Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Marathon’

Hola folkies! Sorry for the long delay – revision, you know the drill…but my next exam isn’t for 3 weeks now, sooooooo..more DC yeh? More photos, less chat 😛

Plane –

DSCF5796.JPG

I. Love. my. mum.
DSCF5799.JPG

The plane ride went super duper quick – we chatted, played cards, watched a film (Toy Story 3 for me – not impressed) and before we knew it, at 4.12pm we landed at Dulles! For some reason however, the bloke at the passport check stamped my card thing with a B or a P or some letter; upon the next passport control, my mum and I were ordered into a scary waiting room and told to leave our suitcases at the back and sit down (with about 6 other people). 1hr later, and lots of worry at watching 2 or 3 other people get baaasically kicked out of the country and having NO idea why we were there, we were called to the front desk. Why? Apparently, my finger prints hadn’t gone through right. Wtf?? Anyway….

We arrived at our first hotel (a cheapo right near the airport) tired and hungry:

DSCF5806.JPG

DSCF5801.JPG

DSCF5802.JPG

A lovely guy at the front desk drove us to Wegman’s for free though, so we could go to their salad bar (like the Whole Foods ones!!) and get a proper dinner. Oh my, real food had never tasted so good!!

In the morning, I did the sweatiest, most rough 4mile run in the treadmill in the ‘gym’ (a room about 2m square with a treadmill and a swiss ball!!). I would have gone outside, were we not surrounded by main roads….I hate the treadmill.

After a LOT of delicious coffee…

DSCF5809.JPG

…and a pretty cheap breakfast of instant oatmeal and tinned fruit, we moved to our proper hotel in Arlington, just outside of DC. MUCH better!!!

DSCF5816.JPG

The room was so beautiful…and CHEAP too! We got a special marathon discount package 😀

DSCF5815.JPG

Best beds ever 🙂 And – STARBUCKS coffee, which I became OBSESSED with!!

DSCF5822.jpg

The days leading up to the marathon involved lots of this:

DSCF5827.JPG

The accidental discovery of an amazing place called Chopp’d! Basically, a big salad bar – you pick your leafy base, a load of add ins (tofu, chicken, shrimps, fruits, every veggie under the sun, nuts, seeds, pitta crisps etc, a million natural fresh dressings….), they bung it in a bowl and chop it all up! I became obsessed with avocado and walnuts in my bowls 🙂 Along with huge wraps on the side for carbs:

DSCF5825.JPG

Amaze.

We also hit up the museums in a big way – Air and Space:

DSCF5831.JPG

My mum wanted to go in the space simulator 😛

DSCF5836.JPG

It was SO hot that day….
DSCF5837.JPG

DSCF5838.JPG

DSCF5839.JPG

DSCF5842.JPG

DSCF5843.JPG

Natural History:

DSCF5845.jpg

DSCF5847.JPG

DSCF5849.jpg

(Flashback three years ago – my BFF Jenny and I!!!)

201011101805.jpg

Me as an ancient breed of human….

DSCF5852.JPG

….quite an improvement right?

DSCF5853.JPG

We also had a wonderful late lunch (we got lost!) at Le Pain Quotient – famous for the bread! – which was mentioned on Kath’s blog a while back.

My mum had an amazing turkey avocado thing:

DSCF5858.JPG

Whist I got an incredible quinoa/chickpea salad, with sprouts and pesto and tofu:

DSCF5859.JPG

With extra vegan butternut squash soup and carbs!

DSCF5863.JPG

I ate every last bite 😛

DSCF5862.JPG

It was incred 🙂 My mum even did the American thing, and had pumpkin pie!

DSCF5866.JPG

Delish.

We paid a visit to Obama:

DSCF5870.JPG

DSCF5872.JPG

DSCF5875.JPG

And hit up Whole Foods for dinner….Just for my squash-loving readers out there:

DSCF5877.JPG

There were millions of KABOCHAS inside too 😛
DSCF5878.JPG

Saturday brought with it the MARATHON EXPO!

DSCF5884.JPG

DSCF5887.jpg

(blokiest top ever, it looks terrible on!)

Free food!
DSCF5886.JPG

And a ton of swag!

DSCF5888.JPG

So much good stuff, I could have spent a bomb of money there 😛 Luckily, I restrained!

After the expo, we took a trip the Spy Museum. My best friend Jenny, who I stayed with in Washington DC with three years ago, went last time and said it was amazing – so off we went! Walking through the street to get there, I started to smell something…

…’I smell Chika. No wait..I smell horses!’ Sure enough, as we turned onto the next street –

HORSES!

PA290337.JPG

PA290341.JPG

Not just any old horses, but nice horses. Like, real nice.

PA290342.JPG

In fact, about 3 streets had been shut down and were replaced with temp stabling!

PA290344.JPG

Yep, we had stumbled across the Washington International Horse Show!!! My mum and I were both pretty gutted that we hadn’t realised earlier, and bought tickets…but we had a spy museum to get to 😛 Which, FYI – was INCREDIBLE! I wish we could have spent much longer in there, but we had an event to get to.

The Marine Corps First Timers Event in fact, for all marathon first timers. I wish I had a ton of photos and great stories, but to tell you the truth, it was awful. We stayed for about an hour and a half, talked to 2 blokes running for their first time, and then left. It was very disappointing.

Insert Saturday Here (ie see last post!)

