Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

I write these weekly reviews largely for my own benefit- I find that it helps me to stop and review how my week has been and when it can sometimes feel like all I have done is work, the blog reminds me that I do manage to do more than just that (sometimes!). This past week is a good example- it’s been a full on, busy week work-wise, and though I’d managed to do some Clarsach practice earlier in the week and I’ve managed to squeeze in some reading every night, I did feel that my fitness had suffered a little.

But pausing to review what I’ve done shows a different perspective: I managed one of Jacqui’s live classes (still only one live, though, getting away from my desk on time remains a challenge), and I also got my February Accumulator Challenge underway with four runs.

Monday-

The first day of a new month and I was determined to kick start that with a run. The day was unusually dry but bitterly cold when I headed for my lunchtime run around the harbour.

Distance: 3.1m

Time: 32m 49s

Elevation: 112ft

Pace: 10.35/m

Tuesday-

I managed to step away from my desk on time for Fitness Pilates. This is such a good workout- low intensity but strong moves, and I definitely feel the burn!

Wednesday-

It was a stormy day, and I knew that the harbour would be incredibly windy so I squeezed in a short run to the West Loch and back.

Distance: 2.7m

Time: 30m

Elevation: 177ft

Pace: 11.06/m

Thursday-

At lunchtime we had time for a walk, and despite the driving, icy rain and strong winds we walked to West Loch and added to the distance and elevation by adding in Carrick hill.

Distance: 3.37m

Friday-

I ended the working week with another 5k around the harbour. Still raining, still bitterly cold and still very windy!

Distance: 3.1m

Time: 33m 7s

Elevation: 148ft

Pace:

10.40/m

Saturday-

I woke up today to a dry and sunny morning, and so I pulled on my trainers and headed to a trail- the timber route- with an aim of 10k or so. I listened to Hamish Napier’s ‘The Woods’ instead of a podcast or audiobook and mixing it up was a great idea- the music perfectly matched the run!

There was even some snow at higher altitude, which added some fun to my run and it was the first run in some time that was gratifying and soul restoring, even with the stormy winds trying to blow me over!

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 1h 24m 16s

Elevation: 810ft

Pace: 12.01/m

I’m grateful for having space to reflect on this week- and to notice that, actually, it’s been a good week fitness wise! Here’s to next week!

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

So much for getting back to running this week- I’m afraid that a combination of my diary and a return of icy paths and roads meant that I didn’t get anywhere near as much running done as I’d have liked. Here’s how my week planned out:

Monday-

My week started off going to plan, with a short lunchtime run around the harbour. It was cold and wet, it it felt good to get it done, and to start the week right. After work, I also managed to join Jacqui’s Fitness Pilates/Fitness Yoga session which was just lovely- hard, strong but fab!

Distance: 3m

Time: 32m 22s

Elevation: 262ft

Pace: 10.47/m

Tuesday-

I had planned to squeeze in a lunchtime run, but it didn’t happen. Instead, we managed a short evening walk around the harbour. Yet again, I forgot to take a photo….

Distance: 2.91m

Wednesday-

I did manage another lunchtime run, and for the first time in many months I was able to head up the hill above Kilmory. I missed out Kilmory Loch, however, and just stuck to the hill. It was incredibly misty, but beautiful.

Distance: 2.8m

Time: 32m 39s

Elevation: 344ft

Pace: 11.39/m

Thursday-

Another short walk around the harbour, fortunately it was dry and cold for this walk.

Distance: 3.19m

Saturday-

The plan was a run. And I had hoped to manage a slightly longer run than I’ve done in the past couple of weeks, but we’d had a dusting of light snow overnight and by all reports it was icy and slippy underfoot. So rather than risk it we went for a walk instead.

Distance: 4m

With the cold weather set to continue in the coming week, I do hope I can get some more runs under my belt. Here’s hoping that the weather plays nice!

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

After cranking up the mileage last week, it’s pared back a little this week, largely due to the volume of work. But I’ve still managed to get a few runs and walks in, though not as long as I had originally planned.

Monday-

I want to commit to doing more of Jacqui’s classes live. She is working so hard giving us an excellent selection of classes and I want to make the most of that so I started the week with an Evolve Fitness Pilates – Fitness Yoga session. And, wow, I felt that! It was great to feel connected back with the class and my buddies.

