Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hello everyone!

I’m still banned from activity, especially running, but I did get the stitches in my knee out last Thursday, after a long 12 days. So, I’m on the mend!

I had been training for the Kintyre Way Relay which took place on Saturday, and what a brilliant day it was. I couldn’t be more proud of my team: Alison and Morag were superb and ran amazing times on such a warm and sunny day. TheWelshWookie was a star, too, stepping in for me at such short notice. Well done team JAMathon!

I’d also like to give special mention to all of the Ultra runners who did all 32.8 miles, especially Gordon, Kathleen and Lorraine. Very well done! 👏🏻

While they were running I was busy scoping out our next challenge 😉

The Kintyre Way Relay was so well organised and such a fun and friendly event that I would highly recommend it either as an Ultra or as a relay.

I’ll be taking a short break away from my blog, as we’re off on holiday. I’ll be back in early June, no doubt refreshed- and I hope by then I’ll be back running again!

Until then, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @TartanJogger for regular updates.

Here’s your motivation until I’m back:

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Well, that was some week! I’ve been away at the lovely Heythrop Park for work, so I’ve missed some classes but I’ve run in some new places, so there’s a pay off. I’ve also been dealing with a cold, which has improved as the week progressed, thankfully. Here’s how my week worked out.

Monday: after Sunday’s 10k I was still a little tired, but very much looking forward to Core Conditioning. Due to ongoing roadworks we had only one class but it was a good one. I definitely felt that I had made progress and felt a little stronger. Happy!

Tuesday: the roadworks were still playing havoc with class plans so again instead of two classes, we had one – Sculpt. I moved up the intensity of my bands and it was tough! But again, for the second night I felt like I was progressing. As we didn’t have TPP I did some myself when I got home just to keep the niggles under control.

Wednesday: we kicked off Jog Scotland’s new block with a 35 minute run. The training is a little different this time around as we’re doing the 10k training programme for those running the Mull of Kintyre 10k in late May. I’m happy to go with it as each week we’ll be building distance. We saw a stunning double rainbow on what what a lovely evening!

Thursday: a full day of traveling meant that I had no time for meaningful exercise but I did fit in a short walk before the CEDAbond dinner and awards. It was a good night of networking.

Friday: I was up at 6am for an early run around the grounds at Heythrop Park before a full day’s conference. I saw the sun rise and I had the grounds to myself. I did keep stopping to take photos as the sky was stunning.

Saturday: after the previous evening’s gala dinner and awards I was still up early for another run exploring the grounds before leaving. I headed in a different direction and came upon the most amazing hill- so I just had to run up it!

Afterwards, we headed to do some shopping at Bicester Village before we drove home.

Sunday: knowing that the Birmingham Half Marathon was a week away I wanted to get a final decent LSR done, but not one that was too long. I headed out planning on doing something like 8 miles. It was a tough run, but by 10k I was feeling ok so pushed it a little. I did 9 miles at a surprisingly decent pace.

All in all, I’m happy with that. Week one of my 5×50 Challenge is done, and I’m looking forward to seeing what next week brings. I’m away again to another conference this week, heading off to South Wales on Wednesday, but on the way back we’re diverting for a couple of reasons, including the Birmingham Half Marathon.

If you’re struggling to get out there, here’s your motivation for this week:

Make it a good one!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

It’s been another busy weekend here in Tarbert, with lots going on. After having a bit of a blow out last weekend, I’ve been firmly back on track this week and this weekend. Here’s how it shaped up for me:

Monday: back to class- yay! We were back at Core Conditioning which I loved, but it was so tough after some time off. Everything ached, but in a good way. We then had Veraflow which I’ve been really enjoying. It’s a lovely class!

Tuesday: I did three lots of activity, starting with a lunchtime trail run. I hadn’t run in three days and my legs were feeling rested. I made it all the way up the hill this week with no stopping, and I continued along the trail for a little further than I had before. Loved it!

I followed that up after work with a return to Sculpt. I dropped my bands down a little and focussed on form and reps which was great. Next up was Trigger Point Pilates and my body felt so much better afterwards.

