OK, here is the rain!

Well as predicted it rained loads on the way too and from the airport last night, not good as a lot of the journey is country roads. But all was fine, although I only managed about 5 hours sleep!

I popped into work this morning, and then went to Starbucks with some buddies- along with my usual chai tea (I love their chai tea, so spicy) I had a cinnamon roll. My, that was delicious.

After that I had to do a few jobs, and once I got home I decided to have my run before lunch. I was aiming for a shorter, faster run today, and was hoping that the cooler weather would help that.  So I headed out on the 3.7 mile course (this time with music for a change as I think I run faster to music). After 7 minutes it started raining, which was gentle at first, so cool and refreshing. I even passed a few other runners as the rain got heavier, and they were all very friendly and cheerful. I do think that when the weather is worse, runners are a more friendly bunch- we are all thinking “arent we crazy to be out in this?”.

By the end the rain was very heavy- the water was running in my eyes and I was regretting not wearing my tennis visor, plus I got a little worried that my top may start to go see-through (thankfully it hadn’t) and I am sure that helped me to speed up as I managed the route in 34 minutes. I am sure last time I did it, it was 37 minutes, and according to my Nike+ I did the first mile in 8.48 (wow), then 9.24 (still good and had a little stitch) and then 9.12. So a much faster pace than I am used to, but it is good for me to do this as I would like to speed up a little bit. I need to remember to take advantage of the cooler weather as I am much better in it.

Anyway, tomorrow I have friends over so guess what-

Yes folks, that means baking!

I made some carrot cakes (still yet to ice and may even take a pic tomorrow)- from the Hummingbird Bakery book. The recipe is for one big cake, so I did 1/3 of the recipe (as it was 300g this, 300ml that, 3 eggs etc), and made 8 cupcakes. Looking good so far.

Now one friend is a coeliac, so I have made some gluten free cornflake bites with G-F chocolate, plus some Nature’s Path flakes. I have baked for her in the past but it makes me so nervous in case there is a shred of flour left from previous baking, so making something like that was easier.

Anyone else worry about that? It would be similar I suppose to cooking for someone with a severe allergy, and although I do clean, put stuff through the dishwasher etc, the flour is so fine it gets anywhere. Anyway hopefully she will like them 🙂

I am off for some more spice imperial tea (black tea with vanilla, orange, cloves and cinnamon) – yum.

Thanks for all the comments too, I really appreciate them

🙂

Running vest dilemma

Well, I was supposed to be doing down to the south coast for the day, and then I was going to do a long run tomorrow. But in the end I didn’t go down, and tomorrow it is supposed to tip with rain, so went out today. I had some bircher museli for breakfast, and pottered about as per usual. I loaded up my mp3 player with the newest marathon talk podcast, and got ready. For some reason I had no running tops left (all in the wash whoops) so had to make do with an old “workout” vest that is actually made of cotton. Not good. (It was that or wear one out the dirty wash basket which I could not face- what would you do?).

Anyway my run was ok, it was very muggy again today, and after 40 minutes the sun came out and it was baking- I had to stop and walk in the shade for a minute to cool down. I ran around the lakes and then a double loop through the park (had to stop again and sort my sock out which was rubbing on my toe). In the end I did 8 miles which is my longest run since before holiday (and possibly since my half marathon, not sure). I think I was pretty consistent, although the Nike+ shows some slower miles (due to me stopping I think)- my fastest was 8.48, and my slowest was 11.28 (which was when I stopped for a bit), and altogether was bang on 80 minutes.

When I got home I had some chocolate nesquick (yum, had forgotten how good that is) and after my shower I realised it was lunch time! I had a slice of sunflower seed rye bread with goats cheese, and then cooked up some spinach and cherry tomatoes, and added some basil pesto. Delish. I was still hungry so went for blueberries, yoghurt, blob of plum compote and a sprinkle of fru-grains. Yum.

