Feeling strong and an uncomfortable watch

The weather this weekend! It gives me good vibes 🙂 OK it was still a bit nippy, and very windy on Saturday but the dark days are behind us!

Friday morning I had one of those gym seshes that just felt AWESOME. I got in some plié squats, box jumps and scorpions amongst other things. If you’ve never done scorpions they are killers THIS link is from Runners World and it gives a good demo and also a good list of strength moves.

HH kit ankle weights Rocking the Helly Hansen leggings with my ankle weights – hot stuff 😉

I’m still enjoying the gym and maybe it’s all in my head but I do feel stronger in my running and in general. I’ll need to think carefully about how much gym I do when I get into higher marathon mileage though. But that’s ages away!

Waking up on Saturday morning and looking out the window to decide what to wear for parkrun made me smile. No jacket required! Long-sleeve top yes, but no double layers. Woohoo! Though I was wrapped up fairly warm for helping the guys set up the course.

Netley Abbey parkrun volunteer

Let’s not get too optimistic yet. And we’re still on the winter course until the cricket pitch gets drier *sighs*.

Netley Abbey parkrun March (1) 8am and the sun is peeping through

My parkrun went well. I put in a good amount of effort but the wind made this feel so much tougher. We run alongside the waterfront for a bit and the wind was just awful. But I felt strong and though I wasn’t that much faster than two weeks ago (my last parkrun effort) I’m starting to feel more confident that I’m going in the right direction. I got 21:57 and first lady (but a many of the speedy girls weren’t there to be fair).

Netley Abbey parkrun March Mentally I feel really good about running at the moment. I’m loving it! Though, as ever, I do feel there is the Sword of Damocles hanging above my head for my next injury but so far I’ve not experience any niggles or issues during or after, bar the usual and normal aches of running. I think I just need to continue thinking positive and keep being sensible.

The rest of Saturday involved looking after (or at least, leaving be) my very hung-over husband who had gone out the night before with work. It was mildly amusing but I did feel bad for him. He remained on the sofa the majority of the day.

For lunch I whipped myself up a stir-fry style meal.

Stir-fry fish with cream cheese

Basically it’s a load of veggies (kale being a big contender here) stir-fried in coconut oil with fish from a frozen fish pie mix (random but gives a nice selection of different fish and something I always have in the freezer). I then added a dollop of cream cheese to give it a delicious creamy sauce. All on a bed of courgette noodles (or at least what I can attempt with a vegetable peeler…). I don’t think the picture does it justice to how huge this portion was! Got my 5 a day in one meal 😉

That evening we watched Nightcrawler which was a really uncomfortable watch.

image Source

It was really good, don’t get me wrong. Just very intense and I spent most of the movie cringing and shouting at the telly. I do recommend though. Jack Gyllenhall…I see you very differently now!

Sunday I got up feeing refreshed and ready to hit the road for a nine mile run. I decided to just run whatever the hell pace I wanted (within reason as I did need to finish the run in one peace and not destroyed). More like, I just wanted to run at a pace that felt comfortable and not pushing.


I didn’t feel totalled at the end of the run which was nice, but I was so thirsty. Quite funny considering my post about hydration last week! I think it’s going to be a lot sooner that I’ll need to take water with me. On my last mile I was just visualising a cold glass of water. When I got home I quickly downed about 500ml. It wasn’t a pleasant experience as it hit my stomach quite badly and I felt quite sick (that sloshy full sicky feeling). Too much water too quickly – lesson learnt!

On the subject of long runs, one of my running club friends, Michelle, pointed me to an article (HERE from the Guardian) regarding long run paces when training for a marathon which I found highly interesting. It made me wonder how much I’ll slow down for my longer runs. I will slow down, but not dramatically for the 10-15 mile runs as I know I’m confident in those distances. It’ll be the 16+ runs where I take it nice and gradual…but then I’m hoping by the time I get there I’ll be naturally faster anyway? Well, it’s all a guessing game for me and whether I even do an 18 mile run is a bit of a question mark anyway!

