Don’t fall over!

Back to work today- boo! (I love the holidays – I can occupy myself for hours pottering around). I had lunch at work (including a lovely Rachel’s Organic yoghurt- the one I had today was from the garden fruits selection and it was soo tasty. I always get organic milk but for some reason, mainly cost, I haven’t started getting organic yoghurts yet. But these were on offer in Sainsbury’s and are suitable for veggies- so many yoghurts have either gelatine or cochineal – so I decided to give them a try and I am very glad I did).

As it was only a half day I got home at half 3 and decided to go on a run (then I can go to the cinema on orange Wednesday- normally that’s my midweek run day!). I had half a Trek peanut and oat bar (yum) and lots of water. It looked like it was about to rain, so I took my rain jacket with me, but the weather was fine so I ended up running with it tied around my waist. I find it so hard at this time of year to decide what to wear; in the winter it’s easy- as many layers as possible! In the summer its sun-cream and as little as possible, but now the weather is still quite changeable; a breeze can pick up and suddenly get quite cold.
My run was ok but felt quite hard; I had stiff calves and also kept getting a little stitch which got quite annoying after a while. By the fifth mile I had to slow down as I noticed I kept dragging my feet on the ground. Last summer I fell over while running (I think I was tired; I tripped on flat pavement- nothing was there to trip me up)- I ended up going to hospital to have it cleaned and bandaged as I had scraped a lot of skin off my wrist due to me holding my water bottle. I still have scars now! So I didn’t want that to happen again. I didn’t beat my beat time but it was over in 65 minutes (including some stopping to cross the roads etc) so it wasn’t my worst time either.

I had the rest of my Trek bar and then had a lovely warm shower (plus lots of stretching- I don’t think I always stretch enough) and am off out to Zizzi’s tonight for dinner for some yummy pasta.

9 miles in the sunshine

This morning I had 9 miles planned and woke up to lovely sunshine- hooray! But recently I have been getting headaches after my runs so I made sure I had a lot of water to drink before I left. I had my breakfast and then made some foccacia dough. I bought a book called “The I diet” (I for Italian) recently and have made a few things from it. It has quite a few veggie recipes and the veggie chilli and pizza recipe ( I leave off the ham) are really tasty. But it always takes ages to make bread (well, to wait for it to rise) so I started first thing.

On my run I took a bottle of water with me, but it felt like such hard work, plus by the end I could feel all the water sloshing around in my stomach- not so good! Also half way I had to stop and loosen my laces because my feet had gone numb- I think perhaps that feet swell a bit in the heat and so they had made my shoes too tight.

When I got home I was starving so I had the other half of a banana (had half on my cereal) and a Nak’d gingerbread bar (amazing- have not had one for ages).

After my shower I finished making the foccacia- in the recipe book you basically make a pizza dough, cook it in the oven then top with cherry tomatoes and basil. But I didn’t have any tomatoes (I thought I did) so instead I took it out the oven 5 minutes early, spread it with some sundried tomato paste, a little basil puree, and some chopped sun-dried tomatoes, and then warmed it through for another 5 minutes. It tasted so lovely (just what I fancied after my run) and went well with Covent Garden Plum Tomato and Mascarpone soup (I do normally make my own soup but it was on offer!). Delicious!

Summer Earphones

I was really looking forward to my run today. I had a lovely breakfast (half cornflakes and half Dorset delicious muesli) and let it go down while I pottered about. Then I headed on out for a 10k. I always listen to my mp3 player as I run and during the winter I have been using normal earphones as I wear a head/ ear-band thing to keep my ears warm (and it holds the normal ear plugs into my ears). It was been getting warmer so I have swapped the in-ear ones for some special sports ones (Sennheiser ones). They are great because they stay on even with the up and down movement of running, plus the sound is clear (I only have them on quiet as I like to hear what is going on around me as well).

My run was lovely; the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze to try and cool me down, and there were tulips out everywhere. My legs did feel stiff at times (but yesterday I spent about 4 hours driving so could be down to that) but in fact when I got home I had beaten my best time (one hour and three minutes). My 10K in May is getting closer and I am hoping to be as close to an hour as possible. It is making me feel more confident that I could actually do it.

