Don’t judge me!

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So I was talking to someone the other week and some flippant comment they made really annoyed me – they said 55 minutes was really slow for a 10k and they could easily do it in 40 minutes (the comments weren’t directed at me, but they hit a nerve). It got me thinking, why do some people feel the need to judge others’ achievements? One man’s idea of running may be another man’s idea of jogging (see fab article above), but I salute anyone who takes the leap from the sofa to the road or treadmill.

I know what my limitations are – I am never going to be athlete or club level fast and I am resigned to that, but if I feel out of puff at the end of a race or training session then I know what I have done is the best that I can do at the time.

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It’s the struggle that counts, not the end the result. This is me in September 2011 (above). What was supposed to be an adventure at the time – climbing Kilimanjaro – ended up changing my life forever. I realised that I had to change. I needed to sort my sh*t out and get myself fit and healthy before I ended up with diabetes and health problems at the grand old age of 31!

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By December 2011, I had lost nearly 2 stone (see above) through sheer determination and a desire to change. And this is me now (below).

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I am comfortable in my own skin and I am proud of my achievements. I won’t win any 10k races, that I do know, but what I will hopefully win is respect for trying.

sian

Team Dashing Divas at Pride 10k: Want to join in?

This year I am really keen to get my 10k times right down to as close to 50 minutes as possible, which means choosing a really flat good course. After last week’s Nike 10k in Victoria Park I realised that would be a good location to do that, but I felt like a proper billy no mates there, especially as the village was off limits to supporters. So here comes the fun part – I thought it would be fab to hook up with fellow bloggers, readers and tweeters who’d also like to take part too by getting together team Dashing Divas to run in the Pride 10k on 17th August. You can go as fast or as slow as you want, the point is really just to have people to meet up with before and after. I’ll get some t-shirts made and everything!

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If you want to meet up, but don’t want a t-shirt or want to set up your own team that’s fine too! 🙂 The more the merrier!

You can sign up for the run here [NB: don’t put in the Dashing Divas team name in the registration as then they might not give individual times then] and get in touch with me at dashingdivasuk@gmail.com about your t-shirt size. I’ll send out details on where to meet beforehand.

sian

Number 9: Have a photo shoot done

siany1T-shirt: Primark; Watch: Garmin; Bracelet: Primark; Earrings: Primark; Necklace: Model’s own (always wanted to say that!). 

Another one of my 40 things before I’m 40 completed – (9) Have a photo shoot done. This is quite a big deal for me as I hate looking in the mirror let alone having my picture taken, especially in front of an audience – unsuspecting passers by in the skate park who probably thought I was the fattest model they had ever seen (Ie, not a size 4)! 😉

siany2T-shirt: Primark; Leggings: Sweaty Betty; Trainers: Nike.

These are my favourite shots taken by the wonderful Cez – check out his website here. What do you think?

sian runningTop: Nike; Leggings: Sweaty Betty.

siany3Jacket: Nike, Leggings: Sweaty Betty; Trainers: Nike.

siany5Sunglasses: Mango; Top: Primark; Leggings: Sweaty Betty; Trainers: Nike.

siany7Necklace: Model’s own; Top: Nike; Leggings: Model’s own; Trainers: New Balance.

siany8Necklace: Model’s own; Top: Nike; Leggings: Model’s own; Trainers: New Balance.

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Low fat budget fish pie recipe

I don’t follow any kind of low carb/no carb diet – they don’t work for me at all. The only way I lose weight and keep trim is through eating little and often and keeping to a reasonably low fat diet. I tend to avoid foods like bread and cereals, favouring oats, pasta and rice for my fibre/carb intake.

I love fish pie, but the traditional way of making it with a roux of butter, milk and flour is really not very good for you, so here is my low fat take on a traditional recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1x tub of low fat creme fraiche (200 to 300 ml depending on the size of the pie) or strained yoghurt (eg, Chobani non-fat plain)
  • 6 to 8 sweet potatoes (enough to cover the top of the pie)
  • Handful of frozen peas
  • Handful of frozen/tinned sweetcorn
  • Handful of frozen prawns
  • Cheap frozen white fish (2x fillets)
  • Cheap frozen smoked fish (2x fillets
  • Olive oil (enough for a drizzle)
  • English mustard
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1x round/square over proof dish
  • Chilli powder/paprika for dusting top (optional)

Recipe (prep time approx 20 mins; cooking time approx 35-40 mins)

  • Pre heat oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 6). Boil some water for the sweet potatoes and at the same time defrost the fish in the microwave (this step stops the pie being too watery)
  • Chop fish fillets into chunks
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and add to boiling water (boil for approx 15-20 until soft enough to mash)
  • Put fish, prawns, sweetcorn, peas and creme fraiche/yoghurt, seasoning into the bottom dish (mix until fish evenly distributed) and a spoonful of mustard (secret ingredient – gives the taste of cheese without the fat!)

