Running, poo and a failed recipe

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m back running finally. I will hasten to add though: for how long, who knows! I’m still not entirely convinced I won’t remain injury-free. My shin issue is something I need to keep a beady eye on as I’m not sure it’s gone for good. But this is similar to my IT band where it needs to be managed, meaning regular single-leg squats and resistance band work. For my shin….I’m not so sure really. Compression socks and keeping the calves loose?

So last week I started with Kyle coaching after a bumpy delayed start due to my foot. We worked very closely to make sure everything was OK. He gave me lots of exercises and advice.

Peroneal Tendon Stretch And lots of stretching!

When I began running (last Tuesday) it was under the instruction to run 20 minutes easy and to stop if I felt any pain or major discomfort. The day before my foot was feeling almost fine so by Tuesday evening I was feeling happy to run. Apart from a little stiffness it was perfect. Again under Kyle’s instruction, I ran Wednesday and Thursday (all easy, gradually building up the time) and then took Friday off, parkrun on Saturday and 6 miles on Sunday. All easy paced and all with no foot discomfort. Hurrah!

I do struggle though with what I class an “easy” pace. I probably should run it slower, but if I’m only running a short distance then I think easy is a relative term… and I will admit I find it very hard to slow myself down. Whether it’s a mental thing that I feel I need to go faster or a physical thing where I just don’t realise I’m running faster, I find it tough for the shorter runs. For longer runs though I will be very strict with myself and aim for a slower pace, and for recovery runs after harder sessions.

I have no idea what’s to come though in terms of running as it’s out of my hands! Something which I find hugely scary and hugely relieving. It’s also nice to have someone I can hassle ask questions and get advice regularly and specifically for me and the concrete goals I want to achieve. The internet is great but it’s all very vague.

Away from running and onto things more amusing. I just have to share this book that Ben and me found in a little trinket shop.


Because really these are the big issues we face 😉 First world problems and all that… It is very amusing and definitely Ben and my type of humour (we are children). There was also “How to Poo on a Date” – I mean, really?? Plan these things, people. Maybe there should be a book “How to Poo in a Portable Loo” or a “A Guide to Pooing for Runners” judging by the horrific portable loo experience I had in Berlin.

Moving swiftly away from toilet humour to recent dinner adventures! I haven’t posted any recipes for ages as my food is very dull and samey, so thought I’d motivate myself by trying a new recipe every week. Now I will preface by this by saying this isn’t really a recipe more like a “don’t do what I did” kind of warning.

I saw the below recipe for sweet potato and halloumi burgers and thought it looked amazing. I knew I could win Ben over because it contained cheese and I mentioned the word “burger” so I felt confident.



I made the patties at the weekend and thought I’d freeze them so I could have a handy quick meal one day after work. This was a big mistake. I’d advise you not to freeze them! Maybe fridge them to firm them up for an hour but do not freeze. They just fall apart completely when you defrost them, which slightly devastated me.

Sweet potato halloumi burgers

I tried to flip each patty and, well, it just fell apart. So I just stirred the lot and cooked it as kind of a bubble and squeak *sighs*.  However, it tasted really good and even Ben was a fan. I’m sure as actual burgers these would be terrific but they are rather delicate!

Hopefully I’ll have better luck with other recipes but hey if it taste good that’s all that matters right??

Have you had any baking or cooking failures recently?

What kind of sense of humour do you have? I think mine is very dry and sarcastic – but also quite childish and silly.

What’s your favourite veggie burger flavours? I’m a big fan of sweet potato!

Being part of a team

I’m looking out the window and it looks like winter again. What is happening? Well at least it’s a lot lighter in the evening and morning.

I had a bit of a scare this morning when I woke up a minute just after my alarm was supposed to go off. But it hadn’t. Luckily I’m one of those weird people who tends to wake up naturally around their alarm time anyway. I remember at the weekend I was so worried I wasn’t going to wake up for my very early start (5.45am) for my long run that I woke up at 5.15am and then 5.40am thinking I’d messed up and over slept.

