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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

Autumn

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!

Chloe

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…

Leggings

Pieathlon!

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?!

 

Pieathlon

 

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!

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.

Cookbook

 

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 www.amazon.co.uk. RRP £14.95.

 

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!

VoY T

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!

Socks

Figs

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!

Figs

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!

Hot

 

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!

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!

 

 

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

Netball

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!

Whirls

Cyclocross

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.

CX

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!

Cookbook

Tofu

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!

Tofu

 

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!

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

Minster to Minster

I was invited to join Ripon Runners on their annual run from Ripon Cathedral to York Minster, which is about 30 miles. What a brilliant day! We were about 40 in number – such a lovely bunch of people and a fantastic run. Tourists in York high-fived us, applauded and took photos as we arrived at the Minster – and we finished off with lunch in the pub! Brilliant. I’m lurking at the back in this photo as I was just a guest.

M2M

Celebrating Ability

Celebrating Ability is an annual sports day for disabled people organised by one of my work colleagues, where the whole team helps out on the day. I always find it a humbling and inspiring experience. This year we were privileged to have paralympic cyclist Craig McCann as our guest. Here he is showing us his amazing racing trike!

Craig

Coffee

I love coffee! Although never instant, of course. This used to worry me a bit, but nowadays the thinking seems to be that moderate coffee consumption is a Good Thing – and it also helps sporting performance! This week I’ve been enjoying Morrison’s Signature Colombian, which just goes to show you don’t have to spend a fortune on it.

coffee

Magazines

Sadly, I always get a bit excited when Runners World plops through the letter box. I recently took out a subscription to Trail Running too, and they both arrived on the same day this month! But which to read first? Well, there was an interview with the fab Jo Pavey in RW, so there was no contest on this occasion!

Mags

Naughty Nuts

I was recently handed a free pack of The Co-op’s Salted Caramel Nuts in the street a few days ago, so I ate them at work the other day when I had an afternoon attack of runger! It’s basically mixed nuts with chocolate chips and tiny bits of caramel fudge and salty pretzel. Maybe not the healthiest snack option, but very nice and probably better than a choccy bar!

Nuts

 

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!

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

La Vuelta

La Vuelta is the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France. I love bike racing anyway, but this is currently doing a great job of helping to fill the gaping hole left in our lives when the Olympics finished. Still, not long til the Paralympics!

Vuelta

 

Bike Commuting (this week)

I love cycling, but if I’m honest I don’t usually enjoy my bike commute to work much. It generally features a range of bad drivers with little regard for cyclists and/or inconsiderate geese who flock and poo all over the riverside bike path. If I get to work in one piece it’s already a good day! But sometimes, on a summer morning during the school holidays, when the traffic is quiet and the geese are on the river, it’s actually lovely. Here’s a pic from one of my rides into York this week. Not the one where I got drenched on the way home!

Commute

 

Turkey Burgers

I made these for dinner this week for the first time. I can’t believe I’ve never made them before, they’re so easy, tasty and healthy! Basically you just mix up 500g of turkey mince with an egg yolk and whatever herbs/spices you like, chill for half an hour and fry. Simples! And great with the sweet potato wedges. We’ll definitely be having them again.

 

Burgers

 

SiS Go Gel (with caffeine!)

I read an article recently about how caffeine helps sports performance and decided to experiment with it. However, I don’t really want to drink a coffee just before a race (for obvious reasons!) so at the York 10K I experimented with one of these, taking it about ten minutes before the start. Having knocked over 40 seconds off my PB I now feel I need one before every event!

 

Gel

 

Chocolate (again!)

More chocolate this week! This time from Morrison’s, where Lindt was on special offer. I love the chilli, but the sea salted caramel is amazing! When I’m trying to be good and avoid puddings I love to have a square of this in the evening.

 

Chocolate

 

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!

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

The Olympics (again)

Where to start? Mo and Jo, Bolt and Gatlin (boo!), Jess and Kat, the Brownlees, Max Whitlock… and don’t get me started on the drama of the track cycling, when Trotty and Kenny became the new Posh and Becks! I’ve loved it all and will be so sorry when it’s all over this weekend. Roll on Tokyo!

