GRIM food

Not food that is disgusting but the food that I ate whilst running the 70 mile Grim Reaper race a fortnight ago!

After nutrition was my downfall at both the Conti 12 hour run and Shires and Spires 35m races earlier in the year I knew I had to buck my ideas up if I wanted to complete the 70 mile challenge I’d set for myself on August 1st.

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Here’s the list of food i took with me…
– Domino’s vegetarian pizza with added pepperoni
Last year when I had gone to support our club runners at the Grim, one of the runners had his wife bring him a Domino’s pizza 20 miles into the race. Although I hadn’t eaten pizza whilst running before and I’m not even a huge fan it is something I have always had the night before a race to give me energy for the following day. I like my pizzas to be filled with lots of different toppings and I hoped that this would make the food more appealing for me to want to eat as I always find force feeding myself 1000s of calories very boring and hard. (I’m sure this would be every teenage boy’s dream…!) I covered the pizza with a light sprinkling of salt as well.
– Choco orange nakd bars
I only discovered these by chance about a week before the race but fell in love with them immediately and went back to buy four boxes of four the following day!

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I love that they are made of only four ingredients (dates, cashews, raisins and cocoa) and are suitable for vegans, those with dairy free or gluten free diets. I don’t like any of the four ingredients individually, but mixed together in a bar and ‘smooshed together’ they are amazing! I had one nakd bar each ten mile lap and on a couple of laps I placed an extra bar in my belt to enjoy half way round the course. Because they are quite soft bars they were much easier to get down than the flapjacks I struggled so much with at the Conti run in May.
– Chocolate milk
I picked up a large carton of chocolate milk (not to be confused with chocolate milkshake!) at Waitrose on the way to the campsite. Initially I intended on using it as a recovery drink after the race but I soon discovered that when it was hot and my body was insisting it did not want solid foods, I could wash the now cardboard-tasting pizza down with some chocolate milk, which I could still taste quite strongly. I rang Dan during my fourth lap and pleaded with him to bring some more on his way to see me at 40 miles. Thankfully he did (not sure we’d be married now otherwise!) and I was very grateful to see him bearing three more cartons of milk along with two bags of oranges when I reached the campsite again.
– Oranges

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I seriously underestimated how amazing oranges could be on a run before trying them at Grim. I read about orange segments being given out during races to runners in America all the time so when I saw a huge pile of oranges next to the standard bananas at the feeding station at mile 20 I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about! I was definitely glad I picked one up and every lap from then to the end saw me munch through two oranges. They were so zesty and strong in taste, yet still so refreshing and juicy… I would have had many more than two per lap had I been able to carry them!
– Grapes
I didn’t actually take grapes with me but instead took some of a teammate’s when offered them. I would have had more had I taken my own supply as I found them as refreshing as the oranges had been.
– Cocktail sausages
I thought these would go down easily being relatively small and easy to carry. I had a handful at mile 10 but after that I just didn’t fancy them any more so they were enjoyed by Dan the following day instead!
– nuun lemonade electrolyte tablets
Although not actually food, these also played a large part in ensuring that I got round still feeling strong. You can read more about my hydration in my nuun post from earlier this week.
In total I burnt off somewhere in the region of 8500-9000 calories during the race. I say ‘approximately’ as each lap I ran recorded as 10.1 miles for me and my watch tells me I tend to burn off 127 calories per mile.
I didn’t eat anywhere near that many calories back but with 6 slices of pizza, nearly two cartons of chocolate milk, 8 oranges, 8 nakd bars, a handful of grapes and some cocktail sausages in natural casings made from hog intestines think I took on somewhere in the region of more than half of the 9000 calories burnt. I’ve actually heard stories of ultra runners getting mouth ulcers before because of how much food they have to take on during races!
I haven’t counted calories in a long while but knew I would need to be more sensible this time round when taking on such a distance and my body no longer wanting to eat after the first couple of laps. At the Conti run, where I severely under fuelled I lost 10lbs during the race. During Grim, I lost just 1.5lbs and felt much better for it. No dizzy or weak feelings at all. Just emotional tears and happiness as I crossed the finish instead!

Do you keep an eye on calorie intake when you are expelling more energy during workouts?

The wedding flowers

All being well I should be on honeymoon right now on the South coast of Italy!  I’ve planned a few scheduled posts to share some details of our wedding day whilst we’re away though.  I promise to catch up with all comments and emails on our return.

It was over a year ago I first asked my parents if they would help with the flowers for our wedding.  I know how expensive flowers have been for friends that have gotten married.  I am without a clue when it comes to what flowers grow during what month and probably couldn’t name half of the ones used in our arrangements but my Mum has always been into her gardening and has quite a lot of garden space back at home.

Luckily my parents went one better than helping me decide on flowers and offered to grow the flowers for me themselves.  We had already decided on the yellow colour theme by this point so my Mum immediately hunted down some wedding flower books in the library and I began to pin some ideas on Pinterest of the styles I liked.Wedding flowersSome of my Pinterest finds…

Yellow and white flowers in teacups

 

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Yellow and white flowers in jars

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I wanted something small for the tables, and I loved the idea of having the flowers in little teacups.  We played with this idea at first, and also at having the flowers in tiny galvanised buckets, but both worked out at added expense when we were trying to keep costs down as much as possible.  In the end it was my brother who came up with the solution.  One day he brought home a crate of small Schweppes bottles from work as they were very close to their sell-by date.  The tiny bottles were ideal for a little touch on each table without going overboard on amount or cost.

We left the bottles soaking in some hot water for five minutes before peeling the labels easily away.