Wednesday: I was away in Glasgow so wasn’t at Jog Scotland. I did manage a short run from the SEC to Glasgow Green and back, though. The cherry blossom was lovely!

Thursday: rest day. I had planned an early morning run, but since the hotel fire alarm went off at 3am I was tired so gave it a miss!

Friday: I headed out for a run, planning 3-4 miles. I felt good and ended up doing 4.8 miles, so I was pretty happy with that!

Saturday: we had Fèis all day, so although it was a rest day I easily managed over 10,000 steps!

Sunday: I was planning a run- the morning was promising with sunshine, but a few heavy showers were creeping in. I headed out, planning to do 9 miles. The first four miles were fab, with glorious sunshine, then the rain and the hail swept in. The last 6 miles were challenging with very strong winds on top of the wet weather but my legs felt really strong, all be it very wet! I pushed a little and ran 10 miles but kept my pace steady and slow. When I finished I felt I could do more, so that’s a good sign.

I had rejigged my training plan as I had decided during the week to sign up for a half marathon that fitted reasonably well with my training plan for the Kintyre Way Relay. My original run this weekend was a cut back run of 10k. I figured that a longer run this week and possibly next week means I can cut back the following week in anticipation of the Birmingham Half Marathon, and will fit better with my work plans in the coming weeks.

At the moment I’m feeling positive and that my training is on track 👍🏻. Being kinder to myself in this training cycle is working!

Whether you are struggling or feeling strong, here’s your motivation for this week:

Have a good one!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Today’s blog post is brought to you with DOMS! Having DOMS is always a good thing, it’s a sign of regeneration & recovery and it acts as a good reminder that I’ve been working hard!

Have you sprung into spring? I certainly have. I finished February strong and feel ready to take on the rest of this fresh new season. In the past week my eating and activity has been on track, though with our February challenge ending on Thursday I did have a couple of small celebrations. More on that in my round up! Here’s how my week went:

Monday: no class for me- I was travelling to Dunfermline for a seminar so I knew I wouldn’t make it to Core Conditioning and Veraflow. Instead, I packed my running gear and headed out for 5k as soon as we arrived at the hotel.

Tuesday: with a full day planned I knew I’d struggle to get back in time for Sculpt and Trigger Point Pilates, so I was up early and headed out for an early morning run, something that is very unusual for me! I don’t love running in the morning but I’ll make myself do it when needs must. I ran for time- making sure I got in 30 minutes.

The sunrise was beautiful!

Wednesday: more running! This time it was our weekly Jog Scotland session. Our group did 10 minute warm up, 20 minute tempo run, 10 minute cool down. It was ace! Very pleased with our average pace!

Thursday: I was back on my mat- hooray! Back to my favourite class, PiYo. I felt really good, and strong. I worked really hard on the lower body section and I found the challenging core section not too bad. Making progress!

Thursday was also the end of our Feel Good February challenge, and I pretty much stayed on track for the whole month.

Friday: I found a short window of time to head out for a quick lunchtime trail run. I skipped out Kilmory Loch and headed straight up the hill instead. For the second time, I managed it without stopping and I ventured a little beyond the top of the hill. I was absolutely stunned when I got back to the office and discovered my time- I was one happy runner!

To celebrate this and the end of our February challenge I did have a couple of squares of tablet in the evening- it was lovely, but so sweet when you haven’t had sugary sweets for a while!

Saturday: rest. I had Clarsach class in the morning, and the afternoon was a busy one in Oban. We did get a good walk in while we were there.

Sunday: this was our first big recce run in preparation for the Kintyre Way Relay. We decided to run the final section first, taking us from Skipness back to Tarbert, a distance of 10 hilly miles. Our plan was to do this as a run/walk as we still have 10 weeks to go until race day. The weather was kind, and the company was great! Morag, Alison and I set off with Kathleen, Gordon and Amanda too.

