Gully runs


Day Breakfast Lunch Snacks Dinner Exercise
Thursday Egg and beans on one slice of toast 2x graze boxes Apple Pasta bake with salad Group five tempo run with running club


BREAKFAST:  – Half a can of baked beans on one scrambled egg on one slice of toast!  I really enjoyed this.  :)


LUNCH:  –  Two Graze boxes was not going to be filling.  However, I’ve had issues with salads on a run day in the past.  As my year 10s were off this week on work experience (yay!) I ended up with Period 3 and 4 free before lunchtime and decided that I would have a salad that I enjoy so much.  Maria@runningcupcake has suggested some small pasta salads…pasta in tomato sauce or pesto is on the cards for next week!


SNACKS:  –  One of the food tech teachers (also a running lover!) made a sample batch to show the year 7s how to cook some sugar biscuits.  I’m on the same floor as the school catering department and she brought me one of the samples to sample!  Yum!


DINNER:  –  Beef and tomato pasta with grapes and lettuce.  This was pretty late as after running club it was the club committee meeting which went on until 9:15ish and then I had to nip and get some nibbles from Tesco on the way home as it was my turn for Treats today.


EXERCISE:  –  I ran with Group 5 but it ended up not being a tempo run and instead we ran The Gully.  I WILL go and take pictures of The Gully tomorrow as I need photographic evidence of just how steep this run becomes!  It is a ‘gully’ carved into the wood and when you reach the end you climb up some hand-made steps to the top of the gully.  It actually takes about 3mins to run to the very top and all steps are of a different height and depth into the earth so you have to pick your knees up really high in order that you don’t trip.  It takes about 5m 30s per rep (you then run back down a looooong slope to return to the other end of the gully and complete the rep.

I started off a long way behind the group 5ers for the first rep as I was discussing my best course of action for the night with Rob, the coach.  He suggested that because I have the marathon on Monday I steadily ran each rep and only completed two reps instead of the three the others had had planned for them.  I had caught up with the rest of the group by the time I got to the bottom of the steps.  I overtook a couple on the steps and then powered past the rest on the long slope back.  We had a three minute break before repeating and I again powered past most people without putting a whole lot of effort into the attempt.  I sat the third one out and took my turn guarding the water bottles as Rob ran with the rest of the group.

We completed just over a mile run back to base to run 4.66 miles in total before stretching out and some of us changing ready for the committee meeting.  Rob has earmarked three of the group 5ers to move up to group 4 next week so I shall return to Group 4 on Thursday post marathon with the knowledge that I won’t be completely last in the group!

My FRIDAY FOCUS this week has been rubbish.  I was supposed to have been photographing and logging everything I ate but if anything I’ve had more sneaky half biscuits and squares of chocolate than ever before. RUBBISH!  My Friday Focus is on REPEAT this week!  ALL will be logged!

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!


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!


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!

Parkrun #4: Northampton

Very, very happy with my Parkrun today!

But first, breakfast…


It’s been a little while since I had a good toasted bagel with smooth peanut butter so today I decided to dig a bagel out of the freezer and toast it pre-Parkrun.  Good decision!

I woke up feeling REALLY hungry this morning.  I read the other day though, that you should wake up feeling hungry, as you probably haven’t eaten for about 10 hours overnight.  If you wake up feeling not hungry, it means that you overate the day before.

I was a little nervous about heading out to the Parkrun this morning but Dan and I had a full day of fun planned…Parkrun, swimming, icecream at the cinema and out for dinner so I was committed!

My Friday Focus for this week (a day late announcing I know!) is to not look at my watch whilst I am running.  I felt that I had a much better run yesterday by not looking at my watch and worrying about my pace.  I would like a week of runs like this.

So today despite it being a 5k ‘race’ the aim was to not look at my watch whilst running, and to run on feel alone.  I didn’t set out with a time in mind, but was concentrating more on not watch-watching and completing without slowing to a walk.  (Both challenges met!)

There were quite a few members of my running club running today and I was talking at the start line to a few beforehand.  The briefing was extremely brief and before I knew it the gun had gone and we were off!  (Here’s a horrific picture of me at the start!)…


Stupidly I had started too far back again and ended up weaving to get past several people early on.  The first mile was fine.  I could feel the muscles in my chest working hard but my breathing was on track and my legs didn’t feel as heavy as they have done just lately.  When my Garmin beeped to tell me I had run a mile I was so tempted to look down and check my pace but managed to resist the urge.  Mile two has a slight hill in it.  It is a TINY, TINY hill over probably 1/10th of a mile but as the rest of the course is so pancake flat you do really notice it.  About half way through the second mile I latched onto a guy that was running just slightly faster than me and used him as my pacer for the next mile.  I lost him towards the end of the second mile and instead latched onto a woman a little older than me.  I stayed with her until the end.  At one point I overtook her but she managed a sprint finish from 0.2 miles out which I knew I wouldn’t be able to maintain.

IMG_7128I finished strong and happy, even before looking down at my watch.  After two of my last three 5k races coming in at over 29m I knew I had beaten that and finished feeling so strong and comfortable – happy that I had paced it the way that I had.  Final watch time: 27m 36s.  NOT a PB, but so much better than I thought I would achieve today.  It really makes you realise how much racing and running generally is all about the mind games!

Lap stats:

Mile 1: 8:35

Mile 2: 8:52

Mile 3: 9:17

0.1m: 51secs (8:26 pace)

When we arrived home, my running magazine had arrived so I’m now about to go and sit in the sun and have a read before we head out for our swim this afternoon!  Good times!  :)


Friday Focus

So…each Friday evening I have decided I am going to set myself a focus for the coming week.  Yes, I am alternative and my week begins with my weekend!  I figure this way I’ll be more focused on my focus during my free time and it will hopefully help to keep me on track at the weekends.

These Friday Focuses will be to better me and to help me to live a healthier, happier life (or at least, that is the plan!)  They could be to do with food, exercise, time management or relationships, or any mixture of those categories.

My first Friday Focus is going to be: to stop eating when I am full.  Being back at my parents this week and choking down massive meals I realised how frequently I eat (maily when I am with others) when I am not even hungry.  This week I want to really focus on stopping when I am full and then if I still have remaining food on my plate leaving it to pick at later when I get peckish, or for lunch the following day.  I am worst at my parents or eating out, but often at home I accidentally make meals too large for just Dan and I, especially if I am testing out a new dish and aren’t 100% sure on the measurements yet.

So, to recap…Less sizes like this…


More sizes like this…!