Graham’s Skyr yoghurt pouches

This week I got these as snacks / for after lunch treat type things. They come in different flavours… and pack about 15g of protein and about 10g of sugar.

The taste sort of reminds me of when I was little and my Dad would buy us Ski yoghurts which were probably full of sugar… with not much protein, I’d guess. This one has quite a tart flavour, but I liked it more as I ate it.

They’re quite tasty anyway. I had a superberry one yesterday and have a strawberry one to have tomorrow.

Worth a try for a wee after dinner / lunch treat. You can probably buy them cheaper in 500g or 1kg pots rather than squeeze pouches, mind you.

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Dealing with the ups and downs of life

I’ve been speaking to people recently, and the overwhelming feeling I get from many is that the way things are just now, with covid restrictions and worries all over, is that many people are worried, concerned and not feeling great in these times.

‘Covid is sh!t’ has become my new saying… yet, really it hasn’t impacted me all that badly.

Sure I’ve / we’ve been in lockdown down, had our movements restricted, not been able to go abroad for holidays, not been able to see loved ones or go out for our regular meals and coffees.

I usually say it out loud when the thing I want in the shop isn’t in stock… as if to announce to the shop worker that it’s not their fault, but it’s covid’s fault they sold out or stock isn’t available.

Being restricted from not seeing family and friends is probably the hardest part of it all for me, yet when restrictions eased a bit I was able to travel and visit some friends and family. The simple things in life to go see and engage with the ones who know me best and the ones I love.

What I haven’t gratefully had yet is actually covid, or if I did, I don’t know about it. It sounds like the health impacts after having covid can be hellish, and it’s something I really don’t want – and also something I’m consciously grateful to have not experienced.

We all know it affects different people differently, from no symptoms at all…. to shortness of breath, and after effects going on for 6 months, lethargy, viral symptoms which come and go repeatedly, to of course…. death.

In about 6 months there have been about 2,500 deaths in Scotland (about 500 per 1 million population)… and 42k in the UK as a whole (about 700 per 1 million population in England).

Lockdown, and last six months has been pretty sh!t, but then like anything in life, it is what you make it. And this is where I think I’ve come out ok – with my deep down characteristic of always seeing the positive when I can. Rose tinted glasses, they work for me.

I was speaking to someone the other day and she was fed up. Fed up of lockdown, fed up of the restrictions, fed up of stupid people not following the restrictions, not doing what she would do, what we have been asked to do for our safety. She was wound up and talking about it, going around in circles, berating herself and this country and the world for the situation we’ve found ourselves in.

I see it a different way – when I get upset about the restrictions or other people not following it, or sometimes when I even just get upset and I have no idea why. I recognise that we’re in such a strange and unprecedented time. Stress levels will be higher, things that were normal to do before have been taken away.

We can’t just pop out to see out friends and family, and the news seems to always about covid and deaths and more possible restrictions here, there and everywhere.

My view on other people misbehaving or not following the restrictions is as follows – people are people. If they don’t do or say as I do, then that’s up to them. It’s disappointing, particularly when so many others are following the roles.

What I do know is that I have pretty much most of the time I have followed the guidance and restrictions, followed FACTS… worn the mask, kept my distance from people, washed my hands, not travelled when travel restrictions were in place. I can’t help or stop what strangers do and there’s no point in letting it wind me up.

All I can do is set an example, or maybe talk to those I’m close to and explain what I’m doing which is inline with the guidance, if they’re not. Do what’s safe and not out others or myself I at risk.

I have a neighbour who is a retired nurse and she’s great at it all… keeping distance, not going into houses, keeping herself to herself. Whereas I have to admit, sometimes I forget, and fall into an automatic way of being before the restrictions. But mostly I remember.

How here’s how I’ve learned to deal with covid and all the other restrictions and stresses of lockdown – to do the following:

1. Recognise this is an odd time and I might feel upset or worried – accept that and know that it’s perfectly normal to feel unsettled. Recognise that you may be stressed, or upset, accept it and try to recharge.

2. Do things that you enjoy / being you joy – for me it’s – cycling, walking, running, drinking coffee, flying my kite, phoning friends and family. Sit in the garden and watch the birdies. For you it might be other things – go do them, once or twice or three times a day.

