Born to Run review (and some baking)


Last night I finished Born to Run , and as promised I am going to do a little review (without giving anything away I hope).

I cannot emphasise how great I think this book is. It is a pretty easy read, but at the same time it has some great information on various running studies slotted in. The author, Christopher McDougall, tells the story of howย  (after suffering more and more running injuries) he tried to track down the Tarahumara tribe of Mexico, famed for running great distances. The book flits between his experience, and the stories of various other ultra-runners that become involved in the story. I found the chapters about different races particularly gripping, as you could imagine yourself watching these 100 mile races, and it is hard to predict who will win. The athletic feats of the people involved are also pretty amazing.

The book is filled with inspiration, as well as tips and information (as part of the story, not removed from it) on running technique, nutrition (chia seeds which are all over blog land at the moment are featured in there), and footwear. I also feel like it is a book I will read again, so it is well worth a purchase in my opinion.

So, basically, if you love running, or are injured from running, or are feeling in need of some inspiration, then read it and see.

Onto other things- today I finally did some baking- woohoo! I made blondies from the Hummingbird book, only I swapped in some almonds for the pecans.

My legs are not too stiff from yesterday either- I did some foam rolling last night, which was very painful so I know it was doing me some good! I do feel very tired today, which I suppose is to be expected, but I am glad that my muscles have not seized up.ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

Dreary weather, fun questions

Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a depressing post. But the weather is dreary! Last night I went out straight from work, and got home very late. I didn’t sleep well, and we had to be up at 7 as Andy is expecting a delivery (between 7-12 although at 3pm it still has not come). I think this coupled with the dreary weather made me feel less than enthusiastic about my run today. My plan was 10 miles, and once I was out there I did enjoy myself. I ended up going 10.5 miles in 1hr53 mins. My pace was pretty varied, but I think that was due to the wind. As my route has loops I almost had one mile of easy running and then one mile or hard running. At one point I felt like I could have leant parrallel to the floor and not fallen over as it was so strong! I was trying to think about landing gently on the ground, and keeping a gentle slow rhythm, and when I finished I felt like I could have gone on still. Marathon talk was talking about intervals, and how it is important to add them to marathon training, which has spurred me on to keep on at them in the week. It is hard to believe that a year ago I had just started training for my first half marathon. I found I could do 7 or 8 mile runs ok, but once I went over that distance I was shattered and really felt like I was dragging myself home for the last few miles. I am pleased that I can compare my running to this time last year and genuinely see an improvement.

Once home I had a peanut butter clif bar and some chocolate milk, and then after my shower I made myself have lunch pretty quick (to avoid the crash).

My lunch was delish! 2 slices of toasted seedy bread, filled with mashed banana and a little pb, sprinkled with cinnamon. Yum. Plus a pear and half a graze box (some brazil nuts and dark chocolate buttons).

(I took a bite before I decided to take another picture).

I have been reading blogs and I was excited to see that the lovely Jess has tagged me in a blog question thing. So here are the answers (and questions);

Four TV shows I watch.

The biggest loser

30 Rock

Burn Notice

The Office (american one)

(Yes I love american TV! )

Four things I am passionate about

Being healthy

Helping others



Four words/ phrases that I use too much;

High Five!

like (instead of said- a bad bad habit I know!)

Morning (in a chirpy way- it annoys all the non morning people!)

On marathon talk this week….. (this drives Andy mad!!!)

Four things I’ve learnt from the past;

To not worry about what other people think, but to be happy in my own decisions.

That I can do more than I thought I was capable of.

That sometimes you grow apart from friends and that does not make you bad people, just people on different paths.

That if I am worried about something I should think “what’s the worst that could happen?” and then get on and do it anyway, because the worst does not usually happen.

Four things I am looking forward to;

Buying a marathon talk hoodie as my post marathon treat! I would feel a fraud wearing it (it says 26.2 on the front in big numbers) before I have actually done one!

My holiday in the summer- especially discovery cove ๐Ÿ™‚

Seeing my friend get married in Italy later this year.

Doing some baking (this is a short term goal haha)

Four things I love about winter;

Feeling totally hardcore when I go running in the freezing weather!

Hot water bottles

Warm hats, scarves and gloves (and hoodies, and jeans, and massive fluffy socks)

A steaming bowl of soup after being outside in the fresh air

So now I have to tag four people. I have seen this on a few blogs and I can’t remember which ones, so sorry if you have already done it.

Laura at Box, run, eat!

Lara at Eat less, move more

Emma at sweet tooth runner

Stacey at the Habit of healthy

Sorry if you already answered! But if I didn’t tag you and you want to answer the questions, feel free ๐Ÿ™‚

I am excited because I am going to do some baking tomorrow! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have not baked for ages it seems, as we have been having all the christmassy things. So I have not decided what yet, but I am excited ๐Ÿ™‚

Now for some tea ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! Body Pump! And hair washing


Thursday night means body pump! I love it! As you all know!

We had some more newbies today- I love the fact that all the regulars get all the equipment out and help people to choose their weights etc- we are a friendly bunch.