Olympics

 

Lidl Running Kit

It was Running Week at Lidl last week, so I ‘treated’ myself to a couple of things. I particularly like the leopard strap detail on the yellow bra! If I’m honest I probably wouldn’t wear these for long runs, but for short outings or exercise classes they’re fine, and great value for money.

Kit

Blackcurrants

Some people who live near us have a massive garden and grow loads of organic fruit and veg that they sell at the roadside. It’s all fabulous and much cheaper than in the shops. This week I picked up some blackcurrants. They were amazingly sweet and perfect with some Greek yoghurt.

Blackcurrants

Chocolate

At the risk of turning this into the Lidl show, they do very good dark chocolate there, flavoured with all sorts of nice things. And, as well all know, dark chocolate is full of iron and magnesium, so very good for runners. I’ve particularly enjoyed the raspberry one this week.

Chocolate

This Sandwich

I had lunch at Pret a Manger this week, and this brie, avocado and tomato toastie was really good! Loads of avocado in it, kept me full for ages! Definitely not avo on toast though, obviously I’d never put such a cliché on social media 😉

Sarnie

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!

Here’s the second in my Friday Feelgood Five feature – the little things that have made me happy this week.
  
The York 10K
I absolutely love the Run For all York 10K; it’s in my home town and I’ve done it every year since it started in 2009, when it was the first race I ever entered. It’s not a great course for a PB and I haven’t ‘raced’ a 10K for over 18 months, so was stunned to knock a good chunk off my previous PB, reducing it from 51:17 to 50:31. Sometimes you can surprise yourself!
York 10K
 
Olympic Prosecco
I was given this tiny bottle of Prosecco as a wedding favour recently and decided to crack it to toast the Olympic opening ceremony last Friday. I’ve really been enjoying the cycling and gymnastics this week and can’t wait for the athletics to start now.
Prosecco
 
Trail Running Magazine
I want to do much more trail running next year – hopefully another ultra – so took out a subscription to Trail Running magazine this month and have really enjoyed reading it. Lots of inspiration, and if you take out a subscription before the end of August you also get a free Camelbak Dart – winner!
Trail Running
 
Neal’s Yard Organic X Deliciously Ella
I love Neal’s Yard products. They’re not exactly cheap, but not only do they smell divine, they work really well and last for ages. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the two new products from their collaboration with Ella that was launched this week. Check them out here if you’re interested.
NY Ella
 
Wasabi Peanuts
One of the favourites from my Lidl basket last week. I find them totally addictive and am having trouble monitoring my intake – however (like last week’s olives) they make me want a glass of wine too! I almost wish Lidl would stop selling them… but not quite.
 
Wasabi

 

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!

 

Just recently the world has seemed a bit depressing at times. Terrorist atrocities, mass shootings, lovely people dying, the Brexit fiasco… need I go on? So to cheer myself up I’ve been trying to take pleasure in the little things in life. Each week (probably, time permitting) I’ll share with you five things that have made me feel happy – the Friday Feelgood Five. Probably all quite trivial in the grand scheme of things, but that’s kind of the point. So here are this week’s offerings!

The mug I got at the Yorkshire Wolds Half

This was a tough event (my review is here ICYMI) but worth it to get this lovely handmade pottery mug at the finish. Of course it’s too nice to drink out of!

Mugs

 

My new running tights

I popped into Tesco for a couple of things this week and came out with these. For only £14 they’re great – good length, back knee ventilation, wide/low waistband, key pocket and snazzy design! I love them, and they go really well with an Asics vest I already have.

Leggings

Olives

Specifically these olives I’ve just discovered at Morrison’s with lemon, thyme and garlic – delicious. The only trouble is they make me want a glass of wine!

Olives

Lidl Healthy Bargains

I only go to Lidl about once a month, but I always discover loads of healthy bargains when I do. On this trip I picked up (amongst other things) tahini, milled linseed (to add to my breakfast), halloumi, dark chocolate, coconut milk and High 5 hydration tabs. They also do really well-priced bags of mixed nuts. Oh, and the wine department is great!

Lidl

Strawberries

We’re coming to the end of the British strawberry season now, but I’ve really enjoyed the ones we’ve had from our local Pick Your Own farm this summer – sadly now closed for the year. Local, fresh produce always tastes so much better than shop bought.

Strawberries

That’s it! Because living well is sometimes just about enjoying the simple things around us.

Feel free to share your favourite things this week, I’d love to hear about them!