A plan for a week

The Healthy sELF challenge for yesterday was to…Make a meal and workout plan for the week.

These are my scribbled notes in the back of a notepad yesterday whilst back at my parents.

IMG_7183This is my plan for this week…!  Nothing is set in stone, but it feels good to know that I’m sorted an organised for the week.  Hopefully there will be no getting home at 8pm this week asking Dan what he fancies for tea!

Day Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Exercise
Monday Grapefruit, yoghurt and cinnamon *Treats* (as Mike forgot them on Fri he is bringing them in on Mon instead) 2x tangerines Spaghetti bolognaise with peas 5k before school.  30 Day Shred Level 2 after school
Tuesday Egg and beans on one slice of toast 2x graze boxes Apple Pesto chicken salad Speedwork with Group four at running club
Wednesday Yoghurt, fruit and cinnamon Carrot sticks and almond butter None Vegetarian pizza and eton mess (heading out for a birthday meal with some girls from work) 5 miles before school
Thursday Egg and beans on one slice of toast 2x graze boxes Apple Pasta bake with salad Group five tempo run with running club
Friday Fruit, yoghurt and cinnamon *Treats* (my turn so I shall make them as healthy as possible) Grapes Remainder of pasta bake with roasted veg 5k before school. 30 Day Shred Level 2 after school
Saturday American pancake with fruit Jacket potato with cheese and beans Grapes Roasted veg and salmon 5 mile walk
Sunday Egg and beans on one slice of toast Salad sandwich Grapes Sausage casserole 5k walk and 50 crunches

Norfolk for 11 hours

Yesterday ended up being a last minute decision to head to visit my parents in Norfolk for the day.  Since Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer just after the start of the year I have tried to head back at least every fortnight.  It is about a two hour drive in each direction and so much more achievable now than when we were living in Stafford when it would be four hours each way.  It’s been about two and a half weeks since I last went back and I knew I wouldn’t be able to visit next weekend (I have my marathon), the weekend after (I am attending Write This Run) or the weekend after (I have training planned on the course route with Kev for my Ultra) (although I will probably head back for a night mid-week after school at some point) so thought I would head back to surprise her.  I checked with my Dad first that they were going to be in.

Mum has been a little down just lately as she is now three weeks behind on her chemo treatment due to the white blood cell count being too low for them to administer the treatment.  She now has to have a nurse come round daily to give her an injection to help build up her bone marrow again but this causes her body – especially her legs – to ache, and she is also in a lot of pain from the cancer in her stomach as it has now been a month since she last had treatment to prevent the cancer from growing.  She has lost pretty much all of her hair now and because her immunity is so low cannot get out to many places.  She is also exhausted all the time.  Yesterday she slept for much of the afternoon.

Before leaving I had a quick, boring breakfast of Blueberry Wheats and Strawberry crunch with semi-skimmed milk.

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When I arrived Mum was really happy to see me and I sat in the lounge chatting with her and my Aunt who was round at the time.  Dad brought me offerings of a chocolate covered biscuit and a wrapped low-cal chocolate wafer bar.

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He means well!  Dad was desperate to show me round the new house he had recently bought.  He used to be a builder and he put in an offer for this house six months ago, before Mum got sick, as a new project to renovate and then rent out to provide an extra income.  This is something Dad has done several times now since retiring from building fifteen years ago.  Unfortunately, the house took nearly six months to clear (house buying is NOT a quick business it turns out!) so it has come at the wrong time now that Dad has to spend more time at home looking after Mum.  Although it does give him a project to work on and some space from the situation back home.

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The house turned out to be massive!  It’s a three bed house with so much space in the back garden and a huge mobile room that’s bigger than the whole downstairs of my house at the bottom of the garden.  The mobile room is hooked up with electricity and would make an amazing office or children’s playroom.  After looking around I then went with Dad to walk Blue, my parent’s dog.  I didn’t get to spend as much time with Mum as I had wanted, as she was so tired but I think it took Dad’s mind off things with me being there.

