Friday Feelgood Five 23.9.16

Here’s my latest Friday Feelgood Five – some of the little things that have made me happy this week.

My Yorkshire Marathon Race Number

This arrived in the post yesterday. I’m very excited about the Yorkshire Marathon as I had to miss it through injury last year. My aim is to regain the Good For Age time I lost when the course at the Manchester Marathon turned out to be short in 2013-15. Only just over two weeks to go now!

York Mara


I love autumn and it’s finally properly arrived! I love running in autumn – especially on sunny, crisp days when you can kick leaves as you go – and I love apple crumble. Bring it on! Here’s a lovely autumn view of York’s walls.

Autumn in York

Yin Yoga

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been to yoga for ages, and that’s something I want to change this autumn. This week, to ease myself back in, I started a four week yin yoga course taught by Chloe McKay at York Yoga Studio. It was so relaxing! I’ll write a proper blog post about it at the end of the course. Here’s a pic of Chloe, who is lovely. BTW, there is absolutely no way a stiff-legged runner like me could do what she’s doing here!


Bargain Leggings

I love a charity shop bargain, and was delighted to find these very cool Nike Drifit leggings in perfect condition in a shop in York. Great for winter! Of course I now need to buy a new black top to go with them…



I just found out about Pieathlon yesterday and am very tempted to enter it for a bit of fun. It’s 6K of trail running with three pie stations at Huddersfield on 11th December. Running and pie – what’s not to like?!




That’s it! Because living well is sometimes just about enjoying the simple things around us. Feel free to tell me your favourite things this week, I’d love to hear about them. Have a great weekend!

Competition – Win The North Yorkshire Cookbook

I love food. More than that, I love Yorkshire food. And even more than that, I love local, North Yorkshire food! I really believe that good, simple, seasonal produce that hasn’t travelled far to get to your plate tastes better – and is better for you and the environment – than food that’s been transported hundreds or even thousands of miles. So I was delighted to be sent a book to review that celebrates some of the best food and drink from God’s own county.



The North Yorkshire Cookbook features not just manufacturers of great food and drink, but also the places that serve and sell it such as restaurants, cafés, delis, pubs and markets. It’s good to see a few of my personal favourites in there: Betty’s tea rooms (fat rascals!), the Haxby Bakehouse (proper bread) and No 8 Bistro in York; the Black Sheep Brewery in Masham (where I used to live), Quayside Fish and Chips in Whitby, plus many more. I now feel I need to make a trip to Harrogate to try Baltzersen’s Cinnamon Buns, which I have been obsessed with ever since I read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and discovered that Scandinavian people apparently mostly exist on cinnamon buns and coffee.

Le Caveau 63

There are also over 40 mouth-watering recipes from some of North Yorkshire’s top chefs for you to try at home. I’m very tempted to have a go at the Grange Hotel’s Yorkshire Curd Tart and Le Caveau’s Slow Cooked Yorkshire Rabbit in Cider (pictured above). The foreword is by Andrew Pern, who owns the award-winning Star restaurant at Harome, as well as its sister eatery, the Star in the City (of York). Special occasions only for my budget(!) but well worth it.

Ampleforth Abbey 64


This is a great read for lovers of Yorkshire food, being part food guide and part recipe book. There’s something for everyone! To share the love I’m going to give away this copy. Just leave a comment below telling me what’s your favourite Yorkshire food or food outlet and why, and I’ll pick a winner this Friday, 23rd September. Bon appétit!

The North Yorkshire Cookbook is available to purchase in all of the businesses featured, as well as in select local gift shops, book shops including Waterstones and online at RRP £14.95.


Friday Feelgood Five 16.9.16

Here’s my latest Friday Feelgood Five – some of the little things that have made me happy this week.

The Vale of York Half

I love this event! I did it when it was first held two years ago, but was unfortunately unable to do it last year as I was working on the day. When I went back for the second time last weekend it had really grown, and deservedly so. I was only trotting round for marathon training purposes rather than going for it on this occasion, which was actually really enjoyable. As well as bling and chocolate at the end there’s always a really cool t-shirt!


New Socks

I love my Nike Elite compression socks, and have just bought a new pair to wear at the York Marathon in just over three weeks. I tested them at the Vale of York Half and they were as comfy as ever – and a great colour!