Anyway! Ben and me went to our running club’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Tuesday night.


I love my running club. If anything it’s just nice to be around people who are so like-minded. If you’re a runner and you’re not part of a club then I can’t recommend it enough to you. Having people to run and train with is just a small part of it. The support is just brilliant when you’re doing well in races, smashing PBs and feeling great. But, probably more important, is the support when things aren’t great; being injured, having a rubbish race or just feeling de-motivated.

I love having a network of people that you can talk to about running and they GET IT. And the club is full of so many different people from different walks of life and ability. People who are running sub-7 minute miles to people who are running 12+ minute miles. Old, young…everyone is welcome and celebrated.

I’m sure it’s the same with any sporting club really. Though maybe the love of cake is most strong with runners 😉 I wish I had taken a photo of just how many cakes there were after the AGM! All restraint went out of the window I can tell you!

Speaking of food. I’ll just leave you guys with a random meal I made the other day in the slow cooker that I loved.


Slow Cooker Chickpea and Sweet Potato Salsa (Serves 2)

    • Onion, diced
    • Courgette, chopped into chunks
    • Medium sweet potatoes, chopped into chunks
    • Tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    • Jar of salsa (I used Discovery)
    • Generous tbsp. cream cheese

– Very simply, vegetables and chickpeas go into the slow cooker.

– Mix the salsa with cream cheese and then add to the vegetables, mixing it all up.

– Switch the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 6-8 hours.

The sauce makes it lovely and creamy with a bit of sweetness. Though I have to say that Discovery salsa can be quite sweet so I’m going to switch to another brand I think.

I’m going to the running club tonight – fingers crossed all will be well! It’s my last club night before the marathon. Next week is all about solo sessions I think to make sure I don’t do anything stupid.

What’s your favourite brand of salsa? I used to use the supermarket brand and that was brilliant.

Are you part of a running club or any other club? Do you like to get involved?

Do you wake up at the same time every morning quite easily?

Running is tough

Anna Run

Yep, that’s right people. I am back to running my usual stuff (albeit building the mileage back up slowly).

My hubby sent me this picture and I thought it was rather cool. I am a very clumsy person so this makes sense. I have been known to randomly fall over without any external influences.

On Tuesday morning I’d planned to do around 4-5miles and after getting up at stupid o’clock 5.40am I took Alfie for his walk and just prayed that my leg would deliver. I was worried I had taken too much of a chance on Sunday with my nine mile long run. But as I headed off on the first mile I felt no pain and no issues. Just a slight discomfort, which I’m firmly believing is diminishing (every time I do my stretches the discomfort is less and less every day).

But it was hard. I was concerned it was my niggle holding me back (I’m referring to my injury as a niggle as it really wasn’t that serious, despite all the moaning and complaining I did). Partly it was hard because of the niggle, but mainly I was held back because my morning runs are always tough. I’m tired, I haven’t eaten since the  night before and my muscles, in all honesty, aren’t as warmed up as they could be.

However I managed a great five mile progression run:


I’m so chuffed I got the last mile down to 7.20mins/mile as I was worried I wouldn’t be hitting times like that for a while due to my break.

When I wasn’t running, in my head running was easy, running was amazing, I adored every minute. In reality, running is TOUGH. It is pretty much tough the whole damn time. Even when it’s good, it’s still tough. I would be lying if I said I enjoy every run. I would be lying if I said I fling myself out the door with sheer merriment and joyously hop down the road with exultation of the impending miles.

But, I love it.

I always remember what my dad says to me about running:

Brick wall

I don’t truly believe running is like this but I can see his point. 99% of the time, I always feel good after a run. No matter how tough or how bad it went, I’m always smiling afterwards.

Anyway on to food, and in joining the party for WIAW (thanks, Jenn!) I thought I’d share a couple of meals that rocked my world.

First up was Sunday night’s meal. It was one of those evenings when I just couldn’t be bothered to cook anything exciting. Ages ago I bought some turkey sausages to try and they had been living in the darkest corner of the depths of my freezer for too long. I thought it was time to bring them back to life…and then grill the hell out of them (does that even work…?).


