Things I’m loving lately – September

I haven’t done one of these posts in a while! I will recap my latest marathon soon, but for now here are some things I’ve been loving recently.

Baking: You know it’s the end of summer in the UK when The Great British Bake Off starts. I love this programme but honestly it’s such a hard time for me. I spend the entire Tuesday evening just wanting cake. Happily though at work we’re doing a Bake Off Sweepstake (a Bakestake if you like). A group of us have gotten together and we’ve been assigned a baker each. When that baker gets kicked off the person assigned has to bring in baked goods before the next episode. I had Imelda so I had to bake first.Now you may or may not know (if you’ve read this blog a long time you will know) that I’m an appalling baker having had many baking fails. So I needed to find a simple fool-proof (Anna/idiot-proof) recipe. I also wanted something that was a tiny bit more exciting than my usual go-to of brownies or simple cookies.

I did a bit of Googling and found an amazing looking creation… Jammie Dodger Blondies! Though I’m not a huge biscuit fan, I do love Jammie Dodgers and I love white chocolate, both key ingredients to this. And amazingly the recipe sounded so simple (the recipe I used is THIS one).

Jammie Dodger Blondies!


  • 200g Butter
  • 300g Golden caster sugar
  • 150g White chocolate chips/chunks
  • 3 med. eggs
  • 1tsp Vanilla extract
  • 225g Plain flour
  • A pack of mini Jammie Dodger biscuits (I found these worked really nicely for smaller pieces)
  • 6tbsp Strawberry Jam


  1. Melt the butter with the sugar over a low heat in a saucepan until melted, then remove from heat.
  2. Add the white chocolate and stir so it melts. Leave to cool for 5 minutes (IMPORTANT).
  3. Add the eggs to the mixture and whisk as you go so you don’t cook the eggs into scrambled egg!
  4. Add the vanilla extract, flour and then mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour into 12″ x 9″ tray baking tin.
  6. Place Jammie Dodgies on top of the mixture and swirl spoonfuls of jam around them (I microwaved the jam for 10 seconds to soften it up a bit).
  7. Bake for 30 minutes at 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.

Nothing went wrong. I followed the recipe. I was successful! Hurrah! Hallelujah! Praise be! And even more amazingly, people actually seemed to enjoy them and they were all gone by the end of the day. Awesome.

I can now watch Bake Off in peace without worrying about having to bake anything… while enjoying a different bake each week from someone else.Table tennis: We have a table tennis table in our office (yes I do work in a very cool place) and we have a few leagues going on so we’ve been playing a fair bit. I’m terrible. Truly terrible but I really enjoy playing it. So much so I even managed to persuade Kyle to go to a restaurant (The Southsea Village) that had a table tennis table so we could play after eating (to be fair it didn’t take much persuading, he’s as much an addict as I am though significantly more skilled).It’s so much fun to play at lunch. I mean, I should probably play more to get better but I enjoy playing regardless of my skill level so that’s something. It creates good moral and lightheartedness in the office which I think can only be a good thing.

Lush shampoo bar: I wouldn’t say I’m an eco-warrior by any stretch of the imagination but I do try and be mindful of the products I buy, the waste I create and recycle as much as possible. With that in mind, I saw that you could buy shampoo BARS rather than shampoo in bottles. Obviously I have quite long hair and do a lot of running and gym so washing my hair is something I do quite regularly (annoyingly regularly). I found that these shampoo bars not only last a lot longer than shampoo in the bottle (like 80 washes apparently) but obviously don’t require a plastic bottle.

I decided to give it a go. It was less than a tenner and my hair isn’t that sensitive (if that’s the right word) to certain products so I couldn’t see it being a total disaster.  I went for the Montalbano one, which is lemony with rosemary. It smells DIVINE. It doesn’t take much to get a lather going. I put it under the shower then rub it in my hands and then rub a bit on the ends of my hair and then carry on lathering it in without the bar. It works absolutely fine and my hair is super soft and shiny after. I’d fully recommend. Saving money and the environment. Happy days! I have a sandwich bag that I keep it in (I know I can buy a little tub but £££) and then pop it in my make-up bag for the gym. It works really well.

What products have you been enjoying recently?

Do you play any other sports?

Have you been inspired to bake because of Bake Off?

100th parkrun

Saturday was a really special day for me; it was my 100th parkrun. If you don’t know, parkrun (always small ‘p’) is a free weekly 5k that takes place on a Saturday all over the UK, as well as many other countries. You just register online, print out your barcode and then take it with you to your nearest parkrun (you can find out which one is nearest to you using their events page).

