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?