Reading Half-Marathon

**I warn you now this might be a bit of a lengthy post**

I survived my first half marathon! It was brilliant Smile Here’s my recap. I’ve tried not to ramble on too much… 

So on Friday I had my last physio appointment. This was really good as she gave my leg muscles a good (albeit painful) massage and also used ultra-sound on my Achilles which was just brilliant. Definitely worth the money I think! And a perfect way to prepare for Sunday.

Saturday I had a busy day of trying to get all the housework done and sorting bits and pieces out as we knew we wouldn’t have Sunday because of the race. I also did a very relaxed and easy 2 mile run to just shake myself out. It was horrific though as it was so wet and windy. This was a bit worrying as I didn’t mind any weather as long as it wasn’t windy. And Saturday was like gail-force winds.

Saturday night Ben and I had a ‘make-your-own’ pizza from Sainsbury’s. I had a thin and crispy vegetable feast without cheese…with added chicken (I’m not a big fan of melted cheese). When the guy behind the counter had made it he said to me “you might need to cook it for a bit longer than the directions say as there are so many toppings”. Haha I should have been embarrassed but I wasn’t.


Before I cooked it I put some BBQ sauce over it. Let me tell you, this was AMAZING. Perfect carb-loading dinner.

I had an early night and surprisingly fell asleep very quickly.

Sunday morning we woke up early (6.30am…on a Sunday), I walked Alfie, had breakfast (my regular oatmeal – what else?) and a black coffee. Ben’s mum and my mum arrived to drive with us and we were on our way. [Unfortunately my dad couldn’t make it as he’d been called into work – this was quite sad as, apart from Ben, he’s one of my biggest supporters]

Because I was so worried I’d lose my head and run like an idiot for the first half of the race and thereby kill myself for the second I wrote down the times I wanted to hit for each mile on my hand to try and focus myself.


This way I could keep looking at what pace I should be aiming for. Basically I aimed at increasing the speed as the race went along, leaving myself a bit of energy for a speedy finish.

We got to Reading and hung about in the race village for a fair amount of time. At this point the rain hadn’t quite kicked in but it was cold.


Then it started really raining. Possibly the worst part of the day was taking off my big coat and handing it to Ben so I could then go and stand in the racing pen to wait for it to begin. I was FREEZING. We all had to stand and wait for around 15 mins before the race began in the tipping rain. Everyone was jumping around like lunatics trying to keep warm.

And then we were off!

It was such an effort to keep my pace at 8.20 for the first mile because the majority of people were starting quite fast so it felt very unnatural to hold myself back. My inner competitiveness was screaming at me. But I didn’t want to start too quickly and poop myself out right at the beginning.

I saw Ben and the mums during the first mile so it was nice to wave to them at the beginning. Miles 1-4 zoomed by. They felt very easy and relaxed. It was just so nice to be running with so many people.


I had my music in and it was great to just look around and watch other people and see the spectators cheering us on. So many people watched us run, it was really lovely. Especially considering the weather! I kept having to check my pace though as I felt myself wanting to zoom off.

At mile 5 I increased my pace as planned. I still felt very good and was quite happy with how things were going.


Saw some interesting costumes!

The course was relatively flat, except for about three hills that were quite substantial. But they were fine, I just found a rhythm, looked down and ploughed on. If I look up when running hills then I lose my motivation because I think “Jeeze am I not there yet?”

There were loads of water stations about which was a bit of a minefield, especially when they were like bags of water that squirted all over the place. I didn’t go for any water but I almost got hit by jets of water several times haha. As if I wasn’t wet enough!

I can’t remember what mile it was (maybe 6?) but we went under a bridge and there were drums playing by a band which was brilliant. Really livened things up and kept us motivated. It was nice as well because people shouted my name as I had it on my vest. At first it felt weird because I was like “I don’t know you!” but it was a great motivator. And little kids wanting high fives – that was cool!

Mile 7 went really quickly because this was where Ben and the mums were aiming to be to wave and hand me a drink (I’d made my own drink from half water, half pure orange juice and a little bit of salt). So I spent a lot of time looking out for them which passed the time. I finally saw them and gave Ben my gloves, he gave me the drink and then we had a quick smooch (ahh the romance) and I ran off.

I thought I’d struggle around 8-9 as it’s a bit of a funny mileage as you’ve ran quite far but you’re still quite far away. But I was fine. I felt very comfortable and happy. Though it started raining again which wasn’t amazing.

