Back to my usual antics…

I cannot tell you how happy I am right now with my knee.

Things have improved so much! After spending so many weeks with a knee that either constantly ached, clicked, niggled and just felt uncomfortable to slowly seeing different symptoms disappear is just fantastic. To walk down a corridor without thinking about my knee is a relief in itself. I want to do a more in depth post on the things that helped and what I did so keep an eye out for that.

This weekend was full of good stuff. Friday night Kyle and I made rocky road ready for the morning as we would be going to Netley parkrun for his 50th. I do feel somewhat bad about how long this has taken because because obviously Kyle could have gone to parkrun without me or have me support, but when I’m injured we’re both a bit more inclined to stay in bed and make the most of not having to rush out the door on a Saturday. But now my knee feels better, we’re back at it.

We made the rocky road by basically melting a load of chocolate we had stashed from Christmas and random times with a load of butter and then mixing in marshmallows, chopped glace cherries, M&M’s and broken biscuits. SO GOOD.

The next morning we luckily naturally woke up earlier than the alarm and decided to get up and sort out the rocky road as it still needed slicing. Jeeze it was hard work! And I ended up eating lots of little pieces that fell off (“tidying up”). So much sugar so early, oops. It did not make me feel that great I must say… greedy Anna strikes again.

Kyle got a milestone shout-out in the run briefing which was lovely and then we were off. I ran a fairly easy pace with my friend Mike as I hadn’t seen him a while and it was nice to have a chatty run. He was running every day in January so he was happy to plod with me. Kyle had more in his legs so zoomed off ahead.

Photo credit: Ken Grist

We ran the winter course which is harder going, but to be honest I felt very comfortable running.

Photo credit: Ken Grist

In fact, chatting to Mike just took my mind completely off how my knee was feeling and when we finished I realised I’d just had a normal run!

My time was 24:55 which I was happy with.

We then handed out rocky road chunks and cleared down the course before heading to the café for tea, more rocky road and a slice of cake from someone else celebrating a milestone.

While I enjoyed all the delicious treats, I didn’t feel it did me any favours not having had anything substantial to eat yet. But it was worth it.

After lots of chores and boring life admin, Kyle and I went to Smith and Western for an early dinner. I mean, this really is our kind of place. Lots of ribs, burgers and, of course my favourite, chicken wings. It was nice and quiet though (it apparently gets very busy and loud later with lots of birthday shout-outs).

Of course I’d already checked out the menu and knew I was almost certainly having the chicken wing sharing platter… but just for me. Kyle was tempted as well. We asked the waitress what kind of numbers we were looking at because that would dictate if we would have one each, one between us or need to order something else alongside (yes, we are greedy people).

The waitress said it was 21 wings, 7 of each flavour (Southern Comfort, BBQ and Buffalo). That sounded like a reasonable number for us to have one each. The waitress laughed at us and said we clearly loved our wings. Yep! Kyle also ordered curly fries.

When the meals came out it looked massive. The waitress then told us that they’d actually just changed their ratios of chicken wings and it was now THIRTY per platter, 10 of each flavour. Wowza! The wings were so tasty. I definitely preferred the buffalo flavour though to the sweeter ones. The BBQ was nice and tangy but the Southern Comfort was really quite sweet if you had a few in a row.

We were well and truly stuffed afterwards of course. The waitress said she was super impressed. She asked us if we wanted pudding and I was like “we’re good but we’re not THAT good”!

That said, I did somehow manage to squeeze in a couple of pieces of rocky road later on as we chilled watched a film. A sweet end to the evening 😉

The next morning I felt well and truly fuelled to go to my personal training session. With my PT we just focus on leg strength. The idea is to get me strong for running so we do a lot of running focused exercises. It’s only been the last month or so I’ve been back seeing him due to my knee, but now I feel so much stronger. My squats are back up to where they were last year (75kg – not a huge weight I guess, but for me it is!), my hip thrusts are back at 90kg and I feel GOOD. I really like seeing my PT as he knows exactly what my goals are and understands my injury history and fears.

Then I headed off to Kyle’s dad’s to have a lovely pork roast dinner. I know, who would have thought I’d be hungry again after all those wings? But clearly my stomach is a bottomless pit!

Happy times indeed 🙂

What’s your favourite roast dinner?

Do you ever see a personal trainer?

Would you say you’re greedy?

Winter workout and tasty pastries

Happy Monday, everyone. Is it me or is it starting to get lighter in the mornings? I can’t wait until I’m woken by sunlight in the morning again…such a gentle way to wake up.

During my time off of running [apart from boring the socks off of everyone about how much I wish I was running] I have been going to the gym and trying to strengthen my body so that when it decides it is happy to run again, it will run strong.

I’ve been seeing a person trainer pretty much once a week (apart from Christmas) and he’s been guiding me through lots of exercises that I would never have done on my own. And lifting weights I would never have dreamed I could have done. Now I am by no means comparable to lots of other far stronger people out there, but for me I’m amazed.

My session last week he instructed me to deadlift a dumbbell bar weighing a total of 50kg. This is pretty much my weight! I realise this might seem so easy to some people but I couldn’t do it. I was terrified: it was too heavy, I was convinced I’d break my back or knees.

He took the weights off and started with just 20kg. He tutored my form and then added more weights, I deadlifted, then rested. He added more weights, I deadlifted, then rested. We continued with this until we were back at 50kg. And I did it – all 8 reps of it!!

It’s not running, no where near. But I was so proud of myself.

I also follow workouts that my running coach devised (all those weeks ago) which is mainly focused on lower body:

Winter workout

This took me 40mins to complete. And I looked like a right berk doing the unbalanced squats.

Wobble board

I’m hoping that I’ve been using my ‘non-running’ time well. And when I get back into running I will continue with my strength workouts, hopefully, twice a week. That is the plan anyway!

On an entirely different note, I was sent some pastry cases made by Pidy to try out. Pidy products are made with their award winning pastry recipe that the Pidy family initially created in their little patisserie shop in Ypres, Belgium back in 1952. They have a huge range of different pastries ready for fillings to be added.

I’m not a huge fan of pastry I must say but these sounded very cute and dinky. I was sent three types: mini square puff pastry squares, award winning pastry ‘sponnettes’ and veggie cups. The puff pastry squares were 130 calories per square and the spoonettes and veggie cups under 20 calories. There are no artificial colours of E-numbers and they’re a great source of fibre too.

Because we were feeling lazy on Sunday night Ben and me decided to have a sort of snack plate so we could try out the pastries.

Pidy Pastries

I filled the different pastries with tuna pate, hummus and Brussels pate. We could have been more adventurous I’m sure and made them more exciting but these little things were perfectly delicious just like this and very filling! My favourite was definitely the veggie cups which were with 30% beetroot juice (hence the colour) and they were very crunchy which I loved. Other veggie cup flavours are carrot, spinach and celeriac.

Pidy Pastry

I’m sure they’d be perfect versatile snacks that you could really go to town on the fillings and offer to guests when hosting an evening (ooh er, how posh!). And they don’t just have to be savoury, you could easily fill these badboys with sweet fillings – like fruit and yogurt, or chocolatey yumminess.

Thanks to food PR agency CLIP Creative and PR for the samples!

**I was sent the samples to review, but these are all my own opinions of the product**

Right, let’s get this week started!

 Are you good with balancing strength workouts with cardio?

Do you like finger food and canapés? I love canapés. I especially love weddings with posh canapés 😉

What would you fill these pastries with? I was a bit boring with mine but they were very tasty regardless.