You then run (or walk!) the 5k, go through the finishing funnel where you’re handed a finisher’s chip. You take that and your personal barcode and get it scanned by a friendly volunteer. Later on you’ll receive an email with your results. It’s simple, free and super friendly. It’s one of my favourite parts of running. I go every Saturday I can, usually to my local Netley one, and I love it. You don’t have to run fast or PB every week, you can plod along, take selfies, natter to other regulars and just enjoy it. Marshals are different volunteers each week and will cheer you on as you run past.

Before Saturday I had run 99 parkruns, mostly at Netley but I’ve also done others (15 different ones in total). It’s traditional to bring cakes to a milestone parkrun so I decided on two very simple cakes: rocky road and marshmallow crispies. Essentially it just involved melting and mixing. I am notoriously bad at baking so I thought I could handle this.


The rocky road was easy peasy and involved melting chocolate, butter and golden syrup and then mixing crushed digestive biscuits and mini marshmallows into it. There was an iffy moment when I thought I was close to burning the chocolate but thankfully this didn’t happen. After putting it in a large casserole dish it went into the fridge.

Then it was on to the crispies. I melted butter and then added marshmallows and began mixing together.


Simple. Then it suddenly became very difficult. Have you ever tried mixing the sticky gloop mess of melted marshmallows with light little rice crispies?? It is a sticky NIGHTMARE. The marshmallow starts to harden, your spoon gets stuck, you get stuck, there’s pink Spiderman-style webby marshmallow glue everywhere…it’s ridiculous. Then trying to put the damn thing into a dish… Jesus, never again. Anyway they too eventually went into the fridge to later be chopped up the next morning.


But in the end it all turned out OK. Hurrah!


As normal I helped set-up parkrun. I took Alfie with me as my dad was going to pop down to cheer me on and celebrate with me so when I ran he could look after him. It’s always nice to bring Alfie along as he runs along next to us as we walk the course and gets on with everyone.

Despite the weather being overcast, it was a lovely parkrun. My fellow setter-uppers, Chris and Geoff, were celebrating their 50th and 200th parkrun, respectively, as well. So there were a lot of good spirits.

IMG_1388Thank you, Kirsty for the photo

Hedge End Running Club’s female team captain, Kirsty, also arranged for the Southampton Echo to come down and take some photos which was all very exciting. Though we did have to do some cringey running shots. They’re in the Echo today (we even had to give a little interview!).

parkrun 100 (1)(Source)

My dad arrived and we got ready to start actually running (after a lovely mention of us in the speech at the beginning).

IMG_0439Wearing my purple 25 Volunteer parkrun t-shirt

My dad cheered and took lots of photos and Alfie stood a bit confused watching all the crazy people running Winking smileIMG_0442

I ran with my friends Mike and Mark and though I wasn’t pushing it, I found it really tough. I felt like my legs had nothing in them and that three miles felt ridiculously long.

IMG_1386Mike and me (Photo credit: Ken Grist)

To be honest, I was just really glad when it was done, though I did have fun at the end doing the ‘aeroplane’. Got to be done!

IMG_0472Mark storming ahead “taking it easy” with me

And then the cake feeding frenzy began! All three of us celebrating our milestone run had brought cakes so pretty much everyone at parkrun was eating cake afterwards. It was fabulous. And I must say, my rocky road went down a storm Winking smile and was exceptionally tasty, if I do say so myself.

My dad enjoyed himself too. We had our photo taken in a similar place that we’d had a photo taken on my 50th parkrun (ahh the consistency…).


My dad said he enjoyed it so much that he’s going to register and do a parkrun walk next week! He’s done a 5k before (in around 47 minutes) and he does walk a lot so he says he feels capable of doing it. He felt encouraged that Netley has a number of walkers so he wouldn’t be the only one. He also has a heart rate monitoring watch so he can be sensible too (though he actually doesn’t have high blood pressure surprisingly – but best to be safe! And my mum won’t let him go otherwise…). And because Netley is laps if he doesn’t fancy doing it all he can stop when he wants. I’m very proud of him Smile 

My time was 23:16. It didn’t feel like a good, easy run but I’m still pleased with the negative split.