Because of how the course twisted, Ben and the mums could get to mile 10 before I did so they hurried there to wave again and Ben got a photo of me.


Yep that’s a manic smile I’m wearing there.

And then from mile 10 I was ready to kick a bit more into a faster pace. When I got to mile 12 that’s when I had to dig a bit deeper to keep going. When I saw the sign for ‘400m to go’ I let rip a bit more and it got painful. We got into the Madejski stadium and BAM it finished. It was over. I couldn’t believe it.


The feelings of absolutely happiness were so overwhelming. I felt like I could fly. I saw someone from work who was also running it and I went over to him to chat and I was just bursting with joy. I just needed someone to talk to and bounce good vibes off of.

And how did I do in terms of timing? My official chip time was 1 hour 41 minutes and 19 seconds. And my Garmin breakdown:


Almost a perfect negative split! I’m so proud of myself for being sensible. Honestly, I don’t know what it was…the crowds, the other runners, the vibes, the adrenaline…but the race just felt good. I only struggled on the last mile – and even that just required a bit more focus and mental motivation. I am so pleased.

On a random point, the funniest thing was seeing the steam rise of the runners at the end. Lovely Winking smile

I eventually found Ben, my mum and Ben’s mum (at this point I was once again FREEZING).

IMG_3931 They were cold and wet as well – I felt so bad that they had to stand in the rain for me, but very grateful for their support. We headed back to the car and then had to wait about 50 mins for the car park to open to let us (and seventy five million other cars) out. We blasted the car with heat and we eventually got a bit warmer and dryer. I managed to get out of my clothes and into my spare dry clothes inside the car without revealing myself to the world or my family (a lot of help from Ben holding up his jumper haha).

Then the cars started moving. This was stressful. There was just no order, cars were everywhere.


They look like parked cars in the photo, but they’re actually creating their own queues. It’s just not British!!! Queue jumping is not socially acceptable, people!!

Anyway, we FINALLY got out and headed for lunch. By the time we arrived it was 2.30 (I finished the race at 11.45). I was ready to eat my arm at this point.

We got parked and got out of the car. My legs were so painful and achy I almost fell over! But we got to Jamie’s Italian and got a table (despite being so late for our reserved time!)

Straight away we ordered hot drinks. You know when you’re warm but you’re not really warm inside? That’s how we felt, if that makes sense. I ordered a peppermint tea which I can tell you tasted pretty darn good at this point.


Can you guess what I had for main? Turkey Milanese, which I’ve now had four times…embarrassing really but nothing sounded better.


I ordered a quinoa and bulgur wheat salad on the side as well.


The turkey went down very well but I couldn’t make a dent on the side; it was HUGE. You know when you go from being really hungry to being very full in a short period of time? Well it didn’t make me feel amazing, but I got it packed up to take home with me.


This smile pretty much never left my face.

Then we walked (I hobbled) back to the car and went home. After having the best shower in the world, there seemed only one outfit appropriate to wear at this point:


A onesie with my medal. Obviously Winking smile

And needless to say my legs are fairly painful today. I almost fell over getting up this morning.

In a nutshell: I loved the half marathon and I’m definitely doing another.

Have you done a half marathon before?

What’s your favourite race distance?

Are you a proud owner of a onesie?

Mother’s Day and Cake

Hello! Hope you had a great weekend. We had a day of beautiful weather and then a day of freezing temperatures. But it was a really good weekend nonetheless.

On Saturday I ran my last long run before the half marathon next Sunday. It was a good run helped by the fact that it was a beautifully mild day and I went down a route that I really love. Isn’t that weird when you have a route that you get good vibes from? There are definitely certain routes I avoid purely because I don’t get good feelings about.


I like routes that head back home sooner in the run even though they might loop about before I’m actually home. It just psychologically feels like the run is almost at the end, you know?

Then after the run, I showered and had breakfast (usual oatmeal) and did some housework. Then I dared to enter the jaws of hell Marks and Spencer’s. On a Saturday. The day before Mother’s Day. Am I crazy??? And yes, it was MANIC. Dad’s and their kids racing about trying to get presents and flowers everywhere.


OK it doesn’t look so bad in the photo, but literally it was heaving.

