Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

If you had to describe last week in three words what would they be?

I’d describe mine as kept on track. That’s really good, given that I was on Islay for part of the week. I set myself up well on Sunday evening by prepping healthy snacks, some of which I packed in a mini cool bag for my trip- win!

Last Monday, I was back at War/Body Conditioning which I’m finding is a perfect way to kick off my week. As it’s less of a focus on cardio and more on strength training, I feel like I’m really pushing hard and starting as I mean to go on. Tuesday and Wednesday were 5k runs, while Thursday was a bit of a disaster! My plan was to head to PiYo as soon as I came off the ferry, but the weather had other ideas and I missed PiYo altogether. Boo! But I managed to make class for VeraFlow. Yay! Although I’ve enjoyed VeraFlow since my first class it has really grown on me, and I find myself really looking forward to the routines, the stretching and the relaxation that it brings. 

On Friday morning I squeezed in another 5k before work, and in the evening it was salsa time! 🙂 It was so much fun, and we are really building our basic skills now: we’re adding in turns and other steps which means that routines aren’t too far away in the future. 

I managed another 5k in the rain on Saturday morning before @TheWelshWookie and I headed to Glasgow to see T2 Trainspotting. I managed to refrain from spoiling my healthy eating all week: I had eggs and spinach for lunch and so I felt I could treat myself to some popcorn, accompanied by water- no fizzy drinks here!

Sunday was a lazy day: I did some Clarsach practice, then as it was a glorious day we went for an active recovery walk, stopping off at the cafe for a cup of tea before heading home for a soak in the hot tub. All in all, I’m very glad that my week was stable: no huge swings in eating, exercising or anything else- definitely stayed on track.

I have another trip away this week, so the food prep is done and ready to go, the running gear is packed and I’m looking forward to another good week 😉

Wednesday Wisdom 

Wednesday Wisdom 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, happy new week to you.

As you may know, I don’t really do new year’s resolutions hence why you’ve never seen me post about them. I’m more fond of the opportunity that ‘new you’ presents at any time: it doesn’t have to wait for ‘new year’ to begin.

For me, I realise that I have refocused on a few things not just with the beginning of this year but in recent months:

  • I’ve reconnected with running for the love of it, and kept it going during the autumn and winter which are always weak points for me
  • I’ve rediscovered cross stitching and finished off a project I started years ago
  • I’ve begun a journey of learning to dance salsa and I’m loving it
  • I’ve also begun a journey of learning to play an instrument and although it is very early days, I think it is both a challenge and a joy to learn to play the clarsach

As we reach the end of January and some resolutions begin to fade and enthusiasm wanes, I’m here to remind you to stick at it! Check if your goals and targets are achievable and realistic. Do they bring you joy? If yes, then keep at them! 

I had a solid week last week: On Monday I was back as Body Conditioning which is now a conditioning/WAR combination. I loved it! I used weighted power gloves for the first time and boy did they make a difference! It’s a good class for strength work, with both weights and body weight exercises. War brings an element of boxing which is all new to me, so there are new techniques for me to learn. 

On Tuesday I managed to fit in a 5k run before work which was a good way to start the day; Wednesday was the first in a new block of Jog Scotland and it was fab to see lots of runners come along! 

Thursday brought my usual favourites: PiYo and Veraflow, my ‘double bubble’ of classes. As we are starting a new round of PiYo we had some breaks between tracks for demos and I must admit, I felt the difference – Although I’m very happy to stop for others to learn the moves I selfishly wanted to push on. I’ll regret that in a few weeks! VeraFlow is such good fun- we all have a brilliant time!

Friday was more Salsa, where we worked on a new step and on turns. The Welsh Wookie was back at class, so that was good.

On Saturday I had another Clarsach lesson, and I brought Bruce, my loan clarsach home! Yay! And after class, I managed to get another 5k run done. Boom!

So I had a full week of activity and I loved it! I also ate well, thanks to my Sunday night snack prep I was less inclined to make poorer choices when I was hungry. All in all, it was an ace week!

Here’s hoping this week can continue in the same vein!  Hope yours is good too!

Race Report: The Great Winter Run 2017

Race Report: The Great Winter Run 2017

Date: 7th January 2017

Profile: One Big Hill

Terrain: Road

Weather: Dry and mild, for the time of year


Positives: excellent organisation, positive crowd support

Negatives: that hill!

For years, I’ve watched the Great Winter Cross County Championships and the Great Winter Run from the comfort of my living room. But every year I’ve also always said that I’d love to take part.

Well, 2017 was the year.