I think we did really well- our pace was fine and included several photo stops. It’s the longest run I’d done in at least 18 months so I was very pleased with it. We did it in 2 hours, 20 minutes and our elevation gain was over 1,500 feet. Not bad!

Tony made a lovely omelette to refuel for lunch, after a dip in the hot tub, and in the afternoon I treated myself to one beer. I really enjoyed this bad boy:

Today I’m feeling good after it- my legs are feeling ok, I have some core DOMS no doubt from the rugged terrain.

My mileage has increased from 18.1 miles the previous week to 21.8 miles last week. It will probably drop a little this week as The longest run I have planned is 7 miles.

We’re also back on track with our new month’s challenge, so my eating and exercise goals have been refreshed and ready to see me through March.

Here’s today’s motivation:

My plan is to get more miles in this week. Hope about you?

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How on earth did we reach the middle of February already? 2019, please slow down!

I’ve had a good week again, staying on track up to the weekend. Here’s a quick rundown of my activity for last week:

Monday: walk. I had a meeting in Glasgow and so I knew that I wasn’t going to make it to class. Instead, I was sure to get enough steps in for the day.

Tuesday: a triple activity day which made up for the day before – Alison and I had another lunchtime trail run. It was sunny and mild, and I made progress, running slightly farther up the hill than before.

In the evening I enjoyed Sculpt- I upped my resistance bands for every exercise and Jacqui upped some of the reps, so it was a real challenge. After, we had Trigger Point Pilates, working into shoulders in particular.

Wednesday: back to Jog Scotland- and we did lamp post sprints this week. 10 mins warm up jog, 10 mins sprints, 10 mins cool down. Loved it!

Thursday: it was Valentine’s Day but we still had class to go to! Jacqui ran a special PiYo Candlelight Flow class which was beautiful. And she had a rose for each of us to take home at the end, it was lovely! 🌹

Friday: It was an early start and a full on day in Edinburgh to see Les Miserables. I kept my eating on track but didn’t do much by way of exercise.

Saturday: we spent the day in Edinburgh, and while there we walked. A lot. One example – We walked through Prince St Gardens, then up the zig-zagging hill to Edinburgh Castle, then we walked the length of the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace. And lots more besides!

Sunday: rest. Travelling home and getting organised for the week was my priority.

I was this pic on Reece Witherspoon’s Instagram during the week, and I really need to share it as today’s motivation:

Have a wonderful week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How on earth did we get to the end of January? As usual, this month has felt endless- but at the same time I can’t believe I’m already a month into my challenge to get back on track. I’ve had another fantastic week, both my fitness and my eating has been on track so I’m pleased. There’s been no secret to this- it has been down to preparation and making sure I stick to the plan. So far, so good! Here’s how my week turned out:

Monday: I did two classes. First up was Core Conditioning. It’s tough, it I had definitely made progress compared to the previous week’s class. And the DOMS I had in Tuesday and Wednesday were a real testament to that. We then had Veraflow which was great for stretching and for balance, and ends with a much welcomed mindfulness session.

Tuesday: we had snow, and the roads were a bit tricky so classes weren’t on. However at lunchtime I headed out with Alison for a snowy run, to christen my new trail shoes. It was beautiful!

Wednesday: the previous days snow had frozen so JogScotland was cancelled, but I wanted to give my new trail shoes a go on ice, so I met up with Alison and Lesley for a short run. We did lamppost sprints, which I’d never do in my own.

Thursday: the weather had improved and Class was back on so it was back to PiYo, which I had missed the previous week. It was one of those nights when everything clicked and it was great!

Friday: I had a rest day after four solid days of activity.

Saturday: the weather was wild with winds and driving, icy rain but I was determined to get out and test my new trail shoes on a muddy trail. I reckon that it’s very likely the weather won’t cooperate on the day of the Kintyre Way Relay so I might as well train and get ready for that. I did just short of 3.5 miles doing the short Castle loop three times. I focused on building confidence running downhill in the slippy mud and I think I did that. I did walk at times, and stopped to take plenty of pictures – I loved it. I had planned to do 4 miles but I’m happy enough with how my run went.

