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LiveSore Ambassador.


I’m pretty excited that I’m now a brand Ambassador for LiveSore!

I know it may seem like I’m collecting these brand Ambassadorships as I also have them for Quest Nutrition and Lenny and Larry’s but really, I’m not. I’ve been offered them for a few company’s recently but declined as they’ve either been for brands I haven’t heard of before or they’re not ones I feel passionately about. I mean, what sort of an Ambassador would I or anyone make if they don’t feel strongly about the brand? I’m certainly not going to represent just anyone. I also believe that you’re not an Ambassador until you’ve represented the company in some shape, way or form. Be it doing Events / demos, wearing the apparel or creating and submitting recipe’s with the product. Too many people accept them just because it’s a cool thing to have. I take this honor seriously.

Anyhow, this is a company I can really get behind. I love the brand, love the clothing and love the philosophy. I already own some LiveSore gear and cannot wait to receive my pack which I am due in about 3 weeks! Check them out for some awesome clothing and accessories!!


Wanderlust Tahoe

Quest Nutrition Crew

I feel so lucky that I got to attend this event as part of the Quest Nutrition team, it was such a huge event and a real honor to be one of the three chosen representatives for the company.
Ok, so first there was supposed to be three of us but then one dropped and and with just a couple of days notice they manged to find 2 back up’s so there were three of us for the first 3 days then four of us for the following 2. The other Ladies I worked with were also fellow Fitness Fanatics and we all got on well which was just as well being stuck in the tiny booth together for 10 hours a day. Plus I also carpooled and drove another of the Ambassadors to the retreat and back.

The drive up there had me really nervous and almost had Steve come with me so I was really grateful to have some company on the drive which was long an started on the Wednesday morning. Arriving at Wanderlust in the afternoon we got straight to work for a few hours setting up the booth before checking into out Cabin which was complete with a Sauna and Hot Tub!! This isn’t the usual accommodation for Quest Ambassadors, usually I’m lucky to be put up in a Hotel so this blew us away, our own little retreat in the woods.

Our work day started at 9am on Thursday and despite being the first day of the event when it’s the quietest day we were insanely busy. This being down to the fact that there was only 3 of us and we could only keep a limited of product in the tent meaning lot’s of trips to the storage leaving just 2 of us to hold down the fort.
Working the booth we were quite surprised to find many people had heard of Quest Nutrition before, Yogi’s isn’t the usual Quest crowd so it was pretty cool to hear how well known the product was and for those that didn’t know of the brand it was fun informing them of it and even sharing a few of my own personal recipe’s. I met so many really nice people and even Carl Pilkinton’s new co host for the show ”An Idiot Abroad”.

Watch out for him on ”An Idiot Abroad”.

As always, I had lot’s of comment about my accent which the other girls found amusing. It was a little embarrassing at times as a few guys told me to ”just keep talking” because they loved the way I sounded. Awkward!! I also encountered 2 super cute little girls on separate days, girl 1: ”I really like your voice!!” and the other” ”I like.. umm.. what is it?.. The way to talk”.  Since moving to California I’ve always been so conscious of the way and talk and mentioned that I wished I spoke more like everyone else only to be told hell now and that my accent ”Is appreciated”. That makes me feel a little less self conscious.

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A few moment goofing off with staged Photo-bombing

Anyhow, the last 2 days of the event we had the additional Ambassador and help from two official staff for Quest who covered some breaks so we were able to explore ad enjoy the festival a little. I was lucky enough to have been given a 4 days pass ($540 value!!) as part of Quest being one of the sponsor’s for the event. The pass gave me access to all of the events and classes but sadly was too busy to take any or when I did find one I was interested in (some of the Run’s) they were already fully booked. It was cool though, checking out the other vendors was fun and I got hooked up with some great goodies. The setting was also beautiful, nestles right in the mountains and we were lucky with the rain that was forecast to start just as we were heading home on the Sunday.