Insert Marathon Here (again, see last post :p)

POST marathon – Monday!

I can hardly remember what happened on Monday – very little! We had a lie in, a lovely breakfast, and went and explored Crystal City. On the way, we stopped at an amazing vegan restaurant/take away called Java Green – it was basically either raw, vegan, or both! I had my first taste of kelp noodles in my box:

PB010371.JPG

Well. What can I say? AMAZING!! The flavour was outstanding, and the texture was so cool. I fell in love!

PB020374.JPG

Fast forward to the plane ride home – we upgraded at a cost of about £30 each to Economy PLUS! Oh boy:

PB030375.JPG

I don’t care how much it costs, I’ll sell Chika* if I need to – I NEVER WANT TO FLY LONG HAUL ECONOMY EVER AGAIN!! (*nothing will ever make me sell Chika. She dies with me!)

Now I’m going to fast forward again, to some DC-inspired eats from home 🙂

PEANUT FLOUR from Trader Joe’s! In peanut butter form on pumpkin oats:

DSCF5926.JPG

Tastes so, SO similar to normal peanut butter, but with a ton extra protein…love.
DSCF5927.JPG

In peanut butter form, as a dip for roast veggies:

DSCF5940.JPG

And in peanut butter form, mixed with cocoa and various other bits, as a tempeh topping:

DSCF5952.JPG

Ever had Dark Chocolate Dreams PB? It was the spit!

I’ve also had an incredible sea spaghetti + steamed courgette/celeriac, with lemon juice and agave:

DSCF5930.JPG

DSCF5933.JPG

DSCF5934.JPG

There’s been lots of orzo, after I discovered it in Whole Foods:

DSCF5947.JPG

With caremalized pear, vanilla and thyme…

DSCF5949.JPG

It was as good as it sounds!

Pumpkin yogurt:

DSCF5950.JPG

Very missed Green Monsters:

DSCF5953.JPG

DSCF5956.JPG

DSCF5989.JPG

DSCF5993.JPG

Bagels with soy yogurt:

DSCF5971.JPG

DSCF5972.JPG

Chickpea-beets-squash-cumin-hummus-soy-sauced-tofu:

DSCF5979.JPG

DSCF5981.JPG

DSCF5988.JPG

And finally, BAKED APPLE! With date syrup and cinnamon:

DSCF5965.JPG

DSCF5969.JPG

Quite possibly, the best thing I’ve ever eaten!!

Ok…looking back, this is one MEGA long post. But quickly – I’ve had some good runs since the Mary, including a fab 7miler, and I’ve been going mad for my new Jillian Michael’s DVD. LOVE HER!

Now I’m done 🙂

How have you all been!??

Have you ever seen Toy Story 3? Thoughts?

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Alreet! Now I’ve sorted out my ecto issues, time for part 2….

The Day Before

You know what Saturday’s mean in my marothoning world…Carb loading! Enter a bowl of Irish cream oats (made with water, but oh-em-gee, the creamiest oats I’ve EVER had) with a banana and granola I’d bought in Whole Foods a few days before, and 2 pieces sourdough toast on the side (and huge amounts of coffee :p):

PA300349.JPG

Yep, that’s the way to go.

Saturday morning was, quite possibly, the most infuriating morning ever. Jon Stewart (The Today Show fame, for UK folks) and some other American bloke held a rally for something or other that day (which we didn’t know about – Emily has a recap post of the rally on her blog if you want to know more), which meant that DC was overrun with people!! And I’m talking hundreds of thousands here…we tried for an HOUR to get onto the Metro from our hotel, but couldn’t get on the train!! The buses were full, there were no cabs..madness. In the end, we killed time at the hotel, before having lunch at a lovely Chinese opposite the hotel (tofu plus brown rice plus lots of veggies = wonderful!). I even had my first fortune cookie!

DSCF5902.JPG

My mum:

DSCF5893.JPG

Me:

DSCF5894.jpg

Chinese:

DSCF5899.JPG

YUM!

By the evening, we were able to get out, get dinner, then head back and get an early night….(oh, and see a person pass out on the Metro train, cos it was SO packed still. Imagine London rush hour, then x it by 100, and you’re somewhere close to how rammed it was).

Marathon Day

So I slept really, really bad! 4hrs maybe!? I was so excited! When the alarm went off at 5.20am, I jumped out of bed 😀 Luckily, all my stuff was laid out:

DSCF5908.JPG

DSCF5911.jpg

So I had time to eat a proper breakfast – clever old me picked up a serving of oats from the bulk bins at Whole Foods, which I mashed with a banana and a packet of Justin’s chocolate almond butter for a breakfast cookie 😀

DSCF5905.JPG

DSCF5914.jpg

SO GOOD.

Then, we were off!!! (note – why won’t ecto let me rotate photos!!??)

201011042220.jpg

The Metro was totally rammed, with nothing but marathoners – all my worrying about getting lost was for nothing!

When we got to the right Metro stop (at the Pentagon) we had to walk for about 20mins to get to the start line. It was C O L D!

PA310354.JPG

The next job was to eat a Clif bar and cue for the toilets….

PA310355.JPG

….yep, that is toilets as far as the eye can see. That was just one side – the other side of the car park (?) looked exactly the same, and there were hundreds more along the start road. 30,000+ people need a lorra lorra toilets….