Sunday: a rest day. I’m heading into another busy week and in the past my enthusiasm has overruled my sense and I’ve pushed too hard, too soon resulting in injury. I’m going to take my time to build up slowly in the coming weeks, balancing distance with hills and cross training to hopefully achieve the best results.

I’ve also done more mindfulness this week, I’m sure that’s not done any harm whatsoever!

Here’s some motivation that has worked for me, if you’re flagging as we head into the last few days of this month:

Have a great week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How was your first full week back in 2019? I’m going to start in reverse order by telling you that I had a brilliant trip away in Belfast for the weekend, where we all surprised my mum while she was there for her birthday/retirement. It was ace!

But before that I had a really good week of eating well and cutting out the rubbish. Jacqui has set up a four week New Year Reset, just to get everyone back on track after indulging over Christmas. It’s not about weight loss, but about nourishing your body and feeling more energised. So far, so good!

Here’s what I did for exercise last week:

Monday: no class, so we went for a walk

Tuesday: no class, another walk.

Wednesday: Jog Scotland was back, and was busy- which was great to see. We did a 10 minute warm up jog, 10 minute tempo run, 10 minute cool down jog. I was very happy to be back.

Thursday: I joined Alison and Morag for a trail run around Kilmory Loch at lunchtime, I had never run there before and I loved it! At night it was also the return of PiYo and we started a new round. The lower body track is a bit of a challenge!

Friday: I planned to run but I had a little hip niggle so rather than risk it I went for a walk and did some TPP to help to ease it off.

All in all, it was a good week but I’m really looking forward to classes all being back this week.

I’ve signed up to do the Kintyre Way Ultra Relay along with Alison and Morag. We’ll be doing one section each of the 33 mile route so we’re planning to run together one lunchtime each week which should really help with training. I’ve ordered new trail shoes as my current ones are ancient, but faithful servants! Bring on the hills!

I’m looking forward to another great week 👍🏻

Enjoy your week!

Monday Motivation: Three Weeks Until Spartan Day

Monday Motivation: Three Weeks Until Spartan Day

I can’t believe that, in three week’s time, it will all be over and I’ll have- hopefully- completed my first Spartan Run. Eek! This is hurtling towards me at an accelerated pace, and I’m hoping that my nod towards training is enough to see me through.

As I said in last Monday’s post I started the week with WAR. And I had DOMS for days, I definitely pushed myself! On Tuesday I did a 5k run/ walk which felt good, but reminded me that my body isn’t quite 100% yet, my left leg still felt a bit off and weak. I’m hoping that my runs this week will show an improvement, but who knows. 

I had an unanticipated busy week, with a trip to Islay on Wednesday meaning that I missed my regular Jog Scotland run. I was out on Thursday night and so I missed PiYo but I managed a walk and a little cross training on both nights which was better than nothing. Since then, I’ve had visitors all weekend for the Seafood Festival, which is one of the best weekends of the year in Tarbert. This year was no different: it was really wet but we had great fun, great food, excellent company and a few cheeky drinks including the newest addition to the local gin collection: Kintyre Gin   I’ve had a day off today, which had mostly been spent getting beds stripped and washed, and catching up on a few things around the house. We have a quiet weekend coming up, with no visitors which will be nice as we’ve enjoyed company for the past three weekends. I’m hoping that this week will give me a chance to keep my fitness goals on track. I’m heading to WAR later today, we’ll see how that goes after such a busy weekend 😉 

We then have a trip to London planned before the Spartan Race, so I’ll be doing what I can between times to keep up. Eeek! Here’s some Monday Motivation that I’m holding on to- I hope it works for you!

SpartanJogger Training Continues 

SpartanJogger Training Continues 

Well, in a fashion it does. And by fashion I mean this rather swish Spartan Ambassador Tee 😉   As the weeks go by, I’m feeling much more like my old self physically, but I still have a way to go with some numbness in my right thigh, triceps and upper back. My left knee isn’t collapsing nearly as much but I’ve not ventured a run on it yet. 

