100 miles for February

I made it! Even with about week off running with a cold at the start of the month, I managed to get to 100 miles for February. 🙂

A bit of packing it in towards the end again, by if I run 100 miles or more in march it should be easier as there are 3 more days and I’ll hopefully not be off running with a cold.

The cold last month might have had something to do with running a lot towards the end of the month, so I’ll keep an eye on that and try not to get run down again.

This mornings little run kicked off just after 630am as the sun was coming up. It was about -2’C but other than that it was nice. I was wrapped up warm and up for my short run.

I don’t tend to run less than 3 miles when I got out, with 5 miles being one of my more regular distances to run. It was quite nice to just do just over 20 minutes, but I was maybe just warming up by the time I got back.

Oh and I cracked open my new running trainers too – shiney pink mizuno wave inspires. I like them a lot. Out with the old…

My avg hr was 147, nice and steady, max 155. A nice wee recovery run to finish off my month. Today I have some walking into town, then tomorrow a hills coaching session. Thursday rest / Edinburgh day, Friday 5k.

Running 100 miles a month certainly has motivated me when I maybe wouldn’t have normally run that distance, or as much. Or I’d have found excuses to not run, so it’s working well.

Here we go anyway, 2 months at 100 miles – let’s see what the rest of the year brings.

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Motivation is a funny thing

Motivation is a funny thing. It can dip or peak, and can change from one minute to the next. And sometimes it can be a thought to figure out what it is that motivates you, to get you out the door for that run, or what it is that motivates you to keep running until you’re done.

One thing that motivated me in January, was a mini goal to run 100 miles in a month, and it’s continued into February. It’s worked for me to break the monthly distance down and get me out running even when life, work or weather has been against me.

Stupid weather, rain and wind. Yuk. The very forecast can put you off, then when you go out running you realise it’s not as bad as predicted. Wrap up well, wear waterproof layers and you’ll usually be fine. If you do get soaked through take care after your run to dry off. warm up and fuel up.

Last week work kind of got in the way a bit and instead of my planned 8 mile, 4 mile, 5 miles runs, I ended up doing 2 x 5ks, and I was going to do another on Friday, but didn’t. I swapped my lunchtime run for work instead.

With around 28 miles to go, with 4 days left, I planned a run on Saturday, and we did 7.5 miles ok in reasonable weather.

Then on Sunday I knew I had to get a one one in, despite the horrible weather. Arg. I didn’t fancy two hours running in the rain, but I got myself out there and manage it, (despite me telling myself at the start I’d just do 8 miles, and that’d be ok.)

– So I set myself a time to get out by, 10am.
– Then I got myself ready, fuel and hydrated to go out (after a good long sleep).
– Then when I started running, I told myself I’d split it down into 3 miles, 4×3 miles maybe.
– Then as I was running, 40 minutes in the rain got heavier, and by 50 minutes in I was soaked through to my pants. :-S – Wind, rain, cold. Yuk. Music on.

My motivation levels were there, but they were waning slightly. Could I really stick this out for another hour plus? Aaaarggg.

– So I said to myself, I’ll run 9 miles – 3×3.
– but I was already far away from home at the other side of Pollok Park. – I changed my music to Sigma to keep me going.
– so I tricked myself inside the park, and added on a loop here, and a loop there. – before I knew it, I was 9 miles in, and around 3 miles from home.
– I added on a little bit, and I told myself to get to 13.1 miles as planned, I just needed to run for another 30 minutes. – I added on another bit…
– I was soaked through anyway, so what the worst that another 30 minutes could do?

– I picked up the effort a little, and ran the long way home, down Nithsdale Road, 10 miles, 11 miles, 12 miles… nearly there.
– I ended up being a little further away from home than I’d planned, and I wanted to round up my monthly numbers, so I ran 13.39 miles by the time I got back to my house.

My avg heart rate was 156 (85%), max 168 (91%). And I’m pretty sure I did a negative split too. It was a good run, despite the rain. Maybe the rain even made me go faster?

Today I’m 26 days into a 28 day month, so I’m 92.8% of the way through the month. And it so happens I’ve clocked up 92.5 miles so today’s run managed to help me get right back on track with my miles to get me to 100 miles by the end of the month. (Even with a week at the start when I had a cold and didn’t run).

The numbers are motivating me, as does splitting goals down into smaller numbers: 100 miles a month, 20-25 miles a week. Long run, 4×3 plus a little bit. When you split things down into smaller chunks, they seem more manageable, more achievable. Easier for your brain to deal with and try to achieve.

I have 7.5 miles left to run in February – a coaching session tomorrow will probably be about 3 miles ish, then I’ll do 4-4.5 miles easy on the 28th and I’ll have achieved my 100 mile goal for the second month in a row.

