Happy Halloween & A Scary Newspaper Article!

So the scariest thing about Halloween this year was this:

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(aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Yep, I was featured in the newspaper (Evening Express) for my Ironman attempt! It is such a great feeling that I am getting all this support from the running community, as well as the swimming and triathlon guys! Everyone has been so encouraging and positive and I feel so fortunate! No excuses 😉 Anyway, thanks everyone!!

Last night was so much fun!! Kyle and I went over to Mum’s (the original plan was dinner then a Costco trip but we had alternative plans…)

We brought over pumpkins to have a boys vs. girls carving competition!

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(the before pictures….pumpkins just weren’t pretty in ASDA this year)

The boys definitely CHEATED!

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(game face on)

They got their power tools kit!!! How unfair is that?!!

On the other hand, we used the electric bread knife, but that’s only fair, right?

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(Mum isn’t really a fan of pumpkins. Apparently in Huntly they carve neeps….)

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(using cheap Ikea knives really don’t work as well as expensive power tools. funny that.)

Keith and Kyle decided to make a happy pumpkin, which had us in stitches!

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(they actually called him Happy)

And Mum and I made an attempt at Olaf from Frozen (or just a snowman in general)

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(we tried. and that’s what counts. also see the carrot. 10 points for the carrot)

We called it a draw because they used power tools so they got 10 points deducted and well, did you see we had a carrot? Equalsies.

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(they were a lot scarier in the dark!)

…And today at work we have a Halloween bake sale so that will be all I think about from now!


Questions for you:

Have you ever carved a pumpkin? Success?

Or did you carve neeps (turnips) like Mum used to do?

Halloween plans??

Charity Day: Simeon Care Home

Yesterday was so much fun!

I volunteered to partake in a community day at a care home for the eldery, where I would be doing “some gardening”. With the weather in Aberdeen in October, this was a risky choice! But it was for charity after all so I sucked it up and put my name down!

Luckily, the weather was great!! It was cold, but the sun was shining and there was no wind/rain, so we couldn’t complain!

After swimming in the morning (4.5km), I went into work, checked emails etc then headed to Bieldside to visit the residents and start working hard!

We got an introduction to the Camphill Community (I’ll definitely be visiting Newton Dee’s gift shop!) More information about it here.

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(weathered old chairs)

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(after sanding and oiling)

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(painting the shed)

I loved that we made a difference! And what we did had an immediate effect, which was great! Fiona and I were asked to sand down old chairs that had been weathered from over a decade outside, then oil them. After that we helped Sara and Meriel move firewood, and then we painted a shed!

In between each, the residents were sure to say thank you in their homebakes!! So many flapjacks, ginger snaps, brownies, scones….mmmm!!!! All fresh that day! It was lovely seeing how happy they were that we were helping them!

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(after shifting the logs)

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(moving them is a great ab workout by the way!)

Another way they said thank you was by showing us how to make Christmas Wreaths! I am so excited to gather the materials and do this myself!!

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(Sara’s was slightly better than Meriel’s attempt!)

I had the best time and we all put in a shift, so by the time I was dropped back off at work I was looking forward to rolling running down the hill back to my flat and having a nice shower to get rid of the smoke smell (the boys were burning things!)

Weirdly, like Forrest Gump, I just kept running. Past my flat. I ran past the university, along the beach, up Broadhill and back up to the flat. So 8.5 miles. And at a pretty decent pace. This NEVER happens! I felt like I could run forever! (Must have been the homebakes).

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THEN I had my long warm shower, lots of nice food and was forced to watch watched the Walking Dead until I was resembling the walking dead and needed bed!

GOOD LUCK TO ALL RUNNERS DOING NYC THIS WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxxx


Questions for you:

Have you done charity work before? What kind?

Have you ever run feeling like you don’t want to stop?

Are you doing NYC? Anyone you know?! If so – good luck!!

An Interesting Article and an Empty Stomach THAT often??

Just a quick post to recommend an article I read in the Huffington Post about runners constantly talking about themselves:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-saltmarsh/why-runners-cant-stop-tal_b_6004498.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Worth a read!

Anyway, back to me (see what I did there? Runners? Talking about themselves? Did ya get it?)…

me

So I am on antibiotics for all my cycle injuries…. one problem:

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I DON’T HAVE AN EMPTY STOMACH 4 x PER DAY!!

Must. have. will. power. to. get. healthy. again.

I’ll let you know how it goes!


