Monday Motivation 

Monday Motivation 

Hello, did you miss me last week, when I was away gallivanting? @TheWelshWookie and I were off visiting the Harry Potter Studios Tour and it was awesome! Here are a couple of snaps: 

 If you get the chance to visit, you have to take it- to visit the actual set and to walk through the Great Hall, Diagon Alley and onto the Hogwarts Express was amazing! 

From a fitness point of view, we did lots and lots of walking in London and around about. We also visited Southend and walked the longest pier in the world, which is 1.3 miles long!  

 I’m glad to be back into a routine, though, and we were back at PiYo tonight, starting the next round, which is round 40. I think I’m going to love some of these routines and the 80s music is fantastic! I tried out my new mat tonight, but it isn’t sticky or grippy enough and I couldn’t grip properly, so I ended up swapping it for one of Jacqui’s. Any tips on how to make a mat more ‘sticky’ if you know what I mean? 

  it is pretty, though!

After a break, and with the summer looming, it’s easy to fall away from routine and to not stick to fitness goals. If that rings true for you, I hope this helps; it has helped me this week: 

 Have a great week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

I’m ba-ack!

I’ve had a wonderful week away: we saw Miss Saigon in London, spent a few very busy days in Disneyland Paris, travelled back to Scotland via the Eurostar and then the overnight Sleeper train services.

On Friday, my BFF, Pauline, married the wonderful Gavin, and we had a fantastic day with great food, champagne, fun and plenty of dancing.

Now, it’s back to routine, and back to shifting the pounds I’ve gained, and regaining the fitness I’ve lost!

So, to say ‘farewell’ to my holiday, here’s one of my favourite Walt Disney quotes:


Huggin’ Stuff

Huggin’ Stuff

I’m not a big hugger. Of people, I mean.

But I recently posted about how I hug Christmas Trees! 😮 You’ll find that post here.

Then, I was reminded that I actually hug loadsa stuff!

All things, mind, not so much people…..

Here’s me hugging the 150 years anniversary monument, at King’s Cross Underground station:


And here’s me hugging the R’n’R sign in Dublin:

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Finally, for now, here’s me hugging a large garden ornament in Iona:


Sorry, it was a flashless night time pic 😉 Maybe my huggin’ addiction is worse than I thought?

Do you have any weird habits that someone else has pointed out to you?

Baubles from Run Destinations

Baubles from Run Destinations

When you’re away in a different city and running, do you buy yourself souvenirs?
I do! 🙂
Here are some of the new baubles we have collected this year:

The first is my Harrods bauble, which I picked up when I was in London for The Color Run UK back in July. We always buy a Harrods bauble each year, and have done that since 2007, so we now have seven!
Next, is the silver ornament we bought at the Guinness factory in Dublin. We picked this up when we visited for the inaugural RnR Dublin half marathon in August.
Bottom right is a wooden heart with a reindeer’s head, which I got when in Centre Parcs for the Hen Do. Not a race, but I did go for a run that day.
Finally, the sparkly red reindeer is from The Tree Shop at Cairndow. We stopped off there after the inaugural CowalFest trail run, which was in October.
@TheWelshWookie and I have also given in to temptation, and bought some festive goodies.
We now have stollen, as well as these:

I’m looking forward to having a glass of mulled cider, and to tasting these cinnamon Pringles! They also had Mint Choc Pringles, but I though those were a step too far!
Anyone else tried those?
Meanwhile this weekend, I seem to have transformed completely into the embarrassing old auntie….


Are Recovery Runs Always Weird?

Are Recovery Runs Always Weird?

@TheWelshWookie and I had a day off from running yesterday.

Today, we headed out for a slow, 5K recovery run. At least. that was the plan. My legs and my brain had something else planned!

Before I was even aware of it, we had run about 3/4 of a mile, and our pace was just over 9 minute per mile! I had to consciously try to slow down, but it still resulted in a first mile pace of 9.39, which is pretty speedy for me!


Here’s the splits- faster than I had planned:

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For the rest of the run, I felt like we were on an elastic band- bounding forward at speed, then trying to hold back and run slowly. It was tough, in a weird way!

It’s funny, how after a race it’s difficult to just get back into recovery mode. We need to keep it light this week, so that we have enough energy in the running tank for Saturday’s CowalFest trail race!


