Halloween, a Long Run and No Chocolate November

Hope everyone had a fun-filled Halloween weekend!?

Ours started with our annual pumpkin carving competition (remember last year?!). The boys used their power tools again whilst Mumsy and I used knives. Can you guess which is which?


(Minnie Mouse)



The milk chocolate digestives is what edged the girls’ team in front 😉 That, and the fact I called dibs on being judge.

Saturday we went for a cycle in the pouring rain and wind (but it WAS surprisingly warm) – it was nice to get the bikes out. No pics of the cycle so I shall leave you with our new garage setup (I really don’t know how we coped having 4xbikes in a 1 bedroom flat!):


(turbo ready to go too!)

I got some really good advice from amazing cyclists recently on how to make the turbo fun (particularly in cold, dull, grey garages when I was used to snacks and Sky TV at my beck and call in my living room!). More hard core interval sessions will definitely pass time, as well as plugging my music into speakers and putting up motivational posters! Watch this space…

Oh, and there was an overflow of wood delivered (we got too much for the wood shed!) so the garage is a little packed for a while!

After our cycle, we popped to the local cafe (Alford Bistro) for some pumpkin spiced lattes (yes they have those in the country!), and went to the craft fair at the Heritage Museum. This was all before 11am!

When we got back, Mummy came round to give a mother’s touch to the new house ie CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!! She was phenomenal! I awarded her with Halloween cake.


(from our work’s bake sale…yummy!)

Halloween’s evening was pretty non-eventful. I was expecting lots of trick or treaters, hence why I wanted to stay in the hose on our 1st Halloween. Alas, we got like 8 trick or treaters that all came at once! They were so friendly and polite though (although their jokes could have been better. Think “Why did the penguin go to the doctor? Because he wanted to.”) Next year I shall be taking up Kylie Babez’ offer of a spooky torch run!

The following morning CALLUM was coming over for a long run and lunch! He had a route all mapped out on his Garmin (#nerd #imjustjealous) and we set off around 9am after giving him a tour of the new pad of course 😉

I was a little nervous because a) I hadn’t done any double digit runs in a good couple months, b) Kyle and Callum are super fast, and c) I heard part of it would be on trails and we all know how I get on in trails!

18 miles later and I had had my first fall in mud (!), we all had soaking shoes from finding our way through bogs, and our legs were all goosed from the hills and the changes in terrain BUT it was 2.5 hours of so much banter and breathtaking views…right on our doorstep!! Stolen from Walker the photographer for the day:


(When will this hill ever end?!!?)



(Callum pretended he was behind because he was getting his camera out. I am that speck in the distance. Excuses, excuses…)


(the views were so pretty!)


(we made it to the top of “Littlehill”!)


(“I have been in better moods” – Debbie post mud fall)


(Welcome to our new home!)


(We live here!)


(Kyle making it look easy as always)

I managed to keep up (just!) and even tanked them on the final hill (still wheezing though…). We showered, sat down for a little bit then headed back down to the Alford Bistro, as Callum treated us to lunch as our housewarming (THANK YOU!!!).


(risotto, bacon burger and pulled pork burger…delicious!)


(Loving the autumnal themed decor!)

The walk back to the house was good for the legs, then Callum headed home and we did more housework (it’s slowly taking shape!). I had made butternut squash soup (COINCIDENTALLY identical to last Halloween’s soup!) and sourdough bread, so that was devoured on the sofa in the evening watching Stephen King’s IT on TV (I watch 1 scary movie a year.).


(pathetic pic BUT it also shows Walker (& Irina!)’s housewarming present they brought back from Hungary! We ❤ paprika 🙂  )

Oo oo, and another present that is too cute not to mention was on our doorstep Friday after we got back from work:


It was from Phil! Mainly to say thanks to Kyle for coaching him to his phenomenal 1st half time, but I wanted in on it too!

Ok last thing, yesterday I started NoChocolateNovember (I tried to do it in Stoptober but the Bennachie Hill Race had too many cakes to resist! I eat faaaaaaaaaaar too much chocolate so thing it will be a fun challenge to set (since I can’t race fast at the moment 😦 …) Wish me luck!!