Now, I’m not a big fan of sausages in general. I really can’t stand pork sausages. But I love turkey so I thought I’d give them a go (while Ben had regular pork sausages).

I had two of them and cut them in half to grill them (read: paranoid about eating raw sausages), two fried eggs (devastated when one of them broke. Tears almost happened…joking but it was touch and go), and cauliflower/cream cheese mash (and broccoli). Yum! Big thumbs up for this meal.

Then Tuesday night I made this random concoction:


Grated sweet potato with diced onions, cream cheese and a fish pie mix (salmon, mackerel and haddock). Basically a version of my paprika chicken. Oh this was good. The fishiness of the fish (yep you read that correctly) paired perfectly with the creaminess of the potato and cheese.

I love it when random meals work out well!

And I love it when the sunshine means I get to wear shorts to work!


Shorts: Peacocks//Shirt: Next

I’m embarrassed to say these shorts are soo old (we’re talking pre-university). In fact, there’s even a hole in one of the pockets that luckily the shirt covers. Shhh… I’m too cheap and rubbish to buy/fix it.

But can you believe we’re a 1/3 through summer already? Ha. What a joke.

What meals have been rocking your world lately? I haven’t had sweet potato in so long so it was good to get that back in the routine again.

What do you wear to work/school/college/uni/other in the summer? I’m lucky that I work in a relaxed office, but I do like to keep things relatively smart. It helps keep me focused.

When do you find working out the hardest? I love running in the morning but I’m never as fast as I am in the evening or late morning when I’ve had time to properly wake up and warm up.

Busy times and a new addition – WIAW

Whoops, I apologise for the delay between posts. Things have been crazy busy! I have some very exciting news (which I will get to shortly), a weekend catch-up with What I ate Wednesday. Whew, better get started.


Friday night Ben and me decided to treat ourselves to a take-away Indian meal. Honestly, I was so excited about it. We haven’t had one in ages. We have a lovely local Indian restaurant/take-away and it’s just brilliant. I had a starter of chicken tandoori:


Yum! This is basically a piece of chicken covered with yogurt and spices and cooked in the clay tandoor oven.

I then had a chicken tikka main (which is essentially very similar to my starter but chunks of chicken rather than an actual leg etc. – what can I say, I love this meal!). I had it with the ludicrously coloured yogurt side-sauce it comes with.


I had both starter and main with the salad garnish you get free with the starter and an onion salad as well. I love the onion salads but it pretty much kills any romance haha. Normally I don’t have any poppadums but I really fancied them so stole a fair few from Ben (Alfie loves them too…I know this is naughty!). We then watched Argo. Brilliant film, such a good story. But SO tense.

Saturday morning we got up early and Ben went for a 6 mile run and I went for a 9 mile run (we ran separately as we had different routes and different paces). The weather was pretty rubbish: cold and wet. And unfortunately on mile 3 when turning round a corner I slipped straight over and landed on the side of my thigh. Seriously painful. A woman passing her car stopped and helped me. She was very nice and offered to drive me home but I told her it was fine. She warned me not to run anymore…She clearly doesn’t understand the running mentality. I’m a third of the way in! No backing out now. I did have a bit of a rest but then carried on. What was great was as I fell I stopped my Garmin – runner’s mentality again haha.


Yeah so carrying on running was a bit painful but my own fault obviously for continuing so what can you do!

After the run I showered and made my usual breakfast of oatmeal and almond milk. So good after a run.


Then I was on fire and cleaned the bathrooms, hoovered, did the washing, ironed, put away laundry, and then walked Alfie. Super Anna! I then crashed haha.

For lunch I made a yummy sweet potato soup based on THIS recipe. It was lovely and warming and quite spicy. I used chickpeas instead of black beans though. And I sadly used all my nutritional yeast up *sobs*. It was another annoying meal that required grating sweet potato though.IMG_3961

Then Ben and I collapsed onto the sofa and watched three episodes back-to-back of Game of Thrones series 2. AMAZING.

