Post work run

Again it has been so hot! After work I had a bit of a cocoa Nak’d bar (was too hot to eat it all) and loads of water. My new shorts have arrived (got them from wiggle) and I was feeling brave so I tried them out on my run today. When I started running it was baggy tops and old combat trousers all the way, but last year I discovered Ron Hill stuff and realised that not all running gear has to be skin tight or non-existent. I have become more confident and am happy wearing vest tops whereas before I preferred t-shirts. I have some cropped trousers, and recently some Capri pants, but in this heat they are both too hot still. So with water bottle in hand I went outside. My legs would glow in the dark they are so pale, so I think I must have been a sight, especially by the end (bright red face is back, contrasting nicely with see-through legs). I did just under 6 miles around the lakes (very peaceful except the bit where I was bothered by a dog- I say bothered as it was an old dog and wasn’t really chasing me, but rather kept half running into me and changing direction right at the last minute and it was totally ignoring the people calling it) and was home in 57 minutes so for this heat not too shabby. Plus the shorts kept me cooler, and I didn’t feel too exposed wearing them (it’s these ones http://www.wiggle.co.uk/p/run/8/Ronhill_Ladies_Aspiration_Flexlite_Short_SS10/5360049910/).

For dinner I had a new bake;

(this made 4 portions which I froze in foil tubs ready for defrosting when I fancy one):

80g Quinoa, Dry

150g Courgette,

80g Onions, Red,

120g Peppers, red

240g Spinach, Raw,

1 Can/220g Beans, Black Eyed, Canned, Drained,

400g Tomatoes, Chopped,

I cooked the onion first, then added the pepper, courgette, and some garlic. I rinsed the quinoa, added the chopped tomatoes and quinoa, then drained the black beans and added them too along with some water. At the end I put the spinach in a bit at a time as it takes a while to wilt down. I think I added some paprika too, next time I might add some basil, or maybe some chilli would be nice to make it a sort of spicy bean thing. It just cooked for maybe 15 minutes until the quinoa had gone all squiggly.

Anyway tonight I had that with some butternut squash, beetroot and beans (green- all the b’s).Delish!

Not sure what I will have later but will surely have some tasty tea later on.

Back in the game

After work yesterday I was very keen to have a run to get back in the game! I waited until about half 5 so it was a little cooler (not much!) and then went for a short 2.8 mile run. It took me about 27 minutes but for a couple of minutes I had to walk because I had such a bad stitch. I haven’t had a stitch in ages; I think I had drunk too much water before I went out. Aside from that it was a pretty normal day. I did have a lovely evening snack; a pot of caramel soya, a sprinkle of treacle granola and a tablespoon of a flaxseed mix. I picked it up on Saturday and it’s made of ground flax seeds (good for those omega 3’s), cocoa powder and dried strawberries and blueberries. I mixed it in a bit and it made the dessert all thick. It would be delicious with some fresh strawberries in it. Yesterday there was one ripe strawberry to pick so I didn’t save it!

Bad bad run, fun food shopping

Apologies for not being around this week. It was going to be fab- I was going to have a short run after work Monday, aerobics after a late meeting on Tuesday, get up early for a run Wednesday before work (so I could leave and watch the second half of the England match- then out for celebration meal with work in the evening), body pump Thursday and a rest on Friday. What actually happened was this: Monday break-time we all got called into the staffroom- Ofsted were on their way for Wednesday and Thursday. Cue being at work from 7am, not leaving til 7pm, plus lots to do at home too. (As an aside this is not because our plans etc are rubbish, but Ofsted expect perfection- they may only observe for 10 minutes but in that 10 minutes expect to see everything!- also I usually have PPA time (time out the class for planning etc) but this was taken away so the children had continuity of teachers- so more lessons to plan for than usual. Plus I get everything ready in advance instead of leaving some things until the morning just in case!). That was a long bracket! So anyway all the runs and classes went out the window, and the week was full of work, worry and little else!

So this morning I was really looking forward to a run. I had breakfast as usual, a big drink of water and headed out. After ten minutes I had to stop to cross a road and felt so dizzy all of a sudden I had to hold on to the push the button post thing. Not good, but it went away so I carried on. Five minutes later I got to the park and felt so bad I sat on a low fence. I was feeling more and more dizzy and in the end sat on the grass for 5 minutes, drinking more water and trying to get the normal feeling back into my legs. At that point I knew I had to cut my run short, there was no way I was going any further. I then did a combo of walking/ slow jogging/ stopping until I got home. It really was the most awful run I have ever had. I think it must have been a combination of being a little dehydrated (it was so hot at work and although I have been drinking more water than usual it is maybe not quite enough), plus the stress of the past week. When I got home I was all clammy and had to sit with my head between my legs for a while. I had some coconut water as I thought it would do me good as it’s good for re-hydration, and then a cool shower. All day I have still been feeling dizzy, I have drunk so much water today and tried to take it easy, so fingers crossed I will feel better tomorrow.

On the plus side I have finally added the photos from the last few weeks (although not sure how to get the ones off my phone so may take some more next time I make bread).

I also popped to the shops and had a spending spree on healthy food! A post-ofsted treat! Holland and Barrett were doing buy one get one half price so I stocked up on coconut water (including some flavoured ones- mango and peach, and pineapple).

