Enforced rest weekend :(

I had a lot planned this weekend. I’d signed up to do the Write this Run blogging workshop on Saturday, and Sunday was to be the 1st Summer league race for my running club I’ve been able to make so far.

But disaster struck on Friday, when I awoke to the most swollen facial glands I have ever seen!
Over 6 hours in A & E later and diagnosed with Parotitis, which is a blockage of the saliva glands.
Whilst I feel absolutely fine in myself, my face is massive and very painful to touch. Visualise the images from fat booth app and that’s what my face looks like!
2 days later and the antibiotics should be kicking in and it’s actually bigger!
I was still considering running this morning, but probably not the best idea, plus I might scare the kids.

I’m not sure what’s worse having a running related injury stopping training or just a fat face. I’m going for the latter, as surely it’s just nature being mean!

On the positive side I have been doing a lot of research into our Big Sur Marathon trip next April and managed to find some lovely, cheap accomodation on AirBnB. Still excited!!

Big Sur – Still Excited

Ok, so it’s only been two days since I registered but I really do not think the excitement will wear off!

Will I get one?

Will I get one?

Last night was running club, so I joined the 6 mile, 9 1/2 minute milers group.

Boy was it hot! My feet felt like lead, but despite this it was a very pleasant run through Dulwich Woods, over to Crystal Palace Park and back. There were a few hills, which surprisingly were a good addition, as I always tend to avoid the hills. Fair enough they weren’t Big Sur 500′ hills but still!

We ended up running 10 minute miles on average, but that didn’t matter as we all felt like we had a good work out.

There’s a 10K summer league race for the club this Sunday @ Regents Park, let’s see how I do.

This is just the beginning of my journey and training to Big Sur, did I mention I was quite excited?

Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki – Soft Launch Review


I’ll admit that I am no culinary reviewer, but thought I would give my views on our visit to Rock Lobsta @ Mahiki last night.

Hubby managed to bag a table for 19.45 last night as we have a new found love for lobster. They had great pre-dinner customer service, phoning to confirm reservation, and re-iterating that this was a soft launch so our patience and understanding would be appreciated.

We arrived early so headed downstairs to the cocktail bar for an aperitif. I had never heard of Mahiki before, hubby tells me this could be the bar Prince Harry got kicked out of, I haven’t googled to confirm or deny this info. The bar is quite a strange concept for Mayfair, I was expecting more sophistication rather than a full on cheesy tiki affair. What can I say I loved it!

Cocktails were reasonably priced, although at that early hour could benefit from a happy hour to draw more people in, and all cocktails are served in novelty vessels such as heads, shells etc!

The restaurant was situated up a floor. We had a nice table in the corner, although the table was a little too high for my short stature, and the lighting a little too ambient.

We were served promptly from a friendly waiter.

Initially we ordered two snacks for starter Soft Shell Crab & Lobster Corndogs, and a for main course we were going to share a whole Native lobster with extras of salad & dripping chips. Whilst our starter came we debated as to whether a whole lobster would be enough to share, so relented and ordered another Half lobster just in case.

The starters were delicious with the soft shell crab beating the corndogs.

Our main courses came out separately, but the waiter was very apologetic and kept advising that it wouldn’t be long. I finished the half before the whole came out, but this was not a major issue. The chips didn’t seem very dripping like, and our salad turned into greens. Not major issues given it was a soft launch, and hubby really liked the Greens so that was an extra bonus.

How was the lobster? Fantastic, if a little small. It had a nice smoked chilli butter which made it so tasty. We are relative lobster novices so never sure if we get the most out of a lobster, unlike the lady on the table next to use that sucked every last bit!

We were full from all the savoury so didn’t try a dessert.

As it was a soft launch the bill had 50% off food, and this made the meal good value, had it been full price I probably would have been disappointed as you can get Lobster for £20 at Burger & Lobster, whereas they charge £32 for a lobster.

Always surprises me that you only get one claw, but guess they have to make the corndogs out of something 😉

I would recommend it for the experience and atmosphere. Really attentive staff and good grub. I hope it does well!

Impromptu Half Trail Marathon

On Sunday 7th July I took part in the Lakeland Trails ½ Marathon in Coniston.


