Fuelling with a Clif Bar – Crunchy Peanut

This weekend I gave the Clif bar a go, not all of them are citric acid, dairy, chocolate free so I have to be careful with which ones I can have.  After spending what felt like hours in Tesco’s looking at every ingredient of these bars, I came across the crunchy peanut one – they aren’t cheap at £1.60 each but I am pretty sure they can be bought in bulk online.

I’ve got to say they tasted good, a little bit dry but I wonder if that’s going to be the case with anything eaten on the go.  They had a nice texture – I like that it had a crunch to it as many bars seem to be a bit soft, and the flavour was great.  I would definitely have these again although I am going to have to try and find them cheaper as I do think they are too expensive for what they are. I’d even go as far as saying I enjoy eating these and look forward to taking a bite. They are a firm 9/10 for me and for anyone without intolerances they do plenty of different flavours to try.


Rachet’s roundup

Quite a nice roundup for me this week, with couch to 5k over 3 lunch times and my normal training sessions with TRR I have also taken part in a static cycle challenge.  This was in connection with cycle to work day (although I didn’t actually cycle to work), the idea was to put your name down for 10minute slots throughout the day in the hope we would achieve 75miles between us.  I went for 2x 10min slots, now if I want to be completely honest with you I would tell you that I originally put my name down for 30minutes – I then went on the bike for 10minutes and decided I was being way too optimistic and reduced it to 20!!  I am glad I had given the bike a go before the challenge so I knew what to expect, I find it really tough and not the most comfortable – even with padded pants on!  I managed 6.5 miles in my 20mins which I am really happy with and we managed to reach nearly 100 miles between us so challenge completed!!  I have got to admit I enjoy using the static bike and really do need to make an effort to try and either get to the gym to give spin another go or get on this one at work more regularly, I think it would do my fitness the world of good and would hopefully assist with improving my running.

Saturday I had planned to get myself to my local parkrun which I have not been to for what feels like an age, although in reality its probably only been about a month. I did really want to go this week as I am missing it, but come Friday lunch time after another couch to 5k session I just felt like my body needed a days rest (when I say rest I mean a walk round the zoo for hours).  Gotta listen to your body at times like this the last thing I want to do is overtrain and pick up an injury or burn myself out. So a lay in was had and I felt well deserved.  I did however have time to put together a nice little spreadsheet of local (ish) parkruns which I would like to complete and I think I may have roped in a buddy to come along with me “Rachet and Clarke on Parkrun tour” !

Sunday was an early start for a nice route along the seawall from Tollesbury to Salcott and then back to Tiptree through Five Lakes.  This included the last stretch of the saltmarsh route so it was good to give this a go and I really enjoyed it, it was a lovely morning for it starting off foggy and brightening up half way towards Salcott.  I was thinking about how I would be feeling on this stretch when doing saltmarsh and imagining myself crawling along the final leg – fingers crossed I make it that far.  It was great to have a few of us head out together, some doing an out and back and myself, Tina and Jo continued on to make it up to almost 14miles.  Running together is far more enjoyable than running alone on these long runs and I really do appreciate having the company for this training.

Lessons Learnt:

  1. Crunchy peanut clif bars get the 👍🏼
  2. I need to eat before I get hungry and not wait until I am hungry 🍫
  3. 75 miles is a f*cking long way 😳
  4. I really don’t want the seawall to beat me #stubborn 🤦🏻‍♀️
  5. I MUST stretch more 🙄

Couch to 5k

This week saw the start of the couch to 5k sessions set up through work, it’s a 9 week programme details of which can be found here).  There are 2 trained coaches who are leading the sessions along with 3 other volunteers assisting, one of which is myself.  We are running these 4 times a week over lunch time and after work in the hope more people are able to attend at least 2 or 3 sessions a week.  Although we are only on week 1 and therefore its very early days, I must say this is going great so far – it’s brilliant to see so many people want to give this a go.  We have a mixed group from those who have never run before to those who used to go out regularly but have had a break from running / exercise and would like to get back into it.  I really think this is a great way to get people out of the office in their lunch breaks and start exercising, I have had nothing but positive feedback from those taking part and I am really looking forward to watching the team improve over the 9 weeks.  This is a great initiative to get people moving and I really hope it may encourage more people to go to parkrun regularly after the program has been completed.  If anyone wants to start running I would suggest giving this a go and if you can pair up with someone or do it as part of a group then I would encourage you to do that as it will really help to keep you motivated and you can spur each other on.