Tuesday –

I headed out straight after work to get a short 5k in. After Monday’s torrential rain, however, the roads were icier than ever, so I had to take it very easy and tentatively. Glad I did it, though!

Distance: 3.1m

Time: 38m 53s

Elevation: 220ft

Pace: 12.31/m

Wednesday-

I had time for a lunchtime run, so I headed out to the harbour to make the most of the daylight. It was right in the middle of a rain shower, so I was drenched by the time I got home!

Distance: 3.3m

Time: 36m 33s

Elevation: 82ft

Pace: 11.04/m

Thursday-

Another harbour walk after work. It was cold, but dry. And I forgot to take a photo!

Friday-

As @TheWelshWookie was also working from home today we went for a lunchtime walk together, heading out to the West Loch for a change, including the hill up to Carrick Cemetery. It was a much needed break away from the desk.

Saturday-

I’ve been loosely working to a plan for Kintyre Way Ultra training, but I’m not being too rigid with it as I want the flexibility of doing what feels right during this month. Despite the stormy weather with big winds and icy showers we headed to the timber route to get back on a trail again, for the first time in weeks.

It was a joy to be back – I really felt the difference of the running surface, but the weather was relentless. I dropped my LSR plan and decided instead just to keep the run short and enjoyable.

Distance: 3.31m

Time: 39m 32s

Elevation: 390ft

Pace: 11.57/s

We’ll see what the weather does this week but the plan is more of the same: have fun, chop it around a bit and do what feels right.

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

I started last week with a day off, and I was looking forward to having a trail run in daylight. And it was worth waiting for! Here’s how my week turned out:

Monday-

I had a lovely 7 mile run, making it to the end of a trail I’d been planning to explore for some time. I didn’t have it all my own way, mind you, as it started to pour at about 2 miles in. It was lovely to enjoy the daylight!

Distance: 7 miles

Time: 1h 25m 32s

Pace: 12.13/m

Elevation: 974ft

Tuesday-

I wanted to give my legs a bit of a break, so went for an evening walk instead of a run. It was raining, but that’s what waterproofs are for!

Distance: 3m

Time: 1h 2m 40s

Elevation: 121ft

Wednesday-

Another dark evening and it was another wet and windy run! But I was fair cheered by all of the Christmas lights that are springing up around the village. I love that people are brightening the darkness with early Christmas cheer 🎄

Distance: 3.12m

Time: 33m 10s

Pace: 10.36/m

Elevation: 203ft

Friday-

I was working from home, and I literally had a half hour gap open in my diary so I took advantage and headed out for a 30 minute run. And….. it stayed dry! Woo hoo! As it was daylight I headed out to the West Loch and back, for a change of scenery.

Distance: 2.93m

Time: 30m 11s

Pace: 19.18/m

Elevation: 102ft

Sunday-

Some runs take little or no motivation, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday. After putting up our decorations on Saturday, I was having a lovely leisurely Sunday morning all cosy at home with the Christmas tree twinkling and fresh coffee brewing. It was a bit of a wrench to get myself out the door! The plan was a 5k at Corranbuie but it was really busy so we headed south and did a 5k at Cour windfarm instead.

As is often the case, it was a lovely run- don’t you often find that the ones you struggle to start end up beating the ones you’re glad you did? It was very misty and atmospheric, but that feeling of having the trail all to yourself is so incredible.

Distance: 3.29m

Time: 36m 8s

Pace: 11/m

Elevation: 259ft

I’m 3.3k short of 100k running in November so I may decide to add in a short extra run tomorrow night before I start my Great Solo Run December Accumulator on Tuesday. We’ll see!

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Last week was a week of short but steady running. I still need to improve my strength and conditioning, but with planning and prepping for our Fèis an Tairbeirt online weekend, prep for a number of AGMs and some long work days I’ve just struggled to fit it in. I’ve been lucky to just manage the short runs!

My Great Run Solo November Halloween Accumulator is well underway, and after a week I have 5 of my 13 runs now complete.

Tuesday-

I had a rest day on Monday, as I had a lot of prep to do for Fèis but on Tuesday I pulled my trainers on and headed out in the rain for a 5k around the harbour.

