Posts Tagged by Races

WIAW: Race Day!

*ETA* This is yesterday’s post, but my internet connection was badb last night so it didn’t post!

 

HEY friends! How is your week going? I thought it’d be fun to do a “What I Ate” post on an evening race day like today!

To catch up anyone who doesn’t know what WIAW is, it’s like a weekly bloggy event started by Jenn in which people post their day’s eats…you check out Peas and Crayons blog for all the details!

 

Before the race, I tend to keep things lighter than normal to try to avoid stomach issues that I have had in 90% of my races! This is different for everyone, but after a lot of different trials I’ve found that eating less and consuming mostly carbs works best for me on race day.

 

I started my morning with a big bowl of Shreddies, soy milk, sliced banana, and peanut butter.

image

 

I forgot to snap a picture of lunch, but it was leftover noodles from yesterday’s dinner! Followed by my favourite fruit…

IMG_1749

mmmmm mango :)

 

Afternoon snack and coffee:

IMG_1239

IMG_1230

 

Followed by a lovely shakeout run in the sun with my dog! Before evening track races, I do a 10 minute VERY SLOW jog three hours before the gun goes off. The idea I think is to get your blood flowing, and it works well for me!

IMG_22411

 

Also, I found a grass track on the way! I am going to have fun with this this summer :)

IMG_2242

 

Then Buddy and I had a good ol’ nap. It’s a hard life for us ;)

image

He looks cute when he’s sleeping. I do not. Fun fact: I sleep with my eyes half open. I had no idea until my friends told me, and it freaks everyone out apparently haha!

 

My race was due to start at 8.45pm, but it was delayed by over an hour! Not cool when you’re warmed up and ready! I had a bit of pasta two hours before, but didn’t want to risk anything else, which worked out well in the end as I felt good and had no stomach problems :) Today I raced the mile again, which is short for me, but we are trying to work on my speed!

IMG_2243

 

My coach was there, and we made a race plan. This race was more of a workout than a big PB effort. I usually race so often that it can be much more useful to work on race tactics/speed instead of just going for a PR every time. So this race my aim was to start really FAST and hold it for as long as possible. Because I consider myself more of a longer distance runner, I am used to starting out slower and then picking up the pace. I have gotten so used to doing this, and I do it in everything from races to workouts, and my coach is always nagging me about it! For the shorter distances, it is important to start fast, so my goal for today was to get out of my comfort zone and go out hard!

IMG_2251

stepping up

 

I took the first lap out in 74 (4.58 min/mile pace), and then managed to hold that pace for the next couple of laps, but then COMPLETELY ran out of gas (as expected!) in the last lap, which ended up being a LOT slower! :P I don’t have the results yet, but I think from what I saw on the clock that it may have been a new PB…we’ll see! But it taught me an important lesson in getting out of my comfort zone, and I carried out the race plan exactly. I knew that I would bomb out at the end, but it was a matter of lasting as long as I could at a faster-than-race-pace speed, and I held out longer than expected, so coach and I were pleased :)

 

Also, I now totally understand why runners strength train! My arms were seriously ACHING running into the wind at speed…definitely need to hit those weights again soon! Smile

 

And now I’m hungry again (I had choc soy milk+ a PB sandwich after the race!), so it’s late-night snack-time…my favourite :)

image

banana with Dark Chocolate Dreams PB= heaven

 

What is your staple pre-race food? I don’t have a “staple”, but right now cereal and milk seems to be working well!

 

What is the best thing you’ve eaten recently? A  vegan cupcake yesterday that had BUTTERSCOTCH FROSTING. It was divine.

 

Are you a napper? How often do you take naps? I have gotten into the habit now of taking a nap before workouts or races and I am loving them!

 

Have a great day friends!! <3

Finding My Strong

 

It’s no secret that I am a huge Saucony fan.

IMG_1366

These are the shoes in my current ‘rotation’. I use all of these at least one a week!

 

I love my running shoes. I have run previously in mainly Asics and Brooks, but my fire shoes (the orange ones) got me started with Saucony, and I haven’t looked back since! I am definitely a Saucony girl :)

IMG_1368

Saucony Endorphin LD3 (long distance track spikes), Saucony Grid Type A4 (racing flats), and two pairs of Saucony Kinvaras (my current regular training shoes).

