Posts Tagged by Running Recovery

WIAW & Vegan Shepherd’s Pie


HEY friends, and welcome to another WIAW! Although for me, it’s What I…Tuesday, but all the same!



I love Wednesdays. Not only because it’s WIAW time (I love reading other people’s posts!) but because I get the day off this week! Gotta love strikes Winking smile


What I Ate

I promise this is the almost the last time you will see the muffin-oatmeal thing, because I am down to just ONE muffin now in my freezer! Well, the last time until I make more…which knowing me, will be very soon! Smile with tongue out


Banana oatmeal with cashew butter stirred in (so amazingly creamy!) and a crumbled maple-pumpkin muffin on top


And now, finally, the recipe I’ve been promising for weeks! Ok, so it is NOT really a recipe, which is why I haven’t posted it before! It is simply something I throw together for a quick, healthy weekday meal. But, due to popular request, here it is!



Vegan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

The perfect weekday meal. I make it the night before, and cover up, then the next evening when I get back from training, all it needs is a quick baking! A great high-protein option.

Vegan, gluten free, serves 2-4 people

  • ~ 1kg of sweet/white potatoes (I use half and half)
  • ~ 1/4 non-dairy milk, or to taste
  • 2-3 T non-dairy spread, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 packet Mexican Chilli Beanfeast*, or four servings of prepared soya bolognese like Granose (I use this recipe when I have time, and add some kidney beans)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion
  • Frozen carrot batons/peas, defrosted (optional)
  • Non-dairy cheese, grated (optional- I often sprinkle nutritional yeast on instead)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Peel the potatoes and put onto boil for 30 minutes. Once boiled, mash, adding the milk, margarine, and S&P to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the garlic and onion until brown.
  4. Prepare the Beanfeast or soya mince of choice (follow packet instructions), and add the garlic, onion and carrots/peas (if using) to it.
  5. Pour the mince mixture into an ovenproof baking dish. Spoon the mash on top, and sprinkle cheese on top (if using).
  6. Place in oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.

* I use Beanfeast, which is freeze-dried soya mince, because it is the cheapest and quickest option, but any other soy mince works, or even tofu mince. Maybe crumbled tempeh might work too?



I usually make this ahead on Monday night, so it’s ready for me after Tuesday’s tough training session! It’s perfect recovery nutrition, and using a mix of sweet potatoes and white gives you the benefits of both (there’s an article on it from Men’s Health). Oh yeah, and it is delicious!!



Followed by a chocolate muffin that I found lurking in my freezer crumbled on top of caramel pudding:


Nothing like a sugar rush in the evening Winking smile


What I Worked

Tuesday’s workout:



I was pretty cold when I got back from training last night! It was windy and rainy (although thankfully the rain stopped by they time I hit the track, but I got wet getting there), but it was nothing a good ol’ hot chocolate couldn’t fix Smile


Don’t laugh at my hair.


I also hit up Starbucks on my way home for a soy gingerbread latte. Addiction right there. I’m feeling so Christmassy right now! I can’t wait to start my advent calendar tomorrow…it’s been tempting me for weeks!


I’ve just got sent another Christmas candle to add to my collection from Becky, and it’s making my whole room smell like cinnamon mmm :)


I have a really exciting delivery coming today or tomorrow that I can’t wait to share! We’re talking running shoes here, and I want to share my thoughts on a running topic that I’ve been thinking a lot about recently…you’ll soon see! Open-mouthed smile


What was the best thing you’ve eaten recently? Ask me tomorrow and the answer will be advent calender chocolate Winking smile


What was your last workout? 5×600’s. 600’s are hard!!


Tell me: What shoes do you run in? I currently have five pairs, but my usual running shoes are Brooks Adrenalines.


Have a great Wednesday!!

When Not Running…


I absolutely loved this weekend. Much as I love my usually hectic running-around-like-a-headless-Tofurkey lifestyle, having a free calendar for a couple of days is just perfect. For the first weekend this month, I had no races!!


My body has definitely needed a break. Adjusting to running hard three days a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday race), and sometimes more, has not been easy! I definitely felt this during Thursday’s workout…



Like I said, I’m not worried about it, but I am being cautious, especially given my previous injuries! I’ve had Friday-Sunday keeping everything totally easy on my legs, doing lots of yoga, like Yoga for Runners from YogaDownload.



