So excited!!!

I am so excited about tomorrow! We have to have an early start to get there with plenty of time, but I am sure I will be awake early anyway. Although I can’t decide about the t-shirt. They sent out a technical t-shirt along with the race number, and they would prefer you to wear it, but they were unisex sizes, and the size small is basically the same as Andy’s medium one. Today has been overcast and much cooler, but if it is warm I generally wear a vest anyway. Decisions decisions.

This morning I started off having a lovely acai bowl (frozen banana, blueberries and cherries, soya milk, acai powder and peanut butter)- served with allotment raspberries, blueberries and a peach, plus muesli. Phew!

So good. Although as it was cooler I had a black mint tea after.

Then I painted my nails (I was given some pretty polish by one of the teachers yesterday) and pottered about before heading up to the hospital to see my Mum. I then did some shopping and got rather thirsty (on the drive back from the hospital I have to go on the motorway and having the windows open was too noisy, so I ended up overheating rather a lot)- treated myself to an iced chai latte for a late lunch!

The Julian Graves in Welwyn has been shut for ages, but when I walked past there was a new shop there (maybe called the Olive Tree?)- it sold the same sorts of things so I picked up some dried figs, dates and almonds. That coconut water was on offer in Waitrose so I bought a couple of bottles too, plus some lovely looking iced tea.

Right, I am off to watch a movie and relax before tomorrow. When we signed up to the Olympic run I was hoping to beat my only ever 5 mile time of 52 minutes (on a cross country course) but now with the heat and not running for the past week I just want to enjoy it and soak up the atmosphere. I have Chariots of Fire going around in my head already…

Back running!


I was getting very itchy feet and very grumpy as I had not run since last Wednesday. I didn’t want to make my cough worse, and at times it did sound a bit chesty. So better to be safe, especially as there is no way I want to make myself worse and miss the Olympic run on Sunday.

But, last night I did not cough at all! (Whereas the nights before I have been waking up and having coughing fits). Today I have hardly coughed at all, so when I got home I went on a short run. I did just under 3 miles and I took it slowly, but it was baking hot. Anyway, it was fine, so I now know I can do the 5 miles on Sunday. Phew.

When I got back I had some of those kettle corn popchips (picked them up in Sainsbury’s this week)- they are delicious! I am not always a fan of sweet and salty things, as I often find them too salty, but these were perfect.

We have been walking to the allotment most evenings- I collected a big pile of raspberries and had them for breakfast the next morning (oh, and three blueberries!).

I have been enjoying the Danio yoghurts for breakfast- a strawberry one with some watermelon- lovely.

And a peach one with some melon and blueberries. Although I noticed that some of them have cream as an ingredient, and some don’t, and then on closer inspection some are 0% and some are not. Although they all taste very creamy to me.

These are all the blackcurrants I picked this week! Last night I picked a load from our garden, and then the little ones are from the allotment from the night before. I really fancy making some jam with them as I love blackcurrant jam.

It was the last day of term today (well, for the kids- we have training next week) and one of the teachers gave me this bouquet of rhubarb! Fab! I am not sure if you can really get the idea of how enormous it is- I had to take my parcel shelf out of my boot to get it in there! Think it will make a mountain of compote- or maybe I should make some more jam?

My class also gave me some beautiful flowers- so thoughtful of them.

I now have a glorious rest day ahead of me tomorrow- I am going to do some baking for work next week, do some weeding in the garden, and hopefully visit my Mum (who finally had her op this week after a lot of waiting and the consultant changing his mind etc) in hospital- another reason why I need this cough to go. Then, on Sunday we are going to the Olympic park! I am super excited! Andy is mainly excited for fro-yo afterwards in Pinkberry!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Melting, and a winner!

Hey peeps, how are we all holding up?

I do love the sunshine, but being at work when it is this hot is tough (my room was 30C each afternoon this week)- today was the first day I wished I had air conditioning in my car.

I have not been running at all, as my cough has not cleared up yet. But I have been going on a walk most evenings, to enjoy the sun. I am taking resting seriously as I really want to do the Olympic park run on Sunday- I just saw that Paula Radcliffe is going to be running it- so exciting! Although she will have finished before my wave even start I imagine!

On Sunday morning we had another acai bowl- this was frozen banana, cherries, blueberries, acai powder and soya milk all whizzed up. Served with allotment strawberries and granola. So refreshing.

Dinners need to be cold too- (well apart from the veggie burger)-I mixed some balsamic tomatoes in with some avocado, lime juice and sea salt and mashed it all up.

Last night I popped to the shops to pick up a few bits including some Danio yoghurts- I was kindly sent a voucher for them so I could try them for my blog. It was only when I got home I realised I had forgotten to use the voucher! Luckily my first taste of them was good so I will be happy to use it next time!

I had one this morning (a strawberry one) with some watermelon. It is all about the cold things at the moment!

Right, on to the winner! I used a random number generator from the internet, which came up with number 2 – Mary, who said if she had 10,000 hours she would learn to swim properly. If you email me ( with your address I will pass it to the fuel people to post out your prize!

How do you cope at work in this heat?

Blackcurrant cheesecake (recipe)

Hey peeps,

So last weekend I picked a load of blackcurrants from the allotment, and as the weather was so warm I decided a cheesecake would be perfect.

I had a look at some old recipes, and searched on the internet, but so many either required baking (too hot for that) or needed gelatine to make it set. So I mixed up a few recipes and it turned out really well.

The base was about 200g ginger biscuits and 75g melted spread. I did think afterwards that I could have used coconut oil- might try that next time.

