What is your perfect day?

This morning was supposed to be cooler, and when I woke up there was a bit of drizzle around, and it was overcast, so I thought that a run a bit later would be ok. I had breakfast (cornflakes and raisins) and waited a bit before heading out. I even wore my capri pants instead of the shorts I have been wearing lately as I thought it would be cooler. Boy was I wrong! It is so hot. The clouds blew away to leave the storng sun (luckily I had on sun cream, sunglasses and visor, and had put my bottle of water in the fridge overnight so it was nice and cold). I went up to the lakes and enjoyed spotting some of the wildlife (including a swan with 8 massive cygnets). I did not enjoy people letting their dogs on leads wander all over the path- honestly at places it is very narrow and I passed the same people twice. They had 3 little dogs on long leads wandering all over the path, and even when I said excuse me they just stared back and left me to try and dodge the dogs and nettles.

By the time I got home I was baking, and quite hungry, so I whipped up a smoothie. I really enjoyed the mango and peach flavoured coconut water, so I decided to make my own. To serve 2 I put in the blender one banana, 90g frozen mango chunks and a 330ml carton of coconut water. I whizzed it up, added a few ice cubes for good measure, and drank it up!

(I had already had a few sips when I took the photo!).

I had only a small lunch as we were going to family for an early tea- I had a carrot and apple muffin (http://runningcupcake.co.uk/2010/05/baking-bonanza/) warmed and spread with peanut butter, although after I though that cream cheese would have gone nicely. I also had an apple, nectarine, blob of yoghurt and some almonds.

Tea time and I got to taste the cheesecake- I think it was even better because the blackcurrants were fresh and grown from a little twig. If you haven’t read this already when I first moved I got sent a jiffy bag with a twig in it. Nearly threw it out, then read the piece of paper which said it was a blackcurrant plant from ribena- someone at work had sent off for me. So I planted it, several times nearly pulled it back out thinking it was a weed, last year got 6 or 7 blackcurrants, this year it has got huge (nearly as big as my little apple tree) and has bunches and bunches! 🙂

I was watching something on the tv the other day when someone mentioned her perfect day, so it got me to thinking what my perfect day would be. I have a few (depending on whether it is just me or other people involved). I would have breakfast, go on a run (maybe 6 miles), after a shower I would potter around in the garden before lunch. In the afternoon I would do some baking, then maybe have a walk somewhere nice and maybe stop off at a nice shop on the way home to get something special for dinner. Then in the evning after dinner I would see friends (maybe have them round so they could sample all the baking I had been doing). And maybe play singstar!

Thinking about it made me pleased though, because at the weekend I do make sure that I do things I enjoy, and often I get in most of my perfect day bits in.

I also love holidays so on holiday it would be sightseeing in the morning, and then maybe relaxing somewhere with a great view in the afternoon, and a walk somewhere pretty in the evening. So what would your perfect day involve?

Off to watch the rest of the football now- night night.

Half Marathon Report

So today was the St Albans Half Marathon. It was only my second half marathon, my previous one (Berkhamstead which has evil hills!) I did in 2.32. So I was hoping for 2.30 to beat my time. I got there about half an hour before, and went to the schools’ bit to see all the children getting ready for their fun run. Then off to left luggage before going to the start line. No time for a toilet trip as the queue was massive and by that point I had ten minutes left. The line of people at the start was so long, I think the limit was 3000 people and they had no on the day entries so I am guessing they sold out. I know people who signed up on Monday and got numbers in the 2500’s. Anyway I set off and was keeping a pretty good pace- I reached the first mile marker in just under ten minutes (which is fast for me) so I was not sure I would be able to keep it up. There was a very steep hill after mile 3 (not as bad as Berkhamstead though) and a few other shorter steep hills. The 6 mile mark passed at 61 minutes so again I was a little fast for my final estimate. The day was overcast, it even spat with rain when we were parking the car, and there was a bit of a breeze so that definitely helped. I was doing ok; each time there was a hill I did some good old fashioned positive thinking (yes you will get out of breath but you will get it back on the flat). I had my cherry raisins (thanks Nak’d) after mile 8, as I was beginning to struggle a little. By mile 10 I was feeling tired and getting a bit stiff. My water in my bottle had basically run out (save a dribble which I kept for emergencies!) so I had to stop at the remaining few water stations. I really find it hard to drink from a cup, so I had to slow down and walk at the last 3 stops to get some drink. That is when it got really hard- I almost get a head-rush to my legs once I start running again- I much prefer to keep on going. But anyway the last mile was thankfully downhill, then the last little bit was along the flat. I crossed the finish line and my chip time is 2.19.17- so I beat my time by 13 minutes! One minute per mile quicker! So I am super pleased! I walked around for a bit before giving my chip back, getting an ice lolly (I do like a banana but it was quite warm so the lolly was nice), some lucozade light- summer berries stuff (which was weird and odd tasting), a t-shirt and the all important medal! The race was really good- it has been going for 29 years now so they learn from the past. There were so many marshals all around the course, they were cheering everyone on, there were water points every 1.5 miles for the start, then more than every mile by the end. The left luggage was good too (I have only ever seen unattended ones before)- you got a tag with your race number on and left your bag, then when you collected it someone matched up your race number to your tag and went to get it.

I have not done much for the rest of the day! By the time I finished I was covered in salt, so I made sure I drank all the lucozade to help re-hydrate me. Once home (and after a shower) I had some Vita Coco coconut water (do you know apparently this can be used in emergency blood transfusions as it is so similar in makeup to human blood?), as well as a quesadilla which I made with 2 mini wholemeal wraps, red pesto, cherry tomatoes and mozzarella. Plus a nectarine and some yoghurt. Boy I was hungry!

Later on we visited some family and I am now planning on having a bath this evening in the hope of stopping me being quite so stiff!

It is weird now though as I have no more races that I am signed up to. There are a few 10k’s in the autumn which I have my eye on, but for the moment I am looking forward to running the distance that I fancy, instead of knowing that I have to run, say, 11 miles at the weekend as it is in my training plan. I have enjoyed it but sometimes I have felt under pressure to do a certain distance. I have really enjoyed 8/9 mile runs, so I think when I have the time I will aim for them, and then other times a 5/6 mile run after breakfast is perfect because I still have loads of energy left for the rest of the day. But for now I am having a few days off!