Monday Motivation: 6 days until Spartan Day

Monday Motivation: 6 days until Spartan Day

I cannot believe it, less than a week to go. Oh my! This training period had flown by in a flash, and I’m only now feeling fully recovered from my injury. 

 I feel like I did last week: part excited, part filled with trepidation, but what will be will be. Last week’s training went a little awry: lack of numbers meant that Jacqui had to cancel Monday and Tuesday night’s classes, which was a really difficult call for her- but I agree that she can’t run them for very small numbers of attendees. It’s just a shame when it happens to her (and is) at short notice. It put a little more focus on what I had to do for myself, so on both nights I did some strength training and ran, managing 5k on Monday and 4 miles on Tuesday. I know it’s always more difficult to train by myself than to put in the effort at class, but I pushed myself with some challenging moves including box jumps (eek) and sandbag lifts. I then ran 5k again on Wednesday to test my tired legs and I struggled, but I’m very glad I pushed through as I’ll have to keep going with tired legs on Sunday. 

I was then in London from Thursday through to Sunday night, so I didn’t get any training in – unless you count an average of 15,000 steps per day and lugging a suitcase about with me!

Tonight, we were back at WAR and I pushed it: it was really hot, really sweaty, but I felt much more capable than I have in weeks and weeks, with the strength returning in my legs for the balance moves and the jumping lunges. Progress indeed! I’m sure I’ll have DOMS tomorrow, but that’s fine with me 😆 I also worked my shoulders, chest and core hard with some full press ups and I tried to focus on my form when doing planks and side planks. 💪🏻

I have my bag packed for tomorrow, I’m hoping to squeeze in a run before PiYo tomorrow night, again just to really push myself. Bring it on! 

This is my focus for the week: I hope it resonates with you, too. Have a strong week! 😎

Monday Motivation: 13 days to Spartan Race Day

Monday Motivation: 13 days to Spartan Race Day

Yip, you read that correctly. In two weeks, it will all be over. Hopefully I’ll be a Spartan Warrior 💪🏻

My training has been pretty solid this week, and I’m almost back to full fitness, while accepting that there will be some obstacles I’ll really struggle with. C’est la Vie.

Last Monday I worked really hard at WAR, pushing myself during the HIIT sections to really get the most out of it. We had a new routine, and boy did I feel it on Tuesday! Jacqui provided me with yet more invaluable techniques on Monday night using resistance bands, so I’ve been building them in to my training this week. Thanks as ever, Jacqui! 

Tuesday was a good day for training, I managed a Doubler by getting in a 5k run along Helensburgh seafront followed by an hour of PiYo stretch and Flow. I needed it after the previous evening’s hard work! 

I made it along to Jog Scotland on Wednesday and my intention was to drop back and do an easier run. However I just can’t resist the glen road, so I went with the Improvers 1 group for a little hill run instead. And I’m glad I did- it was a fab run! 

Thursday night’s PiYo class was cancelled so I did some cross training but kept it quite light. It was good to mix things up a bit. I then had a rest day on Friday, followed by a busy Saturday that left little time for structured exercise. I did do a good bit of weeding so my shoulders got a workout and I did plenty of squats, that’s for sure! I’m classing that as functional training 😉

Tonight, we had no WAR class due to last minute cancellations but instead I ran and did some strength training. Go me! 

All in all, I still have mixed feelings about the Spartan Sprint- I’m really looking forward to taking on such a different type of event and testing myself, but I’m a little anxious about some of the obstacles. I’m sure I’ll manage to drag myself over and under some stuff and I’ll have to rely on TheWelshWookie and others to shove or drag me over and through others! 

We are off to London later this week, so I’ll be trying to get as much training in during this early part of the week. Make the most of it while I can! 

 Have a brilliant 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!

Monday Motivation: More Spartan Training

Monday Motivation: More Spartan Training

Pheeee-ew! What a busy weekend! We had our end of class salsa night out on Friday, our Ceilidh-come-Fèis-Showcase on Saturday and a lovely day out to Portavadie on Sunday. My parents were here, so it was good fun to catch up and relax. But it did mean that I didn’t get much training done over the weekend.

Before that, though, I’d made good progress in my attempt to become a SpartanJogger: I didn’t get to WAR on Monday or PiYo on Tuesday: I’d had some adjustments from the miracle working Osteopath on Monday so I gave my body some time to adjust, but I felt brilliant afterwards.

