**Finally my blog is back to working normally – apologies to anyone having difficulties accessing the site before**

Hi guys! This week has been crazy. I feel like every second I’m doing something. The week before going on holiday is always a bit mental I think.

Every night getting in I’ve been packing a little bit more, doing clothes washing like crazy, sorting things, cleaning things…been a bit manic. But we’re almost there.

I’ve managed to squeeze in two spin sessions (Tuesday night and Wednesday night) as well. I kept Monday as a complete day off as I was shattered after Sunday’s half marathon. The way Ben and me were walking would have been quite funny if it hadn’t ached as much as it did. We were both fairly broken.

Tonight I hope to go to running club but I’m not sure if I’m going to make it as I still have a fair bit to get organised and cleaned (I’m a compulsive cleaner – I have to have everything clean and tidy before we leave). We’ll see!

Checking the weather for Mexico every five minutes is a little depressing:


Unbelievable! But we’re not too bothered because we’re not ‘lying on the beach all day’ people. I fully intend to go off and do some shopping exploring and things like that. And the all-inclusive food and drink might help distract me too Open-mouthed smile

I really want to do some running when I’m away as well. Lots of easy, long, slow runs where pace is inconsequential and just enjoying the rain scenery. I can’t wait. I’m genuinely excited about this. The only thing that will stop me is if I feel at any time my groin/hip/whatever doesn’t feel right. It’s felt a bit achy since Sunday so I haven’t run on it at all this week so tonight will be a good test! I won’t be too annoyed if it doesn’t happen though – I’m so relaxed about this holiday. I just can’t wait to get away from it all (as they say) and chill!

I just wish I could take my foam roller with me…

foam roller

It’s a bit big though. Could you imagine what airport security would say? Haha.

I’m sure I can rest my ice cold cocktails on my legs and it’ll be fine Winking smile

In terms of packing, I’ve got all my new clothes ready in the suitcase:

Holiday clothes

From left to right, long dresses from New Look, skirt from H&M (sales! Bargain!), black dress from Dorothy Perkins, floral-print dress from New Look, shorts Dorothy Perkins (sale!) and flip-flops from the only shops in the world that still sold flip-flops this time of year Accessorize.

Luckily I’ve also borrowed two pairs of my mum’s flip-flops as well (we have the same size feet and has similar flip-flop preferences, i.e. pretty gemmed ones). You can never have enough flip-flops and they’re so easy to pack!

I’ve created so many lists it’s unbelievable!

To do list (clean bathrooms, hoover, wash bedding…), don’t forget list (charge Kindle, charge camera, remind Dad to pick up Alfie), and pack list (bikinis, hair straighteners, Garmin…), last check list (heating off, empty kettle – is that just me? – taps off, windows locked…).


I’m not going to be blogging when I’m on holiday. I’m just going to take a blog-vacation I hope you don’t mind. I will fill you in on all the cocktails I drank amazing things I hope to have done though (fingers crossed!). I’ll be reading blogs though Smile

See you in two weeks!

Do you make lists? I make lists for everything: meal plans, chores, shopping…

What do you look for in a holiday? Hot weather? Scenic views? City sites? Culturally interesting? I love getting on and doing stuff in a holiday. Whether that’s water sports, mountain biking, shopping or looking round historic sites, I love it! I can spend half a day on the beach doing nothing until I get bored.

Do you run/work out when you go on holiday? I’ve never run before but I really like the idea of running round a foreign country! Sounds exciting.

Drizzly running and weekly workouts

And just like that summer is over. This weekend just seemed like never ending rain. Lying in bed in the early hours of Saturday morning I could hear the rain pounding down. I was so tempted to just not get up for Parkrun in the morning…

But we got up and got to it. I wasn’t certain about how Parkrun was going to go, so in my perverse logic I decided to run there (4 miles) to see how I felt. Running nice and slowly. If I felt any sort of pain then I would opt out of Parkrun. I’d rather find it out beforehand then when I’m actually running Parkrun as I know I’d never stop and then I’d cause further issues.

Anyway, I felt a bit stiff to begin with and not amazing but it was alright. It just started to rain as I arrived. Ben had already arrived and everyone was huddled under the tree branches to stay out of the rain. It looked quite funny.

Ben Parkrun rain

I decided to run with Ben instead of pursuing any sort of PB. I just didn’t think it was a good idea so close to Bristol and with my intention to run 12 miles the next day. I said I’d help pace Ben (which he was chuffed with, especially as he’d forgotten his watch). The problem was, which I only realised as we started, was I hadn’t reset my watch so it was carrying on from the 4 miles I’d just ran…so I couldn’t tell him accurate paces Confused smile 

But I could keep pushing him on and telling him a sort of average we were doing.


