Friday = POETS day

That is, in polite terms, pop off early, tomorrow’s Saturday.

So after a manic day (actually 5 minutes to eat my lunch as I had so much to do) I rushed home for the parcel (did I say I missed a delivery yesterday, and rang the guy who said he would come at 4)- it actually came at half 5. Hmm. I was hoping it would be the clif bars, but it was an order from the natural collection website- baking things, nice peanut butter, trek bars. Anyway while I was waiting I did a load of marking and made some bread, got some more podcasts on my mp3 for running, hung up washing.. I was pretty productive.

Then I went on my run (fuelled by half an apple and a clif bar)- I took it nice and steady, and managed 5.1 miles in 52 minutes, with pretty even times (first half the miles were 9 something, second half they were 10 something, but it is more uphill on the way back). My leg felt good, I felt quite relaxed; all was good in the world.

I had a look on the Nike+ website and I have run just over 300 miles since the beginning of May- pretty good I think! It seems a lot when you see it written down like that.

I am really looking forward to the race on sunday, and also to helping out tomorrow to see what the other side is like. I think having the race atmosphere but without the stress of queueing for the toilets etc should make for a fun morning. The weather looks to be good too.

After dinner I had another delicious vanilla cupcake (with pretty sparkly icing) from Aisha (via the cookie swap);

Super tasty with yummy icing.

Now am settling down to some good TV ( I know how to live!).

Any exciting running/ races planned for the weekend?

Tuesday, two day

It’s a little late, but it is about Tuesday so I think it still counts!

After work I had to dash around the shops, and had one of these yummy raw bars;

(Made from dried fruit and nuts with big chunks of brazil nuts- yum).

Then as my leg was feeling fine I decided to have a short gentle (and it was slow) run. I went for 30 minutes but did just under 3 miles-(2.91). ย I had to make myself slow down. By the end my leg was aching a little, so I went home, as I ran in loops so that if I was ok I would have run farther. I usually have aerobics on a Tuesday but the leaping about and all the jerky movements did not seem a good idea.

After that it was dinner, and then we went to see Back to the Future.

Anyone like that film? I am not really a fan- it is ok, but I didn’t see it when I was little and perhaps if I had seen it I would like it more!

Also I was excited to get some parcels;

Yummy seedstacked flapjacks! I ordered them at the weekend as they are so tasty! I tried each flavour ages ago, but have had a load of 9 bars to eat up too. But I prefer these to 9bars. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also got this;

I ordered some new running socks and a craft winter top. I tried the socks out on my run and they were fab! I normally have 1000 mile socks, and I like the tri ones as they are quite thin, but the normal 1000 mile socks started off good, but now the seam inside at the top all bunches up and is uncomfortable. So I tried a new brand which have flat seams. They were thick and comfy, although they are made of wool so are better for the winter I suppose. What running socks do you wear?

See you later alligator!

Night running

So I mentioned about this the other day, and got loads of tips from other people commenting, so I decided to put it all together into one post.

I think there are 2 main parts of being sensible when out running in the dark-

1- be seen by the cars and don’t get run over.

2- Stay safe from any potentially dodgy situations.

Being seen is the easy part- wear high viz clothing (such as my lovely IKEA jacket which is great as it goes on over any clothes and was way cheaper than any proper high viz running jacket). You can get loads of things now, like flashing lights,ย Reflectors to clip onto clothes (especially ankles and wrists which move more so would catch the light more).

Wearing bright clothes instead of black will also help you to stand out, but I always think when I am driving in the dark, it is hard to see pedestrians on the pavements, so it’s good to remind yourself that drivers won’t neccessarily see you as well as you can see the cars.

Make sure you run along well-lit roads will help you be seen and staying safe. I tried a run out last year during dusk, mostly along busy roads (on the pavement) but in one place the pavement dipped away from the road, through a field and across an old railway line, and I didn’t feel safe being out of sight of the cars.

When you are crossing a road (I feel like this is a green cross code lesson now)- don’t assume that cars slowing down have seen you- it might be for something else- make sure you cross at traffic islands or proper crossings. And even if the light is red for cars and green for you, still look. I seriously have seen sooooo many cars drive through red lights and each time I am so relieved that I looked before crossing.

Make sure you stay on the pavements- I know some people run on roads, facing the traffic etc, but I just think when it is dark then it is really not safe.

Telling someone where you are going is always a good idea, and taking a mobile phone with you (tucked away in a hidden pocket) is also a good idea.

I think running in early evening, when there are loads of people about, is much better than late on. Near me there are loads of big office buildings and bus stops, and between 5 and 6.30 it is full of people walking to the bus stops, and the roads are busy with cars, so it feels safer. No doubt after around 6.30/7pm the street are desserted and it would not feel particularly safe any more.

I also try to change my route, so I avoid underpasses and alleyways and things like that.

Having no earphones in, or having them turned down extremely low so you can hear people around you would also be safer.

Running with a friend or a running club is also a good idea (though not always possible).

Taking some kind of alarm (I suppose more for women really) would also be a good idea.

I have read before not to become too much a creature of habit- that is doing the same route at the same time on certain days, just in case someone takes extra interest.

Lastly- if you see anything in the local paper of interest, then perhaps alter your running habits (we had a spate of attacks at around 6am last year, so I made sure I didn’t go out at that time, and if I was to, I would avoid those areas).

Gosh that is a lot of things we runners need to think about! I used to belong to the gym, but there was a 15 minute time limit on all cardio machines, and there was always a queue for the treadmills anyway, so its not an option now, and wasn’t really an option then, but I suppose if you belong to a gym then finding quieter hours to use the treadmills there would be a good idea.

