Jelly legs

and jelly arms, and jelly shoulders, and even jelly wrists. That is what body pump has done to me today! Washing my hair was hard work and I could only manage the hairdryer for a few minutes!

It was not on last week, and it is always hard after a week off anyway. But coupled with the fact that it is a new one (and really hard– in a few tracks you have to go down a weight as it is so hard), and also that during the back and lunges you have to keep your squats weight on (and normally I go a teensy bit lower than the squats) means that I am made of jelly.

Seriously even typing is hard work- I hope I can drive my car tomorrow.

But honestly, body pump is fab.

Other news- I gave the box of chocolates to someone at work today who fixed my computer 🙂 He loves chocolate, I love a computer that works- it’s a win-win!

Thanks for all the comments yesterday- my main aim is to finish the marathon (and enjoy it) and while I would like an achievable goal to aim for, I don’t want to get hung up on pb (but I do want to eat a lot of peanut butter 😉  ). I suppose I will become more aware of what I might be able to do as I complete longer runs. So watch this space.

Now, how on earth am I going to clean my teeth………..


Is that a word? My brain is tired!

Anyway, I am having it as my title today!

My teapot was calling to me today! “Maria, why have I been stuck in the cupboard for the last few days? Maria, you have used me every day for the last 2 weeks. Are you mad at me Maria? What happened? Is it me?”

Work was super busy (blah blah I won’t bore you all!) and I had originally planned a 6 mile run after work, which for me is about an hour. But I had totally forgotten how dark it gets, and also what time I actually get home. Plus I was actually still very tired after aerobics last night. It was one of those times when I could not decided if I was too tired and really needed some tea and a sit down, or just a bit lethargic and going out would do me good. So in the end I braved the rain (it was only drizzle by the time I got out there) and decided to do a shorter run with some intervals instead of the longer steady run. I warmed up for a mile, but during the first interval my shins started hurting, so in the end I decided to slow it down to normal pace and make it a bit shorter. I want to do 3 runs a week and so if I run this saturday (no reason why I won’t) then I will have done my 3. So in the end I got back after 38 mins, 3.8 miles, just as the rain got really heavy- perfect timing! My poor teapot had to stay in the cupboard though- maybe tomorrow!

I have been thinking about being flexible recently, especially with regards to goals. When I first signed up to the marathon I used a few different calculators to estimate my finish time, and they all come up at around 5 hours. But then I was listening to an old marathon talk podcast, I think it was the Edinburgh marathon, and they had people which they interviewed before they ran, and then after, to see their goal times and then how the race actually went. Quite a few people had finished slower than they would have liked- it was very hot that day. I was glad that most people were able to see the achievement of finishing, even if they did not get a PB. It is something I want to keep to the forefront of my mind, because if I finish then I want to be really proud of myself. Does that make sense? I suppose with a marathon being that much longer, there is more time to go wrong, and also if you slow down by a few seconds, over 26 miles they add up more than they would over a 10k. But I don’t want that to take over from the overall experience. I do want to challenge myself (and I have no chance of walking as I think the course has a 6 hour time limit which makes me nervous every now and then!), but I also want to enjoy the experience and not get hung up on finishing times so much. One person I heard was gutted as they wanted to get in under 4 hours and managed 4.01 or something like that- you know it is still an amazing time. Anyway, my point to this is that I am going to be flexible in my training- I don’t mean I am going to cancel half my training sessions, but I want to be sensible and listen to myself and if I am having a very busy week or are really tired then I will cut back. And I want to be flexible, even during the race- so if I am aiming for a particular time and I slow down then I am not going to get upset. Although I can actually picture myself crying as I run it- I find running really emotional- I cried as I crossed the finish line to my first half marathon, and got teary during my first 10k (it was my first “real” race, not a race for life, so I was doing it for me and only me, not to raise money or anything like that). I might need to write that on a post it note and stick it on my water bottle!

On a different note, I was given yet another box of chocolates today at work, and I popped them in my cupboard. At lunch I was rushing about, had not had lunch and was so hungry, and I was so close to opening the box (and probably eating far too many while I did my marking)- it was actually the thought of writing it on here this evening that put me off them! The box is still closed phew!