Yeah, I don’t do Yoga

Being away from Steve for 5 days was rough and the Friday was also the 10 year Anniversary of my Mum’s death so I was a little emotional but working with the other Ambassadors kept me entertained. It’s amazing that someone who was a complete stranger just days before comforted me more than one or two people that call themselves my friend, this gave me time to also reflect on those I have in my life and maybe that changes need to happen.
On the last day our Team lead also presented me with the sweetest gift too – A Tank top. I had seen people wearing this tank all weekend and I mentioned that I wanted one but then when I found the stall and discovered it was $30 I decided I couldn’t justify spending that on just one top. The Lead (Cassiah, who I have worked with at 2 previous events) then went and brought it for me!! She had her eye on some Lululemon Pants but passed up getting them for herself in order to but the Tank as a ”Thank you for working so hard’. I still can’t get over the gesture.

Coming come on the Sunday I was happy for such a great experience but also counting down the miles ’till I got home to see Steve and our fur babies, this is the longest Steve and I have been apart for around 6 years and had it not been for the great company I was in I would have ended up driving home in the middle of the night.
I’m thankful for such great experiences with a company that I feel so passionately about.


Lenny And Larry’s


I’m super excited to say that alongside my awesome job of Quest Nutrition Ambassador I am now also one for Lenny and Larry’s, creators of The Complete Cookie!
Being an Ambassador isn’t something I take lightly and will not accept it for any product just because it’s a cool title to have, in fact I’ve declined a couple of opportunities recently as they are for companies or products I am not so excited about. Why represent something if you can’t be passionate about it, right? So yeah, I’m looking forward to being part of this company and seeing it grow.
Lenny and Larry’s was founded by 2 friends who have a passion for fitness  and now have 8 flavors of Cookie, 3 Brownies and 4 Muffins. You can order direct from the website – Get them here!

Also don’t forget to check out my Instagram for fun and creative serving idea’s.  Go on.. Treat ‘yo self.

The Fit Expo as A Quest Ambassador

20150613_083141Morning of day 1 requires a hotel room selfie.

Initially the intent was for me to be at this event as a consumer but then Quest Nutrition offered me the opportunity to represent them, of course I wasn’t going to say no! I was scheduled to attend both days and was provided a Hotel room at the Hilton due to how far away from the event I live. Score! This gave me the chance to get there Friday and chill out a bit with a fellow Questie.

Saturday Morning opening was kind of crazy! Arriving an hour before the event was due to start we went through the final bits of setting up with blenders, bags of goodies and making sure everything was in line and when those doors were opened… whooosh, Floods of people! The Quest booth was right at the entrance and clearly a booth many of the attendees were eager to visit.

boothBooth all prepped and ready to go.

My day started with the Blending of the Protein Powders and creating sample size cups to hand out, we had lot’s of little extra’s to add to the Shakes so naturally I got a little creative with flavor combinations like Peanut Butter with Chocolate Chips, Chocolate with Coconut Shavings and Almonds (Almond Joy style), Strawberry with fresh Strawberries. Not going to lie, back behind the booth was crazy!! The samples were so popular at one point I had all 4 flavors in 4 different blenders all doing at once while my fellow blending Questie nipped out quickly but it was fun and soon time came to move to another role.
The other roles were handing out the samples, greeting people at the booth, getting pictures of (and with) visitors and handing out free Bars, Chips and Powder packets. The whole experience was a lot of fun and I got to meet and chat with some awesome people. I shared some of my Protein Recipes, listened to people Fitness stories and got to tell everyone about all of Quest’s products. The most common question of the day ”What’s your favorite flavor bar?”. Something I get asked a lot! The answer: I don’t have just one. It’s a tie first place with Cookies N Cream and White Chocolate Raspberry. Another favorite is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, which is weird as I never really liked that flavor before (I like my Cookie Dough baked) but it’s really grown on me recently.
Anyhow, before I knew it the day was over and I got to chill in San Jose for the evening. It was while I was out I was recognized by a number of people who had come to the booth earlier in the day ”Hey, It’s Quest Girl!” was heard by a group of people while heading to Yogurtland. Funny, as I was in my regular clothing.

booth1Team Quest and with 2 of the booth visitors.

