Spring feels close!

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The evenings are getting lighter at long last- hooray! This photo was probably at around 5.45pm- amazing. It means that soon I will be on the fields after work instead of running around the roads.

This week I finally got around to make these delicious Chocolate Chunk Bars.

2015-03-03 19.00.17I had printed the recipe off last year, but kept on forgetting about it.

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Everything tastes better with peanut butter, right? I swirled a little bit in before baking.

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And could not resist trying them straight away.

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So delicious. I find coconut flour can be quite dry, but I think having lots of liquid ingredients (I used agave instead of honey, but it also has eggs, and the chocolate mylk) really helps with this. And of course a bonus is that I got to drink the leftover chocolate mylk while it was baking. Thanks Laura for another fab recipe!

This week didn’t quite go as planned. I went for a sports massage on Monday which helped massively after the long run on Sunday. All was well until about 11pm when I suddenly had a bad stomach and kept having to visit the bathroom all night. So Tuesday I was off work, and missed my club run. I was meant to run 8 miles one evening this week, but didn’t really feel up to it. I went for a little run by myself on the fields, and felt OK, but 4 miles was certainly far enough.

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Seeing views like this helped. Going on the fields means I will be slower so I don’t worry about pace or anything, and just concentrate on doing the distance.

Then at work I had consultation evenings, so no time for running on those days either. I could have squeezed in a run on Friday when I got home, but I was really tired and so we had a walk before dinner instead. My mileage will be lower this week than planned, but I know I was being sensible.

Have you baked anything recently?

How brilliant are the lighter evenings?


Jantastic – Febulous complete

It is whizzing by! I managed to panic myself today by clicking on a link from the Brighton marathon- 39 days to go! That does not sound long at all.

So, last week went like this:

Monday– Rest. Had a bath to try and help as my legs were a bit stiff. Noticed the Epsom salts as I got out. Whoops. Must try harder next time.

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Monday morning post-half marathon treat= a yummy chai latte

Tuesday– Club run. A new route which ended up being 5 miles (and some did more as they were looping back). Legs felt pretty heavy so just went at a steady rate and chatted.

Wednesday– SRC run. Only 2 of us turned up! The run leader accompanied us on a bike. Originally was going to go further but only just got home in time to make the start, so 4.5 miles was the total.

Thursday– Pump.

Friday– Rest.

Saturday– Parkrun with my dad. He was going to take it easy, so I joked I would try to keep up. It started raining at the start, so we sheltered behind a tree (the wind was making the rain go properly sideways). We had a good catch up on the way around and he even let me cross the finish line first (we got the same time). It was pretty cold and although we both enjoyed it, we were glad to get back to the car. Then I popped home for a shower before we headed over to my parents’ for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent catching up on work.

Sunday– Long run day. I laughed at my plan, as until now it just said the exact number of miles, whereas this weekend it said 17/18 miles. If you had a choice, what would you choose? In the end I mapped out a route that was just over 17 miles, and thought that if I felt OK I could always run up and down the road at the end to make it up. I woke up before my alarm (7am), had a vanilla pulsin’ bar (thanks to Jess for suggesting something more dense than porridge), had some water and then stopped dilly dallying about and just did it. The route ended up being 17.6 miles, and it was so windy that I could not face adding the extra bit on. It was slow- I think I should be doing 11 min miles but it was less than that, but then I think at least I finished. Andy even said when I got home “you don’t look too bad”. And I didn’t have to stop. After walking around town, and having a late lunch I even managed an afternoon nap- I went to lie down and listen to a few more podcasts and then suddenly it was an hour later!

4/4 workouts done, long run distance done (I had put 17 miles in) and 30.2 miles in total.

Next week the joker will be played as I will be at work for a couple of evenings and know I won’t get the 4th run in. I have set my March targets (4 runs per week and long runs of 20/12/20/12, and a time target for one of the 20 milers). Next weekend is a biggie- 20 miles. Eek!

How have the first two months of the year gone for you? If you are doing Jantastic, what distance have you chosen for your time trial? One year I predicted 27 minute 5k, did a parkrun in 27.10, and then realised I had managed to predict 27 hours as my time! I did not score well that time!

Post run routine and another long run

I don’t know about you, but when I get home from a run (and I mean a longer run really) I just don’t know what to do first. I want to wash my face, I want a drink, I should go to the toilet, I need some food, I need a shower…. what to do first?

