Pink porridge!

Evening all!

I enjoyed reading the comments from yesterday about things you have achieved that you never thought was possible. It seems I am not alone in my brain taking time to adjust my mindset.

Today started with pink porridge!

Ok, it looks weird. It was porridge with raspberries and a little bit of crunchy pb (that is all the funny coloured brown bits). I took inspiration from the dorset raspberries and cranberries porridge packets when I found seom frozen raspberries in the freezer. And I remembered they have a bit of iron in them, so bonus there too πŸ™‚

After work I headed out for a run, again in the wonderful sunshine. Love it! I was due for either 6 or 7 miles, so I went for a 6 mile loop with a view that if I was feeling ok I would add the extra mile today, and if not I would do it on wednesday. Well, buy the 5 mile mark I was finding it tough, I was thirsty (despite lots of water at work and some right before I left) and my shins started hurting a bit. So I was sensible and came home. I think my legs can still remember the 14 miles from saturday. In fact I was pretty good- the 10k took me 64 minutes, and this included time to cross roads etc. I tried to pick up the speed once my legs were warmed up, and I think I managed it (have not uploaded my run yet) but I was pleased with the time anyway.

Dinner was some of the lentil and cannelini bean chilli that I made yesterday (it was tasty but so spicy) with some cheese oatcakes. I was too hungry to stop and take a picture-oops.

So, who was out enjoying the sunshine today? It was light ’til so late here today- the daffodils are all out and spring is on it’s way (even though I did have to defrost my car this morning, hmm).

Busy in the kitchen

I spent a lovely few hours doing some cooking today- not sure how it will all fit in the freezer! I made some lentil and cannelini bean chilli (whoops no more kidney beans but I am sure they will be just as tasty), some roasted vegetable sauce for pasta, and some bean and veggie wraps (plus roasted some pepper for lunch in the week). Phew!

Yesterday I made some cowboy cookies from the Vegan cookie book.

Yum. These are oatmeal cookies with some coconut and chocolate chips. They were supposed to have pecans in them too, but I didn’t have any so I just left them out. I have not had one yet but Andy approves. I am loving this book πŸ™‚

Today began with some pb&j porridge (well kind of, oats with dried cherries, pb and cinnamon);

Yummy πŸ™‚ But the cherries kept floating to the bottom when I was trying to take the picture!

Now onto the review of the week.

This week again has been very positive. After the 13 miles last weekend I was apprehensive about being tired or stiff for my midweek runs, but they all went fine.

Monday- 8 miles- did over 7.5 miles in the end (in the rain)

Tuesday- Aerobics- a better snack before I went helped me keep my energy levels up.

Wednesday- 6 mile run- done and in the beautiful evening sunlight to begin with.

Thursday- Body pump- back to my highest weights.

Friday- Good old rest day.

Saturday- 14 mile run (a little over 14 miles I think)- last 4 miles were really hard work but they are done with now.

Sunday- another lovely rest day. I had stiff legs this morning but as the day has gone on they have continued to feel better.

Total- 28 miles give or take a little bit. Again the most miles so far, but only a little step up from last week. I managed it and am feeling like I am getting better at this anyway!

Some snacks I enjoyed this week;

Oatcakes with pb and choc pb, cherries and possibly teapigs chocolate tea.

Cherry and coconut cereal with vanilla alpro.

And the king– rice pudding with cooked nectarine, chocolate chips and pb.

Also, we have signed up for the 20 mile run. It is organised by the south cheshire harriers, and had some good reviews from last year. Although mp3 players are not allowed- hopefully the scenery will take my mind off my awful breathing! I do need to get used to running without it I suppose, as it seems that more and more races are banning them. The Berkhamsted half marathon which I did last year has banned them for this year, when last year they were allowed. I always keep mine turned down low- I can hear my footsteps etc, but I suppose some people have it way too loud and it is not safe on open roads if there is no pavement or whatever. Anyway, I will have to run 5 miles per hour to keep within the time limit (not sure what happens if I miss the cut off- perhaps my race number self distructs?), and although it says the course is pretty hilly, I am going to think positive.

