Reasons to run

Ok so today I didn’t go on a run, I walked to and from the cinema instead (such a nice evening for it). I have been pondering reasons to run, I know a few people who have started couch to 5k programs, and a few more who need the motivation.

I originally started running because I wanted to run the race for life. I had previously walked it and been inspired by all the people running, all ages, all shapes and sizes, all raising money for a passionate cause. So I decided that the following year I would run it (it’s a year away, I kind of put it to the back of my head). Well I signed up and the time got closer and I had no idea how I was going to do it. I found a beginner runners guide (see my beginner runner post for the plan) and followed it to the letter. Fitting 3 runs a week around work and life seemed hard, and some days I had to get up an hour early (takes me ages to dry my hair after a shower) so I could run before work, just to fit it in. Each week I found the progression hard, but each week I amazed myself and managed it.

The race for life was looming, and I had managed two 15 minute runs with a minute walk break in between, and had convinced myself that I could take a walk break if I needed it. But one of my friends joked that she would only sponsor me if I ran the whole way. So run the whole way I did! I even bounced on the spot when I was waiting at the narrow places to get past! I found it very hard (it was a very hot summer day) and emotional, reading all the messages on people’s backs, but I was so proud of myself for accomplishing it.

I had thought I would stop, but I didn’t, I found that I enjoyed running. So if you don’t want to run for charity (my first reason) here are some other reasons!

  • When I am at work I look forward to some thinking time where it is just me and my thoughts.
  • I look forward to listening to different music.
  • I love the changing countryside and views.
  • I love running to different places (I don’t very often try out a new route but when I do I love it).
  • I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a challenging run.
  • I love getting outside in the fresh air.
  • I love the post-run feeling of tiredness and satisfaction.
  • I love that fact I sleep better after a run.
  • I love the feeling of making my legs, heart and lungs stronger.
  • I love the tasty treats I “earn” while on a run (and the fact I crave healthier foods usually).
  • I love having a challenge to train for such as running a race.
  • I love the feeling when I cross the finish line on a race (and the medal after!).


I am sure there are other things I love too, but those are enough for today. Now some people ask me why, as if it is a bad thing (these are the people who now believe that there is no point eating fruit and vegetables each day as some study said it was inconclusive as to whether they reduce cancer risk- don’t get me started on that!). These people say things like “it’s bad for your joints” (it isn’t, studies show no more knee replacements or other joint problems in runners compared to non-runners), “your heart only beats so many times in a lifetime to running makes it go faster so you should stop running if you want to live longer” (not sure if I believe that, but surely running reduces my resting heart rate so overall it will last longer!), “I don’t have time to run” (I make time to run- instead of coming home and having a cup of tea and watching TV, I go on a run, instead of laying in bed all morning at the weekend I go on a run- it can be done).

Anyway, I am not trying to convert anyone, honest! But if you are slightly considering it then I would say go for it, you will never look back (unless you are being chased by a goose).

Mind the greenfly!

Last night was fab! We went into London to see Flight of the Conchords and they were super! They did so many songs and it was so impressive that they played them all live, sang live and chatted in between. The two of them are so funny, the songs are funny so it was a great evening. A late night for a Sunday though.

Well my legs were feeling tired today (that 11 miles on Saturday was super hard work), so I decided to have a short run after work to ease the stiffness. I had a look at a new route on , and found a nice route along a fairly flat, tree-lined road. I had fuelled my run with a small Berry Cheeky bar (so tasty) and plenty of water. It was nice to get out although I was totally covered in greenfly- ew! There were so many on my t-shirt when I got home and one went in my eye- next time I think I will wear sunglasses; I didn’t today because it was sort of cloudy and I feel silly running in them in the cloud- but I don’t want flies in my eyes. My run was 2.7 miles and I managed it in 27 minutes so for me it is a good speed, ten minute miles are my absolute fastest speed so I was pretty pleased.

Once home I made some pizza dough, showered and then made a super tasty pizza. I had to use up the goats cheese from Saturday, so I spread the base with some veggie red pesto, sprinkled on chopped red pepper, crumbled goats cheese, and some basil. Baked in the oven and served with a massive salad. Delicious (although not the most protein-packed meal ever it was exactly what I fancied).

I have been making my eyes square working away this evening- don’t you just hate those weeks when the work seems endless? I have some weeks where I have a good work-life balance, and others where work is so busy, so I am sure it all balances out in the end, but its not so good in those busy weeks.
Anyway, am of to watch 24 now (missed it last night) and to have some Alpro with granola bear nibbles. Delish!

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

Close encounters of the bird kind (more on that story later)…..

