Friday, 30 January 2015

Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls of....Energy?! - Crandon Runs Friday Photo #18

Hello there! Sarah is on holiday and she's asked me to take over her blog while she's away. The power. And the pressure - this is an award-winning blog you know.

So for the next few days you'll have my random thoughts on running instead. Let me introduce myself, I'm Katie, Sarah's biggest sister and I live in Cardiff.

Confession; I'm much more of a 'brisk walker' than a runner, particularly when you compare me with Sarah's marathon efforts. But I do love a gentle plod around the park and it was actually me who got Sarah running in the first place.

Yummy homemade energy balls- the prefect pre-run snack

So what have I decided to write my first post on? Balls of course! By that I mean energy balls. If you're a runner you've probably tried energy balls, or at least heard of them, but if not, let me explain. Energy balls are basically little snacks made from protein-heavy ingredients - to give you a quick hit of energy pre-run, or a protein boost following a workout.

I first tried the pre-packaged variety you can buy in shops last year and they weren't really to my taste. Although the first bite tasted OK, they were dry and left that awful cardboard-y taste in my mouth that I've only ever experienced with energy bars and baby food (it must be some sort of preserving agent - yuck).

However I did find that the energy ball was a really good mid-morning energy kick, which didn't lead to the afternoon crash I'd get from something less healthy like a chocolate bar. I also noticed that my legs were not aching as much as usual after my workout, which I'm putting down to the protein hit.

Since then my husband Gavin and I have been experimenting with making our own energy balls at home. Deliciously Ella has some great recipes if you're not sure where to start (the cinnamon and raisin bites are so, so easy).

After much testing, we've found a recipe that we really like, so here's a very loose idea if you want to try them. I'd encourage you to play around with the ingredients and see what works for you, which is why the measurements are not very technical.

A large dollop of peanut butter
A large dollop of almond butter
Chia seeds
A couple of dates
Small handful of sultanas
Handful of chopped almonds and peanuts
Desiccated coconut.
Whizz all the ingredients except the coconut together in a food processor until combined, you may need to scoop up a handful and squidge it together to make sure it sticks. Then roll into balls.
Dip each ball in the desiccated coconut and leave them to chill in the fridge for a few hours.

Hey presto! Lovely, scrummy little balls of energy.

The balls should keep in the fridge for around a week or can be frozen for around a month. Eat them whenever you're craving a snack, with a smoothie for breakfast or for a pre-run boost.

Basically add whatever you fancy - oats, cinnamon, different nuts and seeds, a scoop of protein powder if that's your thing post run. Just give it a try.

I'm heading to Cardiff Park Run tomorrow so will definitely be having one before I head out.

Sarah AKA Crandon Runs is currently on holiday.

If you're in Cardiff, you might want to follow my blog 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Nike+ Run Club MCR - Crandon Runs Friday Photo #17

A round up of Crandon Runs in one weekly photo

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, running with people is MUCH more fun that running solo. In my early running days I was such a fool, I knew there were ways out there to run with others and instead I opted to always go out alone. Solo. Solitary. A running table for one.

Well now I'm an older and wiser runner, I know the benefits of running with others and this week I tried something new. After parkrun was cancelled on Saturday due to ice on the course, I was at a bit of a loss as to how to get another run in this week. Sure I could go out alone, but I was looking forward to running with people. I wanted the extra motivation that running with others brings, and didn't fancy braving the Arctic temperatures alone. I remembered that the Nike Running shop in town now has a running group which very kindly starts at 10 on a Sunday and thus enabling a little lie in too. Perfect.


We did about 4.5 miles with the option to continue to do 13 if you wanted, and all ran together through the Manchester mist. We stopped for obligatory snaps as well as having a little two team race around the Eithiad stadium. FUN. And that's what I love about running in a group, doing new and different things within your run that you just wouldn't do when you're out by yourself. You can get your chat on, meet new people and basically have way more fun - all while getting your run in. I also got to meet Sarah from thatsquatbot fame - a fellow Manchester blogger who also supplied this week's photo above. Go check her blog out if you haven't already!

So if you're thinking about running with others, go and join in. It's not scary, everyone's friendly and I can guarantee you'll enjoy your run more. 

Nike+ Run Club offer free runs every Thursday and Sunday. See their Facebook page for more details.

Like what you see? Pop your email in the box top right and get Crandon Runs straight into your inbox.

Friday, 16 January 2015

This Girl Can - Crandon Runs Friday Photo #16

This Girl Can is taking the fitness world by storm this week, and rightly so! The campaign from Sport England is empowering women to get their fitness on and feel good whilst doing so. Literally, to dance like no one is watching. 

Following this, twitter became delightful on Thursday with the mighty Susie Chan inspiring us to #tbt to our first race pics, in the spirit of the This Girl Can campaign.

I dutifully posted mine...
First race

Here I am in June 2011 having just completed my first ever 5k,  and I am beaming! I was so so chuffed with myself. I loved the support, the challenge and raising money for a cause close to my heart. But most of all I loved how I felt having completed it. I'd done it! 

I didn't know it then, but this was the beginning.

The very next day I signed up for my first half marathon, the Great North Run in Sept 2011, just two months later.

After posting this yesterday, it made me really realise how far I've come with my running in a relatively short space of time. I'd not really thought about it before. 15 months after that first 5k I had completed the Berlin Marathon in under 4 hours.

