Weather obsession

Ok so I am a bit obsessed with the weather. Partly it comes from my Dad- he always used to make us be quiet when the weather came on the TV so he could listen. Partly it comes from years of working in Nursery and Reception (outside learning every day) so I need to know what to wear to work. And more recently it comes from my love of running. I like to know the weather at the weekend in advance so I can plan my long run on the better day. I like to know how long the rain will last so when I get home from work I know whether to get out there straight away, or wait for the rain to stop or whatever. And also to know what to wear when I am out there! So I love to watch the weather before I go to bed, when I get up I listen to the weather on the radio, and also watch it on the news. And once snow is forecast, I get a little obsessed with the met office website! Watch this space!!

So snow is possibly forecast for Saturday, but at the moment I am still keeping it for my long run day, so I can get out there before it snows, or before it freezes to the pavements.

Anyway, today after work I wrapped up warm and headed out. I was after my 5 ish mile run, which is 2 big and one small loop near me, but I was feeling pretty good (slept much better last night which might be the reason why) so in the end I did the 3rd big loop. I also decided to pick up the pace in the middle part to push myself, and managed just under 6 miles in 56 minutes (loads to cross the roads etc) so I was pleased with the time.

I had some delicious pumpkin pasta (tofu, pumpkin, spinach, sundried tomatoes all whizzed up, with wholegrain pasta) alongside balsamic baked courgette and beetroot. Delish.

SO, are you obsessed with the weather? Or obsessed with anything else?

Sleep

I would like some more sleep please. And that is all I have to say on the matter.

Onto better news, last week I ordered a load of teapigs goodies;

(the badge says I <3 real tea, which I do!)

and yesterday I tried the licorice and mint for the first time. It was in the jumbo pack and as I loved all the other flavours I decided I would try it. I am not one for herbal teas but it had good reviews. It tasted very much like spearmint- very nice. I could not taste the licorice, but I found it refreshing- think it would be nice in the summer. No picture but I am sure you can imagine what it looks like!

I also used my new pots for lunch today- sliced pear in one, and half a graze mix in the other (dark chocolate buttons, blanched almonds and cherries). Delish!

And after aerobicsย  (which I had loads of energy for again so that was good) I enjoyed a slice of stollen with cranberries- can you see the marzipan in the middle? It’s the best bit- save it ’til last!

Plus, exciting news- weย are getting an extra public holiday in the UK due to a certain marriage- what would you do with your extra day off? The May bank holiday is my birthday weekend anyway so now I have 4 days! Although due to the marathon plan it is going to be a 20 mile run and then probably the other days to recover! See how I am being optimistic here!

Night all ๐Ÿ™‚

Beginning the seasonal baking

Hello!

Today I made a stollen- yum. I used the recipe from Rachel Allen’s Bake , only I added in some dried cranberries to the mix of dried fruit. For people that don’t know, it is a bread made with dried fruits and spices (German version of a christmas cake), that is often filled with marzipan. A slice of it is amazing with a cup of tea.

The final loaf dusted with icing sugar-mmmm. Andy did mention that in Aldi they are ยฃ2, but I decided that I would rather make one as I had the time.

This morning I went on a very cold run! I wrapped up warm (tights, craft long sleeved top and a long sleeved top over that, earwarmer headband, gloves) and after ten minutes I was worried I would be hot. But then the wind started up and I was cold! I alternated between warming up slightly and taking my gloves off, then getting into the wind and being freezing, and putting the gloves back on again! I was also very excited as I listened to marathon talk and they read out my “rate your run” from last week! The cross country race one! Took my by surprise! I must have looked crazy as I was also laughing out loud to the Tony’s trials song this week. Anyway, it was a solid run, just under 9 miles in 91 minutes. By the time I got home I was starving, so it was time for another massive USA clif bar.

Plus coconut milk with nesquick. The bar is a whopping 68g, so totally filling.

After my shower I was in a rush to warm up, so I started to dry my hair. Then I smelled burning, and turned it off. When I brushed my hair, a massive clump of hair came out. I mean massive. It covered my hairbrush. Whoops. I must have been blowing the hairdryer on the same patch of hair for a while instead of moving it about. Luckily I have so much hair that you actually cannot tell, but I was still a bit upset. Anyone had a hair disaster like this?

Onto better news- Yesterday I had a very successful shopping trip (while Andy was at the football) and then some time visiting relatives. I got a few pressies, plus something for me;

Little tubs from paperchase! I have some already which I use for my lunch and snacks, and I could not resist! They nest inside each other so take up hardly any cupboard space (bonus). I cannot decided if I love the gignerbread man or the reindeer the most!

I am also pretty excited as I was sent some goodies from Delicious Alchemy- they specialise in gluten free products (and even produce gluten free oats- they are often cross contaminated with gluten in the field so “normal” oats are not suitable for coeliacs.) I am looking forward to some baking for my lovely friend ๐Ÿ™‚

Oats, muesli and granola. If you need to avoid gluten I would recommend you check them out on facebook- they have already made a recipe for no-cook gluten free christmas cake- genius!

