Four new running t-shirts with zips

I had a good tidy out at the start of the year.

And I decided it was about time I got a few more running tshirts with zips. :-) I like running t shirts to have zips and necks, and when I found these, I couldn’t resist.

So from Start Fitness, I ordered this fluorescent orange Asics one…with cool pockets (the black bits) for gels.

This bright yellow asics t shirt…(no pockets)

This pink asics t shirt (with silver reflective bits on the side, no pockets)…

And this purple nike t shirt (with a pocket in the back, the same as another nike zip t shirt I’ve got, and wear all the time).

Christmas come late for me. ;-) some how they all match my bed spread. ;-)

Now I need to decide which one I’ll wear tomorrow morning on my run!

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Beef n veg stir fry with quinoa

Here goes… cooking dinner for once..

Red onion & Spring Onion
Peppers (yellow & red)
Carrots (slithers & cubes)
Cashew nuts
(Didn’t use the tomatoes).

– Start cooking the quinoa, then go into the stir fry.
– Salt and pepper the onions and meat.
– Put the onions, ginger and beef in first.
– Cook for a bit.
– Then add the veg and nuts and cook a little longer.
– Add a splash of soy sauce.

– Cook for a bit longer then serve.

Easy peasy, colourful and tasty. :-)

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Run, eat, sleep repeat

Someone in work asked me on Friday what I’d be doing this weekend and I said ‘run and sleep and eat probably’, in actual fact, it was:

run, eat, sleep, gym, eat, coffee out, shop, sleep (nap), eat, sleep, coffee in, run, coffee in, eat, shop, sleep (nap), eat, telly, sleep. ;-)

That’ll do. Rock n roll!

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Wk3 into Wk4

In a week of lovely sunrises, and snow and ice until Friday, my training didn’t exactly go to plan, but I still managed to get 2 runs, 2 strength training sessions and three rest days in.

This was the calm and cool view I had on my walk to work on Monday morning.

Then this was the stunning sunrise at 8:20am on Tuesday morning. I’ve truly never seen anything like it and I’m so glad I went to work early that day.

I was up and at work early because I hadn’t managed to get up for my workout, so thought I’d get up half an hour earlier than I normally would to get a good day in at work.

I’d failed my planned workout on Monday, both in the morning, and at night as I was pooped. Then on Tuesday I decided, enough was enough and id leave work on time and get a good strength workout done on Tuesday. And I did. 55 minutes of it.

Strength at home, squats, deadlifts, sledgehammers, press ups. :-)

Here’s what I ended up doing the whole week:

Mon: Rest
Tue: Strength (lower)
Wed: Rest
Thu: Rest (aaaarrggg!! Let me run!!)
Fri: 8.5M easy run
Sat: 1:10 strength (upper)
Sun: 8M easy run wi Fit Girl

I’d planned runs on Wednesday and Thursday, but there was still thick ice everywhere outside and I couldn’t face a dreadmill run, so opted for rest days instead. I was itching to run on Thursday but decided the snow and ice would put stop to that and I was better off resting.

I knew the weather would warm up and it would all thaw out by Friday, so I held off til then. Friday night, Fit Girl was out all night so I took the opportunity to run, and remind myself how to run. It felt good.

Bright and warm on my Friday night run, along the Clyde, under the stars, up through the Gorbals, and up Cathcart Road. I’m used to running in the dark around that area, but it tends to be early in the morning before anyone’s up. Friday night was odd as there were people about.

Id planned to do about 6 miles but the conditions were good, and I felt good so I continued along nithsdale road and back down towards the Clyde to finish having done a nice steady 8.5 miles.

The Pizza for dinner was 732 calories, so I’d burned a total of 11 calories with my run. ;-) got to fuel I guess. I refrained from the ice cream at least. ;-)

Saturday it was sheet black ice outside so we went to The Gym instead of even contemplating a run. I did have a speedwork session in my head, but I’ll do that on Monday instead. I did the above upper strength workout which has left my upper body a little tender today. ;-)

I finished the week with a nice easy 8 miler with Fit Girl on Sunday morning. The start of our half marathon training. We’re doing the balloch to Clydebsnk half marathon in 6 weeks time. Fit Girl’s first half marathon (due to an ongoing knee problem that she’s had for years). No niggles today which is good. Next long run will be 10 miles next weekend.

A wee drive to adventurise and get lunch in a cafe some place today, before I’m going to make a steak stir fry tonight which I’m looking forward to.

Next week, here’s the plan:

Mon: AM 25 min Speedwork / PM Strength
Tue: Run
Wed: AM swim / PM Strength
Thu: Run
Fri: Rest
Sat: Strength
Sun: 10M easy run wi Fit Girl

(Looking at that training load, Wednesday night become a rest day since I’ve been on the go since Friday)

I’m going to see about getting some shorter strength sessions in through the week, mostly body weight stuff for legs, weighted work for upper. And 4 runs, and a swim if I can drag myself to the pool. We’ll see if that happens!

Oh and I’ve been doing the 1 photo a day thing since the start of the year, here’s the result:

You can like my photos page on Facebook here if you want:

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Photo Box Canvases

Did you see that gorgeous sunrise on Tuesday morning (20th Jan)?