Questions for you:

Any good running/sport/general reads to recommend?

Any fun plans this week?

Belated Weekly Roundup…

I meant to post this on Sunday but I was enjoying my relaxing pamper day! I want to recap my training on here so I can look back and know what could be worked on and how to move forward (also a way for my coaches to make sure I’m not skiving I guess!)! I hope it won’t, in 10 months time, be looking back figuring out what went wrong, but how it all fitted together to get me my age group win in Kalmar!

Ok so week beginning 20th October…

Monday 20/10

Planned: So I did 107km on the bike the day before in the wind, and wanted nothing more than a long slow recovery swim…

Actual: 4800m w 9×100 fast (last 3 <78 so I was happy with that!); 4 miles @ lunch 7.40 pace; NOTHING but bed after work

Tuesday 21/10

Planned: easy run at lunch, turbo after work, couple miles run straight after

Actual: run commute (1.5 miles each way), 7 @ lunch dec (1st mile 7.55, last mile 6.35 = aided with the mental wind!), 50 mins turbo after work. Legs were goosed afterwards so run was sacked off.

Wednesday 22/10

Planned: swim then run (maybe some hill sprints)

Actual: 4400m swim with lots of sculling (that I haven’t done in a decade!) and sprints. Arms wanted to detach from my body; 4 easy @ lunch (shoulders hurt running – weird!); cycle to Mum’s for dinner after work one way (12km)

Thursday 23/10:

Planned: easy run commute, then speed work after work

Actual: run commute + 4 easy @ lunch; 4 on treadmill after work @ 6.40 pace. Had to get off as really sore lower right leg 😦

Since went to gym with Kyle and he also couldn’t run (sore achilles), we went to Prezzo instead of finishing to set and ate a ginormous pizza each…

Friday 24/10:

Planned: swim then turbo

Actual: 4500m swim (lots of sprints), nothing at lunch; 8 miles @ 7.45 in pm

Saturday 25/10:

Planned: 70 mile cycle followed by 10 min run

Actual: 71 mile cycle @ 26kmh followed by 2 miles run @ 7.30

Sunday 26/10:

Planned: Monymusk Half?

Actual: 12 @ 7.20 (super windy!) left foot/right bumcheek niggled afterwards (too much info?)

TOTALS

Swim: 13.7km

Bike: (whatever 50min turbo gets me) + 127km

Run: 51 miles (is it weird I do the others in km but running in miles?)

Other: core 3×15 mins before each swim session = 45 mins

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(thought I’d add a picture for good measure)


Questions for you:

Please tell me the more you hike up training the more ravenous you are? I can’t stop eating!

What is your training like?

Weekend Recap :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend! How mental was the wind!?

Friday night Lucy came round and we had home made chicken nuggets – recipe here:

http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/chicken-nuggets

(amazing!)

We also played Trivial Pursuit, borrowed from Mum. It was from the 80s. There were a lot of questions relative to the 80s. That is my excuse for losing (I was the youngest by 3 years)! hmmph.

Saturday morning I was up early to go cycling with Ian Milne. He is a MACHINE! Scottish age group record holder for numerous events (I think 5?) and all round superstar on the bike! We had 70 miles on the agenda but the wind was MENTAL. We couldn’t chat to each other it was just too windy 😦 So 4 hours without too much chat didn’t bode well for me! How am I going to cope in the Ironman!?!? 140 miles with NO CHATTING!?!? Must work on this.

Anyway, long story short, the wind caused Ian to have a horrible early bonk – he said he hadn’t felt like that so early before! Our average speed wasn’t good but with the hills and the ridiculous wind (SO many times I nearly got blown off the bike…) I can’t complain. Plus we saw an otter. So that was nice.

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71 miles in 4.25 – Average speed 26km/h

Oh, I forgot to mention I fell off my bike. Right at the end 😦 I left Ian and had a couple miles myself to get back to mine, which includes a stop at a pedestrian crossing at a busy roundabout. There were too many cars passing so I stopped, clipped out, but was so shaky and tired I fell the other way. In front of SO MANY cars. I cut my knee and my hand swelled up really bad. AND I had a ring on the worst finger, so that still can’t come off and is cutting off the circulation. If it’s still like this on Wed I will have to get the ring cut off (note it is a Tiffany’s ring I got from my girlfriends for my 21st – I don’t want to lose it!)

