Afternoon all.

So today was my final race this year, the Watford Joggers Autumn challenge. I found it via the runners world website, and as I had not done a 5 miler before I fancied it. The route was 1 mile in a park, 3 miles in some woods (clue there) and the last mile back in the park. My trainers, by the way, started out off-white. Now they are various shades of brown!

The race was really good- it was very small; no chip timing or anything like that.Β On the start line we had a minutes’ silence for rememberance Sunday, and instead of tannoy systems they had a whistle and an air horn. The first bit was so muddy- like running across a rugby pitch! I found it tricky to keep up my pace, and the first mile took me 11 minutes (I was aiming for ten min miles). Then there was a crazily steep hill (I ran the whole way but loads walked as it was really steep- steeper than a steep road), and some really steep downhill bits. The woods were nice (the rain held off which I was so pleased about), and there were lots of marshalls cheering everyone on. Several steep hills (up and down), muddy bogs and downhill steps later I emerged back into the park (4 miles in 41 minutes so I had managed my ten min miles in the woods even with the crazy hills). Then, bliss, a 30 metre run on tarmac (how bouncy the tarmac felt- I was alsmost flying) and then back to the rugby pitch. By this time it was hard to get any grip and I was slipping all over the place. I still managed to overtake a few runners, and boy was I grinning when I caught sight of the finish line. There was no official time (there was a man with a clipboard and stopwatch so I will have a look on the website later) and I didn’t stop my Nike+ right away, but I finished in about 52 minutes which for a cross country race was pretty good. Instead of a medal (which I love but are useless!) everyone got a shoe bag;

Pretty smart right? And more useful than a medal πŸ™‚ I actually really enjoyed it, although I found it very hard to run through all the mud (it sucks your feet down into the mud, or it is hard to get any traction)- I think that is partly why I felt so pleased, because it was a challenge. Although I do not think I am converted to cross country running, I am glad I did it, as if I had known what it had been like (eg if it was called the cross country challenge) I probably would not have even entered.

Once home I had some nesquick with coconut milk (mmmmm) and after a hot shower I have spent the rest of the day baking, and watching the grand prix.

I made chocolate brownies with a peanut butter swirl;

Pretty swirl πŸ™‚

I also attempted mince pie cookies. I had a fun shopping trip yesterday with some friends (another outing for my new boots πŸ™‚ ), and saw Millies cookies had all sorts of Christmas cookies, including mince pie cookies. So I thought about it and have adapted an oatmeal raisin cookie recipe;

Put 110g mixed dried fruits (including mixed peel) in a bowl and add 1tbs brandy- leave to soak for around an hour. In a bowl cream together 130g butter (or pure dairy free) with 80g caster sugar and 80g brown sugar. Add in one egg and 1tsp vanilla (although orange would be nice if you had it). Then mix in 150g flour (I used white spelt) and 40g ground almonds, some mixed spice, cinnamon and 1/2 tsp bicarb. Then stir in 50g oats and the dried fruit mix.

Put blobs of it onto baking tray and bake, 170C for about 15 minutes.


Ok, so they look just like oatmeal raisin cookies but I am hoping they are a bit amped up and taste more like a mince pie πŸ™‚

Onto other things- after my trial of rude health cereals I decided to buy another box, this one has seeds in it and a few other grains (quinoa, barley, some other ones);

Close up of the seeds;

It is tasty, but more savoury than the other ones. I tried the top banana one as it was on offer, and although it was ok, I prefer the fruity date one. I think I like a bit of sweetness with my porridge πŸ™‚

And finally (well done for reading this far)- entries to the Teapigs giveaway end midnight tonight- leave a link to your fave recipe on the comments section of the giveaway post.

My post race treat is going to be some of my baking πŸ™‚ alongside some Whitards Christmas Tea (loose black tea with orange peel and spices).

What is your fave post race treat?