So today I had breakfast (hooray I remembered a banana this week) and then made some dough for later. I had planned a new route which I really enjoyed (although I was nervous about getting lost silly me). The route was half of my old loop, then back near my house, off in the other direction to some lakes (where my race for life will be), a figure of 8 around the lakes, then back home. Just over 11 miles in 2 hours, so I was pretty slow going today. I felt tired and as it was hotter than it has been I took it easy and didn’t push myself. I decided that completing the distance was my goal. The Nike+ worked well (and I now have a medal on the profile as I did 6 runs in 2 weeks) but when I looked at the end my speed massively dropped! I was so tired and heading into the wind so not a good combo!

So the birds. Well running around lakes full of geese is maybe on reflection not such a good idea when they all have goslings! I was running around the lake and it was deserted, except for 3 geese and a gaggle of goslings. They were making their way across the path and out of my way, so I slowed down, but then they turned and went back on the path. I slowed down even more but then they started coming towards me, I even pointed to say “I want to go that way” but that didn’t help either! In the end I ran right off the path nearly into the bushes (it was either that or the lake) and managed to avoid them- phew.

I had some Nak’d Pineapple raisins on my run for a little sugar boost about half an hour from the end. They were tasty too, they did taste of pineapple, not quite like dried pineapple and were a welcome refreshing taste after all the running.

When I got home I tried some coconut water; I saw it in Holland and Barrett last week, according to the packet it has more potassium than sports drinks, plus electrolytes and things. It didn’t really taste like coconut though! I suppose for 19 cals per 100ml it would not have much flavour, but I did expect a hint. Anyway it did help to hydrate me, but the dreaded headache came back, although that could be to do with sitting at the computer all afternoon writing reports.

For lunch I had tasty flatbread with caramelised onion chutney and goats cheese- this week I cooked it for a little less time (17 instead of the 20 minutes) and I much preferred it- the bread stayed softer and less crunchy. I also had pouring yoghurt and apple topped with some pecan and treacle granola- SO tasty! I am loving the combo of yoghurt with some sort of crunchy topping, and so much better for you than a muller corner (those things are packed with sugar!). Plus miles tastier.

Mid-afternoon I had an Organic 9bar which was lovely! The thing is because I am having them all far apart from each other I can’t decide on my fave. This bar was also chewy, the carob topping was tasty (I cant tell it apart from chocolate) and the seeds make me feel virtuous! I had it with………

Cinnamon Chai! One of my birthday prezzies and the first time I tried it! It is so delicious! Like drinking cinnamon (surprise there), quite a sweet aftertaste but lovely and spicy. I love cinnamon!

I have spent the afternoon working, and am going to make some oatmeal raisin cookies now as my treat to myself, so I will put the photos and reviews on later or tomorrow.

A super easy fudge recipe! Plus you guessed it, more running!

The other day I did make some white chocolate fudge, and I didn’t have time to post about it! Poor fudge, it must feel left out, I hope the cookies aren’t laughing at it.

The recipe was from Home Cooking , and I would normally shy away from a recipe like that because it involves scary sounding things like “the soft ball stage”. But now I have a sugar thermometer the world of sweets is my oyster!

The recipe was super simple; sugar (nice brown sugar), condensed milk and butter. Heat it all up, stir it about, then take it off the heat and beat. Now on the TV show Rachel puts the pan in the sink and beats it by hand. No thank you! I got out my electric hand-held whisk thing, and used that instead. Genius! It worked a treat! Once done I poured half in the tin, sprinkled on some white chocolate chips, poured the rest over and left to cool. It is so yummy! The stuff I took into work has already disappeared, we still have some in our fridge but I am sure it won’t last long! I am not sure that the photo does it justice as I am not much of a photographer. But I really recommend the recipe.

Today was medium run day; I am now close to the next colour level on Nike+. Not sure what will happen when I get up to the next level, but it is quite exciting nonetheless! After an Apple Pie bar (cinnamon=yum) I headed out. I kept my fingers crossed and it stayed dry the whole way! After the hail and rain of this afternoon I was super surprised. I didn’t take any water with me because I keep getting a stiff shoulder and I am sure that even though it is a proper runners holdy-water bottle thingy, it still makes me run a little wonky. So when it is hot or I am doing a very long run I will take it, I have decided to see if I can manage without on shorter runs.

In the end I managed my loop in 61 minutes, my fastest time yet so I am pretty pleased.

I am now one mile away from the next colour level; so close! I have a long one planned for Saturday so am preparing to smash through the barrier!

Just a quick run/one

Hello! Just time for a quick one.
After work I had a scrummy little Apple Pie Nak’d bar for an energy boost, and it must have worked as I managed 3.2 miles in 32 minutes! A super speedy time for me, especially with the wind blowing me back in some places. I had a little bit of time pottering about on the nike+ website and trying to figure out how to map my run; at the moment can only find runs that other people have mapped. I didn’t have long as I was out for dinner, so I am sure when I have more time I can work it out. That’s all for this evening…