 

What has made me fall in love with Saucony EVEN MORE is their new ad campaign: Find Your Strong. I love that. In case you haven’t seen it, this is their video:

“Is it muscle? Or is it something more? Is it measured in miles or milliseconds? Is it your best time or your worst day? Maybe strong is just what you have left when you’ve used up all your weak…”

 

On Wednesday night, I had to find my strong. I was signed up for a 2 mile track race, but on Sunday night my brother returned from a trip to Morocco, and brought back with him Moroccan Swine Flu. Everyone else is telling me that it’s just a bad cold, but I’m convinced it must be the flu ;) Either way, I’ve spent the last couple of days feeling not-so-great and basically being on total bed rest, but decided to try and race anyway. I’m great at making sensible decisions I know.

3576368

My first evening race, my second ever track race, and my first two-miler!

 

I spoke to my coach on the phone before the race to catch him up with my situation and discuss my ‘plan’. We re-evaluated my goal for the day, and decided to shoot for sub-12 minutes, but he made it clear that if I was feeling worse during the race, that I had to drop out immediately. To be honest, unless a leg fell off, I would always try to finish, because I don’t want a DNF on my profile! Again, showing my rational thought processes here ;)

IMG_1362

 

My race was delayed by 45 minutes, so ended up starting at 8.15pm! By far my latest race! Even in the warm-up, I knew this was going to be a tough race. I was coughing and sneezing constantly, felt drained, and more than anything because my stomach was NOT happy. I hate making “excuses” and always try to think positive before races, but this was making me very nervous! I felt nauseous and had stomach cramps, and although I’ve always had stomach problems going into races, this was much worse than usual!The whole race was spent trying to focus on not throwing up. I considered pulling out about 1000x, but every time I thought about it, my brain responded with “FIND YOUR STRONG”. It was also tough because I was running alone. It was an ‘open’ meet, so I was running against men and women of all ages, and I was a good half a lap behind the guy in front of me.

 

As I turned the bend for the final time, I could see on the clock that it was going to be close. I pushed as hard as I could, and crossed the line in 11.59.40. “Is it measured in miles or milliseconds?” the Find Your Strong video asks, and in my case, strong is measured in those 20 milliseconds.

strong-desktop-1600x1200-1334314005712

 

I re-strained my gastrocnemius muscle in the last lap (so thankful it was only in the last lap!!) which hurt like heck, but it has been taped back up so it’s all good! The race physio gave me the most painful treatment I have ever had in my entire life (and I’ve had two surgeries…this was worse! :P) but made up for it by giving me a ‘prize’ for having the tightest calf muscles he’d ever seen:

IMG_1363

My prize haha!

 

I have always had a problem with having abnormally tight calf muscles no matter how well I stretch, which is why I keep straining it, so I’m going to start having a weekly massage with my team’s sports massage therapist on the physio’s suggestion. Thank goodness my team has one, because there’s no way I could afford to see one on a weekly basis!! Physio Guy said that the weekly massage should keep my calf muscles from getting as bad as they are now, and hopefully I shouldn’t ever strain them again yaay!

 

It was not the best race for me circumstantially, but I am proud of the way I pushed on, and happy with the time, especially given that it is the beginning of the season! I am excited to see what times I can achieve, but to reach my full potential, I know I have to work a few things out training-wise, and ESPECIALLY fuelling-wise! I have had bad stomach problems in almost every race I’ve run (I know that nerves play a huge part in this), and it’s affecting my performance and my confidence, so I need to keep trying to find something that will work for me. On Saturday, I did a Parkrun (free weekly timed 5k run) with a friend to pace her to a 21min 5k (she almost managed it, and we’re trying again this weekend!), and tried fuelling that with just a energy drink, but that didn’t work for me either! So this Saturday I am back to plain white rice (which worked) with a fruit smoothie…fingers crossed that works!

 

So the motto of the day is:
IMG_1365

 

P.S. I am not affiliated or associated with Saucony in any way…I just love them!!

P.P.S. I have no race photos yet, but will post them if any come my way!