I hope I have included the tips from everyone that commented- thanks again for some really useful advice. Running in the dark can be done, we just have to take some sensible precuations.

Happy winter running everyone ๐Ÿ™‚

More bean burgers!

Evening all!

Today was a long run day, and due to 2 classes at the gym, the wasted journey that we shall not speak of, and the awful weather it was my first run since monday- shocking!

I had some rude health porridge (yummy) and then sat around for ages reading blogs and updating on here. I have added a page all about how I came to start running here – if you are thinking of taking up running then have a read, I am hoping it will encourage people to start. I was never on the cross country team for sure!

Anyway, I wrapped up warm- big mistake. I had on my running tights

(their first outing how exciting!- before these I have ronhill tracksters- they are running fabric but bootcut so a little more flattering, but also they drag in puddles and get heavy when wet, and also let the cold air up) and also one of my lovely craft tops (the black one)

In fact Andy told me I looked like catwomen which I am taking as a compliment and thinking no more about it! I also had on my jacket, which is very light, shower proof, but adds an extra layer.

After ten minutes I was boiling and had to tie it around my waist. I never mind running with stuff tied around me, but as it is shiny fabric the knot kept working undone so I kept having to re-tie. Anyway, when I started I felt a little niggle in my left leg, but I kept on and it felt ok. I enjoyed the run (9.6 miles) but it felt much harder than the same route last week. During the last mile the pain in my leg suddenly got quite bad, in fact really painful when I lifted my leg. I have never had this pain before, but it is on the inside front thigh at the top, so possibly is that the groin? I only know the major muscles haha! Anyway getting upstairs once home was rather painful ๐Ÿ™

But I walked around a lot, stretched and re-fuelled before my shower;

Coconut water with mango (yum) and a clif bar (double yum). We had run out of milk, and oat milk, so no nesquick for me.

I have spent the day pottering around the shops, in the garden for a bit (my little pumpkin is turning yellow in places eeeee! and my apples will be ready soon too!) and lounging around watching TV. My leg is less stiff now but still feels a bit sore when I move.

Then this evening I made some more bean burgers. In them was 1 drained tin of black eyed beans, one small drained tin of kidney beans, 1tsp garlic puree, 1tbs sundried tomato paste, 1tsp lazy chilli, a big sprinkle of paprika and a little sprinkle of chilli powder, 2tbs water, about 30g wheat gluten, and 20g quinoa flakes. I mashed it all up (I used the mini chopper for a bit- hooray for the return of the mini chopper), rolled it into balls and baked in the oven for 30 minutes. I had some for dinner with half a massive baked sweet potato (that is online shopping for you!) with cream cheese, and some spinach, courgette and tomatoes, and also a blob of caramelised onion chutney. Delish.

I am really pleased with the recipe. These were spicier than the last ones, in a good way as they had more flavour. The texture was lovely- they were not too crunchy, not too squishy; nice and firm and were super filling. The only annoying thing was that the recipe made 11, so I can’t share them out evenly between meals, which is what I like to do! Three was plenty, especially with the potato as well. I was very hungry though, which is strange as the last few long runs I have done, I have felt hungry, but not starving like I felt today. Perhaps I have eaten less- I had some squash soup (which when I worked out the recipe on WLR is about 80 cals per portion), one slice of wholemeal toast with sunflower seed butter, an apple, and a half a bar of conscious chocolate. Later on I had some so crispy bites, but according to my diary on WLR I still have over 500 calories left (this took dinner into account), so no wonder I was hungry really.

I have a lot of friends turning 30 at the moment (trying to forget it will be me next year!)- I keep telling them 30 is the new 20 anyway. I think I am much more confident now, and much happier than I was when I was 20, so thinking of the positives of growing older- what can I say to my friends when they turn 30? What gets better as you get older? And better than that, what did/ will you do to celebrate your 30th? (One friend is off to vegas for hers which would be amazing!).

Good Mood Run

Hey!

I had a great run today! After my rude health porridge (so tasty) I took some nuun with me in my bottle (warning- if you do the lid up and run, and then open the lid it explodes! Right into my face!) and headed out. I had a long sleeved top on as it was so cold, and was tempted to take my gloves. Boy that wind was cold- part way through I was wishing I had my headband / earwarmer on. But anyway, I added a little to the middle of my run, and ended up doing 9.5 miles. Each mile was pretty much the same pace, which was really good and I managed to keep the pace right to the end. It has left me in such a good mood, as although by the end I was getting little aches (to be expected) I felt strong at the end and finished with the same pace I started with.

Once home it was time for this;

I had some nesquick with oat milk (which went really dark in colour, I suppose as the oat milk is more transparent and less white than normal milk), and a lovely clif bar. Do you know I emailed the clif bar people to ask why there were not more flavours in the UK, and they emailed back to say that sourcing issues, plus issues with packaging and things means it takes more time to get them to other countries. Plus they offered to send me some flavours from the USA– how kind is that???

Anyway, the rest of the day has been full of work (boring-fuelled by teapigs chai so not so bad), lunch (kabocha squash and carrot soup, rye bread, apple, nuts), making caramel shortbread for tomorrow (not finished yet)- I will take a pic once done. I used the normal base, then spread on some of this peanut butter;

(no salt or oil added, 100% peanuts ๐Ÿ™‚ ), before the caramel on top. I amย hoping it will be tasty!

I want to finish with a massive shout out to Alison who is going to run the Berlin marathon tomorrow- totally amazing stuff. Good luck and enjoy the experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Bye