Back to those intervals again

Evening all

I did a lot of foam rolling last night as I started to feel a little stiff and very tired. It seemed to help as this morning my legs felt fine. I was most excited that this evening it was lighter for so much longer! As it was such a sunny day that helped too. In the autumn I start getting impatient to leave work before it gets dark, so I can run, but in the winter I get really used to running in the dark and in the end I quite like the dark (so long as the street lights are on)- it means no one can see how red my face is! So although I love the lighter evenings, it does not affect my running as much as in the autumn if that makes sense? Anyone else love/ hate running in the dark?

After work I had an oaty bar for some energy;

ย These are replacing my seed stacked bars for the moment (although they have only a sprinkling of seeds). It had dried strawberries but actually they were quite moist and like little bits of jam in the flapjack (which is made with coconut oil and sweet freedom). Seemed to do the trick anyway!

I layered up with running tops and then headed out- I looked at the pacing on my Nike+ instead of the time or the distance to see if that helped- 2 mile warm up, 2 miles with intervals- this time I did 9 lots of 2 mins running faster (9.30 ish for the faster bits, 10.30ish for the recovery pace although it was hard to see in the dark!), then 2 miles cool down (although I was so cold I did not need much of a cool down). We continue with the theme of me making myself like intervals- these ones were ok but I think I need to go a bit faster. Maybe next week…

Then it was home for some lentil chilli- I forgot a sweet potato so while it was heating up I added some quinoa and water to cook in with it- seemed to work ๐Ÿ™‚

I baked some plums yesterday as they were “ripen at home” but have not ripened, so I might have some of those a bit later as another snack ๐Ÿ™‚


Weekly recap

Happy Sunday all

So time for the weekly recap. This week I did 4 miles on monday, aerobics Tuesday (and got stiff calves during this for some reason), a 6 mile run wednesday (still with stiff calves), body pump on thursday (which helped with the stiff calves a lot), a long run of 11.4 miles on saturday, and had a nice walk today. Total miles this week= 21.4 miles. I tried those clif bloks for the first time and they did not have any side effects. I have been foam rolling most evenings which does seem to help, although it still hurts a lot! I have also been trying to drink more water again today.

Today began with porridge in a jar- the most exciting thing about making pumpkin pasta was having some left over pumpkin that I could add to my porridge. This one had a blob of pumpkin puree, some allspice and a few dried cherries.

The addition of all the scrapings of peanut butter from the jar made it even tastier ๐Ÿ™‚ I do sometimes (especially on saturdays) add a blob of pb to my porridge, but when it is from a jar you get peanut flavour in every spoonfull. Plus the dried cherries were amazing- they had plumped up overnight and added bursts of sweetness- yum.

I had a walk this afternoon to stretch the legs, and then for lunch I tried the PB2 (powdered peanut butter) from the lovely Jess.

I was so impressed- once you added water and mixed it was just like peanut butter-(hold on, peanut butter tastes like peanut butter? really?)-ย really tasty pb too ๐Ÿ™‚


We are off to see Andy’s parents in a bit so fingers crossed they like the cake. (And also that the icing does not fall off on the way round!)

Also we signed up for the Great South Run yesterday- I love watching stuff like that on TV but the last few years the Herts 10K has been on at the same time so we have always done that instead, but this year we decided to go for that race. I have never done a 10 miler so am looking forward to that, and I think the crowd support etc will be nothing like I have ever done before either, as the races I have done tend to me smaller local ones. It’s not every day you get a chance to run a race alongside Blue Peter presenters now is it ?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend folks ๐Ÿ™‚

Energy gel territory

Evening all, hope you all had a fab Saturday.

At Christmas my Dad put together a box of running things for me and Andy- as well as a running top each it also included things like various energy gels (he said he had so much fun choosing all the things and was told by the lady in the shop that we would need to try different ones to see which ones we prefer). I have been a bit chicken about trying them, but today I decided to start. I took with me 2 clif shot bloks in a sandwich bag (did not want to be faffing with the packet)- this went in the pocket in my waist pack.

I thought they would be all joined together, but they are seperated in the packet already, which would make them easy to eat on the run. The plan today was 11 miles, and I decided that instead of looking at the time on my Nike+, I would look at the miles instead, as I can get a bit obsessed with the time at where I think each mile marker is. After about 7 miles I took one of them, and was pleasantly surprised- they were soft, like a soft fruit jelly whereas I thought they would be really chewy like wine gums or toffee or something (not keen on that). The flavour (mountain berry) was yummy too. I duly had water after (well nuun but that counts I am sure) and then at about 8.5 miles I had the second one. The pack says 3-6 every hour, but I wanted to try first. I did not feel like I got a rush of energy or anything, but interestingly my speed did pick up during those miles- the first one is fairly steep downhill so that may be why. Anyway, I had no side effects and felt good, although I did feel tired and the wind was so cold it felt like my bones were frozen and my face is still sore now. In the end my route was 11.4 miles, which took me 1 hour 57 mins (including several road crossings). Again, I was tired when I got home, but not shattered, and I did not feel like I was limping home, I managed to end feeling pretty strong. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am quite impressed with the ingredients too- brown rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, brown rice syrup solids, pectin, citric adic, colour, flavour, sunflower oil and glazing agent (nothing sounds too scary or chemically)- each “blok” is 33 cals, 8g carbs and 4g sugars, 23mg sodium and 7mg potassium so good to know they replace some of the lost salts too.

