Yellow Courgette excitement!!

So when I got home today I went out on an extremely windy run! I managed 3.7 miles in 37 minutes, ten minute miles seems to be my general pace nowadays which I am pretty pleased with. For a snack before I had a Nak’d cocoa orange bar and seriously these are amazing! Yummy yummy yummy. I think I say this all the time but each time I have one they seem to get tastier!

When I got back I went into the garden and harvested my first yellow courgettes. They were only baby ones, but the baby ones taste so good and I am getting a little impatient- I have a feeling that most of them will be ready while I am on holiday.

I had a super dinner, I sliced a green courgette (yawn), yellow pepper and the baby yellow courgettes (pretty) and roasted them in the oven with some oregano and a squirt of oil. I put some green basil pesto and som mozzerella inside a part-baked ciabatta, then when the roasted veggies were done (25 mins ish) I put as many as would fit in the bread and baked for 8 minutes. Served with the left-over roasted veggies, plus a massive salad (with omega 3 flax oil of course). Super tasty!

Plus BIG news. 🙂  When I logged on to Nike+ to upload my run I am finally onto the green level! Woohoo! The background is all pretty and the runs are now green instead of orange. So that means that since May when I got it I have run over 150 miles which sounds like quite a lot.

Off to a quiz now- Hooray for yellow courgettes (and green levels!)


Sneaky short one before breakfast

I woke up early this morning and straight away the thought of a short run crossed my mind. I did try to go back to sleep, but then I decided that I would fit just a short run in. I had a lot of water, changed and then headed out. By that time it was about 8.15am and I was surprised as to how many people I saw; it was lovely though because there wasn’t much traffic about so I didn’t have to stop at all when crossing roads (well of course I slow to look for traffic but no pushing the button or what-not). I decided to go quite fast, and according to my Nike+ I was just faster than 9 minute miles which is speedy for me. I did 2.65 miles and was home before the alarm went off! Result! It’s a great feeling to have a run right at the start of the day.

Aside from that I have been busy seeing family, not much else to report. Bye!

What to take to a race

Well I was up bright and early (due to neighbours mowing their lawn at 7.30am with a strimmer. Seriously.) and ready for the race. Even though I had done this race before I still had pre-race nerves! Silly. Anyway I got everything ready with plently of time.

My list is:

Sun-cream on

Mp3 player charged

Water left in fridge over night

Safety pins on race number

Timer chip on laces

Tissues in pocket

Sunglasses on

The race starts in the village of Wheathampstead, and there were car parks available only a short walk from the start. We had to walk through a field full of BBQ’s, bouncy castles etc (plus loads of sweaty children with their medals from the 2k race going back the other way). It has a good family atmosphere. Last year when I did this race it was my first “proper” race (e.g. a chip timer one, men competing, people with running club vests etc) but it was pouring with rain, and I struggled as that was the furthest I had ever run.

This year was the total opposite; waiting at the start there was no shade, so I was hot before we even started. The race is mostly uphill (I had forgotten quite how much uphill it actually was), and a lot of it was exposed as it was through fields. Some of it was in the shade, and occasionally there was a breeze. I started off hoping for a time of 60 minutes, but after half way I was a little behind (34 minutes) and it was so hot that I decided to finish without getting heatstroke (hopefully). There was no clock on the finish line, but I had managed to press go on my Nike+ as I went over the starting mat, and it said 63 minutes, so I was pretty pleased with that! Will have to see what the official chip time was, but I am happy with that as a time.

Once you finish there was a welcome banana ( I always love a banana after a race) and more bottles of water. The water in my hand bottle had got really warm, so I tipped it over myself and drank the cold bottled water.

After a little wander around the fields we headed home, and am now having lunch (wholemeal tortilla spread with light cream cheese, red pesto and sprinkled with sundried tomatoes= yum) after a nice cool shower. Phew.

A super easy fudge recipe! Plus you guessed it, more running!

The other day I did make some white chocolate fudge, and I didn’t have time to post about it! Poor fudge, it must feel left out, I hope the cookies aren’t laughing at it.

The recipe was from Home Cooking , and I would normally shy away from a recipe like that because it involves scary sounding things like “the soft ball stage”. But now I have a sugar thermometer the world of sweets is my oyster!

