MRI results…

I had my MRI results for my knee on Thursday.

I was so worried and nervous. I didn’t really know what to hope for. If it turned out I needed an operation then at least I had a firm answer and could take strong actions to sort it. Yes it would take time (to schedule and then recover) and would be painful and scary, but at least it would (potentially) fix the issue. But to hope for that wasn’t making me feel any easier. I don’t want to have an operation. But equally I want my knee to feel better and so far nothing else has helped.

Anyway I sat in front of the surgeon and he showed me the MRI scans of my knee and told me that I had a “structurally perfect knee”. In fact, he was very impressed with how good my knee looked for someone who has run 20 marathons and so many miles. Instead of relief I just felt frustrated. It was like I was being told that the discomfort and pain was all in my head. I sat there literally feeling my knee aching while he said my knee looked perfect. What the hell.

He could sense my disappointment and reassured me that while having an operation was probably (relatively speaking) an easy option to curing the pain it wasn’t the ideal option. He said I should be grateful I don’t have to have an op and that usually this point of action ends up in needing another op later on down the road. And as a young (why thank you) female, taking a piece out of my knee wasn’t something he’d want to do even if I did need an operation.

But what now then? Well he said there was nothing else he could do for me and recommended a highly rated knee-focused physio. She sounded good and I rang her up and got an appointment for the next day.

She checked my knee and leg out and told me that, as we could now definitely rule out it being a tear or anything to do with the meniscus/cartilage, it was likely to be a misalignment of my kneecap. This was probably down to my calf and quad being tight. The calf wasn’t something I had considered, but it made a lot of sense. The trainers I’d changed to had made my Achilles and lower calves super tight, but I didn’t really suspect it an issue. But apparently this is pulling my knee from the bottom, and then my quad is pulling from the top.

The pain is due to my kneecap (or a specific part of my kneecap at least) being irritated. So she advised stretching (shock), foam rolling (shock), better trainers (happy days) and Ibuprofen gel specifically in the crevice of my knee where it’s causing issues. She gave me some stretches and massaged my leg and off I went.

This does all make sense to me, and of course I’m relieved I don’t have a tear, but part of me wonders if this is really it? Stretch more and foam roll? Are you kidding me? Asides from my calf, I have been stretching and foam rolling my legs weekly. Urgh. I just feel either incredibly stupid that it’s this simple or a bit cheated that it’s this simple.

At least I’ve been given the go-ahead to strength train my legs, albeit gently. So I’ve been doing TRX single leg squats and body weight squats, slowly and with good form. Maybe it’s a case of getting the strength back up to get the muscles firing appropriately?

I feel a bit at a loss if I’m honest. Sure I can try new trainers and do the whole “Ibuprofen reduce inflammation” thing but it feels a bit of a catch-all diagnosis, you know?

Anyway, I could moan and whine for too long about this. I need to gather my thoughts and see how things progress. On to something else…

I was recently sent a pack of TRR Nutrition supplements to try. It’s an advanced collagen supplement containing 10,000mg of hydrolysed marine collagen. Designed and created by a host of scientists and nutritionists (including Glenn Kearney, nutritionist to tennis superstar Andy Murray) with the aim to support joints, bone health and immune system. Collagen is a protein which helps form connective tissue in the body. We do naturally produce it but the production slows down, so adding it to your diet is a good way to pump it back up. The benefits are that is can reduce wrinkles (wahey!), support strong bones and keep your joints strong and flexible too.

So anyway I tried the supplements… I mean, I guess it was probably the best time for me to be taking it with all my knee issues. Of course I can’t say for certain but my knee has certainly improved from the terrible shape it was in after the marathon, though equally time and healing go hand in hand.

The supplement comes in a little bottle – it’s like a shot of health basically. Not only does it contain collagen but it contains turmeric (good for inflammation), glucosamine, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C and copper.

I’ll warn you though, it doesn’t taste great. I would advise taking it like a shot: quickly just swallowing it down. The cherry flavour is far better than the citrus, but it still has quite the turmeric flavour.

I am very keen to continue taking this as the research on collagen seems strong and it’s something in my comeback to running (is that ever going to happen…?) will probably help. I really like the ethos behind the company and if I can be 1% of the athlete that Andy Murray is then I’m on to a winner!

By the way, they currently have a 50% off sale right now!

Have you ever taken collagen?

Have you ever had an MRI?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the TRR supplements for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

What I’ve been loving lately (July)

July has flown by, it is CRAZY.