It felt mentally wearing and like a slog. But the cake, the lovely parkrun community who made me feel very special and loved and my dad being there made up for it. Despite having a pants run, I couldn’t stop smiling and I went home very happy. And that’s the thing, parkrun is not just about the running.

What would you bake for a milestone celebration?

Have you ever been interview by a paper before?

Do you like your photo being taken?

Sundays were made for sunshine, long runs and roast dinners

There’s nothing like some sunshine to make everyone happy and full of good vibes. Spring is definitely on it’s way, thank god!

Dowds Farm

Saturday morning I was back at Netley Abbey parkrun. It feels like ages since I was there last having spent the last two parkruns elsewhere. It was a chilly morning but sunny. Because of an event on our usual course we were on our backup course, the cricket pitch. The cricket pitch is a Marmite course as it’s five flat laps which makes it great for PBs but boring as hell.Netley Abbey

Setting up the course is also a lot easier as it’s just one 1km-ish route we need to walk – rather than the mile of the other course. I spotted a rope hanging from a tree and couldn’t resist a bit of monkeying around…

Netley parkrunPhoto credit to Mike Head

One guy said he’d pay me a £1 to get to the top… I didn’t quite make it to the top but I did get a fair way up. I used to love climbing trees and stuff like this when I was younger.

As we got ready to line-up someone asked me what my aim was and I said nonchanlantly “21 minute something would be nice” as that’s what I’ve been achieving on other flat courses lately. I genuinely didn’t think it would be an issue. Until I started running. My legs were heavy and it felt like running through treacle. I literally felt terrible. My friend Mark ran up next to me and said “What happened to 21 minutes then, Anna?”. Yes, thank you Mark for pointing on the blaringly obvious Smile with tongue out Not my day! So I decided to just do what I could and get through it. To be honest, I probably deserved it considering how blasé I’d been about 21 minutes being achievable.

IMG_9173Photo credit to Mike Head

I felt cold (despite having warmed up) and just demotivated. The three miles just draaaaaagged on Mark kept me company until he raced off at the end to “stretch his legs”. No hard feelings (she says bitterly Winking smile).





I wasn’t bothered too much as these things happen – some runs are good, some aren’t. What did make me sad was because of my parkrun tourism I had previously dropped to third place in the overall female points table for Netley and there was only one point separating the second female and myself…As it as the last week for this year’s points to count until it resets for next year (weird split I know) all I had to do was beat the second lady at parkrun that day. Normally I’m speedier than her so I didn’t think it would be an issue.

My time was 23:03. Hers was 22:49. So I’ve come third, despite so much of the year being in second place Sad smile Ahh well. Just too much time off from injury last year and too many tourisms! Third is still good.

I got home after parkrun to find I had no water in my flat. I checked with others in my building and it was the same. So annoying as I obviously wanted to shower and do some chores. I also needed to cook some food for an evening at my friend’s that night. Luckily I always have a couple of bottles of water in my fridge so I could have breakfast but then I just had to pack my stuff up (clothes, ingredients, Alfie, etc.) to head to my parents to utilise their facilities. Thank god they live close by!

After showering, I prepared some BBQ ribs with a homemade sauce and some Buffalo chicken wings (original recipe HERE). The wings sauce was amazing. I’m definitely doing them again! This is what I used:

  • 3 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tbsp. Tabasco
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 1½ kg chicken wings

I marinating the wings for a few hours in the fridge before baking them in the oven for 25 minutes (170C). They turned out awesome.Chicken wings

The ribs, however, were a disaster. I basically threw together a sauce as I couldn’t decide on any specific recipes… Pretty much Heinz BBQ sauce, tomato ketchup, salt, garlic, cider vinegar, bit of Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce. As my parents and me were heading out for a coffee and a spot of shopping and the ribs would take three hours my dad suggested I put them in on a timed setting so the oven would turn off automatically. I said to him they needed to be on 170C but he was faffing around with the timing settings and must have misheard me (and I didn’t check). So they roasted away at 220C for three hours instead.

Burnt ribs

What was the worst part was just how bloody amazing they smelt as they cooked and when we got back. I excitedly opened the oven…to charcoal. Devastated doesn’t quite cover my emotions at that time.

It didn’t really matter in the end as my friends had done two rack of ribs, a whole turkey leg and homemade chips so really it was fine in the end. We had a nice evening just chilled out chatting and enjoying some good non-burnt food.