Post run was some freezer chilli and a sweet jacket potato- yum. My freezer is stocked at the mo- I did a lot of batch cooking (as much as the little freezer can take) and so in there I have some squash soup, veggie chilli, pumpkin tofu pasta and chickpea stew. I love easy meals 🙂

Off for some more star gazing now- night 🙂

Clear out and clear up!

Kind of like Stoppit and Tidyup (is it just me that used to love them?)

Today it was back to work with a bump- I really should have worn a t shirt saying “I did not get away on holiday, yes I got on the plane but then they closed the airport and we could not get away, but I had a lovely time at home” or something to that effect! I had to recount my tale so many times! Most people thought I would have gone as they knew my flight was early (we were right on the cut off), although a few friends knew as I had texted them!

Anyway, it was a good training day; nice and inspiring and practical- not too heavy going.

I had to pick some things up in the shops on my way home (for work- pasta to thread how fun) and then I found a bargain- shiny red cake boards for 29p! I got a few as I always make christmas cakes as presents and these make them look a bit better. I also recycled our christmas cards 🙂

Then I had a clear out- I managed a bag of old jumpers (when will I realize that I much prefer cardis over jumpers and hardly wear jumpers??), plus some jeans which I like but are too long (regular not shortie length!)- again when will I realise that I don’t wear heels so do not need a pair of long jeans??? I also threw away a pile of socks that have gone all crispy. That felt better!

Then it was time for a clear up- we had piles of paper everywhere, wedding invitations left out to remind us to reply (now I have written the acceptance cards phew), reciepts all over the place in case things needed returning, presents that had not been put away plus of course the decorations. Everything looks much tidier now and I feel better 🙂 Only the tree to go and that is now a job for tomorrow evening after I got distracted by Stargazing.

Then it was time for aerobics- hooray! The gym has a sort of skeleton service over the holidays, so I have not been for the last 2 weeks and I was looking forward to some cheesy tunes! It was fab, but I was feeling so tired and it took me a while to work out why- duh– I did a long run yesterday and normally follow that up with a rest day the next day. No wonder I was tired!

Did anyone see the solar eclipse today? I was already at work but it was really cloudy here so I would not have been able to see it anyway. I saw some stunning pictures on Stargazing tonight. I love all that stuff- when I did physics the astrophysics was by far my favourite topic- so interesting, and when I was little being an astronomer was one of things I wanted to be when I grew up! Anyone else?

Right, off to put my feet up now- night 🙂

Slow start

Evening all

Today I had another run planned, but ended up having a rather lazy morning. I did not even have breakfast until nearly 11, so then I had to wait for another hour before I went out. I used my waist pack again and it was brilliant (this time with the bottle that came with it- even less bounce)-it also has a handy little pocket which is my fave thing (pockets in running gear)- so handy! I have pockets in my shorts, tights, even in my top!

It is so hard to take a picture like this! (Where is Andy when I need him? Well, off watching football!)

I could not decide how far to go (the marathon training plan is still being sorted) – in the end I did my “normal” long run of 8.5 ish miles- 90 minutes, and I felt pretty good throughout. I am pleased that I have managed to maintain this level of fitness during the autumn and winter.

I logged on to Nike+ when I got back and as it was the first one for 2011 it had some stats for the past year. It must have been a bit skewed because I only started using it in May, but it averages out over the year. My stats were; 510 mile run, 2 runs per week on average, 10 miles a week on average, fastest mile of 8.35 (perhaps during my 28.10 5k race for life?), 49,630 calories burned (I think it overestimates but you do enter your age and weight into the website), with 77 miles in september being the month with the most miles.

It was pretty good to see this, especially as I was not expecting it!

I had a hot chocolate and a peanut clif bar when I got back- for the hot chocolate I heated 250ml Kara coconut milk in the microwave for a couple of mins, then stirred in 15g nesquick. This was delicious and just what I fancied as I got quite cold on my run.

