Posted by: stokiecat | January 9, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 9

I will not be defeated. I still can’t run but as it was my first day back at work so I had no choice but to get on my bike.  I rode my usual 3 mile commute into work just to make sure that the calf could cope, and the good news was that it could. Took a slightly longer route back to the car to try and make up for the fact I had no run.  Of course the bad news is that now I’m back at work no more running at nice trail places at decent times. It’ll be mostly plodding around pavements in the dark, which isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. I miss summer.

Victoria Park, Stafford

Victoria Park, Stafford

Chocolate Pudding


It’s chocolate on the inside, M & S melt in the middle pudding (£3) for the fridge.  It’s absolutely scrumptious although the OH thinks it’s just a bit too rich. It is rich, and heavy and surprisingly dark and I cannot stress how much I love this pudding.



Posted by: stokiecat | January 8, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 8

Today my plans consist of sitting watching the FA cup matches and this:


Although the injury feels somewhat better today I physically couldn’t run. It has been pointed out that I am now the Arsenal of running, which couldn’t possible be a worse insult. I went for a two mile walk instead which wasn’t too bad as I’ve now managed to complete my Bulbasaur and Charmander evolutions and it also involved a trip to the oatcake shop…

Still foggy across the city

Still foggy across the city – looking from Sammmies Pool towards Longton


A couple more days of M & S desserts, and the next two are quite similar.  The choice was pudding with chocolate sauce in the middle or chocolate on the outside, and we went for the latter


This is the best of the chocolate sponge puddings I’ve had so far, it was actually a chocolate sponge and the sauce was tasty. This was £2 for M & S and is a chiller pudding, which might explain why i was a better consistency and taste that the shelf puddings.



Posted by: stokiecat | January 7, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 7


Today actual disaster has struck.  I woke up and the weather is pea-soup, visibility is about 200 metres, so it was pointless doing anything other than a the required 5k round home.

Top of Longley Road

Top of Longley Road – I can usually see across Longton to the Hanchurch Hills from here, but not today.

I went looking for owls instead and found three, but as I crossed the road after taking a photo of the third I felt my right calf go pop and then I was in an immense amount of pain.  I managed to hobble the last mile home but I can hardly move and I can’t get up and down the stairs. I’m hoping it’s a strain and it’ll resolve itself with some heat and ice and large amount of ibuprofen but only time will tell. My biggest concern is whether I can make it to the match this afternoon :/ Anyway here are the owls I found:

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I really needed to have a good dessert today so I pushed the boat out with Marks and Spencer Dessert Menu Belgian Chocolate Jaffa Spheres. These are very nice if a little bit rich but the orange centre worked well with the chocolate mousse. £4 though so a bit pricey.



Posted by: stokiecat | January 6, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 6


Early run this morning and I wanted to go somewhere with a great view and catch the morning sunrise. Today I also had the company of a running buddy, Nicola, who also has a blog you can check out . We went over the Staffordshire border to Cheshire and ran up a bloody big hill, Bosley Cloud.  I have previously blogged about a race I did here last year, today we did a shorter route starting from Timbersbrook.

Well the hoped for sunrise didn’t happen and I’m not sure the sun is going to come out at all today. I spent a lot of time faffing about taking some mediocre pictures. The route was fairly straightforward except at the farm/quarry at the Bridestones where the right of way was blocked by a herd of cattle (should that be cattle or cows??).  I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of this.  My other excuse(s) for the slow pace is we’re both suffering from ankle injuries so obviously we didn’t want to risk making anything worse, obviously. Also I did have to keep checking the route because it was a TT recce, oh, and I’ve still got my cough. Wait, am I sandbagging again? Probably.

Anyway despite the meh weather I really enjoyed this run, the views are always excellent at the top of the Cloud and I was in good company.

The view over to Shutlingsloe

The view over to Shutlingsloe (honestly, it’s top right ish)

The Cloud Trig Point

The Cloud Trig Point. I think Nicola is probably looking at me at this point and thinking for pete’s sake woman stop taking rubbish photos, there is no bloody sunrise.

Somewhere along the Gritstone Trail

Somewhere along the Gritstone Trail

The Bridestones Neolithic Cairn

The Bridestones Neolithic Cairn

What went up has to go back down quite steeply

What went up has to go back down quite steeply

Chocolate Pudding

Oh boy, this is one of my most favourite desserts, the Gu melt in the middle chocolate pudding.  It is so chocolatety, the sponge is soft and gooey and the middle just oozes chocolate lava. I brought this from Tesco and the cost was about £3.50 (again I think I’ve recycled the receipt already…) I love it and would highly recommend.



Posted by: stokiecat | January 5, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 5

Considering my running performance in 2016, a 5 day run streak needs a little celebration, so woop, go me.


After yesterday’s route debacle I went back to proper navigation planning and used my OS map. I have learned my lesson about relying on digital routes and will stick to what I know, i.e. map and compass. Although with simple and short I do tend to rely on the GPS, tut tut, and my OS is now digital as well.  However I spent most of the night stressing about not knowing where I’m going so today was a chilly return to Bathpool to run the actual route I’ll be running on Tuesday.  I now know exactly where I’m going and where the muster points are and I will sleep soundly tonight.  It was absolutely freezing but the ground was solid which meant that the mud was deceptive absent but the views were lovely as the sun came up.

Sun up over Acres Nook

Sun up over Acres Nook

Leg O'Mutton

Leg O’Mutton

Frozen Bathpool

Frozen Bathpool

Looking over to Mow Cop

Looking over to Mow Cop

Slight failure on the Strava tracking due to forgetting to restart my watch but I’ll be running the same route again on Tuesday.