I needed these days off, because this week is going to kill my legs. Track training with my coach and the sprint group on Monday to work on my awful race starts…


…then usual training with my distance group on Tuesday and Thursday, and race on Saturday. Uh, sorry in advance legs! I am going to be icing them every night and being super-careful to watch out for any problems.


Actually, the whole staying-off-my-legs plan totally went out of the window during my shopping trips this weekend! I was attempting to tackle my Christmas shopping early, but failed miserably…


NONE of these bags are presents! I got some new boots in the sale which I am in love with (£50 down to £18!) and a new black lace concert dress that is so so beautiful! I’ve got a concert this Saturday so I’ll show it to you guys then Smile


It’s also perfectly normal to use your non-running time to bake muffins instead. Happy Herbivore’s maple pumpkin muffins are my new favourite thing in the world, and I’ve almost finished the whole batch already! Smile with tongue out


Warmed up and topped with lots of cashew butter Smile



Crumbled on oatmeal


On Saturday night, I headed out to Nando’s, a Portuguese restaurant, with my church group. Even though Nando’s is primarily a chicken restaurant, their veggie options are awesome!


Veggie burger wrap with a side of Luso beans (slow cooked black beans and cherry tomatoes), which was delicious!


I LOVE being able to go out and eat lots and stay out late on Friday or Saturday nights for once, because most of the time I have to run or race early the next morning so I have to skip out early. Or maybe it’s because I don’t get invited out because I am too embarrassing to be around in public. Who knows…



And of course, no weekend is complete without PANCAKES! Pancake Sunday is one of the highlights of my week! Smile with tongue out


Same as last week- my favourite gingerbread pancakes! Next week I am thinking Christmassy themes…maybe mince pie pancakes? Or candy cane pancakes sounds pretty darn good to me too Smile


Was your weekend a busy one, or relaxed? Relaxed, but next week’s is seriously crazy to make up for it! Smile with tongue out


Did you get anything good in the sales? I’ve ordered few people’s xmas presents in sales online which I’m  happy about! Usually I leave everything till the week before, but I’m determined not to this year!


Random Q: Are you a fan of mince pies? I’ve never actually had a mince pie before! When I was younger I thought it was real mince in it, so I steered well clear haha!


Have a great week friends! <3

Recovery and Gingerbread Pancakes


Hey friends! Had a good weekend? I’ve loved this weekend! After a crazy Saturday, a chilled Sunday was just what I needed!


Despite all the stretching, foam-rolling and ice-bathing yesterday, sadly nothing could prevent the onset of DOMS today! Lesson learned: always always ALWAYS do a cooldown after an intense, hilly race!


But it’s fine, I have recovery sorted. I got nine hours of sleep last night (I get less than seven normally, so this was blissful!), and after limping out of bed, started recovery part II. Pancakes.



Pancakes are the recovery food of champions. Especially gingerbread pancakes drizzled in maple syrup…



Gingerbread Pancakes (based lightly on CCK’s pancake recipes)

These are hands-down the best pancakes I have ever made. They have a light, fluffy texture, and a deep gingerbread flavour. Goes perfectly with maple syrup.

Vegan, serves 1 hungry person

  • 1/2 cup wholewheat flour (I used WW spelt)
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ginger
  • 1/4 t ground mixed spice
  • 1 t egg replacer
  • 1 T molasses/muscovado sugar (or other brown sugar)
  • 1 T non-dairy spread, melted
  • ~1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  1. Combine dry ingredients and mix well.
  2. Stir in wet ingredients, then make your pancakes over a medium-low heat, and ENJOY!


I think I will be having these pancakes every Pancake Sunday until I die.



The sprint to church (I was pretty late!) was made very uncomfortable with a belly full of pancakes! Worth it though Smile


Recovery part III came in the form of an easy elliptical workout. I just pedalled away at a steady pace on low resistance for an hour to get the legs moving. I was sweating like crazy though, because my gym is being completely renovated, so the air-con was off today. I felt like I was working out in a sauna!