Day 2 had us short of 2 Ambassadors so we wasn’t able to blend, instead all 4 Females were rocking the front of the booth to the point we ran out of product early! But that was ok, it meant we got to enjoy a little more of the actual event which a few people did ask about. Not only did I get to enjoy the event in full swing but I also got to check out the booths before door’s opened. I made a few purchases and stopped by the booths of vendors I already knew from the NCP Championhips I attended just weeks before along with a few others. Fitmark bags were there but didn’t have the bag I wanted so I just ordered online when I got home, I chatted with the Ladies at Muscle Egg for a bit and Stephanie with EvoGen Hooked me up with a huge bag of goodies along with Lenny and Larry, NLA for Her and Nu Go.
The entire weekend was one big experience and didn’t feel like work at all. A few years ago just the thought of engaging strangers and talking to them would have freaked me the hell out but it all came very easily to me, I guess when you’re passionate about something it really helps and of course Fitness and Quest Nutrition are two things I am passionate about. I simply love the Quest brand and it embodies something I truly believe in and that is healthy foods should not compromise on taste and I’m always #OnAQuest to be a better version of myself. No poor imitations here.

What’s next?
Within hours of getting home from the weekend I got confirmation that I am scheduled for my next big event! Without going into too much detail (I’m not sure if that is allowed) I will say that it is a 5-6 retreat with an attendance of 10x what The Fit Expo was. I feel really quite honored to have been chosen to represent Quest.


Back to back Half Marathon Weekend


So if Running a Half Marathon makes you only half crazy what does running 2 make you? The term ”f**king insane” springs to mind but according to friends it makes me Hardcore. I’ll take it!!

Running 2 Half Marathon’s in one weekend really wasn’t in my plans this year, I haven’t packed that many miles into 2 days for almost 2 years and this last 18 month not even ran that much in a month so  taking on this epic running weekend was verging on batshit crazy. I’m not going to lie, I wanted the shwag. The weekend consisted of Livermore Half Marathon and Modesto Half Marathon. Livermore is part of the Golden State Series where if you complete all 3 Half Marathons (San Francisco, Livermore and Oakland) you get an additional medal and I figured that as I was part of the pacing team in San Francisco I was already a third of the way there so why not?
Then Modesto came up and some of my Running Club would be there and the goodies were even better (bottle of wine, Arm Sleeves and Recovery Jacket) I wanted those too.

I went into both events knowing that I wasn’t going to push myself too hard. Sure, to continue placing in my age group would be great but doing that many miles on a still-not-quite-right Knee would be intense so I went with the plan to add a good 30 minutes to my PR times and aimed for around 2:00 – 2:10 time for both events.

Every Run needs a ”Jazz Hands” or crazy face Photo.

Livermore being first, I absolutely love the course. It’s identical to Race to the Flagpole that I did last November, just in reverse. The scenery around Livermore and through the parks is beautiful with rolling hills, nothing at all taxing. It took a good 4 miles just to get warmed up and by mile 5 became apparent that trying to keep around a 9:30 minute mile pace just wasn’t going to happen. I tried, really I did but every time I got to that pace and didn’t look at my watch for a minute or two I sped up. It would appear my ”casual” running pace is around the 8:30 minute mile pace and I’m happy with that.
I had a great time running this event which is made clear by the photo’s taken and I feel like it was over really quickly. Seemed that no sooner did I spot a fellow MRHC member cheering people on at around mile 8 that it was all over. I was having such a blast singing along to my IPod that the miles just melted away, I was in my happy place and it’s Run’s like these that made me fall in love with Running in the first place.
I stopped along the course a couple of times to use the restrooms and finished with a time of 1:52, a little faster than I had planned for but still happy in the knowing that I CAN show restraint and don’t have to run balls to the ball every time.