In the end we did around 24mins 45seconds which Ben really wasn’t happy with but he had only just got back the night before from Romania on work so I thought he did pretty well!

I was going to go and see my parents in the afternoon but I went to see them the night before for a sneaky Indian the night before (FYI: Indian food – not amazing pre-running fuel). So instead we did something we haven’t done in ages. We went SHOPPING. Shopping for holiday clothes. AMAZING.

Yeah, amazing until you realise that every damn shop is now selling their autumn/fall collections. Lovely big woollen jumpers. Long cardigans. Thick skirts. Not exactly what I had in mind. However, the sale stuff was still good and I managed to snag a few bargains which I’ll show in my next post. Think lovely dresses with beautiful patterns!

We were both shattered when we got home so just had a nice chilling evening (I’ve gotten into Cougar Town – anyone else a fan? I literally laughed like 10 times during the first episode).

The next morning we were up earlyish to run again. Ben’s plan was 9 miles and mine was 12. I listened to a podcast and just lost myself in a lovely run – albeit a bit wet at the end du to the rain again. I kept the pace easy and found it a lot better than last week’s long run.


I felt very chuffed with it. I feel ready for Bristol half marathon! I hope…

Last week’s workouts:

Monday: Spin (+ 3minute plank!)

Tuesday: Spin

Wednesday: Circuits (overhead squats – errr they hurt a little bit don’t they??)

Thursday: Running club (8 miles, nice and easy pace off-road)

Friday: Spin

Saturday: Parkrun +4miles

Sunday: 12 miles long run (+ 3.15minute plank!!)

I didn’t mean to not have a rest day. I was intending to have Wednesday off but I really wanted to try Circuits. And I’m glad I did because it was tough but a good full body workout. Lots of squats, lunges, press-ups, Russian twists and a few other arm exercises that I can never remember the names of. But it did kill my legs for running club the next day which was a bit annoying. So no circuits this week – I don’t want to do anything to tire my legs too much before Sunday. This week will be no pump or circuits and another easy Parkrun I think. LOTS of foam rolling and stretching too. I’m also aiming for 2 planks a week. Well we’ll see how long this goes on for…

Do you have any fitness goals? I’m really trying to get more core in (OK get a few planks in during the week). It’s always something I forget.

Do you mind running in the rain? I don’t really care as long as it’s not windy.

How many rest days do you take in the week? Usually I always have one. I think it’s important for your body to have a rest and repair itself. Bad example this week obviously!

Spinning fail

I was so mad Monday morning. I didn’t mention it in my last post as I wanted to just focus on the great weekend I’d enjoyed and not bring down the mood.

Sunday night I decided ‘oh what the hell’ I’d get up early Monday morning to do spin. I don’t want to do too much running this week as I want my body to have a little running-rest. So I thought I’d do spin instead. I’d rather just get it done in the morning because then it’s done and dusted and I’m up early to get on with the housework. I also booked circuits afterwards. Then I could chill later feeling smug.

So I got up at 5.40am on my day off to make this class. I got there for the 6.30am start feeling good to go. I was then informed that the instructor hadn’t turned up or bothered to ring to explain why.


I almost cried. I was so annoyed. The instructor who told me the news explained she couldn’t take the class either as she wasn’t trained. I think she could see how annoyed I was. I mean, seriously, I COULD HAVE STILL BEEN IN BED!

But she was lovely and did a legs, bums and tums (LBT) class for us instead. Not spinning, but better than the elliptical machine I’d be eyeing dubiously as I realised I’d be there for an hour before circuits.

LBT and circuits seriously did a number on my behind (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type) as I ached a lot the next day. Circuits involved a lot of burpees (the work of the devil), press-ups, squats, planks…all those crazy things I haven’t really been doing for quite a while and LBT was just a whole load of lower body-related pain.

So this week is all about pump, circuits and spin. I think my next run will be Parkrun. This feels quite strange but it’s nice to be mixing things up.

Speaking of mixing things up [now this is quite boring but for a simple person like me this is crazy]… At the weekend in Essex I had my usual oatmeal for breakfast but ‘normal’ people don’t drink almond milk (normal –> mainstream/non-allergic/non-intolerant) and I wasn’t carting almond milk with me to Ben’s dad’s, I had whatever milk that was available.