 

Are you loyal to a certain brand for any reason? Funny, I remember asking this question on the blog a year ago and saying that I wasn’t! I ran in both Asics and Brooks at the time, but didn’t feel ‘loyal’ to either. But now, Saucony is my love!

 

Have you ever dropped out of a race during it? My second ever cross country race, where I was sick just five minutes in! I think I had food poisoning if I remember rightly but decided to race anyway…good judgement call there! :P

 

Have you ever had a sports massage/deep tissue massage? So. Unbelievably. Painful. But works so well!!

 

Have a great FRIDAY and weekend! <3

Lessons from Cross Country

 

HEY friends! I hope you’ve all had a great weekend! I had my first ever track race today(!), but since the results and stuff aren’t yet up for that, I thought it would be a good time to look back at my cross country season instead!

 

This year has been my first cross country season, and it has been one hell of an experience! It has not only taught me a lot about running and racing, but, cheesy as it sounds, it has taught me so much about myself. And being part of a team with such amazing athletes who are also such wonderful people has been the best! Be prepared for an onslaught of race photos…

 

It taught me the importance of getting a good start in a race…

Kent League 2- Tonbridge

Exhibiting my great reflexes there at the start of my first race.

 

…and of the importance of not falling asleep at the starting line.

London Youth Games

 

But by the end of the season, I was a pro at starting;)

English Schools XC 4

 

Cross country taught me to “man up” and run in all weathers.

Inter Counties

IMG_0533

Racing and training in the snow

 

It also taught me some very painful lessons in determination and perseverance. Like trying to make it to the finish line at Nationals after spraining a calf muscle.

Nationals 1

Now THAT is a look of pure pain! Smile with tongue out Good times.

 

I learned not just how to run, but how to RACE…

Nationals 2

 

…how to speed up even when all you want to do is slow down…

English Schools XC 7

 

…how to keep pushing on…

English Schools XC 5

 

…and how to fight for every second.

English Schools XC 8

 

And those epic sprint finishes, where you manage to muster strength you didn’t know you had left to beat that girl who pushed you into a tree and gave you a concussion. Yep, that happened.

Kent Champs 1

p.s. I also happened to forget my normal shorts that race. That was a good day;)

 

But most importantly, I loved every painful, wonderful minute of it.

image

 

Ok, now this post officially has too many photos of me in it, and I feel like the most narcissistic person on earth, so I’ll throw in this random photo of Buddy as a puppy for you to ‘aww’ at:

2005-06-13 039

 

Hope you’ve all had an amazing weekend! <3

An Unforgettable Experience

 

“Many congratulations to all athletes who have made it to the national finals, particularly those who take part for the first time, it will be a day to remember for the rest of your life. It is through your dedication and hard work that you are here today and I wish you every success, now and in the future, as you line up against the best from all other counties of England.” ~ESAA Chairman

 

I will definitely be remembering this for the rest of my life.

English Schools XC 1

 

I will be remembering the insanely fast race start (first 400m in 70 seconds!) which you can watch here. And treasuring the fame that comes with having your race videoed and featured on Flotrack;)

image

 

I will remember being drug tested(!), and being presented afterwards with a frisbee saying “I am 100% me” on it as a reward for being clean…

IMG_1067

 

A full recap and catch-up to come soon! I am still recovering to be honest, and I am SO unbelievably tired! It was an amazing weekend and an experience I will never forget. But right now, I need my sleep!

 

Catch me up with you! What was the best part of YOUR weekend? The race drug test. I felt like an elite! Plus I got a frisbee out of it haha!

 

And thank you all so much for the support and good luck wishes through comments/Tweets/emails/Facebook! Have a great week!<3

Race Recap: Inter Counties XC

 

Typical that when I finally have the TIME to post, my internet starts playing up! Smile with tongue out I’ve been stuck with a patchy internet connection for the past couple of days, and didn’t fancy posting from my iPhone! But thankfully it seems to be fixed now! So here is my race recap from Saturday! Back soon with my What I Ate Wednesday!

