Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

If we were in any doubt about what season we are in, this week was a stark reminder that we’re definitely easing our way through autumn, with some pretty relentless wet and windy weather at times. Perfect running weather, of course! I had lots on this week between work, Fèis, prepping for AGMs and so exercise took a little bit of a back seat. I did manage some runs, of course.

Here’s how my week worked out.

Monday-

It was very dark by the time I finished work, but I was determined to start the week well with a run. I also had new reflective Sweaty Betty leggings to try out! My head torch had another outing and I ran 4 miles around the harbour. It was incredibly mild, and it was great to see other runners out too, despite the showery weather. My verdict on the leggings? Incredibly reflective, great pocket, not quite as comfortable as my Lululemon leggings but a close second.

Distance: 4 miles

Time: 44m 34s

Pace: 11.09/m

Elevation: a whole 30ft!🤣

Wednesday-

Well, on Wednesday evening it wasn’t just damp, it was pouring down, and the thought of heading out wasn’t filling me with joy. But, as is often the case when I got out there I loved it. I really do love running in the rain! The photo is of Tarbert Castle- the picture doesn’t do how it appeared any justice, it was only half lit, creating an eery shadow across its harbour front.

Dinstance: 3.14m

Time: 33m 58s

Pace: 10.49/m

Elevation: 39ft

Friday-

I had a day off and a trip to the hairdressers planned, so I wanted to get a run in first. I’d been looking forward to a daytime run all week, but when I got out there I just wasn’t feeling it. As soon as I started running I was kicking myself for not heading to a trail, and I think that was the start and end of enjoying it! Ah well, you’ve got to have tough runs to appreciate the fun ones.

I also received my Great Run Solo Halloween medal, which was pretty cool!

Distance: 3.18m

Time: 34m 04s

Pace: 10.42/m

Elevation: 30ft

Sunday-

And just like that, back to loving it! On Sunday morning I headed out for a socially distanced trail run, which I was looking forward to. The plan was to get in 10k to cover both run 9/13 of my November Accelerator and my virtual 10k MoRun. During the week I had received my 10k medal, so thought I’d best get my run in to earn it!

We started out with dry, mild sunny conditions and after about 1.5 miles they quickly deteriorated when the heavens opened and we were absolutely soaked within minutes! All I could think about was my poor new hair colour! 🤣

But, it was a lovely run, it made a lovely change to chat and run, and the miles ticked by. Medal earned, even if it was a slower, chattier way of earning it, I loved it!

Distance: 6.22 miles

Time: 1h 25m 7s

Pace: 13.41/m

Elevation: 935ft

Another pretty solid week of running, here’s hoping the momentum remains!

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

Last week I was on leave, and the weather was just gorgeous. That meant I could enjoy some lovely early autumnal runs during the day, taking my time to make the most of them. I was conscious that I didn’t want to do too much, as I could easily have run every day!

Monday- I had a lovely, relaxed weekend and so headed out on Monday morning feeling refreshed. My initial plan was to run somewhere between 5k and 10k, depending on how I felt. I headed to the trails around Torinturk and set off, listening to podcasts. I was running well, and so I actually had to rein myself back from running too far, especially as it was warm and sunny – and I wasn’t carrying any water. So I turned around at 4 miles, making for a fab 8 mile-ish run.

Distance: 8.16 miles

Time: 1h 32m 47s

Pace: 11.22/m

Elevation: 908 ft

Wednesday- I wanted to keep my run a little shorter after Monday, and so I thought I’d mix things up with a little road run around the harbour which I hadn’t done for a while. It was just lovely!

Distance: 4.09 miles

Time: 45m 4s

Pace: 11.00/m

Elevation: 66 feet

Friday- another gorgeous trail run! This time I headed to the trails around Cour wind farm, which I hadn’t done for a while. It was another beautiful and sunny day, and again I felt that I could have run on for longer. When i got back home I was a little annoyed with myself- I had turned around just before Loch Ciaran, and I hadn’t realised! Oh well, next time!

Distance: 7.13 miles

Time: 1h 22m 37s

Pace: 11.35/m

Elevation: 651ft

All in all, it was a fab week of running!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

What a quick week! This summer is flying by, and I’m not achieving as much this summer as I had planned. I’ll have to keep pushing through the early part of August before schools are back.

In terms of eating well I’ve had a pretty strong week, and I’ve run more miles than I had scheduled. Woo hoo! Here’s how my plan worked out last week:

Monday: a lovely long walk around the harbour

Tuesday: an evening run. It was warm and sunny- I set out to do 5k and managed slightly more, bagging 3.6 miles.