I am also excited to see that Laura got her teapigs goodies ๐Ÿ™‚

Following on from that, I attempted the caramel apple spice cupcakes. I halved the recipe, but somewhere along the way it went all wrong- they went in the oven fine and when I peeped after ten minutes they were rising up. But when it was close to the time, I looked and they had burnt and sunk in the middle. I did try one (in case I could save them) but they tasted burnt too. So, I will try again another day. Was sooooo looking forward to the frosting!

So, if you were to rate your workout from this weekend, what would you give it? And do you rate your run at marathon talk? I think it’s fun to see how everyone else got on, plus you often get some entertaining ones!

Foggy running

Hooray for friday!

SO last night I had my beloved body pump, only I had such a busy day at work that I did not have much time before I had to go out so it all felt a bit rushed, plus my cold had made me go a little dizzy, so I promised myself I could use smaller weights if I needed to. In the end, I used the same, but I felt very tired and was tempted to cheat (eg grab a millisecond rest here and there between reps and stuff). But I kept my normal weights, and I did still enjoy it.

Today I felt better, my cold is basically gone, just the usual aches from the weights.

For children in need, in the end I decided to wear this dress- if you look close it has little spots in the pattern (and my new boots got another outing which is very important!). More comfy than the wellies!

Then after work (and a seed stacked bar- they are really good for right before exercising- I must have had about 30 mins between eating it and running and it was perfect) I headed out on a run. My, it was spooky out there. So much fog, and really patchy too, so in some places it was ok, but then suddenly it would get all thick. Plus, although my run is along roads, it also is by some big patches of grass, and as there are no lights in those bits it was very dark. Plus, my glasses kept fogging up (I must have been breathing in a funny way) so then it was doubly hard to see- is it the fog, or just me breathing? Anyway, it was 5.3 miles in 52 minutes (slowly creeping up the Nike+ colours/levels), pretty good, and spent listening to the end of last weeks marathon talk (getting behind) and the food programme. More interesting than it sounds haha!

So, any exciting plans for the weekend? Tomorrow we are out all day visiting family (and some shopping thrown in too) and then sunday will be a chilled out day-run in the morning, followed by lounging around at home and hopefully squeezing in some baking somewhere along the line. Aren’t the weekends fantastic? ๐Ÿ™‚

Nutrition and a winner!

Evening all

So I have always been interested in nutrition. When I was school, for GCSE I did Home Econimics (how old fashioned- now they do food tech) and we had to do modules about which vitamins and minerals were in certain foods, and what illnesses deficiancies caused. We also had to look into specific diets and analyse them (this is when I properly researched vegetarianism and proved to my mum that I could be veggie and healthy). Since then I get a lot of info from magazines, or from sites on the net. But I am looking for a book (not quite “Nutrition for dummies”) which will give me a bit more info on nutrition, specifically vegetarian/ vegan or womens nutrition. I just wondered if anyone had any books they would recommend, as I have trawled through pages on amazon but it is hard to pinpoint exactly what I am after. Thanks.

Onto other things; ny cold is worse today. At the start of the week I earmarked today for a short run, but as the day has gone on I have felt worse, (stomach ache as well as the sore sinuses)ย so I decided to come home and have a cup of tea instead. I decided that as I am not training for anything, I could be fine but I could make it worse, and I did run Sunday, Monday and do aerobics last night so I am not sitting around every day.

Yet again I thought it was my last chocolate flake teabag, but I have one more. Delish with coconut milk. At the weekend I ordered myself some more as it is so tasty, and Andy told me I have no chance of getting tea for christmas!

I had it with some Mulu chocolate-

The “Silk”, which is meant to be like milk chocolate. I found it very sweet (I only managed 2 squares which I suppose is good as the bar will last), it tasted more like cooking chocolate than normal chocolate. It has an almost crumbly texture, and it is not my favourite. But it was still nice with the tea.

So, on the subject of tea, I need to announce the giveaway winner! I am rubbish at decisions, and it has come to light that if I do another giveaway I will need to do some kind of raffle system, or something, as choosing was very difficult! I appreciate all the recipe links and will have fun making them all (and when I do I will be sure to post them), but the winner is……

The Caramel Apple Spice Cupcakes by Laura ๐Ÿ™‚

So well done Laura, I am already wishing I had icing sugar to make them! I did contemplate making them without the frosting, but it sounds like it is important to have all elements, so will have to wait til the weekend!

So Laura, can you email me (emailme@runningcupcake.co.uk) your address and I will forward it on to the teapigs people so they can get your prize out to you. And thanks to everyone else ๐Ÿ™‚ It really was such a hard decision!

And finally, while wandering on the blogosphere this afternoon, I came across a Happy Herbivore recipe for fat free, vegan pumpkin pie. It looks amazing, so it is another one I need to try. ๐Ÿ™‚

So many recipes, so little time………