 

I woke up on Saturday feeling refreshed after a good week running-wise, sleeping-wise, and nutrition-wise (well, excluding Friday’s cupcake-fest hehe!). The night before, I had my favourite pre-race meal:

image

Obviously, eating Smiles means that it’s going to be a good race

 

As I mentioned yesterday, I had fuelling problems again. This time I tried plain oatmeal made with water and a banana, and that didn’t work for me either! But I’ve got a couple more suggestions from a nutritionist to try. The other problem was that my race didn’t start till 2.45pm…and I ate breakfast at 8.30am! By this point I knew what I had eaten wasn’t sticking with me well, so I didn’t want to risk anything else. So I raced feeling nauseous, hungry and slightly low on energy, which is why I really need to work it out so I don’t have to go through this again!

 

Anyway, after a couple of hours in the car en route to the race, we arrived at the course with three hours of waiting in the freezing cold (-9C!) ahead of us. We walked the course, and it was beautiful!

IMG_0395

 

Beautiful….and hilly.

IMG_0396

The first of many hills, and the easiest one! Easy being relative of course…the last one was INSANE!

 

As we were walking around, absolutely FREEZING, it began to snow. Oh joy. It was all the more joyful when it was time to peel off all my layers (two hoodies and a ski coat…and I was still cold!) and change into my race singlet and shorts. I borrowed a county singlet, and it was really big on me, which didn’t help with keeping me warm! Smile with tongue outIMG_04011

 

At the start line, we were all wearing as many layers as possible, and our team managers were holding bin bags ready for us to strip and throw as the gun went off. As soon as we saw the gun being raised, we stripped down, turned into icicles, and got ready to run. I’ve never been so thankful for hearing that starting shot! We were off!

Inter-CountiesXC2010%20(5)

I’m pretty sure I am riiiight over the other side of this photo! Compared to my normal shockingly slow reaction times, my start wasn’t too bad!

 

It was the toughest course I have ever run without a doubt. Four massive hills made it a course to remember for sure! The last one was so steep and muddy that we were sliding down it trying to get up! It didn’t help that I hadn’t cleaned out my spikes from the last race so they were already caked in mud and therefore useless on the hills…woops! Cue attractive “I cannot get up this hill” face:

image

So pretty.

 

The aim of this race for me was simply to finish in the top eight in my county. If I did that, then I could qualify for the National finals. For the whole race bar the last hill, I was behind a girl from my county that I was convinced was the one I had to beat to qualify (I thought I was in ninth position at the time). My coach was waiting at the top of the last hill, shouting encouragement to me to overtake her, and I just about managed to as we neared the top. But she took the lead back on the downhill, which lead into the final 800m before the finish. As soon as the course levelled out for the last part though, I could see that she had nothing left. So I made a decisive break and took the lead for the final time:

Inter Counties

That elbow on the left hand side is  my rival’s!

 

The official results still aren’t up yet, so I don’t know the details, but I finished 4th in my county, which means that I am through to the National finals!! It was a bit of a shock, considering I thought I was in eighth or ninth position at the time! SO HAPPY!!

IMG_0413

 

I genuinely did not expect it at all. In fact, on the way there I was thinking up all the excuses I could give and thinking of ways to make myself feel better when I didn’t make it. After I had finished walking the course, I found my coach and freaked out on him. I was scared about the hills (we both know that hills are not my forte…yet!) and was convinced that there was no way I could qualify. I felt like I would not only let myself down, but let him down too. Even with his calming words and advice, I was still having doubts on the start line. But as soon as I started running, I immediately felt at ease. Sure, my stomach was churning and half the race was spent battling severe nausea, but I felt strong and sure and knew that I would give it everything I had, and if that wasn’t enough, then I would be okay with that. Running always makes me feel better Smile

 

I celebrated afterwards with friends, an Indian takeout, and a movie. Refuelling the healthy way obviously Winking smile

IMG_0414

 

My last two races are both Nationals ones, and I have a fortnight till the first one! I am excited!! Bring it on:)

Fuelled by Chocolate…Literally.

zv7qrnb

 

This is how I fuelled yesterday for today’s race:

IMG_0366

IMG_0365

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh wait, and a peanut butter sandwich cookie too:

IMG_0393

 

Oh, add a vanilla/choc cupcake and a mini blueberry streusel loaf cake to that as well for good measure…

IMG_0369

IMG_0390

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two I actually gave to my bro, who has come down from uni for the weekend! He split a bit of each with me though and after that I kinda wished I’d kept them for myself Winking smile 

 

They are from London’s first vegan bakeryMs Cupcake!

