Great food finds and Gower packing

I’m busy packing for my Gower marathon adventure right now after a shopping trip in Tesco.  There are 21 of us from our running club heading over at some point tomorrow to stay in three little cottages right next to each other ready for the races on Saturday morning.  All of us are running either the 10k, half marathon, marathon or ultra distances.  I’ve not run any of the Endurance Life events before but several of the club have been to Gower in previous years and it’s always looked like fun!  Our house of eight has split the costs up and I am providing Sunday morning breakfast for all,.  So after a trip to the opticians and a drive in to school I was Tesco bound to stock up on sausages, bacon, bagels and Nutella (amongst other goodies).

Whilst picking out some tomatoes for a Sunday morning fry-up I spotted that Tesco have started doing ‘5 A Day Platters’.  What a good idea.  I know so many people that say they can’t fit five portions of fruit and vegetables into their days.  Rubbish.  It’s easy when you think about it.  I actually once sat through an assembly where the Headteacher told children from ages 4-16 that it was ‘really hard and expensive to eat five portions each day and there was no way anyone could do it every week’.  (This annoyed me a huge amount.)  These little packs are a great idea and a great reminder to keep on top of the fresh produce you eat (all you need to know about packaging is at http://rtgpkg.com/ilpra-tray-sealers/).

5 a day platter from Tesco Another great spot today at Tesco were these little GU pots.  I’m in love with anything salted caramel right now.  Everything’s fine in moderation right?!  Although I would never have paid £3.65 for two little puds, at £1.08 for two Dan and I have a tasty treat for dessert at tea tonight!
GU puds Everything about them looks delicious!GU pudsMy last find of the day was actually from Wilkinsons when I nipped in to pick up some Christmas chocolate coins for the kids at school and came across these tiny little bags of Penn State Pretzels.

Penn State PretzelsYou can see just how small they are next to my phone!  These pretzels have become part of my routine food intake during long distance runs this year getting me through all four of my ultra events in 2014.  The bags they normally come in are massive share bags which means I normally end up decanting the pretzels out into several little freezer bags and storing them in my coat pockets.  These size bags are perfect to stack everywhere without mess or fear of water getting in and making the pretzels all soggy.  I bought several ready for the marathon on Saturday.

Tomorrow will be a rushed day.  Up at 5:30am, teaching all day until 3pm when I shall rush home to be picked up by another runner at 3:30pm and chauffeured the 224 mile (or four hour) drive to the other side of the country.  And then, our adventure will begin…!

Do you manage to get your five a day in each day?
How often do you strike it lucky in the reduced aisle?!

If you haven’t done so already go and enter my Scholl giveaway before Monday.

A Halloween run and a birthday

Yesterday, after a busy couple of days I turned 30.

I turned 30!

That’s pretty old.  I don’t really feel old though.  In fact I’m feeling pretty young and free from responsibility at the moment.  Long may it last!

It was a pretty standard 30th birthday.  I headed into work to officially hand in my notice, bought a new car (mid life crisis?!) as my car had failed it’s MOT badly and then we stopped at Beans for a birthday chocolate icecream milkshake.

Birthday chocolate icecream milkshake

I cleaned the spare room as I’ve got friends arriving later today, went on a trail run with some friends from club and Dan and I watched 28 Days Later with some sweet and salty popcorn.

Sweet and salty popcorn

This is my new favourite flavour.

My car has been on it’s way out for a little while now.  I’ve always bought cars within 24 hours of having to replace my current car, so when my car failed it’s MOT with an estimated £500 repair cost having already spent £100 to get the starter motor working again last week it was nice to have another 10 days of half term to browse for cars before needing a car for work again.  Although, clearly I’m just too efficient as we found a car and purchased it within three hours of hunting.  I’ve gone for a red Seat Ibiza Sport and it’s the most I’ve ever spent on a car.  I’ve always kept below the £1000 budget when car hunting but with all the driving both Dan and I do, we decided to go for something that would last a little longer and this car has only done 27,000 miles.  I was a little sad to see my hard earned cash we’d started growing back since the wedding disappear from my bank account once more.  But, on the other hand, a 30th birthday present to myself I won’t forget!

On Wednesday we headed up to Wolverhampton as it’s our Niece’s 1st birthday later on in the week.  Whilst we were back we stayed at Dan’s parents, visited his sister and kids, popped out for dinner with one of the witnesses from our wedding and his girlfriend, dropped by to visit Dan’s Nan and I had a little browse round the shops where I found a gorgeous dress for the running club Christmas do in New Look.  I just had a quick look online but I can’t see it there.  Although there does seem to be several dresses marked as ‘Online Exclusive’.  Maybe I need to see what other events I have coming up!  Loving New Look at the moment.

I also picked up a free Millie’s cookie after spotting the deal on A Thrifty Mrs.  Free cookies for everyone this week!

Free Millie's cookies

The traffic back from Wolverhampton was awful and I arrived only just in time to throw on my Halloween outfit for the Running club Halloween run.

Halloween running outfit

I popped some shorts on underneath, and luckily despite it being a dress I had enough leg room to run without it being too constricting.

Club Halloween runI’ve never been to the Halloween run before as I usually have birthday activities taking place but this year I was really excited about making it.  Although when I arrived all I could see was runners NOT in fancy dress.  I’ll admit I hid in the car for several minutes to make sure I wasn’t the only one going to look a fool!  But in the end there were loads of us in masks and outfits.  Some I couldn’t even recognise!

Halloween club run

The idea of the run is you run with whoever from club.  It’s purely social and fun.  No groups or coaching and speed is not important.  You get back to the cafe an hour later and enjoy the pumpkin soup and hot drinks.
Mandy and I at the Halloween club run

I went with the trail running crew and we literally went the slipperiest, hilliest route there was.  It was incredibly muddy, very rutted and with tree roots sticking out everywhere.  Imagine a BMX track and it was pretty much like that, but we were running it in the dark!  I’m not going to lie…in some places it was nearly as tricky than the Dusk ’til Dawn terrain!  Especially as I was running in a dress, and my fingers hadn’t fully recovered enough to stick my hands out and grab the trees for support on the way down the hills!  It was so much fun though and we were all ready for our pumpkin soup when we made it back to the cafe.Halloween club run

Did you get dressed up for Halloween?
How did you celebrate your last birthday?

Healthier treats

IMAG0441A quick bagel with almond butter at 5:45am before a five mile jog around a local loop.  It wasn’t mu fastest run, but I didn’t intend it to be.  It felt great to go out before school and already have burnt off 616 calories and feel great about myself!

I treated myself to a nice cold glass of semi-skimmed milk when I got back.  I’ve said it before and I’m sticking to it…the BEST thing you can have after a run.  Tastes so much better than any other time!

IMAG0442

IMAG0443

It was my turn for treats today and I tried to make it a little healthier than what is normally brought in…I brought some wholemeal pitta breads, green grapes, carrot batons, cranberry and raspberry juice, red pepper houmous, cherry tomatoes, egg and pork slices for the meat eaters, some tiny chocolate fingers and some pringles because they were on offer.  My aim was to have one pitta filled with houmous, carrots, grapes and tomatoes, along with some juice and a couple of mini fingers.  Unfortunately the grapes and carrots were not opened by anyone.  (I TRIED to encourage a healthier treats session!)  I also had a slice of pork in my pitta.  With the food in my classroom it was easy for me to pick at and I did end up sneaking some more fingers, another pitta and finishing the houmous off in the afternoon.  Bad, bad, Mary.  :(