My last Brussel Sprouts recipe got 80 likes –thank you all!!! So, I decided to share another recipe. This is another variation on the roasted brussel sprouts. Mushrooms pair up with the sprouts to give it a woodier, heartier taste! I used frozen and canned ingredients but if possible please use the fresh ingredients (when in season) and it will taste really good.
Pretty and simple …. http://ow.ly/hzc0T
New Year’s Resolutions rarely become revolutions and can often peeter-out as time passes, running may have been on your list of new years resolutions. This post will help you keep that commitment and turn running into a new habit…
Starting out at any new cardiovascular activity is really HARD! I’d been an avid cyclist for many years and had trained myself so I could participate in long-distance events of 100-200km. I thought a transition to running would be easy… I wanted to do a triathlon and needed to run, so bit the bullet and started running… OH GOSH did it hurt! When I started could barely run from one lamppost the next! Keeping the drive and motivation was really hard. What helped me was commit to training and developing myself was signing up for a running event.
Like I’m stupid or something the first event I committed to was a Marathon, D’oh! REALLY bad idea! This ambitious commitment resulted in lots of injuries and lots of disappointments and massive learning curve. What I did learn (and keep learning) is that you can only safely increase your intensity and duration 10% each week. If you break this rule, someone can be pretty sure to injure themselves. I’m doing my third Marathon this April, and struggling to build my capacity after an Achilles injury and sickness over Christmas / New Year.
A key point in to remember as a budding runner is that two things that really count are intensity and duration, not distance, 1 mile on a hilly route may be like 3 miles on the flat. Intensity will in the main depend on your pace (how hard or fast you run) and the incline you climb or descend. Intensity can best be measure with the Borg Scale, I have a brief explanation in another post, this is how hard you feel you are exerting yourself. Another more objective way to measure the intensity of your work-out is to use a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), but let’s not dig too deep before you’re bitten with the running bug!
The surface you run on and what you run in, your training shoes are key too. I have learnt the hard way that without the right shoes on the right surface you can be sure to make running unpleasant and injury ridden! Running on an athletic track, or on a road/tarmac/pavement or on grass/cross-country are completely different, each surface uses different muscles and requires different running shoes and styles… The best place to start running may be your local park, running circuits on the grass, which is gentle on your muscles, usually fairly flat and helps you get a feel for distance and intensity/pace. The best place to start with footwear will be your local running shop with a gait analysis which will often be free with your purchase of the correct running shoes.
If you are a complete novice then the best place to start may be doing Couch to 5 km (C25K), which in my humble opinion is the best way to start running. I have taken people through C25K and they found support key to keeping with the program. You might want to look for a running friend or local running club to start you off, as a newbie you will hopefully find they will let you try things out before they ask you to commit to membership. If you get the running bug you are sure to want to join your local running club.
Finally, one thing that is often neglected is core workouts and stretching. Doing lunges, squats, planks, crunches, free-weights & press-ups can really help to build up the relevant muscles, even before you start running. Muscle lengthening stretches at the end of a run (20-30 seconds) are key to recovery and injury prevention, especially arms, shoulders, calves, quads and hamstrings (front and back of upper leg). A bag of frozen peas and/or a cold bath will also help you with post run aches and pains (don’t forget Ibuprofen). Also cottage cheese, salmon, cherry juice, and dark chocolate will give your muscles the nutrients they need to repair and recover as you train. A-Z multi-vitamins are good for runners too as they supply the extra nutrients you have metabolised (use-up) because you are doing an impact sport.
Hope that helps, please comment is you would like follow-on post or can add to these brief suggestions I have made…
I drove off in the morning suddenly realising what I had committed myself to… Running a distance that would damage my body, push me to the limits of my physical and mental endurance. We (Lee running the marathon and Carl supporting Lee) arrived at around 8.30 am, tied out timing chips to our feet, kitted-up and walked over to the starting line at 9.50 am. I warmed up for a couple of mins and joined the 3.30-4.00 hour echelon.
The starting pistol went off and a bank of runners shuffled and jostled to find their place and position. As I jogged on, my Endomondo app helped me to monitor my pace. I was pleased that I was feeling comfortable with a pace that would allow me to finish in 3.45 mins. I managed to keep this pace for the first 18 miles and managed not to stop for the first 20 miles, not even for a pee.
At 13 miles my Achilles started playing me up, first and dull ache and by 15 miles a sharp stabbing with each stride for the next 11 miles. At 18 miles my right quad started to ache which I think was as a result of compensating for the weakness in my left ankle. I’m not sure when but started to feel a warm glow at the end of two toes, one on each foot. I figured I could look forward to losing a couple of toenails, again at the end of the race.
By the time I reached 20 miles I realised that the 8.30 min/mile at the start of the race had been too fast and I was paying for it now. Also by not stopping at water stations I was now dehydrated, I was feeling cold chills and had stopped sweating and the fact I had not needing to pee was a really bad sign! I walked a short distance up a hill in Streatley and pulled myself on to a run with the promise of cold water at the next water station.
I reached the water station and stopped to down 3 cups of water and an isotonic drink. Then I jogged on! I stopped again at the next water station and then at the bottom of a hill at 24 miles. I was in a fair bit of pain now from my shoulders to my feet and just keeping running was a stride-by-stride challenge.