I was only in there (thankfully) to pick up some nice flowers as I had everything else I needed for the mums. I wanted the flowers to be fresh for the next day, hence why I dared to go to M&S the day before.

Then I escaped got home and did some housework and had some lunch with Ben. I had my favourite butternut squash soup again.


I’m just so addicted at the moment. I should make big batches of it but I can never be bothered and I know I’d probably eat stupid amounts in one sitting that way rather than putting it in the freezer…Plus I quite enjoy making the soup rather than defrosting it and reheating, you know?

After lunch and walking Alfie, we finally got our act together and saw our wedding photographer to get our photos. How terrible is that considering we got married last September?? Oh well! I might upload some of the photos on the blog as a little memoir to wedding…watch this space.

And because we don’t have a Waitrose near where we live I forced Ben to go to the Waitrose near the photographer’s office so I could stock up on tinned pumpkin. Waitrose is the only place I’ve found stocks it!


I restrained myself in to buying only four. The lady behind the till thought I was mad. Hey, I don’t care!

Then we got ready to take both the mums for a nice meal out. We went to a lovely little pub/restaurant near us called the Jolly Sailor.


We chauffeured the mums so they could drink and relax.


It’s so lovely because Ben’s mum and my mum are friends and go out together anyway so it wasn’t odd having them both there for a Mother’s Day meal. it was just nice to spend the quality time with both of them simultaneously.


Both Ben and me get on really well with our own mum’s and mother-in-laws so it was such a good night out. We are so lucky to have such lovely family surrounding us!

For starters Ben and me went for a sharing platter. Well, what happened was I saw a vegetarian sharing platter that literally had everything I could dream on it and I really wanted to try it but Ben was convinced it wouldn’t come with bread and didn’t want to be overcome by so much veggie-ness so wanted to order a bread basket with it to ‘balance it out’. Fair enough. Until we saw this beast arrive:IMG_3891

Enough to feed an army! There were different cheeses, a falafel, a potato cake thing, hummus, guacamole, grilled vegetables, tzatziki, cauliflower salad, regular salad…and bread. And then our bread basket. Whoops.

Needless to say we were quite full after this. However, on days where I run a long run I’m always more hungry that normal (obviously, I guess) so this was a welcome dinner I have to say!

For my main I went for poussin and fries. This is an unusual choice for me as I’m not a big ‘fries’ fan. I prefer chunky chips or sweet potato fries


But you know what, this pretty much hit the spot. The fries with ketchup went down like a treat. Really yummy and exactly what I was craving. And I might have helped out Ben with his fries too. Hey, I need the carbs what can I say!

No pudding as seriously, no room at the inn. Such a good evening with the mums. I hope they enjoyed it; they definitely deserved to be treated. Speaking for myself, I am so grateful to my mum and everything she’s done for me. She’s a hardworking lady and juggled a lot of things when my sister and I were growing up to make sure we had happy, healthy childhoods so I’m very thankful for that. And I know Ben appreciates his mum just as much. Like I said, we’re both extremely lucky.

On Sunday I didn’t do a whole lot if I’m honest. My mum and dad popped round in the morning and we had coffee and I gave my mum her flowers and card. Once again, a lovely time with my family. Then in the afternoon, Ben’s mum dropped round with a little, delayed surprise for Ben… His birthday cake! As a surprise Ben’s mum and me decided to treat him to an amazing birthday cake from the same lady that made our wedding cake and Ben’s mum’s birthday cake.


It has a little Xbox on it!


How cool is that? Ben loves playing on his Xbox so this seemed like the perfect thing to put on the cake. He was very chuffed.

And it tasted so good


Lemon sponge and buttercream…ahh heaven.

Ben’s mum had to take quite a bit of the cake home with her to put in her freezer unfortunately as our freezer is just bursting with cake (as I might have mentioned before). There’s no way we could eat it all before it goes stale – I mean it’s a BEAST.

So lots of good food, great family time, and cake. That my friends is a damn good weekend in my books.

What did you do this weekend?

If you’re from the UK, what did you do for Mother’s Day?

If you could have any cake in the world for your birthday, what flavour would it be? I think mine would be fruit cake with marzipan and royal icing…or maybe just regular birthday cake style with jam and buttercream…

Lessons Learnt and the World’s Best Brownie

Can you believe it’s Monday again? The weekend felt like it zoomed by. How depressing! I feel shattered! The weekend was brilliant though.