It certainly does help to motivate me, get me out running when I could have quite easily stayed nice and dry and warm in my bed. Pushed me to run 13.39 miles instead of 8 miles like I could have done. (Here’s what I had for lunch after it, yum).

Here’s how I increase motivation for myself:

– Set an achievable but challenging goal.

– Have a reason to support your goal – i.e. Get fitter, get healthier, run more regularly. Whatever works for you.

– Plan how you’ll do it, make it work with the rest of your life. Week by week, day by day. Training plan, or an idea if what you’ll do to achieve it.

– Find out what works to get you out, running with others? Music? Weekly plans? Early nights? Regular routes? Setting times / appointments to go out running?

– Break it down into smaller chunks, to help your brain believe it’s more achievable.

– Tell others about your challenge so they encourage you, or so you feel a sense of accountability to them.

– Get yourself a reward once you’ve achieved it, or mini parts of your goal… (i.e. Moyra Janes Mince n Tatties for lunch!) new running gear?

Smiling but soaked through at the end. 😉 done!

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February 100 mile progress

This week has been a little light on running, but I’m not too far from my goal of running 100 miles for the month, so I should still do it.

With 18% of the month left (5 days), I have 28.4 miles to do. I’ve just run 2 x 5k this week, so it’s time to get back on it. 5k at lunchtime on Tuesday, and just over 5k today in Stornoway.

I had a big breakfast at the hotel this morning. Maybe a bit over the top, but it kept me going all day. It was nice weather up there and I managed to avoid storm Doris which was good.

Anyway, back to running. 🙂

28.4 miles to go, 5 days. I’m doing 5k again at lunchtime tomorrow, and I’m doing to run first thing too:

Fri: 8M am + 3.1M lunchtime
Sat: Rest
Sun: 13.1M
Mon: 4.2M (or rest)
Tue: Rest (or 4.2M)

So it’s still on, even after a bit of an easy week.

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Wk7 into Wk8

I’ve not really posted about my training in the last few weeks. Since trying to give blood on 1st Feb sign posted the start of a bit of run down time for me, with a cold the first week of February, I didn’t want any undue pressure on me. So I just ran when I felt like it and was careful not to overdo if.

I felt better by last weekend and did a good 2 hour half marathon with my brother and his friend in Caithness. Then I picked up my training properly again, back on track to hopefully run 100 miles this month, with 3-5 runs a week (after a slow / ill start).

I did a bit of coaching last week, 3 sessions, plus a 10 miler today and a couple of other runs including 1 interval session for myself (i.e. Not coaching):

Mon: Rest (travel back)
Tue: 8.5M including 2 coaching sessions
Wed: 5.6M intervals, 4×6:1
Thu: Rest
Fri: 8.2M including 1.5M coaching TT
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10M, fast 8th mile

No strength training again, which I should probably get back into but I’m enjoying my running just now, so I’ll take it as it comes. I’m away with work to Stornaway for a few days next week, so will take my trainers for a wee jaunt / wake me up on Thursday.

Here’s the plan, which will get me to 93.7 miles for the month, 26/28 days of the month (93% of the way through the month).

20-26 Feb: 6+4.3+5+10+3.1 = 28.1

Mon: 4.3M easy
Tue: 6M intervals maybe
Wed: Up early to Stornoway (Rest)
Thu: 5M easy (Stornoway)
Fri: 5k
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10-13.1M long

Here’s me after my long run today, in my new gillet, a little bit buzzing from running fast. 😉 (I should probably do that more often).

Easy peasy. 😉

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100 miles in a month

In January I was motivated by a simple challenge one of my colleagues Lindsay at work posted on Facebook. 🙂

It wasn’t a specific challenge as such, but a post to say that she was challenging herself to run 80km in January, and she asked others to jump on board and do their own challenge.
With an end to the year of not a lot of running for me, October – December was around 100 miles in total (where average months were 85 miles a month). I decided a goal of 100 miles should be achievable for me.
It was all going well until around the last week where I decided I didn’t feel like doing my planned long 16 mile run and I ended up cramming 21 miles into about 2 days. Not ideal but I did it.

Lindsay was perhaps a bit more planned in her execution of her 80km and she did it with a celebratory run on the 31st January – well done to her. 🙂 It’s possibly all in the planning and delivery of fitting in running around your life.

Now in February, maybe I shouldn’t admit it, but I’d like to do 100 miles again. Less days, and a week out to a cold might be a bit of a steeper challenge that will require more planning and more determination to get my runs done.