On Wednesday I ran. Yay! 

First run in five weeks. It was a slow, steady three miler chatting with Emily so the time flew by. It was also torrential rain- we had thunder, lightening and overflowing drains to contend with, but we got it done. Why does running in the rain make you feel so bad ass?

Thursday was my first full- power PiYo session for some time and it felt great to be back to some degree of strength and flexibility. Jacqui loaned me some kit so that I can work on strength training in advance of the Spartan race, which is brilliant- and very kind of her. I now have a box jump, medicine balls which I can use as they are intended for or in a hold-all to replicate a sand bag. Jacqui gave me some really really good tips on some training ideas and exercises so I’ll be testing those out in the coming few weeks. 

Friday night was our last Salsa class- boo 😔I’ll miss it: the fun, the footwork, the cameraderie- hopefully we’ll have a chance to do it again.

So, all in all, I have definitely made progress in my work towards the Spartan race. Yay!

Tonight I gave it my all at WAR. I’m almost back to my old self: I definitely still have some weakness in my left leg, and it did collapse under me when I was doing some jump lunges. But for other parts of the class I dug in deep and kept focussed. I imagined myself in four weeks, ready to run and as strong as I could be 💪🏻, so I worked HARD and used my weighted gloves as much as possible.

 My plan for tomorrow night is to get in a solid run and to follow it up with some circuit exercises- if I’m not too sore after tonight’s class. I want to test my body a little, pushing it on while trying not to set back my recovery. 

We’ll see how that goes and I’ll report back to you next week 👍🏻, meanwhile I hope this resonates with you:  How is your training going? 

Have a good week 🙂

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

Website: greatrun.org

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!
 
 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, can you believe that we are less than two weeks until Christmas? Wow! I’ve had a pretty busy week with preparations and festivities, but I managed to squeeze in a good bit of exercise too:

Monday: Body Conditioning 

Tuesday: Fitness Marathon for CRUK- Glow, Pound, Zumba and VeraFlow, 3.5 hours 💪🏻

Wednesday: JogScotland run

Thursday: PiYo and Veraflow 

Friday: Salsa

All in all, I managed about 8 hours of workouts this week. Ooooft!

But as we wind down to Christmas, classes are beginning to slow down too, so I’ll be going along to whatever is running this week, hopefully. I’m also on leave, so today has been filled with card writing and present wrapping. All while watching Christmas films of course. Fab! 🎄

While we have had mild weather here, I did love this quote when I came across it:

 Have a wonderful week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Was it just me, or was last week over in a flash? It seemed to me that it raced by.

I had my first full week of classes, and it looked something like this:

Monday – Body Conditioning. I worked hard, and had DOMS for days. We had a new track for triceps, and it really told on me afterwards. Loved it!

Tuesday – Pound and Zumba. I think Zumba is going to take some time to get used to, with new routines, and co-ordination needed for arms and legs. After Monday’s class my arms were already sore, and by Wednesday morning I was aching all over!

Wednesday – Jog Scotland. A leisurely run was just what I needed after the exertions of Monday and Tuesday, and it felt good to get outside in the fresh air for half an hour. I was really glad that I went along, as is always the case.

Thursday – PiYo and VeraFlow. I needed this stretch out, and it was fantastic. At PiYo, we put together the flow routines, doing the whole thing on the right side, and then on the left. It was hard work, and I still can’t fo the half moon, but I love this class. There was a new VeraFlow track (Jacqui, I don’t know how you remember all of this!), so it was good to mix it up a little.

Friday – Salsa. This is both lots of fun and needs concentration to get right. I think that the footwork is beginning to get there, but I’m really struggling with arms at the moment! But after only three lessons, it’s early days. I’ve ordered dance shoes, so I can’t wait to give them a go when they arrive.

We then had the Jog Scotland Christmas night out after Salsa, which was such a laugh! It’s a really good crowd of people who are so supportive and fun. We even all recevied a present from Santa’s sack 🙂 I got rainbow laces for my trainers, and bib clips! Yay!

