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!

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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

After another fab week, our January reset has drawn to a close, but Jacqui has kicked off another month of accountability so I’m looking for even more consistency in February.

Here’s my summary of last week:

Monday – Core Conditioning and Veraflow. While core conditioning is hard work I did feel some improvement on previous weeks, perhaps I’m building some strength! My side plank dips form still needs work but I felt that I was getting there!

Tuesday: the snow made an unwelcome return, so unfortunately Sculpt and Trigger Point Pilates was cancelled. I walked instead, making sure I got in over 12,500 steps.

Wednesday: again, Jog Scotland was rightly cancelled due to the conditions underfoot but it didn’t stop some of us heading out anyway. Running in snow is hard work!

Thursday: a snowy, icy lunchtime run. Alison and I headed out into the trails at lunch, and she showed me the way up to the viewpoint, which now has no view due to there trees being in the way! It was cold, but great to be outdoors. I’ve been feeling much more productive in the afternoon after a run!

Friday: I had a day off, so I headed out in the morning to get a slightly longer run in. Again, it was cold at -3, and some of the roads were really icy but I thoroughly enjoyed my run. I thought I was slow but the hill work is paying off as my pace was much quicker than I expected it to be!

Saturday: we had Clarsach Class in the morning then headed off to Glasgow to the Fun Lovin Criminals gig. It was brilliant! Plenty of walking all day.

Sunday: lots of walking yet again but nothing meaningful to speak of. Shopping and yet more shopping!

Today has started well, so here’s to another positive week. I’m really enjoying mixing up my running training and feeling the benefits of trails and hills. I’m going to keep my running mojo for as long as I can!

Have a great week!

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

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!

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. 😀

#TBT

#TBT

This time last year, @TheWelshWookie and I celebrated Hallowe’en by taking part in the Zombie Night Run. It was tough, but lots of fun. It was dark, wet, eery and very, very muddy!
We weren’t able to take part in this year’s event, which is a pity. Hope we make it in 2015.

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Do you have any seasonal races planned this year?

Race Report: GB Relay 2014

Race Report: GB Relay 2014

Date: 8th June 2014

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: http://gbrelay.com/

Positives: a very different experience, feel-good factor of participating in a world record attempt

Negatives: the time slippage

OK, so the GB Relay 2014 isn’t a race, but I thought I’d report on it using my normal format 😉

The GB Relay is a world record breaking attempt for the longest continual running relay. Each participant signs up for a stage which vary in length, but average out at around 10K. There is a baton containing a GPS unit transferred from runner to runner, and everyone is responsible for their own safety, checking out their route, etc. As it isn’t a race, and each stage has a start and finish time, everyone is encouraged to run 10 minute miles.

The first major difference for @TheWelshWookie and I in participating in this was the time of our stage: we were due to run at 6.19pm, which meant no early rise, and no need to pack the night before. We had super quality relay T shirts, which were personalised:

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So, on Sunday, we headed first to Oban, did some shopping, then onto Strath of Appin, which was our end point. We parked the car, and got ready: I gave myself a thorough coating of both suncream and midge repellent: I needed both! As we had no support available due to a family event, we had to walk to the start point of our stage: the village of Duror, in the Highlands, 8 miles away.

In the week leading up to the event, I’d been in touch with the runners on either side of our stage to agree handover locations and swap contact numbers, to keep everyone updated on progress. As @TheWookie and I were a couple of miles into our walk, we heard that the relay was running about an hour behind schedule 😦

It was too late for us to turn back and wait in the car, so we continued on, enjoying the scenery, and checking out the route itself. Fortunately, most of it could be run along the cycle path, with only the two miles immediately from Duror having to be run on the main road. The route was lovely:

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A team from Dunoon Hill Runners were running the two stages before us, including the hilly section over Glencoe. When they handed over to Ian, who was handing over to us, they got changed and drove to meet us in Duror, to collect Ian when he arrived. It was lovely to meet Kirsty again, and also to meet Jean and Angela. They had managed to pull back some of the time deficit, and so we weren’t delayed for quite an hour!

Before we knew it, Ian was approaching, and it was time for us to run!

Ian passed the GPS tracker to @TheWelshWookie, and we were off!