Andy was off to the football in the afternoon (Southampton) so we had a fairly big lunch (he had run 11 miles before his breakfast)- some spicy bean soup and some mozzerella, pesto and pepper quesadillas. Plus some nuts.

(The quesadillas are super easy- spread a small wholemeal tortilla with basil pesto or basil puree, sprinkle on chopped pepper and some mozzerella, top with another tortilla and grill on a griddle pan thing, flip, then serve. Normally I do not add the peppers as it made it all lumpy and very hard to flip, but we had a spare one in the fridge).

This afternoon I made a birthday cake for Andy’s Dad- using some delicious Green and Black’s cooking chocolate and a Rachel Allen recipe.

Apparently it has more cocoa butter in it for easier melting- mmmm.

Stirring the melted chocolate (in a little bit of milk) into the batter-mmm some more!

I made the caramel frosting from Veganomicon for something a little different I hope, although it went all stiff like fudge and was very hard to spread! It will taste better than it looks I am sure! Anyway, I go for the rustic look- then we know it is home-made!

I also tried making my own cereal bar type thing this afternoon, using rude health oat puffs, some PB, rice syrup, dried cherries, spelt flourย and a few other things. I had one with some tea this afternoon, but it was not quite right. I am not sure if it just was not quite sweet enough, or if the oat puffs burnt a bit in the oven. Anyway, it was alright, and I have a few ideas of how to improve it.

I am going to lay down in front of the football now -night ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin pasta by popular demand

Evening all

So here is rhe recipe first of all, for the Tofu pumpkin pasta. I think this was recommended to me by Alison, from this blog.

So, first I cook 150g wholemeal pasta (but make more if you want a bigger portion). Then I wilt 100g spinach (or however big the packet is) in with the drained pasta.

Then blend up 300g pumpkin (most of a normal tin which are currently by the tinned fruit in my local Waitrose- not the canned veg for some reason) with a packet of silken tofu, and a few chopped sundried tomatoes- maybe 25g. This blending takes a while as I only have a mini chopper!

Stir the tofu mix in with the pasta and spinach, and then share into 3 oven trays- I get the foil trays as then they can be frozen easily. Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes and serve (or freeze, defrost when you want it and then cook). The first time I had this I put some goats cheese on the top, as I love pumpkin and goats cheese, but I actually love it without cheese, it is so creamy and delicious. Enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

Last night was body pump, which was fab ๐Ÿ™‚ A lot of the newbies from last week were back again this week, which is always good to see. I also managed to maintain the shoulder weight (there is a girl there- I say girl, I think she is in her 50’s- who does the same weights as me, and when she saw that I put the lightest weights away right before the track, she said to me that I might want to swap to them half way through, but I said to her that I managed it last week so I was going to make myself do it!) and today my shoulders have not been too bad- not as bad as last week anyway.

Post body pump was a yummy bowl of chocolate yoghurt and cashew ginger crunch cereal from Nature’s Path– can you see the massive cashews I got in it?

Chocolate and ginger go so well ๐Ÿ™‚

Today was a rest day and when I got home I was really looking forward to a cup of tea. During the week I often get home and spend 5 minutes changing before I head out for a run, or aerobics, and I really look forwards to just having a sit down on a friday.

This is another type of delicious chai tea ๐Ÿ™‚

Love it!

Now I am relaxing and drinking lots of water ahead of my long run tomorrow- enjoy the start to the weekend peeps ๐Ÿ™‚

Snacks continued!

Thanks for all the comments! It was clearly an issue a lot of people felt strongly about! I must say that I am not offended by what people say to me, but I do think that some people with more food issues could be driven to being more anxious around food, so I do think people need to think about what they say! I think that as I work with a lot of older women who are constantly on diets (but never exercise), the issue of food is often discussed. Glad everyone else loves their snacks too! I think it’s the best way to fuel exercise, and also to stop me from getting so hungry that I stuff myself.

Onto today; I was most excited to have a delicious breakfast

Last night I put a packet of apple porridge in a bowl with some Kara coconut milk and a sprinkling of allspice. This morning I cooked it and then added a tsp peanut butter, and also added some cinnamon. Totally delicious!

After work (and a clif bar- I orderd some oatmeal raisin ones from Wiggle and they arrived yesterday, randomly with some haribo sweets in the box too which I took into work and were gone in a few hours!) it was run time. At the end of aerobics last night my calves were feeling really tight, and on my run today I had to stop a few times to stretch as they were getting quite tight again. The plan was 6 miles,with 2 in the middle slightly faster. The warm up was fine (in the drizzle though) and then after that I sped up a bit. The aim was 9.30 miles, and the first one was just over 9 mins, but this one is downhill! The next one was around 9.30, so I was pretty pleased. I do look forward to the lighter evenings where I can stray a bit further- the two mile loop is getting rather boring now! I am getting a lot of ticks on my plan which is feeling more satisfying as it goes on!

Once home I had to make my pumpkin pasta- I thought I had one more in the freezer, but no, I had to make it today. Before my run I weighed out the dry pasta and left Andy a note to cook it for me if he got back before I did (which he did). So once home, I quickly added the spinach to wilt it, whizzed up the pumpkin, tofu and sundried tomatoes and mixed it in, and then it was ready to bakeย while I had a shower ๐Ÿ™‚ Served with some green beans and beetroot it was very tasty indeed. I have 2 more for the freezer so the next few weeks will be back to the easiest dinners ever!

Now, off for an evening snack ๐Ÿ™‚