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  • Mash sweet potato and add seasoning to taste (tip – they will need lots of salt and pepper!)
  • Spoon on top of fish mixture and spread across pie – use a fork across the top to create a nice pattern.
  • Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on top (teaspoon max)
  • Sprinkle a small amount of chilli powder or paprika on top of the pie (optional)
  • Cook the pie in the oven for 35-40 mins and leave to stand for 5 mins before serving

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The above pie provides 3-4 helpings, depending on how greedy you are! 🙂

Et voila – there you have it a lovely healthy fish pie. The creamy mixture can look a little curdled, but fear not it does taste really good!

Enjoy!

sian

Speed work week 2: The hissy fit and the PB

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So after last week’s holiday, I decided to see if any of the hill training had had the desired effect of improving my speed. I was going to run around my usual 5k circuit, but the heavens opened up so I ventured into the garage on the treadmill. Don’t get me wrong, treadmills serve a purpose – they allow you to exercise through all weathers, but I detest them! Against my better judgement, I attempted to do a 5k run – after 4k and probably pushing it a bit too much (I was doing 4 1/2 min/k), I gave up. Then came the hissy fit and the tears – ‘I am never going to be a good runner, I’m never going to get a 25-min 5k’. Having thrown teddy well and truly after of the pram, I gave myself a talking to and reminded myself that running is supposed to be something I enjoy. I don’t enjoy the treadmill! What I do enjoy is pounding the pavements and the trails, and getting out in the fresh air.

By Thursday I’d got my shit together, and decided to try a 10k, given that I was running the Nike We Own the Night 10k run on Saturday it seemed a sensible thing to do.

I’ve never really timed myself properly over 10k, only as a split as part of a longer run where of course you will be running at a much slower pace. In the past I’d done 58 minutes, which compared to my other times over 5k and half marathon is pretty poor. I decided to try and stick to 5 1/2 min/k pace the whole way to aim for around 55-56 mins. My breathing felt good and wasn’t laboured and my legs felt fine. I was chuffed to bits with my time of 55 mins 16 seconds. I know I have more left in the tank too.

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After the 10k, I plan on checking my 5k time on the same route and seeing if that has improved at all with my training. I have a sneaking suspicion I can crack the 25 mins after all, but watch this space! 🙂

We owned the night!

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So yesterday I took part in Nike and Elle‘s We Own The Night women’s 10k in Victoria Park, London. I arrived mega early just as the gates opened to the ‘village’, which was filled with delicious eateries, a stage with a DJ pumping out some motivational tunes and some bean bags to chill on ahead of the race. At 7.30, the warm up kicked off and then we had to stand at the start line ready for the off. Unfortunately, that’s where it all went wrong and my chances of getting a sub 55 minute 10k ended as I’d got myself way back in the pack by the 70 minute pacer and my 1st k got off to hideously slow 8 min/k start (oops). I clawed it back though overtaking half the pack to finish in 55.24, which isn’t too shabby under the circumstances.

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As with all of these big event type races though, they are great fun, and the atmosphere was wonderful, but they are not for PB hunters like me unfortunately. Still, I’ve never finished a race with a glass of champers so can’t complain!

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Things I’ll do for next time:

  • Gather together team Dashing Divas!
  • Get right at the front!
  • Not expect a PB

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Diva rating: 3/5

rating 3 of 5

sian

Speed work week 1: The one in Greece

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So last week – my first week of speed training – weirdly happened whilst on my holiday in Crete. I was staying in my parents’ holiday home there so it was literally a chance to get away from the stresses and strains of ordinary life, chill, eat fresh food, read some books and relax. I decided to add some trail running into the mix as the house is in the middle of an olive grove on the top of the hill with lots of dirt tracks around – perfect for running on. I also mixed it up a bit with some upper body work (press ups), core – planks and sit ups, and general cardio (mountain climbers).

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I didn’t run any great distance, but what I did do was a lot of hill sprints with a few 3k runs. It was also great food wise as I was able to cook all our food using the lovely fresh vegetables and fabulous fruit (apples and fresh lemons were divine!).

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I did manage to run 4k one of the days, 2k of which I ran at sub 4-min/k, which I’m really pleased about.

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