Go on, you know you want to

Start running, that is.

I still view myself in many ways as a beginner runner. This seems silly when I type it, but for the majority of my life I was not really sporty (my family was active e.g. swimming, cycling, ski-iing, walking- but I was never good at any of them compared to my family or others!)- I really hated PE (although I was too scared of the teachers to try to fake a sick note!!), I was left with the races no-one wanted at sports day (high jump and shot putt normally- I am 5ft 2).

So I did not run. I hated cross country, I hated sprinting when we did athletics; I just thought I was someone who was not built to run.

All this changed a few years ago. Sorry if you already know this- someone at work mentioned doing a Race for Life- she said it was a 5k walk and so I raised some sponsorship and went along. On the day I was soย inspiredย by everyone else running that I secretly decided to set myself a goal to run it the following year. It was a whole year away and I forgot about it.

But then I got the email reminding me to sign up, I did, and found myself a training plan.

I dilligently followed the plan to the letter- to see my plan look here. I ran 3 times a week, and started off with 1 minute of running and 1 minute of walking, alternated for 20 minutes. I found the running so hard- I think I made the classic beginners mistake of thinking I had to sprint! Each week the running increased, and the walking decreased. Each week I would panic on the Monday about doing it,and by the Friday (3rd run) would be amazed that I actually managed the training run 3 times that week!

On the day of the race I was so nervous- I had only got up to 15 min run, 1 min walk, 15 min run, but some friends had joked they would only sponsor me if I ran the whole way. Well, I did it! I was so proud of myself. I find the Race for Life emotional anyway, with all the messages on people’s backs, thinking of family members etc. But I was so proud of myself. I still am ๐Ÿ™‚

Originally I had thought I would stop, but I actually found I really loved it, and so have increased each year. The following year I (secretly) entered a local 10k, and only told people once I was close to that distance in training.

Then last year myself and Andy (who had joined in with the running and also completed a few local 5k’s and 10K’s with me) entered a half marathon. Anyway, shortly after that I started this blog, so I won’t go on.

Basically, what I want to say is, if you want to start running, then do!

  • Follow a plan (the one I followed, or a couch to 5k plan- they are all similar). Satisfying to tick off the runs as you complete them.
  • Start off nice and slow- it’s not a sprint!
  • Wear proper trainers (I started off with pink suede-y skechers! Not good)
  • Get a proper sports bra (ladies)
  • Sign up for a race to have a goal to work towards. I love the Race for Life’s as I think they have a friendly atmosphere, and of course raising money for charity is always good. But there are loads of races to enter.

I really cannot stress how much I enjoy running, and how much I never thought I would even be able to run. So I think if I can do it, anyone can!

I am still pretty slow- I am getting faster and what I enjoy about running is that I measure my achievements against myself. At races I was worried about elite runners laughing at the sight of me, but in fact races I have attended have had a lot of people doing similar speeds to me. And the atmosphere has always been supportive too.

Any other tips for beginners?

Anyone thinking of giving it a go?

Weirdest gym sign ever


So at the gym they often have signs on the doors- things like “make sure you wear appropriate clothes to classes”, “members still need to book on to classes” and so on.

Well, the sign this week was the most strange yet. Basically, this:

Will members please refrain from using body oil before partaking in exercise classes“.

I mean, what is that about????? Seriously! What class needs body oil? Who wants to add to the sweat with oil???

Answers on a postcard please!

Body pump was great, but it was the new release and boy is it hard! The clean and presses have changed- one clean and then 3 presses in a row (I think that is what the individual parts would be called)- mental. Triceps are back to the bar which I always find soooo tough. We also had loads of newbies (some of whom turned up late grr)- one left half way through! I told Andy how tough it was and his reply “well, that’s what you want, otherwise you may as well do Zumba”. (No offence meant to anyone that loves Zumba…you get his drift!)

Big news- Pumpkin scones are even nicer when topped with Meridian Blueberry spread.

(The other half is maple pb but the blueberry was by far the winner- I am thinking marmalade next).

More big news- PB2 is awesome when made into a pb sauce and served with Worthingshaws chocolate iced dessert stuff;

PB and chocolate ice cream is the best! This is even better as it mixes together so well. Mmmmmm.

Final big news- when making rice pudding in the microwave, do not cook for too long as it will explode out of the cup, all over the whirley tray thing and make a big (unedible) mess.

Any big news? Any weird gym (or other) signs?

Another beautiful day

Spring is most certainly here ๐Ÿ™‚

I am loving this weather so much!

I was so tired last night that I actually fell asleep for half an hour while reading my run less run faster book- oops!