The NFL are going to play three home games in the UK during 2014! And which will be the home teams? Well, would you believe this:

Jacksonville Jaguars- my team

Oakland Raiders- @TheWelshWookie’s team

Atlanta Falcons – my brother-in-law’s team

I wonder if I can swing three trips to London next year 😉

Today’s Stats:

Run: 5K recovery run

Weather: cloudy and cold. It’s time for long sleeves and tights, I think

Trainers: LunarGlides

Today’s life lesson: just when you think your day is going well, the other boot falls. Sometimes quite heavily…

How do you find recovery runs?

Race Report: The Color Run UK, London

Race Report: The Color Run UK, London

Date: 14th July 2013

Profile: Flat

Terrain: Road

Weather: Hot, hot, hot!


Positives: great course, brilliant atmosphere, well organised

Negatives: it was hot! ‘jump’ photo queue was a bit of a disaster

As the run was late afternoon, my sis and I caught the red eye from Glasgow to London, Gatwick on Sunday morning. We had breakfast at the airport, but as we were flying British Airways, we also had breakfast on the flight: result!

Fortunately, we’re pretty comfortable with travelling around London, and as the race was at Wembley we knew exactly where we were going, as we’ve been there several times for the NFL games. We headed straight to our hotel at Wembley, had a 15 minute chill-out while they prepped our room, then we took our time getting changed and getting excited for the run! Here’s the view from the hotel room:


Pretty handy, huh?

We were able to see others heading towards the start at around 2pm, so we grabbed our water, and headed around the stadium. As we walked around, we could see the crowds beginning to gather in the muster area:


The facilities at the start were great: loads of portaloos, clearly marked information stands, merchandise stalls, check in desks, etc. We headed for the sunglasses pick up, as we were getting them as freebies as part of a LivingSocial deal: there was no queue, and the staff were lovely and friendly. As the event is sponsored by Dulux, there was an opportunity to have your picture taken with the Dulux dog!

In the muster area itself, there was a ‘start’ line, but the actual start itself was under the Wembley arch. Here’s some pics of the pre-run build up in the muster:

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The MC was pretty good, keeping the crowd entertained and trying to keep them distracted in the heat! Here we are, before the run:

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That’s my sad attempt at a MoBot….

After baking in the sun for about 45 minutes, the crowd moved towards the actual start. The MC told us that we’d be running in waves, with about 7 minutes in between each group. As we were pretty near the front, we were in the second group, which we were very grateful for, as there were apparently 15,000 runners! I would not have wanted to stand about for one of the later groups! 😮

The start itself was really good. The staff were throwing freebies into the crowd, Nicki Minaj (yeah, I know) was being played and runners were jumping around with excitement!

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It was a great way to start the race: spectators were able to line the walkways, and stand on the bridge above the runners: they were waving, taking pics and enjoying it as much as the runners!

We started off by running pretty slowly: as you can see, the crowd was pretty tightly packed, so the first k was more of a walk/shuffle. I wondered why so many people had their phones and cameras inside plastic pouches, or wrapped in cling film: as I saw the first k marker in the distance I realised why:


I could see a cloud of pink shimmering in the sky, and I had an instant realisation- if I keep my phone out, it’ll be clogged up with dry paint! Doh! So, I’m afraid that this is the only picture I took en route!

Running into the arch was so much fun: the volunteers at each side of the road were having a great time, using squirty bottles to cover the runners in colour! As it was warm, dry and humid, the paint was almost hanging in the air, so as you ran through the cloud of colour, it was a little difficult to breathe, but no real problem at all. My legs were covered in pink!

My sis realised that, despite being 15 years younger than me, she was definitely not able to match my slow running (that’s saying something, huh?!) so we did a walk/jog for the rest of the course. That as actually ideal, as we got to really enjoy the event, without pushing for a time. We could soak up the fun, we weren’t pushing past families or kids, we could talk and just make the most of it.

At the purple marker, a lady very kindly hit me full in the face with purple paint, so in all of my ‘after’ pics I look like I have a purple beard! 😮

The race ended just outside Wembley stadium, and we could hear the music, and the DJ, but being in the second wave, it was still pretty quiet. We were handed bottled water, and a VitaCoco drink, which were both very welcome!

The crowds, partying!
The crowds, partying!

We made our way to the crowd, and started to queue to get our photos done doing the Color Run ‘jump’ but the queue rope was too short for the number of people waiting, and no one was supervising the queue, so it dissolved into chaos. Instead of getting upset or bothered with people jumping into the queue, we just left it, and just as we started to head to the merchandise stalls, we heard them call all tutu wearers to the stage! I grabbed my sis’ hand, and dragged her behind the barrier, where all of our fellow tutu wearers were dancing and jumping about to Katy Perry’s Call Me Maybe:

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I decided to take a quick pic of my sis and I here, and we were photobombed. Possibly the best photobomb I’ve seen:


Well done that girl! Love it!