I sat here and did some work, and realised I was getting stiff, so decided to have a walk. I went about 2 miles, plus a little wander around the shops (I treated myself to some new tea- teabags and loose leaf tea “Imperial Spice” which is black tea with orange and spices). When I got home I had a cup of spice tea (verdict- delish as always well done Whitards), plus some banana bread with choc PB.

Since then I have done a little more work, plus updated the “about me” page, and added a list of the blogs I follow.

🙂

A good clear out

Well I was without t’internet for most of yesterday and was so busy I didn’t post! Went to work, collected my glasses (they are not as big as I thought, but my eyes are taking time getting used to them), did the shopping and housework. Plus I used a courgette from the garden to make some courgette bread from my Bake book. It is much like a banana bread recipe, with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves- it smelled delicious and I had a slice as my post body-pump snack and it was delicious. I used half wholemeal flour, loads of spices and it was yum!

Today I have been busy again- we have people over tonight and I am making some pizzas and bread (all on the go at the mo). Earlier I made brownies (my oldest recipe which makes them all chewy and sticky- yum). I also decided to make bread for lunch (was in a bread-baking mood) so I added some cranberries, cinnamon and flaked almonds to my normal bread= delicious!

I had one little slice with cream cheese, and one little slice with rainforest nut butter- delish!

Before my run today I tried a new snack (sent to me by the kind folks at www.seedstacked.com). It was a seedy flapjack bar, and I think it may replace the 9bar as my fave seedy snack. The ingredients are honey, oats, seeds, nutmeg and vanilla extract. No oil or anything else to bind it together. In a 50g bar you get just under 200 calories, nearly 6g protein, 5g fibre and about 28g carbs. Pretty good stuff, not to mention all the goodness from the seeds. It tasted lovely too- you could taste the nutmeg, it gave it a nice spicy hint. The texture was lovely, not too seedy, nice and chewy. Altogether fab (10/10 cherries for me).

When I got back from my run (5 mile run which I listened to the rest of the marathon talk podcast- good stuff, although it is so muggy out there I was dripping when I got back urgh!) I had some coconut water (cocowell- got it from the health food shop)- tasted lovely and I added in a little bit of mango smoothie. Yum.

I also spent a good hour today in the garage clearing out junk which we then took to the tip- I love a good clear-out, so theraputic isn’t it?

Anyway, back to the dough-making now!

Baking mistaking!

Well yesterday I was recommended to try www.marathontalk.com for podcasts to listen to while running (from Belgmoo on WLR). I had a look today and it looks fab- not sure how often they release a new one but there are already 30 back podcasts on the site, ready to download. It looks like they are over an hour each too so should be good to try sometime.

I had a pop to the shops this morning, and when in the health food store I decided to ask about a loyalty card. (You may remember that last time I was there the lady asked me if I had one, I just said “no” and then realised after that I should have asked for one). Anyhoo, now I have one- they send money-off vouchers once you spend so much.

A while back I was looking for a veggie cookbook, and so many of them have loads of egg dishes in them, which I am not keen on, or they were not “proper” veggie ones (eg still had parmeasan in recipes etc), and I came across a vegan one called Veganomicon . Now I am not vegan, but it is a massive book with everything from soups, salads, beanburgers, desserts and loads in between. I also thought that if they need dairy-free milk then normally I would be fine to replace it with milk and so on. There are already quite a few recipes that I have my eye on, including chickpea burgers, kidney bean balls (like meatballs for spagetti), bean burgers (is there a theme here? I missed having beans while I was on holiday!)- things that I can make a lot of anyway and then keep for later. But all those recipes call for vital wheat gluten, and I was hoping to find it in the shop, but no. I did however find cliff bars- muchos excitement!