Here’s my plan with a little bit of leeway to miss maybe 1 run out of them all:

With 100 miles being the goal, it’s easy to work out where you are with it. We’re 15 days into February, 15/28 = 54% of the way through the month. And I’ve run 47.1 miles, so nearly on target.

I’ll run tomorrow, coach on Friday and a long run on Sunday and that should get me to around 66 miles, (and 68% through the month). I’m not sure if I’ll carry this on every month, but it certainly is motivational to get you up and out. 12 x 100 miles might be cool for 2017.

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Rainbow Thanks

I went to see Batman the Lego movie last weekend with my brother and his family. Kids bring me a good reason to go and see and enjoy a kids movie.

It was a good film, the main story of the film was that Batman got through life mostly on his own, and either pushed people away or saved the world in his own. He was an orphan billionaire with no family of his own to speak of, and it was only towards the end of the film that the story ‘friends become family’ came out.

One of my favourite lines was ‘Life has no seatbelts’… I guess we just have to hold on, sit tight and try to enjoy the ride.

Sometimes family isn’t there for you, but good friends are. I’ve noticed this and I’m so glad I had friends or friends of the family there to help guide me through life.

This brings me onto my thing for February. My ‘Rainbow Thanks’. I’ve realised over the last year or so, that when I was a kid, some of my family either split up, got out or weren’t really there for me. I got on with it though and I found I reached out to others for support and guidance, I was very lucky.

I was the youngest of 5, and from the age of me being about 9, times got tough and some got out. Some remained and still remain close to me. My Mum wasn’t really there for me much, and as a result I found myself reaching out to others.

I realised there are a few in my family I leaned on, but mostly I found my family or my support network in non family members. I also built relationships up within my family, making an effort with my Dad, my Granny and my Aunt. Spending time with them and really getting to know them. Being there for them when they needed it too.

For me, around 8-10 people formed my support network and helped me to grow and flourish as I was growing up. They helped me to understand the world, to know that it was ok to be me, to be individual and to care.

I’ll not go into detail on who they are, mostly strong individual female figures, who helped guide me and helped me see straight and see perspective when life was a little crazy.

The neighbour, the family friend, the babysitter, my best friend, the other good friend, my Dad, my brother, a close friend who was there for me in the last year.

My Granny was also one of them, and a lovely lady Norma from my home town. Both who have passed away but are strongly in my thoughts. They brought me the elephant to have fun with (Granny), and the giraffe to laugh at because it looks funny (Norma).

I drove past Norma’s house recently and I had to smile when I thought of all the times we chatted and we shared this together. She was one very special lady.

My Granny also brought me the rainbow, which I made up in my head so that whenever a rainbow appeared, I’d think of her and remember her, and hope I was going her proud.

Anyway, I decided I really wanted to thank those who have been here for me, mostly from my childhood, and one from current times. Eight very special people to me. So I bought 8 rainbow glass arch bridges from Rainbow Lux Glass.

I took some time out in January and wrote each person an individual wee note thanking them for being there for me, and telling them why the rainbow was so important to me.

Then I got some boxes, ribbons and rainbow tissue paper and collected it all together. Adding a Moonpig card with a picture of a rainbow from the bottom of my granny’s garden, and the thank you note inside it.

I decided I would hand deliver all of my rainbow thanks, and this weekend I’ve been up to Inverness and Wick dropping off most of them.

I feel very lucky to have had these people in my life, people who took time out with me when I was younger (and now) and helped me become strong and know what’s right and wrong. Strong influences who helped me to grow up to be me.

Today I have two left to give away. One I’ll be able to give today, then another will be given in April time hopefully when I get a chance to visit the last person on my rainbow thanks list.

Lastly, a strange thing happened last year when I ordered my 8 rainbow bridges. It was about October time, and I showed my boss that I was buying them for people who had been there for me.

She looked a bit annoyed and said ‘That’s your Christmas ruined then! I got you one of them.’ Randomly, out of all the things she could have picked me, she bought me a rainbow bridge from rainbow lux glass, before I’d even seen them. She knows he so well.

So I have my own rainbow bridge in my livingroom too now. 🙂

I hope my friends / family like them.

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A little run down …

Maybe when I have blood and my haemoglobin was unusually lower than normal, I should have realised that something was working on me… well it’s here now… a little annoying sneezy, sniffly cold – Bugs are here.

It started on Sunday with some sneezing (and I decided I wouldn’t run my planned 10 miles first thing in the cold and rain). I had a very large fish supper for lunch instead. 🙂

Hopefully this will just be a little sniffle that will go away and I’ll get back to my running later this week if I’m up to it. I’ll take pills and eat and drink well in the meantime (and try not to moan too much!!)

No coaching this week anyway, that picks up again next week, so I should be fighting fit by then.

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