Red and sweaty…attractive! Smile with tongue out


Straight afterwards, I hit up Starbucks with a friend. The falafel panini was calling my name…



Ordered a gingerbread latte to-go as well. Clearly I was in a gingerbread mood today! Smile with tongue out

Starbucks Cup - 1st Gingerbread Latte


This evening was all about the recovery foods.


Wholewheat giant couscous, lentils, and red pepper


But obviously, nothing speeds recovery like the magic combo of peanut butter and chocolate!


It’s perfectly normal to dip chocolate chips in PB, right…? Winking smile


Have you ever had serious muscle soreness before? Yes, I remember the first time I did BodyPump, I couldn’t move for a few days afterwards haha!


Are you a gingerbread fan? I love love love gingerbread! Cake, cookies, pancakes, lattes, ANYTHING gingerbread flavoured is awesome!


What are you looking forward to this week? Thanksgiving! (My family is half American, so we do celebrate!)


Have an AMAZING week! <3

WIAW: Running Recovery


Happy NOVEMBER friends! So close to my favourite time of year now!! And it’s also WIAW, so double celebrations!

Love Jenn for hosting this!!


What I Ate

I started my morning with a warming bowl of PB & J banana-cinnamon oatmeal:DSCF2148


Yesterday’s bowl was banana-cinnamon oatmeal with a crumbled apple crisp muffin on top:


Crumbled baked goods on oatmeal is seriously the best topping ever!! I’m so sad those muffins are gone though- they were definitely one of my all-time favourites!


I’ve been eating SO MUCH squash recently! I love it and all, but I hate preparing it! Totally failed at cutting it in half…



I used it to make Oh She Glowsbutternut squash mac ‘n cheese for dinner a couple of nights ago:


AMAZING! It was so delicious, and a huge hit all round! This will definitely become a staple meal I think Smile


I’ve been really bad at budgeting recently when it comes to food. I blame these packets of roasted chickpeas…


I am addicted.


The daily latte habit hasn’t been helping either. I managed to hold off my expensive addiction for so long, but as soon as they bring back the seasonal flavours, I can’t help myself! Gingerbread-Latte-15_09_10-448x600

I had gingerbread again today. Worth every penny Smile


Today when I got back from training, I went to my go-to quick dinner:


Sweet tater with almond butter and cinnamon (best combo EVER!), plus veggie sausages and peas


Followed by chocolate-chip banana bread from Mama Pea that I made yesterday:


The second slice I had slathered in crunchy PB and microwaved until warm, and I was in heaven Smile


What I Worked

Running on the track today! I love the track Smile


I always start out slow, and then build speed, which is the opposite to everyone else! They all shoot off like rockets, but burn out a bit later, and THAT is when I make my move hehe! I was on such a high after this workout! Open-mouthed smile


I have been really focusing on stretching/foam-rolling/recovery recently, and spent a good 15 minutes stretching after the workout.



With so many races and intense workouts at the moment (I am racing both Saturday AND Sunday next week!!), my body is feeling the strain more than ever before, so I am taking extra care to make sure it is recovering well. I took yesterday off, and did yoga on Sunday instead of another run, because my body was telling me to chill.


I am trying to focus on ALL aspects of recovery, from nutrition…


…to getting more sleep…



…to having ice baths…



…to wearing compression socks 24/7:DSCF2038

I swear by them- I think they work GREAT! Yes, it could totally be the placebo effect, but I believe they are really helping with my muscle recovery. I am thinking of getting a compression onesie Winking smile


What was the best thing you ate recently? Chocolate chip banana bread!


What was your last workout? 1000m track repeats!


What is your favourite way to recover? Napping on the couch whilst watching Gilmore Girls and drinking chocolate soy milk Smile


Have a great day friends! <3

Races and Running Buns

HEY friends!! Thanks for the good luck messages and advice about my race! It was SO GREAT!!


I started my morning with my usual pre-run fuel:DSCF1755

Banana oatmeal with chopped dates.


I then got dressed in my race stuff and ready to go! My race didn’t actually start until 1.20pm but the other age groups started from 11am so we went to cheer them on, and we needed to walk the course beforehand anyway. Race outfit:



My running team provided the top and shorts. These were the shortest shorts I have ever worn in my life!! Comfy yes,  but too short for my liking!!