I just about made it in time to the start line, where I said goodbye to my mum. By this point, my heart was POUNDING and I was shaking like a leaf – that’s what nerves do to you! Plus, my mum and I both said after that when we left each other, we each almost cried :p Emotions were running high!

PA310358.JPG

Random pics my mum took – note the gloves and long sleeves!

PA310360.JPG

The cannon ball gun thing went off at bang on 8am – but I didn’t cross the start til 8.11! The amount of people was just mind blowing.

After being told terrible tales, I was expecting the first 1/2 hour or so to be awful, in terms of crowding and being unable to keep a pace. It was actually fine though! I was a liiiittle bit slower than I would’ve liked, but not enough to worry at all. The most odd thing though, was the amount of clothes on the sidelines. People who had layered just threw their clothes away as they ran! Seriously, the first 2miles, there were enough clothes to fill a huge running shop 2 x over!!

The first 5 or 6miles flew by. The crowds were great and I felt fab, with a good 9.45 pace. I had a Gu at mile 4, purely cos I was worried about The Wall…I sure didn’t need it though! Around mile 6 or 7, there were some killer hills (check out the elevation chart! note the hill at mile 26….):

DSCF5923.JPG

But my pace didn’t suffer. At mile 8ish, I ate a mini Clif bar. Again, I didn’t need it, and straight away regretted it as pangs of nausea hit :s

At mile 10, I saw my mum!

PA310361.JPG

Photos she snapped whilst on the move 🙂

PA310363.JPG

PA310365.JPG

PA310367.JPG

PA310368.JPG

It was great to see her- I had a massive grin, as she started cheering madly!

I continued to run on, feeling great. My legs didn’t hurt and I was on perfect target pace time. Around mile 12ish, i ate a Powerbar (over the course of about 2miles). Worst. Move. Ever. At mile 16, I saw my mum again (YAY!), but it was just after that mile that my body reacted badly to all the artificial food. A combination of too much food and too much Powerade (in the Camelbak, and at water stations) meant I felt so, so ill. My tummy was sticking out like mad, I had stomach cramps and felt incredibly sick. That was where my pace started to go downhill!

Annoyingly, I had zero leg pain. Like, absolutely nothing (and I never did get any, right to the end)! I don’t know if it was cos I ate more during the week, or all the walking we did or what, but it was pretty darn cool 😛 Just that darned tummy…..anyway. A bit before mile 20, I ate another mini Clif. I was so, so scared of The Wall that I kept shovelling the food, but it didn’t help. When it came to the massive bridge at mile 20, I felt the worst EVER. I took so many walk breaks, and each time I thought I was about to throw up.

At mile 22, a randomer gave me 2 mini tiny salted pretzels which were AMAZE – the salt went down a treat and it was all I was craving! It didn’t help my mood though – I’d been crying on and off since mile 20, and when I saw my mum again at mile 22, I burst into tears AGAIN! After that, the final 3.2 miles dragged by. I got given 3 oreos by someone:

DSCF5919.JPG

And I ate one in mile 25, which actually was ok. I think I needed the quick sugar hit.

The final steep hill on the last bit was killer, and I was crying my eyes out cos I was really disappointed in myself 😦 But, I crossed it! (You can see photos on the Marine Corps website – search my surname Gillott, and bib number – 10560). BIG relief!

It took about 40mins to get my medal, have a few photos, and find my mum. During that time, I nibbled on a bagel the size of my head (literally) from the goodie bag….

DSCF5918.JPG

….. given at the end. By the time I reached my mum though, I just wanted to curl up on a seat:

DSCF5916.JPG

I spent about a 1/2 hour waiting for the nausea to go, at least enough to get on the Metro back to the hotel! At this point, we were SO relieved the hotel was only a few stops away 🙂

By the time we got back, I felt much better – though all we did was flop onto our beds 🙂 My wonderful mum treated herself to a big Starbucks coffee and cake, and we chillaxed for an hour or so 🙂

DSCF5917.JPG

I admired my medal….

DSCF5922.JPG

….and began to feel much more proud of myself 🙂 After all, I still did a marathon…and getting a time of 4.51 hours, when I am SO capable of more, means that it’ll be easy to PB at my next one 😛 (positive thinking right!!??)

`Overall thoughts? BIG thank yous to my MUM (she was AWESOME!!!!), who was the best help ever, and amazing company. Also big thanks to all you guys! Your support was invaluable during training 🙂

And now…I’ve entered for my second marathon 🙂 My mum asked me at the finish if I wanted to do another one, where I said no. 3hrs later, my answer was reversed. Soooo – Bring on Barcelona, March 2011!! The one advantage of European living – a 2hr flight to Europe!!

And, I WILL do 4hrs30 on that one. I promise!

More recaps to come….