3. Stop watching the daily government briefings, but catch up in the News (or online). Prevent doom overload, but still get the key points at a set time / when I want to.

4. Do nice things for others – send a birthday card, send some flowers, help someone in their garden, reach out to others, meet them if you can or phone them up for a chat.

5. Note down what you’re grateful for in life. I bet you that the list is probably very very long.

6. Listen to music or an audiobook / podcast / radio programme to get some storytelling or perspective.

7. Write down all the pros and cons, and remember you still have the most important thing, your health. Concentrate on the positives if you can – find the good in life.

8. Remember perspective – remember there are likely many more people out there worse off than you, with health, financial or other concerns. Life may feel tough, or you might be feeling worried, but hopefully in the grand scheme of things they’re good. And remember it’s ok not to be ok – reach out and talk to someone.

9. Focus on positive action and something you haven’t been able to do out of lockdown – like a new fitness routine, or diet or way to get fitter or lose any weight you feel you need to. – or try and practice something new – like coffee art, or colouring in, painting or something you’ve always wanted to try but life got in the way. Practice practice practice and it could come good … or not, like my coffee art. 😂

10. Don’t let worry consume you – recognise it’s happening and stop and reset. Don’t over talk or over dramatise the challenges in life – instead, get a plan on how you’ll either accept them or get over them. Or try instead to think of the positive and nice things you’ll do to get some balance.

11. Recharge your batteries – this all ties into the above points. Take time out to let your body and mind recharge. Get plenty sleep and rest, fun and joy if you can.

12. Be kind to others, and treat them the way you would like to be treated. And be kind to yourself too.

Now some other things happened recently where it hit me that it’s not all just covid…

… life as we know it from before still exists. We’re all still impacted in life by things that are so upsetting and seem so unfair – cancer, dementia, other illnesses, pain, injuries.

All of the other bad things still exist, other diseases, inequities, accidents, injuries… but so do all the other good things too. Children playing and growing up, puppies and kittens, birds and bird song, kite flying, the great outdoors, medicine, colouring in, you name it – the things that give us joy.

I don’t know about you, but it seems so much easier to just get upset at the drop of a hat recently. The other day I got in the car for a m short early morning journey… before I went a run … and there was a piece on which really hit my heart strings. I went from feeling fine and ready to run, to crying uncontrollably in the car.

It all felt very odd, but it all actually made totally sense, as to where I was day to day and I opened up and talked it out with a friend and felt better.

There are a few things getting to me in my life just now… some I won’t go into, and all of them will pass.

The main one which I’m dealing with as positively as I can is my injury. In the grand scheme of things, it’s a very small thing – a hip flexor injury which is preventing me from running. It’s impacting me day to day – but it’s how I think about it which is key to how hard or easy it will be for me:

1. I need to focus on other things, more positive things that I can do to help me recover from the injury and know that I’ll be back running one day. So cycling, foam rolling, massages, rest, sleep, walking. I can get aerobic exercise and endorphins through cycling (and swimming when the pools are open). Running doesn’t need to be the be all and end all.

2. Try not to be down about not being able to run – some people aren’t able to run, or choose not to run, and they’re fine. Know that you’ll be back doing it when you’re better. It might take a month, or three or six, but you’ll get there.

3. Focus on recovery, and what you can do to fix it. Don’t be silly, do try to run before you can walk. Take rest and recovery when you need it. Manage any pain, and get medical or professional advice on how to make it better.

4. Know that there are people much worse off than you, and apart from this you’re in good health. Be grateful for your health, and try to remain positive.

5. Recognise if you’re falling into a trap of being sad about it, and talk to people about how you feel.

6. Know that you’ve been through and got through worse before… a broken leg, an injured IT band, personal challenges. This too will pass.

We all go through tough bits in life, and when we get through them, sometimes it’s those challenges and how we deal with them which make us who we are. They build our resilience and strength up so we can deal with anything else life throws at us in the future.

Whatever challenges life throws at us, they can be tough or a shock at the time, but we usually get through the bad times, just as we enjoy the good times. If we can train our brains to be more positive and not worry, and recognise when our brain is working against us with negative or worrying thoughts, then it can lead to being able to deal with the challenges better.

