Well done to my good friend David Lee for running his first marathon today, and not just any marathon – the London Marathon.
David has been running really well and completed the 26.2 mile course in just over four hours! A brilliant time!
David was also raising money for the cancer charity Sarcoma UK. Regular readers will know that my grandfather died at Christmas after losing his battle with sarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels. David was keen to run for Sarcoma and I can’t thank him enough.
So far he’s raised over £600 which is absolutely fantastic.
With my teammates celebrating my win of three Chocolate Oranges and a box of biscuits
After taking part in a race I always allow myself a chocolate treat. It’s something I really look forward to, so much so, that I thought I would put together a list of my top ten post-race chocolate bars. The list is not based on any scientific evidence or analysis of the nutritional content. It is, however, based on my experience of what tastes the best when you’ve just pushed your body to the limit.
I also think that chocolate helps with recovery.
‘Chocolate can help with recovery?’ I hear you cry.
People may disagree. There’s a lot of advice about the types of foods you should eat to help the recovery process. Chocolate isn’t usually on the list, but for me it does help. If I have a chocolate bar soon after running, the next time I run it is easier.
Never underestimate the power of chocolate.
Miniature Heroes at the Broomhead Chase
There are times in a race when the thought of a chocolate reward keeps me going. When I’m gasping for breath and my legs are wobbling, I think of the Mars Bar or the Snickers waiting for me at the end and I push on.
When I’m battling against someone and I’m tired and it’s hard work, I always gain strength knowing that if I work hard I might win a prize and prizes usually mean chocolate. I know that if it comes down to a sprint finish against another lady, I will give it everything because no-one wants to win a box of Miniature Heroes more than I do. No-one possibly could.
Miniature Heroes at the New York Canal Race, Rotherham
‘It’d be easier to buy a box of chocolates,’ my dad always says.
It probably would. But I wouldn’t have that feeling of satisfaction you get after a run, knowing that you can treat yourself because you’ve already burned the calories. It’s a reward for a job well done.
I did share them 🙂
So without further rambling here are my top ten post-race chocolate bars.
10. Crunchie – always better on a Friday
9. Finger of Fudge – light and chocolaty
8. Lion Bar – wafer, caramel, peanut butter and chocolate
7. Twirl – two twirly milk chocolate fingers covered in smooth Cadbury milk chocolate
6. Twix – this bar was a favourite during my teenage years
5. Drifter – this was always a favourite of mine at school.
4. Bounty – coconut and chocolate
3. Dairy Milk – I love Dairy Milk. This wins for my favourite bar of chocolate whether I’ve run or not.
2. Mars Bar – a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play. I wouldn’t eat one every day, just on the odd occasion after a half marathon. It’s a long distance bar. I’d never have it after a 5k.
1. My number one chocolate bar is Snickers. Nougat topped with caramel and peanuts, and it’s kind of running related because it used to be called Marathon.
There you are. My top ten chocolate bars. Please note that I also like Ripple, Wispa, Flake ( too flakey for after a race), and Maltesers. I also enjoy Thorntons Continentals and Green & Blacks dark chocolate.
Please never give me a Wagon Wheel or Turkish Delight. I once took part in a half marathon and was handed a goody bag with nothing in it except a melted Wagon Wheel and a flyer. I was not happy! I made the decision never to do that particular race again. I have also been in a half marathon where the Mars Bar had melted by the time I’d crossed the line. I would say to race organisers across the country, ‘A melted Mars Bar is better than no Mars Bar at all!’
After all this talk of chocolate I’m starting to feel a little hungry, but before I go a word of warning – everything in moderation. Only one bar at a time!
On Saturday I started my training to become a coach in running fitness. I headed to Hillsborough College in Sheffield for two-days of running related activities.
It was a fantastic weekend – very intense but fun. It’s given me a lot to think about both for my own training and, ultimately, for coaching others. As well as looking at the physical side of running we looked at the science behind the sport. This absolutely fascinates me. In two days we covered a lot, but it’s just the start. There is still so much to learn.
I have six weeks of independent work before the next training day. This is followed by a few more months of study before taking the exam in October. The course, which is organised by England Athletics, involves a practical and theory exam. I’m really looking forward to the course, but also a little daunted by the idea of the exams. Everyone on the course felt the same and the team from England Athletics was very supportive.
Jayne Rodgers (right) with her daughter Bibi www.veggierunners.com
As well as starting my coach training, which I’ve wanted to do for a while, it was nice to meet people who are so passionate about running. One of the ladies, Jayne, is also a running blogger. Her blog www.veggierunners.com has just been shortlisted for best blog in the Running Awards. You can vote for it here.
For a while I’ve been struggling with iron deficiency and have been looking at ways to include iron in my diet without eating meat. Veggie Runners provides recipes for runners whatever distance they are training for. It was lovely to meet Jayne and great to find a blog that will help improve my nutrition. I will definitely be voting for it.