I had a great night at WAR last Monday working on my core, legs and arms in particular but I didn’t use my weighted gloves- I’m planning to add them back in tomorrow night, if my osteopath appointment goes ok. I was a bit wobbly in the legs last week, too, but much improved from the previous week. 

Yesterday, @TheWelshWookie and I went for a long, hilly walk in the woodlands above Tarbert, getting in six miles which was a real achievement: I felt ok physically, with my left leg struggling a little only in the downhill sections. 

The view was gorgeous:   When we got back, I did some work comparing my current training to the Spartan guide and there are some gaps I need to work on. Granted, I’m very happy that I’m already working hard on squats, lunges, planks, press ups and other key strength exercises, but I do have some gaps to address:

Bear Crawls: I’ll need to work on these to get my butt under the barbed wire. Not sure what to do beyond focussing on dropping my hips when holding a plank.

Pull Ups: Nope. Definitely a gap for me. Not sure I’ll ever manage pull ups so I’m going to rely on The Wookie punting me up ropes and walls 😆. Meanwhile I’ll work on my next gap:

Box Jumps: I’ve asked The Wookie to find a suitable implement we can use for practicing these- my coffee table is too high, higher than a dining chair. Still working on this one for now but I know it will be a critical one.

Sandbag Lifts: we’ve been working on imaginary sandbag lifts at WAR so I’ll have to really focus on this, and see if there’s something I can use in the meantime to build some strength here.

Not too bad, though, four key areas for development in terms of strength.

In the coming week I’m hoping to try a short run/walk/run so wish me luck with that, it’s been five weeks since my last run so I’m missing it terribly! 

All in all, training is slow: my focus has been in recovery and on returning to fitness in a measured way. Long may it continue but with five weeks until the Spartan run I hope that my improvements build momentum as my confidence in what I can do returns. 😀

Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Race Report: The Tarbert TT10K 2015

Date: 15th August 2015

Profile: Mostly flat, but with three killer hills

Terrain: Mixed: road and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny, but with short rain showers

Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tarbert-10km/570186306335004

Positives: Brilliant course, awesome views and the best support. Beats bigger races for organisation!

Negatives: Those flipping hills!

This was the third year of my local race, the Tarbert 10K. If you read my post on Monday, you’ll know that @TheWelshWookie and I tagged along on the 5k and ran it before the 10K, but this report is focussing on the main event we signed up for – the 10K.

I’ll also begin by noting that I didn’t take anywhere near as many pictures before the race started – I think I was just too busy thinking about enjoying the run! 🙂

As I always do, I had my race gear ready to go the night before. I had two tops sorted, road shoes for the 5K and trail shoes for the 10K at the ready. Note the second ‘elite’ race number in a row – after being Number 1 for the Carradale Canter, I was now Number 2 for the TT10K! 😀  

 This race had an 11 am start, but we were up and breakfasted early, and ready to run the earlier 5K at 10am. @TheWelshWookie drove the car into the village so that we had somewhere to stash our change of t shirts and shoes, and some snacks for in between the runs, and then we had a lovely stroll down to the harbour in the sunshine.  

 We were so busy chatting away to other runners, supporters and marshals that we almost missed the start of the 5K! But, we made it, and thoroughly enjoyed the fast, flat course, and the brilliant support. We were done in 33.15, which was a surprise, as we planned to take it really easy.

We had a quick change, and once again made our way to Garvel Road end for the start of the 10K. We mustered at the back, knowing that we’d be amongst the slower runners. We listened to the race briefing, pointing out the mud we could expect at Maggies Cottage and at the Tarbert Castle loop. There had been a couple of changes to the route this year. Instead of entering the first trail section through the main gates of the Heritage Centre, we entered through the gates to the horse paddock, and ran over the rubber surface. That was different! Our return into the village had changed too, and we had to run past our house, along side the astroturf, along the TAWNI path and out at the school where @TheWelshWookie works before heading back out along the harbour. It was great to mix it up!