Originally I was just going to spectate whilst hubby took on the Marathon race, but I had been running over 10 miles in one outing comfortably for the past few weeks, and felt I could tackle my second half marathon.

Ok, so I completely forgot about the whole trail aspect of the run, and the fact that I would probably walk quite a bit of it, but I felt ready.


Trail running is difficult, ok we all know that, but what I mean it’s difficult to gauge how well you’ll do (or not, in some cases), as you can’t just compare your times to road running. This was my problem when I was trying to work out what time would be good for me to finish in, what was my target time and when did I have to get a wiggle on to make sure I wasn’t disappointed?


I had only done one trail run before and this was only 18km (Cartmel Sticky Toffee Trail), I had also only ever done one road half marathon before (Paddock Wood Half), so I decided to pluck a time out of thin air and guess that the trail half would take me at least an hour longer, so anything under 3hrs would be good. I had signed up for the Challenge rather than the race so there wasn’t too much pressure.


As the day approached we were conscious of how warm the weather was getting, and we weren’t relishing the thought of running through 24-degree midday heat. I hydrated myself well, and ate a lovely lunch at Jamie’s Italian in Manchester the day before. My lovely mother-in-law organised a BBQ for the evening before, but we weren’t convinced steak was the best pre-run meal, but we didn’t want to disappoint and ate it happily, plus there was cake. Cake’s ok right?


The Beecroft household was up early for the 2hr drive over to the lakes, and we arrived in plenty of time to register, hydrate & wee! (Toilet queues were massive!)

We worked out with the in-laws a spectating plan and where we would see them on the course.


We're Ready!

We’re Ready!

The set up for the race was fantastic and the location by the lake was great (I’m sure the lake will come in handy later!).

The marathon challenge had already set off at 7.30am as they had a longer period in which to complete, next off were Hubby and the marathon race. Loads of serious runners, and good to see some other southerners, including a couple of local rivals from Dulwich Runners.

Once the marathon had set off I had an hour to hang out before I started. Stretched, hydrated, checked GPS, chatted, checked GPS, tied laces, one last stretch and I was off…

The course was lovely, nowhere near as tough as my 1st trail run experience, mainly due to most of the course being on bridleways and decent paths. There was a decent spread of water stations. Although one was getting dangerously low when I went through and we still had the Half marathon racers to come through after us. There was also one feed station which was nice to have.

I didn’t find the climbs too bad, and managed to run up at least two of them. The lap around a tarn was a little monotonous, but a gorgeous setting that I just had to take a snap.

Gorgeous Views - Must remember to stop!

Gorgeous Views – Must remember to stop!


I was so lifted by my surroundings I went way too fast for the 1st half, which I did find easy, but really should have paced myself better.




I spotted MIL at 15KM, and bless her she got her spray mist out to cool me down, as at this point it was VERY hot. This spurred me on and I went for it through a forest section.

Then I hit a wall.

My GPS had stopped working half way round the tarn so had to restart my watch, so didn’t really have an idea of how long was left or how long I had taken – good or bad?

When I saw the 15KM marker I was quite confident as this meant only 6KM left and that shouldn’t take me long right? The last two miles were tough, which was sad because this was the relatively flat bit. I had to walk much of it! We then entered the area where we had started and then found they were making us do a loop of the campsite – ARGHH!

As I approached the finish line I gave a little sprint. They called out my name, it was wrong! Then I heard the Mother in Law correct them.

I finished with a flourish, but was it enough? Hell yeah 2hr 47mins!

I was pleased!

Yep my name is wrong!

Yep my name is wrong!

What was even more pleasing (or not depending on how you look at it) I did this time and they actually made us do a whole extra mile! The course was over 14 miles, so no need for that last lap around the camp site. No wonder the last 2 miles was tough, should have just been one! Glad my GPS stopped working. What you don’t know doesn’t hurt you right? Tell that to my thighs, still aching three days later!

I think my 1st half speed was due to the fact that I run a lot of 10k, so need to work on my longer distance, and of course my pacing is non existant and needs a lot of practice!

The trail half marathon was gruelling but fun and really glad I did it. It will make my half marathon in September seem like a walk in the park – can’t wait!