Read Full Post »

PHEW what a busy day! In this order:

Eat, run, eat, pack, ride, burn, eat, iron, muck out, wash hair, pack, eat, blog. I haven’t stopped!! Starting from the top:

1) Pre-run fuel:

DSCF5770.JPG

DSCF5771.JPG

DSCF5772.JPG

2) Run! 8miles, my third from last run before the marathon….crazy! Despite being blustery and proper cold, the sun was shining and I had one of my best ever runs 🙂 An even 9.26 min/mile pace, done in 1hr15 (and not a single step of walk :p). Enjoyable 🙂

DSCF5774.JPG

(Dirty hair, no make-up, freezing cold, just ran 8miles. That picture took some bravery to put up!! :p)

3) Breakfast! An EGM:

  • kale
  • melon
  • banana
  • cereal
  • soya milk
  • xanthan gum
  • Vega chocolate smoothie mix
  • maca powder
  • almonds and dates

DSCF5775.JPG

DSCF5776.JPG

Oh, I have missed them so! It’s been probably well over a week since my last one…it went down a treat 🙂

4) I packed, no pictures :p

5) Ride – my mum gave me a lovely lunge lesson on Chika, who – of course – was an angel. I’m going to miss her 😦

6) BURN! I was baking some munchkins in the oven, took them out with the oven glove on one hand, then thought ‘ah I’ll put them in the other hand….’. OUCH. I squeaked! The pain was intense!! After a thorough run under the cold tap, my mum bandaged a leaf of aloe vera plant onto it:

DSCF5795.JPG

The goo in the leaves of aloe vera plants is the BEST stuff ever – totally natural, but amazing healing properties. The relief of it touching my burn was instant 🙂

7) Lunch – Operation Clean the Fridge Out of Veg Before We Leave! In honour of the operation, I had a small bowl of ketchup/bbq roasted veggies:

DSCF5778.JPG

Aubergine, parsnip, acorn squash (hate it), brussels sprouts

DSCF5787.JPG

As well as a baked munchkin for oats:

DSCF5781.JPG DSCF5779.JPG

I scraped out the insides of the smaller one, and added it to a 1/3 cup oats, along with nutmeg, cinnamon and maple syrup:

DSCF5777.JPG

DSCF5783.JPG

It then got all cooked up, and put in a JAR!

DSCF5784.JPG

I’ve been saving that jar for AGES, and today was the perfect day for it….

Before the unveiling….
DSCF5788.JPG

Ta da!

DSCF5791.JPG

My mum loves the crunchy peanut butter in sandwiches 🙂
DSCF5790.JPG

DSCF5792.JPG

….bliss. I also had an unpicturerd carby energy bar thing, that was foul 😦

8) No pictures of me washing my hair, shockingly.

9) Nor of me mucking out. No-one wants to see horse poop.

10) Nor of my packing…

11)…and nor of my eats (my camera is charging :D) – but they consisted of an apple, cereal and yogurt. No surprises there! To make up for it, here’s a pretty picture of a pumpkin yogurt cereal swirl mess from yesterday 😀

DSCF5769.JPG

LOVE. PUMPKIN.

And now for the second part of my post, which I wrote yesterday 🙂

—————–

Here’s something crazy – I fly to Washington DC to run to my first ever marathon on TUESDAY! I don’t have time to blog on Monday (though whilst I’m gone, I may well be tweeting from the iPod Touch – BritChickRuns is my name :)) , so I thought I’d do a kinda recap post today.

I did my final long-ish run today – 8miles. Just a 4miles and a 2miles left to go, 3 days off, then MARATHON! Training has been tough, and there’s been a lot of runs:

Early 8milers back in June here

11milers...

13 milers...that went really, really well!

And 13milers that didn’t go quite to plan….

I tried new methods of running here

And ran 15milers here! (ps – the stripy-ish crazy squash in that pic? Still haven’t eaten it :p it’s getting riper by the day!)

There has been really tough 16 mile runs…

That have skewed my view of what a ‘long’ run is!

I’ve also run 18miles in training, which were brilliant!!

And 14milers which were awful.

But, my final LONG training run – 20miles – was one of the best runs ever. It’s good to finish on a positive note!

Training was nothing like I thought it’d be – I thought it would take up much more time mid-week than it did, but I also thought I’d find those long runs easier than I did. Yep, some of them were fab, but some were crap too. I didn’t anticipate my reaction to the heat (praise be for my CamelBak, or I may not even be writing this post :p), or the effect loooong runs would have on my speed! In fact, when I started my training, I wanted to do the marathon in about 4hrs. That soon changed to 4hr15 as training progressed, then to 4hrs30. My current goal? 1) Finish! 2) Finish in sub 5hrs 3) Finish in 4hrs30. Goal 1 first, then we see how it goes 😀

Also – I don’t know if – at this moment in time – I’d ever want to do another marathon. If Marine Corps goes well, and I do finish, I doubt I’ll do another one, at least not for a few years! Though knowing me, if I’m not happy with my time, or I can’t finish it, you can be sure I’ll be signing up for another one!! Post-marathon though, my plan is to just stick to 3 and 4mile distances for a while. I want 6miles to be a LONG run, not a short training one!! I want 3miles to be a good workout, instead of finishing it and thinking ‘where’s the next 4miles?’. I also want to do a bunch more half marathons. Going by my training runs, I think that 13mile distance is my favourite. Of course, nothing compares to the AMAZING feeling of completing a 20miles..but a half marathon is pretty cool too :p

But anyway – I’ll stop looking back, and look FORWARD! For the next week, my life is about 2 things, and 2 things only:

  • thinking positively (I WILL kick ass in this Mary!)
  • eating carbs! This week is going to be carb loading week. Lots of oats 🙂 Oh, what an effort :p

It’s also about rest…and packing…and working…so with that in mind, I need to get on with it all!!

WISH ME LUCK!!!!