I used to always get straight into the shower, but I was finding that after I was out, dry, dressed, had wiped down the shower, hung up the towels, then made my breakfast, an hour could have gone by and I would just feel awful. So recently I have been washing my face (so salty), putting on a jumper so I don’t get too cold, having a drink (lovely nuun tropical is my favourite at the moment) and an apple, and then having a shower and breakfast a bit later. It was working well.

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But the mileage has taken another hike. I have been having something first, although porridge didn’t work out so well, so this time I had a pulsin’ bar (the vanilla one), and went out about 30 minutes later.

The run was actually OK. I was really dreading it for some reason, and didn’t sleep well at all (although I haven’t been sleeping well anyway at the moment), so I was up at just after 7am and out the door before 8. I had roughly plotted a route, which was a figure of 8 with my town in the centre- good in case I was really struggling.  It was around 17 miles (my plan said 17 or 18) but I could always run up and down the road to add a bit more on if I wanted to. I wasn’t sure what to wear, in the end I chose a t-shirt and my jacket (good for the pockets).

2015-03-01 14.26.49I packed these snacks, plus tissues, phone and key, and decided I would not look at my watch. I lined up my podcasts (the rest of the latest Happy Health Chat, Marathon Talk from early Feb, News Quiz from last week, and Adam Buxton on Richard Herring) and then tried not to think about running for that many hours!

I looked at my watch, hoping for 10+ miles, and was surprised when it was over 11, so I had one yoyo then, and another at around 14 miles. I do think I could have done with a bit of water, so I will dig out my waist belt bottle carrier thing for next weekend. The wind was really tough- at times it felt like I was barely moving, but at least it was sunny. I kept having to roll my sleeves up and down, and zip and unzip my jacket, but at no point did I get too hot which I was relieved about. It was slow (3.21), in the end the route was 17.6 miles and I opted against rounding it up because in the grand scheme of things, 0.4 of a mile didn’t seem like it would make much difference.

Anyway, back to the post run routine. Today it went visit bathroom, wash face, have a drink, have an apple. Realise the hot water hasn’t been on long enough. Have a bowl of muesli and some tea (I was going to have French toast but I could not be bothered). Shower. Ah lovely hot shower. Burn half my skin in the shower (the water isn’t that hot, but my skin gets very cold). Have some more water.

We had to pop to town, which I think is a good thing as I need to keep moving. We park a way from the town (well, it is probably about half a mile out)- it was a slow walk today! We had a John Lewis cake voucher, so we shared some chocolate cake and had more tea, before walking back to the car.

But then, there is the whole other post run routine, which I just find a bit hilarious really. It goes like this:

Plug Garmin into the computer. Wait for it to sync the data.

Go to Garmin Connect, edit the name of the run and briefly look at the map.

Go to Strava. Edit the name of the run there. Look at the activity feed and “like” all of the new ones on there. Look at my training log and see the mileage. Notice that I have completed the 10k/ half marathon/ etc challenge and wonder whether if I beat that time I will move up the leaderboard.

Go to Jantastic. Log my runs (Strava has sent them there, I just need to add them). Look at my jantastic score, see how my team-mates are doing, and wonder about the badges.

Then there are the optional ones- go to facebook and post on my blog page. Go to the Did You Run Today? page and post on there/ comment on other peoples’ runs. Go to marathon talk and rate my run (I hardly ever do this now- so many other things to do!). And of course write a blog post.

Phew. A lot to get ticked off!

I do feel like a mad person sometimes frantically clicking from one website to the next- log your runs everywhere!!!

Marathon Talk Ep 265 was really interesting- I highly recommend it. They had a discussion about nutrition with Chrissie Wellington- it did make me think a lot, and I don’t agree with everything that was said, but I do agree that we are really still sold energy gels etc when I don’t think they are needed. Just back from listening to this, I look on my facebook page to see a link to this article, which at one point suggests taking a gel before a run. Just no!! This was one of the reason I stopped buying WR magazine- there was a huge focus on weight loss, and a lot of the articles felt repeated, but also the advice regarding nutrition seemed very swayed by marketing.

Right, I am off to make some French toast as a delayed brunch (really, it is now late lunch but who is counting?). What is your post run routine? How many websites do you have your runs logged on? I haven’t even mentioned twitter as I am not on that, but I bet to a lot of runners that could be added to the list too!