On Saturday morning I got up early and ran my 12 mile long run. For the first 6-7miles it was brilliant. It felt easy, I was running a fast pace; I was really chuffed. Then I started to feel quite tired around mile 7. So I thought I’d have a sweet to pick my energy up. Last time I had a mini Tootsie Roll but found this really annoying to eat because it was so chewy. I chose a boiled sweet I got from Bulgaria in our epic pick ‘n’ mix swag instead so I could just suck it as I ran. However, it wasn’t a boiled sweet at all but another chewy sweet. I find chewing really hard when I run because I ordinarily breathe through my mouth when I run so when I have to chew I find myself gasping and not taking in enough air.

By the time I had finished the damn sweet I then had a stitch (this is about mile 8 now) and it was a killer. I knew at this point I had stupidly started too quickly – of course it felt easy and amazing at the start: I had only just started!! I didn’t think that maintaining that speed for another 10 miles would feel so hard. I know, I am incredibly dim.

Mile 9 was the hardest. The stitch was so painful I had to stop. I stopped my Garmin and took in huge lungfuls of air for 30 seconds just to get rid of the bloody stitch. Then I got back to it and everything was fine again. But it did really worry me.


My time was great but if I’m honest I feel really stupid and sheepish about it. I was too fast. I shouldn’t have run like I did. Maybe for the actual half-marathon it wouldn’t have been so bad, but not while I’m training. Really, really stupid. Risking all kinds of injuries…stupid, stupid.

So I’ve learnt my lesson. No matter how good the run feels at the beginning, always start slower. Your legs will thank you at mile 8 or 9 or whatever mileage your aiming for.

Anyway, so after running I quickly got myself together, had breakfast, and got on the road to Bristol. It wasn’t a bad drive and I listened to a Marathon Talk podcast which reinforced how stupid I had been earlier.

It was so lovely seeing my university friends again. And I got to meet Kate’s (the girl who lives in Bristol and who we were staying with) little pug, Doug.


Awww, look at his little face. He is adorable. Completely different persoanlity to Alfie, but adorable none-the-less.

After catching up for a bit we headed out to grab some lunch and do some shopping in Cabot Circus, which is a huge shopping centre in Bristol. So good. Designed in a way to get you lost though so you spend more time and money there!

We had to wait 20 minutes before we got a seat in Giraffe (love this restaurant) as it was so busy. So by the time we were sat down ready to order it was like 2.30pm and I was quite extremely hungry by this point! I ordered a feta super salad…


There was avocado and bulgar wheat and borlotti beans in there as well. The menu said broccoli as well but as you can, there wasn’t any. As my friend also ordered this and was broccoli-less too I complained and the waiter brought us out a plate of broccoli. I think he thought we were a bit strange, but seriously I want what I ordered!

On the side I also had sweet potato fries (because I was so hungry!)


Can I just say, hands down, they were the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.

After lunch we did a bit of shopping and I bought some jeans and…three scarves!! I just couldn’t stop. Here’s one of them that I’m wearing today.


I love this! It’s got skull and crossbones on it. So different from my usual scarves.

After shopping we dropped into Tesco to buy something for dinner and then headed back. We chatted some more and relaxed. Then it was dinner time. I had bought a beetroot and horseradish soup (sounds weird but really, really good) and had that with a bit of bread and then my apples for dessert (well, what else?). My friends know me so well they know about my apple obsession. In fact, Kate had even bought a load of apples purely to feed my addiction! Bless her. She also bought porridge oats for me as well for the morning Smile


Really yummy. Going to see if I can find a recipe for this soup.

Now, every time my friends and me meet up and stay over someone’s house we always have a tradition. We make the world’s best brownie. Technically, it’s probably not a brownie. Not the way we eat it! I can’t disclose exact the recipe (because it changes every time & I’d have to kill you Winking smile) but it vaguely goes like this:

World’s Best Brownie (serves 4-5 greedy girls) – edited for an evolved better version

  • 90g flour
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2x 400g tin of prunes in own juice (with stones)
  • 300-400g milk chocolate (ideally Cadbury’s – more chocolate is never a bad thing)
  • Bar of Mint Aero/bag of Mint Aero balls
  • Optional piggy extras: digestive biscuits or 120g Milky Bar

– We mix the flour and sugar together.