GLK5TP1RWQWDEE5K

If you’re ever in London, you have to go here! A friend and I went yesterday, and I brought all these goodies home! IMG_0394

The PB cookie sandwich and the chocolate cupcake were AMAZING. They definitely got the ratio of frosting to cupcake perfectly for me… it was like 5:1!! So so good!

 

P.S. I wasn’t asked to review this place or anything. I just loved it so much I had to tell you all about it! And make you drool and want to eat cupcakes too.

 

This morning I woke up excited to race! I tried having a fruit smoothie this morning…still didn’t work! I always have stomach problems pre-race, and I’m trying to find SOMETHING that will stay down well! It’s never a problem for me with longer races or runs, but anything short and intense like cross country (or future track races) gives me problems. My next thing to try is plain white rice. Not fun, but it’s simple and should hopefully work! Dathan Ritzenhein has it before he races too, and he swears by it!

dathan-ritzenhein

(source)

Maybe it will help me run a 12.56 5k like he can! Winking smile

 

It was such a GREAT race! My hardest one yet for sure, but so awesome! When the results are up, I will do a full recap, but I’ll tell ya now that I am through to finals! It’s down in Somerset, and I am SO THRILLED to make the team! At the start of the year I honestly never even thought I’d make it through to this race, let alone to the National finals! (<— There are two different National XC races, and now I’ll be running both!) So happy right now!

IMG_0413

Post-race endorphins!!

 

Oh yeah, and it was SNOWING whilst we were racing! I went numb haha! But I did think it made me run faster in an effort to finish and be able to throw on some layers!

 

Oh, and I thought I’d share something one of my pastors (who is also a runner) emailed to me right before my race, and it really inspired me!

perseverence

 

Anyway, FULL day recap to come tomorrow hopefully as soon as the results are posted! I know my place, but not knowing my time is killing me!! Patience is not one of my virtues Winking smile

 

Tell me about something YOU want to achieve! I will cheer you on!

 

What has been the best bit of your weekend so far? Race, obviously! And cupcakes of course!

 

Have you ever run in the snow before? Today was the first time that I’ve run whilst it was actually snowing, and tomorrow’s long run may be in the snow too! Although I don’t plan on wearing a vest and shorts this time haha!

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend friends! <3

Regionals Race Recap

 

I have the best news today!! It is a slightly more ‘sensitive’ issue, so be warned! Oh and Dad, stop reading now!

 

Back in September, I posted about a problem I had been having. For about two and a half years, I hadn’t had a period. You can read all about that in this post. Today, it CAME BACK!! I am ecstatic, because I have been increasingly worried about the effect on my bones and general health. Why it stopped in the first place was a mystery, and why it’s come back now is equally mysterious, but I am just so thankful!

 

It wasn’t exactly perfect timing though! Didn’t appreciate it coming back during my workout haha!

image

I’m kidding, I was just so happy it was back! And such a great workout today! I felt strong and I’m learning to pace myself properly during repeats and not race the first one which leads to burnout later. 

 

My other bit of good news is that given my qualifying race time, all I have to do in this Saturday’s race is place in the top 10, and I should be through to the first round of Nationals!! Aaaah!! Of course, I still have to place top 10, which given the competition, is going to be tough! Hopefully I can do it!

 

Oh, race recap! Riiight I’ve been promising that one for a while! Ok, well this was an eventful race, so get ready! Just so you are aware in advance, these race photos of me are horrific. Next Christmas I am going to ask Santa to give me the gift of being photogenic.

 

It was the first round of regionals, so a lot of people were racing. Check out all us runners along the top of the hill!

IMG_7307

 

I have notoriously bad race starts, but thankfully this race didn’t start as fast as it usually does! We picked up pace over the first mile, which was out on open fields. The (large!) lead pack broke off, and I went with them.