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(my swollen finger)

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(a blood blister – ewwwwww)

I cleaned myself up really quickly, changed into shorts and trainers, and dragged Kyle out to do a 2 mile loop with me. WOW did I feel like an octopus! You’da thought I was running 5 min miles with my breathing, and my rhythm was all off. Surprisingly, I looked at my watch at the 1st mile and was bang on 7.30. Let’s now try and keep this up for 26.2 miles AFTER doing 112 miles instead of 71, AND a 3.9km swim okay body? You have until August.

BUT, being referred to as “Superwoman” sure helped:

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(yay! Scott would never call me superwoman…!)

After a long shower, and a couple of Man V Food episodes, we popped into town to grab some food and coffee. I was craving some sushi so I dragged Kyle to Yo Sushi (salmon and avocado handroll = dabomb.com), then immediately afterwards demanded a Starbucks (those pumpkin spice lattes are awesome!). Wow maybe I’m needy?

With food still on the brain, we went to Marks in Spencer to find the dessert the papers have been talking about: “Britain’s sexiest pud”, the Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Sphere.

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(we got the last one!)

Perhaps the article bigged it up too much, but I just thought it was “oh, that tastes pretty good” as opposed to “OH EMM GEE I NEED ANOTHER ONE IMMEDIATELY”.

When we got back, we caught up with Game of Thrones (finally got to the last episode!), Gotham, and American Horror Story and I was falling asleep. We were meant to have a birthday night out, but we were so tired we thought we would be healthy (forget I mentioned the jaffa sphere, m’kay?) and save some money (sorry, Myles!)

Sunday was a day of rest for me (well, if you count 12 ridiculously windy miles along Aberdeen beach at 7.20 pace), which included a long bath, face mask and painting nails, while Kyle did the Monymusk Half Marathon. Not only did my rockstar WIN, he obliterated the course record by 2 minutes!!

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(how cute is that framed postcard?!)

He won some more running vouchers and another meal out! WOOHOOOO!  I was thinking about doing it but I’ve had a few niggles lately and didn’t want my overly competitive mindset to get myself injured, so I was sensible and did my own long run. It better pay off because it sounded like so much fun!

When he came home, we did a food shop (yes those are pumpkins in the background – we will be have a carving competition soon!) and made some nice food to celebrate!

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(antipasti, humous, bread, grapes, nachos with camembert and avocado, salad and wine!)


Questions for you:

How was your training over the weekend?

Any races on the schedule?

Healthy Granola!

Wow 2 recipes in just a few days…I am turning into the right homemaker!

I do love baking but I have done it too often in the past and, as well as being a “feeder”, I am also an “eater” which doesn’t bode well for the waistline!

No reason to feel bad for eating a couple bowls of this stuff though! It’s a slight adaptation from my Mummy’s homemade granola (I’ll get her to do a guest post soon with her favourite bakes – she is awesome!), for example, she uses apple juice instead of coconut oil, but I’ll go with mine for now!

Preheat the oven on the highest it goes (this will make the granola nice and crispy! Just make sure you don’t let it burn!)

Take a half cup peanut butter

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And mix it with a cup of coconut oil

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Mix up 2 cups oats

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Add a large sprinkle of ground flax seed

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Add a cup of hemp seed

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And a cup of flaked almonds

And another sprinkle of protein powder (I used flavourless but vanilla would be nice a sweet!) – it can also be omitted!

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Other seeds can be an optional additional too – such as chia!

Make sure everything is covered in the coconut oil/peanut butter mixture and spread it around a baking tray. I used a lasagne dish! Then bake for 5 mins. After that, take the dish out and add any berries of your choice. I used dried blueberries, dried cranberries, gogi berries and raisins (all from Costco!). I have also poured a small amount (maybe a tablespoon) of maple syrup over the tray with the berries. Mix this all up again and put it back in the over for a further 5 minutes.

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When you take it out, leave it to cool for approximately 7.3 seconds then grab a spoon and eat away!

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You can then vary the granolas by putting some in a jar containing chocolate chips, or add more raisins, but I find adding some rice krispies also adds a nice crunch when the mixture has cooled!

And serve with greek yoghurt, ice cream, fresh berries etc etc….DELICIOUS! and NUTRITIOUS!


Questions for you:

Favourite additions to granola?

What was your workout today?