So I will leave you all on this positive note and with a random question- what have you achieved that you never thought was possible?

I never even thought I would be able to run a 5k (which is why I kept it as a secret) and even when I did that, I then secretly signed up for a 10k as again I doubted myself. I am trying to change my perception of myself, as I was never sporty, always got the leftovers at sports day and so on, and I still feel now that when I am out running people are looking at me and wondering what I am doing. Which is silly, but it seems my brain is taking a long time catching up with me legs!

14 miles

I think I am getting less and less creative with my post titles!

I am loving having muesli cooked as porridge (there is some pumpkin in there to explain the orange tint). Yummy seedy porridge.

The weather was so much better today- a bit cloudy but not too windy and not freezing, plus no rain. I went out 90 minutes after breakfast, and I think I could go out sooner than that. I was listening to marathon talk and they did a prize draw for their February challenge (Febulous)- all the people that took part went into the draw, and they drew out my name! I was so excited! I had to text Andy while I was running (along a wide empty pavement don’t worry) as I was not even ten minutes into my run and he was off to watch football so would be gone when I got back. I am so excited! What is funny is that I go to the website to download it, but never read the shownotes- if I had read them my name is actually there. But I am glad as I loked the surprise! (I have won an addidas mi-coach, not sure what that is but sounds exciting).

Anyway, the first 7 miles passed much quicker than last week (in my mind, not actually) and I was feeling good that I reached the half way point feeling fine. I had some shot bloks at 7, 10 and 12 miles, but from mile 10 the going got tough. There is a hill towards the end (the top of the hill means I have one mile to go until home) and that hill was awful today.

But anyway, I made it home, tummy grumbling and hips stiff, but having run all the way. It took me 2 hrs 47 minutes, but this has given me some hope. Over the bank holiday weekend me and Andy are going away (it is my 30th that weekend) and there is a 20 mile warm-up run, but there is a 4 hour cut off. Doing this run today (which I think was actually over 14 miles, maybe 14.5) has shown me that I would have over an hour to do another 6/5.5 miles, which I should be able to do- what do you guys think? Should I attempt it?

I have been stretching, foam rolling, wearing my compression socks, did a blast of cold water in the shower (I read that the reason this is supposed to work is because the cold constricts the blood vessels, and then when you warm up after the blood vessels dialate and encourage the blood flow to help recover etc), and also refuelling. Lots.

Strawberry soya (tasted like a kids drink- very sweet) and lovely nakd bar to get me through my shower!

Bean burger (I made these the other week so I defrosted one overnight) in a food doctor pitta with some roasted beetroot and caramelised onion chutney. This went in the oven while I showered.

How I love this! Nectarine cooked in the microwave, rice pudding with a few choc chips (they melt in) and some pb. Mmmmm.

My first try of Jasmine Green tea. I have no idea what it tastes like, but I liked it.

I also made some more bean burgers as I realised what a great lunch they make!

Yes I am cooking them in the tray that cooked the beetroot earlier- saves on washing up and maybe enhances the flavour?

Right, I am off for more tea and maybe another snack as we are off out for dinner later, much later, and I think I will be starving by then!


Peanut butter blondies

I made these the other week and forgot to post the pictures- whoops!

They are from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar , and they are delicious- make them now! It took about 5 minutes to make the batter and pour it into a pan.

It only had 5 ingredients- peanut butter (that is how my tub of meridian crunchy pb is already half empty!), rapeseed oil, brown sugar, milk (they do not specify which dairy free one to use) and flour (I used wholegrain spelt). Stuff that is normally in the cupboard anyway πŸ™‚ Actually the recipe did say to sprinkle peanuts over the top, but I left this part off as I didn’t have any peanuts not in butter form.

I was pretty pleased that they looked fairly similar to the picture in the recipe book.