Chocolate Dessert

Better run and a better dessert, things are looking up.  Tesco Finest Chocolate Cheesecake (I think it was about £3.50 but I couldn’t find the receipt.) This is absolutely scrumptious, all of it from biscuit base, cheesecake middle and icing top is brilliantly chocolately. I would highly recommend this 🙂



Posted by: stokiecat | January 4, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 4


Weather and health both much improved today so I headed to the North of the City, where I believe mythical beasts and trolls may reside. I don’t go very often.  I was also checking out possible routes for a Trail Tuesday run (more on Trail Tuesday on, er, Tuesday) and it was a good job I did. The route I had planned took me onto the mountain bike course, it was super slippy and super thin with a big drop off, to the point where I could hardly run it. I ended up on my arse several times and at one point hopped a barb-wire fence to run in the field that ran parallel to the top section. Wild horses wouldn’t get me on a bike up there nor actual horses. If there are any of my TT peeps reading this please be assured we will most definitely not be going up there with head torches on. I have an equally muddy but much safer route now planned, it pays to do the reconnoiter.

Newcastle Way sign

Newcastle Way sign

Bathpool MTB course

Bathpool MTB course

Bathpool muddy tracks

Bathpool muddy tracks


Today’s Chocolate Dessert

Unfortunately today’s chocolate dessert is another disappointing one. Tesco’s own brand chocolate steamed puddings (£1 for a pack of 2).


Very similar to the Aunty’s chocolate pudding I reviewed yesterday, this is a microwave pot pudding. and it’s pretty similar in consistency and tastelessness. The only advantage with these puddings is they are cupboard based, rather than chilled or frozen, so they will probably last until doomsday I’m going to lay off the microwaveable stuff and go for something a little better for the next couple of days, any suggestions for future chocolate based puddings are welcome 🙂


Posted by: stokiecat | January 3, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 3


Dull weather = dull run = dull photos. It’s overcast and I didn’t stop hacking for the first mile. Maybe I should bite the bullet and see the doctor but he might tell me not to run, and I JUST CAN’T TAKE THAT RISK.

Mostly road but I did head through the park but even that didn’t brighten the day.

fenton-park-day-3-a fenton-park-day-3

I’m going to start carrying glitter with me everywhere to sprinkle as I run, like some king of farting unicorn.

Today’s Chocolate

In keeping with the rather dull theme of the day here’s a rather disappointing dessert to review. Aunty’s Chocolate steamed puds (£1 per pack from Tesco)


The sponge wasn’t chocolate (disappointment number 1) and the sauce was thin and sugary (disappointment number 2).  Its pretty obvious this is a generic sponge with the sauce changed for the different varieties.

What a day, I’m off to read the latest issue of Trail Running magazine.


Posted by: stokiecat | January 2, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 2


I love it when the frost coats the pavements and everything sparkles in the winter sun but it’s a bit of a nightmare to run on so I headed off road to Berryhill Fields. Not that I need an excuse to run off road.

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Also not so keen on the vignette filter here so I need to lay off it for future photos.


Today’s review is the Pots & Co Chocolate Fudge Pudding (£2 each from Tesco). I have to say this was very yummy indeed. The sponge was soft and very richly chocolatey. The top was ever so slightly crunchy but the filling was lovely even if it was hotter than the sun because we microwaved them. I suppose they are a bit pricey but you do get a little ceramic pot as well.


Posted by: stokiecat | January 1, 2017

Janathon 2017 Day 1

It’s that time again when I’ll be spamming your news feeds everyday with my running blog, inane details and poor attempts at self-denigrating humour, to Jog, Log, Blog for Janathon 2017.

2016 was spent mostly moping due to weight gain, injuries and illness and it’s taken 18 months to really get over my post-marathon meh. The meh included not Janathonning last year but I’m now back in a positive head space that’s even got me contemplating another marathon.  There were some 2016 highlights, not least Trail Tuesday, but that’s a blog for later on in Janathon.  For the time being my Janathon “rules” this year are:

  1. Run at least 2.5 miles every day.
  2. Eat chocolate everyday – He that loves pleasure must for pleasure fall.
  3. Try not to waffle, brevity is the soul of wit – but I can’t guarantee I’ll stick to this one.

Today’s Run


It was the New Year’s Day parkrun at Hanley this morning. I will now give you a lesson in sandbagging: It was wet, I have a heavy cold, I ran slowly, my ankle injury is still playing up a bit, I haven’t slept properly for about two weeks during which time the only exercise I’ve had is hunting for Pokemon, I didn’t even break 30 mins (31:25). However I fully intend to run a much better 5k at the end of the month just to say “LOOK HOW MUCH I’VE IMPROVED!”.


Chocolate Review – My mum’s chocolate cake

I have started with a bang here as this will always be my most favourite cake ever, so really everything else will pale into comparison. My mum has been making this chocolate cake forever from an old recipe book that she had with Be-Ro Flour, probably in the 70s.


Looks like the recipe is available on-line – but I can guarantee it won’t be as good as my mum’s 🙂

Posted by: stokiecat | April 9, 2016

Cloud 9 Hill Race (or excuses, excuses, escuses)

You might be aware of the meme that goes along the lines of “how can you tell if someone has run a marathon? Don’t worry they’ll tell you about it…” Well in 2015 I ran two marathons, one on a trail very slowly and one on the road a bit quicker. However I didn’t blog about it for reasons so this blog is about a fell race in Cheshire, the county not-very-famous for its hills. Read More…

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