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The tracker was a small box with a handle, but was quite light. It was a little awkward to carry, but not as bad as I expected. The icky part was the handle and velcro wrist strap that was soaked in a week’s worth of runner’s sweat! Eeew! We were warned not to drop the tracker, or let it touch the ground because that would nullify the record attempt.

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Given that we were trying to run a little fast to make up time, and to get off the road section as soon as possible, the first two miles flew by. When we reached the start of mile 3, I thought we’d only gone one mile! Yay!

I really enjoyed running the middle part of the stage: it was great that we’d just walked it in reverse, as I was able to check of landmarks as we saw them.

At around mile 5, the walk around Oban, the walk to Duror and the slightly faster-than-usual pace took its toll on TheWelshWookie. His recurring knee problem made an unwelcome appearance, and for the next mile our pace slowed. At the six mile marker, we made the decision that I should run on, so that @TheWookie could run at a slower pace and not aggravate his knee further. We also wanted to finish on time, so I ran on ahead.

For the final mile, I struggled a little myself. I was relishing the opportunity to run on tired legs, and I reminded myself that this would stand me in good stead with my marathon training 😉

The final quarter mile is a long, flat stretch, and I could see Fee and the girls from Inveraray Jog Scotland, who I was handing the baton on to. They had their bright yellow t-shirts, which helped motivate me  in the final section. As they saw that I was on my own, they asked where my husband was: my first reaction was who? 😉 Oh, yeah, that’s right, I’m married! 🙂 So I said I’d ditched him due to injury 😉

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I passed on the baton, along with the message not to let it touch the ground, and off they ran!

@TheWelshWookie was only a few minutes behind, and ran most of the last mile, which is a good sign for his knee. We rehydrated, then jumped in the car and drove to Oban where we celebrated with fish and chips 😀 Yum! The sunset was spectacular, but I didn’t get a good shot of it. The sky ahead was red, with a neon-looking rainbow, I’ve never seen one like that before. This pic does not do the vibrant colours justice:

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Here’s a map of our route:

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There is no medal, and no goodie bag, but there is a feeling of accomplishment, participation and that you’re part of something, which gives this event a really special feeling.

The relay is still underway, and if all goes well is due to finish on 2nd July. I can’t wait to hear if we are record breakers!

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@TheWelshWookie’s review of his first HM :)

@TheWelshWookie’s review of his first HM :)

First of all let me introduce myself.

My name is Tony Jones, otherwise known as @thewelshwookie, I am a 42 year old former Rugby Player and former Martial Arts who had let himself go for a good many years. A couple of years ago, my fiancée, now my wife, @tartanjogger was training for the Glasgow Women’s 10k when she injured her ankle and had to pull out, being the supportive individual I am I offered to train with her and run the Great Glasgow Run 10k with her a few months later.
So once the injury had healed training started and this 30lb overweight middle aged man set out for his first kilometre and nearly died!!!!!!!
Fast forward to April 24th 2014 and I finally stepped up to the Half Marathon.
Having studied the Race Route the previous night, I was expecting a steep start to the race and was very pleasantly surprised! Training for the run in and around Tarbert, we have been hitting some serious hills including one that I like to refer to as ‘The B!tch’ so the gradual raise for the first 6k felt almost flat. After around 4k, we ran past the first block of serious support, a group of 20somethings with huge banners and vocals declaring ánimos, which was very uplifting, especially after just passing an empty water station, luckily we carry our own!!
The course continued through the city streets, on terrain that we like to consider flat, although some reports I have read describe as undulating, passing El Corte Ingles, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and Peurto De Europa to name but a few!
Passing the 10 mile marker, new territory for me as this was the longest distance run in training, I was feeling great knowing that all that was left was a lap around Parque el Retiro before entering the park and hitting the finish line. I took my final energy gel and kept my head up, then it happened, we turned a corner and saw ‘La Bruja’!! The sight of this kilometre long hill in the very last stages of the run knocked me sideways and it took every ounce of mental strength I have not to start walking and crying, but somehow I managed to keep putting one foot in front of the other, nowhere near the pace I had been going but technically still running, JUST!
Entering the park, the support was amazing and gave me a burst of energy from somewhere ethereal! I now know what happens when Hulk Hogan receives power from all the Hulkamaniacs to beat the bad guy.
So, first half marathon down and looking forward to the next, as the great Mo Farah says, 2014 is the year for turning metres to miles.

tonys watch

 

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Madrid

Race Report: Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Madrid

Date: 25th April 2014

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: http://es.competitor.com /

Positives: good expo, great course, excellent organisation, friendly runners, vocal support

Negatives: the hill at the end, lack of water

As @TheWelshWookie and I were in Madrid for the race and our honeymoon, we headed straight from the airport to our city centre hotel. As soon as we had a bite of lunch, and hopped on the Metro to the expo.