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When we returned from walking Blue we each grabbed a small cheese and ham sandwich and a yoghurt.  Dad told me this yoghurt didn’t have bits in.  He lied.  I ate it anyway!

A little later on, Dad presented me with a choc ice.  Going back to my parents is always a killer for any diet!  I really listened to my body after eating the chocolate earlier on and the choc ice.  I could have lived without either of these items and would not have chosen them myself.  My whole attitude to food has begun to really change for the better this year (I know it doesn’t look like it when I post food pictures from back at my parents, but I feel so guilty when Dad presents me so proudly with ‘fun’ food that I don’t want to let him down by throwing it back at him.)

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For tea, Mum fixed me and her up with some salmon and cheese sauce with sweetcorn, boiled potatoes and some carrots.  She knows I haven’t been that into my meat just lately so pulled the salmon out especially when she knew I was going to stay for tea.  I haven’t had sweetcorn for ages, as Dan won’t touch it and I’d forgotten just how much I love it!  Dad then insisted on cooking cake and chocolate custard for dessert.  This used to be my favourite when I was little and we always had it when my Aunt from Kings Lynn came to visit.  Now it tends to be they have it when I visit!  I did cut the slice of cake he gave me in half as I was just too full by this point.

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After dinner I took some pictures with my zoom lens out of the kitchen window of the birds on the feeder whilst chatting with Mum.  It was nice just to chill and chat together for a little while.

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Marathon podcasts

I’m really annoyed with myself because I just cut the pictures of my tea direct from my camera and then never pasted them before turning the camera off, so I lost them forever.  :(  They’re not even in my Recycle Bin to restore AND I experimented and made a new meal tonight!

Anyway…my weekend began super early today.  At 3:30 I was out those school gates and was in my car by 3:33, ready to head home.  I hang around at school all week and have never left this early before.  It was lovely!

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The plan tonight was to run 6-7 miles and then to repeat the same 6-7 first thing tomorrow morning.  Initially I was going to repeat the same 9-10 miles but thought that might be a little too much the week before my marathon even with an Ultra lined up in five weeks time!

As I was typing up my earlier blog post I caught sight of my iPod in the TV cabinet.  Since I have been a ‘runner’ (since joining the running club!) I have never run with my iPod, but before joining the club, when I used to head out for the odd 30 min jog here and there I used to use my iPod all the time.  Dan boght it for me about five years ago with the intention of me using it to keep up with my music while out and about, but I tended to download Scott Mills podcasts from Radio 1 back in the days when he still had the tea-time show and have a proper laugh the whole way round my run.IMG_7167

I decided that I was in the mood for some podcast listening today and hunted out some Marathon podcasts instead whilst my iPod was charging.  (It must literally have been years since I last used it!)  I ended up listening to the first episode of a podcast called Marathon Talk which is now really popular and has had over a million downloads!  The first episode contained an interview with Liz Yelling, among other things and I found it really interesting listening to how she coped with not being able to run for 8 months when her pregnancy didn’t go as smoothly as she had hoped and about her peak milage weeks.  I wonder how long it would take me to run 119 miles each week?!

I usually prefer to run with my thoughts, but I have driven in to school four times this week rather than grab a lift with Dan and I would prefer somebody else’s thoughts to listen to now!  It’s not often Tonight I barely thought about my running, – it was nice just to pootle round and have something else to concentrate on for a change.  I ended up running 6.9 miles, and changed my original route from a road track to one which encorporated lots of different small windy tracks that headed off of the big track by the lakes.  I didn’t want to have to worry about traffic tonight and to be able to zone out as I wanted to, and managed to succeed at this several times!

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Check out my summer-freckly arm!  Obviously my pace wasn’t 23:52mm…this was me stood relatively still trying to take a picture of my Garmin after my run!  Mile splits were; 10:59, 10:38, 10:23, 10:31, 10:22, 10:39, 10:03.  This included making my way through four open and shut gates, retying my hair and starting Marathon Talk podcast #2 at some point.  I’m a believer in letting my watch run strong!  So I probably hit about a 10mm average or just under tonight.  And, even better…I loved my run tonight and my iPod shall make more of an appearance in future easy going runs.  :)

Tea, was amazing.  But there is no photographic evidence anymore.  :(  I chopped up one courgette, one carrot, one small potato and half of a green pepper and roasted them all for about an hour, adding some salt for flavour.  Then I lay them out onto a plate and melted some brie over the top of the veggies.  Lastly, I heated up some tomato based pasta sauce and lightly coated the vegetables in this.  All tomato sauce was mopped up with a delicious bread roll and left me wanting to repeat this meal sometime soon!