Wednesday: Jog Scotland Run- we headed out the Kilberry road and did a hill which was good. It was another warm run, and we clocked up 3.4 miles

Thursday: back to class! We started a new round of PiYo and it was so good to be back. I’m already loving the second Flow track – it’s shaping up to be a good round!

Friday: I was in the office all day so I headed out for a solo lunchtime trail run. Again, it was hot and my legs felt tired. But I did 2.8 miles so I was happy enough with that.

Saturday: I was up earlier than usual as we’d arranged with some Jog Scotland members to run at Freasdail wind farm. We walked up the first hill and had a fab morning exploring around the wind turbines. I’ll definitely be back soon to try out some routes to increase the mileage. We had planned to do around 4.5 miles and actually did 5.5 miles. Not bad! It was my longest run in a while, since my knee injury.

Sunday: I took a well earned rest day 👍🏻

Here’s to another positive and strong week. Let’s keep everything in balance:

Florida 2019: The Best Bits

Florida 2019: The Best Bits

Before getting back to my usual fitness and wellbeing posts, I thought I’d write a post to share some of my highlights and lessons learned from our Florida trip. It’s also helping to keep me awake and flight off the jet lag!

Packing: travel light. You’ll never need half of the stuff you take with you, so don’t bother. I stuck to shorts and to t shirts that covered my shoulders as I know I’m prone to sunburn there, regardless of how much suncream I use as it rubs off of rides. I found t shirts looser, more comfortable and more cooling. Who knew?

I also had two pairs of combat type shorts from Decathlon that I wore A LOT – I didn’t need a bag or bumbag as they had decent pockets, so I could go hands free.

I wore trainers every day- comfort was more important than anything else, plus I didn’t get sunburned feet from sandals or flip flops.

Best Park Tip: use a retractable ticket holder that clips to your belt loop rather than a lanyard. I found that it was easier to use, convenient and didn’t get in the way. I picked this one up in Universal, but Disney has plenty too. It meant my room key and park tickets were always close to hand:

Best travel tip: we hired a car and it was great, but onsite parking at Universal hotels was expensive. To get to and from the park we walked, or used the frequent bus, but the best way to travel was by water taxi. We could also go through security before getting on, avoiding the crowds at CityWalk

Best off-site travel: The I-Ride trolley that runs up and down International Drive was excellent. The virgin rep in the V Hub gave us a voucher each for a free 14 day pass so it didn’t even cost us anything- but passes are very cheap. It’s a great way to get to and from Orlando International Outlets and Vineyard Outlets- and everywhere in between:

Pocket Essentials: At the parks I carried my pass in my retractable holder, SPF50 lip balm, a small 30ml tube of suncream, and this: a cup from Decathlon that is made of soft water bottle material and scrunches up very, very small, fitting into a pocket very easily. I could then get a cup of water at water fountains to sip while waiting in line for attractions. Honestly, this was the best £3.99 I have ever spent!

For days when we walked longer distances outside of the park, and for on the aircraft we used our Decathlon soft water bottles and they too were perfect. Lots of people asked us about them as they thought they were great!

I also carried my trusty fan most days, but I wouldn’t call it an essential:

Best sunscreen: This was a-ma-zing for me, Neutrogena SPF70 and their specific face sunscreen too. I only put it on in the morning and it lasted all day- and for the first holiday ever I didn’t get any sunburn. It’s a game changer for me. It was easy to apply, soaked in well leaving my skin dry to touch, not oily or sticky. I picked it up in Walmart for around $8 I think.

Here’s the SPF lip balm I carried with me at all times too. It was also ideal:

Best drink: the coconut margarita at Chili’s was the best thing I drank all holiday!🥥🍸

Best meal: Best overall meal was at Toothsome Chocolate Emporium at City Walk. We had their own chocolate stout while waiting for our table. I had a salad, and an amazing s’mores dessert that I couldn’t finish, and a cherry chocolate cocktail. TheWelshWookie had a burger, a banana cream sundae and a whisky flight. It was all so good!

Best Sweet Treat: easy- voodoo doughnuts were immense!

Best Secret Menu Item: a ‘Deathly Hallows’ or ‘Triple’ from the Hogs Head. If you ask for it, the bar staff will deny its very existence so it’s very secretive indeed! We found out about it from a UOAP member in line in front of us:

Favourite Park: definitely both parts of the Harry Potter parks, including the Hogswart Express taking us from Kings Cross to Hogsmeade. (And from HS to IOA). It was amazing, I loved it all!

