Hey peeps

How is it Wednesday already???

I shall re-wind to the weekend. When we landed I went to get us some lunch while Andy waited for our bag, and whilst browsing the M&S sandwiches I realised I didn’t have anything for lunch the next day. We were going to go to the shops on the way home but we landed too late for that.

So I picked up a lovely salad- lentils, cous cous, sundried tomatoes and goats cheese, and had that (along with an apple in my owl box) for lunch on Monday.

On Monday evening I got home and realised I had nothing for dinner. Dearie me. We had booked a shop for Tuesday evening but in my mind that was Tuesday’s food sorted and I had forgotten about Monday. I was going to go on a run anyway and Andy jokingly said I should run to the shops. Well, why not? I stuck my card in my pocket and headed out. I had really stiff calves- perhaps sitting down on the plane on Sunday was not too good for them, so I took it easy, and it was nice to have a wander around the shop half way through my run (in my cool high viz vest of course).

I was just going to get some salad and hummus as I had some falafels in the fridge, but I saw this tea (chocolate orange rooibos tea) and could not resist- I had to buy light things so they would not bother me while I was running, and so these fit the bill perfectly!

I also remembered my love for dried mango. I posted about some gorgeous dried mango infused with lime oil (from Sainsbury’s) before, but it contained sulphur dioxide as a preservative, which gives me tummy ache. I bought some from Pret the other day to take with me on holiday, and found a pack in the bottom of my bag today which was very exciting as I thought I ate all the packs. I ordered some Forest feast mango as they also produce it without preservative so I shall look forward to some of these as afternoon snacks.

Tonight I went to Sweatshop- it has been too long! I went perhaps a month ago, but then I missed several weeks due to work, work, and then a holiday. It wasn’t my fastest time, but I didn’t want to push too hard before Sunday, plus it was nice to run and catch up with some of the regulars there.

Body pump might not be on tomorrow so I am pondering on what to do for the rest of the week, although I did realise that it has been off (or I have missed it) before my two fastest half marathons, so it might not be a bad thing to give my legs a rest this week. Yoga and a walk might be in order instead.

How is your week going?

Jantastic week 7 (first joker played)

Hey folks

This might be my quickest review yet.

Monday- Rest day (recovering from the 12 miles the day before). I did yoga when I first woke up to help with the stiffness, and then did a lot of cleaning and jobs at home. In the evening we went into London to see The Book of Mormen (Andy got it for us for Christmas)- it was very funny.

Tuesday- 5 mile run (recap here).

Wednesday- We went to Italy. We flew to Naples and then got a bus to Sorrento, where we stayed. By the time we arrived it was late afternoon so we just walked around the town a bit.

Thursday- Went to Pompei- walked for hours. Literally I think 5 hours. But no running.

Friday- Went to Herculanium. Had a little detour on the way as we forgot the instructions ( they said walk downhill from the train station, we walked uphill), and more walking around the site.

Saturday- got a bus to Amalfi- further along the coast. Not much walking here.

Sunday- Came home. I did have to run a bit here, because we had to catch the airport bus at 8.30, and so we checked out at around 8.15, only there was no-one on the desk, so Andy went with the case to the station, and I waited, then ended up running up 4 flights of stairs (big marble stairs) to the breakfast room where I knew a member of staff would be, and then I had to run from our hotel to the station. But this was not a mile so it does not count! I was going to have a run when we got home, but our flight was late (we had to get a bus out to the plane, and they were in no hurry organising them)- we had to circle over Brighton for a while. Also we were going to buy lunch at the airport, but had no cash left and no-where took cards. Never mind, we will buy something on the plane, we thought. But the only veggie option was an egg sandwich (not appealing to me at all) so that was a no. In the end Andy waited for the bag while I went to M&S in the airport to get us a late lunch (this was about 4pm- which I think it 5pm CET?) After landing late, the bags took ages and so in the end we got home just before 6, and the last thing I fancied was going out on a run.

So I played my joker. That is worth 50% of your runs, but as I have chosen 3 I was not sure if I would get 1 or 2, but it seems like it counted for 2.

I am looking forward to this week though, especially the Bath half on Sunday.

Back to the fields (stuck between a cow and a wet place)!

I love running through the fields. I discovered the route with Sweatshop last summer, and revisit the route frequently when it is light.

In the summer some of the route looks like this:

Some of the route has no path- we follow tracks or just run around the edge of fields. But what’s not to like? In the autumn I picked blackberries from huge brambles as a little breather during runs.

I love seeing the flowers in the summer, I love being away from the traffic, being in some green space, seeing birds and rabbits. <3 it.

On Tuesday morning I was off out on a run and wanted to do 5 miles- this was perfect because I can loop around the fields and make it exactly that distance. (The weather was not quite the beautiful blue skies of summer)

Well, I got up there and there is a part where you go through some gates and through a cow field. Normally you can’t even see the cows. Today they were very close to the path. And their horns looked even bigger.

I actually stood there for a few minutes looking at them and deciding whether to carry on or whether to retrace my footsteps. I mean, I have heard that people get killed by cows stampeding, and I think if they see someone running they are likely to join in? Or have I made that up? Anyway, I proceeded cautiously through- you can just about see on the left of the path was a smaller cow and I was worried that if the parent cow was about she might not like me running between her and the calf. Anyway, as soon as I got to the calf I sprinted like crazy- seriously I don’t think I have ever run that fast!

Of course the cows just stood about staring, but they do make me very nervous so I was very glad to get to the other gate in one piece!