Modesto Expo & Goodies

Modesto the follow day was a somewhat different story. I met up with the other MHRC members before we started and those first couple of miles were all hunky dory but then after about mile 2 I saw NO signs for the Half Marathon, just the Full and I spent almost 6 miles thinking I was actually going to end up Running 26.2 miles. At first I was cool with that but then soon became incredibly bored and was in no way happy at the thought of an additional 13+ miles of the course. The whole set up for the event was nice from the expo (although they ran out of my size Arm Sleeves) to the free photo’s and even post race goodies but the course… Oh. My. God! Long endless roads of nothing. The course was all asphalt with long roads that vanished of into the distance with nothing to fill the (what felt like) hours.

montage3Keeping the spirit up despite the long boring road.

I’ve always considered myself to be a trail runner yet after this event there is now absolutely no doubt that scenic hilly trails are where my heart lays. I guess it also didn’t help that from around mile 6 my left Knee started to feel a little funky, there I was so concerned with my right Knee I didn’t consider the other could be a problem. Epic fail on my part.
Anyhow, the miles went on.. and on and finally at mile 8 there was a split for the Half / Full and that sign was probably one of the greatest I had seen in my life. I truly have a huge amount of respect for the people than ran the Full Marathon because that course must have tried even the most elite of Runners.

20150329_080922(0)Best sign ever!

With the Knee issues and restroom / picture breaks I stopped 6 times along this course and finished with a time of 1:54.

With some of MHRC (Mountain House Running Club)

Now that the weekend is over I’m glad I did it but really have no plans on Running back to back again. In the day’s that followed I nursed a couple of aches but nothing major and am just enjoying the fact that I completed my 10th and 11th Half Marathon in one weekend just 2 years after I started. I think it’s time for something new now. I love Running and always will but with ongoing Knee issues I want to concentrate my Athletic ability elsewhere, something that involves less impact and strain on the joints. Watch this space.

– Crazy Runner Girl



Tuesday of last week was what I call my 2 year ”Runniversary”. That is 2 years since I ran my first Race – The Niles Half Marathon in Fremont. I wasn’t going to blog about it but then I thought ‘why not?’ it’s quite a milestone and maybe (hopefully) in my writing about it I can motivate and inspire others.

Anybody that knows me or has read my past blogs know that I wasn’t always fit, in fact it wasn’t even a word in my vocabulary. That was until I lost a lot of weight and made the change to a healthier lifestyle. To put in into perspective, I was always the fat Asthmatic kid that got picked last for teams at school and in my adult life I wasn’t much better. I couldn’t even jog 0.25mi without having an attack and even after I had lost a lot of weight the first time I completed a mile it took 13:29 and I did not feel good afterwards.


Fast forward to 2013 and after a few years of working out I was in pretty good shape so decided to sign up for a Half Marathon ”for fun” really just so that I could say I had done one and gave myself a little over 2 weeks to prepare. I was really excited and Imagined to have great support from Friends and Family but what I got was quite the knock to my confidence. Instead of encouragement I got questioned ”Do you really think you can do it?”, ”Are you able to Run that far? It’s a long way”. The only person that I felt didn’t respond in a negative way was my Husband. Sure he didn’t understand why I wanted to do it and half jokingly told me I was crazy but instead of making me feel even worse about myself he agree’d to sign up for the 5k at the same event.

I trained hard for 2 weeks and the day before the event came I was really nervous, despite my progress over that time the negative comments still had me questioning myself and that night I barely slept more than 2 hours thinking maybe I shouldn’t bother Running at all.
Arriving at the event though, I pushed those thoughts aside and thought ”Screw you! I’m doing this for me and don’t give a damn what you think”. People had made me feel bad about myself most of my life and it was about time it stopped.
To say I am glad I went though with that race was an understatement. I was new to Running and knew nothing about PR’s or timing and I must have looked really out of place standing at that start line in my beaten up old children’s pair of Nike’s and $20 shorts while everybody else was in performance running gear, compression sleeves and fancy timing devices but once the alarm was sounded and we set off everything just didn’t matter.
I ran the entire 13+ miles with happiness in my heart and coming over the finish line to see my Husband there waiting was an incredible feeling, I had done something that not long before I had only dreamed of doing. I was handed my reward – a shiny medal and then congratulated by a guy standing nearby who pointed out I must have ”placed” due to my speed. I had no idea what he meant and so explained it to me pointing me in the direction of of the tent where we could check our times. I was not at all prepared for what I saw when I typed my name into the tablet, right there in the column that indicated your age group placing was something that had me squealing in delight and jumping on the spot – 1st! with a time of 1:39:10. It was an amazing feeling. I didn’t just complete it, I freaking rocked it and proved all of the doubters wrong. It was then that my real love for Running was born.