For dinner I tried another new recipe. Prepare yourself, because this is something amazing.


Chicken Parmigiana (based on THIS recipe) serves 2

  • 2 chicken breast 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 40g parmesan, grated (split into half) 
  • Garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 can passata/chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ ball light mozzarella, torn

–  Mix 20g of the parmesan with the breadcrums.

– Dip the chicken in the egg, and then the breadcrumb mixture to coat the chicken (I double-dunked back in the egg and breadcrumbs to ensure maximum yumminess).

– Grill the chicken on both sides until golden and crispy.

While the chicken is grilling, fry the garlic in a saucepan, then add the passata with the sugar and oregano until bubbling.

– In a shallow baking dish, add the chicken and the pour over the passata, place the torn mozzarella over the chicken and around it, then dust everything with the remaining parmesan (the pièce de résistance). Grill for 5 mins (until all is melted and gooey like the photo).


This was phenomenally tasty. The best part was when I served it Ben he had no idea really what it was apart from being a ‘cheesy tomato chicken thing’ (this is how I sold it to him). He had no idea the chicken was breaded. He said it literally made the meal and was possibly the best meal I’d ever made. These are CRAZY words. I almost cried Winking smile

Sunday was supposed to be a relaxed day but something exciting happened that no one was expecting so soon…


My sister gave birth, six weeks early, to little Megan. It was always planned that Rachel would have a planned caesarean because of the baby’s position, but this was to be closer to the due date. So obviously this was quite a surprise for everyone, mainly the now very proud parents. She’s a little on the small side (as to be expected) but she is very well and so is Rachel thankfully.


She’s currently going to be spending the next two weeks in hospital just to make sure everything is perfect and then she can go home and join her sister, Ellie.

So Ben and I went to visit them on Sunday after dashing quickly into town to buy some pressies. And then we got to see mum and baby. Rachel was understandably very tired and Megan was fast asleep. But I did get to rest my hand, very gently, on her back. We couldn’t hold her as she needs to be kept as germ-free as possible. But it was just a beautiful experience. I’m always so awe-struck by how tiny and delicate and soft new borns are (I’ve only seen two – Ellie & Megan). And my sister is literally made to be a mum – she fits so naturally into the role.

How very exciting! Big congratulations to Rachel and Nick, my brother-in-law Smile

Do you have any little ones in your family? Our family is very small so Ellie and Megan are the only ‘little people’ we have.

Have you ever fallen when running? It was more embarrassing than anything, but I do have a HUGE bruise on my leg now. I guess that’s one good thing that it’s still trouser weather.

What’s your favourite take-away/take-out?

Fruit coconut curry – WIAW

Hello! And to all my fellow Brits, I hope you’re experiencing the lovely sunshine like we are here in the South. Though it’s still fairly crisp and chilly, it’s just lovely to have those rays! However, does anyone else experience static hair in the cold? I’m a girl with quite a bit of hair and seriously, it’s not cool. All I have to do is touch it and it goes crazy. Any advice is much appreciated!

Speaking of hair, I finally got my hair cut over the weekend. After 5 months!! Here’s my before photo:


And my after photo:


Yep a huge amount of difference. Not. Hence why I don’t go for ages…[Also, can I just say that I am rubbish at taking photos of my self in the mirror. Seriously, there is an art to this and I have not mastered it. I feel like a right idiot smiling at myself…]

So it’s WIAW once again, how the time is flying!

Check out Jenn’s blog for more information and food envy.

Let’s get going. These are my eats from Sunday.

Breakfast: Since getting back from skiing, I have been having my good old fashioned oatmeal every single morning. Ahh bliss. No scary looking Bulgarian meats for me!

Porridge 12.12

I’ve been browsing online and found some great looking savoury oat dinners as well that I really want to try. Ones that really appealed to me:

Gluten-Free Savoury Porridge with Bacon, Cheddar, Fresh Tomatoes, and Chives

Curry Oatmeal

Savoury Spinach Oats

I’d never thought of savoury oatmeal! Amazing. Watch this space…

Lunch: Lunch on Saturday was a random concoction. I was going to have an egg scramble with tuna (a very standard meal for me) but I couldn’t be bothered to open a tin of tuna (yep, I was that lazy). So I added a heaped tablespoon of Philadelphia cream cheese to my three eggs instead. And I also added chopped onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini.