What did you do for Halloween? 

Any fancy dress?!

Ever stopped eating chocolate? Help!

Best Halloween Weekend Ever (and another bike crash…) !

I have never been one to celebrate Halloween but this year we all thought why not!? It was so much fun!!!

Warning: lots of pics to follow!


Kyle was off work so, after meeting me for a run at lunch, he went to buy ingredients to make a romantic/Halloween dinner (how the two combine I have no idea)


(blood wine glasses)


(nibbles to start – this was when Happy was still alive 😦 )


(doesn’t he make a great house husband?!)


(butternut squash soup with pine nuts and pancetta)


(filo pastry pie with shallots, balsamic, white wine and goats cheese)


(white chocolate creme brulee)




While Kyle was WINNING another race (!!!), I made these to bring:




(burnt severed fingers: recipe here)

And on to the party:



(zombie Mr & Mrs Claus)












(Santa you have had too many cocktails. That is not me)

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What a fun night!


Well, Sunday I fell off my bike nearly 50km from my flat. Good job I had 6 strapping young men with me to help!! My chain broke and my back wheel came off, and apparently I need a new chain, derailer and hanger. Bummer. I’m ok though – it was just a massive fright! I felt like I was rocking the ride too – it was a great day and all the sugar from the Halloween party must have been great carbo-loading (I didn’t drink as I knew I wouldn’t function well after 5 hours sleep never mind if alcohol was involved, so I resorted to sugar!)

My knight in shining armour zombie Mr Claus luckily hadn’t started his 20 miler yet, so he came and got me! Thanks Kyle!! I was really mad at the situation, so I made him take me running too! We went to Hill of Fayre and only managed 7.5 miles (his Achilles was bothering him, and my legs were goosed) so we went to play in the pool instead. I did 1km easy while he foam rolled.

Oh, and more bad news. Happy died.


(poor Happy)

Then we treated ourselves to afternoon tea at the Carmelite

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After the day I had I felt we deserved it!

Thanks to Ian, Kev, Andy, Doug, Die Hard and Ewan for helping me yesterday!!

Also, well done to all you NYC marathoners!!

Questions for you:

What did you get up to at the weekend?

Are you a fan of Halloween? 

1 month blog anniversary!

Hope you all had a boo-tiful Halloween! See what I did there?


Sooooo many sweets! Our work held a bake sale for charity (and raised >£1,000!) and THIS was the spread:


(£5 for the most accurate calorie count of all these cakes)

You just put in a donation and filled up your plate with whatever you wanted:


(this was taken AFTER I already demolished 2xcookies, a flapjack and a viennese whirl with my Starbucks…)

They even held a silent auction for these bad boys:


(these cakes would be wasted on me. i just care if they taste nice)

Hopefully I will train lots over the weekend to make up for this (note: i know athletes don’t exercise to burn off food, and instead eat for performance, but we’ll make this an exception, m’kay?)!

PLUS I’m sure I was told Halloween, Birthdays and Christmas were the 3 days out of the year when food contains zero calories, right??

Tonight we will be continuing Halloween celebrations by attending Wendy’s annual Halloween bash (I am actually terrified because she always goes all out with her parties!), so lots of pics to follow!!

On a separate note, HAPPY 1 MONTH ANNIVERSARY TO ME!!!!!!! My blog has been going a month now, and apparently I have had nearly 1,200 DIFFERENT visitors from across the globe and just under 3 THOUSAND views! Yay! And they weren’t all me! 🙂

Hopefully if you readers keep telling your friends/bigging me up, and the papers keep writing awesome articles like this one, I will be taking over the world in no time!! Seriously, tell your friends.

And since this is a SPORTING blog, can we please talk about Rita Jeptoo testing positive for a banned substance?? Although I found her technique very strange, I always admired how consistent she seemed to be, rocking marathon after marathon. It’s sad to see that this is still going on in sport 😦

Questions for you:

Are you milking Halloween weekend? 

Any Halloween themed races you are doing?

Happy Halloween & A Scary Newspaper Article!

So the scariest thing about Halloween this year was this:



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!


(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?


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


(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)


(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.


(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??