Me Vs. Hills

I admit it, I plan my running routes to avoid hills.

All well and good if the upcoming race you are training for avoids hills too…

Alas, mine doesn’t. In fact, there is a pretty mammoth hill to climb to get to the finish line. Bummer!

It’s not like I totally avoid hills altogether – actually I’d go as far as to say that I enjoy doing Tabata hill sprints on the treadmill (is that weird?!). Deep down though, I know that it isn’t enough. Don’t get me wrong, Tabata hill sprints make for an extremely sweaty workout and I will definitely continue to do them. But it’s just not the same as having to climb a ‘never ending’ hill in the middle of a 10k race.

With only 10 days til Race Day, this morning Gym Buddy and I figured it might be a good idea to pull our heads out of the sand and drag ourselves up some hills.

The changing of clocks has made the mornings dark again so getting up has been a struggle. To make matters worse, it is still bitterly cold and windy out. Had I had sensed even the teeniest tiniest droplet of rain, I think I would have been back under the duvet in a flash!

With our brains still in bed (it was 06:50AM !) we couldn’t come up with a decent 10k route which incorporated some hills, so instead we did a couple of loops around a shorter route. The main hill is a particularly long and nasty one. The sort where the peak seems to be an ever moving target, like trying to find the end of a rainbow. The gradient eases but never seems to level off entirely. And worst of all, when you do finally get to the top it doesn’t offer the relief of an instant downhill.

We conquered it twice despite a bit of resistance from my usually patient left knee. However, I can’t exactly say that we had as much fun as usual. Instead of constant chatter and laughter along the way, all I could hear was some poor soul gasping for breath…Oh, that was me.

Chocolate & Raspberry Porridge

Chocolate & Raspberry Porridge

When I arrived home , my skin was stinging an attractive shade of red from the cold. So I warmed up with a tasty bowl of Chocolate & Raspberry porridge. Note to self, next time – add more chocolate!

Enough moaning, it’s time to man up. Next week the aim is to complete 3 loops.

Runners out there – do hills ever get any easier?

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WIAW #5

The 4 day Bank Holiday weekend combined with the clocks going forward has left my body clock and I (yes we are two separate entities) totally confused. I really feel like Wednesday has snuck up on me! So this week it really is what I ate [on] Wednesday….

I had to stay at the office until after midnight last night, so I skipped my morning workout (boo!) this morning in favour of an extra hour in bed. I still woke up feeling a bit groggy, so the plan for the day was healthy comfort food. I know from experience that if I don’t satisfy my appetite enough throughout the day when I am  tired then come the evening I can end up head first in the biscuit barrel. So I made a conscious decision to focus on healthy and filling foods that would leave me satisfied, without worrying too much about the calorie count.

My breakfast this morning was inspired by a recipe posted by a fellow porridge lover – Stevie at  Cinnamon Soliloquy. Why oh why have I never thought of chocolate porridge before??? What a super idea!

I enjoyed this breakfast but I don’t think the two flavours combined are my personal favourite. Next time I might try straight chocolate. Or chocolate and raspberry!

Chocolate and Banana Porridge

Chocolate and Banana Porridge

At lunch, I just had time to nip into M&S and pick up something super quick. I noticed this new Moroccan Spiced Butternut & Couscous Salad with Roasted Carrot Dip and just had to try it. On closer inspection I found it also contains quinoa, pomegranate seeds, raisins, chickpeas, coriander, spinach and dried apricot – all good things in my mind! And WOW it really did hit the spot – spicy, tangy, sweet but also creamy because of the carrot dip. Not only delicious and nutritious, it was filling too…but me being the greedy little cretin I am, I also had a wholemeal roll on the side. (I did warn you that I love my carbs!)

M&S Moroccan Spiced Butternut & Couscous Salad with Roasted Carrot Dip

M&S Moroccan Spiced Butternut & Couscous Salad with Roasted Carrot Dip

For my mid afternoon munchies I nibbled on some mixed nuts with dried fruit. A snack which I love, but truly resent for being so high in calories. I like to convince myself that my thighs understand that the nutritional benefits balance out the high calorie count. Please don’t make me sad by telling me otherwise.

The Man cooked dinner tonight – result! A huge chicken breast stuffed with herby soft cheese & sundried tomatoes then wrapped in bacon, with spicy peppers & onions and a man mountain of mash potato.

Chicken stuffed with herby soft cheese, spicy peppers & onions and mash potato. Courtesy of The Man.

Chicken stuffed with herby soft cheese, spicy peppers & onions and mash potato. Courtesy of The Man.

I think it is safe to say that I am satisfied!