On Saturday evening, @TheWelshWookie and I went to the cinema, for the first time in ages, and we saw ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. I had low expectations, if I’m honest, and so I was pleasantly surprised by the film, I really did enjoy it. Although a cinema trip is by no means a low cost night out – it was the best part of £50 for tickets and snacks for two, ouch! Just was well we don’t go often! I’m now looking forward to reading the screenplay:

Sunday was the Country Living Christmas Fayre in Glasgow with my mum and sisters. I managed to get the last couple of things off of my shopping list, before we headed to The Scullery for a lovely late lunch. We rounded the evening off with a wee glass of vino in a lovely Italian bar off Byres Road, and with ice cream from the University Cafe.

So here we are, with another week stretching ahead, and I’m heading to Body Conditioning still tired from last week. I think I need a holiday! 🙂 I’m glad I have a Monday night class to look forward to, otherwise I’d definintly be tempted to just head home and sit on the sofa for the evening. Having a commitment to a class certainly makes all the difference on dark, cold nights like these.

Here’s something to help you, if you’re feeling the same way:monday-inspirational-quotes

Have a great week!

 

Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Happy Hallowe’en to you all! 🎃🕸

How was your weekend? Any parties? We had Tarbert Book Festival, and we enjoyed it with my bestie Pauline, Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We had a great natter and catch up on Friday night, followed by a couple of very interesting sessions on Saturday. Early afternoon we enjoyed Janice Galloway’s talk about her latest book, Jellyfish. She was very honest, forthright and thought provoking, as well as being a wonderful reader:  Our next session was in the Anchor Hotel and was a Date with Death, about historical crime fiction by Shirley McKay:  Listening to authors describing their work, how they craft their stories and how their books come to life is fascinating. 

We had a meal at the Anchor, which was delicious, before heading back home for our own book group. Gavin had chosen Robert Harris’ new book, Conclave, which we all read in advance so that we could discuss it. I loved that we took the Festival weekend a step further for ourselves, and after a few glasses of wine we had plenty to talk about! 

On Sunday we had yet another lovely lunch at the George Hotel in Inveraray. The fires were lit and the food was as amazing as it usually is. 

Tonight, Body Conditioning was cancelled; and Pound is cancelled tomorrow night:( so I’ll need to work extra hard on Wednesday and Thursday nights. This Friday is the first of the new Salsa classes, I can’t wait!

Here’s a little motivation to start the week:  Have a good week! 

Race Report: Tarbert 10k Dookers Doubler

Race Report: Tarbert 10k Dookers Doubler

This year’s Tarbert races featured a new challenge: the Dookers Doubler! Thirty or do of us set out to run both the 5k and 10k runs, and I was looking forward to it.

First up was the 5k, which took us from Garvel road end along the harbour to the end point and back. It’s such a fast and flat route that a PB is a distinct possibility: not for us, though; knowing we had the 10k still to come meant we were taking it easy! 

As ever, the support was tremendous. The marshals were excellent and the runners all supported each other, too. It was a pleasure to run. As we crossed the finish line, we collected our first medal, changed over our bin for the next race and lined up, ready for the tougher 10k. 

While the 5k is fast and flat, the 10k is hillier, with two off road, trip sections. Although these are tough, they give runners cracking views over the village. @TheWelshWookie pulled his calf as we turned the first corner, so I found myself running on my own for most of it. But, given the excellent support, that was not a problem. I walked the first trail section up to Maggies Cottage, as runners were heading back downhill towards us slower runners and I didn’t want to hinder any of them. Next we headed back through the village, along the harbour past the crowds and back again, this time heading up Big Brae and around the Castle loop offering fabulous views over Tarbert. I love it up there! I kept asking the marshals if they had any gin for me….. but no joy. Maybe next year someone will oblige! 😉  Next, it was back down Big Brae and along the harbour front to the finish line. Although my legs were tired, the support really kept me going. 

I collected my second medal (yay!), goodie bag and specially designed Doubler t shirt. We were treated to masses of goodies: home baking, tablet (the thought of that tablet kept me going), water, bananas, sandwiches galore. It is brilliant! 

I then headed out to cheer @TheWelshWookie across the finish line and we stayed around chatting and to support those who had placed. There are loads of awards up for grabs at this event, with fantastic prizes. 

Overall, my 5k time was slower than last time, but I took three minutes off my 10k time from last year, so I was very, very pleased!

When 2017’s event opens, I’ll be first in line to sign up 🙂