Finally, here’s my tips if you’re feeling a little stressed, unsettled or upset or worried:

– Recognise and accept your stress, upset and battery levels and remember to recharge them.

– Your mind is a special thing too, and how you think can make a real difference to your life and the way you see things – reframe it if you need to, to try to make it better if you can. Less catastrophising, more positive thinking and action. Less of an ordeal, more of an adventure!

– Know that this will pass, and try to think of the positives, instead of going over and over the challenges and worries.

– Go easy on yourself and do things you enjoy, that bring you joy. Fun, smiles, happiness.

– Talk to others, it’s ok not to be ok, and it’s good to get it out and see other perspectives. Be nice to others too – you never know what others are going through.

– Remember how special you and life and being able to connect with other is. Look at your children, or the things that your proud of, and smile.

Take the ups with the downs, and learn and live as you go.

And if you’re struggling and why not speak to someone – do it – why not phone a friend, or call the Samaritans on 116 123, or the charity MIND 24 HIIT helpline on 0300 123 3393.

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New bike helmet

I figured now that I was back on my bike it could be a good time for a new treat… so I got myself a new (and more modern) helmet from Planet X (thanks for the tip Robert).

This one:

It’s fully reflective and has a red led light with various flashing sequences, on the back too.

It fits nicely and should help me be seen well if I’m out in the dusk / early morning or the dark.

Or maybe I’ll scare drivers and passers by? Ha ha.

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September Training & progress

So… here goes…. an update on my training and recovery since I decided I needed to take some time out from running.

I decided to take at least September off running to see if I could fix what was probably some sort of muscle strain – which was causing pain inside the top of my right leg (hip flexor) and in my lower back.

Looking back, and having had some treatment on it, I’m pretty sure I slightly pulled a muscle doing a deadlift at some point, but didn’t feel it too bad – then continued to train through it for a few weeks. (Here’s me after some speed work in Inverness 🤮). Training had been going well for the while of lockdown.

There was a dull pain in my lower back, but the thing that my body really didn’t like was a twinge in my upper right leg when I did the good morning movement. When my torso got to 45’ or further it pulled and really didn’t feel right. And at 90’ it was the worst. (So sitting, or bending).

I felt that maybe the pain in my lower back was maybe also a result of sitting at an odd workstation at home… but the reality probably was that it was the pulled muscle and my body compensating for it.

I’ve improved my work station anyway, with a stability ball as my seat (much better), and an ability to stand at my ‘desk’ if I want to, too, so I’m happy that my work station is working fine.

Looking back also, my training had been going well, but as I was at about 85-90 miles by the 20th August I was maybe overtraining a bit too.

Here’s where I got to with my running in August…

16th Aug – half marathon
18th Aug – 5.5M effort run
20th Aug – 4.8M incl 5 min time trial

The high mileage and underlying pulled muscle seemed to be then compounded by a few long journeys driving… 3 hours, then 2 hours. And of course I was more or less in the 90’ angle so it all seemed to then kick in as what felt like an injury that needed attention, rather than just a niggle that you could ignore and it would go away.

I ran the half marathon distance in Wick with my brother and it went fine. I felt strong and good. Then the next couple of runs thing didn’t feel quite right so I sensibly decided that I would coincide a week off work with a short break from running to see if it would help.

It was sore sleeping, and I was taking pain killers… the pain remained but did seem to ease off. I know that it’s important to listen to my body, and I’m also open to taking as much time off running as needed – for the long run, to hopefully let everything repair and get things back to normal.

The 20th August was my 11th run of the month, and I decided my last run for a bit… (and I’d done about 85 miles in August up to then).

So I took about 9-10 days off running. We were off work anyway and had a wee staycation planned… so we walked places though, and I did a bit of Bodyweight strength work but not much. Then back from being away in the east coast and I tried to run again on the 28th.

We had fun on holiday anyway, despite a storm and some rain. Plenty of rest and recovery.

It went ok but it still wasn’t right…

28th Aug – 3.9M – not quite right
29th Aug – 1M – stop

Then on the 29th I tried a wee run and ended up just doing a mile before going back to the car – finally admitting defeat and knowing I needed to take a different approach. Time to properly fix this.

So I booked in a body assessment and massage with Clare and had that at the start of September. I decided that I’d say to myself that I was taking the whole month of September off running, and if it cleared up before then, then good.