Since this first race in 2011 I've run loads of 10ks, half marathons and have a total of 3 marathons under my belt. I run when I'm on holiday; think of days off as time to run and have started my little running blog. I think this is pretty good for three and a half years of running.  

So thank you Susie for sparking a little running reflection and making me realise that This Girl definitely Can.

And if I can, you can. 

Go get 'em ladies.

Like what you see? Pop your email in the box in the top right and get Crandon Runs straight into your inbox.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Run to the BEET - Crandon Runs Friday Photo #15

Congrats folks, you made it through the first week back at work! Phew! I have only managed to keep up with my running whilst being back at work thanks to Jantastic (post on this coming soon!)

To celebrate making it through, I kicked off my Friday morning with a Beetroot, Ginger, Apple and Chia juice. Yum. We all know beetroot is good for runners but its not always easy to get it in our tummies. I love the juice drink of this flavour from M&S so decided to make my own with what I had in the fridge.

Look at it in all its purple sexy glory.


Here is a rough recipe. You might want to experiment with quantities yourself but I have given roughly enough for one large juice.

1 to 1 and a half pre-cooked beetroot
shredded ginger (lazy ginger or fresh both work)
Approx 200ml apple juice
Teaspoon Chia Seeds
Handful of Spinach (optional)

Add all ingredients in any order into a blender and whizz up. Taste and amend any quantities. Hey presto - juice!

You can leave out the spinach, but I chuck in a handful as I always have it lying around in the fridge. This is also quite thick. If you can be bothered you can strain it but who has the time? If it's too thick for you just add some more apple juice.


Add your email to the box top right and get Crandon Runs straight into your inbox!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

2014 by Crandon Runs

Well what a brilliant year 2014 turned out to be!

Two marathons, three PBs, 746.5 miles in total (that I actually recorded)

And mile and miles of fun!

Thanks to you all for making it such a blast! Here's to more running fun in 2015!

Like what you see? Pop your email in the box at the top right, and get Crandon Runs straight into your inbox

Friday, 2 January 2015

And the winner is...

...Crandon Runs! 

*releases confetti cannon*

The voting was neck and neck at times, with CeeJayKayFit hot on my heels but at the stroke of midnight into 2015 it was announced that voting was closed and the winner of the Virtual Running Blog Awards is...

YIPPEEEE! I'm SO happy and excited - I now have an 'award winning' blog! What a way to kick start the year!

Thank you so so much to all of you who voted for me and this blog to win, and thanks to the people at Virtual Running!

I'm still waiting to hear what the prize is and will update you in due course, but for now a huge big massive thank you!

Happy New Year!

Crandon Runs x

Runolution #2 is go! (almost) - Friday Photo #14

Crandon Runs Friday Photo #14

A round up of Crandon Runs in one weekly photo.

Today I am getting all prepped and ready to tick off one of my New Year's Runolutions first thing tomorrow morning. The first Saturday of the year will see me get up early, climb into my trainers and head to my first ever parkrun. Barcode printed, kit at the ready and I'm set to go! 

Now I just need to make sure I actually get up...after two weeks of turkey eating this may be a bit of a shock to the system.

Hopefully this will be the first of many this year and become part of my weekly run schedule.

Happy New Year Runners! 

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The Rundown - What's going on in Manchester in Jan


Want to get your 2015 off to a good start and wondering how to get your sweat on this month? Here is a list of running events and other sweaty happenings near Manchester throughout January - its The Rundown!

Jan - March, All over
A free challenge to keep you motivated throughout Jan to March where YOU set your own goals and try to stick to them as closely as possible. There are loads of teams to join online, including UKRunchat, or you can set up your own. This year you can bike, swim AND run, or a mixture of all three. A good way to set goals, keep motivated and challenge yourself. So what are you waiting for??! 

Yoga Detox
3rd & 10th Jan, Wine & Wallop Didsbury
Lisa Stannard will be joining forces with Bend & Breathe to offer a yoga and juice detox workshop. I've been meaning to try Lisa's classes for a while AND wanting to check out new bar on the block Wine and Wallop, so this seems like the perfect class to kick off the New Year with some good intentions.
And I LOVE the idea of 'detoxing' in a pub. Brilliant.

Central Lancashire New Year Half Marathon
4th Jan, Preston
Kick start your 2015 with a half marathon from the Fylde Coast Runners. The race starts at 10am but has now sold out. If you didn't manage to get a place check out their running series for events later in the year - and go stand on the course and cheer on the runners for some New Year's inspiration!

Get the Gloss Barrecorre
11th Jan, Alderly Edge
Looking for a workout with a difference? The new barrecore studio in Alderley Edge has teamed up with Get the Gloss and are offering a barreMIXED class on 11th Jan for just £10 instead of £28. Using a ballet barre, you will do an hour of movements to stretch every muscle in your body. This means business for your body and the bargain price is great for first timers.

National Trust Night Run Series
24th Jan, Lyme Park
The NT's Night Run series continues at home of Mr Darcy, Lyme Park. Running through trails in the dark is immense fun, so don your head torch and get going! Reports of previous runs in the series have been great, AND you get a medal. Win!

Know of anything which is not listed here? Drop me a line at and I will add it to the list!

Like what you see? Subscribe by adding your email address to the box top right and get Crandon Runs straight to your inbox!