(PS – I doubt I’ll be blogging in DC – bar Twitter – but I’ll take lots of photos, and hopefully do a fab post – or 10 – when I get back, on November 3rd.)

(PPS – I have to say, thank you all SO much for your support. I’ve had some tough runs, but you guys have always had the best and most encouraging things to say. I appreciate it!! xo)

Read Full Post »

….or, as the case may be, don’t.

Normally, I’m really good at imagining things – when I used to compete regularly in dressage, I’d imagine riding through my test (every single step, corner, transition) over and over. I’d imagine finishing it with a smile, getting a great score, and winning the class. It’s amazing what imagination can do! So many times, my imagined scenario would come off. The days I didn’t do it, I often did a much worse test. Correlation or causation? Causation, in my opinion 🙂

So, I thought I’d do some serious imagining re the marathon – I want to imagine myself reaching 10miles, 15miles, 20miles, NOT hitting a wall, hitting 23miles, 24miles, 26.0miles, 26.1miles, the finish…I want to imagine getting my medal, meeting my mum (and no doubt crying :p) and the sheer joy of having done it! But – I can’t!

I try and imagine all this, but my mind is blank. It’s not negative, it’s not positive- there’s simply nothing there to imagine!! It. Is. Infuriating. I think a lot of it is because the whole thing is SO different to anything I’ve ever done before. i’ve competed dressage thousands of times, ridden, done the whole shebang, but running a marathon? In America? Alone? With 35,000 people!? Heck, I’ve done 4 running races in my entire life, the biggest having had about 1000 entries!

I talked to my mumma about it the other day, and we agreed that by the time I’m IN DC, and I’ve picked up my packet and gone to the First Timers Evening, everything will fall into place, and my power of positive thought will take shape….here’s hoping! I don’t want to run it blind…

—-

Whilst we’re on the subject – I always used to imagine what it was like to buy canned pumpkin, and then to EAT said pumpkin. It was a distant dream. Until today! Yep, I broke into my first can of pumpkin this morning 🙂 OATS it was! (Perfect after a 26minute very very cold 3miler :))

– a large 1/2 c. oats/spelt flakes (spelt flakes give it a great chew!)

– 1/2 c. soya milk, 1/2 c. water

– a large 1/2 c. pumpkin

– a tiny weeny banana (and another half, cos it was so small :p)

– cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, almonds

DSCF5747.JPG

Oh, I squealed with joy!

DSCF5748.JPG

DSCF5749.JPG

DSCF5750.JPG

I was so excited! Til I started to cook it – then it looked SO watery! After a good 5mins of stirring on the hob, I put it in a bowl and shoved it in the Aga for 5mins whilst I unpacked the dishwasher. I then put it in the keep-warm oven, and by the time I got round to eating it, it had hardened up to my liking 🙂

DSCF5755.JPG

DSCF5753.JPG

SUPER! Extremely, extremely delicious!! OH pumpkin, where have you been all my life!!?? I didn’t want the bowl to end 😥

Obvs it did. Good things always come to an end :/ (even my can of pumpkin – it’s been 1day and it’s almost finished….) But I had so much other yummy food to look forward to! In fact, I’ve had some GREAT things these past few days!

Pre-run fuel of an O bar:

DSCF5742.JPG

Fab ingredients:
DSCF5743.JPG

Love them! So dense and delicious, AND a portion of fruit 🙂

Peanut butter coated parsnip and brussels sprouts:

DSCF5740.JPG

A very gooey peanut butter sammeech:

DSCF5744.JPG

(I miss peanut butter – I never, ever think of doing it in a meal – probs cos the jar (x 6) are hidden in the cupboard. Out of sight, out of mind!)

Chocolate roasted chickpeas, with hummus and tempeh:

DSCF5746.JPG

Actually one of my all time favourite meals 🙂

And today! Which I shall name The Day of Pumpkin! Pumpkin oats, and pumpkin on toast, with cinnamon:

DSCF5761.JPG

DSCF5760.JPG

Holy cow.

I worked out my favourite bit of the toast was the crappy burnt bit:

DSCF5762.JPG

Oooobviously, I saved it til the end, with my other favourite bit :p

DSCF5763.JPG

Yeah, it was goooood.

I also had a bowl of my favourite roasted veggies – onion squash (this one I’m on is INCRED!! It beats my last kabocha hands down!), parsnip, brussels, aubergine, kale:

DSCF5764.JPG

Annnd just now, I snacked on a bowl of cereal with soya yogurt and…yep, PUMPKIN! It was to die for 🙂

Besides good food, what else have I been up to..being busy, that’s what! I sure do miss blogging regularly, but by GOSH I do not have any free time at the moment! I’ve got my lectures, commuting, and a dissertation to sort out, which is taking FOREVER (I have to go into schools and test children). I’m also doing some volunteering in a primary school (or will be – training first), teaching them about history. I’ve had lots of meetings about it, and it’s going to be so fun!!! I’m trying to ride as much as I can too, as well as sticking to my marathon plan. My final ‘long’ run tomorrow, 8miles….after that, I have a 3miles, a 4miles, and a 2miles, then – MARATHON!

I can’t believe how soon it is – my mum and I leave on Tuesday!!! Crazy crazy. I’m nervous!! Plus, I’m a bit miffed – the amount of lectures, meetings, work and organisational time I’m missing is ridiculous :s oh well!!