I ordered this quark from Ocado and used it for the “cheese” layer. The lemon was very very tart indeed, I wasn’t a fan, but the vanilla was lovely on its own. Anyway, I mixed both tubs and added a little condensed milk to sweeten, then poured this over the base.

Then I left that to chill while I made the topping.

I took out all the strawberries and a few redcurrants, and put the blackcurrants in a pan. Not sure how many but more than a small punnets worth. I added a splash of water and a little coconut sugar, and gently simmered it until the berries burst and the sauce thickened a little.

I left it to cool and added a few blackcurrants and the redcurrants as a decoration. We took it to Andy’s parents’ (that was a fun car ride!) and enjoyed it for Sunday tea. (I lined the tin with cling film as it is a loose bottomed pan and sometimes filling has leaked out before!)

Now I have more blackcurrants this week- what shall I do with them this time?

Running films

I am not really a film buff, but I do like to listen to the radio 5 film podcast each week (often we listen to it when we are cooking/ eating dinner on Friday night) and I do like going to the cinema or having a movie night at home.

I have a guest post for you today all about films:

Top 5 Films for Runners

If you’re an enthusiastic runner, with a love of pounding the pavements and clocking up the miles in your battered running shoes, it’s likely that something or someone inspired you to take up running as a hobby.

Maybe it was a friend, who preached the benefit of how much they enjoying running and the wonders it was doing for their health and fitness? Or perhaps it was just the sight of another runner, with that peaceful, content look on their face that only comes with long distance running.

Chances are though, your inspiration to take up running will have come from something you’ve seen in a film. Running is a powerful metaphor on screen and is often used to symbolise a character’s physical and mental enlightenment.

Check out these top 5 films for runners to see if the one that influenced you made the cut.


This 1970s classic inspired a generation of people to take up running and we can definitely thank Sylvester Stallone and the creators of Rocky for the canonical status of ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on the runner’s iPod.

Rocky had such a massive impact on running culture that the location of the famous ‘running up the steps scene’, has turned into something of a runner’s mecca. The 72 stone steps to the entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art have become known as the ‘Rocky Steps’ and attract enthusiastic joggers and runners, keen to mimic this iconic scene.

The scene has even been recreated in other films, including the 2005 rom-com In Her Shoes (which was actually filmed in the same location) and the hit 1996 comedy The Nutty Professor, and symbolises a character reaching a state of mental and physical improvement. Definitely one to watch if you’re in need of inspiration!

Forrest Gump

“From that day on, if I was going somewhere, I was running!”

It’s got to be one of the most memorable running quotes in movie history and equally, one of the most touching representations of running as a source of comfort and a coping mechanism, when things in life get tough.

We follow Forrest as he makes his way across the United States of America (and back, because he ran out of land), inspiring and motivating people along his way, and even encouraging some to follow him on his journey.

And when asked why he’s undertaken his challenge, Tom Hanks’ lovable character responds with an answer that sums up why so many of us took up this pursuit: “I just felt like running.”

Run Fatboy Run

This is the film to watch if you’re starting out as runner and you’re feeling daunted by the fact that you’re, quite frankly, not very good at it.

Simon Pegg’s lovable underdog character is never going to come first in a marathon – even jogging is a bit of a struggle with his little pot belly – but you can’t help but root for him as proves himself worthy to the woman he loves.

Runaway Bride

We’ve all been in situations in life when we’ve just felt like running away. In this 1996 rom-com, Julia Roberts does just that; from a selection of weddings where she is the bride!

I’m not sure what the feminists would make of it and how it represents female sacrifice to male authority, but I’m always touched by the scene when Roberts surrenders her running shoes to Gere, as a symbol that she will not run away from their love.

Silver Linings Playbook

We’re definitely beginning to see a trend here, when it comes to the cinematic representation of running as a method of taking control of one’s life and coping with difficulty!

The 2012 hit movie Silver Linings Playbook has already been heralded as a modern day classic and was heavily praised at last year’s Oscar ceremony, with lead Jennifer Lawrence taking home the award for Best Actress.

It may be testament to how hot Bradley Cooper actually is, that he manages to pull off a bin bag better than most men would an Armani suit, but it’s worth bearing in mind that running in one of these can be on the dangerous side. That said, we wouldn’t advise running in a wedding dress either!

Friends – ‘The One Where Phoebe Runs’

Okay, it’s not actually a film – but when it comes to running on screen, Phoebe Buffay’s distinctive running style deserved a place in the top five.

We’ve all got a friend whose running style is bizarre and embarrassing enough, that you’ll push yourself even further on your run to put some distance between you and them! However, it’s an important reminder to any runner that it’s not about looking good when you’re clocking up the miles. It’s about putting passion into your running and enjoying yourself as you get fit!

The movies – and that one memorable piece of TV gold – may hammer home the message that we run to get away from things and to cope with life’s difficulties, but you have to remember that this is more down to artistic license. We’re going to go with Forrest’s conclusion and explain our passionate love for running on the basis that we just felt like running one day!

Today’s article is courtesy of Jack Collier, who is an avid writer and blogger of all things running related. His article was written on behalf of Millet Sports, a leading supplier of running shoes, clothing and accessories. 

I have only seen three of those films (and the Friends episode)- can you guess which ones? I want to add to that the How I Met Your Mother episode when Barney ran the New York marathon- I could totally sympathise with him in that!

What type of films/ TV shows do you find inspiring? I love watching things like the Eddie Izzard challenges, or when James Cracknell ran the Marathon des Sables.

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