Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

It’s been another busy weekend here in Tarbert, with lots going on. After having a bit of a blow out last weekend, I’ve been firmly back on track this week and this weekend. Here’s how it shaped up for me:

Monday: back to class- yay! We were back at Core Conditioning which I loved, but it was so tough after some time off. Everything ached, but in a good way. We then had Veraflow which I’ve been really enjoying. It’s a lovely class!

Tuesday: I did three lots of activity, starting with a lunchtime trail run. I hadn’t run in three days and my legs were feeling rested. I made it all the way up the hill this week with no stopping, and I continued along the trail for a little further than I had before. Loved it!

I followed that up after work with a return to Sculpt. I dropped my bands down a little and focussed on form and reps which was great. Next up was Trigger Point Pilates and my body felt so much better afterwards.

Wednesday: I was away in Glasgow so wasn’t at Jog Scotland. I did manage a short run from the SEC to Glasgow Green and back, though. The cherry blossom was lovely!

Thursday: rest day. I had planned an early morning run, but since the hotel fire alarm went off at 3am I was tired so gave it a miss!

Friday: I headed out for a run, planning 3-4 miles. I felt good and ended up doing 4.8 miles, so I was pretty happy with that!

Saturday: we had Fèis all day, so although it was a rest day I easily managed over 10,000 steps!

Sunday: I was planning a run- the morning was promising with sunshine, but a few heavy showers were creeping in. I headed out, planning to do 9 miles. The first four miles were fab, with glorious sunshine, then the rain and the hail swept in. The last 6 miles were challenging with very strong winds on top of the wet weather but my legs felt really strong, all be it very wet! I pushed a little and ran 10 miles but kept my pace steady and slow. When I finished I felt I could do more, so that’s a good sign.

I had rejigged my training plan as I had decided during the week to sign up for a half marathon that fitted reasonably well with my training plan for the Kintyre Way Relay. My original run this weekend was a cut back run of 10k. I figured that a longer run this week and possibly next week means I can cut back the following week in anticipation of the Birmingham Half Marathon, and will fit better with my work plans in the coming weeks.

At the moment I’m feeling positive and that my training is on track 👍🏻. Being kinder to myself in this training cycle is working!

Whether you are struggling or feeling strong, here’s your motivation for this week:

Have a good one!

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Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

What a week!

March is off to a flying start, though I wasn’t to happy to see ice and snow yesterday ❄️, I wonder if that will be the last of it for this spring?

Fortunately yesterday was a rest day for me so it didn’t affect my training. You might remember that I finished up the previous week with a 10 mile recce run, so I did head into the new week with a touch of DOMs. Here’s how the past week stacked up:

Monday: we had no classes this week, so I knew I could focus on some running to improve my stamina and build up some mileage without overdoing it. I headed out at dusk to do a recovery run, with no fixed distance in mind. I ran a steady 4 miles, my legs actually felt great afterwards.

Tuesday: I headed out at lunchtime with Alison and Morag for a trail run. Despite the long trail run on Sunday I coped fine with the big hill, so I was really pleased!

Wednesday: Jog Scotland session, and this week we did another 10 minute warm up, 10 minute weave run and 10 minute cool down. It always passes so quickly!

Thursday: 5 days of running in a row- a bit of a run streak for me! Again, I only planned a steady recovery run after Tuesday and Wednesday. I did just over 4 miles and captured the most beautiful pink sky as the sun began to set.

Friday: I forced myself to have a rest day, though I did want to run. Instead I spent some time doing some trigger point pilates at home to help ease out my fascia and muscles. I did feel good afterwards.

Saturday: I had a meeting in the morning, but I was keen to get a long slow run under my belt. But after a days rest and some repair work my legs felt tired, and my piriformis was niggling a little so I listened to my body and cut my run short from the planned 7 miles, finishing up at 4 miles again. I’m happy with that- I’ve been consistent but running a lot and I know I might just be edging it too much. I’ll cut back the number of runs I’m doing in the next week.

I did spend some time stretching and doing some more TPP too.

Sunday: I took my own advice and had another rest day. My body will thank me for it, I’m sure. But when I saw this picture, it did tempt me a little to lace up- but I resisted….

Have a wonderful 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

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 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!

Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation

How was your first full week back in 2019? I’m going to start in reverse order by telling you that I had a brilliant trip away in Belfast for the weekend, where we all surprised my mum while she was there for her birthday/retirement. It was ace!

But before that I had a really good week of eating well and cutting out the rubbish. Jacqui has set up a four week New Year Reset, just to get everyone back on track after indulging over Christmas. It’s not about weight loss, but about nourishing your body and feeling more energised. So far, so good!

Here’s what I did for exercise last week:

Monday: no class, so we went for a walk

Tuesday: no class, another walk.

Wednesday: Jog Scotland was back, and was busy- which was great to see. We did a 10 minute warm up jog, 10 minute tempo run, 10 minute cool down jog. I was very happy to be back.

Thursday: I joined Alison and Morag for a trail run around Kilmory Loch at lunchtime, I had never run there before and I loved it! At night it was also the return of PiYo and we started a new round. The lower body track is a bit of a challenge!

Friday: I planned to run but I had a little hip niggle so rather than risk it I went for a walk and did some TPP to help to ease it off.