Annnyways – I better get my groove on and get movin’. Have a good evening!

Question: Do you believe in the power of the imagination, or positive thought? Has it ever worked for you?

Read Full Post »

P-p-p-um……

DSCF5734.JPG

OH.

DSCF5735.JPG

EM.

DSCF5736.JPG

GEE.

DSCF5737.JPG

Canned pumpkin has arrived in the UK!

Life as I know it is about to get very interesting. Very interesting indeed….

As interesting as some of the food I’ve eaten the past few days?

DSCF5707.JPG

DSCF5710.JPG

DSCF5713.JPG

DSCF5714.JPG

DSCF5717.JPG

DSCF5718.JPG

DSCF5720.JPG

DSCF5723.JPG

DSCF5727.JPG

DSCF5732.JPG

DSCF5733.JPG

Maybe not. But still!

Ps – woah, I had the best run today! It was just like old times:

mile 1 – 8.31

mile 2 – 8.32

mile 3 – 8.28

mile 4 – 8.04

Fast AND effortless! Believe me, there was a BIG smile on my face after I finished it!!

Question: What’s made you excited recently? For me – pumpkin and CHRISTMAS CARDS and cold weather!!

Read Full Post »

Ohh gosh, I’ve had some of the best dreams over the past few days! I know I bang on about dreams a lot, but sometimes they’re just so cool! Take Friday night, for example. I remembered not one, not two, but THREE dreams!!

1) I had a huge argument with a store worker about the price of kabocha squash and pumpkins. He said one thing, I said another, the label said something else. It was quite the heated argument!

2) I saw a boy riding a pony really REALLY badly – the boy’s mumma then came up to mine, and offered her £1million per year, to be a live-in instructor to him to teach him how to ride. It was most definitely a dream…

3) The best one – Justin Timberlake was my best friend. We hung out together all day, and I kept introducing him to everyone, and they were all super jealous :p He also – quite randomly – played hide-and-seek with Kovac in my cupboard. As you do.

4) This was actually a Thursday night dream – but, to set the scene, I have a major crush on this radio presenter in England called Greg James. He’s young, tall, hot and funny <- I love him! He’s also dating the singer Ellie Goulding…but in MY dream, we met up and he suddenly realised that i was The One, not stupid E.G., and we fell madly in love..we then went Christmas shopping (for giant toys) in a big warehouse-esque department store. It was great! So great in fact, that I promptly burst into tears when I woke up, because it wasn’t true, and I realised that I don’t have – and never have had – that amazing i-love-you-can’t-live-without-you closeness with any guys 😦 Something I want more than anything in the world. Alas!

You’re proooobably wondering where all this is leading right? Well! One of my other non-night time-dreams is to RUN A MARATHON! Which, provided I don’t catch malaria (a la Cheryl Cole), get hit by a car (a la Emily – thankfully she’s OK!!) or get trapped in a mine (a la 33 Chile miners) – I will be doing TWO weeks today! I can’t believe how quickly its come about…total madness!! I’m swaying between being really excited and really, really nervous. It comes in waves! But one thing is for sure – I’m fed up of training now, and I want to get this marathon started. I tell you, after it’s over, I plan on spending 6months running no further than 3miles. BLISS>

Anyway – here’s how I’ve been fueling for training the past few days….

Peanut butter coated/baked parsnip chunks with aubergine – quite possibly one of the best things IN THE WORLD!

DSCF5636.JPG

Lots n lots of EGMs with handpicked blackberries <- I’m still finding them! They’ve yet to go out of season completely, thank goodness:

DSCF5640.JPG

Hummus, roast veggies, delicious olives….

DSCF5642.JPG

My first taste of a Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna bar!

DSCF5643.JPG

I love those things – if ONLY they were sold in England. Bah.

OKRA! I haven’t had okra in aaaggggess, and last time I did have it, I was most certainly UNimpressed. I saw some in the reduced-to-clear bin the other day though, so I nabbed some and roasted them up with some brussel sprouts and parsnip. I like!
DSCF5645.JPG

Ketchup coated crispy baked kale. Bliss.

DSCF5646.JPG

Savoury oats – oatmeal cooked with pressed coconut milk and a LOT of nooch, as well as smoked paprika, salt, pepper, onion powder and smoked garlic:

DSCF5647.JPG

Oh, and lots of gran-grown butternut squash :p

DSCF5648.JPG

Cereal/yogurt messes….most days!

DSCF5649.JPG

Lots of molasses/cocoa-y food:

DSCF5650.JPG

And – On Saturday, I found time to do some PROPER cooking, amazingly! Loosely based on this recipe, but with lentils and split peas instead of chickpeas:

DSCF5656.JPG

DSCF5657.JPG

DSCF5658.JPG

DSCF5661.JPG

DSCF5662.JPG

Voila!

DSCF5663.JPG

DSCF5665.JPG

There’s also been yet more ketchup roasted veggies…

DSCF5670.JPG

DSCF5673.JPG

AND yet more squashed up cocoa oats!

DSCF5674.JPG

I also have to show you some raspberries:

DSCF5652.JPG

Why? Cos 3yrs after it was planted, our raspberry bush has FINALLY produced some! (Note: ‘some’ = about 6. But still! At least it’s trying :p)

ANyway.