Image74

I am in the blue shorts. I am going to pretend that it was a deliberate outfit choice and not a result my disorganised packing…

 

And then we entered the wooded trail, and the fun began. The path was narrow, winded and had many steep inclines. At this point the pack broke up entirely. I stuck with a girl in blue who seemed to be holding a good pace. This was not a good move. When we broke out of the woods briefly into a field before diving back into them, my coach was there, and yelled at me to pass her. Every time I tried though, she would cut me up or use her elbows to block me (the path was very narrow so there wasn’t much room). And then as we entered the woods again, the fun really began. The only way I could pass her at that point was at the wide, steep hill at the end of the wooded part, which led out into the open for the last mile. So I made my move then, but she wasn’t having any of it. We collided (it may have been unintentional, I cannot be entirely sure) and my head hit a tree, hard.

 

I don’t remember what happened immediately after that, but I just remember seeing black for a little bit, and then my sight started coming back in black blotches. I think I had kept going, but again I can’t be sure. Next thing I knew, she was quite a bit ahead of me, and my head was pounding. I was really angry (this was NOT good race etiquette!!), and was determined to catch her. People must have overtaken me during the incident, because I had to pass a couple to get to her.

IMG_7278

All I remember at this point was that my head was KILLING!

 

There was less than half a mile to go, and then just before the finishing straight, I caught her.

IMG_7287

 

It was a painful sprint to the finish, but after that, there was no way I was going to let her win. In the final 100m I went into a gear I didn’t know I had and although it was close, I had just taken it.

 

I staggered through the finish line, and was taken to the first aid tent, where I was told I had a mild concussion. Because I was lying down trying to get the little black dots to leave my sight, I ended up missing the awards ceremony! We took the silver medals, only five points away from gold!

 

The final result: 4.5k course, 17.30 (6.15 pace), 10th place. I am pretty happy with that given the circumstances! I am excited to continue to work back to full fitness post-injury and see my times hopefully continue to improve! I actually finished in 12th place, but later two girls were disqualified, one for being the wrong age or something, and the other (my rival!) for misconduct. My coach was infuriated by what had happened and told race officials who later DQed her. I felt a bit guilty, because to be fair, the collision may not have been deliberate, but given her behaviour towards me throughout the race, I wouldn’t have been surprised! Regardless, she was too physical even discounting that incident so she would most likely have been disqualified anyway. Hopefully she will learn her lesson!

 

I had a splitting headache on Sunday morning. Concussion is no joke! But I think my chocolate milk post-race helped lesson the severity. It works miracles I tell you.

394224_256553654409975_156551541076854_649261_1388352053_n

 

So as I said, for this Saturday’s race, I need to finish in the top 10 to go through to the first round of Nationals. Honestly, I am doubtful of my chances, because the competition will be even tougher, but I will give it my best shot! And this time, I’ll choose a nicer runner to stick with Winking smile

 

What was your workout today? Was it a good one? Yup, I loved it! 600’s are usually my least favourite, but you get out what you put in!

 

When is your next race? Have you got any big race plans for this year? I’ve got a race at least once a month, but the one I’m looking forward to most is the London Mini Marathon in April! I love that race!!

 

Have you got any decent race photographs of yourself? Nope. I just can’t understand how some people can look NICE in them! I always look like I’m dying haha!

 

Have a great day friends! <3

My Weekend Is Not Complete Without…

 

…a race. Well, for the moment at least, EVERY weekend involves a race!

Image39

This photo demonstrates how awful I am at starting races (I’m the one in last!). Literally, the gun goes off, and I realise about a year later, and have to spend the first minute or so catching up. My coach was yelling “what are you doing in last place?! MOVE!” to me when he saw! Haha we’ll be working on that one this week! Smile with tongue out The race itself was fun (results aren’t up yet, so I can’t share them)! My LAST “tempo” race, because I’ve been given the go-ahead to run at faster speeds again now because my injury is healing well! So this Saturday’s race (a major one!) will be all-out, and I can’t WAIT! Open-mouthed smile

 

…a Costa gingerbread latte. I think I’ve had them every Saturday and Sunday since they’ve been selling them again!

DSCF2256

Yes, straight after the race I did hit up the nearest Costa. Still in my shorts and muddy spikes. Coffee takes priority.