With a small serving of broad beans Winking smile The added cream cheese made the eggs so creamy. Really enjoyed this. Afterwards I had half a small melon (no photo sorry).

Throughout the day I enjoyed black coffee and my current favourite herbal tea:


For dinner I wanted to make curry but I couldn’t make my mind up what kind. I had coconut milk that I wanted to use but I also had some dried apricots I wanted to add…so I just kind of threw it all together.


I vaguely based it on THIS recipe.

Fruity Coconut Curry (serves 2)

  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, diced
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, cut into small chunks
  • 3-4 small mushrooms, sliced
  • Quarter of a zucchini, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small chunks
  • 1/4 can of coconut milk (light or normal)
  • Generous tbs. yogurt
  • 150ml hot chicken stock
  • 1 tbs. tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbs. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • Sprinkling of dried/fresh coriander

– Fry oil for one minute, then fry onions until golden, add garlic and ginger, fry for another minute or so.

– Add vegetables and chicken and cook until chicken is almost cooked.

– Then add coconut, ketchup, yogurt and the spices.

– Once all is cooked and hot, add coriander and then serve.

Really easy, really yummy. I didn’t have any mango chutney so I substituted with tomato ketchup as I wanted the sweetness and the tomato flavour as I also didn’t have any tomato puree. I added the yogurt to add a bit more creaminess.

We’ve also been enjoying balsamic chicken, tomato and mozzarella salads:


Yum! We ran out of basil which was hugely disappointing as you can’t beat basil with tomato and mozzarella. This was with salad and roasted vegetables.

And Monday night, while Ben was eating leftovers from the party on Saturday (sausage rolls, garlic bread, cocktail sausages and tomato mozzarella bites…*sighs*) I decided to try a recipe I’d seen on Chelsea’s blog that I knew Ben would never want.

Sweet potato cooked in the oven, then mixing the innards with a tablespoon of cream cheese, and mushrooms and haricot beans that I’d fried together in a bit of oil and herbs.


I slightly varied Chelsea’s recipe to fit with what I had available and this honestly rocked my evening. Really enjoyed this and will definitely be having it again!

Snacks: I have been a snacking monster this past few days. My hunger has been through the roof. I’m not sure why – maybe as I’m running more miles? Not sure! Anyway I’m still loving Lindt chocolate:


Kept in the fridge…so good. Such a satisfying noise of biting into it! We went a bit overboard on stocking up…


Seriously, people, you have got to be prepared for shortages or national crises. Chocolate is a necessity. Fact.

Fitness: So far this week is going well in terms of running. I ran a 7 mile tempo run on Monday, a 4 mile interval run on Tuesday and today’s a rest day. I’ve got a 12 mile long run planned for this weekend which I’m strangely looking forward to. I’ve gone from the girl who was really worried and nervous about long runs to the girl who really enjoys them! I guess because I just run and there’s no pressure on speed or time. And the feeling afterwards is just amazing. Like you’ve conquered the world!

Also, on a random note…my mother-in-law has kindly said to Ben and me that she will buy us a camera as our wedding present but we haven’t a clue which one to go for or anything – hence why we still don’t have the camera yet we got married last year! Any tips? We don’t really know the price range we’re looking for so I guess something that’s not really cheap, but fairly decent (but not HUGELY expensive!)

I’d love to take better photos of my meals (as one of my friends kindly directed me to an article online about how to take good food photos – haha lovely hint Winking smile). And it would be nice for when we go on holiday not to just depend on the IPhone.

Hope you have a good Wednesday Smile

Do you have days when your just strangely really hungry?

How often do you go to the hairdressers? Am I an embarrassment to the female race??

Favourite chocolate? Cadburys? Nestle? Milka? Lindt? Hersheys?