On Sunday I ran the Wilmslow Half Marathon. I had trained. I had worked for it. But still I was not as fast as I was in my last half marathon. That sucks. Not that I am usually fast at all, but I’m speaking relatively here. I honestly don’t think that I’m naturally built for running, but its something that I normally enjoy doing, and it allows me to eat cake. So its win win.
If you have ever run any kind of race before, whether it be a 5k, a Half Marathon or the insanity that is a full Marathon, you will know that racing = pain. In my case, 2 hours of pain. Which is how long it took me to run the 13.1m/21km. While running along for 2 hours, one has a lot of time to think. And at times I thought about the sports jelly beans I was shoving into my mouth at mile intervals, and wondering if they were doing anything apart from making me gag as I tried to swallow them with dehydrated mouth/throat. I also thought about the ‘carbo-loading’ preparation that I had done the week before and whether it offered any benefit or not.
I didn’t carbo-load before my last half and I ran that 2 minutes faster than this one, although that one was all flat and this one had some significant uphill. I didn’t think about diet at all really last time and this time I thought about it, planned it and worked at it for a whole week. At my rather unadvanced level I don’t know whether diet can really make much of an impact in race performance, but I did enjoy the breakfast smoothies I made last week, so much that I have one on my desk this morning.
I probably fall short of my 5-a-day a bit too regularly, and one of these smoothies must be at least 3 out of that 5. Put together with the fact that they are tasty and satisfying as far as breakfast goes, and they are a winner in my books. All that they entail are a few minutes of prep in the morning, but nothing that is hard to handle while half asleep and still bleary-eyed (just be carful with the knife). There are no limitations on the fruit or yoghurt that you chuck in, so whatever is in season, on sale or is most appealing to you on the day you go shopping will do.
Its also kind of fun blending stuff. Sometimes it takes some rather violent shaking of the machine to get the blending going. I also splash some milk inbefore the fruit. Helps lube up the blending I think. otherwise you get a little blended mush at the bottom and the rest sits where it is and doesn’t make it down to the blades which can be frustrating.
So get some fruit, yoghurt, muesli, etc. Shove it in your blender, and have a smooth, pretty pink breakfast
Berry Breakfast Smoothie
250g strawberries, halved
1 large banana, cut into a few fat rounds
350ml strawberry yoghurt
juice of 1 lime (if you like some tartness)
2 tbsp honey or agave nectar
Feel free to throw in some muesli, the only reason I didn’t was because I was doing the no cereals thing
Put the milk into the blender first, followed by the fruit, followed by the yoghurt and honey/agave and muesli if you’re using.
Start by pulsing a few times as this helps get things going without the fruit getting stuck
Then leave to blend for a minute or until it looks as smooth as you like it.
Toss it all in a blender and pulse a few times. Just to get it going. Once it looks like its started the whirlpool process, leave it blending for a minute or two until it reaches your desired smoothness. Then stop. Pour. Drink.