Turbo Training….my Nemesis

Yesterday included a fun run because we have got a yellow weather warning from Hurricane Gonzalo, so I was getting blown all over the place at lunch time! I spent ages brushing my hair out because the wind made it sooooo tangled 😦

Anyway, I still managed 7 miles at lunch with an average pace of 7.40ish. Last couple miles were in the 6s purely because the wind FINALLY was on my back. The first 5 miles felt like an eternity and my watch was in the 9s for some of it! Apparently there were gusts of up to 65mph!

After work, I changed into my cycling shorts and took to the turbo. I wanted to work on my new technique (“push your back – where your bra strap would be – in the way, and bend your arms to 90 degrees”) and those isolated leg repeats.

Because of the bad weather, Sky TV was down so don’t know why I bothered facing the bike to the television. Instead, I blasted my ipad and mixed up each verse being a different leg, doing both legs for the chorus, then maybe on the second song I’d do the chorus all out as fast a cadence as possible etc etc. I think when you’re working out by yourself songs and using them to alter your intensity is more fun than clock watching and doing a minute fast 30secs steady etc etc.

50ish minutes later (I wanted to get at least 45 mins in and by 50 I called it quits cause I was just too sweaty) The fan Scott donated because he couldn’t be bothered going to skip before he left kindly gave me will need to come out next time! This was the end result during my cooldown:

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(you are welcome)

Does anyone else gets reeeeeaaaaaallllyyyyy sweaty on the turbo? The window was only slightly open and my flat is quite hot I suppose…next time I’ll make sure the window is open, I have a towel at the ready and the fan is on!

And what about everyone’s butts? Is it just me or does everyone walk like John Wayne after cycling?

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(maybe I could go as him for Halloween?)

How am I supposed to run a marathon after 112 miles on a sore saddle? I wonder if I could invent a mattress/pillow/cushion time chair specifically moulded to each individual’s “area” and make it aerodynamic enough that I will never have to work again and I will be super famous int he cycling world?

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Ok my rant is over. Maybe I’ll just have to man up and get used to it.

On another note, what has happened to Renee Zellweger’s face?

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(before)

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(after)

I hope it wasn’t because of the Family Guy episode:

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I thought she had a classically beautiful face before – I just hope that she has finished filming the final Bridget Jones movie so it doesn’t look odd she is happier now.


Questions for you:

Girls, any tips/styles on how to avoid tuggy hair? I tried a bun but running impact makes it fall out, and plaits get tuggy too 😦

How do you get more comfortable on the saddle?

How do you mix up solo workouts on the trainer to avoid boredom/slacking off?

Healthier Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Hello peeps!

Just a quick post on a recipe I tried last night! I didn’t take too many pics but the end result was awesome so I thought I should share!

Those who know me know I LOVE FOOD. All kinds.

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I have a massive sweet tooth, but I also realise that, although I eat tons of the good stuff, I probably eat too much of the bad stuff (but I would say you should have bad stuff now and again!)

So I went on the hunt for a recipe for one of my favourites: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Recipe:

For the filling

1 cup peanut butter (no added sugar). I used this:

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1 cup icing sugar. I used this:

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You will probably need to melt the PB a little. I did that in the microwave and stirred in the icing sugar.

Then roll them into little balls (whatever you would call a serving. No judgement.)

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(not my preferred size of serving, but I went with it)

Put these in the freezer while you make the chocolate coating.

2 big blobs (yes that’s an accredited measurement) coconut oil melted. Maybe around 3 tablespoons. I used this:

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(this is what 2 big blobs looks like melted)

Add 2 teaspoons of raw cacao powder. Hot chocolate mix would also work! I used this:

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You don’t need too much of it because it’s got a very strong flavour.

Stir the coconut oil and cacao powder together before it sets, then leave for about 5 minutes. The coconut oil will begin to harden again.

When it gets to the consistency like melted chocolate (around the 5 minutes), take the filling out of the freezer and roll the balls in the chocolatey coating.

If you have the will power, put them in the fridge until the chocolate hardens. This won’t take too long! Then enjoy!

I don’t have a picture of the end product because I forgot/ate too many to compare to the pre-covered ones, so let’s pretend they looked like this, m’kay?:

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If you’re mouth isn’t watering enough, have a look at ways you can incorporate these pb treats into OTHER desserts:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/oliviaroat/21-glorious-reeses-filled-recipes-ehzv

I love buzzfeed.


Questions for you:

Do you have any healthy recipes you can share?

Do you like peanut butter? I think Americans like it more than in the UK?

Have you ever tried to create your own recipe/altered another person’s recipe?