London Virtual Marathon

Hi and hello,

It has been a long, long time since I last posted here. I wanted to write a post about running London Marathon virtually as it was such a massive achievement.

It’s been 6 weeks now, I think it’s really taken me that long to process everything and feel “ok” about it.

I signed up with a friend to run the marathon on October 3rd, unfortunately she had to pull out during training. Then I found some more local girls who were running and a new plan to run together began to be formed!

My training went really well, no injuries which is always a bonus and also can be a good sign you aren’t pushing too hard.

I did have some wobbles with my confidence, a bad encounter with a creepy man really knocked me. I carried on and things were looking hopeful for me to get near to my goal time!

Then… I got a cold. That cold that I’m sure many of us got, where your body was FULL of snot for weeks and weeks? Yes, that.

I stayed so optimistic that it wouldn’t hamper me, even attempting my final 20 mile long run while I was full of snot (shock, horror I only made it to mile 11 before phoning my Dad to rescue me!)

After that let down I had to start accepting that maybe I wasn’t even going to be able to run the marathon, that was an awful consideration. I kept having this horribly tight pain in my diaphragm which was a big red flag for me that I was not in good condition.

Taper week I started to feel a lot better and my optimism rose, along with my nerves. Added to this we were looking at the weather forecast which basically looked like a hurricane. Really not ideal running conditions!

The night before I don’t think I slept much at all, I had been checking the weather, trying to eat as much as I could to get my body fuelled , usually I would think eating as much as I could would be great! But I felt so sick with nerves.

Flat lay. Outfits are Sweaty Betty, tshirt ASICS, hydration vest from Amazon, SIS hydration tabs, WUKA pants, AirPods, Larabar, SIS gels, Goodr sunglasses, Hygge headband, Brooks Ghost 13s, new balance socks, Polar heart rate monitor, Apple Watch, RunGlide.

The morning of the race the rain was HAMMERING on our roof, Paul asked me if I was sure I was really going to do it. There was no question, it was happening, I was running! I shook like a leaf for the whole journey, trying to force down more breakfast. Knowing that I was about to embark on something so special.

Meeting the girls, ready to go, honestly thinking I was going to be sick!

Ready to go! I had to change my outfit and wear a jacket as it was so windy and wet!

The actual run.. the first half I felt good, Clare was ahead and Jane behind. We were each strong and the wind was behind us.

(photos – Norrie Lyall)

I hit mile 12 and that is when things did not feel so good, the diaphragm pain was back. My main concern was that I was going to vomit and I felt that if I did it could mean I had to pull out. It was at this point that my first run buddy appeared, my neighbour Adrian. I was so happy to see him! Game plan changed and I felt that taking walk breaks was the best way to make sure I completed the distance. We ran (and walked) a couple of miles when run buddy no2 joined the band! Aidan is a friend I had run a half marathon with in June, having him on board was another great boost. Then a third run bud Ross joined us when we had around 10 miles to go!

The sick feeling unfortunately did not subside. I had periods of feeling really angry that my goal time was gone, frustration that I had been ill, disappointment. All the feelings, having such a great supportive crew around me was something that I hadn’t realised would be the big boost it was.

Michaela then appeared which meant we were on the final stretch! She had agreed to run the last leg with me.

My feelings on this part are still a bit mixed. I know I could have pushed myself harder but that fear of not finishing , having raised so much money for the British Heart Foundation, was too strong. This is why it’s taken so long to accept how my run went. Should I have pushed harder? Was it the best decision to be safe? Is there a right answer?!

I felt like Forrest Gump during the final miles, my running pals there supporting me, telling myself to just keep running. It’s a feeling that I will hold close forever. The running community at its finest!

Finishing the race was amazing, the bairns holding up my finish line, all the supporters waiting for us. I may have been last of the three of us but I had made it, every step I had owned and it was incredible.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me on my journey to this 26.2. My family who put up with me, look after the bairns, my friends who listen to my run chat when I’m sure they don’t care, my running pals who are there in spirit and in person cheering you on!

What an incredible day it was. I am so grateful to have been able to complete it, and after my weeks of reflection that is how I want to remember the day. The time I finished in is irrelevant to what I achieved really. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t come into it, I still am chasing my goal time and one day I will get there!

The day my medal and t-shirt came I felt proud to wear it, and I hope if you read this and wonder “could I do that?” – YES! Yes you can.

Until next time,

Hazel Ann x

#londonmarathon #weruntogether

Salad inspiration

Hiya, often I post photos of my meals over on my instagram. A few people recently asked me if I had done a blog post about lunch ideas which I have not.. until now!