The rest of the day involved the usual: lots of walks with Alfie, housework, seeing my mum and just general chilling! Lovely 🙂

How was your weekend?

What pace do you run for your long runs relative to your shorter runs?

What movies have you seen lately?

Positives and negatives

Happy Friday! We made it – almost time for the weekend. And apparently a wet and windy one for the UK. Joy of joys.

Yesterday was a slightly different day as I was working from home. There were several positives and negatives in my day so I thought I’d base my post around that theme.

Positive: No commute in the morning. Bliss. Also, getting up at 8am is heavenly. I think I had a full 10 hours sleep.

Negative: I was really sleepy and reluctant to actually get out of bed. Can’t I work from bed? No. I needed to get up, showered and downstairs at our table to get into ‘work mode’.

Positive: I had Cougar Town on in the background as I worked. I am so addicted. I think I love every single character. They’re hilarious. Also 20 minute episodes are perfect chunks.

Negative: I had to keep pausing Cougar Town when I needed to concentrate and think. I would have loved to have just sat there watching the TV all day but I actually have work to do and it required a bit of brain power. Boo.

Positive: Unlimited access to all food.

Negative: Unlimited access to all food. Thankfully I had our weekly food shop delivered later in the day so we were a bit bare on the snacks until the afternoon. Then a huge watermelon came into my life.

Watermelon snacks

And then there was some serious watermelon massacre…Watermelon massacre

I couldn’t stop. It was so good.

Positive: I got loads of chores done in between working. Putting the washing on, hanging it up, etc. I love feeling doubly efficient..

Negative: Alfie giving me his big old furry “walk time?” eyes. All. Day. Long. No Alfie, you just have to go in the garden I’m afraid.

Positive: I had running club in the evening which was great because it meant I didn’t have to rush home and have a mad dash to get ready. I could even prepare dinner for when I got back (Ben was working late so it was just me for dinner). I could just shut down my laptop and amble upstairs leisurely.

I was quite nervous about running club as I hadn’t run since Sunday (all part of the ‘easier’ week). I was just terrified of any pain or discomfort. But I started running and it was great! Towards the end of the run my groin was slightly achy and I could feel it going downhill but otherwise I felt quite strong.


I got to the meeting spot to find my usual group flagging on numbers. In the end it was two speedy guys and me. It wasn’t too tough and we took it easy in the middle as it’s now a lot darker in the evening and we were running through some woods and had to be careful of footing. I managed to push it on my own for the last mile as I headed home.

Positive: I got to wear my new high vis’ arm band. It’s got LED lights all round it that you can turn on. Brilliant for the winter. One of the guys said it looked cool

Negative: That same guy said it looked cool…just like a Christmas tree. Excellent.

The run really helped me feel more confident for my goal pace for the half marathon on Sunday. Basically I’m going to aim for a certain pace (comfortable but not completely easy) and then as I hit 9 miles see what I think of pushing it a bit more. Who knows. I’ll see how it goes.

I’ve ummed and arr’ed about taking my hydration belt but I think I’m just going to go ‘naked’ (there’s an image!) and if I need water pick it up at the drinks stations (of which there are plenty). I don’t think I’ll need any gels either, but there are some available there.

After the run I got home and ate a mammoth meal of stir fry veg, chicken, butternut squash, courgette (zucchini) noodles, chicken and cream cheese.


You know when you go from starving to full really quickly? Yep I felt that quite strongly last night!

So tomorrow I’m off to Bristol to see friends, and then it’s the half marathon on Sunday…duh duh DUH (<– dramatic music, if you didn’t get that…)

What are your plans this weekend?

Do you switch up your work out gear for winter? Any high vis’ lovers out there?

Water, gels…how do you fuel during races? Unless it’s hot I won’t bother, maybe just water from the stations. Gels only if it’s really tough. I’ll have had a good breakfast so I’ll be fine.

Cake and Recovery

Whew, I feel so much more human after getting some good night’s sleep for the past couple of days.

