Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Well the Great Solo Run Hallowe’en Accumulator is well and truly underway, and over the last week I got some solid runs in, although some have been rather short. But they have indeed been sweet!

My running motivation remains high and I’m feeling that my trail running is continuing to improve, and I want to make sure that I continue that during the winter months. First up is a need to test out my head torch, so that’s on my list for the coming week. Here’s how last week worked out for me.

Monday-

A lunchtime trail run at Kilmory which I have missed! Of course I didn’t have any company from the usual crew, but I had a chance to get out and so I took it. I skipped the run around Kilmory Loch as I’m always a little worried about slipping on the rocks when I’m on my own, but I did tackle the hill which has not gotten any easier! It felt good to start the week with this run under my belt.

Distance: 2.7 miles

Time: 31m 13s

Pace: 11.32/m

Elevation: 395ft

Thursday-

After a couple of incredibly busy days that meant I wasn’t able to squeeze in any running I was looking forward to hitting the trails. I managed to get out slightly earlier than I thought I might and so was able to get in over 4 miles for the first time in a good few days. Loved it!

Distance: 4.2 miles, though Strava thought it was 4.64 miles

Time: 45m 8s

Pace: 9.43/m according to Strava. Doubt it!

Elevation: 497ft

Friday –

I had just enough time at lunchtime to squeeze in a short 30 minute run, and somehow I managed to dodger the torrential downpours! Result!

I did get a little wet at the end of my run, but it wasn’t too bad at all. First run around the harbour for a couple of weeks!

Distance: 2.9 miles

Time: 29m 46s

Pace: 10.15/m

Elevation: 66ft

I also managed a live fitness class with Jacqui on Friday evening which was a real bonus!

Sunday-

First long run for some time. I had some company for a chance which is now very rare so we had a lovely socially distanced run, starting in Clachan we made our way into the Kintyre Way, which after the autumnal rain was really, really boggy and muddy, with some sections almost like swimming pools! 🤣I think we’ll need to stick to forestry tracks for the remainder of autumn and winter now. The views, however, made it all worthwhile, and it was really fun to splash and slide about in the mud- there wasn’t too much running at this section! We then ran past Loch Ciaran, and rather than joining the Cour windfarm road right away we added in a loop which gave us some spectacular views over to Jura.

It was a stunning autumn day, and just perfect for an early morning trail run. Days like these really remind me how lucky we are to have all of these trails and forestry roads so, so handy.

Distance: 9.75 miles

Time: 2h 3m 41s

Pace: 12.41/m

Elevation: 1,078ft

Let’s see what this week brings!

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Now that I’ve restarted blogging after a hiatus driven by boredom and a lack of clarity around the blogs’ direction, I’m thinking I should really include some running content again.

I’ll perhaps do a race review of the Kintyre Way Ultra Relay soon, but for now I’m going to share my weekly runs and other workouts, when I fit those in. Jacqui has moved her fitness classes all online, and we now have an amazing catalogue of 100+ workouts to tap into, across a really broad range of sessions. More on that another time too.

For now, here’s a summary of last week’s sessions, though there’s nothing spectacular to report on. Only two runs, but both were solid and enjoyable.

Monday- run to the West Loch and back. Lovely weather, and it was my first road run down that way for a few weeks. I also tackled the hill up to Carrick Cemetery just to keep it challenging.

Distance: 3.18 miles

Time: 36m 4s

Pace: 11.20/mile

Elevation: 214 feet

Wednesday- back on the trails at the Timber Route, out behind Torinturk. It was a tough day, and I couldn’t really be bothered lacing up, but I was so glad I did. I absolutely loved it!

Distance: 4.11 miles

Time: 47m 26s

Pace: 11.31/mile

Elevation: 497 feet

Friday- 5k walk along the harbour in glorious sunshine

Saturday- 5 mile walk

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Good morning! And what a glorious morning it is. The sun is shining and I’ve been for a run already- 4 gloriously sunny miles☀️

I’ve had a good week- my fitness plans have been on track and I’ve eaten well. Here’s a quick recap:

Monday: we went for a lovely walk around the harbour. After a busy weekend it was a good start to the week.

Tuesday: only one class, but we used the Pilates hoops again at Sculpt which really challenged my muscles in new ways. The DOMS were real!

Wednesday: an informal run with the Jog Scotland crew. We’re now on a summer break but still meeting informally until the next session in the autumn.

Thursday: two lots of activity for me- I had a trail run at lunchtime followed by PiYo in the evening. It was the last session of round 61 and it was tough!

Friday: I spent the day doing housework and managed to rack up around 10k steps so I did well for a rest day!

Saturday: we had the end-of-block run with Jog Scotland, a Viking 5k, since it was the Viking Festival Weekend. I started slowly and picked up pace as I went , running mile 3 at 9’40 pace- quick for me! We all were given fab mugs with Tarbert Jog Scotland on one side and a pic of Tarbert on the other. Love them!

