StrEAT Life Festival

Sorry that it’s been a while since I last posted! I’ve been rather busy with various things recently, including the content of this blog. My next blog will of course be my monthly update, so I wanted to squeeze in one more blog before it’s June tomorrow!

The recent Bank Holiday weekend has been one full of good food (not all of it necessarily healthy!). I went down to London for the weekend and met up with one of my university friends and one of their friends on Saturday. Before I met up with them though, I was given a recommendation to try Edith’s House, a quirky cafe in Crouch End.

I needed a cool drink like a frappe or a milkshake, so I tried an apple pie pudshake. It was a milkshake full of ice cream and topped with thick whipped cream, and it tasted like an apple pie. It was very tasty, but also very filling! I had a 20 minute walk though, mostly uphill, which helped to ease my stomach a bit when I made my way to meet my friend.

Apple pie pudshake

The 20 minute walk from Edith’s House in Crouch End was to Alexandra Palace for the StrEAT Life Festival, a food and drinks festival which I also went to at the same time last year. The weather was glorious all day and I caught the sun (a bit too much on my back, but it’s tanned now). There is a lovely grassy area by the palace where most people relaxed during the day.

I wasn’t naked! I was wearing a crop top

After debating on what food to have, as there was a lot to choose from, I had a Greek BBQ pork and halloumi wrap with salad and a yogurt and mint dressing. It was delicious! I love Greek food so I was pleased to see a stand called ‘Greek Expectations’. My university friend had a Caribbean meal of exotic fish and rice, while his friend had some paella. It was nice that we all tried something different; we all wanted to try something that we don’t have on a daily/weekly basis.

Greek wrap

I also had an ice cream and a churro filled with banana custard, which were both delicious. I felt very full by the early evening, but pleasantly so.

After a lovely catch up and a day of hot sunshine, and as if I hadn’t already eaten enough food, I had an afternoon tea the following day! This was at a hotel in Enfield, in aid of a charity called Canine Partners. After an exciting magic card show, everyone had some afternoon tea. There were nine people at my table and there were plenty of sandwiches, cakes and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. I love a good afternoon tea, and this one was superb.

This wasn’t all for me!

And as if afternoon tea wasn’t enough, I had fish and chips on Monday in Cromer! After the afternoon tea I went to Cromer to meet up with my family who were camping there. I stayed overnight in a hotel with my mother (she doesn’t do camping) and we spent the day in Cromer the following day. When you go to the seaside in Britain you have to have fish and chips, and in Cromer the best place is Mary Janes. The fish was beautiful and the batter and chips weren’t too greasy.

Yummy fish and chips

I dread to think how many pounds I’ve put on over the weekend, but the food was worth it! I rarely eat food like this over a period of a few days and I enjoyed myself, which is the most important thing.


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚


parkrun #16

I was shattered on Friday night and was going to have a lie in on Saturday morning. However, I woke up at 8:20am and it was a beautiful morning. In the end I decided to go for a parkrun, my sixteenth one.

It wasn’t an easy run for me, which felt strange at the parkrun as it’s only 5km. I’ve mentioned recently in my long distance trainingย for the half marathonย that my right shin has been hurting. This happened early on, and my left shin started to hurt as well. I powered on through but I had to walk for periods of time, and walk up the dreaded slope halfway through the run.

I finished in 34 minutes and 47 seconds, which is my slowest time so far for the Braunstone parkrun. To be honest I thought the time was going to be longer than that, because I had to walk to ease my shins. I still managed to run up the slope at the finishing line and shortly after I finished running, my shins felt fine.

I’ve been running for two years and I’m surprised that I’ve only just starting experiencing pain like this in my shins. Maybe it’s because I’m training to run such a long distance that I’ve never ran before. It’s starting to annoy me now since I really want to run the half marathon in October. I guess with more training my shins will become accustomed to the longer distances.

I must remember to rub some Deep Heat on my shins next time I go out for a run. That’s what my parents have suggested doing, as it helps to ease pain and may help while I’m running. I don’t need to put any on when I’ve finished running as the pain goes away quickly.


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

parkrun year #1

I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I first discovered the parkrun!