Best Roller Coaster: Hulk! It was by far my favourite! I also loved Maku at Seaworld and the Rip Ride Rocket at US but Hulk beat them all.

Best Water Ride: this is a toss up between Bluto’s Bilge Barge Rats (you get very, very wet!) and Jurassic Park’s River Adventure. The afternoon spent doing the water rides at IOA was a real highlight.

Best Disney Attraction: I loved Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the park overall as I didn’t expect to rate it so highly but it was a great day .

Best ‘awe’ moment: seeing the shuttle Atlantis for the first time at Kennedy Space Center. It was a fab day out and I’d highly recommend a visit.

Best Example of Hospitality: we went to Tropicana Fields to watch the Rays play the Blue Jays. Little did we know that it’s a cash free stadium and I had left our cards back in the hotel. Oops! We tried to pay for two soft drinks using Apple Pay but couldn’t get it to work- so the cashier just gave us souvenir cups and told us to help ourselves. It was so kind of her! Pity about the result of the game, mind you…

Best Universal Hotel: we didn’t visit them all, but of those that we did we were happy with our choice to stay at the Aventura Hotel. It was stunning. We had an upgraded room so had plenty of space, it was very comfortable with good facilities including the onsite V Hub. Our view over Volcano Bay was stunning!

The views from the rooftop bar, Bar 17, were also fabulous. It was well worth a couple of visits.

Bonus Pro Tip: buy glassware and mugs to use as we found that everywhere (including hotels) relies on disposables and plastics for everything. I wish I’d packed my travel cutlery too so I’d recommend that you bring those too. It’s a real shame- they use paper straws everywhere but use disposable cups, plates and cutlery which seems crazy to me! It also tends to be the black plastic that can’t be recycled. It was definitely the biggest negative I took away from the parks.

Flights: the Virgin flights and their Vera in flight entertainment system was ace, and service was excellent. The food was also great- I was very impressed, considering that airline food gets a (usually justifiable) bad rap. But many people just didn’t seem to care about what they were doing throughout the flight. I was mortified looking around as we disembarked to see the disgusting state that lots and lots of passengers left behind them. I felt heart sorry that the impression we left behind for the clean up crew was so bad. On the return flight, the guy behind me kept sticking his bare feet right down beside my seat- urgh! And he didn’t get the concept of a touch screen- I spent the night flight with what felt like him punching the screen and consequently the back of my seat and head rather than touching it! Perhaps we need a ‘flight etiquette’ guide as well as a safety guide?

It was a fabulous holiday though, from start to finish.

What are your top tips and best moments from your trips to Florida?

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Hello everyone!

I’m still banned from activity, especially running, but I did get the stitches in my knee out last Thursday, after a long 12 days. So, I’m on the mend!

I had been training for the Kintyre Way Relay which took place on Saturday, and what a brilliant day it was. I couldn’t be more proud of my team: Alison and Morag were superb and ran amazing times on such a warm and sunny day. TheWelshWookie was a star, too, stepping in for me at such short notice. Well done team JAMathon!

I’d also like to give special mention to all of the Ultra runners who did all 32.8 miles, especially Gordon, Kathleen and Lorraine. Very well done! 👏🏻

While they were running I was busy scoping out our next challenge 😉

The Kintyre Way Relay was so well organised and such a fun and friendly event that I would highly recommend it either as an Ultra or as a relay.

I’ll be taking a short break away from my blog, as we’re off on holiday. I’ll be back in early June, no doubt refreshed- and I hope by then I’ll be back running again!

Until then, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @TartanJogger for regular updates.

Here’s your motivation until I’m back:

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Happy Easter! I’ve had a wonderful weekend- how about you?

I was still getting over my chest infection this week so my activity levels haven’t been back to normal yet, but I am getting there. Meanwhile my eating has been, well, far from ideal – but I’m really not worried about it. Back on track between now and Florida 😉

Monday: travelling back from our trip away, but we did get a walk in. Nothing else.

Tuesday: back at class- yes! Sculpt was great, it’s tough, challenging, but feels very good indeed. That was followed by Trigger Point Pilates, which was ace.

Wednesday: back to Jog Scotland and it was my first run in 10 days. We ran for 40 minutes, which was around 3.6 miles. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and boy did I need it!

Thursday: a walk in Lochgilphead

Friday: three hours of gardening- I’m counting it!

Saturday: a walk to and from Portavadie as well as a lovely day in the Spa there

Sunday: a trip to Gigha, so we enjoyed a fab walk around the island

All in all, I still have a way to go to get back to my previous fitness levels before my chest infection, but a bank holiday 10k run today has helped to boost my confidence with that.