Long Sunday run

My Sunday long run this week was a last minute change of plan from the cycle for cake, this was mostly because I can’t eat cake and the thought of cycling for nothing didn’t appeal to me.  Instead I would prefer to run so that is what I did, however this meant I was going to be going alone.  I wanted my longer run to be around the 10mile mark but then I got an email from Strava “join the challenge” was all I could see and before I knew it I’d clicked the button to join “The Great 13.1 Record”.

This was basically an attempt to set the world record for the most half marathons run in a single day.  Strava have partnered with the SimplyHealth Great North Run, the world’s largest 13.1, to kick things off.  Then Strava runners from around the world will keep it going all day.  It doesn’t matter where you are or how fast you go (good job 😂).

So that was it, my distance for my long run would be about 13.1.  For the first time in pretty much forever I stood out the front of my house doing a little warm up without a route planned.  I thought I would just run around some of my usual routes until I hit about the 13mile mark, I hadn’t really considered how hard I would find it running on my own and continually running when I have been doing a lot of run / walk training of late.  The first few miles were absolutely fine, I got caught up in a Triathlon taking place and so I was occupied by watching the cyclists and runners going on their way – I even got a cheer from one of the marshals 😁.  I started to get bored at about the 10k mark, my music wasn’t really doing it for me anymore and road running just doesn’t compare to the trails and off road I have mostly been enjoying lately.  It really didn’t help that I was on my own.  I think I did well not to break into a walk until I reached Cromwell Hill, this was at about the 9 mile mark and if I had not signed up for that damn Strava challenge I would probably have gone home right then!!  Instead I managed to run / walk the remaining 4 miles which in fairness there was more running than walking but I had many arguments going through my head about it.  After the way I felt on Sunday I have no idea how I ever got my PB at a half marathon, I know that I have been slowing my pace to run my longer runs recently but my speed has well and truly done one.  I think maybe I will need to work on this after SM (OK, yes I need to concentrate on one thing at a time and really should worry about getting to the end of this one first 😬).

Essex Cross Country 10k Series – Weald Park

This Saturday was the last in the Essex Cross Country 10k Series at Weald Park, with a total of 5 in the series I had signed up to all of these at the beginning of summer.  My original idea was to run all of them with the hope of improving my time over the series, unfortunately this did not go to plan.  With other commitments (holidays for example…😎) meaning I missed 3 out of the 5 events I only actually completed the first and last of the 10k’s.  Myself and Zoe ran the first one together over at Hylands House which you can read about here, so it was really nice to be able to also run this last one together.  I arrived in plenty of time and managed to park quite easily in the Visitors Centre cark park although it was all a little confusing with a parkrun nearby and a country show also taking place on the same day which meant Zoe ended up in a different car park to where we had arranged to meet.  Registration was nice and easy, just gave them my name and I got handed my number and we were also able to leave our bags there which was handy.

Whilst we were waiting for the start I was trying to work out the route, having not been to this part of the park before I quite literally didn’t have a clue but I was worried there would be a lot of running across fields as that was all I could see.  Luckily enough this was not the case and most of the running was through woodland trail with a slight increase in elevation.  It didn’t feel like there were many downhill parts, until close to the end of the loop when the legs really appreciated it.  It was a  good job I enjoyed the lap as we had to do it 3 times to make up the 10k, I know this puts a lot of people off but I really didn’t mind it especially as we got to run through the woods.  I can’t say I liked it when we were overtaken by the quicker runners which is the only thing when you are doing laps, however it was nice to know what was coming up and I felt comfortable and enjoyed the route and chat we had along the way. The marshals were great, ensuring we knew which way to go and shouting encouragement as we passed, there was a water station at the start / finish point which we passed on each lap and meant we didn’t have to carry our own water – always good. What I really loved about this route, aside from the woods mud and hills, was the wildlife. Whilst covering the 10k we got to see deer running across the field in front of us, horses being ridden through the park and many dogs being walked. This is quite a highlight for me, I would recommend visiting this park one weekend especially if you have a dog to walk or children who can play on the swings. 