I then went on to place 1st in the next 2 Marathon’s I ran along with a couple of 5k’s (even a 1st overall) until the third Half Marathon I did was where I severely injured my Knee and I had to take a break. But I’m going off track here…
My point of this post is do not to let other peoples negativity question your own capabilities. Chances are you can achieve way more than you think you can and with a little bit of self belief awesome things can happen.

believe-you-can-quote quote-about-if-you-listen-to-people-who-do-not-believe-in-you-you-will-never-succeed niq18-3

Protein Power.

It’s not secret that I love to Bake, it’s how my blog name came about after all and it’s also no secret that I try and consume as much Protein as possible.  So with that in mind I recently took to experimenting Baking with Protein powder, it makes having something that would normally be a treat that little better for me. Also poor Steve’s waistline has suffered from my constant Baking then him having to eat it. It’s a win all round.

I’ve only experimented with a few powders so but I’m happy to say it’s been quite successful. First up, Pancakes!! I would normally only have Pancakes maybe twice a year but only one week into February I’ve already had them 3 times.

Met-RX Pancake Mix

I’m not a fan of using a mix you just add water to however given that it was my first attempt it seemed the easy option and the 12g of Protein and 200cal per serving was very appealing.
The mix is easy to use and they initially fluff up nicely then you put them on your plate and they just seem to go limp. As far as taste goes they’re ok if you don’t mind the strong taste of Whey. I sure don’t and think if I’m going to have Pancakes they should damn well taste like Pancakes so I had to add extra Vanilla Bean and Fruit to make it more palatable. The tub for around $16 from Target and good if you want something quick post morning workout.


Strawberry Banana Pancakes

My first attempt at following a recipe online using Cookies N Cream Protein Powder from Muscle Pharm. These cooked really well on the skillet and fluffed up a lot but then as soon as I put them on the plate they fell flat. The flavor was great though and didn’t taste like ”healthy Pancakes”.


Mango Yogurt Pancakes

Attempt number 2 was with a Vanilla Protein Powder. I didn’t want to go and buy a whole tub just for a few grams so simply bought the bulk stuff from Winco and whaddayaknow? It’s actually pretty good! Ok, so it may actually have more to do with the recipe but this was by far my favorite stack of them all. Filled with fresh chopped Mango, I added some Trader Joe’s Mango Greek Yogurt (love the stuff!) to the mix too then also made the topping with it as well. Fresh, Fruity and oh so good!


Pina Colada Yogurt Pancakes

With these I used the same recipe as the Mango and simply switched out the Mango for Pineapple, added some Coconut essence and used Oikos Coconut Greek Yogurt (also love!). For some reason these did not come out well at all, they were very dry and just couldn’t taste the Coconut. Bummer. I was so excited too but they look good, right?


ookies N Cream Protein Bread

I used Muscle Pharm powder for this mix and wow! I was so pleased at how well this came out, the mixture of the powder with Oat flour works really well together and gives it an almost nutty flavor. The addition of Chocolate Chips also made it like a Cake so it can be eaten any time of day. I love it slightly warmed, topped with raw Almond Butter and Banana for Breakfast. Yum!

re workout Breakfast of Champions!


Strawberry Protein Bread.

For this I used Quest Strawberry powder and Almond Flour. Yikes! Steve loved this one but I found it overly sweet, maybe the addition of the Strawberries?  It did however cook better than the previous Bread (which lost it’s shape) and the top had a nice crisp to it.