At around 8:20am I was walking to work and managed to capture it for my photo of the day. And it might just be the best photo I’ve ever taken!

On Tuesday night I went onto and ordered two canvases. One with the sunrise picture on it and one with a photo I’d taken off Loch Linnhe / Corran Ferry the day after my aunt’s funeral.

I ordered two 60cm x 40cm canvases, and even got a tenner off as I was ordering two. On Thursday, just two days later, the delivery of them was attempted. And by Friday they’d been delivered.

They’re great quality, even for being taken on an iPhone 6, and the quickness of Photo Box was outstanding. I’d definitely recommend them.

Here’s the sunset one as you enter our livingroom. :-)

Photo taken on Tuesday, printed, received and up on the wall on Saturday!

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Up down up down up down

I’ve been using my Withings Wifi scales to measure my weight and bodyfat daily. I just stand on them first thing and they wifi the information to my withings online account and app. I really like them and even persuaded my brother to get a set.

I wouldn’t normally recommend weighing yourself every day, as in some cases it can cause a bit of an obsession or can determine people’s moods (down if the scale shows an increase, up if the scale shows a decrease), but I’ve managed to get to a point with my weight that I’m just seeing it as a result of what I’m going.

The automatic graphs are cool too.

And the result is, very much, up down up down up down. ;-) There’s a pattern of up at the end / beginning of the month, then down. That’s what being a woman does to you / me.

A focus on eating and training better In July, led to a good drop, then a few illnesses, rest and a holiday in October, and bit of christmas also led to a bit of an up too. Back to where I started at the end of June, around 129lbs.

I like to be around 124lbs, or 12-13% body fat. (On the withings wifi scales you can select an ‘athlete’ option, and it gives me a rather low body fat % of around 12-16% body fat %. Whereas the ‘normal’ bodyfat measure gives me a % range of about 24-28% bodyfat.)

I chose the athlete mode, as although I don’t think my body fat % is 13%, I think it’s (probably around 18-20%) closer to 13% than it is to 28% body fat (having looked at pictures guiding what female bodies with various body fat measures look like).

Either way it’s measured, as long as I continue to use the same measure, I’ll see the change / results. 13% will do for this ‘athlete’ eh? ;-)

Anyway, here’s my progress since the end of December – having settled down back into daily life and work, and after another illness (cough), 15 days of rest, and 12 days of training (runs and strength):

A good overall loss of 6lbs, close to my sweet spot of 124lbs. And a drop in body fat of 1.5%. That’ll do. :-D

I’ve been trying to make better choices with food, tasty salads when I’m out, and more veg, less / no white carbs. Smoothies and berries and yogurt.

Training hasn’t been as regular as I’d wanted, with 6 days full rest at the start of the year, and a missed weekend (rest) last weekend with the snow. But it seems to be working. So all good.

Finally, here’s a rainbow from today:

My weight will no doubt go up in the next week or so. Up down up down up down.

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How to STAY motivated…

Last week I wrote a post about how to GET motivated to run:

And I’ve written about motivation in the past:

– / – / –

Now I seem to be struggling a little with being motivated to train, like I’ve lost what’s important about me getting up and out for training. :-/ and the cold and ice and darkness is not helping me! Grrrr.

In fact, I’ll get my excuses out now: This snow and weather and darkness of winter is really starting to get to me. And it (and my excuses) are pushing me to replace workout days with rest days (when I’d rather be training in some way). :-(

I’ve found that since the start of this year, it’s seemed to be a lot harder to run or train early mornings (630-730am), it’s as if a ‘I can’t be bothered switch’ has suddenly been turned on in my brain. And whilst I could get up and out for 630am, I’m tending to choose not to. :-O mmmmm.

I got around it last week by getting up half an hour early (7am), going into work half an hour early and doing lunchtime runs. – Which worked (and I’ll use again if I turn into a morning lazy monster again).

But now this week, the snow is here and I’m most definitely not trying to run on the iced streets, for anything (yaktrax or not). Aaaahhhh! ;-)

And now I hear from Lizzy, one of my colleagues / FB followers, that her sister in law slipped and broke her leg on the ice. It definitely isn’t worth that! (I value my legs and my health, too much!

And I guess if I don’t get runs in because of the snow (or work or whatever) it won’t be the end of the world. But it’s always good to get out and about for a run (warmer weather is on its way soon thankfully!) I really can’t face the treadmill much more (eeek, only been on it twice in the last year or so).

– / – / –

Anyway, how do you stay motivated to keep active when it’s cold, dark and perhaps really bad weather?

Here’s some ways you can do it:

1. Change what you do
If it’s really icy outside, you could go to the gym and run on the treadmill. Or you could change tact all together. Get your cardio from a swim (although the thought of swimming isn’t sitting well with me with the cold just now).

Or get your cardio from a spin session of bike session in the gym. You could even go for a nice brisk hill walk in the snow (but keep safe). You’re still active and doing something.

You could even change tact and do strength training or a class at the gym to mix it up until the snow clears and you can run again.