All in all, it was a good week but I’m really looking forward to classes all being back this week.

I’ve signed up to do the Kintyre Way Ultra Relay along with Alison and Morag. We’ll be doing one section each of the 33 mile route so we’re planning to run together one lunchtime each week which should really help with training. I’ve ordered new trail shoes as my current ones are ancient, but faithful servants! Bring on the hills!

I’m looking forward to another great week 👍🏻

Enjoy your week!

Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Race Report: The Inaugural Carradale Canter 10K

Date: 12th July 2015

Profile: Undulating

Terrain: Mixed: road, sand and trail

Weather: Warm and sunny

Website: https://www.facebook.com/greatcarradalecanter

Positives: brilliant course, with a mix of hills, flat, beach, road and trail. Excellent support, awesome views

Negatives: not a negative, but a quick field on a difficult course left me fourth from last 😮

Carradale is a picturesque village nestled on the east coast of the Kintyre peninsula, some 25 miles south of Tarbert. It’s blessed with a lovely harbour (with a working fishing fleet) as well as a golden sandy beach and a great network of forestry trails. If you read my post about crewing for Julia at the Kintyre Way ultra, you’ll perhaps remember that Carradale is also located on the Kintyre Way.

As ever, I had my race gear ready to go the night before:  Fortunately, the race wasn’t an early one as it was scheduled for an 11.30 am start (I’m assuming this might be to do with the tide, making the beach section easier to run), and so this morning we had plenty of time to get ready, have breakfast and the drive the long and winding road to Carradale (yes, THE ‘long and winding road’ that Paul McCartney wrote about 😉 )

The sun was shining as we arrived in Carradale. We parked in the primary school car park, and as we were doing so, waved to the marshals we knew, who were having their briefing. We walked to the harbour for registration, and as we walked, saw that the village was a little hillier than we had remembered!

The registration area was pretty busy when we got there, and when we checked in, I realised that I’d been given bib number one! Wowee! I realised, looking around at the other runners, that I might actually be the first runner with bib #1 to finish last 😮 

  
We checked our bags, then chatted to other runners as we waited for the race briefing, and everyone was relaxed and having fun. Then we had a short walk to the start of the 10K, where we had our race briefing. Instructions today included things like ‘watch out for adders’ and ‘beware of the mud’…. I knew this was going to be an interesting race!

Here’s a map of the race:

 The race was started by a countdown and a starter’s pistol, and we were straight onto the road leading back into the village – and it was a tough hill! It got the legs working from the start. TheWelshWookie and I knew we’d be slow, and so we kept to the back of the pack. The support was great from the start, with villagers out in their gardens to support us all.

We soon turned off to the left, and headed down a country lane to the beach – my first ever race section on the beach! Although it was tough, I surprised myself, because I really enjoyed it – I had a smile plastered on my face. A lady asked to take our picture (I think she liked the skort). She had camera problems, but we stopped and waited, to let her take a snap – I think we were happy for the break, but it did cost us a couple of minutes (not that time was a concern for us). I loved dodging the jelly fish and the flotsam and jetsam, and before we knew it we were back onto a track road, and heading for the forestry section.

The forestry part was great – lovely and cool, shaded, soft underfoot. We were soon way behind the pack, and had the run to ourselves. We didn’t see any adders, but were treated to an awesome aerial display by a golden eagle – lucky us 😀

Next was a short section back on the road before heading onto the kintyre way at the Network Centre (you’ll see pictures in my blog post here), and then we were at the hilly part – a steep climb up a forestry track to the highest point of the race. Well, that got the heart going! We walked it, unsurprisingly! Next was a great downhill section for about a kilometre along forestry roads.

Finally, we had the last section: into the village along the main road, back along a side road, up a short grassy hill, down a track, through a field, over a style and then onto the harbour road, where we could see the finish line 🙂

We reached the finish line to a somewhat subdued welcome – but we were not far from last, and people had been waiting to see the finishers for a looooong time by then, so I’m thankful they stayed!

I was handed a goody bag which contained the medal, and grabbed a bottle of water. Other runners were really chatty, and we had a great catch up with quite a few people about how we’d found the run, and how amazingly scenic it was.

TheWelshWookie and I then headed to the barbecue, and joined the burger queue. As we were waiting, the prize giving was taking place. So while we cheered and clapped for the winners, I didn’t manage to take any pictures. Sorry! We were in the queue with Karen, one of our fellow SUPercisers, which was fab. We enjoyed our burgers in glorious sunshine, watching a seal play in the harbour, before heading home to Tarbert. On the walk back to the car we chatted with Gail from Campbeltown about running adventures, and I was struck once again as to how friendly and supportive runners are of each other. 

 Our stats: 1:17:17. My, my – slow, even by my slow standards! No matter, it was worth it.

 The Medal: Engraved, and it came with stickers to add your time to it. No, don’t think I’ll do that!

 Goody Bag: banana, bottle of water and an ace buff style scarf!

 T-shirt: None, but no problem with that

When I got home, I uploaded my run and was greeted with this milestone:

  
And right away, I reset my Nike Coach for the Great North Run training – nine weeks today! :O

I’d definitely do this run again. You’d never know it was an inaugural event as it was so well organised and supported. Roll on next year’s event!