The best is yet to come

I’ll write about the NLP transformation day I went to yesterday, later, but one things it’s helped me realise is that I already practice a lot of the positive techniques and use words positively to make me feel good.

Just recently, I’ve been telling myself that things are ‘hard’, life has become a bit hard, a bit of a struggle. But it doesn’t have to be. It can be whatever I make it.

I came home to a card from Fit Girl, my own little star…

The sun is still shining, the silver lining is out there, and I will keep smiling.

… because the best is yet to come.

I’ll keep playing, smiling and thinking, and all is well.

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NLP Transformation Day 6/2/16

I’m excited to be going to this in Glasgow city centre tomorrow…

The event promises to cover:

Whether you want to be happy, positive, motivated, free, secure, up to date or even if you don’t know what you want you are just interested in this NLP thing and the power it has to change people’s lives for the positive, this is a must attend semiar for you.

As people who have attended the Personal Transformation Day in the past will know, it’s hugely rich in content and an absolutely transformational experience during which you will learn all about the hidden power of your mind and how you can unlock it to become all sorts of awesome!

Here’s what you’ll learn on the day:

  • The 3 keys to Personal Transformation
  • Create personal change in yourself and others.
  • How to manage and influence your emotions.
  • Live a life with purpose and meaning.
  • How to reduce fear, stress & manage your emotions more effectively.
  • What NLP is and how it can be applied to various applications
  • How NLP can enhance your personal & professional lives.

    Looking forward to it! :-) Maybe it’ll help me get some of my super powers back. ;-)

    I’ll let you know how I get on.

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Look what I did!

I clearly remember from when I was little, doing something on the computer that I was proud of (usually a drawing in Photoshop or something), and running through to my Dad and saying – ‘Look Dad, come and see what I did!!!)
And I’d drag him through to see my masterpiece or whatever it was.

I’d usually get praise and told it was good… and it’d make me feel good and happy. I was the youngest of five, so I guess I learned to shout loud to get heard.

(It didn’t work when I wiped arkenoid off the computer though, oops).

Or one day, so I’m told, when I was about 4 or 5, I came in and asked my Dad to help me with my bike.

He said ‘is it time we took off your stabilisers?’ 

And I looked at him strangely and said ‘No, it’s ok, I’ve already done that!’

He went out to the garage and true enough, I’d taken my own stabilisers off, all on my own. 

Ready for an adventure, but I needed his help.

I realise now that the praise I got probably helped me be the strong and confident (and happy) person I am today (along with a few other things).

Now I’m work, a lot of the time, I get people coming to me. They know I’m ‘active’ or ‘fit’ or ‘healthy’ (maybe not so much just now, cough cough). 

And they tell me what they’re up to with their health. The changes their making to become more Super!

People telling me – Look what I did! Or Look what I’m doing!

Things like:
– I’ve started eating better.
– I’m going out walking more.
– I’m not eating chocolate anymore.
– I’m doing Zumba.
– I’ve started cycling and feel great.
– I’ve joined the gym.
– I’ve started counting my steps, I did 30,000 the other day! – I’m swimming every weekday.
– I’ve started eating nuts as snacks.
– I got myself one of those water bottles and I’m drinking more water each day. – I’ve entered a 10k! (what the hell do I do!?)
– I’ve started exercising more, (now I’m injured. What do I do?)

People are telling me all these life changing things they’re doing. And I’m impressed, I truly am impressed.

Sometimes, like on the last two, I offer advice if they ask, but most of the time I’m just plain impressed and give them a pat on the back (praise) and hopefully some motivation to help them keep going with the change.

It’s what I’ve been doing since I decided I needed to change things way back in 2008 – changing things, changing habits bit by bit, to become healthier.

So anyone that comes to me and tells me what they’ve been up to, keep coming to me, because it makes me feel great hat you’re making changes to become healthier, to become a better version of you.

And if you want to change something and come up and tell me (or post it on my Facebook page, or message me or email me), do. You know I might just be very impressed. :-)

Keep shouting out – ‘Look what I did, look what I did!!! (And keep doing it). :-)

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Remembering her

You might remember back in late 2014, I got involved in my aunt’s funeral, arranging the order of service with the minister, when I realised my Mum had not been in touch with him.

Well I realised the other week, that my aunt won’t have had a headstone put in place. After all this time, it just didn’t get done. And I’m now making steps to get one arranged for her, to remember her forever.

(This is another personal post, so if you don’t want to read it, don’t.)

Back then in late October 2014, a storm from hell came and nearly prevented me from travelling the long journey to Lochaline near Mull to pay my last respects to my aunt, but it didn’t stop me. I managed to get there, with some help from my good friend, with 4 minutes to spare.

When I found out my aunt had passed away, I contacted the funeral director and the minister to check they had everything they needed. But it seemed my mum had not been in touch with the minister to tell the story of my aunts life. So I imagined the funeral ceremony, full of words that didn’t mean very much.