We found the location, and the queue to get into the expo was huge! So, we waited patiently in line, and it was worth the wait. The organisation for bib collection was really good, as was the goodie bag and T shirt points. I was surprised to be given the choice between a T shirt or vest, so I opted for a vest 🙂

We purchased some really cute double layered socks with Spanish flags on them, and @TheWelshWookie treated himself to a spie belt:

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I didn’t hug any expo displays this time 😦

We then headed back to the city centre, had some dinner, and went for a walk to find the start line, which was easy to find and only about one kilometre from  our hotel. Result!

When we returned to the hotel, we laid out our running gear and headed for bed. What do you think of my race vest and shorts? Cute?

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On the morning of the race, we were up early, had our breakfast of greek yoghurt and a Nakd bar, changed and walked to the start line. As the 10K was starting at 8.30am, and the half and full marathon started together at 9am, it was pretty busy. The 10K start line was on a different street, but many of the runners obviously didn’t know that and were at the marathon start area, even as it reached 9am.

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Our corral was at the back, which was great. I could see that the other corrals were busy, and we were running for fun, not time. This was @TheWelshWookie’s first half marathon experience, and the atmosphere was great: music, excited runners and even some sky divers helped us get the party started!

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Here’s the map of the race:

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The race started at 9am, and the final corral (including us) headed off after about 10 minutes. The sun was shining, ans we were good to go! As our corral was quite quiet, it was really good to run on a lovely, wide road and we didn’t have to dodge around many other runners.

The first few kilometres were a steady incline, but I’m very grateful for our hilly training, as it felt flat to both of us. The early support around the course was great: the spectators were supportive and vocal. We ran past lots of Madrid’s sights, including Bernbau stadium, Puerto de Europa and many of the important museums and galleries.

As we reached the first water stop at 5K, we were both feeling great, and were very grateful that we’d brought our own water as they had run out. As it was warm, that will have caused some people difficulty.

The course levelled out, and the support dwindled a little, but that was fine as I was really enjoying looking at the buildings and architecture. It was gorgeous!

We then headed back towards Parque del Retiro, which was mostly downhill, and good fun. The marathoners peeled off along their course at around the 14K mark. Fortunately, there was adequate water and powerade at the rest of the water stations.

At the 15, 16K point, we were at the park, and knew that we had a lap around its perimeter before finishing in the park itself. It was warm, and the support here was good. I noticed that we were heading downhill a little at one point, and then, with about one mile to go, we turned a corner to head into the final straight, and there it was. A hill. A steep, unexpected hill. We dug in, and after haviing a fantastic 11 mile run, @TheWelshWookie began to struggle a little for the first (and only) time. I tried to keep pushing a little, but it was tough! And it lasted for the whole of that final mile!

As we turned into the park, the support was really good, and @TheWookie got a second wind. We picked up our pace, and finished the race strong. 🙂

As we crossed the line, we had our medals placed around our necks, and posed for photos. We collected water, powerade and food bags, then spent a couple of minutes celebrating.

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We then met the lovely Ro, from Run Dabblers, which was great! Ro had spotted us with 5K to go, and kindly said we’d helped pace her to the finish. She too, had found that last hill horrible!

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Our stats: 2:23:59 which is my slowest half to date, but we were not running for time. We were running for fun. Also, given the heat, the final hill and the altitude, I’ll take it! I didn’t know until afterwards that Madrid is the highest Capital city in Europe!

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The Medal: Really good, fab, sparkly and heavy!

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Goody Bag: money off vouchers, leaflets and a good quality gym bag with a mesh back.

T-shirt: It’s a fab, neon green vest!

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After a quick shower and change, @TheWelshWookie and I headed to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner and cocktails. We had a great day!