Today after work I had a 3 mile run with some intervals. I warmed up for a mile (although it was so warm I only had on a vest- anyone else feel weird exposing their arms after months of layers? I felt really self conscious but I know it will go after a few runs!) then measured it by distance- 0.1 mile faster, 0.1 mile slower, for a mile and a half, then a little cool down. In the faster bits I averaged 9.55 miles so not half bad ๐Ÿ™‚ Total – 3.1 miles in 31 minutes.


By the end I felt quite tired and my legs felt more stiff so lots of stretching is on the cards this evening. I had some yummy pumpkin pasta (the last of my current freezer stash so I must remember to make some more) -I added some beetroot to it while it cooked and it went all pink and even more tasty! No picture as I was so hungry!!!

I am also looking forward to a pumpkin scone later on.

With the weather getting warmer does anyone else a- struggle to work out what to wear and b- feel weird exposing their bodies after months being wrapped up in many layers?

I wear a vest and ron hill trackster things at the gym all the time, but for some reason running outside by people in their coats and things (and randomly a man out running with shorts and a hoodie with the hood over his head) makes me feel very self conscious.

Toodle-pip ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin scones

Evening all!

Thanks for the comments yesterday- I am feeling stronger with my running (and, dare I say it, a little faster) and today that was confirmed. I was so worried about feeling stiff and sore as I was tired last night (and last week I had a rest day after the 10 miles) but today was aerobics as usual, and I felt full of energy.

You will be glad to know that after the rice pudding in a jar yesterday I decided to make my own rice pudding for this evening- I am loving it at the moment, but the Rachel’s one is pretty high in fat (which is ok for me as I do not eat many fatty things) but anyway, I prefer to make my own.

So in a cup I put 25g flaked rice, added 100ml milk (normal this time, but I will try with Kara coconut milk when I have some open) and 50ml water. I left it to soak all day. Then I microwaved it for 1min 20, stirred it, added some cinnamon, a bit of vanilla and a few raisins, and microwaved again for 40 seconds.

Ok so the picture is rubbish! But it is thick and creamy (helped to cool my mouth down after my home made bean burgers- I think this batch had twice the amount of chilli than normal whoopsie!). I added a drizzle of maple syrup but actually the vanilla and raisins make it nice and sweet anyway.

But that isn’t why you are reading is it? You were promised pumpkin scones. I found a good looking recipe ages ago here, but kept forgetting and would only remember when I only had a little amount of pumpkin left. I halved the recipe and weighed them out (the original recipe is in cups etc so I used my cups but put the bowl on the scales)- 30g brown sugar, 200g wholegrain spelt flour, 1tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarb, 2tsp ginger (plus other assorted spices- cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, mixed spice) all mixed up in a bowl, cut in 55g pure spread, then stirred in 190g pumpkin. Knead it together , shape into a circle and then cut into wedges. Uncooked they looked like this;

Cooked they look like this;

They smell so good, and I think they are pretty healthy as the recipe does not have much sugar or marg in it ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodnight ๐Ÿ™‚

Another 10 miles, and a blog first!

Phew- my legs need a rest now!

After my lovely rest day yesterday, it was a 10 mile run post work today. It was obviously on my mind as I didn’t sleep well last night (dreaming about forgetting to take my lunch/ leaving work too late and being out in the country lanes late at night…). I took extra food with me to work (including some almonds and brazils for the calories but hopefully less fibre!), and made sure I ate it all.

My run was exactly the same route as last week, and I wanted to try and pick up the pace in the middle a bit tempo stylee, although I was not sure how I would do after the 16 miles on Saturday. I had a couple of clif bloks at mile 4 and 6, along with water/nuun. I was going to have another one but I think I ate my snacks a little too close to running so was feeling a bit icky. Anyway, once home and on Nike+ I was excited to see that a– I ran it in 1 hour 43, 4 minutes faster than last week for the same route, and b– one mile I was 8.58 pace! Woah! And a couple at 9.54. I was really pleased to get those speeds in on such a long run (although soon to be a medium run?).

Now to the blog first- you have all heard of oats in a jar, but have you had….

rice pudding in a jar??? (RPIAJ)

This was my carb filled evening snack- cooked nectarine and a pot of Rachel’s rice pud, in my empty pb jar, topped with a couple of chocolate chips. Sooooooo good! RPIAJ, go on, try it! I keep meaning to make rice pudding (I have got the flaked rice and did use to) but the pots are on offer, and when we order from the internet they always pop up! I also keep meaning to make it with Kara coconut milk as I bet that would be lovely. So watch this space (eventually!).

Night ๐Ÿ™‚