Then we were out and about and all I could see was runners. Aaaghhhh. But the way I see it is that I’m doing this for good later, and to get my running back on track. I’ve had a good year training so far and I’ve not been injured for a long long time. Touch wood. It’s just my body telling me to stop or change tact… so that’s what I’ll do.

So the refocus was on taking care – foam rolling, stretching and bodyweight movements (not doing single leg work), and as you probably know I got my bike out, and kept active with cycles (indoor and outdoor) and walks.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

Wk36 – 31 Aug
Mon: 2.9M Walk / 27 min cycle outside
Tue: Rest / 1.2M Walk
Wed: Rest & Massage and body assessment
Thu: 3.5M Walk
Fri: 2.6M Walk
Sat: 3.5M Walk
Sun: 4.6M outdoor cycle / 6.2M Walk

Wk37 – 6 Sep
Mon: 3.6M Walk
Tue: 16M / 73 min outdoor cycle & 1M walk & 20 mins foam rolling / stretching Wed: 10k walk
Thu: 35 min foam rolling / 45 min spin intervals (7×1:4)
Fri: 10M / 58 min outdoor cycle / 20 min foam rolling
Sat: 2M & 1M Walk
Sun: Walk / Cycle / foam rolling/stretching

It all seems to be working anyway – the pain in my hip flexor seems to have gone… touch wood. My lower back is still sore and my hamstrings are tight; but hopefully a bigger focus on more foam rolling and stretching next week will help. I think I’ll limit the walks to under an hour too.

Now the plan is to mix walking and stretching / foam rollering one day, then cycling and foam rolling / stretching the next day. Keep it simple.

Wk38 – 13 Sep
Mon: Cycle / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch
Tue: Walk / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch
Wed: Cycle / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch
Thu: Walk / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch
Fri: Cycle / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch
Sat: Massage / Rest
Sun: Walk / 25-35 mins foam roll/stretch

I’ll probably keep something similar to that going throughout September and see where I’m at after that.

I’m enjoying walking with others, but also in my own and listening to audiobooks. I’m listening to Breath just now, and I’m also listening to The Luck Factor when I’m trying to get to sleep (but I’ll listen to it on walks once I finish breath).

The bike outside really has been a breath of fresh air, and I think I’d like to keep doing it once a week at least when I’m back running. I imagine I’d be a bit put off if it’s raining, but if that’s the case then I could do the bike inside instead. We will see.

I’m glad I seem to be making progress anyway and hopefully everything will be back to normal soon. When I do get back running I’ll be ever more grateful that I’m back to it.

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Walk walk walk – it’s good for you!

Who says walking isn’t as good as running? (Well, maybe it isn’t, but it certainly is very good in its own way!) Walking is certainly good for you, that’s for sure.

Today I pinged awake at 5am and tried to get back to sleep, but it wasn’t for happening so I decided it would be a good chance to maybe catch a sunrise on a walk. Since I’m giving running a break just now, I decided a walk would be a good option today instead.

It was dark when I got up, and I figured if I timed it right and headed East, I’d maybe be lucky enough to catch the day come up in the form of a sunrise – eventually I wasn’t disappointed. (Although the photo above was one I took at the time of leaving – I thought I’d missed it!)

I start work at 9, so when I left the house at 620am I had plenty time to do a good long walk. I thought maybe between an hour and and hour and a half, and I ended up enjoying it so much that I was out for about 1:40 – or 10k / 6.2 miles.

BBC weather said the sunrise would be at 6:38am, and true to form, these photos were taken at around 6:28 to 6:44am.

Glasgow can be pretty sometimes, and during lockdown I’ve become particularly fond of the riverside walk. Initially a but mundane and repetitive, actually it’s a nice and varied walk, full of urban and tree lines spaces with big architecture / landmarks. I feel lucky to live here.

First I headed East, and ended up ok the millenium bridge just before sunrise hit…

Then all of a sudden the skies brightened up, with the sun bouncing off the clouds making them stand out, and leaving me in awe of the pretty sight that went above me.

After that I continued East under the Kingston bridge, and along to and through Glasgow Green.

With its tree lined avenues and people elaine to get places… squirrels and dogs making an appearance too.

