Health and fitness

Lunchtime Running

I wish someone had told me sooner. I’ve been running for years now and if I’d known how good going for a run at lunchtime was I’d have started doing it ages ago. Over the last 6 months (which, funnily enough is the same time since my daughter was born) I’ve found it really hard to stick to an exercise routine. My old trick of getting changed as soon as I got home and heading out for a run or cycle doesn’t work when I get handed a baby to feed or a nappy to change instead. With Ride The North approaching fast at the end of August something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be my beautiful daughter!

Despite having quite good changing facilities at my office I’ve not taken the opportunity to run at work before. I’ve tried running to and from work with some success but at the moment I’m commuting by train and the station is beside my office, so that won’t do much for my mileage. The main thing that always put me off was my own insecurities about body image and personal space coming into conflict with gym changing rooms. Eventually I realised that no-one really cares what anyone else looks like in a changing room  so there’s no point worrying about it.

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My office is well positioned for some good short routes perfect for fitting in over a lunchtime. First up I decided to try a run over the bridge to Torry and up to Girdle Ness lighthouse. This route takes you up the south side of Aberdeen harbour, rising up to Torry Battery and the lighthouse with some stunning views out to the harbour, Aberdeen beach front and beyond to Balmedie. If you’re lucky you can even see the dolphins at the harbour mouth where the silt from the River Dee makes for rich feeding grounds. While I didn’t see any I was told by another runner back at the office that he stood and watched two dolphins on his loop just after we passed each other going in opposite directions.

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On Monday I opted for a flatter run along the River Dee from the harbour all the way to Bridge O’Dee before looping up to the A90 roundabout and coming back past the football pitches. As it was a flatter route I threw in some fartlek intervals for a bit of speed work too. While running along the busy roads on this route wasn’t as nice a break from the office as the lighthouse route, the new path along the river between Riverside Drive and Bridge O’Dee is lovely.

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Next up in a rare patch of summer sunshine I went back to the lighthouse route but ran it anti-clockwise. I think I liked this way even more than the clockwise route. The hills felt more substantial and I got to enjoy the view over the harbour and Aberdeen for longer. Nasty headwind on the return leg of the loop though.

Usually I spend my lunchtime staring blankly at my internet browser or reading a book on my kindle. Which is fine, but then I find myself getting annoyed that I’ve spent the whole day in the office. Especially when it’s nice outside! Lunch times have just been dead time in my schedule. Like I’m just sitting, waiting for the clock to tick over to one o’clock and I can start work again.

Now on the three occasions I’ve gone for a run at lunchtime I feel like I’ve done something constructive with my dead time. Plus through the magic of endorphins  I feel much happier in the afternoon and can concentrate better on my work! I feel less guilty about my mid-afternoon chocolate break too…

Then there’s the added bonus that I don’t need to take time out of my evening to go for a run so I can spend more time helping round the house or looking after the baby, which means everything feels a bit more organised and relaxed later on once she is fed and put to bed.

I should have started this months ago.

Food and drink

The Boozy Cow

I finally made it round to The Boozy Cow in Aberdeen last night. It’s been open for a while but I’d heard mixed reports, so wanted to give it time to settle into a stride before trying it out.  You know what? Ignore the haters. It’s great.

OK, so the place isn’t cheap. Especially if you want some sides and a beer as well with your burger, but this isn’t McDonalds. If you want a pound saver menu look elsewhere. Also those sides, £3 for a bowl of coleslaw which I only needed a quarter of.  Why not do a smaller bowl for £1? The skinny fries aren’t anything special either.

The burger is the star of the show. Handmade, soft and juicy (the menu and waitress both advised it’s cooked pink, though mine was a little over) in a plump brioche bun.  I went for the green chilli burger with cheese, jalapeno butter, pickle, lettuce and mustard.  Honestly it was one of the best burgers I’ve had in a very long time.

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Beer selection is OK. Would like a bit more variety but what they have is good.  A Vedett Extra Blonde lager and an excellent american style pale ale from FourPure are the standouts.

If you want a cheap, fast food burger go seek out the golden arches.  If you’re after an on-trend bit of beef in a bun with a bit imagination and some good beer to drink alongside it then check out the Boozy Cow.

Health and fitness

Two races, two PBs

The racing season is firmly upon us now and after missing most of it last year through injury I’ve already been busy with two races under my belt and another couple fast approaching! My plan for the year is to concentrate on the half marathon so in May I ran what intend to be my only 10k of the year – the City of Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10k. If I could get under 50 minutes I’d have a new PB and can put the 10k to bed for the year. Then in June it was over to Skye for the first of a handful of half marathons on what I was assured was a very hilly course. Progress, not PBs was the aim here. A good run was all I wanted. Continue reading “Two races, two PBs”

News

Rock & Oyster

Last week I was invited along to the opening party for another new restaurant – lucky me! This time it wasn’t the opening of a new outpost of a national chain in a large shopping centre, but an independent, local seafood restaurant situated on Union Terrace, in the centre of Aberdeen. Now I bloody love seafood so I had to go check it out. Continue reading “Rock & Oyster”

News, Thoughts

Carluccio’s opening and some thoughts on chains

I popped along to the opening party at Carluccio’s in Union Square this week. It’s the first time I’ve been invited to an event like that and was a marvelous opportunity to experience how the other half lives. The world of fizzy top-ups and canapes being far out with my normal day.

The restaurant itself looks great. The food we sampled on the night was all excellent (the prawns wrapped in prosciutto and rosemary were awesome) and there’s also a well stocked, if expensive, deli on site selling fresh pasta, sauces, meat and cakes. While the deli is pricey the stock looks superb so although I wouldn’t go there every week I could imagine nipping in for something nice as an occasional treat. Continue reading “Carluccio’s opening and some thoughts on chains”

Food and drink

Dim sum @ Manchurian, Aberdeen

Recently we were in Aberdeen and found ourselves near the Manchurian restaurant around lunchtime. Being hungry, it was a good opportunity to sample their dim sum menu which a friend had told me about then nip to the Chinese supermarket next door and loaded up on frozen dumplings and sriracha sauce.

Frankly it was awesome. I’m thinking of using Kwik Fit at Hutcheon Street more often just so I have an excuse to be in the area. The fried beef dumplings with a ginger and spring onion soy sauce were particularly amazing. We had about 5 portions between the two of us which was perfect for lunch.

While we were there solely for the dim sum my wandering eyes did spy some wonderful looking a la carté dishes going past. I’ll just have to go back to try those as soon as possible!

Food and drink, Uncategorized

Yorokobi by CJ

Last week I finally got to eat at a restaurant I’ve wanted to try for ages. Yorokobi by CJ opened on Huntly Street in Aberdeen after Korean Chef Jang had been operating a very successful wee sushi stall at Aberdeen Indoor Market for years. I visited the stall several times and it was my first taste of sushi. I was keen to try the full restaurant experience but for some reason I haven’t got around to visiting until now. Continue reading “Yorokobi by CJ”