In my mums family, there was her dad and mum (my grandad I never met, and my granny who became a pivotal force in my life), my mum, my aunt and my uncle.

I knew that my mum didn’t get on with my aunt and vice versas, but I thought she’d do something to remember her. Turns out I was wrong. I was angry at the time, but looking back, I guess it doesn’t matter, at least I was there to write some words to remember her.

The day of my aunts funeral I had a rather embarrassing black eye after falling / fainting in the gym and hitting my head a few days before. A good look – not. The journey there seemed to take forever and it seemed like someone didn’t want me to get there, but I was getting there, and I got there.

We drove up past my granny’s house to see my uncle out clearing it. He didn’t go to the funeral. I accepted this at the time, and realised now it was because he had the mammoth job of clearing out the house (which took 4 months, partly to do with its size, but also because it was so far from anywhere).

When we got to the small church and went in, there were a few people from the local community, maybe 8, in the back rows of the church. Many people hadn’t been able to get there due to the weather.  Then about 3 or 4 rows from the back, I saw my mum. There was no one else there, apart from the minister and the pianist at the front (and my aunt Sheila in a coffin).  In a church with 10 small pews, my mum sat 3 or 4 rows from the back?!

I thought to myself, why isn’t she up the front? But it was 4 minutes from starting and I instead walked proudly up to the front. I heard my words read out and felt proud that I’d been able to do this for my aunt and for my Granny.

When we went out to the graveyard, about. 1-2 minute walk away, it was torrential sideways rain. My mum didn’t go to the grave, she got back in her car, which was parked as close as it could get to the church. And I didn’t see her again. I stood at the head of the coffin and lowered my aunt into the ground. 

In my head I made up all of these reasons for my mum not contacting the minister, not sitting at the front, not going to the graveside.

But looking back now, I realise she was about a year from death herself. She probably ‘couldn’t’ have got to the front of the church due to breathing difficulties. And she probably ‘couldn’t’ have made it to the graveside.

I hadn’t been in touch with her for about 10-15 years, and it just didn’t cross my mind that she was an old ill woman herself. 50-60 years of smoking took their toll.

It’s funny how you can think one thing one day, then looking back you realise you were wrong (me being angry at my mum, thinking she was being nasty) and you realise it wasn’t the way you thought it was, that maybe the other person was ill and going through lots themselves.

I didn’t really know my uncle much, we met only a handful of times, but I knew him the most out of my siblings, so I contacted him to let him know my mum had gone. He didn’t go to the funeral, but I did go and visit him and I thought on the way to Kinlochleven to see him, I wondered if my aunts headstone had been arranged.

He confirmed it hadn’t. For one reason or another (which don’t matter), it just hasn’t been done. She doesn’t have a headstone. :-( and now with my mum gone, I doubted there would be much chance it would be arranged, maybe unless I got involved.

Now (as long as my uncle is ok with it) I’m going to arrange one to remember her properly. She’s buried in the middle of no where, in the west coast of Scotland, but I know it’s important for me to sort this for her, and for my Granny.

My 4 siblings have all agreed it’s the right thing to do and are wiling to pay a share, I just need to get on and arrange it when I can (my first phone call will be to my uncle to make sure he’s ok with me sorting it and to ask if he wants to do it / help to do it).

I’d always made an effort to keep in touch with my granny and aunt who lived together. Through a tough childhood, I reached out and got input from my lovely wise granny and from my ever witty and usually caring aunt.

I remember in 2002 when my granny died and I went to help my aunt. At 22 I was the only one there from my family for a few days, until my mum and brother and uncle turned up. I remember my aunt saying to me that she thought I was her ‘Guardian Angel’. Well I guess I am, and I’m proud to be.

I also remember standing on my own on the cold crisp day after my granny’s funeral service, looking out over to Mull. And I said to my Granny I would make her proud.


Rainbows and elephants all the way. ;-)

I feel a strong sense of pride that I kept in touch with my Granny and my aunt during some tough times growing up.

After the last few months, I feel like my shoulders are a bit broader, that I’ve been brave, and that I can do anything I set my mind to. I’ve come up and out the other side stronger.

And I feel immensely proud that I’m able to be the catalyst to do this now for my aunt. I know they’d both be very proud of me and I’ll be pleased once it’s all in place.

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January 2016

January 2016 has been not such a great month for my training. A calf strain reduced my running to just 7 runs in the month, including 1 long run, and the distance I covered was just over 37 miles – the lowest distance I’ve probably done since I started running regularly in 2008.

It’s even lower than in May last year when we had 10 days abroad! I was keen to rest my leg and stop anything nasty happening into this year ahead of the London marathon at the end of April, and I also focussed on strength training more, which was good.