Friday Focus – this week was to not look at my Garmin during runs as I had been struggling with keeping pace which was stressing me out.  Despite not really mentioning it on the blog this week I have barely glanced at my watch other than a couple of times during yesterdays painful run – purely to check how much more suffering was going to occur!  I even avoided checking my watch whilst running the Parkrun last Saturday morning to get a much better time than I was expecting!

Friday Focus for this week is going to be to photograph and log absolutely everything I eat.  I’ve gotten into a bad habit lately of eating half a biscuit before heading to bed, or snatching a spoonful of whatever I am cooking for tea and rather than sticking to the three meals and two snacks that I know is good for me I end up grazing on much more than I should.  If I photograph everything for a week it will go one of two ways…either
1) I will be too lazy to photograph all items so I just won’t pick as much anyway… or
2) I will be mortified at how much I have consumed through grazing and resolve to change my unhealthy ways once and for all!

Bella always wins

When we got home from the cinema last night, Bella came running to the front door to see us and then straight to the back door.  She meowed and meowed and placed her front feet up by the door handle, desperate to head outside.  Dan was insistent that it was 10:30pm, we were about to head to bed and Bella needed to come inside before we headed upstairs.  I just wanted my kitty to be happy so let her out anyway.  She had a lot of pent up energy and spun round and round the garden chasing moths for several minutes.  Dan decided that she’d been out long enough and stormed out to go and collect her with the torch.  Her stormed to the top of the garden and Bella shot back towards the house.  He stormed after her and she flitted back to the top of the garden.  This was such a fun game!

He then tried pouncing on her, which was obviously even more of a fun game, and Bella let him get just a little closer each time before leaping out of his way and dashing back to the other end of the garden.  Dan was getting angry with her by this point and ignoring my instructions on how to get her in and headed inside.  I sat down on one of the garden benches and checked some blogs on my phone, purposfully ignoring her.  After 3-4 minutes she started to get bored and came to see what I was doing – she started rubbing around my legs.  Dan saw from inside and shot out, making her jump and sending her off into our next-door-neighbour’s garden.  She was long gone when Dan made his case of not letting her out at night – trying to tell me that he would wake up to her meowing and scratching at the door at a silly hour of the morning.

I knew this wouldn’t be the case, and at 4am this morning, when I heard Bella meow I padded downstairs, let her in and gave her a fuss before heading back to bed.  Dan was none the wiser!

Here’s my butter-wouldn’t-melt kitty enjoying the sunshine this afternoon!…

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When I woke up the second time (6am-ish) I made myself a bowl of half blueberry wheats/half strawberry crunch cereal with semi-skimmed milk.  I had meant to get some fruit out of the freezer last night to add to my breakfast but had completely forgotten in the Bella-saga of the night before!

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Before work I double checked that it wasn’t my turn for treats this morning.  It wasn’t.  It was Mike, one of the business studies teachers.  I almost packed an emergency lunch incase I couldn’t get to treats or Mike forgot to bring them in.  It has only happened once that somebody has forgotten it was their turn for treats, but this means hunger for the rest of us who don’t have lunch on a Friday, but use the Treats as an early lunch.

Today, Mike forgot treats!  Luckily, I still have a few emergency tangerines and Graze boxes in my office so grabbed one of each for an afternoon snack later on.

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I didn’t feel very hungry though anyway.  I think perhaps my breakfasts are too large in the morning as I haven’t had much of an appetite just lately, especially in the afternoon and running when I get home from work has caused problems with my belly and cramps.  Next week I shall eat out of my smaller bowls and have a little less in the mornings to try and resolve the issue.