As I had a fairly late night (for me) I decided to set my alarm for 8.45am. Normally I’m up 7.30-8am so this was amazing. I did wake up at 7.30am but rolled back asleep and it was glorious. I then got up and headed out for my long run. I’d planned a route for 16 miles and felt really quite relaxed with that distance looming ahead. In the back of my mind though I knew I was actually going to run 17 miles as I had an easy way to add on a final mile at the end if I fancied it. It was such a good way of doing it because I still told myself I was doing 16. If I didn’t fancy 17 I wouldn’t do it.

The weather was fantastic. Sunshine and not too hot. Perfect. A little wind but nothing horrendous. I headed off listening to a podcast and felt so much better than the day before. My legs seemed to glide along. So many people were out and about: cyclists, dog walkers, normal walkers. It was lovely.

(Ave. pace 7.55mins/mile)












There was a big hill on mile three (with a good downhill) but otherwise it was generally fairly flat. I added on the final mile as I still felt good, though I was quite thirsty. It brought back memories of hot summer long runs.Post long run

At the end my dad got me a glass of water and I sat down outside on their apple core that sits outside their front door. I love that apple core (obviously). For the rest of the day I was on an amazing high. Good weather and good running!

As it was fairly late in the day now I had to shower quickly and get myself together. I also forwent breakfast as we were heading out for Sunday lunch fairly promptly. We went to the Solent Hotel Spa (where my mum is a member of their gym) as they have a lovely restaurant there. My parents get a discount due to the membership which is great.Family Sunday lunchAs a starter I had a salad bar selection which including so many different types of seafood (smoked salmon, prawns, mackerel, etc.) and cold meats along with olives, stuffed peppers, cheese and salad. I unashamedly stacked my plate high! For main I went for the roast beef with a Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes and vegetables. Perfection. Then sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream to finish.

Sunday lunch Solent Hotel Spa

I was well and truly re-fuelled! And ready for a nap…

I headed home, walked Alfie in the still beautiful sunshine and then chilled out. I think it should be mandatory for roast dinners and pudding after every long run!

How was your weekend?

What’s your favourite roast dinner?

Have you ever had a cooking disaster?

Feeling a bit drained and flat

There is nothing like a long weekend to really kick start out back into life. Though I know not everyone got to enjoy a day off yesterday!

It was a fairly quiet weekend I must say – but sometimes you just need a bit of ‘downtime’ to try and recharge your batteries and, in my case, get into gear with sorting and organising the house. I still don’t have a date for when I’m moving, which is annoying. Especially because it’s already September now and my weekends coming up are getting booked up with seeing university friends, races and a holiday at the end of September. Whoops.

Anyway, rolling back to Saturday I went to parkrun as normal. Because I spectacularly positive splitted last week I wanted to have a strong negative split this time. I find it really hard in a 5k to pace myself. It’s funny because in a marathon I’ve found I can stick to my set paces almost perfectly and have a really controlled race, but when it comes to any shorter races it all goes to pot.


It was quite a chilly start to the day as we set up all the flags for the course, but at 8.30am the sun came out and it suddenly heated up. I wore my new skort (only £12 from Forever 21 – and very comfy and flattering, it has proper shorts underneath as well) and my Paris marathon T-shirt but by the time we got ready to start I decided to forgo the top and just run in my sports bra (I noticed a few others had done the same so I didn’t feel quite so naked). This was perfect.


I started the first lap slightly more conservatively than I would usually but still found it tough going. I managed to hang on to one of the guys from the running club, Berni, who does a lot of our coaching and leading runs. He was great as his pace was so consistent and we chatted a bit which kept my mind off the effort. On the final lap he told me to push on and I suddenly felt I had more energy knowing I only had one more lap to go.


Check those splits out! A nice negative royal flush. OK only three miles worth but I’ll take it! I came second female with 21:14. Happy days.

I also tried my very first blondie afterwards which honestly rocked my world. I think I’ve never gone for them as they’re white chocolate and I’m not a huge white chocolate fan but when a small child offers you a blondie, you take the blondie. And I’m so glad I did!

Later on I needed to pop to the shops quickly to top up on apples and came back with…well, more than apples.


I spotted some tasty looking pork belly and lamb koftas which I just couldn’t say no to, and then spotted the Ben and Jerry’s BLONDIE brownie core. And some frozen berries which I always love having with Greek yogurt at work.

That evening I was round my parent’s house for dinner with family friends. We had smoked salmon to start and steak Diane and roasted sweet potato wedges for main. If you’ve never had steak Diane it is AMAZING. My dad doesn’t even follow a recipe anymore he’s made it so often. The sauce is a cream based sauce with brandy, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce with fried onions and mushrooms. It was delicious.

