1st Yorkshire Fell run!

Since moving to Yorkshire my other half has embraced many northern past times, such as hiking, growing a beard, driving a landrover, chopping wood, wearing wellies, and what we moved here for, fell running.
Some of these I have partaken in too, I’ll leave you to guess which ones.

Now I like running (sometimes) as you can see from this blog. But I’m not really keen on mud, hills, bad weather, so boy have I moved to the wrong place.
However, I am of the opinion that if I can get the motivation to train in these conditions, then my nice flat Manchester Marathon should be a piece of p*ss (in Harley lame running terms) come April.

So, very kindly, the other half arranged for me to go out for a ‘nice’ 8 miler with a friend’s wife from his running club.
I was worried!
The day before I had failed miserably at Burnley Parkrun on only my 2nd attempt – passed performance had always had me tracking positively on the ole Parkrun PB front. But damn this northern climate, I was off form! But that could also be the lack of any training whatsoever.
I had also failed spectacularly at my 1st personal training session the night before, by almost passing out and puking. Man I must be super unfit!

So the thought of unleashing my shitness on new people had me worried. I had no idea of the course, what type of hills we’d climb, speed of my running buddies, or their tolerance of ‘pretenders’. The only good thing on my side was that it wasn’t raining for once.
I geared up – never worn so many clothes, especially especially compared sunny Dulwich running, and headed over to meet them.
We were going to take a bunch of beginners out for their 1st off road fell run. Yay I thought, thinking back to the nice tame beginners at DPR, and how this may not be as bad as I feared.

I have no idea what they feed on round here, but these guys were ace. I decided to take up the sweeper position!
I don’t think I ran up one hill! Talk about baptism of fire!
But you know what…I loved it!
It was tough, but I know it only means I can improve. They were a fab bunch and I’m gonna look forward to slowing them down again in the future.
Might even infiltrate the ‘beginners’ course when it starts again.
I even didn’t shy away from the mud. Apparent it’s good for the skin! My feet will be beautiful in no time!

The good thing is it’s banished my fear of joining a fell running club, although, ask me that again once I’ve done my first run in sheeting rain! 😜

Manchester Marathon here I come….


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?

Eccles, Eccels, whatever! Band of Bakers March event

Hadn’t been to a Band of Bakers event since before Christmas, due to several reasons.
Travelling with work, losing my baking Mojo, but increasingly it is now quite difficult to get a place at an event.

This is testament to how great this event is and has become extremely popular, and to get one of their limited spaces you have to be fast off the draw in replying to the announcement emails.

I think it’s fantastic Gemma & Naomi have done such a brilliant job at organising the gatherings, and all the lovely community projects that are in addition to the cosy, friendly 6 weekly meets. And all on top of having regular jobs and families to look after – very inspiring.
Apparently the events are so popular that you can guarantee that over 2 thirds of the mailing list will need to reply faster to the next email, or sit in hope of a drop out and have a themed bake ready at short notice.

Does this put me and the hundred or so others off? Hell no!
If you could get to every event it wouldn’t be half the fun, plus our bank balance probably couldn’t cope.

As the band steadily grows I can see the glint in Naomi & Gemma’s eyes that they could be onto something big, but also the nervousness of how to keep the momentum and interest going. I don’t thing there’s any worry of that happening with so many bakers ready to help and be involved – 2013 is going to be epic for them and us.

Ok, enough blabbing about how great they are, onto the baking.

This event was British Classics, I contemplated Jaffa Cakes, Quiche (ok not quite British, how about flan?), but settled for Eccles cakes.
My trusty friend bbc food was on hand with a selection of recipes, I of course went for the easiest!
BBC Food – Eccles Cakes
Very easy, but again I took the whole prep and bake timings to their word and found myself rushing to assemble them 40mins before the event, knowing I had a 20min trudge over Peckham Rye.
They were tricky little buggers to assemble and very small, but ideal size for a BoB event when you have 35 other bakes to try.
Due to my timing misjudgement they were still warm and sticky (didn’t seal them very well) when I popped them in the tin, and decided that kitchen roll would be a good base to put them on – WRONG! I spent 5 mins trying to get tissue off the bases, so apologies to those who got a little more carb than they bargained for last night 🙂

They actually tasted great, shame I didn’t have auto correct when writing my description card as mine will forever be known as Eccels cakes – ops!

I bought home the other two Eccles cakes that were baked by people to compare, no doubt better than mine, but we are all our own biggest critics, so nothing new there.



A lot of new things – First running!