Distance: 3.16m

Time: 34m 42s

Pace: 10.58/m

Elevation: 78ft

Wednesday-

Two runs in two days, I was trying to make as much of any time slots I had, and so I squeezed in a lunchtime run. It was another wet day but I managed to get most of it done in sunshine. My original plan was to get a slightly longer run at Corranbuie but there was no room to park, so I headed to Kintarbert Forest instead, but the extra drive meant I had less time so 5k was about all I had time for. I was graced with a lovely rainbow, though!

Distance: 3.1m

Time: 38m 31s

Pace: 12.25/m

Elevation: 429ft

Friday-

I had an online meeting on Thursday, so no time for a walk or a run but on Friday evening I was out again in the dark for another run around the harbour. It was a good progression run, improving my pace with every mile. I’m loving my new head torch- it’s really effective!

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 42m 48s

Pace: 10.41/m

Elevation: 58ft

Saturday-

My original plan was to get a 10k in, but I had too much to do in other areas and so again I found that I only had a short window of time available for a run. But I had a new toy to test out- a new Garmin watch! Yes, I’ve gone over to the dark side and opted for a Garmin Venu. I’m still getting used to it, and the Garmin Pay isn’t compatible with my bank 🤦‍♀️ but it is pretty! I decided to set up a training plan and that was a bit of a mistake. With Nike watches in the past and with my Apple Watch I could run beyond the training run but I couldn’t with the Garmin, so it cut out after the initial 9 minute training run! So my run was split in two, with a little time and distance lost in the middle.

Another niggle about the Garmin is having to wait for GPS which brought back memories of having your arm in the air before being able to set off- something you never have to do with an Apple Watch 😏

Part one- all uphill:

Distance: 0.64m

Time: 9m

Pace: 13.58/m

Elevation: 243ft

Part two- with a bit missing:

Distance: 2.58m

Time: 29m 27s

Pace: 11.24/m

Elevation: 528ft

All in all, not a bad week of running!

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

In my post last week, I alluded to the fact that everyone sees themselves as the main protagonist in life. Look, I’m blogging, so doesn’t that demonstrate that principle? Assuming what I have to say is important, has value and is of interest, aren’t I?

Anyway, I digress. We do position ourselves as central to our stories, and if we are able to be empathetic we can better understand how other people see themselves. I think that when people lose hope, or lose confidence they still retain an element of this but it is diminished. And it’s our job to help them recover that.

Everyone is ‘selling’ something, promoting something or trying to get others to better understand their point of view, and earlier this year I read Don Miller’s essential read How to Build a Storybrand. This book should be on your to-read list if you haven’t gotten to it already. As a writer, Don understands the power of storytelling and this book reframes how we can use that storytelling to improve our engagement with customers and with others more widely, all people we engage with. He uses some great examples to demonstrate where this does, and doesn’t, work well.

There are clear steps to achieving this but the one step that has stuck with me above the others is that customers don’t care about your story or your brand’s story. They care about their own, and want to know how your products can help them achieve their own story arc.

I’m simplifying the message, but this small snippet has stuck with me, and over the past few months I’ve been seeing this everywhere, and watching how people and businesses position their own story in comparison to how they centre their customer’s story.

I can’t recommend this book enough. Spoiler alert: Don tells you early in the book that he will spoil movies for you as he talks you through how the basic narrative construction works. It hasn’t ruined anything for me, but I have found myself putting his framework to the test when watching films! Try it!

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

Last week was quite a change from the week before, when I enjoyed a few longer runs. Being back at work meant that I didn’t have the luxury of running when I most wanted to, and my runs were all a good deal shorter than the previous week. But I did have a lovely, enjoyable week of runs.

I also signed up for the Great Run Solo- Hallowe’en Accumulator, which calls for participants to do 15 runs of any distance throughout the month of October. So far, so good!

Monday-

It was a public holiday here, and so I had another sneaky day off before going back to work. I started the week with a lovely, sunny trail run out above Torinturk on the timber route. The colours are definitely changing, as early autumn makes itself seen!

Distance: 4.09 miles

Time: 47m 59s

Pace: 11.43/m

Elevation: 364ft

Tuesday-

Back to work, and I was home later than planned, so I was a little worried that it would be too dark to run on a trail by myself. Instead, The Welsh Wookie and I went for a walk, exploring the trail on the other side of the road from Monday’s run at Achaglagach. It was dark by the time we got back to the car, so I made the right call.