I love autumn for many reasons, but one of the main ones is figs – I can’t get enough of them! They remind me of when I once worked in France for a few months during the autumn many years ago, when I’d buy them on the way home from the office. I just eat the whole fruit as it is – delicous!


Baby Food

I’ve been trying to think of some different snacks to eat on the hoof, and recently saw someone on Twitter recommending baby food pouches. My local supermarket was having a baby event recently, so I picked up these special offers. Will report back on the results!

Baby Food

Indian Summer

What about the weather this week?! A final blast of summer before we start with the cold weather, dark nights and slide downhill to (dare I say it) Christmas. Think this is probably the last week I’ll be able to cycle to work without a jacket though!



That’s it! Because living well is sometimes just about enjoying the simple things around us. Feel free to tell me your favourite things this week, I’d love to hear about them. Have a great weekend!

Summer Running and Autumn Plans

It’s been a while since I wrote a post about running, so just thought I’d give a quick update on what I’ve been doing this summer and what I’ll be up to during the autumn.

I had three main goals for this running year: to regain my sub four hour status after the Manchester Marathon fiasco, when I lost the official record of my Good For Age time; to run a sub 1:50 half marathon; and to run a sub 50 minute 10K. When I trained for the Paris Marathon in April I followed a beginner’s plan, as I was coming back from my hamstring tendon injury. I didn’t think that would result in a sub four time, and I was right! But Paris was a great experience nonetheless. Two weeks after Paris I ran the Vale of York 10 (miles not km), a great new event just on my doorstep. I thought that would be good training for the North Lincolnshire Half Marathon a month later and I was right again! I achieved my sub 1:50 half there in May. Since then I’ve done the Mont Blanc 10K on holiday, the Yorkshire Wolds Half in July, the York 10K, the Minster to Minster (Ripon to York) 30 mile run in August and the Vale of York Half just last weekend.

VoY 2

But my main focus has been training for the Yorkshire Marathon in October, for which I’ve reverted to the Asics Sub 4 plan that served me so well at Manchester last year. However, the week before last, when I ran 51 miles, including the Minster to Minster, my tendon decided to make its presence known again, so I think I’m going to have to scale things back a bit during my taper. As we all know, better to be a bit undertrained than injured on race day! I’m going to cut running down to three days a week and maybe do a bit of cycling, which I’m not really happy about as autumn is my favourite time of year to run. Hopefully I’ll then be OK for the marathon and for the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K in November. I had been dreaming of maybe doing another ultra next year, but I’ll have to see how things go with the old tendon over the winter. Sometimes I forget I’m not a spring chicken any more!

So those are my plans for the rest of the year. What are you up to? I’d love to know!



Friday Feelgood Five 9.9.16

Here’s my latest Friday Feelgood Five – some of the little things that have made me happy this week.


Last weekend our team at work took part in the North Yorkshire Sport Netball Challenge. We were pretty bad (coming second to last out of eight) and, never having played netball, I was particularly useless. But it was great fun and we got a nice t-shirt and a hog roast at the end! I’ve always been bad at ball games, but sometimes it makes a nice change to step outside your comfort zone

Netball 1

Viennese Whirls

While I was playing netball my step-daughter, inspired by the Bakeoff, had a go at Viennese Whirls. I have to say they were pretty good, and as I’d run 51 miles, commuted by bike four times and played netball I think I was entitled to indulge!



Autumn chez Shepherd means cyclocross! Not for me, but for the OH who always takes part in the Yorkshire Points Series, which runs from now until January. I’m usually on pit duty and it’s great fun to watch the racing at the same time, shouting out for all the riders I know. It was a great start to the season this week at Skipton.


The North Yorkshire Cookbook

I’m a big fan of local food, so I was delighted when this book was sent to me this week. It’s full of brilliant recipes from lots of restaurants, delis and food suppliers in our area. I’m going to review it and give it away on the blog soon, so watch this space!



Another foray into the kitchen by the step-daughter – I’m all for it! I haven’t eaten tofu since my brief flirtation with vegetarianism when I was a student (again, many years ago!). The SD isn’t a massive fan of meat, so came up with this marinated tofu and nooodle dish, which was great. Not so sure Dad loved it, but he was outnumbered!



That’s it! Because living well is sometimes just about enjoying the simple things around us. Feel free to tell me your favourite things this week, I’d love to hear about them. Have a great weekend!