– Break up all the milk chocolate and then melt it over a pan of simmering water. We like to reserve half the Mint Aero bar to add in just before it goes in the oven as finding semi-melted mint bits is incredible.

– De-pit the prunes and get rid of the juice (or reserve for another recipe?). Then cook in a small pan until all broken up and squidgy. Allow to cool.

– Then add melted chocolate and beaten eggs to the prunes and blend together. Blend really well because seriously, a big blob of prune in a brownie rocks no one’s world. We always use a hand blender.

– Then fold in the flour and sugar and stir in the added extras.

– Bake for an undefined period of time. This is where it gets interesting. For how we eat it, I’d say 15mins. For normal people, I’d say 20-25mins (but this misses the point as you will see).


Important points: We don’t bake it for long enough to cook the entire thing ‘properly’. We make sure it’s cooked 3/4s of the way so that underneath the crust it’s seriously gooey.

We also don’t cut it. We literally put it in the middle of the table and each have teaspoons. We wait, oh, all of 5 mins and then dig in. Then proceeds the expressions of pain and gasping of “this is stupidly hot!!”

IMG_3848Yes, this is sheer gluttony. Yes, we do feel very sick afterwards. Yes, it pretty much is the best thing to do EVER.

IMG_3849The Mint Aero is a delightful addition to the brownie. Big blobs of melted mint chocolate are scattered throughout and it’s like a treasure hunt. It’s closer to pudding then a brownie as you can see, but it is bliss whatever it technically should be called. And between 5 of us, we finished the lot. Though, as usual, we all felt quite sick afterwards. But a contented sick feeling.

This brownie, and it’s long-standing tradition, came about because when we were at university we all lived together (this is years ago now) and would often make cookies. We got bored of cookies and wanted something different. Something a bit healthier so we didn’t feel so bad scoffing it. Also, a measly cookie never satisfies the need for something really naughty.

So we Googled a recipe and I think it was THIS one we found. We wanted a recipe that didn’t have butter (as God forbid we included something as fattening as butter! Don’t worry about the sugar and chocolate haha). However, this recipe obviously does have butter and I think we just didn’t read it properly.

Since then we’ve always made this brownie, but it’s been tweaked and adapted and extras have been added through the years to increase it’s amazingness. Obviously, it is not a healthy brownie anymore (or was ever?) but the prunes instead of butter allow us to live in our dream-world that it’s better than a normal brownie haha. Also, the texture is SO good. We do this about twice/three times a year.

Anyway! We then chatted and went to bed at like midnight – seriously past my bedtime! Haha. The next day we had breakfast and then took Doug for a lovely walk around a beautiful park.

IMG_3853VERY cold though.


And then I drove home! My lovely husband had done all the chores, bless him, so I just got back and could have lunch and chill. Perfect weekend!

What did you guys get up to?

Do you do any crazy/weird traditions with your friends when you see them?

Have you ever learnt from a fitness mistake?

Week recap

Hi all! And it’s Friday! Honestly this week has positively zoomed by, which is always lovely. I’m glad to be back at home after going to Derby again! Here’s a recap of my week. This might be a bit long, so apologies in advance!

Monday I did a 6 mile run which as I’ve said previously was really hard as I was still tired from the long run at the weekend. I should have delayed the run until the Tuesday but foolishly didn’t.


Though I’m happy with those numbers, I’m not happy with the run. It was a struggle the whole damn time. I’d much prefer a slow and enjoyable run then a fast and difficult one.

Tuesday I decided not to run – good decision! I needed to let my body rest. I love running but I need to give it time to ‘heal’. In the evening it was my mother-in-law’s birthday so we went out for dinner with her and Ben. It was such good fun. We caught up and celebrated with good food and, because I was driving, they had a few glasses of wine. I’m not a big drinker so I don’t mind at all not drinking! I love a big glass of diet coke, such a treat.

The food was deeeeelicious. For starter, I had scallops:



Then for main I was craving something meaty, so went for half a chicken in a Mediterranean marinade with roasted vegetables.


Though I usually hate the skin on chicken, this was so crispy and yummy it couldn’t possibly not be eaten. It was really infused with flavour.

And well, a celebration isn’t a celebration without some pudding surely? Ben went for a knickerbocker glory.


I think he was happy Winking smile

And Ben’s mum and I shared a PUDDING PLATTER. Now clearly these are not mini-versions of ordinary puddings. No, no. These are full sized fat boy puddings. And yes, of course we ate it all.