I also tried out a new health food shop (http://www.naturalhealthwelwyn.co.uk/store/ ) and got a few treats including rainforest nut butter (brazil, cashew and some other nut- have seen it on the net but never in a shop). I was impressed with the shop; from the outside it looked like a supplement shop, which normally puts me off, but inside it had a big selection of groceries; cereals, cooking things like maple syrup, agave, pesto etc, snacks and treats, all the gluten free nak’d bars (hooray! including gingerbread so I got a couple!!), and even a fridge and freezer section. They also sold tempeh which I have been reading about (it’s a soya protein but higher in protein than tofu), I think I will look up some recipes before I buy it though. Although when I paid the lady asked if I had a loyalty card and I said no. I am not wondering how you get one and maybe I should have asked! Silly me!

This evening I have made some peanut butter and white chocolate cookies (with some agave instead of caster sugar)- they are very gooey at the moment but I love chewy cookies so am hoping they will be ok. I also got very hot in the kitchen making a vegetable quinoa bake for the freezer (onion, pepper, courgette, spinach, tomato, quinoa, black beans, sundried tomato, herbs- all mixed up in a pan and simmered) so I had a walk too to cool down . Fingers crossed I am back to normal tomorrow!

Sneaky short one before breakfast

I woke up early this morning and straight away the thought of a short run crossed my mind. I did try to go back to sleep, but then I decided that I would fit just a short run in. I had a lot of water, changed and then headed out. By that time it was about 8.15am and I was surprised as to how many people I saw; it was lovely though because there wasn’t much traffic about so I didn’t have to stop at all when crossing roads (well of course I slow to look for traffic but no pushing the button or what-not). I decided to go quite fast, and according to my Nike+ I was just faster than 9 minute miles which is speedy for me. I did 2.65 miles and was home before the alarm went off! Result! It’s a great feeling to have a run right at the start of the day.

Aside from that I have been busy seeing family, not much else to report. Bye!

Perfect running weather

I think I am back to normal which is fab! This morning after breakfast I went out on a run. I didn’t want to do a super long run, (last time I did 9 miles on the Saturday following the half and it really knocked me out for the day!) but I wanted to feel like I had got a proper workout in. I went up to the lakes, around both lakes (no geese this time), around the park for a bit and then back around one lake. It was nearly 7 miles so a nice run, in 71 minutes, so I am still managing to keep up my new slightly speedier running. Running around the park was really enjoyable, it was nice to be away from the traffic although I did have to keep my eye out for rabbit holes and mole hills! It was cloudy and overcast but good weather for running as it kept me cool. I had on some new Capri pants from Nike, and they were pretty good. Although the site I ordered them from (she active) doesn’t have a size guide, so I went for medium but it turns out that is 12-14 which meant they were a little on the baggy side. They are supposed to be compression ones but hey-ho, at least they didn’t fall down. The downside is that they have no pockets (I was so sure they had a back zipped pocket and I spent about 5 minutes checking!) and I do like to fill my pockets with tissues, my mp3 player, raisins and other assorted items! Anyway my water bottle holder has a zipped pocket so the mp3 player went in there. I listened to the Lilo and Stitch soundtrack which was fab, very summery with a good measure of Elvis thrown in.

I have been out on a walk too, and also pottering about in the garden for a bit. I got very excited today, first of all because I picked my first strawberries of the year (including one being eaten by a baby slug eww- the joys of organic gardening!), and secondly because two, yes, two of my courgette plants have baby courgettes growing on them. Including some yellow ones! I have only ever had yellow courgettes (zucchini) in America before, and when I saw the seeds I decided to have a go at growing them. After my courgette jungle at home I was not sure which plant was which when they finally went outside. So I am so excited to see that they are growing! My pumpkin plant has grown loads too, I keep tying it to the canes but it seems to have finally worked out how to hold on for itself- the tendrils have wrapped around the canes too, and it has a few flowers growing too. The apples on the tree are getting bigger than golf balls now, and my potato plants are getting big. It’s all so exciting!

I was having a look online for some inrpiration for baking (it had to be something that could fit in my top oven as the big oven is broken. The top oven is smaller so cookies were out, or so I thought..). Anyhoo I came across a recipe for Oatmeal raisin bars on Carrots’n’cake (http://carrotsncake.com/2008/08/oatmeal-raisin-bars.html ), and they looked tasty (score) plus they cooked in a small glass dish (this would fit in my top oven, double score!).

I have changed the recipe a little (I like to weigh stuff out) into chocolate chip cookie bars.

In a bowl I mixed 120g oats, 50g wholegrain spelt flour, 60g brown sugar, 23g sunflower oil, 50g apple sauce, 1 egg, 1tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp cinnamon and some chocolate chips. I mixed it all up and put it into the dish which I lined with baking paper. This went in at 180C for about 30 minutes. I cut it into 10 bars once cool and it is yummy! One bar is about 140 calories and makes a pretty good treat!

I have also been looking into independent shops nearby and have found a nice looking “health-food” store which I will be popping to fairly soon. It is always nice to go somewhere new to get inspiration, plus it stocks a lot of delicious looking things that I normally order online.

Tomorrow I am having a super busy day (2 lots of family to visit for father’s day plus a surprise party shhhhh) so I am sure I will not be doing any baking. But someone is coming to fix the oven on Monday so hopefully I will be back to normal soon!