Here’s our after pics:

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After we had finished jumping about, we went back into the crowd for a bit, and did the finish line colour cloud: we had yellow paint for the end.

We then headed to the merchandise stall, and I treated myself to some socks, which are pretty cool:


Elsewhere in the finish area, there was a guy, soaking everyone with a hose, and there were plenty of food stalls, first aid staff, and volunteers for anyone needing help at the end.

We headed back to the hotel, where we got some really weird looks, sitting at the bar, enjoying a beer:


As we were heading out into London, we headed for showers, and clean clothes! On our way out that evening, we could see the aftermath!


My stats: No official time, but we finished in around 39 minutes

The Medal: None, but that’s OK!

Goody Bag: None, but water and VitaCoco was available

T-shirt: I love the shirt, but as it’s cotton I won’t be wearing it for running. I didn’t run the race in it. I’ll be wearing the sweatband, though!


I’ll be planning on doing more than one of these next year: I’ve heard that there’ll be one in Glasgow in 2014- cannot wait! 😀

Running is like Salmon.

Running is like Salmon.

‘Running is like Salmon.’ So my sister said when she managed to get her breath back at the finish of the inaugural The Color Run UK event in London on Sunday. ‘I really, really want to love it, and I keep on trying it, but I just don’t like it that much!’

Huh! Don’t hold back on your views, there! 😉

I arrived home in the ‘wee small hours’ of this morning, and I was then up early to get ready for work, caught up at work today, and planned to go for a run tonight. I did run tonight- but it was only a wee shortie!

Today’s stats:

Run: 1 mile. I had lead-legs the whole way!

Time: 9:48

Trainers: LunarGlides

Weather: Warm, muggy and cloudy

My running track of the day: God is a DJ- Faithless

The Color Run UK event was fantastic. It was roasting hot, but fortunately our hotel was very close to the start line so we didn’t have to travel too far before the run, or stand around before the race for too long. I’ll post a full race report later this week- but the headline is, it’s brilliant! As a sneak preview, I thought you might like to see a ‘before’ and ‘after’ pic:

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Can you tell which is which??

I’ve had a fantastic couple of days with my sis in London. We did plenty of this:

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And we did plenty of this:

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We also did loads of sight seeing:

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And yesterday, to stretch our legs and make the most of the weather, we hired a couple of Boris’ Bikes, and cycled around Hyde Park:

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We even squeezed in some shopping in Harvey Nichols and Harrods- including visiting their Christmas shop, of course! 😀


I’m now working my way through the humungous small mountain of laundry that is covered in powdered paint!

Today’s life lesson: Trying to run after 3.5 hours sleep is not such a good plan 😮

Have you travelled to a run somewhere recently?

Outdoor Gym :)

Outdoor Gym :)

Well, tonight, I came home from work to find that @TheWelshWookie had my dinner waiting for me. 😀 He had made a fabulous turkey curry. Deee-lish!


But it meant that I was too full to do and looking for any excuse to get out of doing my strength training as planned. So, instead I went for a lovely walk in the sunshine. It was too gorgeous a night to waste indoors doing strength training anyway 😉

We live about 14 miles away from the nearest ‘normal’ gym, which is located in Lochgilphead. That means that any strength training I do is at home, using bits and pieces of light equipment I’ve picked up over time: dumbbells, resistance bands, swiss ball, mat, etc. I mostly do NTC training, so that’s about all of the equipment I need. But in Tarbert, we are very lucky; we have a secret weapon: an Outdoor Gym!

I took some pictures of it this evening, to let you see it:

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There’s even a table tennis table, and some basketball hoops:


There are picnic tables located nearby, and a glorious view of the harbour:


When I arrived home, I thought I’d better begin to pack for the Color Run UK in London this weekend. I’m deciding what to take with me…


And right now, I’m brushing my wig, trying to make it look presentable! 😮


Today’s Life Lesson: Don’t wear brand new sandals to work before breaking them in first. Ouch!

What surprises does your home village/town/city have?

The Color Run UK- London, baby!

The Color Run UK- London, baby!

Guess what arrived in the post?


Woo Hoo! Bring on next Sunday!