In the afternoon we spent it in the sunshine, tidying the garden: grass cutting, strimming, jet washing and weeding. We were out there for over 5 hours, and I racked up over 20,000 steps 😊

Sunday: the weather was lovely, so we went for a walk to recover from the day before, before watching the Viking boat carry later in the day.

Loved it! I’m off to a good start this week, but we have no classes so I’ll have to rely on my own momentum to keep myself focussed this week.

Here’s something that resonates with me today:

Make the most of it- and have a great week!

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 has your week been? Have you kept your health and wellbeing goals on track? I’m pleased to say that I have. It’s been an all-round great week.

Monday: my week started well with a busy day at work. I had arranged for a lunchtime trail run with Alison and Morag, and I found myself running late. Instead of cancelling altogether I headed out 10 minutes after them and eventually caught them up by skipping out the loop around Kilmory Loch. My week started off with a rainbow: I also did two classes on Monday night: I’m making progress at Core Conditioning and I felt stronger in the plank moves. I know I still have a ways to go but when I think back to the first class only four weeks ago it’s made a huge difference! After that we had Veraflow, which was a nice way to finish off my busy day. Tuesday: Another double class, which was a shock to the system after the past two Tuesdays being cancelled due to the weather. Sculpt was fab- hard going at times, but I do really enjoy this. Next up was Trigger Point Pilates and my body really needed it!

Wednesday: again, after two weeks off due to the weather, Jog Scotland was back. Our improvers group started with a 10 minute warm up, followed by a 10 minute ‘weave’ run – it was a variation on a line run where we weaved in and out of each other as well as running from back to front. We then had a 10 minute cool down.

Thursday: we had PiYo which really is my favourite class. I was feeling quite tired, though, particularly during the first half of the class but I had a second wind towards the end of class.

Friday: rest. I listened to my body and skipped my planned run as I was feeling pretty tired at the end of the week. Perfect timing since Storm Erik made an appearance!

Saturday: I had a Fèis Committee meeting in the morning, then I headed out for a run in the afternoon. I am determined not to do too much, too soon and so I was aiming to do between 5 and 6 miles. Instead of running around the harbour, I headed out to the West Loch and before I could talk myself out of it I decided to run up the steep hill to Carrick cemetery. And I did it, without stopping! Hurrah! I was feeling really good, probably benefiting from the rest day…. and I ran 10k! That’s my first 10k since June last year so I’m delighted. The skies were beautiful which no doubt helped to keep me distracted!

Sunday: I reckoned I could do with some active recovery after a week of classes and especially after Saturday’s run so we went for an hour’s walk around Tarbert Harbour. Yes, we were caught in a hail shower, but I ended my week of activities the same way it began- with another beautiful rainbow!

This coming week is going to be a bit of a challenge: I have a long day in Glasgow tomorrow, a trip to Mull on Thursday and a weekend away to Edinburgh at the end of the week. I’ll be fitting it what activity I can, when I can.

Here’s your motivation for this week, which reflects the gorgeous sights I’ve been treated to this 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: 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!

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!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hello, how was your weekend?

Mine was fab, thanks. We had visitors: my BFF Pauline, her hubby Gavin, Olivia and Christopher. We had a blast! And, I think we were really good – we ate well (80/20 of course, mostly healthy with a few G and Ts) and we were active too. On Saturday, Olivia and Christopher joined in at our SUPercise session, which was brilliant fun. Both did so well!

  
In the afternoon, we then had a good walk into Lochgilphead. It was pouring with rain, we were soaked, but it was good to get a solid 10K or so in the bag.

Tonight, @TheWelshWookie and I ran a solid four miles around the harbour. I really enjoyed it, and feel in control, with six weeks to go until the Great North Run.

  
Tomorrow calls for a seven miler, so keep your fingers crossed for a dry day 🙂

Here’s a little something to help get your week started:

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Have a wonderful week!

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

A Break from the Games, Back to the Village

I thought you might appreciate a little break from my posts about the Commonwealth Games. While I’m watching the gymnastics, including another gold for Team Scotland, I thought I’d share a local Tarbert festival, which I missed this year.

While @TheWelshWookie and I were sunning ourselves in Tenerife, my family were at our house, enjoying Tarbert Seafood Festival! I enjoyed last year’s festival so much that I split my review into two posts, which you can read here and also here.

They had fabulous weather, and they told me that there were even more stalls than there were last year. They enjoyed sampling the seafood delights:

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Enjoyed a little beer:
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and basked in glorious sunshine.
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Stacey was a winner this year: she won a fishcake! No, not a fishcake, but a Fish Cake! Nom nom nom.
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And on the Sunday, they enjoyed the music at Beer on the Pier. They took the boys over to the outdoor gym, and were able to enjoy the music from the other side of the harbour. Smart thinking, guys!
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There is no way we’ll be missing the festival in 2015 😀