The recipe was super simple; sugar (nice brown sugar), condensed milk and butter. Heat it all up, stir it about, then take it off the heat and beat. Now on the TV show Rachel puts the pan in the sink and beats it by hand. No thank you! I got out my electric hand-held whisk thing, and used that instead. Genius! It worked a treat! Once done I poured half in the tin, sprinkled on some white chocolate chips, poured the rest over and left to cool. It is so yummy! The stuff I took into work has already disappeared, we still have some in our fridge but I am sure it won’t last long! I am not sure that the photo does it justice as I am not much of a photographer. But I really recommend the recipe.

Today was medium run day; I am now close to the next colour level on Nike+. Not sure what will happen when I get up to the next level, but it is quite exciting nonetheless! After an Apple Pie bar (cinnamon=yum) I headed out. I kept my fingers crossed and it stayed dry the whole way! After the hail and rain of this afternoon I was super surprised. I didn’t take any water with me because I keep getting a stiff shoulder and I am sure that even though it is a proper runners holdy-water bottle thingy, it still makes me run a little wonky. So when it is hot or I am doing a very long run I will take it, I have decided to see if I can manage without on shorter runs.

In the end I managed my loop in 61 minutes, my fastest time yet so I am pretty pleased.

I am now one mile away from the next colour level; so close! I have a long one planned for Saturday so am preparing to smash through the barrier!

Recovery food?

Happy Saturday everyone! After breakfast (but I forgot a banana) I turned on my Nike+ and headed out on my run. It was hard work today. First I could not decide what to wear; normally the summer is easier because it is basically as little as possible. But recently it has been really cold, and windy too so I settled on a t-shirt and my rain jacket. Boy was I glad I wore that! After 7 miles it poured with rain and I got soaked; the wind was blowing really hard too so that didn’t help. The rain did stop, thankfully, but the wind didn’t so the last mile was into a really strong headwind and I felt like I was going at walking speed. When I logged on to the nike website after my speed dropped massively for the last mile!

When I got home I went to have a look in the garden (and to have a stretch)- I find that if I come inside I sit down and promise myself I will stretch in a minute, but I don’t and I get really stiff. So whilst in the garden I had a Sainsbury’s banana and mango fairtrade bar (it tasted waaay too much like dried banana; would not recommend but it was in my water bottle pouch and I was hungry!). Then I planted some more beetroot seeds as the ones I planted last month have not come up yet.

I found a packet of Science in Sport recovery drink in the cupboard (got it free with runners world last month) and so decided to try it. It might help with headaches? I only had 10g of powder to see what it was like, then I would have made more if it was ok. Well, I didn’t like it!! It was banana flavour but I thought it might be nice. So to get rid of the taste I had a pink lady apple and a Nak’d Ginger bread bar. Now that is something that is tasty! Made of dates, almonds, pecans, ginger, cloves and cinnamon it smells so good, like the Disney Christmas shop. It is soft and dense and chewy and delicious……

What does everyone else have for recovery food I wonder? I know there is supposed to be a balance between protein and carbohydrate to replace lost energy and to help muscles repair. I had an article about it in women’s running magazine and there was a list of foods- I need to dig it out and stick it on my fridge. I do remember that chocolate milk was one of them mentioned, and I would definitely prefer that over the banana drink I had today. Hey ho, you live and learn.

I had a lot of work to be doing, so after a shower I had some lunch before getting started. I had some tomato and basil soup with a piece of quinoa rye bread, half with Philadelphia light and sundried tomatoes, and half with Philadelphia and red pesto. Yum. I think the saltiness is good after a run.

Later on after a walk (or hobble) to the post-box I made a yummy brain-booster. In my mini chopped I whizzed up a banana, added 10g peanut butter and 100g Rachel’s organic strawberry pouring yoghurt. It was super delicious! Very runny but really yummy; I could taste the hint of peanut butter. I think it would be lovely with a frozen banana (kind of like peanut butter banana ice cream) so I will definitely try that on a hotter day!

Whilst doing work I watched the final of the biggest loser Australia- phew I am glad that series is over; there must have been nearly 100 episodes!!