Then this greeted me. I had my trail shoes on, so puddles and mud was fine, but this was ankle deep. The path was meant to go from top left to the bottom right corner of the photo, but in places it looked like pond weed was floating about. There were logs at one point that I think someone had moved, but they didn’t seem in a great place so I just got wet. Of course I could have turned back but that would have meant the cows…

Later on I had to climb on a gate- at the end of the tarmac path the entire path was deeper than ankle deep in water right up to the edge. There are huge metal gates that are opened, and the one on my side had a big metal lop at the bottom so I ended up clambering along that and hoping that the gate would not start to close with me on it!

Then I got within half a mile of home and misjudged yet more water logged ground- I ended up in freezing cold water up to my ankles so the water filled my shoes and I squelched the last half a mile back home.

I had mud all up my running tights, my socks were very brown too.

But it was fun. I was slow (partly because I kept stopping to look at the cows/ take photos/ decide which path across the puddles I should take) but I loved it. Andy thinks I am mad but the mud is quite fun really. I am also glad on another point that my hip is behaving itself- I was worried that the movement would aggravate it but so far it has been fine (and yes I did stretch when I got home).

Are you a fan of road running or cross country? I feel safer running by roads at night- I would not be going out alone on the fields (there have been some attacks on the old railway line near me for example) and of course for races road running is faster. But nature is so much prettier, and it is more exhilarating to be fighting through mud too. I have done two cross country races (here and here – the second one also included a cow!) and I did love them both- I think I would love them more now I have trail shoes.

It’s easy being green

There is a green theme to this post in case you had not guessed.

Green section 1.

I tried the matcha tea from my beauty box parcel.

I am not a green tea fan at all- I do keep trying it in case I change my mind, but I find it bitter and weird tasting, not for me at all. I looked about on the internet and the consensus seemed to be that it went with creamy flavours, and lattes seemed to get thumbs up, so I went for that. I used Alpro soya light, as I think it froths up really well.

It was hard to get the powder out of the packet, especially as the pack contained 2 servings but it was all stuck to the sides, so I have no idea if I used the right amount. I heated the milk, added a little warm milk to the cup, frothed (love my aerolatte) and then added the rest of the milk. It frothed up so well it only just fitted in the cup!

It looks more grey than green in the photo, but it was bright green! It smelled more like normal black tea, and the taste was not bitter at all. I could not put my finger on the taste, and of course the soya milk tastes quite sweet, but it was nice enough. Not sure it gave me loads of energy (it is meant to give out a steady stream of caffeine instead of a big burst and then slump) but I got on with some baking and cleaning after that.

Lots of green froth left at the end!

It was quite hard to dissolve all the powder- I still had a few lumps in there. But I would have it again, now all I have to do is decide on how to have the second half of the packet.

Green section 2:

I made Laura’s fudgy avocado brownies.

I halved the recipe as I only had one avocado to use, and instead of walnuts (not my favourite) I added dried sour cherries and flaked almonds. I only cooked them for 30 minutes and they were pretty well done- I think my oven runs fairly hot.

I had one in the afternoon with a cup of tea and it was very good. You can’t taste the avocado (not that I thought I would be able to) but they are so rich and chocolatey. Of course, as Laura says, they are not exactly a health food, but compared to a brownie with white flour and plain sugar they measure up much better.

I am going to freeze the rest so I shall have a delicious brownie in stand by for when I fancy something sweet.

It has also persuaded me to try the chocolate avocado cup things I keep seeing on blogs- next time I have a ripe avocado anyway.

Have you tried something new recently? What shall I do with the other bit of matcha?

Coconut flour and how not to recover well

Ages ago I bought some coconut flour, but I just could not get on with it. I tried it in a few different recipes but it seemed to make things so dry and some of the cakes seemed to not cook.

Last week I used the last of my lovely Orgran Buckwheat pancake mix (sad face) so was looking to order some more, but Ocado don’t stock it. They popped up with a suggestion of Biona coconut flour, so I thought I would give it another go.

So after my 12 mile run on Sunday I gave them a go. I have been having a few dates before a run, and then some almonds and a nuun tab in water when I get back, which tides me over until after my shower.

The recipe on the box seemed a lot, so I halved it:

1 egg

1 tbs melted coconut oil

3 tbs milk

1 tbs agave (I used maple syrup)

1 tbs coconut flour

1/3 tps baking powder


Mix together the coconut oil, eggs, milk and maple syrup. Add the coconut flour and baking powder and mix until smooth. Heat some coconut oil in a pan and then cook them as small american style pancakes.

I was not sure when to flip them- they seemed to have a bit of a funny jelly-like texture.

I had them with a cooked apple and banana, a little chocolate pb and a sprinkling of coconut. Plus coconut water (from my treat box) and a tea.

After that the day didn’t quite go as planned (well for optimum recovery). We had taped the snowboard cross to watch as a treat after our run, but after that I didn’t want to sit around as I knew I would get stiff. So in the afternoon we drove and parked near town, walked in and went to Starbucks- my first iced chai latte of the year. We shared a cinnamon roll as we were both hungry again. Then after a bit more of a walk we visited both our parents- I had made Andy’s parents a cake (the same clementine cake I made last week) so we had a small slice of that with some tea after a little walk with them, but didn’t get home until about 7pm- we were ravenous as had missed lunch. Luckily we had a pizza and some salad in the fridge so we got it ready pretty quick. I think all the walking was good, but we should have thought through our timings a bit better!

The runger well and truly got me on Sunday! What do you normally do to help recover after a long run/ hard workout?