[I might have taken my own chia seeds with me to Essex, shhh I know this is sad]

I had whole milk. I haven’t had whole milk in forever. Before almond milk I used to drink/use skimmed. God forbid I chose *whispers* full fat milk. But now I’m not fussed. I know that fat isn’t the devil (burpees are – we covered that, right?). I only choose almond milk because it makes oatmeal taste so damn good and it also means Ben doesn’t drink it so we never have stock control issues Winking smile

Let me tell you, people, if you’ve never put whole milk in oatmeal you are missing out. Creamy, thick, delicious…heavenly! Definitely be recreating this at home (and still doesn’t cause stock control issues as Ben prefers skimmed – everybody’s happy!)

Actually one of my friends said to me that she puts cream in her oatmeal if she has it. I’m not sure I could handle that much creaminess in my stomach so early in the day – but I am intrigued I must admit…

Has anything really annoyed you recently? Go on, have a rant. It feels so good afterwards Winking smile

What recipe/concoction have you found surprisingly yummy lately?

What’s your workout hell? Burpees. Every. Single. Time.

Taking a tumble in running


Nothing better than waking up Friday morning knowing it’s the weekend the next day. That’s pretty much the hardest part done, right? Sort of? I have spin Friday mornings which I currently have a love-hate relationship so it’s usually after that that I start celebrating. Today I quite enjoyed the session. I got the resistance right on the bike (last week I did it way too tough and really struggled to hit the RPMs) and felt like the time flew by. Got a spinning high I think!

Last night I went out with running club for our usual medium run (though I added a mile warm up before and a mile cool down after) around some local trails. We went on a new route and honestly it was brilliant. I felt really strong and speedy.


I like the trail runs as it’s so varied. We’re on road, then off-road, on a path, on the grass, in the forest…which I guess explains why the pace is all over the place. It’s brilliant.

Lately I’ve been really trying to work on my running form. I’ve been reading some articles and watching YouTube videos to help improve my form. For example, not over-stride my leg outside my centre of gravity, not bend at the hip…that kinda stuff.

Good running form


Interesting stuff! But it makes running a bit more of a mental thing. I was constantly trying to keep everything ship-shape. It requires a bit of concentration. Work in progress!

But unfortunately while running I managed to fall over a tree stump. *sighs* Maybe if I’d have spent a bit more time watching where I was going than checking how I was running I wouldn’t have fallen haha.

Runnign tumble injury

Please ignore my attire…PJs and compression socks post running and shower are an essential requirement Winking smile

OK maybe not the best picture, but basically I’ve scraped all along my thigh. A very superficial injury but very painful as a load of skin has been scratched off. So annoying as well as this is the leg that I need to do lots of foam rolling on for my IT band. *sighs*

Anyway, it was more embarrassing than painful at the time. One of the other guys also took a tumble on the run as well and he hit his face which looked very painful! Crazy.

Moving on to food. I completely forgot to blog about this at the time so I just have to do it now. My lovely and amazing big sister baked me a cake the other weekend. She has suddenly got into baking and is whipping these cakes out like nobody’s business. All the while looking after an adorable but hyperactive 3 year old and almost 3 month old!! Super mum.


She made me a a red velvet cake with cream cheese vanilla frosting. Omg, omg, omg.


Can you hear that choir of angels singing in the background? That’s the soundtrack to this cake. Amazing. Thank you, big sis!

After enjoying a slice (or two) we popped it into the freezer in slices to stock up on our cake supply. An essential requirement in our household is we need cake in the freezer at all times. It got critical a few weeks ago when we were down to safety stock (one slice each left) but it’s back up to standard levels now. Panic over, people.

Time to get Friday done and dusted now. Enjoy your weekend!

What is your essential food requirement in your home? Oats, apples and cake. Absolutely no flexibility on that.

Have you ever taken a tumble on a run? Someone at work said “I guess you just went home then after that?” Yeah right, as long as nothing’s broken or sprained my motto is keep running!

What exercise highs have you enjoyed? Do you get them in strength training? What about yoga??

Week’s Workouts

Howdy, howdy! Hope you had a great weekend. Ours was nice and quiet, which was definitely needed after last week’s London adventures.

Maybe it’s the sunshine pouring through my bedroom window or maybe I’m changing but honestly I never sleep in anymore. Obviously I can’t during the week due to that annoying but rather essential thing called work, but at the weekend I’ve been known to snooze in until 9am. OK that’s not a huge lie-in, but since university I haven’t been able to sleep later than that unless I went crazy with a late night. These days my lie-ins don’t go past 8am, but quite frequently I’m awake by 7am. Well, I’ll have to see when the lovely sunny mornings disappear I guess.

So this week gone has been crazy in terms of varied workouts for me. Who am I?? Previously I would just run five times a week. Not even a sneaky core or stretching session. Ergo, I got injured. But things are a-changing!