I am currently doing a bit of intermittent fasting, this is where you fast for 16 hours and then eat all your meals within an 8 hour window. I started it sort of accidentally, and then become intentional about implementing it and I have SO much more energy! It really staves off those sugar cravings too. Lunch is therefore my first meal of the day and I really look forward to it.

My lunch is usually always some kind of salad, I love prepping salad and the colours on the plate look so happy and bright.

Red pepper and cucumber are my top salad veg (fruit?) picks, a few spinach leaves or some lettuce. Not a fan of iceberg here. Also I do NOT like avocado. Guessing a few people will at this stage gasp, maybe you’ll close your browser.. Have to be honest with you though. I just do NOT like it!
Beetroot is really under rated in a salad, I love it.

However I do LOVE hummus, and I even once said I would never make my own hummus so you’ll have to watch my eat my own words. And my own hummus.
My “recipe” is basic, not sure what other people do – let me know what you like.
One can of chickpeas, drained but not REALLY drained.
A squirt of garlic puree. You could crush a clove for yourself.
Salt and pepper – don’t be shy here.
Tahini, maybe a tablespoon full.
A dribble of oil – olive or sesame.
Now for the next part you can add in whatever extra you like.
Sometimes I add a roasted red pepper, sometimes a sun blushed tomato, a teaspoon of hot sauce, some other strange condiment from the cupboard.. its very much up to you!

I’m not vegan or veggie – if you are, then you can probably stop reading right about here..

Meat or fish – for me this is almost always part of a meal. Prawns are probably my ultimate fave, if only they were not also the most expensive … I often keep left overs from the previous evenings meal. One thing I had the other day that was really good was some stuffing balls I had made! They had apricots in them and tasted so lovely cold the next day. Ham and chicken are faves too. You could do tuna, mackerel, or any left overs.

Really hope you enjoyed reading, let me know what is on your ultimate salad plate!

Hazel-Ann x

A look back at a bedroom make over

I am sure a lot of us use the app TimeHop. I love looking back at how our family has grown. When I opened it up last week I saw this photo. And I just can’t believe how much our home has changed.

Now who doesn’t love a Time Hop throw back!?

For some background, at the time that our house was in this state, I was 39 weeks pregnant, perfect timing for ripping out everything… I had taken to my Mam’s house with our then 2 year old to hide until there was running water again.

The room in this photo was to become a bedroom for our eldest, which it then did, and later our second born shared it. But it now it the bedroom of the two smallest members of the family.

Cosy little beds

After a lot of room swapping and changing, we are at this stage. These bunk beds were built by my very talented father-in-law (who I mention a lot on here, he is one of those diamond humans!) . I designed them and we chopped up our cot bed and bought another second hand one. Plus the long lengths of oak for the new frame. He is amazing at this kind of thing, and has a lot of patience for my crazy brained schemes.

It is the most lovely room, I often come in here to take outfit pictures as it gets lovely light.

Loved looking back over all the photos, and remembering the stress at the time! In hospital after having the baby, they asked when I was planing to go home. I can remember saying “as soon as the new bath is in” ! And that is exactly what I did!

Thanks for reading

Hazel Ann x

The little things

My husband and I were talking the other week about little things that have made life as a family much easier.

I thought I would write up the ones that we came up with – let me know what yours are!

  1. Tesco grocery home delivery. This is a service I used as a student in Edinburgh, but it wasn’t available here in Shetland until 5.5 ¬†years ago. ¬†From the week it launched until now I have been a very frequent customer and a VERY grateful one. Gone are the days of dragging my children around the store, having driven 30 minutes to get there! Every week when they come into my kitchen and leave my shopping right there on the table, I am grateful!
  2. Dyson cordless vacuum. I got this as a Christmas gift (to me, from me) 2 years ago. It is used daily, multiple times! Ours is no longer the most recent version, but it works great for us. We have a small house and it can zip around the whole thing on one charge, and then it has all the attachments you need for the couch (worst job!), skirting boards, all those fiddly areas and THE CAR!
  3. Sliding doors on the car. We got our car almost 3 years ago, it is a VW Sharan and the door slide, no more worrying about the children bashing their doors, getting them in and out is so easy, as was the infant car seat (aka the baby bucket seat). I used to have a Golf, and found it harder to park than I do this , well basically it is a bus.
  4. Following on the car theme is the parking sensors! I am not a really confident driver, but with where we live I do have to drive a lot. Since we got a car with parking sensors I feel much more able to try parking in spaces I perviously would have never attempted.
  5. ParentPay. Now this is brand new to us. No more writing cheques to the school! If your school doesn’t use this, it is an online platform you use to pay for milk money and dinner money. I am sure that this will become more and more useful as our children get older and move up though the school. So far, so good.

So those are 5 of my top modern life hacks which made my days simpler, speed up cleaning and free up brain space.

Hazel-Ann x