Chocolate brownie, treacle tart, crème brûlée, apple crumble, custard and ice cream. Hello heaven, I have arrived. Though I must admit Ben took the crème brûlée off our hands as we both weren’t big fans. And let’s be honest here, people, there was some strategic planning that had to be done in terms of how much our stomachs would allow.


So a really lovely evening. Good food and good company Smile

Wednesday I went running with two guys at work at lunchtime which went really well, despite being fairly windy. I didn’t feel that I had to run next to them the entire time so ‘sped’ off from them a bit towards the end as I wanted to make it worthwhile to me. Sorry if that sounds really arrogant, but they don’t run on a regular basis like I do so I had a slight advantage on them. I got a cheeky 3 miles in under 24 mins which I’m happy with Smile


Then in the afternoon I headed up to Derby with another colleague, arriving there in the evening ravenous for food. We picked the hotel restaurant for sheer ease and the fact that it was good the last time we came up.

Derby hotel

I had a haddock fishcake with a poached egg and mustard sauce with courgette parmesan frites on the side. Absolutely delicious. I was dubious ordering the fishcake as it sounded quite dull (hence ordering the frites) but it was so chunky and fluffy and the sauce, though quite rich, was a great accompaniment. Do I need to tell you how good the frites were?? Winking smile

In the morning I headed to the gym for the dreadmill treadmill. I made the below interval plan to follow beforehand as I didn’t want to just run aimlessly because I’d die of boredom.


I was a sweaty mess afterwards! It was just over 3 miles in 36 minutes in total.

After getting showered, I got into my smart stuff again. At work usually it’s all very casual, but when we’re on a customer site I wear much more smart outfits.


Ohhh and I had such a hair-washing related disaster. I always take little travel pots of shampoo and conditioner with my when I go away. Just generic little pots that I fill up myself with whatever I have at home. I still had some left from last week so just topped it up. When I was in the shower after shampooing my hair I grabbed my conditioner only to find it also contained shampoo. Clearly at home I’d just mindlessly filled the wrong pots. Idiot that I am. But in the end my hair was alright. Just a bit less shiny! Really confusing for me in the shower though haha.

Then breakfast. Now last week I had bacon and eggs and though I did enjoy it, you know me…I love my oatmeal. So I asked the waitress if I could order some (as there wasn’t any at the buffet area, nor any menus) and, hurrah, she said that was absolutely fine.


Obviously with a good mug of black coffee and water. Comparing to last week, porridge definitely fills me up for a lot longer than bacon and eggs.

Then a day full of meetings, with a brief stop for buffet lunch. Once again lots of ‘picky’ food and sandwiches.


I had this and another ham sandwich (bit of baguette?) and a mini scotch egg. Not normally something I’d have for lunch but definitely filled a whole. By the end of the day, my brain was whirling with all the information and talking that had happened.

As a reward for our hard day, we decided to go to Jamie’s Italian again…well, if we must! Winking smile


Sorry, bad lighting (again…). This was fish plank which basically was a board full of fishy delights: smoked salmon, a piece of bruschetta with mackerel pate, a slice of fontina cheese with a sweet jam on top, some shell fish, a salad of shredded carrots and pickles, and then a couple of sardines (pilchards?) in a breadcrumb with a tartar sauce for dipping. Ermmm, amazing! It sounds a lot but each thing was very small so it was like a tasting platter.

As much as I really wanted to eat the turkey Milanese again (I love, love that meal), I decided to try something else. Plus I was loving the fish!


I had a piece of white fish baked in a bag with a tomato sauce and shell fish alongside. This was all on top of some amazingly fluffy bulgur wheat.


I hated it Winking smile

As much as I was loving the meals, I’d now eaten out three nights in a row (each time two courses) and my tummy was feeling a bit worse for wear. I went to bed not feeling my best I have to say. Nothing against Jamie’s food OBVIOUSLY. But I think I was starting to get tired of all this rich and new food. Sometimes you just want some good old fashion chicken with sweet potato, you know?

Today I woke up really not wanting to go to the gym. I dragged my bum there though and thought I’d just try a quick run and then see how I felt. I had planned to do some hill running. Ha. That didn’t happen. I watched some news on the TV while running and it helped take my mind of the dullness and the fact I didn’t want to be there. In the end though I ran 4 miles!


