The mood of a Monday morning couldn’t be more perfectly demonstrated than the current weather of where I am in the South of England: rain and wind. Well, at least the weekend was nice and sunny. It’s not like I could enjoy the weather anyway as I’m at work!
Saturday morning I went to parkrun as normal.
It was lovely and sunny! I tried my best, though my legs were a little heavy from intervals on Thursday and the gym on Friday. I ran quite consistent miles (just under 7min/miles) and as I crossed the line I saw my watch said 20:58. I was really hoping I’d finally broken 21 minutes for that course, but the later results confirmed that I got exactly 21:00. Ahh damn!
Then I rushed back to get a bit of housework done before meeting my lovely friend, Bhuvana, for a walk and lunch in Winchester.
We decided to bring our dogs along for the outing too as we weren’t planning on going shopping but rather just chatting and walking. She has an adorable bichon frise called Rain.
The weather was lovely, so sunny and bright. As we walked along the river I let Alfie off his lead. He seemed to be looking longingly at the water but after a few stern words avoided it…until I wasn’t looking and he launched straight in! He clearly regretted it immediately as he swum to the edge and scampered out quickly. His legs looked so skinny with his fur flat against them, bless him.
For lunch we stopped in the same place we did the last time we went to Winchester, Cafe Monde.
We sat outside because of the dogs and I ordered the same as last time, Caesar Salad, as it was so tasty. I think it was a little smaller this time though with less toppings. I was a little disappointed.
We also made sure we had some treats for the dogs so they would settle down. It was a lovely lunch, despite the portion size.
Then we looked around some of the castle ruins.
We even attempted a dog selfie, which believe me was no easy feat!!
We had a hunt around for some cake as well – obviously! We stopped into a cafe called Ginger Two. We tagged-teamed with the dogs so we could both pop in a buy some cake to take-away. My Freezer Cake Stock was running low so I wanted to top it up…
The choice was amazing. And they all looked so good! I restrained myself (somewhat) by buying just two slices: a raspberry Victoria sponge on a brownie base (yes there is such a thing apparently!) and a slice of red velvet. Heaven! I’m sure I’ll be back here for a roper afternoon tea soon as the scones were like the size of my head!! It was a very pleasant and peaceful cafe so it definitely has my seal of approval.
In our quest for cake I also found myself a slice of lemon and blueberry in another tea room (I can’t remember the name though) just because…well…I have no rationale! I just love cake – don’t judge me! It was a lovely day out walking and chatting, and Alfie and Rain both got on very well. It was nice to know Alfie was with me rather than waiting at home, not enjoying the sunshine. It also meant we could just get home and chill rather than me then having to go out and walk him as soon as I got back.
I ate a quite random dinner of butter beans, pumpkin puree with cream cheese and loads of random veg (courgette, kale, etc.).
Hmm doesn’t look that appealing but it was delicious!
If you like pumpkin and you’ve never mixed pumpkin puree with cream cheese, it is a SO good. Gives a really thick creamy sauce. I pretty much was limited on what I had in my fridge, hence the randomness!
The next morning was my planned 18 miles. After having such a good run last weekend and enjoying running with the guys at Southampton half I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the idea of running 18 miles on my own. I can do it but it’s just mentally a harder slog (which I know is good training in itself I suppose).
Many of my club mates were running the Netley 10k race on the Sunday, so earlier in the week I decided to sign up to it and combine it with my own long run. I planned to drive to the race area (it’s the same place as parkrun so very close by), park and then run 12 miles out and back. Then I’d quickly change into my HERC running vest, grab my bag and water and run to the start area where my friend, Karen, would already have kindly picked up my bib (as you had to pick them up on the day).
I wasn’t going to race Netley but I hoped to pick up a bit of speed. I’ll do a recap on the race in another post as this one is getting lengthy and it was a fun (albeit hard) race.
In the end I did 12.5 miles on my own and it went well. Mentally I broke it up into two 6 mile chunks, knowing when I hit the second 6 miles I was on my way back.
As you can see there was one gradual incline that went on for a fair way which I obviously had to do twice. My pace is all over the place despite trying to remain consistent and not go too fast.
Not sure how a 7.20min/mile snuck in there but I’m pretty sure a downhill was involved!
I did panic a little thinking I wouldn’t I get back in time or I’d be too early. I had planned to arrive 15 minutes before the race began as it was quite a relaxed and small race. I arrived about 10 past but was able to pop to the loo and chat to the guys at my running club.
Thanks Gary Trendell for the photo!
My legs did start to get a little stiff and I was worried they were settling down thinking the running was over now. I drank lots of fluids beforehand as well which was good because it was quite a warm day. I didn’t feel nervous, like I’d normally do before a 10k, as I wasn’t racing. But I did feel tired and mentally had to perk myself up. Then we started heading over…
Sorry another ‘cliff hanger’!
What’s your preference: running with friends or running on your own with music/podcast/nothing? I love running with other people but you’re less in control of pace and distance which I find tough sometimes.
Do you combine races and training?
What’s your favourite breed of dog?