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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

a 'hate-hate' relationship with running


If you don't already know, (then that's a miracle as I moan about it often enough across ALL social media), I have a 'hate-hate' relationship with running, but there is some crazy determination within me that means I won't completely give it up.

Over the years I've given running a go, and when I say I've given it a go, I head out for one run, manage about ten minutes, of which nine of those are walking, and I've headed home vowing never to do that again.  Until the next year, when I repeat the above.

In January, I set myself a New Year's aim to take part in Total Warrior, and with that came a target to be able to run 10k by July.  And somehow I did it, in April, 3 months ahead of schedule.

I committed to running at least once a week, every week, and I stuck to it, gradually increasing my distance.  Now I wasn't fast, but that wasn't my aim, I just kept plodding on, and somehow I did it.  I still didn't enjoy it, but I'd developed a more neutral, shall we say, feeling towards it.

6 months on, and it's all gone to pot.  I had a couple of months of not doing any running post Total Warrior, as I had zero motivation, but didn't want to lose what I'd built up. So I set myself a new goal.  To run every week a minimum of 5k, not a long distance, and no pressure on time or speed, just to make myself keep it up.

Well, that hasn't been going quite to plan.  It's been more like 5k every fortnight, and on Sunday? Maybe we shouldn't talk about Sunday.  I ran 1k, yep a whole 5 minutes before giving up.  Ok, I'm even exaggerating with that, it was a little longer than 5 minutes.  I got a stitch, I sat down on a bench for 10 minutes, then I walked home.


I was reading Char's post yesterday 'Thoughts I have when I'm running' and it really made me smile, I've been there, I've felt all those things, and it's good to know I'm not the only one, so I thought I'd compile my own list:

1. You can do this
2. You definitely can't do this
3.  You haven't even ran 1k yet
4. Ok, you've ran 1k, but that's not enough to now stop
5.  I wonder how many calories I've burnt
6.  I wonder if it's enough to eat a burger when I get home
7.  Hrmm, maybe I should just go home now
8. How far is home? Can I even make it home?
9.  I can't breathe
10.  I think I'm dying
11. I'm really hating every second of this
12.  Like, every single second
13.  Try to think about something else, like appreciating this lovely view...
14.  I'm so tired
15.  2k? I've only done 2k? 
16.  Ok, so 2k is like a third of what I want to do, so two thirds to go
17.  Maybe I'll just run 3k today
18.  Hrmm, if I go that way there's a big hill, maybe I'll just do a second loop instead
19.  I hate hills
20.  Hills are the worst
21.  3k, I'll head home now
22.  Just. keep. going.
23.  I've stopped, why have I stopped?
24.  It's definitely time to go home, my legs won't work anymore

And then, I give up and walk home.  This is basically how every run goes, it's like having a devil and an angel on each shoulder, and I know, if I could just stop thinking like that, and try to just focus on running then I'd probably do better, but the reality is, I don't think I'm ever going to enjoy running.


But, I am determined to stick with it, and me and the mr have agreed, the next time I run 10k, we're going to treat ourselves to a dirty Maccy D's for lunch.  Yes I know, it's ridiculous but occasionally in life you just gotta visit those golden arches.

So if there's any runners out there who can offer me some suggestions, do let me know, because I'm not giving up...

(I said that last time!)

Friday, 14 October 2016

Porridge a day, keeps the cold away?!

lots of porridgeRumour has it that Monday was World Porridge Day, now by some weird coincidence I have fully been embracing porridge breakfasts in the last couple of weeks.  Ok, so it's not coincidence at all, it's the fact that the weather has dropped about 10 degrees which means I always just want something warm and satisfying in the morning.  Fruit and yoghurt just doesn't cut the mustard.

Once you've started having porridge for breakfast more than once a week it's time to admit that Autumn is officially here, well that and thick black tights, ankle boots and contemplating whether the weather is quite at the hat and scarf level of coldness yet.  For the record, it's not, but it can't come quick enough because I LOVE bringing out the beanies.

Anyway, as it was world porridge day, and as I've been consuming so much of the stuff, I thought I'd share with you some of my recent oaty creations! As a kid, porridge was a boring, lumpy mush, usually a weird grey colour (I'm thinking Oliver Twist style gruel) that I refused to eat.  However in recent years people seem to have gone crazy for creating amazing Instagram worthy bowls with exciting toppings and unique flavours, and we all now how I love to jump on a trend bandwagon.  

Now I'm certainly no connoisseur (check out Sallytangle to see some proper taste combos) and if you follow me on Instagram you'll know I tend to keep thing pretty simple, but in my opinion simple is sometimes just best, so here's my current top porridge toppings (try saying that 5 times quickly):

banana and maple syrup

First up, the classic.  Oats and milk (standard), half a banana mashed and mixed through while cooking, then topped with the other half, a handful of raisins and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Maple Syrup and porridge go together like eggs and bacon, so I suggest if you haven't yet tried a maple syrup drizzle, then now is the time.

berries and coconut

Frozen berries and coconut.  I always have frozen berries in the freezer but never seem to remember to get them out to defrost.  But I have discovered if you pop them in the microwave for about a 1 minute, they defrost enough so they're no longer frozen but still stay fairly chilled, which actually works really well alongside the warm porridge.  This combo includes oats and alpro coconut milk, topped with frozen/not frozen berries, a sprinkling of dessicated coconut and a spoonful of Bounty spread, so good!


Granola - this one was a recent discovery, we didn't have much in the way of toppings in the house, so I figured why not top oats, with more oats, but it works!  So sticking with the usual oat and milk combo, I added a handful (or two!) of granola, banana (always), maple syrup and extra raisins, the granola adds a nice crunch and gives that little something something.

lotus biscoff

Last but not least, this my friends, is a porridge game changer.  A simple spoonful of biscoff spread, oh my! I never thought I could get so excited about porridge, but knowing I've got a jar of this in cupboard actually helps get me out of bed in the morning (easily pleased!) but seriously, I urge you all go right now, buy a jar and try putting a spoonful in with your morning bowl of oats, it is incredible! 

And of course, I couldn't give a little mention to my old favourite banana and Nutella, you just can't go wrong with that combination, but despite the fact I eat this on an almost weekly basis, I didn't have a photo so instead here's a picture of what also usually happens on a weekly basis.  My name is Caroline and I have a Nutella addiction.

My Instagram feed is filled with nut butter topped porridge, I can't stand any of the nut butters, so I'm on a mission to make lotus biscoff the new trend, let me know if you try it!
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