I thought of my Dad who used to walk for miles, and my Uncle who’s now around 84… he walks about half an hour a day… each and every day and it’s so good for him.

I was listening to an audiobook, taking my mind into another world away from the present. All the while taking in and enjoying the sights of where I was walking.

I was now about 4 miles and an hour in, and I know it’s about 2 miles home. But I had plenty of time before work. Back along the Southside of the river, last the college and the squiggles bridge. Through the riverside estate and Springfield Quay.

Eventually ending up at our lovely little oasis that is Mavisbank Gardens. Bang in the middle of a city, but leafy, green and as quiet as we need / want it to be.

Now here’s the stats:

10k / 6.2M in nearly 100 minutes.
Avg HR 94, max 111.
Calories burned 501.
Steps about 12,000.

– Walking is great as it’s easy, it gives you time to breathe, and to think.

– It allows you to take in the world, and not have to concentrate too much (like running and cycling can have you doing).

– You can stop and take photos, to capture and share the moment.

– You can phone others people and walk, or walk with and talk / engage with others as you walk.

– You don’t tend to work too hard walking either, so you’re less sweaty than when you’ve been on a run or a cycle.

– Almost anyone can do it – it’s a good calorie burner and a good way to get some fresh air and a good start to the day (or break in the day).

– You can do it with your family, young children (pushchair), friends, anyone who’s up for it and able. You can take it really easily, or sit and rest if need be.

– On it being a good fat / calorie burner… we burn about the same calories (or more) walking a distance as running it, (as it takes much longer). Ie me running a 10k it takes 50 mins / 590 cals… me walking a 10k takes 100 mins / 500 cals, and still gets me moving aerobically.

– It can be as little as 5 minutes, to 5 hours or more… you choose – build up to whatever you want to do. 5×30-60 mins a week, or 95 miles over 3 or 4 or 5 days (ie west highland way etc).

– it keeps you fit, and of done regularly can help lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure.

Put simply – it’s magic!

Walking is a proper good medicine and I’d recommend it to anyone.

It can change your life – (maybe in a different way to running), but it’s probably more easy and accessible to more people. So… what are you waiting for? Why don’t you get out and walk some more?

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Bike kitted out!

I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but when I was growing up, my Dad used to love to have all the new gadgets… he had a video recorder camera and recorder in the late 70s into the 80s; and he had some of the first Apple Macs in the 80s too – desktop and laptop!

As kids, we were lucky to have our own gadgets too… Casio calculator watches… speedometers on our bikes and little compact cameras.

Now, as you probably know if you know me, this interest (or need) for gadgets has followed me though into adulthood… I love a gadget or an accessory to make life easier or more interesting. (My Garmin is maybe my favourite!)

Now I’m going to tell you about my bike… and all of its gadgets etc it’s kitted out with… any cycle geeks might like this…

I realised when I got back on it recently that I clearly got most of the bits and bobs I needs for it when I bought it and used to cycle on it.

I got my bike as part of a cycle to work scheme maybe 11 or 12 years ago. Bought from Halfords then, it’s a Boardman Team Bike 2008 model. And over the years I’ve added many bits and pieces to it… here goes…

1. Aerobars – so I can get down and streamlined – bought from wiggle I think and added myself.

2. Mudguards – front and back – halford ones.

3. Removable bag under the saddle – which holds a small pump, small tyre repair kit, food, lock keys, lipsalve… and it has my rear light on it too. Bought when I got the bike.

4. Front light – placed on the aerobars, (but not used often as I don’t tend to cycle in the dark). I’ve also got one for my body too, which I could use on my bike, or for running.

5. Topeak Cycle Computer – this has now been made redundant, with my garmin doing the job now, but I used to use it as a distance, time and cadence monitor on the bike. If you want it for free… get in touch.

6. Garmin 645 and cadence monitor – my garmin forerunner can be tied onto a bike mount on the top of my aerobars. It shows lots of information – distance, cadence, heart rate, timer… and it’s set up to auto pause when I stop at anytime too.

The coach function ‘speaks’ to my phone and tells my Bluetooth speaker or headphones (if connected) to speak out loud my heart rate etc. The routes and data all sync to Garmin connect as usual too.

7. Speaker – I have a small Bluetooth speaker which fits perfectly in one of my two bottle holders. I used it to play music from my phone (I wouldn’t ever listen to music through headphones on my bike, as I know it’s Important to hear traffic etc). But the music and feedback through the speaker is cool.

8. Bike helmet – essential, for obvious reasons. This can be secured with the bike lock too, if I’m locking it up.

9. Bike lock and cable to secure it anywhere.

10. Foldaway back pack with a carabiner that can be secured to the front of the bike.

11. Bright jacket with reflective bits – it’s important to be seen. So my Saucony running jacket, with pockets (for my phike etc) and lights is ideal. It keeps the wind off too. I also have a bright yellow DHB cycling one, but it’s in the loft, so the orange one will do.

12. Sunglasses – to keep the flies out of my eyes! I have a few pairs, but I like these Oakley ones (golf ones I think!) which I got direct from Oakley, half price.

13. Trainers which I’ll use for cycling – I have some old purple mizuno trainers that I’ll use for cycling outdoors. I’ve never had proper cycling shoes, but I do have toe clips on this bike, so trainers are fine.

13.1 – I also have good solid plastic toe clips on my bike which sort of remove the need for clip in shoes and pedals. They work for me anyway.

14. Water bottle for in the bike – easy to use in motion, and big enough for plenty water.

15. Side mirror – so I can be aware of things behind me on the road.

16. Possibly the best purchase for my bike – Schwalne puncture resistant tyres! (Marathon plus I think). After a few punctures really put me off years ago, I decided to invest in some puncture resistant tyres – and with the roads and paths of Glasgow, it’s been a god send! Touch wood they be puncture free!

17. gloves – I have bike fingerless ones and I have reflective ones too… but they’re a wee bit on the tight side. Still good in the dark though.

Oh and 18. I have the little white reflectors for the spokes of the wheels too.

There we go! Quite a lot of add ons, but all are totally worth it. And they’ve been a good investment for me to use anytime, even after such a long break from cycling outside.

So to all the experienced cyclists out there…

Is there anything missing, anything you use that is helpful?

What’s a good type of helmet? I might upgrade / get a new one… 😂

And any tips for good traffic free routes in Glasgow welcome too!

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First big cycle for a while

I had a much better sleep last night 💤 👍🏻 and woke around 6am ready to do some form of exercise. I thought I’d try and get out on my bike for a proper cycle at some point when the weather was ok, and today seemed to be that morning. 🚲

I woke up with a coffee ☕️, had half a banana, and went out to the garagym to fix my new Garmin cadence sensor on my bike.

I also put a speaker in my spare bottle holder… played some Sigma and got going on my bike at 7am. The speaker is good too as it syncs to my garmin / phone and reads out my heart rate etc. I totally have all the gadgets I need… maybe I have all the gear and no idea? 🤣

I’m still cautious on the roads, but figured I’d find a flat cycle path and the Clyde one seemed like a good option. First I went out to the new transport museum to get my bearings with the bike again, then I turned and saw the sunrise, and cycled about 6 or 7 miles east. 🚲 😃

I had to stop for a bit and swap the cadence monitor over as it was rubbing a bit at one point, but it’s sorted now.

I wasn’t sure about timings (how long it would take, if I could go further and still fit it in before work), but it ended up being about 84 mins on the bike, with about 74 mins moving. When I turned around I checked and I was about 3.7 miles from home – maybe 20 mins on the bike.

Average HR 140, max 159. I was able to push it on some bits and aimed to get my cadence at about 80 ish (although the average cadence was about 65). I finished at 16 miles.

Oh and about 40 mins in the endorphins kicked in and I felt magic – just like the runners high.

A good wee start to the day and I’ll be at my desk as planned, for 930am. The mirror seems to work well too, I just need to remember to look in it!

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Cycle, walk, cycle, chat, drop an elephant

Today the weather was great where we are and I took the opportunity to use my bike (for once, instead of my car) to cycle just over 2 miles mostly by cycle lanes and quiet roads up to Pollok Park to meet my friend Eilidh, for a walk and a chat.

I woke up to this pretty sky… and had a feeling today would be a good one. And it was. 🙂 good fun and good chats.

Here’s me with nearly all the gear… the bright jacket so drivers see me, the helmet, aerobars, Garmin, and all the other bits and pieces. I even had a little pack away bag, a water bottle and a snack.

We met just outside Pollok Park where Eilidh could park her car. I sent her where we’d meet, on Shawmoss Road, then with my brain focused on getting there safely, I ended up waiting on a different road a little further away. Oops. We found each other eventually.

Then I parked my bike up in Pollok Park and we went a nice leisurely walk in the sun. Catching up and talking the day away. I really like Eilidh, she’s one of a kind, yet we have quite a lot in common. She speaks the truth and isn’t afraid to say what she wants, she’s also very relatable and just very very lovely.

I took her last the little baby’s calve Highland Cows, where it was busy with people, and then I took her in behind Pollok House into the less busy walled garden where theres a big tree and many hidden paths.

At this part we had an epiphany about learned behaviours… and then we walked some more. We ended up walking a nice easy 2 miles before sitting at this spot for a wee break, chat and we watched the world go by.

Then I told Eilidh the story about why I like elephants, and told her the whole story about why sometimes I take an elephant and drop it in memory of my granny. And I bought one yesterday to drop, so I took her on a little walk to drop this one, before we had another wee seat and sat in the moment remembering how lucky we are.

Here’s me with it… 😉 it is at the bottom of the tree, so someone might go away with it, but if they do then hopefully that’ll be a nice find for them and he will love in their house with them.

It’s this rather impressive big tree.

After that we did some more walking and chatting and we ended up walking a nice gentle 10k in total. I lost track to time, but it was maybe 3-4 hours of good chat.

Then I went to Braehead with Fit Girl for some food – a nice tasty steak at the Filling Station. And I got a little mirror for my bike as I thought it might make me feel a bit safer on my bike.

Oh and here’s a laugh… in decathlon… with my mask on… oops. 😂

Thinking back, I probably shouldn’t have put it on… but I did and we had a little laugh.

Here’s me with my dinner – yum.

So here’s what I did:

– A tiny bit of gardening first thing (are the grass below after I took the netting off)

– 4.8 miles cycling / 25 mins
– 6.2 miles walking
– And lots and lots of chat and fun.

I’m still off running, but my body feels better than it did, my back and legs particularly. I think I’ll take another week off running to be sure, and next week I’ll do some more walking, cycling and Bodyweight work, with some foam rolling and stretching as a mist.

Here’s today’s activities on Garmin:

Then here was the sky this evening, similar clouds to this mornings ones. Roll on September.

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New trainers day!

Today I’m wearing a new pair of trainers … I really like this model of Nike’s (so much so I have three pairs…. shhhhh).

They’re the Nike Free Run Flyknits 3.0’s and I have them in purple and white… (the purple ones and black ones I got on a deal so I couldn’t resist).

They might look a little odd but they fit like a glove and when the white ones get a little grubby they can go in the washing machine and come out looking brand new.

They’re good for walking, cycling and very day wear. I love them.

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Body assessment and new bouncy seat

So last night I had the most brilliant body assessment, manipulation and massage with Clare the ‘Movement Therapist’ – Glasgow’s finest –
She really knows her stuff. 🙂

First Clare got me to do some movement and looked at my posture and how I was moving and standing.

It seems I’m a bit squinty, maybe down to a slight injury / weakness in my right leg / glute / hip flexor – and my body trying to compensate. Hips, torso, shoulders twisted … tight on and leaning to one side and leaning forward too. 😳

After the assessment, she did some manipulation of my body (!) and made some adjustments through stretching, cracking and a few other things.

Then she finished with a deep massage of some of the areas she knew would help me.

And she gave me some advice on how best to foam roll and recover.

She bamboozleed me with lots and lots of names of muscles (that I think she thought I knew but I didn’t), and we had a good chat too.

And she gave me a good tip to sit on a stability ball at my ‘desk’ at home to prevent slouching and tightness, and enable movement whilst working. Here’s my new seat…

I have to say, after 2 hours of body / massage work last night I feel a bit like I’ve been run over by a bus (!) but I can tell it will have done good.

I’ve got a few bruises coming through, but hopefully this is the start of recovery for me and my tight little body. I have another session with her in a couple of Saturdays time.

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