It was a shame I didn’t manage to complete more of this series, however the two events I have done have been organised very well and the medals and goody bags provided have been great.  I hope to be able to do more of these next year and perhaps try out some of the other routes in the series, maybe even try and improve that 10k time as I go.

Essex Way Relays

The Essex Way relays is a team event which has 10 legs of varying distances to cover from Epping Station to Harwich Old Lighthouse – a total of 82 miles:

We had managed to get 4 teams together which is a fantastic turnout for the club, it was great to see so many members getting involved.  As this was my first time taking part in the event I had no idea what to expect from any of the legs, myself and Zoe asked to be put together so it was nice to be able to run and read instructions as a pair. I’ve got to say, I think our reading and running skills are improving and yes in fairness we did do a recce last weekend but I have to say we did pretty well without adult supervision.  The instructions were clear and we had some memory of the route from the previous week, it was a lot cooler this weekend which I think helped us just crack on with it.  I can’t really rave about the route, it was pretty average with quite a bit of road in it and a few fields to cross but there were some amazing views along the way.  I always like to look up and see a great landscape, it’s something that always makes me smile and I also enjoy seeing nature along the way – sheep, alpacas, horses, cows it had it all.  There appeared to be a lot of faster runners doing this leg and had I been on my own I think I would have felt like I needed to try and keep up with them which was never gonna happen!  I was really relieved to have been doing this one with Zoe which meant I kept calm and maintained a sensible pace.  Seeing as we ended in Dedham we felt it was only right that we stopped off in the pub for a jacket spud.

I definitely fancy being part of this again next year,  it would be nice to try out a different leg or to be honest I would be happy to do this one again.  I was pleased we did the recce beforehand as it really helped on the day, I would definitely want to do that again – although I think these can be printed off from http://www.essexway.org.uk/index.php at any time so it could be a good idea to keep this in mind for a change of scenery.


Fuelling those long runs

As part of trying to get to the bottom of my IBS issues (yes, the bottom of – ha ha🙄), this week I have had a food allergy/intolerance test using an electrical resistance test.  I am not going to lie this was a bit strange, but I have heard good outcomes from everyone I have spoken to that have had the same test carried out.  The list of foods to avoid isn’t going to make my life easy, but my only concern right now is to get the IBS under control. I am thankful that my main foods – pasta, potatoes, rice and bread are all ok so my meals won’t be too tough (when eating at home, eating out on the other hand – lets not even go there 🤦🏻‍♀️).

What I really need to work on over the next few weeks is going to be fuelling for runs, especially those long runs which need some eating on the go.  As I have covered in one of my previous posts I have been having Promax bars on my recent long runs – unfortunately these contain chocolate and milk protein which means I am back to square one.  I am currently one of those nutters who checks the back of every product before buying anything, I do not recommend coming shopping with me unless you have a spare few hours to waste on a Sunday afternoon.  I had no idea how many products would have citric acid and milk products in!  My afternoon teas are going to be difficult – who can cater for such an ‘awkward’ eater (this is not rhetorical; if you know the answer please, please let me know! 😐).  My love of crisps is still strong but my favourites are a no go, I need some alternatives – I think twiglets are OK 🤞🏼.

Sorry, I got a little side-tracked there, I do love talking food 😬.  Anyway, fuelling on the go – I have purchased a couple of bars to try, one of which I had last night.  I thought I would write a mini review for these as I find them and let you know what I think of them, if anyone else has similar food intolerance issues they may find these useful (perhaps I could create a spreadsheet 🤔).  If you aren’t interested then I apologise now for the increase of bar related posts that are likely to take place.

So last night I tried the Almond and Cashew Raw Paleo Bar from The Primal Pantry, this only has a few basic ingredients with no nasty extra’s.  It tasted OK, I would eat it again but I wouldn’t say I’m ever going to really fancy one of these bars (like I do cake or chocolate 🤤).  Texture was a little dry but not too bad and it wasn’t too heavy – not sure I would want to eat this on the go as I would probably want a large drink of water to wash it down with.  But it is something that I would eat pre or post run, I’ll start off with this one as a 7/10.