So some cool stuff has been happening round here.

I’ve been eating some very tasty food as of late. As you should well know by now I’m a big believer in eating for your body and for your soul. Kyle and I went to the newly opening Greenwich pub which is home to the Nice Slice. They sell RIDICULOUS pizzas (20 inches!), burgers, chicken and lots of vegan options. We went with work friends for a random Thursday dinner and it was GOOD.

I had the double chicken burger (the Mickey Burger) with buffalo sauce and pickles with a side of chicken wings (obvs).

Kyle had a 20 inch (!) meaty pizza. I did have a cheeky slice 😉

The burger and wings were fairly spicy. I should have ordered the other chicken burger I think, that didn’t have buffalo sauce because two lots of buffalo was quite a bit to contend with! It was very tasty though. We’ll definitely go back!

Over the last year or so I’ve become a big M&M fan. I don’t know quite how this has happened but it’s happened. I’m actually not a big fan of the traditional chocolate ones, but all the others are a big yes for me (I could literally eat a giant bag of the peanut ones…god so good).

Anyway, I recently spotted in Tesco that they’d brought out an M&M chocolate bar – in several different flavours. I’m not a hazlenut fan (urgh Nutella…) so I avoided that one, but I bought the others. LEMME TELL YOU, they are INCREDIBLE.

It’s speckled with mini M&M’s and the peanut one has peanuts throughout. Very yummy!

I’ve also heard on the grapevine that there are now salted caramel M&M’s as well. They currently do the caramel ones, but they’re crunchy rather than soft like the American version (I love both to be honest). I will be grabbing some as soon as I can.

On a perhaps more health-focused note, I was recently sent some supplements from Wicked Gummy Co.

They’re almost like sweets, I kid you not. I was sent the full line-up: Happy Tummy, Hair, Skin & Nails, Multi Vitamin, Peaceful Zzzzz and Vitamin D Sunshine. A solid list of good stuff.

They are very much like gummy sweet and are tasty to eat. They’re also vegan friendly. They do contain glucose though, so be wary on that front if you’re popping all the supplement at once. That’s a fair amount of sugar!

The Multi Vitamin contains vitamin C, A, B6, E, selenium and biotin. This is all good for bone health, the immune system, vision and brain. The Peaceful Zzzzz contains valerian root extract (which has been argued to help with sleep, though I think conclusive scientific evidence isn’t there yet) and 5-HTP (again, similar to valerian).

The Hair, Skin & Nails contains similar ingredients to the multi vitamin but with zinc and folate. Happy Tummy contains Lactobacillus cultures, which are supposed to help promote good bacteria in your gut.

Now I can’t say for certain if my hair has suddenly become shinier, or my bones stronger, or I’ve caught less colds BUT they taste really nice and are easier to take than “proper” tablets. If you want to up your vitamins but hate tablets or don’t think your diet is good enough then these might be a good shout. To be honest, I just quite enjoy having a couple after my breakfast for a nice sweet treat 🙂

Do you take any supplements?

What’s your favourite kind of M&M?

Do go out for dinner with work people?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the supplements from Wicked Gummy Co for free in return for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**


Hamstring Update

Not to dwell too much on the old hamstring situation because I’m trying to stay POSITIVE. But a little update in how it’s going.

So I’ve been strengthening it as much as I can at the gym. I would guess I’m in the phase of the injury where it’s more safe to stress it out a bit in order to strengthen it. I’m doing more functional and, well, “weighty” exercises. These include nordic curls, sled pushing, reverse box jumping, glute kickbacks with more weight and lying hamstring curls.

I attempted a mini run last night. I went out aiming for about 1km… it didn’t feel great I won’t lie. It didn’t feel terrible but it certainly didn’t feel like a particularly comfortable run. It niggled the entire way but stayed consistent in its discomfort rather than getting worse. Walking around afterwards and the next day didn’t feel any different either.

I do wonder whether that length of a run isn’t really much of a good test but I’m being super cautious because of Chicago (14.5 weeks away). I want to try another run soon, but longer. If I’m honest I’m not sure I’m doing the right thing at the moment but at the same time, I’m taking a very measured and gentle approach. Any set-back on my hamstring and I’d immediately stop. My thoughts are that I do need to stress the hamstring out a little in this very functional way in order to get stronger.