As we had decided to buy the Great Run’s Scottish Season Pass, it gave us entry to the 5K Winter Run. And so, instead of heading home after work on Friday, 6th January we headed off to our hotel in Edinburgh instead. We had booked the Ibis on South Bridge, as we knew we’d be pretty close to the start time, and to the action, at Holyrood Park. As usual, I made sure my kit was ready the night before: 

On Saturday morning we were up early, and on our way to the start line with all of the other runners. The venue was well laid out, clearly sign posted and easy to access. We got there round about warm up time, which was perfect. We made our way into the corral and took the obligatory selfie: 

As @TheWelshWookie was injured, we had already agreed to run our own race, and so when the start came, I headed off amongst the crowds and headed up Arthurs’ Seat. We had been allocated the Pink Corral, and in future I’ll definitely upgrade my time. Within moments I was surrounded by walkers who had either set off running too quickly, hadn’t anticipated the hill or had only ever intended to walk. Now, @TheWookie was walking – and I would never criticise walkers – but here’s where extra corrals would help – if there was a walk/run or walk corral it would help, I’ve seen it work elsewhere. Anyway, I spent the first kilometre dodging lots and lots of walkers, which was frustrating and did affect my pace. More than once, people stopped dead in front of me.

When we reached the first kilometre marker we were greeted by a piper which lifted my spirits a little, and the walking crowd certainly dispersed a bit. The second kilometre continued the climb up the hill, and as we reached the third kilometre, we had levelled out and were greeted with beautiful views across the city of Edinburgh.

Then, the fun started; the long, downhill section taking us back to the start line. It was ace! My legs moved faster than they have done in quite a while, and I felt like I was gliding downhill. I overtook a guy who was playing an accordion, which was fab!

As the hill levelled out with a few hundred metres to go, we could hear singing, and as we crossed the finish line there was the ‘Sing in the City’ chorus to sing us across. It was great! I collected my goodie bag, which already contained my t shirt and medal before heading back to the hotel, and to meet @TheWelshWookie.

This was my first run trying out the NRC App on my Watch, and it worked great – no need to worry about finding a GPS signal, which was so much easier.

Here’s the goodie bag: 

And the medal and long sleeved T shirt: 

Here is the route of the run, too: 

After we had showered, changed and packed, we headed back to Holyrood Park to cheer on the participants in the Cross Country Championships. Yay! 

We’ll be back next year, definitely!

Wednesday Wisdom 

Wednesday Wisdom 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Bam! And I’m back at classes, yay!

Last week was a little difficult to keep on track, I did a lot of traveling and spent time away from home, but I didn’t slack off even though I didn’t manage to get to classes. I spent time walking and running instead. I’m gradually grinding my 5k time down which I am very pleased about. I’m quicker than I was at any point last year so I’m counting that as solid progress!

I was back at Salsa class on Friday night. It’s such a lot of fun, and I definitely worked up a bit of a sweat. We worked on turns for the first time, which was tougher than I anticipated- getting my head movement right is not easy! I had a relaxing weekend, with the first of my Clarsach lessons on Saturday- I really enjoyed it, and I kept up with those who were able to attend the first lesson which I missed. The next class is this coming Saturday and I’m excited to have another go, to see what I can remember!  I spent some time on Sunday doing some food prep. I didn’t do much more than I would normally do, but I was a little more organised and prepped some dips and some extra snacks. My thinking is that I might make better food choices if it’s ready to go and needs no preparation when I actually want to just eat!  Some of my snacks for this week include:

  • Sugar snap peas and caramelised onion hummus
  • Red pepper sticks and salsa
  • Apple and peanut butter
  • Sweetcorn and diced red pepper
  • Edamame beans
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Strawberry, blueberry, Greek yoghurt with flax and chia seeds

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it! 

Tonight, I was back at class as I said: we had a combo of WAR and Body Conditioning which was ace! It was certainly a workout I needed. I didn’t quite work hard enough, though: I planned to work at 60-70%of my max heart rate which would have been around 107-125BPM. My average was 106BPM so I must do better next week!

Here’s some motivation for this week: Get out there!

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, how was your festive break? Did you have time off- from work and from running (or fitness)? I did, but I managed a few runs while classes were off, so I haven’t been completely idle.

Some classes return this week, and hopefully most will be back next week, but until then I’ll be running to make sure that I kick off my 2017 health and fitness goals the way I mean to go on.

This year, we kicked things off by taking part in the Great Winter Run in Edinburgh, which was absolutely brilliant. Although it was only a 5k, it was well worth the overnight trip to take part in it. I loved it! I’ll post a full race review later in the week, but meanwhile here’s my medal:

Over the past 10 days or so my running splits have improved, which is really encouraging. Tonight I braved the rain and the wind to get another 5k in. @TheWelshWookie and I recently joined Vitality UK and I’m enjoying the additional health motivation that comes with that. So much so that I’ve decided to take part in their 10 week #FittestYearTogether challenge which kicks off today. Day one down, and so far so good!

Here’s hoping that my motivation continues:)  Have a good week. 

Wednesday Wisdom 

Wednesday Wisdom