Drowning iPhones, beetroot and chocolate fudge cake

One week, one week, one week…before the Berlin marathon. To say I’m terrified is something of an understatement.

The weekend was nice and relaxed though thankfully. Friday night we went out to Nando’s again with friends. Nando’s is becoming dangerously addictive! On Saturday morning I was tempted to go to parkrun to do an easy gentle 5k but after running 10k on Thursday night and cross-training Friday I decided to be super sensible and go pool running instead.

Swimming poolFloat time in the swimming pool…

Like last time I took my waterproof iPhone cover and Bluetooth headphones so I could listen to music and keep myself entertained. I was just doing my thing when suddenly my music stopped. I looked over to the side where I left my iPhone and saw it had vanished. Uh oh. I looked down in the water to see it glowing at the bottom of the pool. A small child had managed to knock it in accidentally. He stood there looking all guilty and said “Shall I dive down to fetch it?”… “err yeah” I said, trying my best not to panic. Luckily it was fine and the child lived on for another day. Whew. So 35 minutes of pool running went OK other than that incident.

The rest of the day was non-descript but in a lovely “got no plans” kind of way. Lots of walks with Alfie and watching Kings of Summer (which I highly recommend).

Sunday morning was long run time. I set my alarm for 8am and decided to test out a possible pre-marathon breakfast. My plan is to have two of the Beet It flapjacks before the race. They’re 235 calories each so my thinking was two would be perfect for a good breakfast and I get the whole beetroot benefits (boosting endurance).

Beet it Flapjacks Alfie was very interested

I’ve tried the bars before but just at work when I fancy a snack. They’re so tasty – kind of earthy but sweet and crumbly. Anyway I had two and then got myself ready and took Alfie for a longer walk than I usually would before a run, just to give myself a good amount of digestion time.

My tummy felt a bit strange after eating two bars. Not like I was sick or anything would happen, but just not completely right. I instantly regretted eating the bars and decided there and then to stick to my usual porridge before the marathon. I was sad about the bars but it was worth a shot.

On the actual run though my stomach was fine and I just got on with, well, running. I aimed to stay at around 8.30mins/mile as this is nice and easy. I felt quite slow if I’m honest but on my second mile I looked at my watch and found I was storming along 7.30-45mins/mile! I immediately slowed down. I continued letting my mind drift and listen to my podcast and realised I had sped up again.


But it didn’t feel tough at all. This was dangerous territory to be on and I snapped myself out of it and forced myself to slow down. This is not the time I want to have the best run of the month – that’s next week I hope! I need to save it for then, not on a training run.

Anyway the run went fine. No shin discomfort. Just a normal run – woooohooooo! And afterwards I just felt normal aches and tiredness like I would after a long run. And even today I feel fine! I can hardly believe it.

Now this might be completely coincidental but I could it have been the beetroot bars that helped? I felt so fresh and good on the run and even when I was running faster I felt like I was running a minute slower. Now I’m confused. But I do still have the Beet It shots which give the same amount of beetroot power as the bars and then I can still have my porridge. So I need to trial a shot before a morning run this week…

After the run I got showered and we headed to a local pub to have lunch with my parents and Ben’s mum.

Fox and Hound lunch with parents Family lunch

I realise my choice of food is odd but hey ho. I had a mango chicken salad to start and, er, a chicken, beetroot and goat’s cheese salad for main…with sweet potato fries 😉 You might have thought I’d have had enough beetroot at this point. You would be wrong.

Fox and Hound And pudding…oh pudding, how I do love you. I had a hot chocolate fudge cake with ice cream. Need I say it was to die for?


It was such a lovely lunch.

IMG_7982And cheers to my dad for the lovely ski whiffed photo!

After walking Alfie when I got back, this is pretty much what I felt like for the rest of the afternoon:

IMG_7926 Knackered

What did you get up to this weekend?

Are you good with small children? Or children in general really? I am not.

Are you a starter or a pudding person? It really depends for me, usually I will only go for one but I was quite hungry. Normally it’s pudding if they have something good.

Tapering? Don’t make me laugh

I just wanted to say a big thank you to the Tweets and comments regarding my last post, it’s given Ben a lot to think about! The fact of the matter is, we’re going to Berlin come what may. Whether both of us or one of us runs the marathon is anyone’s guess at this point.

If all continues to go as well as it is for me then I will be running it. The only thing that will stop me running is if I go on a run and there is sharp pain. At no point have I actually felt any pain – it’s all discomfort and tightness, like a pulling on my shin. A few weeks ago I stopped a run because the discomfort was so bad. It wasn’t pain per se but it was just so uncomfortable to run on – does that make any sense?

Anyway, after seeing my physio last week and Kyle, my go-to sports massage therapist – both are confident I will run the marathon and have said that my shin is fine now. Just need to convince my over-working over-analysing brain…

Anyway, I thought I might update you on my ‘marathon training’ considering that I haven’t done that in a while and hey why not considering it’s less than two weeks away. Now that the injury has passed (TOUCH WOOD) I just have the simple worry of actually getting round the marathon. Like for Paris, I’ve set myself a realistic target (well, apart from just finishing!) My planned pace is very realistic (in theory) as it’s very much an easy pace for me.

So this is last week’s training:

Monday: 6 miles easy run

Tuesday: 40 minutes on the cross-trainer/elliptical machine (5 minute warm-up, 45 seconds hard, 1 minute easy repeated, 5 minutes cool down)

IMG_7900 Tough!

– 2.5mins plank
– 4x 15/leg single leg squat
– 4.5mins crab walk
– 4x 26 Russian twists
– 200/leg clams with resistance band

Wednesday: One hour of yoga (loving this!)

Thursday: 3 miles easy run at lunch and 15 miles speedy (to me!) bike session

Friday: 30 minutes on the cross-trainer/elliptical machine. Didn’t have as much time as usual so tried to blast it.

– 2.5mins plank
– 15x 4 single leg squat


Post workout happy selfie

It was one of those workouts that I felt great about! I really enjoyed it and felt amazing afterwards.

Saturday: One BORING hour of pool running. It all started off great with my waterproof iPhone cover and my Bluetooth headphones listening to a podcast trying to ignore the small people splashing around on floats (I tried to limit my Death Stare a little). Then my headphones ran out of battery.

Bore pool running See the float in the background? I had so many of those things bump into me.

Honestly, nothing is more boring than pool running. I literally stared at the clock. I even did intervals just to pass the time quicker. I felt like this was a seriously successful workout not only in terms of fitness but psychologically – it really tested my mental endurance.

Sunday: The long run I’d been dreading… 11 miles. I was going to do 10 but then I realised two weeks before Paris marathon I did an 11 miler and superstition told me to do that extra mile if I felt good. And I did, so I did. No shin issues before or after…bit of tightness the day after but nothing hugely remarkable. Fitness-wise I feel good. Endurance-wise? Eh…no idea really. I didn’t feel like I was dead on my knees during or after this run, wasn’t tired in the day and the next day I had no muscles aches – it was like I hadn’t run. Good sign? But only 11 miles…! Apart from endurance my big concern is the effect of the pounding on the roads that running does…nothing but running proper can train your body for that.

What workouts did you enjoy last week?

Do you need music/entertainment to get you through some workouts?

Are you superstitious? I didn’t think I was until now!

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?