Cookies & Creme Cookie Butter Cups.

So simple and so good!
I hit up Trader Joe’s in order to get the Cookies $ Creme Cookie Butter and made it with the Muscle Pharm Powder I have plus an ample serving of Fage Greek Yogurt. These take some time to make but are so worth it.


Protein Truffles!!

I was really excited to receive my order of Sweet Breads Chocolate Brownie Coconutter Spread in the mail and used it in this recipe along with Chocolate Whey and a filling of A Loving Spoon Nut Butter.  I also made some without the Nut Butter, they’re a work in progress and need a little tweaking before I’m completely happy with the recipe.

Inside the Chocolate Truffle



Of course, given that I’m known as ”Cookie Lady” some Cookies had to be in here somewhere. These are actually mainly Banana (it gives them that sweetness a Cookie needs!) They’re a healthier alternative to regular Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and also contain A Loving Spoon Nut Butter. Yum!

Coyote Hills Half Marathon.

Ok, I’m just going to get this out of the way now.. PR, Baby!! I think the phrase I muttered under my breath as I crossed the finish line was ”Holy shit balls, I just PR’d!”.
I was actually amazed at the time I finished in as aside from telling Steve (my Husband) that I was aiming for a ”Nice moderate pace to enjoy the course. Around 2hr – 2hr 10min” this was the first Half Marathon I after my Knee injury 17 months ago that I was running for me and it was on a hilly trail. My official finish time was 1:37:38.

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Myself, Bernadette, Megan & Chris post Run

I started off just going at a pace I was comfortable with, just enjoying the view and not really concerning myself too much with my pace, then I noticed that at the 10k mark I was just 43 minutes in and it became apparent I was on track for that PR.
I somehow spent a vast amount of the 2nd loop running in 2nd place female until those downhills got to me and 2 ladies overtook me. The lady that finished in 3rd place also beating me to 1st in my age group (she was the same age as me – 33) finished just a minute faster. I can’t be angry though, she totally rocked it and I still came away with double medals and a new PR.
Part of me wishes I had taken the run a little more seriously though,  spending less time talking to other runners, texting Steve and photo bombing peoples pictures because I may have even beat my unofficial PR (1:33:47). Oh well, I feel since my injury I have grown more as a person and am now more about why I started running in the first place and that is for the enjoyment.

ownhill. Aaargh.

This was the first time I had actually ran a Brazen event, sure I’ve volunteered before but that’s not the same. The day started off cold and the 3mile Cycle we took for the event parking to the start line did nothing to warm me up. Meeting with some friends at the event we picked up our packets which was a breeze and the T-Shirts for the event didn’t disappoint, short sleeved tech with Coyote design on.
The event consisted of 3 distances – 5k, 10k and Half Marathon with the The Half being 2 loops of course, where people had complained about this previous years I actually liked the idea as you know what you’re in for during the second half of the run, something you don’t get with every trail event. We started on time and almost immediately the views were beautiful, we started the first couple of miles through the marshes which then gave way asphalt and eventually gravel and rocks with a few hills here and there, nothing major. As a hill runner I was hoping for some steeper inclines but these sufficed, especially considering that after running uphill you then have to run downhill (urgh) where I generally have to slow down.

till happy at mile 12.

Being back out on a trail running after so long felt good. Really good. In no time I was completely lost in the scenery with UB40 and Linkin Park playing on my IPod that I think I completely missed a couple of photographers which I later noticed this event had a lot of! Both these and the Aid stations were well spread out with some great volunteers cheering and directing runners where they needed to go.
The course got a little crazy after a short while where the other distances had started, not long before I was running almost solo for a couple of miles I was then in the middle of a giant mass of both walkers and runners going in both directions. This gave me opportunity to talk to a few other runners which was nice though. There was ”Old Guy” who I discovered hates downhill running just as much as I do and was doing the course for the 3rd year. Then there was ”Tall Dude” who informed me he had been trying to catch up with me since I overtook him about 4 miles back. Oh.. and the cute little kid who was running alone, bless him!

hoto Bomb!! Around 7.5 mile.