Mind over matter and all that! Then I got myself showered and smart for the day.


When I’m in a hotel room I like to make as little mess as possible – is that weird? I always unpack only the bare minimum and pack away stuff as soon as I’m done with it. I’m a bit OCD like that – I just like no clutter Anyone else the same?

Thankfully today was only a half day so we left at midday and I was home by 3ish. I’ve been on a mad tidying and washing spree as we’re off tomorrow skiing. I still need to pack and do some ironing but I thought I’d write my last post before I go on holiday.

I plan on getting up early tomorrow and getting in a 12 mile run. I’m panicking a bit that all the work I’ve done on my endurance in my long runs and general speed will disappear while I’m off skiing. I know this is ridiculous but I just hope skiing sort of maintains something! It’ll be fine. Stop being stupid, Anna.

Right, you lovely people, have a lovely weekend and week! Please keep your fingers crossed that I don’t break something – I’m so clumsy, if I was to hurt myself it would probably be falling over while walking to a restaurant.

What do you have for breakfast in hotels when you can’t have your normal stuff?

Do you like to keep things tidy when you’re away, or do you just relax and not worry about it?

Do you prefer wearing smart stuff to work or more casual?

Table for one, please

Hi all! Hope the week is treating you right. Almost the weekend!

This week has been slightly different for me. It started as normal but then Ben had to go to London for two days for work which left me home alone. Luckily last night I was off out with my friends to the cinema to see Les Mis. I never usually go out in the week just because with finishing work and getting home it’s always so late. So this was a totally new thing for me (sad I know).

I was so worried that I wasn’t going to arrive on time for the 7pm showing as where I work is quite a long way from where the cinema is. I left work at 5pm thinking I would be cutting it fine as I wanted to grab a Subway just before as I wouldn’t get chance for dinner beforehand. Well, I arrived at the cinema a full hour before I was meeting my friends! So I skipped Subway and decided to go to Nando’s instead. There was no way I was sitting in the tiny little Subway for an hour.

I’ve never been out for dinner on my own in a restaurant and I’m sorry to say I was quite embarrassed. The waitress sort of looked sorry for me as she said “Just you?”. I felt I suddenly had to justify why I was alone, assuring her that I was meeting actual friends later.

I’m happy to say though that I found the experience very liberating! It was nice to sit there and just chill. I ordered a double chicken breast pitta with mango and lime sauce (is it a sauce? a marinade? a dressing?) with two sides (I was hungry!).


[Apologies for the bad photo] The sides were corn on the cob and mushy peas. It was so good. There was even a large slice of pineapple in the pitta!

I couldn’t resist getting a couple of pick ‘n’ mix sweets at the cinema either…but I have to say I was a lot more restrained than I usually am at the cinema. Normally when I get sweets it costs a fortune and I feel so sick at the end of the film. So I was quite proud of myself (OK it might have been that I had literally just been out for dinner…shhh).

Now, the film. I have to admit that I really wasn’t looking forward to Les Mis. Like dreading it. All singing? Depressing storyline? French revolution? Sounded like a nightmare. I was going for the social element rather than the film choice (as social as can be going to see a movie).


HOWEVER! As soon as the first song began I was enthralled. It was AMAZING. Goose bump amazing. It was so good that the audience CLAPPED at the end of the film.

I was buzzing at the end of the film. By the time I got home it was around 10.30pm and I just couldn’t get myself into sleeping mode so had to read for a bit. This is old lady Anna who usually goes to bed at 9pm. It’s a once off I’ll admit Winking smile

Ben’s back tonight so that’ll be lovely. And then tomorrow we’re driving to North Wales for my granddad’s 80th birthday party. All very exciting. However, there have been several snow warnings which is concerning us a bit as we have a long drive ahead of us. We’ll just have to judge it tomorrow before we leave.

Before we go I have a 5.5mile run planned which will be great considering we then have an over four hour car journey. I get so bored in the car. But luckily I’m one of those people who doesn’t feel sick reading in the car…though I’m guessing Ben might want some company haha.

Have a lovely weekend (I’m sorry I know we’re not quite there yet), I’ll be back on Monday!

Have you seen Les Mis? What did you think?

Cinema snacking – do you buy treats? Do you take snacks with you? (I did take a couple of apples with me as well of course).

Solo restaurant eating…yes or no?