Foam Roller Friday

I managed my run home last night – 15.87 miles in just under 3 hours. I was knackered by the end, as witnessed by the fact that I would never usually finish a run that close to the next milestone without jogging up and down the road until it ticked over but I was just too tired so instead went gratefully inside for a shower and a warm dinner. Glad I did it and I will be even happier on Sunday morning when I can roll over and go back to sleep instead of getting up and going out. Love paying it in advance! Am hoping that my tired and sore legs recover in time for parkrun and XC tomorrow too, though I might have to get the dreaded foam roller out tonight just to help things along.

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with my roller. I did an excellent course on how to use it, but have to admit that I am not as committed as I should be, basically because it hurts, and I am a wuss. I also have a stick, which was a godsend when I had a dodgy hamstring – it doesn’t quite match up to the foam roller but is a bit more portable and much kinder on your muscles. I have never tried the knobbly foam rollers, and nor do I want to, they even look evil. The best thing in the world is a good leg massage though so I think I might be extra nice to J later to see if he will do me one.

So, plans for the weekend involve parkrun (J’s 50th and the boys both get their 10 t-shirts so should be fun), then XC (my last of the season). I was meant to be playing golf on sunday but it’s been cancelled so I will probably watch the cup final and do some baking – and I might even get to write a post about baking, which given the title of this blog is long overdue!

First I have a date with some post-run refueling though. NOM.


Road to nowhere

After the disaster of Snake Lane and the necessity of a work trip down south I haven’t run much this week apart from a quick 5k blast on tuesday lunchtime with some colleagues. In my Jantastic over-enthusiasm I have committed to a long run of 15 miles this week though so to avoid having to get up at the crack of dawn on Sunday and to avoid the awful awful dirty treble of a long run on friday night followed by parkrun and XC on Saturday (did that the other week, NEVER AGAIN), it means today is the day.

I am complaining internally (well, on here) though since doing a long run on a weekday evening is HARD. I’m tired anyway from my work trip and somehow never get my nutrition right for an evening run, plus it is dark, plus I lose most of my evening, plus poor J has to have yet another evening where I am not home until late so he is on dinner duty again. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), I work about 15.5 miles from home so will be running home tonight which at least mitigates some of the issues since I get home at a more reasonable time than if I went home and then went out, I’d have to walk some of the way anyway and the evenings are getting lighter but still I find myself wishing it wasn’t so. But I will enjoy it once it is finished, and I have remembered to bring my portable radio so can listen to 5live on the way home – it is quite soothing to run along listening to someone chatting and makes a change from my usual dance playlist. Roll on 4pm…

In other news I have obtained the last Divergent book so will give it a go and report back. On my kindle at the moment is JK Rowling’s detective novel which I am really enjoying, and I’ve also just finished Life of Pi (about 100 years after everyone else). I enjoyed it until the island bit where it just got weird and never really recovered. Next up is the Goldfinch I think.

In baking news I need to create something for XC on Saturday so am debating choices. I might do some mini-sandwiches for a bit of savoury, but cake is really the main event. I might stick with tried and tested malteaser traybake for an easy life but plan to ponder other choices while on the road tonight – 3 hours should be more than enough time to cogitate!

Sssssnake Lane 10

I nearly called this post Bonking but wasn’t quite sure what sort of person that would attract. Plus it isn’t entirely accurate since I didn’t bonk (when your body shuts down mid-race), I just ran really really badly, so not the same thing at all.

Snake Lane 10 is a flat(ish) road race near York. It represents the furthest I have ever driven to race (so far, off to Cambridge in a few weeks!) but with an 11am start it wasn’t too indecent a departure time. I have been unbearably tired over the last week or so and was not in good sorts at all, but had at least been sensible and tapered a bit in the run up to the event so thought I would be ok. Hmmm not so much. Trotting over the timing mats I did what I usually do at the beginning of a race and set off running at a pace I felt comfortable. I usually do the first 100-200m like this and then glance at my Garmin to check how I’m doing. In a normal world this generally reads somewhere between 8.15 and 8.30 min mile pace so I was completely thrown when I looked and it was reading 9.45 min mile pace and it felt too fast already. I knew in that moment it would be a looooooong morning.

The course was indeed mostly flat and through some pretty little villages. The miles ticked away but my legs were like lead and I didn’t ever settle into a rhythm and just ended up getting cross with the people around me (never a good sign). I got freaked out by a sign warning about frogs at mile 3 or so, I hate frogs more than pretty much anything but fortunately it must not be frog season as there were none in evidence and believe me I looked pretty closely. Worse was yet to come though as my relief at getting to the 5 mile point rapidly turned into dismay as I realised the previous 5 miles had been wind assisted as BAM we turned the corner straight into a howling headwind. It didn’t let up for one minute between there and the finish, and rather enjoyably we were also running downwind of a sewage farm, so got lungfuls of crappy air (literally) with every breath. I just had to plod and keep going as best I can but with a busy road and the only big hill of the race in the last 2 miles I was a bit buffered and fed up by the time the finish came along. But at least I’d made it, albeit with almost a 10 minute personal worst time to my name. Goodies were a nice mug, water and a banana, and J also picked up some spot prize gloves which he was very pleased about.

We didn’t hang around long after the race, partly as it was freezing and partly because I had to drop J off at the station in York. I eventually got home at about 4.30pm and gratefully put my pyjamas on straight away. Several episodes of Masterchef South Africa (verdict: better than the UK version but not a patch on the Australian version) and a large bowl of macaroni cheese later I was still utterly shattered so climbed into bed at just gone 9pm and slept until my alarm went off at 0630. This week therefore holds the joy of a GP appointment as I’m starting to become concerned that my thyroid has kicked off again as I definitely don’t feel right – I’m torn between hoping it is that (as at least I know how to deal with it but it means long term issues) and hoping it isn’t (I definitely don’t want to have it zapped but otherwise I have to try and discover where my mojo has gone). I just hope I find it before the Cambridge half (9th March)…


Shiny new blog! Not entirely sure what I will be writing about but I will see where the muse takes me.

DivergentThis is primarily a running and baking blog (as per the title) but I might throw some books in too. In fact I have a book dilemma – I have been reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy and thoroughly enjoying it. I know I am enjoying a book when I try to get to the station earlier so I get a few extra minutes reading in, and the first two books of this trilogy have gripped me in a way I haven’t been gripped in a while (oo-er). I’m 97% through Book 2 (spot the Kindle reader) so first job at work this morning – well, second job since I was also strangely compelled to start listening to the curling so had to start iplayer – was to download the third book. Found it fine but herein lies the dilemma – it’s nearly £6 on kindle so about £5 more than I usually pay for a book, and also the reviews are not good. So, do I spend my hard earned cash on a book that sounds like it will ultimately be disappointing, or do I wait it out until it drops in price, good for the bank balance but by the time I get round to reading it I will likely have forgotten half the plot and it won’t be nearly as enjoyable (if indeed it is enjoyable at all)? The third option is to borrow it from the library, but there is bound to be a waiting list so again it could be months before I get it. I’m not sure if this quite fits the definition of a First World Problem but I am vexed nonetheless. I think I will have a cup of tea and ponder the dilemma some more.