Today of course, was my final double digit run before the actual marathon. I really, really needed it to go well, seeing as Friday’s 8miler was awwwful (bad head space again. D’oh!). I also wanted it to go fast, cos I went to the airport with Hannah and my mum afterwards – Hannah is off on her 3month gap year now! (she went to LA last week, came back Thursday, and left for good today).

I ate a chocolate brownie Clif bar and a date before I left, then I was off (into the extreme cold mind you :p).

It was fabulous!!! 12miles, 1hr53, 9.29pace – which included a sprint finish (well I say sprint..my pace went down to about 6.30 min/mile for a 1/5th mile or so), with my mum behind me on the bike yelling ‘RUN FASTER!!!!!’ Gotta love her! All in all, a super run, perfect for confidence building.

When it came to breakfast, I was pretty hungry – all I’d had was Lucozade Sport during the 12, so I sure was ready for food! I did my usual EGM:

  • cereal
  • coconut milk
  • maca powder
  • xanthan gum
  • banana
  • melon
  • spinach
  • Vega smoothie mix
  • almonds and dates

DSCF5678.JPG

DSCF5677.JPG

I had to scarf it down pretty quick – not long after I’d finished it, I went with my mum and sister to Heathrow-

DSCF5706.JPG

– Hannah left for her 3month gap year today! She was in LA last week, got back Thursday, and then today left – til Christmas Eve! As I type, she’s flying to Africa…mad!

Here’s a lil tribute to the girl herself :p

DSCF5683.jpg

DSCF5685.JPG

DSCF5688.JPG

DSCF5693.JPG

Running to say bye to Tig!

DSCF5695.JPG

DSCF5696.JPG

DSCF5699.JPG

DSCF5703.JPG

It was sad to see her go! She’ll have an amazing time though 🙂

Annnnnyway – I gotta run, reading calls. Sorry (still) for my lack of emailing replying…I WILL WILL WILL get back to you all!!

Have a good few days 🙂

Question: Have you accomplished any of your dreams yet?

(PS – check out my yummy sandwich for dinner:

DSCF5679.JPG

Smoked almond/sesame tofu, with hummus and spinach…so good!)

Read Full Post »

I DID IT!!!!!

DSCF5586.JPG

————–

Herro!

Wow, just 2 days without a proper post and it feels like it’s been forever! I’ve been keeping busy though –

On Friday, I ran 5miles – my last one before the big Two-O – 46minutes, 9.12 min/mile pace. Not fast, but not slow either. I also had a ton of good eats 😀

Giant apples…
DSCF5506.JPG

A thickie – cereal, yogurt, banana, maca, Vega vanillia-almond, xanthan gum, banana, strawberries, spinach:

DSCF5507.JPG

DSCF5508.JPG

DSCF5513.JPG

Kovac caught and ate a squirrel…

DSCF5514.JPG

I know a squirrel is just a rat with a furry tail, but it still seemed so wrong! Squirrels don’t steal horse feed, they eat acorns and they live up trees..they’re adorable!

Lunch highlights – the most scrummiest sweet potato ever! I cut up and cubed a very large sweet p., and coated it with:

  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • ketchup
  • vegan worcestershire sauce
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt

Baked it for a half hour or so, and served it with celeriac and gran-grown squash fries, and some courgette, and a Mojo bar for added carbs + protein:

DSCF5520.JPG

DSCF5525.JPG

DSCF5522.JPG

DSCF5528.JPG

The Mojo bar was sent to me a while back by America’s Nutrition to review.

DSCF5527.JPG

DSCF5530.JPG

It was very sticky, but completely delicious! I loved the little nutty chunks in it, plus it was a super source of protein – 9g per bar – and carbs – about 21g. Seeing as I was having a late lunch and needed to carb load AND needed some more protein with my meal, it was perfect 🙂 Plus, it tasted like a dessert or something :p It’s love.

Later on, I managed to make myself a vanilla cappuccino:

DSCF5531.JPG

DSCF5533.JPG

I use the term ‘vanilla’ loosely. :/ Couldn’t taste it at all! I’ve tried instant vanilla coffees many a time, and I never, ever taste their flavour. Maybe my taste buds are dead?

Other delicious food in the day – a load of roasted veggies- brussels and kabocha – with peanut butter/soy sauce coated parsnip fries, and a side of seitan:

DSCF5535.jpg

As well as an biiig bowl of oatmeal, made with 1c. milk, 50g oats, roasted and mashed squash, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg and salt. Bliss.

Saturday brought another busy day, and another trip to uni, and a failed attempt at sleeping in!

I’d hoped to sleep til about 8.30 to reserve valuable energy stores for Sunday, but alas! twas not meant to be. My body decided that 6hrs of sleep was perfectly fine, so when I woke up at 7.24, that was that – I couldn’t get back to sleep! 😦

Breakfast – another amazing thickie blend:

DSCF5538.JPG

Then it was a ssuuuuuper lesson on Chika with my mum helping <- they’re both stars!

I packed up a quick lunch to take with me to uni (Fresher’s Fair was 12-4pm) – an extra big serving of lentils:

DSCF5541.JPG

Along with a load of roasted veggies:

DSCF5540.JPG

I also had a Nakd bar for some added carb 🙂

DSCF5542.JPG

Fresher’s Fair itself was pretty good (despite the 2hr commute) – i’ve found lots of different project things I want to get involved in, which should keep me busy! On the way home, I stopped at Waitrose for the weekly shop and got some great stuff 😀

DSCF5543.JPG

DSCF5544.JPG

DSCF5546.JPG

DSCF5547.JPG

Hooray!