Here’s a map of the race:  

 The race was started by a countdown and an air horn, and we were off. We didn’t start too fast, and kept to our planned pace, knowing that the first section involved a climb uphill, with a tight turn. It’s always a hard start to a race, and this year was no different! But the views at the top of Lady Ileene Road are worth it, sweeping over the harbour. We could then recover on the downward run back off Lady Ileene Road and towards the Herifage Centre, through the rubber paddock and onto the first trail section up to Maggie’s Cottage. This is a long, slow incline on a muddy trail up to a turning point that gradually gets steeper and steeper. We were warned by Muriel, one of the marshals, to keep to the middle as it was very slippery on the left. Fortunately, as there were no more runners during our descent, we could actually run on the right, and could avoid the slip hazard altogether.

We headed out of the heritage centre, back onto the road and towards our house. Hazel caught a great photo of us at this point:  

 Thanks Hazel! And @TheWelshWookie half joked about popping home for a cuppa 😉

Next we ran a route we do most days – along past the astroturf, so it was a very comfortable run for us. We then made our way up the TAWNI trail path (TAWNI stands for Tarbert Academy Wildlife & Nature Initiative) towards the school, and then downhill to the harbour. We then ran our usual route along the front, past the 5K mark, all the way to the turning circle at the end, known locally as The Concrete. There, we were met by Jacqui and some others, with water and some much needed jelly babies!

We headed off again, back along the harbour, and up to the killer hill at Big Brae. We did not even attempt to run this – it’s a definite walk, with its steep incline and twists and turns! We also had faster runners hurtling past us heading back downhill, so it was easier for them if we walked, tucking ourselves into the left hand side. Then, we were at the muddy, boggy, Castle Loop, with its hills. But, like other parts of the course, it’s well worth it for the stunning views. I’m pleased to report that we didn’t see any adders this time!

Already we had reached the five mile mark, at the top of the final, big hill. We made our way back around the remainder of the loop, back down big brae, and along the harbour to the finish line.

As every other year, the support was fantastic, with plenty of cheering and support. I haven’t mentioned how well marshalled this event is, with plenty of guidance and help, and cheers along the way. It really does knock the socks off other events.

We gratefully received our hand made, pottery medals which were white this year, and our goody bags – turquoise gym bags with the TT10K logo on them. They were fab! And the neon orange T shirt is great for running on roads, like we do around here.

The Fisherman’s Mission were supporting the event, and there was copious amounts of tea, coffee, home baking and most especially tablet! This was manned by my friend and colleague Sheena, who snuck me a piece of tablet as I waited in the queue. Thanks, Sheena!

There was enough food to feed three villages – we could help ourselves to the home baking, as well as to water, apples, bananas, Tunnock’s caramel wafers, mars bars and a wide selection of pre-packed sandwiches. I grabbed a mars bar, water and a tuna & sweet corn sandwich – a perfect take away lunch!

We waited around, chatting with other runners, comparing times and tales from the run. We then watched the prize giving, with winners receiving bespoke acrylic plaques from Midton Acrylics. They were really unusual and brilliant!

Before we left, I popped over to have a quick chat with Lorraine, one of the organisers, and congratulated her on a job well done – and thanked her for yet another brilliant event. 

Our stats: 1:16:27. 10 minutes slower than the first year; but 2 minutes faster than last year, which is fantastic, given we had just run a 5K and last year was on fresh legs 🙂

The Medal: A locally made pottery medal, with the Tarbert Castle logo embossed on it.  

 Goody Bag: A fab gym bag with the logo on it, T shirt, trolley coin, air freshener, water and mars bar. I didn’t know these were in there before I took another of each, along with my sandwich too!  

 T-shirt: Bright neon orange this year, with silver writing and logo, with the local slogan ‘Run, Jeck, Run’ on the back 😀

 
   
I now feel ready for the Great North Run, and just need to keep on track over the next few weeks. This race is a must in my calendar, it’s been very highly rated in Runner’s World, so please check it out. Even better, come and join us next year!