When I had this issue after Boston a few years ago (where I believe this is where it all started but has been low level hiding since) I ran quite a lot through the issue. I’m very fastidious with tracking my “training”. I have an Excel sheet that I track all my workouts, gym and running, and will write details about them. It helps me track what I’m doing at the gym (weights, sets, reps) and when I’m injured I can refer back and read about how that run workout, what I was doing to manage things etc. This is obviously super helpful now. Each run I did I would say things like “urgh hamstring niggled throughout” or “deadlifts definitely made my hamstring worse” and I can see how many miles I ran and when it started to get better.

From the looks of it, it took about 11 weeks to heal. 11 weeks. I actually feel sick typing that. What I quickly have to remind myself though is that I’m a lot more “educated” now. Like when the issue first cropped up then I continued doing heavy deadlifts and pushing my hamstring when I should have let it calm down before gentle incorporating very specific hamstring exercises back in (like I am at the moment). I was also super reluctant to stop running (I continued to run for 5 weeks).

So my hope is that THIS time around I’ll be back to comfortable running in less time. I’m currently on week 5 of not running and strength training diligently and sensibly. By dealing with my injury in a very controlled way and having this plan and focus I’m helping myself not fall too much into the Well of Darkness that often plagues injured runners. I have my down moments and I’m trying not to panic about Chicago but I’m only human after all.

Anyway, onto happier and more pleasant things…. sausages. I was sent some sausages and burgers again from the lovely people from Wild and Game.

They sent me some Premium Grouse & Wild Boar sausages.
I adore these sausages (to be honest I really really like all Wild & Game sausages).

They are SO fricking tasty. I made a really random meal for Kyle and I one evening – basically emptying the fridge of stuff that needed eating and I threw in the sausages chopped up with a load of vegetables and it was DIVINE.

Kyle was even super impressed – he loved them.

And they also sent some Pheasant & Venison burgers.

Again, these were so tasty. The sausages and burgers do have a rich and gamy taste but not overwhelmingly so. They just taste very flavoursome and meaty.

This is because there is 47% Wild Boar and 25% Grouse in the sausages (for comparison Richmond Thick sausages contain 42% pork). The burgers contain 40% Pheasant and 35% Venison. Good quality ingredients and less “filler”. And the products are low fat because of the meat they’re using (game is less fatty compared to traditional sausage and burger meat like pork and beef).

What’s your favourite kind of sausage?

Do you eat game a lot?

Do you think I’m doing the right thing with my hamstring?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent the Wild & Game products for free inexchange for a review. All opinions are my own honest ones.**

Silver Biotics

A few weeks ago I was sent quite a few products from Silver Biotics, a company who specialise in using silver to help keep you in good health.

To be completely honest, I’ve never heard of silver being good for your health. But it was quite cool to see the range of products this company has, from improving your immune system to wound dressing. Apparently it can protect your body from infection, prevent illness and help you recover from injury. Interestingly, back in the day silver coins were used in casks of water to prevent bacteria growing!

Silver Biotics have created this “advanced nano-silver” compound that is meant to do great things for your body. So I tested a few of their products…

Immune Support

I’ve been taking the immune support for a couple of weeks. It’s a liquid that you drink (a teaspoon three times a day).

I won’t lie it actually tastes pretty grim, but I have a great technique of swigging some back and chasing it immediately with water. Now I no longer taste it.

Taking this apparently helps boost the immune system (happily it’s also vegan so I was able to continue taking it during my vegan challenge). When I began writing this I had’t been ill for a while but then I got sick last Friday/Saturday but I’m not sure if that was a virus or something to do with what I ate. So I think it’s unfair to say this failed. Who knows.

Tooth Paste

This is a “triple action formula” containing their silver compound, Xylitol and peppermint oil. It’s natural and organic, very minty and leaves my mouth feeling very clean. I like this!

Teeth Whitening Paste

This is similar to the tooth paste but aims to whiten your teeth. It contains SilverSol, Above-Sea Coral Calcium, Xylitol and essential oils. From the website it says that “Above-Sea Coral Calcium helps to clean, whiten and re-mineralize your teeth”. I haven’t used it for that long but my teeth feel very clean. Whiter? Maybe but I can’t really tell.

Hand Cream

This is meant to help dry and damaged skin, and again contains their silver compound, Hyaluronic Acid, Coconut Oil and Vitamin E.

This was lovely! It was quite a thick cream but it rubbed in really well and it wasn’t greasy at all. My hands felt lovely and smooth. I had a lavender scented one, a grapefruit scented one and an unscented one. It was nice to have a hand cream that was unscented as sometimes scented creams can be a bit much (though the lavender was nice).

