The life of a runner, mother, radiopharmacist and vicar's wife – that's me!

30 Seconds Quicker

I set the alarm, I got out of bed and then I wondered if I really wanted to go to the parkrun. Once again, the weather didn’t look favourable – what do you expect for January on the Wirral in the wettest winter for ages?!


In spite of the forecast saying it was ‘clear’, it was actually raining. The rain got heavier as I made my way to Birkenhead Park – at least I was in the car and not on my bike. I resigned myself to getting wet. I’d got this far so I wasn’t going to wimp out because of a bit of precipitation.

This week it’s the county cross-country championships so I knew that there wouldn’t be many of the faster runners at the parkrun but there were still over 200 people there. There will be more than that making their way through the mud in Arrowe Park this afternoon or at Wormwood Scrubs (where I should have been running in the Middlesex championships). There was no way that I was going to subject myself to the torture of running through knee deep puddles for 5 miles when I am this unfit. I’ve barely run 5 miles in one go for months and I didn’t fancy attempting it running in a race around a muddy field.

In spite of the predicted 80% chance of precipitation, as it got to 9am, the rain actually died down and I hardly got wet at all during the run. It was however still rather cold, damp and windy. I forgot to take my watch with me but I’m pretty sure that I slowed down in the second half of the run. I did overtake a few people at the beginning of the second lap but then was passed by a couple of others at the beginning of the third. I didn’t know what my finish time was because of the lack of watch and the guys in front and behind had also not timed their runs either. However, I was fairly confident that it was a bit quicker than last week. When the result came through I’d run 20:42 (1st lady), not quite as satisfyingly symmetrical as my last two times (last week 21:12 (listen here for how that went) and the other time 20:02) but still nice to have improved on my time from last week by 30 seconds.

I haven’t actually done all that much training, I’ve only run about 20 miles this week and only done one decent session (on Monday) and I doubt that next week will be much better. I hope to go to the group again on Monday but then on Tuesday afternoon I have to go to the hospital for a scan so that is going to mess up the chance of running on Tuesday evening and then from Wednesday to Friday I have to go to Birmingham and won’t be back until late each day and I don’t think there is time to fit in a run before I leave.

I was going to join the rest of the family in the Fat Dad Fat Kid challenge yesterday but I found that there wasn’t enough wall for me to take part.

Luckily the footprints on the wall are hidden by an armchair! The kids look pretty comfortable sitting on non-existent chairs by the wall but that exercise really gets your thighs after a while.

Last night I made a banana loaf. It was from a recipe in the paper from a book about cooking without sugar. I cheated a bit because I used bought apple sauce (which contained sugar) rather than home made apple sauce.


It smelt really nice and it tasted fine but not it would have been better with more sugar in it! It was also a bit of a faff to make so I’m not sure that I will use that recipe again. Now I just have half a jar of apple sauce to use up and three Greek yoghurts!

I also made some almond biscuits this morning. Half of them have been eaten already so they were obviously more successful. The recipe came from an Ocado magazine and benefits from being really easy.



  • 110g butter
  • 75g brown sugar
  • 1 dsp golden syrup
  • 40g almonds
  • 110g flour
  • 110g oats
  • Pinch of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Melt the butter, sugar and syrup in a pan.
  • The recipe says to roughly chop the almonds but actually I blitzed them in our coffee bean grinder so I had more like ground almonds with a few larger pieces left over.
  • Mix the flour, oats and salt in a bowl.
  • Add in half (or in my case all but the big bits) of the almonds and then pour in the butter mixture.
  • Stir everything together.
  • Roll into 12 walnut-sized pieces and place on a lined baking tray then flatten to rounds of about 6cm.
  • Scatter the remaining nuts on the top and cook for 15 min.
  • Leave to cool on the tray for 10 min before finishing the cooling on a rack.
  • If you actually want to eat any yourself then hide as many as possible from the children!



2 comments on “30 Seconds Quicker

  1. keepsmeoutofmischief
    January 9, 2016

    I haven’t been out running for weeks after a particularly nasty virus. I’m determined to start again tomorrow, I’ve just signed up for the Derby 10K in April so I need to get a wriggle on! I’ve missed doing the Darley Parkrun, it’s such a friendly, welcoming community.


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