One thing I noticed with this event is that a lot of people that run Brazen are competitive and very serious! Aside from the Woman that elbowed me out of the way so that she could get to the front of the start line there were a few people that really didn’t like other people passing them and had game face on for the entire course. Enter Emmalou! Yeah, I sang to myself out loud for a while and even tried photo bombing those ”serious runner” pictures too. I think I may have pissed a few people off but hey.. if you’re not having fun why bother?

elebrating that Finish Line.

The finish line came quickly and was delighted to see Steve, Bernadette, Megan and Chris all there waiting for me cheering. I’ve never had more than Steve there filming or taking pictures before so to have someone there as I celebrated a strong finish felt so good. We chatted for a bit before I then dashed off to hit up the huge spread of post run food. Brazen events never fail when it comes to food and the spread had everything from Fruit and Bagels to all kinds of Chips, Cookie, Cakes and even Pie and It’s It Ice Cream sandwiches!! There was also Nesquik giving out bottles of Girl Scout Cookie flavored Chocolate Milk!


All finishers get a medal with Brazen which are heavy duty and designed for each event, as I also placed I got an additional one to add to my collection. They have engravers on site too and charge just $10 per medal.


This was a great event and glad I picked it as my first Half Marathon of the year, I’m not sure how many more Half’s there will be after my double weekend so we’ll just have to see. One thing I did learn after this event that with all of the extra muscle I have gained in the last 8-9 months is that my body doesn’t like distance running as much as it used to. With that in mind I may just have to work on setting some kick ass PR’s for 5k and 10k.

Will Run for Chocolate


Sunday had me Run something I first intended to do last year but had to rethink due to my jacked up Knee – The Hot Chocolate 15k in San Francisco. I’ve not ran an official 15k before, I went straight into Half Marathon’s and certainly never ran anything that rewarded me with Chocolate at the end! This seemed like a good thing in theory but but on looking back, large amounts of Chocolate that early in the day is NOT a wise idea.

Anyhow, I signed up and shortly after Megan signed up too so we planned to meet and run together, a lot of the members of the Mountain House Running Club were also going so I was looking forward to seeing some of those too. Only come Run day there were so many people there I simply couldn’t find anybody. Whatever. I guess there’s always other run.s
I was placed in the first Corral of the 15k due to my pace but decided to move back and start with Megan. We ran the first 5k together at her pace then as she had to slow agree’d that I would carry on ahead at mine for the other 10.

It was a nice course. Starting in Golden Gate Park and running down the coast and back into the Park at the end. I’ve never actually been IN the Park on foot before so it was certainly a new experience for me, the views were pretty but darn it! The course went past a mini waterfall not 1 mile into it making want to pee almost immediately, I managed to hold out until about mile 5 but when you gotta go you gotta go. Luckily there were restrooms along the course along with ”Aid” stations filled with Candy. The first station was Chocolate Chips of which Megan and I grabbed a few but then swiftly trashed them, the second stations was Strawberry Marshmallows. What the what??! Ever played that game Chubby Bunnies? Well, Running and trying to eat a Marshmallow was kind of like that. Had they put a Photographer after that station there would be some hilarious pictures! Anyhow, the third station I skipped completely and only found out after the run that they stocked Tootsie Rolls. Not something I would want to eat EVER let alone during a run.


The run for me went smoothly. As it was my workout for the day I wanted to do it in a respectable time without pushing myself too hard or running too fast, my Knee still isn’t quite 100% after all, I was aiming for around 1:30. Megan and I did the first 5k in 32 minutes then the last 10k alone I did in 44 minutes which is actually pretty fast but it really didn’t feel it at the time, there were a few hills towards the end but nothing too taxing. I was pretty pleased with my 1:16 finish time which turned out to be 30th in my age group of of 1,000+ people. Not bad for not actually racing and best of all my Knee was in no way pissed at me! I think I now have this new strategy of not pushing myself too hard nailed.