For pudding there was a choice of Carte D’or ice cream or my Ben and Jerry’s. I went for the B&Js and it was just as good as it sounded.

The next morning was my long run and I was meeting running club guys to join them on a 10 miler. I ran to the meeting point and back to make it up to 14 miles. I’m still trying to be gradual in my build-up for Bournemouth as I’ve only just run Cheddar Gorge. Next week I’m hoping to run 16-17 miles and then 18 the week after and then taper.

It was really humid and from the start I found the run quite draining. I don’t know if it was the heavy meal the night before, tired legs in general or the humidity but it just felt tough. It was nice running with the others though as chatting to them took my mind of my fatigue. I need to be careful to not overdo things as I know recently I’ve done so much. After Bournemouth (providing I get there – I never take these things as a given!!) I’m planning on taking a break from the longer distances. In fact I might take a couple of weeks entirely off of running to just chill and then focus on some 10 milers and a half marathon race instead.


The route we took was fairly undulating as well in the middle section so this was tough going. Thankfully I’d taken water with me as it was really warm!

IMG_3588 The photo on the left is before I headed out – I look very fresh and unsweaty!

For the rest of the day I felt drained and tired. I’d made sure to have something before I went running (which I never normally do) to help keep my nutrition topped up for the day as I struggle with long run days to refuel. It was one of those Chia Pods which had an ‘interesting’ texture but tasted nice.

I ate lots through the day and think I refuelled like a pro. For dinner I had the pork belly and roasted sweet potato and it was delicious.


High in calories, fat and protein it went down nicely! I know there’s some dispute about animal protein and fat being the best thing for you, but it definitely filled a hole and left me satisfied. I’ve been tracking my calories and macros using MyFitnessPal to keep me on track of my goal which has been really helpful. I won’t use it forever or get too fixated on it but I need something to give me an idea of what I’m eating as I don’t track calories or macros normally. It also links to my Garmin account so gives me a good idea of how much food I need to refuel after a run. I’ll do a post about it later on what I’ve been eating and how I’ve been tracking things if people are interested!

As I had Monday off (as it was a Bank holiday in the UK, apart from Scotland) I had a luxurious lie-in (I woke up at 7.30am naturally and lazed about until just before 8am, how indulgent) and then headed to the gym at the far more reasonable time of 9am (not my usual 5.30am!).


I’m still following the New Rules of Lifting for Women and I’ve probably got about two-three weeks left (I tend to do three sessions, sometimes two a week) of Stage 1. I’m so pleased with the progress I’ve made. My deadlift and squat weight has gone up significantly and I feel really strong. I still supplement the listed workouts though with my own stuff though as I want to cover running-specific strength training as well (click the link for a great list of moves).

Then the rest of the day was spent doing the fairly depressing task of sorting through some stuff in the loft and house bits and pieces. Nothing like sifting through wedding cards and old photos to really end your long weekend on a high!

How was your weekend? Did you have the Monday off?

What do you eat before a long run or workout?

Do you track calories and/or macros?

Batgirl, long runs and pulled pork

First and foremost, thanks for your kind words and support regarding my last post. It was a hard post to write and even harder to click ‘Publish’. Part 2 will be up this week and will be talking about similar issues.

Anyway, back to more light-hearted and easier topics. This weekend I think pretty much epitomises British weather to a ‘T’. Searing heat and sunshine Saturday and then torrential rain Sunday.

Saturday’s parkrun was amazing. Netley Abbey had a “Superheroes and Villains” fancy dress theme. I know some people can’t stand fancy dress but I really love it. I don’t know why, but I just find it fun. I found a very cheap cape and mask set on Amazon and an even cheaper Batman tank top and that was perfect.IMG_3390 The Southampton Echo also sent a photographer down to take some photos which just made it so much cooler. Though we had to do some rather comical and staged running towards the camera beforehand…

parkrun fancy dress Source

What I didn’t quite anticipate was how hot it would be to run all in black, in a cape with a mask on.

22 Aug 2015 - Photo by Stuart Martin - Runners at Netley Abbey Parkrun dressed as Heroes and Villains as they run 5K around Royal Victoria Country ParkSource

I set off with the intention to give this parkrun some welly and found myself fading by the second lap. A fantastic negative positive split!