Then after my shower I pottered for ages (this means dusting, washing, reading blogs and procrastinating) and did not manage lunch intil half 3. Not so good.

I made a kick-ass snack this afternoon- some defrosted cherries with some dark chocolate alpro and some delicious pecan and cranberry granola- yum 🙂 Alongside some tea (I felt very stupid in the shop as I could not work out how the individual teapots worked- wouldn’t all the tea pour out the crack? Silly me).

I am also in the process of using up a Terry’s chocolate orange by making it into brownies to take into work tomorrow. I love chocolate orange but Andy doesn’t, and once it is opened I could eat it in a couple of days (and it would be just me too, not anyone else helping!). So I decided to put it to better use. Maybe some pictures later!

Last night we could not decide what to have for dinner, so we had another soup, bean and sweet potato combo. It’s so easy! (I should actually make the soup but to be honest I could not be bothered!).

So in a pan we cooked a couple of peppers that were past their best, added a tub of spicy tomato soup (this time it was Waitrose tomato and pepper soup with chipotle chilli) and a tin of kidney beans. We served it with baked sweet potato (sped up by microwaving first) and some salad. Delish- no cheese or salad dressing needed either! It is currently my fave quick and easy speedy meal!

Tomorrow it is back to work, and we are having a training day which means I should be home a bit earlier. My plan is to clear out my wardrobe a bit and get a bag of clothes to give to charity- I came across some jumpers today which I have not worn for a couple of years- they were in my pile of “don’t get rid of just yet, hang on for another year in case I start wearing them again”- well, I think it is time they went! I also have some tops which I think will be sent to the “duster” pile as they are so tatty now! I love a good clear out- it’s all very theraputic so I am looking forward to it. Anyone else planning an early spring clean or clear out?


Hopefully I did not start the year as I meant to go on! Andy and I went to Bath for a couple of days. I took this with me;

And I came home with this;

Oops indeed!

We stayed in a hotel in a little town very close to Bath and it was lovely to have a couple of days together.

Friday I fitted in a 3 mile gentle run before breakfast, and then spent the morning pottering and packing (Andy worked in the morning). We drove there in the afternoon, and spent time in the town, before having a cosy dinner in a local pub. We went back to our hotel and watched the fireworks on the TV.

The next morning we headed into Bath on the train, and spent some time wandering around the shops. Bath is such a pretty town and everything was within walking distance which was great as we love to wander! We found the royal crescent (I felt that maybe the family from Mary Poppins would live in houses like that?) and then went to a lovely cafe/ pattiserie for tea and a scone. Yum.

Then we went to the Roman Baths which was so interesting and had much more to see than I expected (also for you bargain hunters we got a 2 for 1 voucher if we showed our train tickets)- it even had some narration from Bill Bryson.

We had a lovely dinner in pizza express (I was so hungry as a scone is not much of a lunch!) and then headed back.

Today we stopped off at Windsor on the way- I loved seeing all the tourists having their pictures taken in front of the castle, and also the many tasteful souvenirs (postcard of Wills and Harry anyone? Or would you prefer some shortbread in a tartan box!).

And now to unpack my purchases. Honestly, Andy is normally a good influence on me. The thing is, we were both normally do shopping when we holiday in the USA (I often get quite a few clothes in Gap, Old Navy and Skechers) so I got stuff here instead.

Cute things– an apron from Paperchase (this was £2.25 I think), some cute socks (so soft and perfect for after a run when my feet need to be treated gently!), cute PJ’s and a little reindeer (£2.50 from paperchase).

A blue cardi from Fat Face and a grey cardi from Animal (I love cardis 🙂 )

And a nice black coat from H&M (it was only £20 and I have been after a black coat for a while- this one has a zip which I prefer over buttons as I love to be warm more than I want to be stylish- it comes in at the waist with a tie and flares out over the hips). I think you will agree that it goes perfectly with my slippers- super cool!

I have been catching up on blogs this evening and I have enjoyed reading everyone’s goals for the new year, it’s all very inspiring 🙂 I look forward to reading about how well everyone is doing.

Thanks for all your lovely comments too 🙂 I appreciate every single one.