I had a long run planned this weekend, but storm Gertrude and the lurgy has ensured there’s no way I would even attempt a 2 miler, never mind 15 miles.

I was successful this month at doing regular strength training. In the pic below, green is running, red is my running plan, pink is strength training.

As you can see i went from 2-3 strength sessions at the start of the month, and one last week due to work commitments.

Steps were about 9,000 daily, well under my 15,000 average from September last year when I was training for the Loch mess marathon and 10,000 in November when I was doing less training.

9,000 steps is still ok considering, and I must have done quite a bit of walking to get that.

Now I’m laid up with some sort of bug. It doesn’t seem to be a regular runny nose cold. I’ve been feeling a bit funny in January, a sore mouth, weird dry skin under my eye.

Then on Friday I started with a sore throat / thickly cough, which has turned into a big bad cough with phlegm (sorry!) and a bit achy all over. Great fun for the last day in January.

It’s probably some sort of viral infection and I’ll survive. 

I’m sure February into March will be better for me. I’ll need to get over this, then build up my running again, including long runs.

Looks like the first week in February will be a recovery week (again!)

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Juggling my life balls

A few years ago, with an aim to keep on top of everything, I created my own little metaphor for life and the busy-ness that life can throw at you sometimes…

… I looked at life as if it was me juggling balls.

Everyone has it, a number of balls they juggle, trying to keep each one in the air, and sometimes having to prioritise to let one drop or add another one in.

Life can be complex and busy and challenging at times, and it can change, priorities can change. So I see juggling balls in my life as a good way to get a handle and a bit of perspective on things.

I don’t have kids or a family of my own, (which could cause more busy-ness, I know), but I do have plenty to keep me ticking along.

And in the last few months I’ve really had to mix things up a bit, add a juggling ball in and drop a few to compensate for it. It’s how I work.

Here are the balls in life I tend to juggle usually (in no particular order, if I could draw them in a rotating circle, I would):

– Health, happiness
– Training, events
– Rest, sleep, recovery, fun, holidays, time out
– Work: BBC
– Work: Coaching
– Fit Girl
– Friends & family
– Online: my blog etc (which sometimes helps with my recovery / training / happiness).

All things that make up my little life and all things I usually have a good handle on. But sometimes, something else comes on which puts a spanner in the works and knocks some of them out.

And sometimes (not often it has to be said) it makes me drop them all (imagine a melt down, an emotional wreck, I don’t know what to do next kind of moment, possibly fuelled by hormones and a chimp – read the book Chimp Paradox if you didn’t get the chimp bit).

Sometimes I HAVE to drop a ball or two, to focus on juggling the other balls well and prevent me dropping them all.

Anyway, as you probably know, in November, I got side swiped by an all mighty life juggling ball which I had to catch and run with. The passing of my real mum.

An emotional and practical roller coaster then followed. I was lucky to be able to take a month off work, so that ball was safely and conveniently on the ground waiting.

Training happened as and when, so whilst it was still in the air, it was less prioritised. I used it more for helping me deal with things and heal, rather my usual, actual ‘Training’.

Sleep sometimes went out the window, as did my health sometimes, but not to too much of an extend.

And friends, family and fit girl, rest and recovery became more of a priority – essentially looking after myself, making sure I was getting social interaction and help where I needed it, and making those things (and my health more important above all else.

Now 2-3 months on and with most of the practical stuff done, in January I’ve been able to try to get back to normal a bit. The mum ball is there, but hopefully I’ll be able to park it and focus on other things in my life. Picking it up infrequently for only the amount of time I need to (with as little emotional effort / spend as possible hopefully).

There are some legalities and practicalities that remain, in wrapping up her estate. And I’ll potentially be one of two executors on her estate, but there’s not much more for me really to do. (Although people and issues might throw practical and emotional challenges my way in coming months).

So January was me focussing on, prioritising getting back to work fully and back to training. Getting my life back to some sort of normality having been thrown in at the deep end to sort things November into December.

I’m training for the London marathon at the end of April and in work (BBC) I’ve agreed to take on a big project (10 Apprentices!) from about March time for a year which should change my workload dramatically. I need to get my training and my work right.

I’ve got a few new coaching clients, but they actually help me focus less on me and my balls and give me a bit of reward by helping them. So that’s all good.

I’ve kind of dropped my online ball, I’m posting on my Facebook page when I train, but these kind of posts, I’ve kind of run out of brain power to do. I feel a bit like I’ve run out of ideas, or I’ve changed the way I think a bit. Which is a little frustrating, but it’s the way it is.

Now so far in January, I feel like I’ve been slowly cranking it up training wise, but I’ve never been truly up and running I don’t think. Work, or life, or the weather has got in the way a lot – leading to more rest than I could have had and only one long run (when thee could have been 4!).