I was away in Guernsey for a short break and on the plane journey there, someone told me about the parkrun taking place on Saturday. By chance I had packed my running gear, because I was training for the Race for Life, and I wanted to experience running somewhere completely different.

On Saturday 14th May 2016, I ran in my first ever parkrun along the coast of Guernsey. I enjoyed the experience of running so close to the sea and the parkrunners were very friendly and welcoming.

I then soon found out that there are are several local parkruns near where I live, which I had no idea about. After my trip to Guernsey I went to the Braunstone parkrun and had the same experience of meeting a friendly community of runners.

Since discovering the parkrun in Guernsey, I have ran a total of 15 parkruns. My slowest time has been 35 minutes and 38 seconds, which was my first parkrun at Guernsey. My personal best so far has been 32 minutes and 1 second, which was achieved at the Braunstone parkrun.

I am so glad that I was told about the parkrun. It is a fun way of keeping fit, a great way to meet new people and a convenient way to time yourself, as you get your result at the end of the run for free. I must admit, I am not the most committed parkrunner out there, but when I do make it at 9am on a Saturday morning, I feel great running along with hundreds of runners.

I’d like to be able to complete a parkrun in 30 minutes- that is one of my targets for this year. I’d also like to reach the milestone of 25 parkruns, which means 10 more parkruns to go. I’d aim for 50, but that’s another 35 to go. Who knows, I might reach that target if I try hard enough.


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

15km round #2

I’m glad to write that I managed to run 15km for the second time!

It was glorious this morning and I was determined to complete 15km this time. Last Sunday I tried to run 15km but it was a failed attempt, due to pain in my right shin. I ran 5km and then called it a day. Today the pain came back in my right shin, so I walked it off a few times and after about 4km, the pain had gone and I felt comfortable enough to carry on with 15km.

Having to walk on several occasions during the run this morning meant that my time was a bit more than my 1st attempt at 15km at the Resolution Run, which I completed in 1 hour and 38 minutes. I completed 15km today in 1 hour and 42 minutes. I thought it would’ve been much longer than this so I’m pleased with the result.

My shin feels fine after the run; my legs hurt which is normal for me after a long run. My father mentioned again that feeling pain in your shin while running is normal. I don’t like to use Google for looking up illnesses or pain, but in this instance I searched for pain in shins on Google and it came up with shin splints. I don’t want to cause myself injury, so I’ll bear this mind while running and if the pain becomes unbearable, then I’ll consider seeking advice from a doctor or look at physiotherapy.

I really need to get myself down to the gym to aid with my training. I’ve struggled to get up early in the mornings before work for my new job, but this week I’ll aim to get down to the gym at least once this week. I wonder if not going to the gym for a month has had anything to do with my right shin while running. I tend to do cardio which uses my legs, and I need to built up more stamina in my legs to complete the half marathon.

Speaking of half marathon, I’ve only got 5 months to go! Ideally I’d like to run 15km again before I step up to the next level and run 17.5km.


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

Dance for Life

Last night I had an interesting and very fun experience. I treated my mother (it was her Christmas present) to go to Peter Kay’s Dance for Life, which was in aid of Cancer Research UK. Held at the Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, thousands of people danced for three hours with Peter Kay as the DJ along with actress Sian Gibson.

My mother and I wished we knew in advance that people were dressing up for this event. Most people were dressed in 80s gear, but there were also smurfs, Where’s Wally?, Elvis Presley and other quirky characters and celebrities. People were also dressed up with t-shirts designed for the Dance for Life in florescent colours and were wearing light up trainers and glow sticks. However, I did wear my pink running t-shirt which I’ve worn for the Race for Lifes, and I saw some other people wearing them too.

The atmosphere was electric! Peter Kay and Sian Gibson took it in turns to play the DJ set and there were really funky images on the large screen behind them, like in the photo below (you can just see Peter and Sian in the middle). The music was a mix bag as well, with 80s and 90s music and popular modern party anthems. A Zumba group from Nottingham also came onto the stage to show some Zumba moves and join in with the fun.

Night fever!

Dancing for three hours straight was a lot of fun, and tiring as well! Everyone looked shattered at the end of the night, but with big smiles on their faces. It was a fun form of exercise- I’d love to go to another Dance for Life again!