So, this is my first blog post. Before I get started I should probably apologise for many things, such as:

  1. Spelling, grammar, punctuation – It’s not going to be perfect, and I am so sorry
  2. Updates – I hope they will be regular, but I have a habit of laziness, so fingers crossed I can break a habit of a lifetime
  3. Boring – I will try, I promise, to be interesting but sometimes life just isn’t!

Ok, just 3 things to apologise for, not bad. I’m sure there will be more before my 3rd post.

I’ve decided to blog about 3 new things in my life. 2 of which seem to have sneaked into my list of things I like to do, one of which was so sneaky I didn’t even realise I actually liked it, until only yesterday.


I am notoriously lazy when it comes to exercise, healthy eating, cleaning…OK most things actually, but definitely when it comes to exercising.

The thought of getting sweaty and exerting myself wears me out, let alone the showering and changing after. I had no enthusiasm to drag myself off the sofa to a class or onto the cold streets of Dulwich, and this lack of enthusiasm was really beginning to distress my dear hubby, oh and my waistband!

Now don’t get me wrong I’m no heffa, I love a good hike and cycle, I just had no motivation to do something regularly.

So one day I decided why not run home from work. It’s only a 4 mile stint, it has an ultimate destination, and once you start you’re pretty much committed to stay the course.

So that’s what I started doing. It took some planning, i.e. don’t wear too many clothes on the days you decide to run home unless you’re happy to leave your clothes at work, or carry it all in a backpack. This meant strategic planning of wardrobes, conversations with myself as to whether I needed a coat/umbrella/laptop that day, I was already losing interest…I joke of course.

I got myself a MapMyRun app for my iPhone, so I could keep a track of the distance and speed at which I was running, in the hope that I may actually get faster. I also updated my music library with some good running tunes, but listening to music whilst running is a contentious issue as I have recently learnt.

I’ve been running since the summer, and I try to do at least 2 runs home a week. Usually the same route, but I have been known to try to find a ‘shorter/faster’ route only to get lost and find myself going up the biggest hill to get into Dulwich, and going a mile out of my way extra. I swear Dulwich is in it’s own little valley with hills on all sides, and the only easy route in is to go along smelly Rye Lane!

For a while I was stuck on a time between 43-46 minutes (dependent on if I got lost or not!), and couldn’t seem to get any faster. When I went slower than the previous run I would get depressed that the running obviously wasn’t working, and I would never get better. Then, hubby suggested I just really push myself. WHAT! Actually try harder?? Surely I should just go faster by virtue of having done this running malarky a few times, and going faster takes no effort and is just a given result of frequency.

OK so my laziness was actually holding me back, so last Monday I took hubby’s advice, and low and behold I went a whole 3 minutes faster. I was ecstatic, I even had enough puff left at the end to jump up and down with joy. Well surely if I had some puff left for jumping could I go faster? Hell yes! I went out on the Wednesday and went a minute faster again! That’s a whole minute a mile faster, for the whole route, I had managed to shave off just by pushing myself.

The heady sense of achievement I had from this result meant I promptly signed myself up for Parkrun, thinking I’m ready to pit my superior speed up against some worthy competition.

Now I must stress parkrun is not ‘really’ a race, it’s a community run that helps you monitor your progress over 5KM, and ranks you against all the other runners (hmm, still sounds like a race to me), and helps you make improvements week by week. They have these every saturday all other the country, and I must say they are fantastic. It’s free to join, but they always need volunteers and that is all they ask of you, to volunteer at least 3 times a year.

My first 5K was this Saturday, there was a field of 72 runners of all ages and abilities. Hubby volunteered this week so he was there to cheer me on during the 3 laps of Dulwich Park.

It went well. I went my fastest speed ever, doing 5k in 27.31! I was really pleased. It was tough to start with but I got my rhythm sorted, and settled nicely. Didn’t really overtake anyone except this one guy, who then overtook me towards the end. Overall I came 66, which doesn’t look that good, and is certainly something I will improve on, but hey, it’s not a race!

Hubby has joined the local Dulwich Park Runners running club and I met a few of them on Sunday at a 10K (hubby running, not me! That would be too soon!), they all seemed like a great bunch of people. A running club seems like a great way to get into something more socially, and give me the motivation that my laziness needs to continue with this running thing I’ve fallen into.

So my blog will hopefully also be motivation to keep me running as I log my progress (or lack of…) to the world. Ok, who am I kidding…just a few people who see my link on Twitter or Facebook and are bored at work, but I can dream.

Stay with me there will be more…