And a fancy stack picture, just for fun!

Normally blondies have white chocolate in them (you know, like brownies are made with dark chocolate) but these ones are soooo good, they don’t need chocolate. Although a few chocolate chips would surely complement the pb flavour…..

Onto other things, body pump was great last night. I was back to the higher weights for most of the back track (that is still my limit but glad to get back there) and I also managed the abs track without going to my knees for the last bit. I have no idea of the technical bit, (the first bit is sit ups on a block and reverse curls) but for the last half of the track you are in a plank position with wide legs, and you have to go onto one arm and reach the other arm out to 12’0clock and then 6 0’clock position, and then swap to the other arm (12 and then 9 o’clock) which is the hardest abs move. Even harder than the plank rolling forwards and backwards. Normally I managed the first set, and then have to go to my knees for the second bit but I made myself do it all. πŸ™‚

Also the weather today was so beautiful again- I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is alright for me tomorrow as I feel like I have had so many long wet runs recently.

I am so glad that friday is here- anyone have any nice plans at the weekend? I am going out for dinner on saturday with some friends- I am hoping that I will be not so worn out from my run that I am rubbish company! Perhaps I will be a good listener instead!

Gorgeous run

Evening all

I was so excited when I saw the weather forecast for today- no rain yippee!

Yesterday I had aerobics and I had my normal amount of energy- I appreciated the comments from the other day (pumpkin cookies all round I feel) and do think I need to make sure I eat a bit more in the day to fuel the workouts and soΒ before aerobics I had a stoats blueberry flapjack with some fruit, and also some green tea with lemon.

This (I think) was my first try of green tea, and I quite liked it. I think it kind of tasted like normal tea, but a bit lighter. It did not taste like grass cuttings (as some of my colleagues helpfull informed me!). Anyway the extra seemed to help, and I felt like I was back to my normal self. I was worried that the long run on Monday would make it harder, but I was fine. I have also been foam rolling each evening (got out of the habit when I was ill) and I really think it helps.

On to today. I had time out the classroom this afternoon, so I took a few snacks with me- some extra fruit and nuts (and another lemon green tea). Then after the staff meeting I had a trek cocoa brownie (thanks nakd freebie fairy/ pixie) before heading home.

My run was lovely πŸ™‚ The weather was perfect- it was still sunny when I left home at about 5.20, and the sun was behind some buildings so it wasn’t blinding me. The air was cold, which was refreshing, and although by the end it was dark, it was not too chilly. I even left the gloves at home! 6.2 miles took me 64 minutes- I attempted a sort of fartlek style run in the middle- never sure if this ends up slowing me down as I slow down more to recover! Anyway, I really enjoyed the run and it made me think again- when I did the half marathon in the summer (learning lessons from the previous one where I carried on with my normal routine after and almost collapsed on a 10 mile run the following weekend) I did not go to aerobics, and on the wednesday I tried a gentle run. I know I took the 13 miles slower at the weekend but I am pleased that I managed to keep up with the routine- it was one of the things I was most nervous about when starting marathon training as I have needed time to recover from long runs before. So I am being positive πŸ™‚

I had my courgette lentil lasagne for dinner with some cheese- could not be bothered to get the grater out I am afraid! (it does not look that appetising)

But I promise you, it tasted lovely. The courgette stayed crunchy, and the tomato quinoa was tasty. I do think that some kind of tofu tomato layer would make it amazing, so next time I make it I will attempt some kind of concoction.

I also must share another tasty snack (I have been a bit snap happy this week it seems)

Yummy coconut and cherry cereal (check out the most enormous dried cherries ever!!!!) with chocolate alpro. Yummilicious.

Question- Favourite running weather?

I think mine would be those sunny but cool autumn/ spring days. I find the heat saps my energy and the cold makes my legs stiff (am I fussy or what?) but the days where you go out and warm up, but the air is cool enough so you don’t get too hot, I just love. And of course the sunshine is very important too- got to get me some vitamin D.