Another funky backdrop

I’ve completed three Race for Lifes (5km which I walked and two 10km ones which I ran), which were also in aid of Cancer Research UK. Last night was a very different way of raising money, as the majority of the money paid for tickets is donated to the charity. Peter Kay also encourages people to get sponsored for the three hour dance-a-thon via JustGiving, which has raised over ยฃ52,000 so far!


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

Lemon drizzle cake #2

Last Saturday I made a lemon drizzle cake for a bake off at work. I received positive comments from colleagues which was a good sign. I tried a little slice myself today from what was left over- it was soft and moist, and rather lemony but not too overpowering. I felt proud of myself, as I think it was the first time that I had made a lemon drizzle cake, or it’s been a very long time (I can’t remember).

Tomorrow night I am going to a ladies night in/sherry evening with my mother. My mother asked me to make a lemon drizzle cake for tomorrow, so I decided to leave it until tonight to make one, after finding out the verdict from work. I used the same recipe, but used plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder instead, as I had run out of self-raising flour. I also used a metal loaf tin instead rather than a silicone one, as my mother bought a metal one on Sunday.

Lemon drizzle cake ready to cook

I greased the metal loaf tin and put some greaseproof paper in as well to stop the cake from sticking.

Fresh out of the oven

Same as before, I poured over the lemon drizzle icing on the cake as soon as it came out of the oven. Again I had to pull the cake gently away from the edges of the tin to let the icing pour down the sides of the cake. After it had cooled down a bit, I took the lemon drizzle cake out of the tin.


I must admit, I prefer the look of my second attempt at lemon drizzle cake. You can see the drizzle icing on top of the cake and it looks more of a golden brown. My father said it was to do with the fact that I used plain flour with baking powder instead of self-raising flour. The shape of it looks better as well since I cooked it in a solid metal loaf tin, rather than a silicone one.

Hopefully it’ll taste as nice as my first attempt. I will find out tomorrow night!


Happy reading and blogging!

Many thanks,

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚

15km (failed attempt)

This morning didn’t quite go to plan (as you can tell from the title of this blog). I was hoping to run 15km for the second time; it’s been way over a month since I last ran 15km which was at the Resolution Run in March. I signed up for the Leicester Half Marathon recently which means I’m definitely running 21km (13 miles) this year.

The run was going well at first. I passed my father this morning walking one of our dogs called Barney. Barney tried to run with me which was cute, and he was confused whether to stay with my father or run with me. He stayed with my father in the end which I’m glad of. I need to have a go at running with Barney; he’s a Springer Spaniel who is full of so much energy so a run would do him the world of good.

I hadn’t really ran that far when my right shin was starting to hurt. I carried on running, ignoring the pain but I had to walk for a bit. It’s not the first time that this has happened. I’ve felt pain on my right shin before when I’ve been out running, which has only happened a couple of times. I really wanted to carry on and run 15km, but I didn’t want to injure myself. Each time I resorted to walking my right shin felt sore, so I decided to call it a day and walk back home.

Ready for running on a Sunday morning

I managed to run 5km this morning, the equivalent of a parkrun. I was disappointed that I didn’t make it further, but I believe that I made the decision to stop running. My father told me after my run this morning that it’s normal to feel pain in your shins when running. There’s not a lot of muscle on the shins, it’s all in the calfs. I just hope that it doesn’t start becoming a regular occurrence as I want to be able to complete a half marathon. The pain didn’t really last that long when I got back thankfully.

I do need to make long distance running a regular thing now since it’s just over 5 months away until the big day! I also need to get back to the gym, as I’ve not been for over a month! This is because I am struggling to adapt to my new job- I feel so exhausted at the end of each day and I struggle to wake up early enough to go to the gym before work. I don’t want to go to the gym after work as I wouldn’t be there until 6pm, which is a peak time for my gym. I used to be able to get up at 6:20am a few days a week in my previous job, so if I persevere, I’m sure that I can make it to the gym. Even though I’ve not been to the gym for a while, the 2.5 mile walk to work has been doing me good.

I need to work on my adaptability.


Happy reading and blogging!

Clare Bear ๐Ÿ™‚