I walked after the 25 mile marker for 100 yards then at was it! I determined to run to the finish and managed to pick-up the pace. Then the 26 mile marker, 200 meters then 100 meters, and finally I saw the finish line, I stretched out for a run to the finish line… Still not sure if I had beat the 4 hr marker?
I was warmly greeted by Peter from Vegan Runners UK, we chatted and I was introduced to a number of other Vegan and Vegetarian runners, one who had completed 300 marathons! I met up with Lee who did an amazing 4.30 for his first (hilly) marathon.
My position was 307th with a chip time 4:01:27.
I was out running 22.02 miles in 3h:34m:55s using Endomondo.
Here’s a pizza I made that is a little over done! Which had to do with my 9-month old daughter being a distraction whilst I was making it. Also I think also I should have sprinkled a little olive oil on it… I usually sprinkle on some dairy-free-cheese, but I’ve gone-off the taste a little. Dairy-free-cheese is a definite “NO NO” for omnivores and veggies who usually hate the taste! Giving it to friends and family has resulted in some interesting reactions and all very negative, mostly involving a bin and spitting! Which is never good.
I am trying to develop plant-based recipes that omnivores can enjoy and as a way to convince they can eat a plant-based diet, by stealth. I’m not the militant Vegan type, I do not judge others who eat or use animal and dairy products. I’ve become increasingly aware of the health, economic, ecological and environmental sustainability benefits of a plant-based diet. In our family we eat mainly a vegetarian diet, other than chicken nuggets, sausages, ham and salami here-and-there for Gail, Esther (10 years), Luke (6 years), Natasha (9 months), the rest of the time the family now eat a veggie diet, although they are a long way off a Vegan (strict vegetarian diet).
For me one of the advantages of being Vegan is that you can eat A LOT quantity-wise without consuming many calories! Although the bread for the pizza was 540 calories, which was a bit of a bummer, but the low energy topping made up for it! The topping was very nutritious containing a healthy amount of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and zero cholesterol.
Over the year the concept of ‘taste’ has really interested me. In my humble opinion we develop our tastes through the conditioning of our family, culture, society, habits and a much less degree our nature or make-up. My father taught me to eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates (potato, bread, rice, pasta or noodles), combined with protein (meat) and vegetables; in-fact every meal had to contain these elements. Which is a product of well-meaning educationalist, health (medical) professionals and family. For me this conditioning goes deep and I struggle to eat a meal that does not have these three elements. I know this approach is NOT what my body needs, but the condition and ‘taste’ goes deep and is difficult to re-programme or condition.
What approach do you take to nutrition and diet?
We all sat there on our cycles, poised, ready for the start of our adventure! Around 100 cycles ready for the off. It was a motley band of cycles, road bikes, tricycle recumbents, trikes and one lone hybrid (myself). We hit 9 am and we were off! I was off to a false start, stopping at the exit onto the main road to let a car pass, then I pulled away onto the road and my 400 km adventure had truly started.
The pack of cyclists shuffled for position for the first few kilometers, we were all settling into a rhythm and finding our place in the pack. I saw the lead group disappear into the distance and knew that would be the last I would see of them! I settled down among the first third and was holding a good and comfortable pace. I looked for a group or an individual I could latch onto but to no avail. We hit a bumpy patch in the road and I heard a cracking sound come from the front of my bike! I quickly looked over my shoulder to see if I had lost anything, and fortunatley nothing had dropped off. I then examined the front of my bike and all seemed good. I figured I must have hit a twig and broken it?
As I was in a group it was great not needing to read the route sheet and just follow the pack. So, I was not paying any attention to my route sheet, which was sitting in a protective sleeve on top of my handlebar bag. We reached a turning at Homersfield and a couple of Audaxers had stopped at the sign “Homersfield Village Only”; I reassured them this was the correct turning (I’d already checked it out on google maps). I looked down at my handle bar bag and it had dropped down… Then I saw what the crack had been, the mount for my handlebar bag had snapped! The bag had dropped forward and down! I was going to need to figure out a roadside repair for the mount, because I could not easily see the routesheet!
I continued to pedal-on and planned to stop at the next info control and do a quick repair on the bag. I was disappointed as I had planned to bounce (stop for 2-5 mins) most of the info controls and only take long stops (20-25 mins) at the stage controls in Village Halls at the end of five stages. I stopped in front of The Ship pub. And started a repair on the handlebar bag, the repair took ages, around 30 mins! Everyone passed me! I went from being in first third of riders to being the very last in the first stage! As I had lost the pack now, I was needing to check the route sheet for directions and not having the luxury of following the crowd! I’d also lost the protection offered from the headwind by riding with a group.
I put my head down and cycled on! I made the depressing mistake of calculating in-my-head the kilometers to go - 360 km at the time! I vowed not to do that again and only focus on the moment or the next point on the routesheet. I knew at the next control I would need to stop only for a few minutes, grab a quick bite to eat and bounce on.
I was pleased that 10-15 people were at the control when I reached it and despite what I thought I was told there were still a few people behind me. I called Gail (my wife) then ate a Branston Pickle Sandwich (Vegan delights), bar of flapjack and a banana. Then I left at about 13:20 which was an hour ahead of the slowest possible time to qualify. I was pleased to have the first leg behind me and be moving on.