 

…party time! Nothing like cake to refuel after a race with  Winking smile

DSCF2274

The highlight for me was a chocolate fountain with fruit. I was challenged to try and down this kebab I made in one:

DSCF2259

I not only epically failed, but almost impaled myself on the end of the stick.

 

…food shopping. Saturday is my weekly shop day, but this week I just needed some essentials. And by that I mean broccoli and chocolate chips…

DSCF2280

x4 packets! Smile with tongue out

 

…early morning Sunday hill training! Only this week my legs were telling me that the hills from Saturday were quite enough for one lifetime weekend, so I gave them a rest instead Smile

Image54

I know, I know, my form is shocking, but that was probably the last thing on my mind at that point haha!

 

…church. I washed my hair beforehand which was a first, and people (including the pastor!) asked me what I’d done with it, which was a little embarrassing! Smile with tongue out

DSC08836

“Yeah I actually just washed it for once…”

 

…and obviously, it’s not complete without PANCAKES!

DSCF1489

Recycled photo, same pancakes! CCK’s Cookie Dough Pancakes (my favourite!) with the obligatory maple syrup drizzle

 

I’ve barely touched my computer all weekend, so I’ve got a lot to catch up on! I hope you’ve all had a great weekend!

 

What is your weekend not complete without?

What was the best part of your weekend?

 

What is your favourite pancake/oatmeal/cereal/etc topping? Nut butter generally, but for pancakes maple syrup is my fave Smile

 

Have a great week friends! <3

Lessons learnt

 

The first thing I learned today was not to wear your spikes in on laminate flooring.

DSCF1762_thumb

 

There is now a huge scratch in the floor…but I’ll just blame it on my favourite dancing buddy if anyone notices Winking smile

DSCF1399

 

The second thing I learned was not to try anything new before race day, and to read instructions!! Well today’s race was…uh…awful.

image

I was most worried that because I had to pull out, my team would be DQed, but thankfully we had one extra person running so it didn’t matter! I have learnt my lesson though and I’m glad I learned it in a race like this, instead of at Nationals or something! Smile

 

After about ten minutes of feeling shaky and weak, I felt FINE again! I personally think it may have been this:

clif_shot_blocks

 

Because my race was at 1.20pm, and I had my usual pre-run breakfast at about 8.30am, I wanted some more energy before my race, but nothing that would cause an upset stomach, so I went for these! Well that plan backfired clearly! Smile with tongue out I think it was because I didn’t read this:

DSCF2124

I actually didn’t drink anything all morning…well I’ve learned my lessons! Even though missing this race has put me out of having a chance of making the regional team, there’s always next year so I’m not too frustrated Smile

 

Anyway, to make up for a disappointing morning, a friend took me for some retail therapy. Only we ended up spending the whole time chatting away over coffee instead! Smile with tongue out

DSCF2101

Caramel soy lattes are my addiction

 

She also gave me a belated birthday card and present (my birthday was 2nd September!) because she had forgotten it last time we saw each other. The card was my favourite thing ever.

DSCF2102

 

Apparently the reasons for it was because a) I have the mental age of a 5 year old (true), and b) because I look like that dog when I smile (also true). It was the best card EVER, made even better by the fact that it came with a badge!! Open-mouthed smile

DSCF2108

I wore it with pride

 

She then begged me to go out and eat pizza and doughballs with her.

DSCF2104

“Pretty please Emma?!”

 

Grudgingly, I conceded. Man I hate pizza and these little balls of doughy heaven…

DSCF2110

The lies actually hurt me to write. The doughballs were amazing. The pizza was amazing. I was in heaven!

 

At home, I had Happy Herbivore’s Apple Crisp muffins for dessert. HH’s muffins are seriously the best muffins I’ve ever had! I’ve yet to try a recipe of hers that ISN’T awesome!!

DSCF2094

I don’t know why so many people hate the word ‘moist’ but these muffins ARE! Muffins make everything better Smile

 

Have you learnt any race lessons the hard way? Yup, I learned at a race in April not to eat two cans of beans the day before a race…hello GI issues! Smile with tongue out

 

Coffee or tea? COFFEE! I am not a tea fan at all!

 

Does the word ‘moist’ bother you? Nope! But there are words I don’t like the sound of…’porridge’ and ‘breakkie’ spring to mind haha!