Anyway I decided to try out another recipe from there- Lower fat banana bread. Seemed simple enough- mash bananas, apple sauce, splash of sunflower oil (didn’t have rapeseed oil), treacle, then mix in dry ingredients (spices, sugar, flour). Only when I had put it in the oven did I realise I had forgotten the baking powder- duh! Not sure how I managed that as I never buy self-raising flour, I only ever use plain and add the stuff if needed. So while it was cooking I decided it would be like a banana brownie instead. In fact when it came out the oven it had risen a bit, and when I cut it into slices, although it is not traditional banana-bread texture it is quite moist in the centre, almost like it has dates in it (but it doesn’t). So I was thinking I was going to have to freeze it and turn it into bread pudding in the winter, but in fact it has been rescued! Result! I had a little slice spread with some smooth PB and it was lovely- the texture of malt loaf but with a banana-rey flavour-yum. Who knew a silly mistake would create something so yummy?

Anyway I had decided on a little run, and loaded up the podcast. I only went out for half an hour (just wanted to stretch the legs after yesterday, and have a few non-running days ahead so decided to take my chance) but listening to it was really interesting. I think for a short quick run it would not be so good, (I like the music to keep me running faster) but for longer runs and slower steady ones it would be great (so thanks to Belgmoo J ). This one they talked about having running goals, looking to the future instead of the next race, having time off from chasing PB’s and so on. I didn’t finish it, looking forward to finishing it.

After a shower it was dinner time- hooray for kidney beans! Mashed them up with onion, tomato puree, chilli, mixed in a pepper (and some chopped chillis from my plant!!!), put in a wrap with a little grated cheese and baked in the oven- delish! With a big salad and some corn on the cob it was very summery and is helping to make up for all the good veggie protein I missed while on holiday.

Return of the red face

This morning I had some more bircher muesli (so yummy) but without the spinkles. It would be lovely with a few chopped nuts I think- might try that another day. I was very pleased to see that the rain had cleared, and so after a bit of pottering about I headed out on a run. This was going to be my longest for about 3 weeks so I was a bit worried about how I would get on, but in fact when I got going I felt fine. I ran up to the lakes, around the lakes and back through the park before heading home, and it was only when I got to within a mile of home that I suddenly felt very tired. It was much hotter outside that I had expected, and I was bright red!

When I loaded up the Nike+ it creates a little chart of your run, with a little line to show how fast you are going for each mile. Mine normally goes up and down quite a bit during a run, but this run was more or less even pace (all around 10 minute miles) except for the last mile which took a total nose-dive! It mapped exactly how I felt!

On my run I mixed it up a bit and listened to a podcast. Normally I have music, and on my mp3 player I have a folder for running music which is a big compliation of what I fancy (upbeat stuff to keep me going). But other people have reccomended podcasts instead so I gave it a go. For the first few minutes I was not sure if I would like it as I was getting distracted by hearing my breathing, and I did have to have it much louder than music because when cars drove past I missed a few words here or there. But in fact fo the first 40 minutes of my run it was quite good to have something to listen to, and I will definetely listen to more podcasts on runs. The one I listened to was a phone in on the radio all about obestiy;  “Is obesity an uncurable disease?”. It was interesting enough (one guy rang up with the theory that if you outlawed selling large sized clothes then no-one would be obese any more), and I was feeling quite pleased with myself that I was out running!

When it ended it went straight onto an old Reef album, which blared out because the podcast was so quiet- made me jump!

Since being home I had a lovely smoothie with banana, mango and some coconut water with pineapple, and then for lunch I had a wholemeal pitta with goats cheese, tomato and basil- tasty. I was still hungry so had a couple of oatcakes with Carly’s Organic Rainforest nut butter (so good- it is made of brazils, cashews and macadamia nuts mmmmmmm), and some blueberries. My legs feel fine now which is good because for the last mile they felt almost jelly like- that’s what 3 weeks off will do I suppose.

Later we are going for a family dinner, which yesterday I made some cookies for. I used the normal chocolate chip recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery book, but put some peanut m-n-m’s on top. We tried one yesterday with a cup of cinnamon chai tea (brewed in the pretty spotty teapot- its ages since I had loose-leaf tea) after a walk in the afternoon.

So I wonder if anyone has any good recomendations for podcasts to listen to when running?