long distances. I’m not too concerned because I remember when I was training for my first half marathon and how I was after my first 9 miler. I remember feeling exhausted. It’s just about what your body is used to.

For the rest of the day I watched the New York City Marathon, read some magazines and just chilled. Perfect.

What did you get up to this weekend?

What’s the furthest you’ve ever run? And what’s the most comfortable distance for your body?

If you could choose any sort of food for a buffet, what would it be? Indians are very tasty but it’s a lot of spicy food!