Removing labels from bottles

Wedding flower bottles

Schweppes bottle for wedding table flowersWe purchased quite a lot of both brown and yellow ribbon.  The brown ribbon wrapped neatly around the little table decorations and was tied in a pretty bow at the front of each. I’m hoping our photographer got some photos of the completed table decorations as I haven’t spotted any taken by our guests yet.
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My Mum did a great job with the bridesmaid’s bouquets as she did with mine. My request was that a section of my bouquet could break off so that I could place it onto my Nan’s grave after the wedding.
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Hydrating with nuun

All being well I should be on honeymoon right now on the South coast of Italy!  This is a scheduled post.  I promise to catch up with all comments and emails on our return.

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a bottle and three tubs of nuun tablets from the lovely guys at nuun.

nuun bottles

After salting up to the point where my t-shirt and shorts both turned white at both the Conti run and Shires and Spires over the past few months, and with my 70 mile race fast approaching this parcel literally couldn’t have come at a better time!  Check out that thick salt line from the Conti Run on my shorts in the picture below!

Salt loss - ContiI am an incredibly heavy sweater when I run, and the amount of sweat I seem to have lost just lately in the intense heat we have had this Summer has been unbelievable.  The heat has also made it very difficult for my body to want to eat.  Lots of sweat + very little food + lots of water = a dizzy Mary.

nuun actually invented the electrolyte tablet ten years ago.  I love that they are calorie, carb and sugar free.  I often find that energy drinks are too sickly sweet and struggle to drink any more after twenty miles or so.  I can always handle sweet or savoury at the beginning of a run but as I warm up the sweet becomes less and less appealing and my body no longer craves the savoury.

In the heat it’s hard not to continually drink water.  You constantly feel dehydrated and you’re always told to ‘keep drinking’ but in actual fact drinking too much water is really dangerous.  Hyponatremia is the term given to when you have drunk too much water and have decreased the levels of sodium in your blood.  Allegedly there have been more deaths through hyponatremia in marathon runners than there have through dehydration.  I was incredibly scared at the Conti run when I lost hearing in one ear, felt dizzy and lightheaded and had to lie down on the side of the track for several minutes at a time.  Looking back, I know that I drank too much water on another hot day, and I didn’t get enough sodium back in my bloodstream – either through food or through specially formulated drinks.

nuun actually offer twelve different flavours of their tablets; lemon and lime, tri-berry, cherry limeade, lemonade, strawberry lemonade, orange, kona cola, lemon tea, citrus fruit, grape, fruit punch and tropical.  I was sent the lemonade, tri-berry and citrus fruits flavours to try.  I’m loving the sound of strawberry lemonade and grape though.  And with all the watermelon I’ve been wolfing down lately perhaps nuun would like to produce a watermelon flavour?  I’m pretty sure I alone would keep them in business if they did!

Although there are several drinks available which help replace everything lost through sweat, I liked that the tablets took up hardly any space in our kitchen cupboard and in each tiny tube there were 12 tablets – 12 runs of drink!  (On a normal run at least…I used seven tablets at the Grim Reaper 70 miler last weekend!)

Finisher at Grim 70

I was a little worried that my heavy salt loss would affect my run at the Grim but alongside a careful selection of food I filled my nuun bottle with water and a lemonade tablet on each lap and not once did I feel weak or dizzy despite some faint salt lines appearing on my clothes.  I didn’t get bored of drinking the same flavour over 21 hours and I felt fully hydrated throughout my race.  Despite falling asleep before stretching at the end of the race I did not cramp at all.  70 miles without stretching and no cramp?!  (I did stretch as soon as I woke though…it seemed too good of a thing to last!)

I shall definitely be stocking up on nuun for my future long distance races and look forward to trying more of their flavours!

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How do you replace electrolytes when you work out?  Which is/would be your favourite flavour nuun tablet?

Mary is no Moore!

Name change!  I am no longer Mary Moore, but Mary Pearson instead!  That’s going to take some getting used to!

This week has been absolutely manic!  I’d hoped to write lots, make beautiful wedding things and run every day.  But…writing has been minimal, running has been after the dog or between shops (lots of running in sandals this week!) although I did make lots and lots of personal wedding items over the past fortnight that I shall show in more detail on my return!

Here are a couple of pictures stolen from the now Mother-In-Law and Usher #2 (sorry John, this is how you shall now forever be known!)  I can’t wait to see all of the pictures and video footage when we return from our honeymoon on the 22nd!

Wedding cake

Everybody commented on how fantastic the wedding cake my Mother in Law had made was.  A mixture of chocolate and vanilla tiers it tasted pretty great when I finally got to try a slice at lunchtime today too!Horse and carriage ride at our wedding We were so lucky with the weather.  It had hailed down all of Friday night and when I drove to my Maid of Honour’s house late on Friday there were sections of the road which were flooded completely.  Today we have had the tail end of Hurricane Bertha so experienced hail, heavy rain, thunder and lots of wind.  But yesterday we had sunshine and temperatures of 20+ degrees!  I got a little burnt on our carriage ride, but it was definitely worth it.  It was great having 40 minutes to ourselves in the middle of a very eventful day!The boys at our weddingI love this picture Usher #2 took of Dan and his three besties in the hotel room the morning of the wedding.  :)Dan and I on our wedding dayAnd here we are…following our first dance, when we could finally begin to relax for the evening!

We will be leaving for our honeymoon at 00:30 tomorrow morning.  (Early wakeup call!)  We are Italy bound for a little while and I can’t wait to finally relax and chill out with my new husband!  Speak to you all in a couple of weeks!