Monday: body pump


In case you weren’t aware of what that might look like Winking smile

This kicked my butt. Literally I was an achy mess after this. My puny muscles quivered in pain.

Tuesday: for some inexplicable reason I thought running five miles would be a good idea the next morning. Just to ‘shake out’. I was running 30 seconds to one minute slower than normal. But I finished it and felt good.

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: running club in the evening (eight miles off-road). It felt tough but I felt like I was back on form. I’m definitely aware that my speed has diminished slightly. I’m still speedier than I was months ago, but definitely not top form like I was during the height of my races.

Friday: spinning. I was nervous about doing spinning in the morning considering I ran the night before. However, apart from being a bit tired I was fine. So much less stress on my legs. And I felt great for the day.


Yep that’s a spinning bike

However, spinning was TOUGH. Jeeze I am so out of practice. The demon guy that was running the session was like “Come on! Push it harder! Get those RPMs to 125” and I was spinning as fast as my little legs could go and only reaching at most 110. Sweat literally poured off of me. One girl next to me was on fire. I was pretty sure she was going to cycle that bike off it’s stand if she wasn’t careful. Teacher’s pet.

Just shows really that you can be good at one thing and suck at something else. Fitness is not a universal thing. It can be very specific to the sport or workout you choose.

Saturday: Parkrun (5k informal race). I was nervous about it beforehand and did a little warm-up (new thing, let’s actually warm-up before racing. Well done, Anna). But once we got going it was fine. We were on the slightly harder course (only three laps with a hill, rather than a flat five lap course) so I knew PBing was very unlikely. However, I did beat my previous time for this course from a few weeks ago.


I came second girl and 20th overall (out of 142). Not bad! And the best part was that I enjoyed it. It was tough and I felt the burn, but it felt like a normal run. No discomfort or twinges or feeling held back. The only thing holding me back was my stamina and running ability.

And check out Mr Volunteer doing his thing as he’s still sadly out of the game Sad smile


Time-keeping – a very pressurised job

Ben was keeping the time of the runners finishing. Quite an important job, I think you’ll agree. I did try and bribe him to give me a good time. Haha, so joking. He wouldn’t be that nice to me!

Sunday: long run. Did I mention I’ve got a half marathon in about three weeks? 18th August Cheddar Gorge Half Marathon. We signed up to it ages ago. Anyway, this is not a race to even consider getting a good time for. We’re talking 1,600ft elevation. It’s on a gorge. It’s off-road. Help.

For the Reading Half Marathon (way back in March) I didn’t take any gels or fuel because I didn’t need them. I felt fine. However, for this half marathon it’s not just a simple road race. It’s hilly like you wouldn’t believe. So I plan on taking a gel at mile six as I know it’s going to be intense. This run on Sunday was therefore to practice what having a gel on a run would be like. I’ve never tried gels before and wasn’t even certain it would sit well with me <—never try something new on race day, always practice beforehand!

Long run survival guide

Long-run survival guide (my water bottle collapses – I love it)

My plan was to run 13 miles but make sure I do a route that if at 11-12 I felt tired I could cut it short.


For whatever reason, the big Running God in the sky smiled down on me and I had a brilliant run (even notched on the .1 because it would be rude not to). Whether it was because I made sure I ran at a nice easy pace, or the gel at mile six, or just because it wasn’t so blinking hot: it was a great run. One of those highly coveted runs.

Like I said, I took the gel at mile six. Apart from the texture (like warm weird yogurt…yuck) it was fine and I honestly think it helped speed me up. The only annoying thing was despite passing a million bins before taking the damn thing, there wasn’t a bin in sight after taking it for like a mile, which meant I had to carry the empty sticky packet for a while.

Anyway, I felt brilliant after the run. After eating a big bowl of oatmeal, I quickly headed out (yes, before showering. I’m disgusting) in search of ice to have a nice ice bath. I went to four shops and they had nothing. I did buy apples though so not a complete fail Open-mouthed smile

Later I then had body pump again. I am crazy I know. But it seems Sundays are the only really good time for me to do pump (as I only managed on Monday as I had a day off). Strangely it was fine! Obviously afterwards I was quite tired and after finding ice (woohoo!) promptly went home to have an ice bath and do nothing all day. Fabulous!

So this week has been a great mix of running, spinning and pump. Alongside this I’ve tried to do my stretches and strengthening exercises three times a week. I won’t be aiming for two pump sessions a week but I definitely want to do one pump and one spin and only run four times a week.

How’s your weekend been?

What workouts have you been doing?

What’s your favourite gym class to do? I really want to try kettle bells soon but it’s always on a Saturday which is an issue for my long run the next day.

What’s your experience with gels?