We have had the new songs for a few weeks now- I find it takes a while for them to grow on me- at firstย I tend to like one track, but as I get to know the others it helps with the enjoyment. Tonight I found myself grinning like a mad woman to the triceps track ( I have no idea who it was by or anything, not up with the chart music)- it really helps to have some good music to keep going. There are squats repeated in the lunges track near the end, and they are an absolute killer! Makes me grin though ๐Ÿ™‚

To refuel I had a lovely dessert (no picture I was too hungry!)- cherries, dark chocolate alpro and cranberry granola. Yummy ๐Ÿ™‚ And some dragonfly rooibos chai, which is amazing as it tastes like normal chai, only it is caffiene free so better for later in the evenings.

Onto the hair washing- I have very thick hair, mid length I suppose. It takes ages to dry in the evening, even if I use a hairdryer. I sometimes use dry shampoo (normally on a rest day if I can’t be bothered to wash and dry it) but at the moment I tend to wash it monday-thursday as I do exercise each day and feel sweaty after. I think the ends are getting a little dry (more due to the hairdryer I would think, but if I go to sleep with wet hair, it is still wet when I wake up as it takes hours and hours to dry naturally). So, my question (really for the girls) is, when do you actually wash your hair after exercise, and when do you not? Do you always wash it? I just wonder what other people do? I used to only wash it every other day you see, whereas I know some people always wash their hair every day.


(Hobbling off to bed now)


So here is me thinking I have not bought anything in the sales. Well, it turns out I have bought more than I thought! Online shopping means it is easy to order things quickly, without a 3 hour battle for a car parking space, or a long queue at the checkout. Today the door went twice- first of all were my new trainers from Sweatshop;

They are too pretty and clean to wear outside in the grey slush and mud!

Then it was my parcel from Wiggle;

My waist pack for water and some clif bars.

Also I took a picture of the bargains I picked up yesterday;

A silver sparkly scarf and a trio of measuring cups from Waitrose (I saw them in M&S but didn’t get them)- there is a 1cup, 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup that all fit inside each other.

I have also ordered a dress from Animal which has yet to come, so in fact I have bought quite a lot of things!

This morning after breakfast I was off on a long run. I decided to try out my new waist pack, and was pleased that my old bottle (which even though I wash it in the dishwasher still smells slightly of squash due to me having Nuun in it) fitted in the bottle holder.ย  I could not decide where to wear it- I started off with the bottle in the small of my back, and kept on needing to tighten the straps as I ran as I had made it too loose at home. This was not really uncomfortable, but it was great either, so I ended up sliding it around so the bottle rested on the back of my left hip- that seemed to make it bounce less and also meant it was easier to get the bottle in and out. Andy told me before I set off (in a sarcastic tone) “you look cool- how far are you going?”- I feel I would like a sign that says “I am running 8 miles” so people do not think I am out for a 20 minute jog with all the gear! Anyway, it was much better than getting an aching shoulder after carrying a bottle in my hand the whole way. My run was a steadyย 8.5 miles, in 93 minutes (with a few stops to cross the roads)- around the park and back while listening to the marathon talk podcast review of the year- I was again laughing out loud at points. If you have not listened to one yet then I really recommend it- it’s informative, funny, light-hearted, interesting, inspiring, and helps the miles fly by.

I did not try the new shoes as they were too pretty to get covered in goose poo (I ran to the park if you didn’t guess). I logged into Nike+ the other day and it was so funny- I have the sound off on the laptop and suddenly a video of Paula Radcliffe popped up. I put on the sound and played it again and it was because I had run 500 miles! I had not even noticed. But those 500 miles have been in the same pair of shoes, so no wonder I needed some new ones!

This afternoon I am mainly relaxing- watching Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs, and maybe making some spiced nuts. By the way, I had the easiest meal the other day- (for 2 of us) we cooked 2 sweet potatoes (in microwave and then finished in the oven), heated a pot of Sainsburys fresh 3 bean soup (it is tomato soup with beans and veggies but it is thick, like chilli)- had this on the sweet potato with some salad. Amazing, so lazy but much nicer than a ready meal!

Later, dudes ๐Ÿ™‚

Teapigs Giveaway!

Hey I am so excited about this giveaway! You guys know that after I was sent some Teapigs tea to try, I have fallen in love with their teas. After drinking all the trial packs, I swiftly ordered some more (including chocolate flake tea to try). My faves are the chai (obviously) the caramel rooibos and the spinced winter red tea.

Teapigs are offering UK residents the chance to win some special wintery teas (chai, spiced winter and chocolate flake)- perfect to warm you up after a run/ walk in the cold winter air. Now, what goes perfectly with a warm cup of tea? Well, that is the question indeed. You all know I am a fan of baking, and baking goes perfectly with tea, so (we have to have some kind of fun competition) I would love to know your favourite recipe to go with a cup of tea in the winter.

The way to enter the competition is simple; use the comment section of this post to either post your recipe directly, or leave a link to where the recipe is (e.g. on your blog). I am looking for winter/ Christmas themed baking, and it has to go nicely with a cup of tea. Entries close at midnight on Sunday 14th November and the winner will be chosen soon after! So have fun getting creative in the kitchen!

If you are unlucky and do not win, do not fear because Teapigs now make Piglets (how cute is that?)- which are little trial 2 packs of tea. Perfect if you fancy trying a new flavour (or perfect as a stocking filler perhaps??). Plus ordering piglets sounds so cute!