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 www.mapometer.com , 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…

What to eat after a run, and the best chocolate cookie recipe ever!

So after yesterday when I was thinking about recovery foods after running, I decided to dig out the article from “Women’s Running” magazine. I don’t normally keep magazines but I do sometimes cut out useful articles to keep. I think putting it on here will mean I can refer to it when I have forgotten. The list includes:

Flavoured milk; apparently it shows better muscle recovery than a specific sports drink (why oh why did I try that SIS banana stuff yesterday when I had Nesquick powder in the cupboard?).

Yoghurt; a 4;1 ratio of carbs and protein which apparently is ideal for recovery.

Cereal bars containing oats (hello Nak’d bars). I would not normally choose a conventional cereal bar as they have more sugar and less protein, but I suppose with milk or yoghurt alongside they would be ok.

Bananas! It recommends having it with milk or yoghurt, but I think they are so good as the carbohydrate is quickly released to boost your energy again. It is normally the only thing I fancy after a race. The thought of a banana was in my head after mile 10 of my half marathon!

Raisins; because of their carbohydrate level. I think that they would be ok after a short run but after a long run I would need a bigger snack than that!

Blackberries; they contain vitamins C and E to help muscles recover (again it is suggested to have them with greek yoghurt as on their own they would nbe providing carbs but little protein).

Nuts; lots of protein, fibre and vitamins E and B to help you recover. Maybe nuts with raisins would be a better combo as then you have carbs and protein together (like a punnet from a graze box).

They also suggest rice cakes with peanut butter (that magic 4;1 ratio again) but I do not like rice cakes- they stick to your tongue! Also pancakes and baked beans are suggested (no not together that would be gross!) but I would not go for any of those options.

So I am going to be good and refer to my list to see which foods work for me. I have often been having a banana along with a cereal bar and sometimes have a graze punnet (usually dried fruits with nuts) so I suppose I am naturally choosing some of those good foods.

Today I made another recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book ; double chocolate cookies and I think this has to be the best ever recipe for double chocolate cookies! The recipe is mostly chocolate, which you melt with a teeny bit of butter, then you whisk eggs and sugar, mix with the chocolate mixture, stir in flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour again) and more chocolate chips (I included some white chocolate too). The mixture went really runny and spread all over the baking tray but when they came out they looked amazing- just like the picture. I always like it when a recipe turns out how it looks in the book- it shows that the recipe is easy to follow. They are very chocolatey, chewy and delicious. Yum yum yum.

I also had a walk to stretch my legs as they were feeling a little stiff this morning after yesterday. I might make some fudge to take to work, so if I do I will be sure to say how the recipe went.

Now am off to enjoy the rest of Sunday!