One good thing is I’ve been consistent in my strength training, building it up and getting between 1-3 strength workouts done a week (maybe it’ll help make me STRONG?!). ;-)

And last week I made one of my work objectives by helping on a BBC Radio Scotland OB Tuesday Wednesday, at Celtic Connections at the CCA. 2 X 12 hour days and trying to take the time back (prioritising health and rest and recovery).

But I dropped my training all again, I’ve done one good strength session and one run (which was a 3 mile coaching session).

Watch out for the crappy action shot / selfie from Wednesday night at the Quay Sessions (I’m not good at selfies!). ;-)

Wednesday we found out some more about the estate after about a month of it being on hold.

So that kicked off some emails and thoughts and emotions for me, which I tried to keep in check, but I didn’t sleep well on Wednesday night (3 hours) – another ball dropped. But I’ve managed to pick that ball up to done extent (but not totally as I woke at 3am, after having 4 hours sleep on Friday night).

Be brave.
Be strong.
You can do this.
You’ve got broad shoulders.
You can do anything.
Cape ON.

– they’re all things I’ve been saying to myself in the last few months. And other people and their kind words and opinions have helped too – bringing a bit of sense and perspective into my life.

And NOW, today, my throat started to get sore! It doesn’t feel like a cold, but it feels like somethings not quite right.

Anyway, Picking up the family ball, his weekend I’ve arranged to go on a road trip (in my new car!) to see my lovely uncle and aunt near Newcastle. My Dad’s brother and his wife, I’ve always got on with them well, but last year I never made the time to go and see them so I thought I’d guys the bullet and take advantage of my weekend and go.

And I might get to meet some of my cousins (that I’ve never met!)… their daughter, grand daughters and greet grand daughters!

I did have a 15 mile long run planned this week (I was planning to do it on Friday, the storm Gertrude came and I thought better of it).

Now with my health ball dropped, and my training ball just about to be dropped, and my family ball up in the air. It looks like training will (rightly) be a ball I’ll most likely have to drop.

I could do it on Sunday when I’m down. (There’s a good cycle track I found near my uncles, so I could do an out and back). But with my throat the way it is, I’m more than likely going to can that idea and drop the training ball until I’m better.

Focus on the good things in life, happiness, positive family interaction, stories, fun, social interaction, eating, sleeping, recovering.

I’ll take a bit of time out, look out for some stars and rainbows. I’m tempted to go fly my kite but I might not have time (and I might get blown away!!).
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Wk3 into Wk4

Week 3 I was ticking along nicely, increasing my activity, but still getting plenty rest. 3 base runs (including my long run on Sunday), 2 strength sessions and 2 rest days.

Mon: Rest
Tue: 5M lunchtime run
Wed: KB strength
Thu: 4M easy (coaching)
Fri: Rest
Sat: Deadlift strength
Sun: 12M long run

I’ve didn’t manage one of the two interval runs in my plan, but I’m ok with that. It’s early days and after a lower activity end to the year, and my calf strain, I’m wanting to just be consistent right now and get my runs and strength (and rest!) in.

Sunday I did my first long run of my marathon training, 12 miles with Lesley, Hazel and Peppa the dog. The weather was ideal, 12’C a little damp but not raining. And I felt good until the last mile or so when my hips started to niggle a bit. It’s the longest I’ve done since end December, so no wonder.

12 miles through 4 parks. I didn’t take a eater pack, but I had a good breakfast and plenty water before it. Then guzzled more water after it. I was a little worried that the deadlift strength session I did on Saturday would affect me on my long run, but I was ok.

A bit of tenderness in my back. And one to think about the more I get into my marathon training, to cut back my strength to just once a week mid week so I’m not sore for my long long runs.

The stats were good today, avg HR nice and comfy at 151, Garmin training effect a bit high at 4.9, but that’ll just remind me to definitely take a rest day on Monday. Cadence was good too although I’d like to get it up to 180.

My vo2 Max has dropped with the reduction in training. Down to 49, which is still good but hopefully once I settle back into run training that’ll increase to mid 50s.

Next week, I’m helping at work at Celtic Connections at the CCA Tuesday and Wednesday, so I can imagine it’ll be two long days. So I’ll see how it goes, I’ll try to get a workout in before I go to work, but illustrate take it as it comes. I’m maybe going to go away at the weekend so I might do my long run before work on Friday (or on Sunday).

Here’s the plan:

Mon: Rest
Tue: 45 min intervals (3×8:2)
Wed: Squat Strength
Thu: 45 min Fartlek (or easy)
Fri: 15 miles long run (2:15)
Sat: Rest
Sun: Rest (or 45 mins intervals).

We’ll see how it goes. I might go away next weekend, hence the change to have potential rest days Saturday Sunday. It feels good to be getting into marathon training, and I just need to try and get the strength training mixed in with running successfully.

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