IMG_3398 Source

The last mile was tortuous. I was over-heating, could feel myself dramatically fading and my mask had become a little hot house where the only escape for sweat was down my nose. Delightful.

In the end I got 21:10 and second female. I’d hoped to at least break 21 minutes but it just wasn’t happening. As the first fancy dress person in though I’m happy 😉 I have to say though, huge kudos goes to the guy dressed as a full-on centurion.


Puts my Bat cape to shame. Not only that but it was his first ever 5k. Wow. Hugely impressive!

Later on I was back at Netley Abbey country park for a picnic and games afternoon with a bunch of the parkrun and running club guys and their families. It was lovely. I took Alfie and he fully enjoyed himself running around like a mad thing. When we played rounders it was a race against time to get to the ball before he did (though he was an appalling fielder, catching nothing, running off with the ball, getting under people’s feet as they tried to get rounders…).


The weather was fantastic and I had such a fun and chilled afternoon. I was sad about only two things: one) being stumped out on my first batting and b) Alfie not letting me play volleyball as the bigger ball caused him to bark (it confused him I think) and then he wouldn’t let me leave him when I tied him to a bench *sighs*. But it was fun regardless. And he was shattered!

IMG_3405 Sleeping off a hard day’s play

That evening I had a girlie evening with my girlfriends and we ordered a takeaway. With a long(ish) run the next day I kept to my very standard Indian – one that I have tried and tested on many night’s before long runs. Don’t want any repeats of Cheddar Gorge!

There are quite a lot of people from my running club doing the Bournemouth marathon and so it’s very much marathon training central going on and a bunch of them had arranged a 20 miler for the Sunday. Twenty miles would be far too much for me the week after a marathon so I sensibly decided to only join them for half of it. As they were doing an out and back I found out where there turnaround point was and parked there.

This worked marvellously as they were setting out at 7am so this meant I could meet them at the far nicer time of 8.30am – meaning I could have a bit of a lie-in! I was a bit worried when I parked that I’d gotten it wrong or messed up somehow because the route they’d chosen were all country roads and little lanes and it was tricky finding a safe spot to park. But just after 8.30am I saw the crowd of them heading towards me down the road. Whew. I did feel like an absolute fraud though as I was all fresh while they had 10 miles on their legs.

The route was beautiful and had lovely views. Our long run guru, Matt, always does so well with good routes!


The pace was easy (between 8-9min/miles) and I was happy to just chat away and relax into the run. But I won’t lie, I did find it tough. I was tired and could feel that I had run a marathon the week before. I knew if I’d have gone out on my own I would never have run as far (11 miles in the end). It was very warm and people were running out of water. I hadn’t even thought to take any with me as I was ‘only’ running 10 but was starting to get thirsty. A few of us stopped in a pub and begged them for water which they thankfully gave us.


Towards the end the guys were obviously feeling quite tired as they got closer to 20 miles, but so was I. Marathons are no joke and take time to recover from – regardless of how fast/slow you do them.

One of the guys, Mark, offered to drive me back to my car (now 10 miles away) which I was so grateful for. Originally I was going to run five miles with them then turn around and run back to my car but Mark had said he was happy to drive me back if I wanted to run the entire thing with them. This was brilliant as I enjoyed the run so much running with them. On my own it would have been such a slog. I do enjoy running on my own but nothing quite beats a lovely social run.



The rest of the day was boring sorting, cleaning etc. but I also put a join of pork on to slow cook so I could have pulled pork for dinner.IMG_3441 I loosely followed THIS recipe. I seared the joint quickly, then rubbed mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper all over it. Then popped it in the oven (on a baking tray with a cup of water, then wrapped the tray tightly in foil) for 4.5 hours and let the house fill with delicious smells all day.IMG_3447 I then pulled the pork apart with forks while simmering a sauce. The sauce contained cider vinegar, mustard powder, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce and salt (THIS recipe but I was limited with ingredients). It simmered down to a thick sauce which I poured over the meat.

IMG_3448 The willpower to not eat the entire lot was sketchy. I ate half and froze the other half before I could go back for more. It was AMAZING.

I finished the evening with a slice of red velvet (freezer stock) and an old soppy film, The Way We Were. Perfect.

After doing a marathon, what’s your next longest run? Mine wouldn’t normally be that high but I’m still training for Bournemouth.

What superhero or villain would you have chosen?

What’s your picnic essential? Or favourite game? I love rounders!