When I got home I had a lovely Trek peanut and oat bar. Eleven grams of protein in a bar (great for veggies like me), the texture is lovely and it tastes amazing. I took a picture and I urge you to try one.

I have spent the rest of the day pottering around, doing the shopping etc, it is so nice outside that I may have a walk after dinner. No baking today although I did watch a re-run of Rachel Allens’ “Bake” show where she made peanut butter blondies. The idea is in my head now so I may make some to take to work next week.

A lovely run in the sun

I managed to get out today for a lovely run. Due to various things I missed my midweek run, so the last run was that hard 4 mile slog on Monday. I have worked out the length of all my long runs leading up to my half marathon, and today was 9 miles. After a lovely breakfast (Dorset cereals simply delicious muesli – it is indeed delicious- and half a banana) I planned my route on www.mapometer.co.uk and then headed out the door. The weather was lovely; it was quite breezy which is usually nice as it cools you down, it was also a little bit overcast to begin with but about half way round the sun came out and it was lovely. This time of year is such a nice time to run; there is blossom on the trees, daffodils by the roads, plus I pass a lot of people (walking dogs/ cycling/ walking/ running) and people are always much more friendly when the weather is good. Lots of “hellos” today!
When I got home I had the other half of my banana and a lovely nak’d Apple Pie bar (they are soooooo tasty- full of cinnamon and apple and other good stuff!) plus lots and lots of water!
Later on this afternoon I am going to make a chocolate birthday cake- I will try to remember to take a picture.

Beginner runners

Beginners starting out

So while on my run yesterday I got to thinking about when I first started out running. Just under 2 years ago I signed up to do the Race for Life, and decided that for myself I wanted to run it. I had done it before and walked the course, raised money and so on. But for myself I wanted to see if I could run it, having never been a runner before. I am sure I am similar to many other runners in that I didn’t like PE at school (although I was active, doing cycling, tennis, walking and swimming with my family and friends); I even walked the cross country when I was 11 as I found running so hard. At secondary school I was the person who “filled in” at sports day and did the ones that no-one wanted to do (shot put anyone?). I am not including this for sympathy or anything like that, just to show you where I started really. I followed a training plan which I cut out from a magazine (not even sure which magazine, Zest maybe) and followed it to the day. It involved 3 runs every week, and I stuck to the plan to the letter, getting up at 6am some days to have a run before going to work if I knew I could not fit it in the evening. Each week the first run would be hard (the first plan was to run for one minute and walk for 1.5, and by the end of the first minute of running I was gasping for breath- I have since learnt to pace myself!), the second one would be ok as I knew what to expect, and the third run would be great as I would know for sure that I would be able to complete it. Then the following week I would worry about not achieving the new distance, and be so proud of myself when each week I would manage it. I had given myself a few extra weeks so that if I needed to repeat a week then I would have the time, but in fact the training plan was great and to my amazement I made it. I was so proud of myself for completing the 5K (3.1 mile course) in around 35 minutes without walking once!
I did think that I would train for the race, do the race and then stop. But I had found that I really enjoyed running! I loved to load songs onto my mp3 player and head off with music to listen to, and my thoughts all to myself. I kept up running all through the winter, and now cannot imagine not getting outside and enjoying the fresh air.

For anyone that is tempted to start running I would say go for it (with Doctors permission etc)!
Below is a simplified version of the training plan that I followed:

Each week do 3 runs.
Week 1 Run for 1 min, walk for 90 seconds 8 times = 20 minutes
Week 2 Run for 2 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 7 times = 24.5 minutes
Week 3 Run for 3 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 6 times = 27 minutes
Week 4 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 4 times = 26 minutes
Week 5 Run for 5 minutes, walk for 1 minute 4 times = 24 minutes
Week 6 Run for 8 minutes, walk for 90 seconds 3 times = 28.5 minutes
Week 7 Run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute 3 times = 33 minutes
Week 8 Run for 15 minutes, walk for 1 minute 2 times = 23 minutes
Now you are ready to run a 5k race!!!