 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! <3

Tempo-Racing & Homemade Luna Bars

 

Happy WEEKEND guys! I hope you’ve all had a great week! I’m sorry about the erratic posting this week,  but I’m back to my usual routine next week, so hopefully it should be all back to normal then:)

 

I am RACING again tomorrow, yaay! Actually, correction, I am tempo-running tomorrow’s race. I went to see the sports doc again today about my injury, and it is improving, but he is worried that I am working too hard in the short amounts of running that I am doing, and that this could set me back in my recovery. He is right, and I can see that. Although I’ve only been running twice a week normally for short periods of time, and usually on grass, it has still been hard efforts. Although I AM getting better, I want to continue to move forwards! I don’t mind too much, because tomorrow isn’t the most important race of the season, so I really will be squat-jogging up the hills this week, just like at the last race Winking smile

Untitled

So I need to keep this race, and the next few runs, easy-ish, and then we will assess how I am doing and if I can go back to running properly again! I can’t WAIT! Open-mouthed smile

 

I am still excited about tomorrow, despite the ‘tempo-run’ effort! I have let my coach know so he won’t be screaming “POWER UP THOSE HILLS!” at me this time hopefully! Smile with tongue out I love running as a team, and hopefully we will still place highly without me giving it my all. Regardless, next week is the big one: National XC Relays!!

sml-start-u17women-mansfield10

Bring. It. On. And HEAL QUICKLY RIGHT TIBIA!!

 

I was sad this morning because it was my last week of working in a hospital. No more talking to patients. No more stealing borrowing cool latex gloves. No more NHS staff discount. Sad face:382205_10150380398537567_764867566_8304741_2140484740_n

But on the upside no more crazy hours means I can reunite with my hairbrush again. It was an early start in my defence, and breakfast > appearance.

 

Goodbye awesome salad bar.

392812_10150380401522567_764867566_8304790_1167464722_n

 

But again, the lack of crazy hours means I have *slightly* more leisure time! So basically watching more Gilmore Girls and baking…and CORE WORKOUTS AND STRETCHING (in case my sports doc is reading this Winking smile ). I got straight down to the baking side of things tonight:

DSCF2055

 

I am a HUGE bar fan. Not that you knew that already or anything… Winking smileDSC02893

Those were all demolished in a month and a half.

 

Problem is, it is an EXPENSIVE addiction! So when I can, I try to make my own. And when I saw this recipe for Homemade Luna Bars (one of my faves!) on Katie’s blog, I knew I HAD to make them! So I did, with a few changes… 

 

Homemade Luna Bars (Adapted from CCK’s recipe)

Vegan, can be gluten-free

  • 2 cups rice crispies (I used brown rice crispies)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut flour + 1 cup water 
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup (or agave)
  • 3 T protein powder
  • 200g/7oz melted chocolate or chocolate chips

 

  1. Mix the peanut flour with the water until smooth. Add the brown rice syrup, vanilla extract, and salt, and mix well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the rice crispies, oats, and protein powder. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry, and stir very well.
  3. Line a pan with non-stick baking paper and spread the mixture evenly into the pan. Place a sheet of the paper on top of the mixture, then press down as firmly as you can. Spread the melted chocolate on top, and freeze for at least a half hour before slicing. It can then be stored in a n airtight container at room temperature for at least 5 days. ENJOY!!

 

I LOVE these! I’ve wrapped them up individually so I can grab them on the go Smile

DSCF2056

 

Anyway, I’m off to eat my pre-race dinner…

DSCF2096

Wholewheat noodles in soy sauce, teriyaki tofu, and carrots

 

…and then get an early night!! Or, more likely, spend more time on Pinterest. I am addicted. It is great for motivation though!401249286_nREZ3uAU_c

I will be remembering that one tomorrow Smile

 

Have you got any races coming up? I have XC races most weeks from now until December! Crazy!!

 

What is your favourite Luna bar flavour? I think Peanut Butter Cookie!

 

Have you got any favourite running or general quotes? So many! “When your legs get tired, run with your heart” is one of my faves, and also “Pain is temporary, Pride is forever”.

 

Have a GREAT weekend! <3

Next Page »