2. Be accountable to someone
Recently my brother Ewen started running a lot more, 5-6 times a week. He’s started running the majority of his runs slow and runs one run a week as an 8k time trial. He’s doing well and he’s enjoying it.

And he’s taken to texting me the results of (ALL OF) his runs. The distance, time and heart rate. It might be boring to some (and it’s slightly annoying when he texts me and I’ve not been able to, or been too lazy to, run), but I like seeing the progress, and it’s nice to be able to congratulate or encourage him.

You can be accountable to one person (a friend, partner or family member), or you could put your plans on Facebook or on a blog. Then once you’ve said you’re going to do it, you usually do it. Share your goals and keep them important and in your mind to motivate you out of the door.

I update my weekly plan each Sunday on my blog which helps me to be focused on what j want to do that week. Sometimes it goes out the window on the first day, but then I just reassess it and change it to fit in.

Let your partner know your plans and get support from them. If your partner wakes up and says to you, ‘aw, just go back to sleep, it’s dark and cold’ – chances are you will. But if you tell them how important it is to you, ask them to back you up, to not tell you to go back to bed, and to turn all of lights and music on – chances are, you’ll get up. ;-)

3. Pair up with someone else
I’ve been motivated out of my bed for a run on many a morning, simply because I’ve arranged to meet someone at 630am for a run.

Once or twice a week, or however often you want. Get a training buddy and you get the social chat, plus the motivation to get up on those cold dark mornings (or get out on those cold dark nights).

Run with new people you haven’t run with before, reach out and help someone else be motivated to run (and it helps you be motivated to run). Remember how far you’ve come and how lucky you are to be ABLE to run. Run an adventure if you can.

4. Set goals, remember and achieve them.
Set goals and make achieving them important to you. If you enter a half marathon in 6 weeks, you’ll need to train for it, so if you want to do well, you’d better not slack off your runs (too much). If you miss a day or two and feel guilty, just reset the next day and start afresh.

Be even more motivated to do what you planned to do. Get over any lazyitus or excuses you might have. Just get out there (or get to the gym) and do it. Get a training plan, and stick to it as much as you can. Still be flexible but get the majority of your training done.

Remember the buzz you get from exercising. The endorphins and good feeling. Know that you’ll probably feel great after you exercise, so stop humming and hawing and just do it.

5. Make exercise appointments
This one works for me. You wouldn’t generally stand a friend up (unless you forgot), so you shouldn’t stand yourself up if you plan to exercise. When exercising in the morning, I tend to set myself mini time appointments: 6:00 wake up, 6:10 be out of bed, 6:20 getting ready / downstairs, 6:30 ready and out the door.

And if I’ve chosen not to make the morning session, I’ll make an appointment with myself for lunchtime, 12:45, get changed and go running. Or if a lunchtime run isn’t possible due to work commitments, 6:00pm is my other training session appointment. It’s just 30 mins to an hour of exercise. It’s hardly a lifetime! Anyone can do it.

6. Commit and think ‘will do’ not excuses
It’s cold, it’s dark, the car will need scraping, I’m tired, it’s dark, maybe I need a rest day – there are so many excuses that go through my head sometimes to stop me getting up when it early, cold and dark.

The way around this is to plan ahead what you’re going to do, commit to it and do it. There’s no ‘try’ or no ‘maybe’ – commit to saying ‘I’m going swimming tomorrow morning’. Have a good reason for going swimming and do it.

Lay your stuff out the night before so that by 6:10am your ready, in your clothes and ready to go scrape the car to go to the pool. It’s not hard. Anyone can do it, you just need to make the choice to commit and do it.

You’ll feel great after it.

7. Remember balance and remember what’s important.
In life it’s easy to get swept along with work, family and other things of people taking over. What’s the most important thing to me?

Probably my health. I have my health, so maybe it shouldn’t be too important to me, but it is. I want to be fit and healthy and strong for as long as I can be. And the last few months fading in and out of colds has been very annoying.

Getting a balance is good too though. I’ve learned not to batter my body with demanding training schedules and take plenty rest and sleep when i need it. That’s what balance is, along with being social, getting out and about and just enjoying life.

I’ve lost any excess weight I had, so I don’t need to train for that, but I train to maintain my weight, to feel good and be healthy. I make my training important in my life, just as my relationship with Fit Girl is important, my work and family is important, as is being social, helping people and being happy is important to me.

Placing an importance on your goals is one way of making sure you get things done. Weight, body fat, health, number of times a week – all goals that you can work towards to achieve.

I’ve run out of ideas, but hopefully the above will help me and you get motivated to keep going. And, if you miss a few workouts, you do bits not the end of the world and you’ll be able to get back on track soon. Just don’t lose your motivation forever!

– / – / –

It’s nearing the end of January and if you started a New Years resolution, you might be struggling with it by now. But you don’t have to be. Acknowledge that change can be hard, and remember why you’re making the changes you are. It’s important, and you can do it.

If you struggle one day, or one weekend, just restart the next day. Use some of the tips above (and in the links on this page) and get closer to being the new improved version of you. Small changes, bit by bit, can lead to big big changes.

You can do it! (and I can get out of my bed for an early morning swim one day this week too!!)

More links:

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