Honestly, the weekend adventures hugely took it out of me. And, this is going to sound CRAZY coming from me, but I have decided to not jump straight back in to running. My body is literally exhausted. I haven’t done cycling in years so to suddenly jump on a bike and cycle up a mountain large hill is quite a shock to my system. I’m happy to say my previous injury from the other week seems to have disappeared. However I now have a new twinge in the back of my knee but it doesn’t feel that serious. But ice, rest and cake should make things all better.


As annoying as it is, I’m going to take a break from running this week and try using the elliptical machine at work instead. I think I really need to just take some time to allow my leg to fully heal. The Challenge really didn’t help things just after getting better last week. I hate the elliptical but I think I need to do something to stop myself from going mad.

My next race is a 10 mile trail race through the New Forest (beautiful forest in the South of England) on 14th July so I’m hoping this break will be good enough to be better before then.

So speaking of cake…it was my birthday last week and I didn’t really get a chance to go into much detail about how I celebrated. Well I didn’t to be honest. I had the UK Challenge the next day and that went on until Sunday so celebrations were limited. But my amazing mother brought round cake in the evening. People, there is always time for cake.


How pretty is this cake?? It’s gorgeous! My mum isn’t a great baker. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her bake. Ever. I could controversially say I’ve never seen her cook…but I don’t want to incur the wrath of the mothership Winking smile (love you, Mumsie!!)

But, despite not being Nigella Lawson, my mum knows how to SHOP. And she did good on picking this beauty out. A Waitrose special cake (for those non-UK-based, Waitrose is like the queen of all supermarkets. Maybe just one below M&S Food).

However, the decorative butterflies could not be eaten we quickly found. Very disappointing and slightly nasty to chew. But otherwise, a very tasty jam and buttercream birthday cake sponge.

At work I was also give some very beautiful flowers from my lovely co-workers. IMG_4530

So I felt very spoilt despite having a mid-week birthday with no weekend celebration!

And in the morning (I’m working my way backwards through the day here for some reason…) my husband, Ben, decided to send me on a bit of a treasure hunt around the house. He had printed out lots of different pictures of my favourite clothes shops and running gear shops and restaurants (and hid them all about the place with clues to direct me to them). I could pick and choose what I wanted in terms of spending some money to get some clothes and going somewhere to have a nice meal. There were also little pictures of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and our favourite Indian restaurant so that’s on the horizon too hehe. So lots all my favourite things to look forward to!

From my parents they gave me a Lululemon workout top. SO chuffed. I’ve seen this top all over the Internet I loved the design.


Not sure how much I’ll get to wear this year round due to the weather though! Best get wearing it soon Winking smile

From my mother-in-law she bought me a Lumie Bodyclock Starter Alarm Clock.


Not hugely necessary at the moment as it’s so light in the morning…but in the winter this will mimic the light of a sunrise and will, supposedly, gradually wake me up just before my alarm. I love being woken up my sunlight in the morning at the moment so this will be great (hopefully!) in the winter when it doesn’t get light until like ever 9ish.

On to some food-related news…stir-fries are back in the game again. Anything where more than half the meal is veg is a winner for me. I’m not sure it even warrants a recipe (basically throw together a load of veg, noodles, chicken and a handful of cashew nuts). But I did make my own sauce and that was pretty tasty.


Lemon Stir-Fry Sauce (serves 2)

  • 2/3 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. flour/corn starch (to thicken it)


So easy, so tasty.

Psst! I’ve got some exciting news which I will divulge soon in my next post!

What’s your favourite stir-fry sauce? I love lemon, but I quite like black bean as well.

What do you like getting for your birthday? I’m not great with surprises so I usually ask for things I’ve seen previously. From Ben I just said surprise me and I was so chuffed he put so much effort into the treasure hunt and in the end letting me choose what I wanted from a predefined list (which he knew I’d love haha).

Do you like being woken up early by the sun? Though it means I can’t sleep in at the weekend I love having the whole day ahead of me and feeling all refreshed.