Armor Gel

So this is a gel you use on wounds (like open cuts and burns). At first I was like “yeah when am I going to test this??” and then I got some curling irons for my birthday and burnt my face. Silver linings eh (OH SNAP LOOK AT THAT PUN).

It’s very cooling and soothing and is supposed to last up to three days though I don’t really understand this if you wash your face… It can even be used for your pets apparently! There seems to be a lot of independent studies that back up the company’s claims as well, so that’s reassuring 🙂

It does feel nice on my burn and genuinely my burn has all but disappeared. It absorbs really nicely and doesn’t feel like it’s on your face afterwards. Granted it wasn’t a third degree burn but it was pretty obvious on my face but I applied this in the morning and night and it really has seemed to make a difference (obviously I have no control to be certain but I personally think it worked).

So although I might not be a full silver convert, I do like a lot of these products as they do feel good quality and nice to use.

Have you ever used silver products before?

What do you look for in a hand cream?

Have you ever burnt yourself?


**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own.**

Things I’m loving lately – April

Easter is one of those holidays that for me is pretty much entirely about food. Chocolate, roast dinners, marzipan, cake. Yep I love it.

I was super chuffed to receive several eggs this year. A Hotel Chocolat one from my parents, an epic Cadbury’s Daim one from from Kyle, two lush ones from Kyle’s mum, one from a work friend and one from Kyle’s dad. I mean WHAT. (I loved that Kyle’s mum crossed out the “pine” in pineapple as well hehe).

The Hotel Chocolat egg is an egg I absolutely adore. It’s PROPERLY thick. I got the Rocky Road to Caramel one and the two halves are different. One is
caramel chocolate and the other is milk chocolate with cookies and puffed rice. And it’s full of chocolates as well!

But even for me this was a tough ask to eat a large amount. It’s very rich.

The Daim egg from Kyle though… not that I can eat in one (albeit long) sitting. I managed to hold off until the other evening when I sat watching telly with Kyle while I worked my way through it.

Yes I felt a little sick afterwards. But I bloody loved it. Most of the time I can exercise levels of moderation and control but when it comes to Easter eggs, I really struggle (and chicken wings I guess…). I just thoroughly enjoy having a pig out on chocolate from time to time.

I was recently sent a set of clothes from Squat Wolf, who make fitness clothing. Now clearly I am a fan of fitness clothing (helloooo leggings) so I was really excited.

First up was the hoodie, called the She Wolf Crop Hoodie in mustard. I’m a big fan of the mustard colour and it did not disappoint.

The material is super soft and feels quality. It’s not a super thick hoodie but it’s thick enough to keep you warm. I love that it’s cropped as well (check me out being semi-fashionable!). It looks great with high-waisted leggings. This was probably my favourite item and I wear it all the time.

Of course I had to try a pair of leggings. I went for the Athena Leggings in deep fuchsia.

I love the colour of these and they feel so soft. I also like the little contour bits they have on the bum. But they’re not my favourite leggings. They don’t fit quite as nicely as other leggings I’ve had (though in fairness I am comparing them to the likes of Nike and Lululemon).

Perhaps there’s a bit too much material and the design of the waist bit doesn’t quite work for me in terms of the style. That said, they’re squat proof and I can move easily in them – so perfect for working out.

I also got a beautiful sports bra (the Stripes Bra). I love this design!

The back is really pretty and it’s just long enough that I feel comfortable wearing it on it’s own with high-waisted leggings. I don’t feel like I’m showing too much tummy.

It’s also a lovely thick material and has those modesty pads as well to keep everything nice and concealed. I’m obviously not the most blessed in the boobage department but I do feel well supported.

The last item is a pair of their joggers, the She Wolf Do Knot Joggers in black.

They have a slight shine to the material and are super soft. They also have two pieces of material that you tie together which is quite funky. It does make me chuckle a little that the description says they’re ideal for just chilling out (which I agree with) or for going for a jog. Nooo nooo. You would not run in these. But lazing about the house? Absolutely. They’re super comfortable.

The fit is a little odd but I think that’s because it’s fashion and the style and I clearly am not that stylish! I do like them though and will definitely be wearing them mooching about at home.

They have a good range of different colours and other styles, so if this is your thing have a look!

What Easter eggs did you enjoy?

What’s your favourite chocolate?

Do you like wearing fitness clothing around the house?

**Full Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free in exchange for a review on my blog. All opinions are my own honest ones.**