And here’s something I’m reminding myself of:

Have a good week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Welcome to a fresh, new month. How on earth did we make it to April already? After a lovely and sunny weekend we’re back to dreich conditions here.

How was your week? Mine was good 😃. I’m beginning to really feel in need of a holiday, but that’s a few weeks off yet so I’m trying not to think too much about it. Meantime I’m keeping busy with work, activities and- of course- exercise.

We had road closures all week starting at 7pm so Jacqui has no choice but to cut back double classes and to bring them forward to an earlier start time. Here’s how the week turned out:

Monday: Jacqui did a mixed class with Core Conditioning followed by some floor tracks from Veraflow and a short mindfulness section. It was a really good way to start the week.

Tuesday: I managed to get a short lunchtime trail run in- I didn’t think I’d manage one, but a change of plan meant I could squeeze a quick run in up the hill. In the evening, there was no time for Trigger Point Pilates so we had an hour long Sculpt class instead. It was tough but I definitely felt like I’d made progress from the previous week so that was really encouraging!

Wednesday: it was the end of our 10 week block, so we had no drills, just a lovely, relaxed 30 minute run with great company and good weather. I loved it!

Thursday: back to PiYo after a few weeks of either missing it or no class. I had the best hour, and it flew by! This really is my favourite class. I don’t mind admitting that I worked hard and I had DOMS for days afterwards!

Friday: during the day I could feel a bit of a cold beginning to start, which I spent most of the time wishing away. I headed out for a short run regardless, just to get the legs moving. It felt hard, and that’s when I knew I was definitely coming down with something!

Saturday: it was a glorious day, so we decided to make the most of it and go for a walk (with my pockets stuffed full of tissues!). No photos, but we did an hour around the Harbour before having a rest day afterwards.

Sunday: the plan was a long, slow run. But by then I was choked with the cold. It felt like it was just a head cold so I headed out regardless. My original plan was to do 11 miles in the sunshine but I knew that was unlikely. I managed 5 miles before hitting empty, but I pushed on to make it 10k and couldn’t have done more. Better than nothing- and I know it’s important to listen to my body and rest- so that’s what I did for the remainder of the day, and it was what I needed.

It was also day one of the next 5×50 Challenge so I was pleased to make a solid start.

I’m conscious that I haven’t done many hills in the past couple of weeks, so my plan when I’m over this cold is to get back out on the trails and into the hills. So with that in mind, here’s Monday’s motivation: Have a great week!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

Did you enjoy the mild weather last week? I certainly did. I made the most of it while it was mild and dry – it was perfect running weather.

We had no classes last week as Jacqui was recovering from a nasty virus, so I pulled on my running shoes and got outside. All in all, I ran five times! I didn’t want to overdo it and cause any injuries so I tried to keep my runs structured and sensible. I also ate well and fuelled properly for a change instead of leaving my diet to chance. I also made sure that I stayed properly hydrated.

Here’s how my week went –

Monday: I planned to run 4 miles, but after my first kilometre I realised that I was running quite quickly (for me) so I changed my plan, deciding to do 5K, increasing my tempo as I ran. I did it, and really enjoyed it- and I was really pleased to see my time at the end of the run. It was a great start to the week!

Tuesday: my legs were feeling tired after Monday and probably after a busy weekend catching up on me so I took a rest day.

Wednesday: Jog Scotland run- we did hills in Tarbert which is something I struggle to do on my own. I really enjoyed it, though it was tough. It’s exactly the type of training session I needed.

Thursday: a slow recovery run. The Welsh Wookie headed out with me at the start of my run and did the first couple of miles before breaking off to do the remainder of his run at his own pace. I had wanted to do the 4 miles I had planned earlier in the week, but I forgot to change my watch from kilometres to miles so I ran 7K instead and enjoyed it.

Friday: our weekly lunchtime trail run was arranged for Friday and it was such a mild day! I reached a real milestone- I was able to run all of the way to the top of the hill without stopping. Woo hoo! I was so pleased, and very grateful to Alison and Morag for keeping me going!

Saturday: we had a busy day, helping out at Fèis and Tairbeirt. When we were finished I was keen to get out for another run. I didn’t want to push myself too far or too fast, I just wanted to go out and enjoy my run, which is exactly what I did. I kept my pace steady but slow and ran an easy 5 miles. I also wore capris for the first time this year!

Sunday: another rest day. As much as I could have run, I chose not to. I have a busy week ahead and wanted to be prepared and ready for it. I also did my food prep for the week so that I can keep on track as much as I can.

This sums up the past week for me, and I’m very grateful to have made the most of it:

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!