Post race wasn’t your usual grab a Banana, Bagel and Water but you got a Bowl of Chocolate Goodies = Hot Chocolate, liquid dipping Chocolate and a few bits to dip (Banana, Marshmallow, Krispy Treat, Pretzels and a Wafer) . I skipped the Wafer and Pretzels but did end up scooping out about 70% of the melted Chocolate with my finger before feeling really sick. I know a lot of Runners swear by Chocolate Milk after a Run for recovery but this was something else. Great concept but not a good idea to even try consume that much Chocolate at 9:30am.


The Bling and ”Goodie bag” for this event were well worth the entry fee though, I absolutely love the Hooded Sweatshirt which although I got an XS is still kind of big it was much needed on the cold San Francisco morning. The medal is a really cute Chocolate Bar design and heavy duty, it looks great in my growing collection.

Steve met me at the Finish Line but didn’t get a Video or Pictures as he completely missed me (booo) but the important thing for me was that he was there. It doesn’t matter how big or small the Finish line he is always there supporting me. I love him for that.


Another year..

Aaah, the New Year. A time to make Resolutions, Goals and the first few weeks is filled with promise and optimism, right? Nope. Not here. I don’t believe in making Resolutions for the new year or setting goals. Why do it on a specific day when you if it’s something you’re really serious about you can do it any time?
Yeah.. you won’t see me making huge declarations of how ”This is going to be the year”. Yet, with that said there are maybe a couple things I would like to see done in 2015 that just wasn’t possible in 2014 and it does have me reflect back on the past year and achievements.

– The Knee injury from late Summer 2013 heeled. Yay! Yet where I think I was overly cautious at not putting too much strain on said Knee I also ended up weakening my Vastus Medialis Muscles so now I need to work on Strengthening those again. Fun times.
I did get back Running.. Nothing too crazy though which really worked well in my favor as 2014 was also the year I learnt of restraint. I don’t need to PR or place in everything I do. Pacing in the San Francisco Half paid a huge part in me learning this as did Running with and supporting Friends. I ran 3 Half Marathon’s where I went at somebody elses pace.. Me.. Not Running balls to the wall, who would have thought?
2014 also had me FINALLY knock off Tough Mudder from my bucket list and not just one event either. I’m Legionaire, baby!

Aside from Fitness I also met some awesome people and made some great Friends. Living in California over 4 years now those first couple were really tough but now it is my home, our home. Steve and I love California and our life here so much we wouldn’t even think about leaving. Life is good, we have a lovely home, great neighbors and most of all we’re happy. Something I don’t think we ever truly were in England.

2014 also had me go down the dark route of obsessing over gaining the muscle that I lost while Running and hell I don’t want to go back there.  It saw myself obsessively planning each workout and meal in detail and almost let it rule my life around February – March time. It actually started to suck all enjoyment out of my workouts which I hated. I didn’t want to be that person that obsessed over goals, sure I would like the ”perfect body” but at what price? It’s all good and well my setting a goal but what happens when I reach it? I almost certainly will not be happy and I set another and go back to obsessing again. It’s a vicious circle and life is too short for that shit.
Anyhow, I put an end to that shit quite swiftly by mentally giving myself a talking to every day for a couple of months. It probably took about 6 or 7 weeks to get out of that mindset and I feel so much better for it. And whaddayaknow, since I stopped obsessing I appear to have gained a lot anyway. Happy days!

So, 2015 is in full swing and I have made no resolutions but I guess I do have a couple of very small goals with the main one being to make it to the end of the year without injuring myself. Setting the bar low, right? 🙂
The other is to not loose Muscle mass and to just carry on enjoying my workouts as it’s my ”me time”. If I happen to gain then great! But it isn’t my main objective.
And lastly, this is a biggy and because it was something I wasn’t able to do last year. I want to do a Duathlon or Triathlon. I love Running and it’s something I don’t ever plan on giving up, I just need a new challenge.

Happy 2015!