Dinner – oatmeal!!! Except this time I did 1c. dry oats (about 95g)! If that isn’t carb loading, I don’t know what is. I cooked it with the same mix as yesterday and (like yesterday) left it in the oven for 10mins to harden up:

DSCF5549.JPG

Amaze. On the side, i had a tiny but of roast aubergine and parsnip with garam masala:

DSCF5548.JPG

All eaten whilst watching X Factor! [Louis’ old folk – AWFUL! Nicolo – very disappointed. Aiden/Matt/Rebecca/Paige/Treyc (or however she spells it)/Mary – LOVE! Cher/Katie/all the bands – HATE!

Sunday

MEEP! I got up extra early today to allow a good 2hrs to digest 😀 and digest I did! 50g oats/spelt flakes soaked overnight in 1/2 c. milk, 2 tsps wheat germ, vanilla, salt and a mashed banana:

DSCF5551.JPG

As well as some raspberries nuked with agave, then mixed with 2tbsp Grape Nuts:

DSCF5550.JPG

And a tiny apple (which I ate in a nervous haze!). To kill time, I watched 25mins of Ugly Betty and took some gorgeous early morning ChikaTig photos 😀 I might put them up later in the week 🙂

Just before I left, I ate a date, then I was gaaaaawn.

I set off with a grin on my face; I decided this run was going to be AWESOME and I was going to kICK BUTT.

Which I did!

I kept a steady 9.30-9.50 pace for the first 7miles, and didn’t walk once. I was feeling great! At 7miles, i met my mum, so I could top up on water/Lucozade. I deserved a medal for bravery for the next 3miles – I was feeling so ace that I found a 1.5mile long steep hill, and ran all the way up it!! The best bit was coming back down 😀

At mile 11, I’d started to walk 1minute out of every mile, which was a great help, although my pace slowed a bit. No worries! i was hardly caring about pace anyway 🙂

At mile 13, I felt sick – I’d eaten a Powerbar too fast and in basically one chomp…lesson learnt! Luckily, that mile was when I saw my mum again, so I stood about for a few mins, the sickness passed, and I continued on my merry way.

I got back home at mile17, where my mum was waiting. I ran 1more mile alone, and then for the last 2miles, she came with me on the bike and sang crap songs to me 🙂 It was the best 2miles ever!

During the run, I had about two bottles of Lucozade Sport, a Powerbar and some Powershots. It worked perfectly 🙂 Mile Totals: 20miles in 3hr20 (my goal time had been 3hr22, so, er, BOO YEAH). Average pace – 10.01min/mile. I’m so super pleased with it!

DSCF5588.jpg

In fact, I’m over the moon. I so badly needed this run to go well, and with the power of positive thought (plus a lot of carbs and many, many wonderful comments on my last post), it did. I’m living proof – If you put your mind to it, if you want something enough, you can do it. Last week, I struggled and cried my way through 14miles. This week, I smiled my way through 20. YOU CAN DO IT!!

As soon as we finished, I grabbed a banana from the house, and took some celebratory photos 😀

DSCF5590.jpg

BIG thanks go to my mum!

DSCF5601.JPG

We went for a 10minute walk round the fields afterwards to stretch out and say howdey to the horses:

DSCF5593.JPG

DSCF5594.JPG

DSCF5596.JPG

Take note of the Chika fluff: in about 2hours, it’s going to be clipped off 😛

DSCF5603.JPG

Lunch wise – I just had one big bowl of nutrients [which tasted bang on like marzipan]!

  • soya yogurt
  • cereal
  • spinach
  • melon
  • 1.5banans
  • maca powder
  • xanthan gum
  • Vega smoothie mix
  • dates, almonds, blackberries, and a scuffin on the side

DSCF5607.JPG

My mum had the other scuffin – twas the least I could do!
DSCF5605.JPG

Perfect meal to celebrate a perfect run.

I am going to ROCK this marathon!

—-

Ok, so here’s my announcement, which I feel bad about mentioning cos a) lots of you said you couldn’t wait for it(!) and b) it’s not so big anymore… basically – I’m not sure if I can keep my blog going…

My final year of uni starts tomorrow (Monday), and I’m going to be super busy this year – lectures, my final dissertation (which involves having to collect a boatload of data, as it’s a psychology experiment), and a long commute there and back each day. On top of that, I really want to keep up with riding Chika, which obviously takes up a lot of time, as well as get involved with some more volunteering and clubs at uni (this Tuesday, I have to be in uni from 9.30am – 8pm…). The few weeks after my marathon are going to be manic too, as I’ll have all my lectures and work to catch up on. So basically, I’m unsure as to how to fit everything in. I think I’m going to keep blogging as much as possible, but probably in a different style, and not as regularly.

But – regardless of whether I resume a regular blogging or not, I will still keep reading everyone’s blogs (cos I genuinely think of a lot of you guys as friends :D), and I’ll be back with a big old marathon recap (or 10!).I just don’t want to lose touch with the blogosphere – I love it too much! You all have helped me so much, with your positive comments, good luck wishes, funny stories..You’re all the best 😀

Anyway, enough talk from me – this is a looooong post. Have a good afternoon!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »