Steps, massage and sleep

Last week, I did almost 140,000 steps, or an average of 20,000 steps per day. It was a 50 mile week again:

13.1 miles on Monday,
7.3 miles on Tuesday,
6.4 miles on Wednesday, then
24 miles running at the weekend at the Thunder Run 24.

(The Sunday steps didn’t record, but it was 30,000 for that day).

Now I’ve forced myself into a week of rest, Monday to Friday, see how I am Saturday. And I’m averaging just 6,000 steps a day. Walk to work, walk around work, walk home from work. Maybe a walk to the shops.

My garmin decides my steps goal based on my performance the day before, so my goal is dropping and dropping. (It’s usually around 10,000). It says I’ve still walked around 3 miles a day. :-)

I’ll take another rest day today, where, at work I’m going to be copying and pasting about 300 letters – great fun. But very satisfying when it’s all done.

Last night I treated myself to an all over massage from Clare at Fitness Therapy Glasgow – and my oh my was it good. My hamstrings were a bit tight, but it was my neck and shoulders that were wrecked (stress?). I’m going back in three or so weeks time to get some more seeing to.

I’m hoping I’ll be back running on Saturday, an easy half marathon with Fit Girl as part of our training for the Loch Ness marathon which is about 8 weeks away.

Last thing is that I’m getting good sleeps, 8-9 hours to help my recovery.

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Thunder Run 24 – 2015

We did it again – the Thunder Run 24. Last weekend we ran 24 laps of a challenging 6 mile course, 144 miles in 24:24:12! An avg of 10:10 minute miles.


In our team, we had 2 BBC staff, 5 dentists and a teacher. In order of running we were: Mike, me, Billy, Eileen, Mark, Susan, Al and Alison. Most people did 3 runs across the 24 hours, but Mark and Al wanted to do 2, so Mike and I offered to do 4. Clyde came as our mascot.

A bit of a step up for me since last years tough 3 laps, but if done the training and I was up for it. I’d also learned from last year, and was determined make an effort to fuel and sleep better this year. (Not sure if the sugar and caffeine below counts as fuelling better).

I also remembered after last year and how wiped I was so I was keen not to push it too much (keep my heart rate down and not let it go crazy high on the runs), and take care.

We got to the campsite on the Friday night, and it was raining. We dropped our stuff off and went for a very tasty steak the night before the run. We were well fed and had fun.

Then here’s what happened, food and runs for me. The plan was for me to run at approximately 1pm, 9pm and 4am (2 laps). The rain was meant to stop on Saturday, the weather to get better, then start raining again Sunday morning.



Food: Porridge, banana, coffee

Thunder run 1 – 12:52pm
6 miles: 65 mins / 10:53 min miles
Hot, very slippy underfoot for first 5k
avg HR 157, max HR 171
Garmin training effect 4.0
Splits: 10:59, 11:05, 11:45, 11:00, 11:11, 9:16

It was very slippy underfoot from the rain from the night before. I remembered my 1st run from last year and my heart rate being really high. I was keen not to push it, so kept my heart rate as low as I could, which meant my time and pace was much slower (8 mins). I was fine with that though, especially as it was quite warm again.

I had a nap in the tent afterwards, maybe got 1-2 hours sleep. This year I took ear plugs which really helped. And after each run I decided I’d make sure I ate, and that I drank a can of full fat coke too (for energy).


I went back and cheered on some of our runners, and I saw Mike and Al and Billy and Eileen changeover.

Food: Baked potato and beans & can of coke
Small mars bar
Small snickers
Green recovery smoothie
Small Banana


At 9 o’clock at night, it wasn’t quite dark yet, although last year I clearly remembered running in the dark at a very similar time. We might have been 20 minutes ahead of last year by this point. We were on run 10.

I got my head torch on, and an extra layer on top as it was starting to get chilly. Like last year, the second lap seemed easier than the first, and I managed to get around it well.

My avg hr was just 1 beat lower than the first lap, but my time was 8 minutes faster. The paths had dried up mostly by this point. On the route, the first mile is pretty much uphill, then it goes up and down for about 2-3 miles and the last mile is downhill. Once you get past the first 5k, you know it’s going to get easier.



Thunder run 2 – 20:52
6 miles: 57 mins / 9:33 min miles
Cool, fine underfoot, sun setting (not dark yet)
avg HR 156, max HR 176
Garmin training effect 3.8
Splits: 10:23, 9:14, 9:51, 9:41, 9:48, 8:03

Mike met me after my run, and I was grateful he accompanied me back to the camp in the dark. I’d hear the chips were amazing so I went to get some, and Mike suggested cheese too, so I got some, plus a can of coke.

I went back to camp and sat and ate my chips and my coke, in the dark, on my own, with my head torch on. It was quite a special moment. Lol.

Food: Chips and cheese & can of coke
Small Mars bar

I was finished my 2nd lap about 9:45ish, and by the time I’d had my food, I managed to get to bed for about 11. I decided the was no point in having a shower in the dark, and sleep was more important. So I gave myself a baby wipe down instead.


I slept from about 11-3 on and off, then was awake and ready to go again. I felt better than last year, but I think it’s because I knew what was coming and I was psyching myself up for 2 laps. I had a small mars bar, or maybe two before heading over to the start line. Then I had to rush to the loo for some not so fun, before I started.

Thunder run 3 – 4:24am
Lap1: 6 miles: 62 mins / 10:26 min miles
Cool, sun rising, still a bit dark in trees
avg HR 154 max HR 170
Garmin training effect 3.6
Splits: 10:44, 10:19, 10:54, 10:45, 10:26, 9:21

Lap2: 6 miles: 55 mins / 9:17 min miles
Cool, sun rising, dry underfoot
avg HR 160 max HR 172
Garmin training effect 4.1
Splits: 10:38, 9:12, 9:25, 9:07, 9:16, 8:03


Food: 2 caffeine gels on the run
2 porridge and a can of coke.

The 3rd lap was ok, as the sun started to come up, at around 4am. I had my water pack on and had two gels and I was going to take this lap easy again. I really managed to keep my heart rate down, and just enjoyed the run. The course wasn’t slippy, and I just ploughed on. I was pleased to see Mike near the end cheering me on (nearly 5am).


As I crossed the line the first time, billy and Mike were cheering me on. And Midnight cowboy by Schnarff Schnarff came on, which kept me going. My last lap, I knew I could go all out if I wanted.

It was getting light now and as I got to a steep grassy bit, just before mile 2, a woman in pink started to run next to me. I was going to slow it down on the hills like I usually do, but Lucy was going at such a similar pace to me I thought I could piggy back on her cadence.


I said to her ‘I think you might just get me up this hill’. We stayed together, and then I even managed to accelerate at the top. I left her for a bit on the down hill, then she caught up with me again, and she helped me up another hill. It was great. We ran together for a bit and got chatting. Her name was Lucy. And she really did keep me going.

We stayed together until about mile 4, where there’s a big downhill, and she finished not long after me.

I finished the last lap in 57 minutes, a whole 5 minutes faster than the 3rd lap, and my last mile on laps 2 and 4 were my fastest.

Food: Small mars bar
Green recovery smoothie
Big Mac
Small mars bar
Chicken curry

After the last run, I didn’t sleep. But I did go for a well earned shower! I hung about a bit to cheer in Eileen on her last lap, and eventually went for my very long hot shower. I was more prepared this year with plastic bags.


I helped pack up the camp site, and by 10 or 11 in the morning (the time the rain came) I was starting to get hungry. One of the support team offered to get us a McDonald’s, so I jumped at getting a Big Mac. My food choices seemed to go down in quality and my performance went up! ;-)


Alison finished her 3rd run in the rain, and our 23rd lap at about 11:30am, so Mike went out to run his 4th lap.

Afterwards, my body wasn’t all that sore, I was mainly tired, dehydrated and hungry. And the arched of my feet were sore on the Monday.

All in all another great time had, and now I’m just being careful to get rest, sleep and food to recover. And a massage on Thursday night. I might run again at the weekend.

Fri night 2-4, 5-9 = 6 hours
Sat nap 5-7 = 2 hours, 11-3 = 4 hours
Sun = 2-4 = 2 hours (in car), 11-7 = 8 hours

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Weather for the Thunder Run 24

We got here for the Thunder Run 24 at about 8pm tonight and are camping.

It was raining when we got here… But the good news is, the forecast looks ok.

The rain seems to have stopped and hopefully it’ll be s bit nicer.

I think I’m maybe running at:

1pm 6 miles
9pm 6 miles
4am 12 miles

Fingers crossed.

Here’s the proposed order:

Mike 12
Lorn 1
Billy 2
Eileen 3
Mark 4
Susan 5
Alison 6
Al 7

Mike 8
Lorn 9
Billy 10
Eileen 11
Susan 12
Alison 1
Al 2
Mike 3

Lorn 4
Billy 6
Eileen 7
Mark 8
Susan 9
Alison 10
End? Or Mike!

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One year on… making me think

I was looking back today, at my blog from the end of July last year, and into August last year.

And, ahead of this years Thunder Run (24 hour team relay event, starting at 12 on Saturday, in Birmingham), it made me think … (and it’s one of the reasons I write a blog).

Last year, in June, I had a great half marathon run, at the Skye Half marathon – where I surprised myself with a (12 second) pb. I was feeling good.

Then I trained for the Thunder Run 24, and did it. It was great fun, a great event, but it was hard. I maybe didn’t realise just how hard. The (lack of) sleep was the worst bit. I think I might have got 3-4 hours over the weekend. It was so good though, we’re all (mostly) back for this years event.

And I was tired for the week or so after it. I took a recovery week, but then got back into training. I didn’t feel quite right, a bit nauseous, maybe like I had a viral infection? Who knows.

Anyway, I had the first leg of the John Lucas Memorial Relay to run – 10 miles, in the middle of August. And I didn’t drink water during the run. I was really dehydrated, then after it, I started a cold and felt unwell. Booooo.

Then started around 5-6 months of me feeling not quite right. I felt sick quite a bit of the time. Blood tests = all were ok. (And no I wasn’t pregnant ;-) ).

Sorry for the horrible image….

In October I fainted when I got off a bike after a short intense workout. Big black eye for 2 weeks. Booooo. Then I had to drop out of the Southside six. Boooooo again.

It was all just a bit crappy really. Maybe I broke myself a bit?

I vowed to make my health and recovery more important this year.

It all made me realise maybe I’m not so Super after all… I can overtrain and become ill, so I need to train well, rest and recover well and take care of myself (sleep, rest, food, fun).

This year I’ve learned a bit, and I’ve been taking time out more and listening to my body when I’m tired.

I’ve packed on a few lbs since then (+8-10lbs approx), my blood pressure is ok, not too low, and my vo2 Max estimate peaked at 52 the other day.

This year, (during and) after the Thunder Run, I’m going to be really careful to take a bit more care.

– During the run, I’ll be more careful to keep my heart rate down, under 150 where I can (the first run was hot, avg hr was 165!) it might mean slower runs, but we (in the team) are all ok with that.

– After, take my health and recovery serious. (Eat, drink, sleep, run, fun, time out, strength, listen). Take a break!

– Listen to how I feel after the thunder run, and increase my rest / adjust my training (get more rest and recovery when I need it).

– Take the focus off running for a bit, back to strength (with 1 long run a week, marathon prep). Mix things up a bit.

I’ve arranged a late start on the Monday after the Thunder Run… as I think I might need it.

… and I’ve got no events in August, so my focus will be on recovery and building myself back up for the Loch Ness marathon at the end of September (whilst keeping an eye on all my vitals). :-)

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VO2 Max estimate 52

I’ve been doing more running recently and I’m feeling good when I’m running. My vo2 max estimate (as calculated by my Garmin 620) increased after today’s long run. :-) up to 52 today.

It’s tended to sit around 51 then when I run more it goes up, going to 53 in March when I was training for the Balloch Half marathon, and up to 55 in May last year when I was training for the Belfast Marathon.

On Saturday I noticed how much I was enjoying running and how easy steady runs were feeling.

Although if you look at the graph above, the big dip at the start of the graph down to 49 was after the Thunder Run 24 last year, so I’d better be careful and get done good recovery in this year.

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New Playlist for the Thunder Run

When I do my own events (that I’m not pacing others for) I like to run with one ear of music in. When I run on my own in training I also like to run with music to keep me going (both ears).

I thought now would be a good time to make a new playlist, the week before the Thunder Run.

So here goes, my playlist is over a day long, 470 songs, by artists / albums including:

Basement Jaxx
Crowded House
Daft Punk
David Guetta
The Script
Emile Sande
First State
Florence and the Machine
Foo Fighters
KT Tunstall
Massive Attack
The Prodigy
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Schnarff Schnarff
Teenage Fanclub
The Weekender

Should keep me going on my runs. :-)

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Bird table for the birdies

I bought this bird table the other morning (when I couldn’t sleep!). Eeeek but I had been looking for one for a while.

It came on Friday and I built it today.

It’s got a good compartment which keeps the bird food sheltered. And is quite a nice size. :-)

I’m keeping it in the back garden just now, until the front garden is done up.

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