Distance: 2.56 miles

Time: 50m 54s

Elevation: 258ft

Thursday- GRS Hallowe’en Accumulator 1/15

I started my accumulator challenge with an evening 5k. Again, I got home later than planned, so didn’t want to push the distance too far. I’ll be fine running in the dark, but I need to check my head torch and leg torch to check they are working ok. It was a lovely evening to start a new challenge!

Distance 3.3 miles (Strava said 3.94 but that’s not accurate!)

Time: 34m 4s

Pace: 10.12/m

Elevation: 468ft

Friday- GRS Hallow’en Accumulator 2/15

I managed to head out for a lunchtime run, for the first time in weeks! It was just what I needed and I really need to find time to build in more lunchtime runs, making the most of daylight. As I was working from home I opted for a short road run to the West Loch, but I added in Carrick Hill.

Distance: 3.22 miles

Time: 33m 3s

Pace: 10.15/m

Elevation: 509ft

Sunday- GRS Hallowe’en Accumulator 3/15

My original plan was to get in a longer run, somewhere between 6-8 miles but when I got up my back and knee were a little niggly. I don’t want to take any risks now that I’m committed to the accumulator runs so instead I decided to head to Cour wind farm and have a little fun with a 5k. It was really wet and rainy, so I deliberately ignored any focus on pace and just enjoyed my run.

Distance: 3.32 miles

Time: 39m 21s

Pace: 11.51/m

Elevation: 488ft

Not quite the strong finish to the week I had planned, but it’s been a solid couple of weeks so I’m pretty happy with that. I think I’ll be taking it easy again this week, seeing how the back and knee hold up. Have a great week!

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Over the past week I’ve read a lot. And as a result of that I have lots and lots (and lots) in my head, bursting to develop into fully formed thoughts. But they’re not there yet. I’ve also been catching up on podcasts, covering everything from change to different mindsets to blaming people rather than systems. Whoa. Pretty full on, right?

But over and over, this past week has led me back to thinking about making mistakes and using them to grow and learn. I’ve also been thinking about what a journey to success looks like from the outside: linear, with no bumps. Yet we all know that’s just fantasy. No journey to success is without many mistakes, bumps in the road, full scale disaster, redirection, unsettling people (including yourself) and so on.

I was reminded of this Liz Wiseman quote:

For those who haven’t read Liz’ book, Multipliers, I’d highly recommend it.

I suppose being on the outside and looking at someone else’s journey is a difficult thing to do- we are all the heroes in our own lives and on our own journeys, so we have to remember to reframe that, and to recall that everyone is on their own messy, imperfect path with its own pitfalls and misdirection- and remember to be there to support each other along the way.

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Downtime is so important, and I’m already at the midway point in my week’s leave. So far it has been lovely: some reading (not yet as much as I had planned), good food, running, stitching and listening to podcasts. And some wine, too. I think that’s why I haven’t read as much as I had planned: I’ve been catching up on a huge backlog of podcasts that have built up since I’m not driving a great deal.

When I was on my run on Monday, I listened to Whitney Johnson interview Molly Beck, the Podcast Whisperer, and it was fascinating! But the quote that leapt out at me was from the host, not the guest:

I just had to capture this as soon as I heard it, and I thought it was well worth sharing.

So if you need to hear it, please listen. Your effort won’t be going unnoticed.

Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Although I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading about staying curious, part of the reason that I’ve restarted my blog with a focus on my Wednesday posts rather than my running is because I’ve also been doing a deep-ish dive into becoming more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and not painting my exterior persona as being without flaws – it’s ok to just be.

And, with the trajectory we are all on this year there’s one thing I’ve been saying all too regularly: none of us has all the answers, so I’m also trying to open my horizons, share thoughts and let conversations happen. And given my penchant for unleashing my advice monster and demonstrating my ‘save it’ drama persona, I’m also trying to be more vulnerable.

A few months ago I read Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. Several of the lessons resonated with me, and I was nodding a lot as I read it. It probably helped that that first section focussed on our desire to feel safe- and given the pandemic, I think that has been borne out over the past few months.

But the book also talks about how leaders have to be honest, open and need to keep in touch with reality in order to stay authentic.

This quote is one that I keep reflecting on:

So, when was the last time we admitted to weakness, or to not having all of the answers, or allowing ourselves to be vulnerable?

Probably not often enough.

It’s a journey for many of us.