AND they rode up when I was running! Running buns are not my friend. Yet.


I also broke every rule in the book by wearing all NEW clothes. New team vest, new buns, and new shoes! I knew it wouldn’t matter much though for a short race, so I just rolled with it.


Asics Hyper-Rocketgirl XC spikes. I originally bought Nike Waffles (purely because of the name Winking smile ) but they were too wide for my feet. Don’t tell anyone but I wore my spikes a bit around the house and made one huge scratch in the laminate flooring…oops! Smile with tongue out


It was the PERFECT running conditions, and a beautiful course!



I walked the course twice before the start to make sure I knew the route:

Fullscreen capture 09102011 084042

It was two laps of the course (the red loop), plus a bit extra on the second lap (the blue wooded loop on the left hand side), and I decided I officially hate two lap courses! Going past the finish line knowing you’re less than halfway is tough!!


So I had two hours to kill before my race started, which I used to munch on my pre-race snack…



…and to cheer on the other age groups. I caught our youngest age group going off:


Our team did did AMAZING in this age group, finishing 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th!! Now that is TEAM running!! Open-mouthed smile


Aaaand then my camera died. Guess which idiot left the spare batteries at home? So instead of a photo of me finishing (definitely a good thing- I looked like I was dying), here is a visual representation:


I can see I have a future in graphic design for sure Winking smile That person apparently squat-jogging up the hill is yours truly, closing down on a rival who I had been shadowing the whole race. I was closing the gap in the last 200m up that hill mountain and I could feel myself pulling a Mo Farah face with the effort:



And I BEAT HER by an inch!! I then almost passed out and had to be held up by the race marshals- trust me to be the drama queen! Smile with tongue out I recovered quickly (I had just pushed myself too hard-nothing major!) and did a little cooldown jog and stretching.


I didn’t wear my Garmin in the race (decided just to run by feel, which I later regretted!) and there was no race clock annoyingly, so I had no idea of my time until I saw the results come up on the website later! I came 12th out of the 98 runners in my age group with a time of 14.59 for approx 3600m (which I am very happy with considering the hills and that it’s the first race of the season!). I also broke my team’s record for the highest placing debut runner in this race! WIN! Open-mouthed smile


When I got back, I had a hot/ice cold shower and downed a recovery smoothie:DSCF1767

1 frozen banana, 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, 3/4 cup vanilla soy milk, 3 dates.


I did some ‘active recovery’ later with a Whole Foods trip because I was dying for some canned pumpkin. All that walking up and down the aisles did me a lot of good, as did the taster table:DSCF1769

I think you can guess where I stood munching away for 5 minutes Winking smile


Some of the highlights of my haul:


An new-to-me crunchy PB, refried black beans (which were buy one, get one free and they are TOTALLY addictive!), canned pumpkin x 10000 cans, my fave granola, a spicy pinto bean dip, and some vegan sea salt dark chocolate! I cried when I found out my fave chocolate- Lindt Sea Salt- wasn’t vegan, so I was unbelievably happy when I found this!!


The very best thing though was the slice of Peanut Butter cream tart I bought!DSCF1778


The photo does it no justice. It was beyond words. I am DEFINITELY going to recreate this!!


And today, despite the race, I had NO aches or pains, which was a first! Shows what good recovery (i.e. stretching, hot/cold showers, post-race nutrition, shopping, and cream tarts) can do for you! Smile with tongue out


This post is long enough already, so my Sunday shenanigans (we’re talking PANCAKES here obviously) are coming at you tomorrow!


What was the toughest race you’ve ever run? This one was tough- I think I’m more suited to slightly longer distances! And cross country was a bit of a shock since it is SO much tougher than running on roads!! But much more fun Smile


Are you a pumpkin fan? I LOVE IT!! Major obsession!!


What is your opinion on shorts length? Do you mind short shorts or not? I’ll get used to them I guess!! According to my coach, our race outfit for track season is crop tops and bikini-bottom style buns. I’m not sure if he was joking seeing my reaction to these shorts but I think he was serious…!

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend! <3