Wk4 into Wk5

This week has been another old busy week training wise, and I had some time out away too visiting my Dad and step mum in Stonehaven. 

I had two rest days, mainly because by the end of the week, my legs were a little heavy and the rest on Saturday would probably be better than a quick body weight circuit session. 

Here’s what I did:

Wk4 – 20 Jan
Mon: 7M Easy
Tue: Spin & Clean n Press Strength 24kg
Wed: 6.5 Easy / Spin & 5×5 PB (day 14)
Thu: Rest / Travel
Fri: Run – 8 x 400m:400m 5.3M
Sat: Rest
Sun: 13M / Travel

4 runs = 32 miles, 2 strength sessions and 2 rest days. I’m away up just above 100 miles this month, so next week might get it up to about 120-125 or so.  

Here’s what my weekly Garmin summary says up to Saturday night:

That’ll be my highest January mileage since I started running… Garmin says I’ve done the following miles in January:

2010 – 39.3, 2011 – 94.1, 2012 – 82.5, 2013 – 111.1, 2014 – 67.6, 2015 – 53.8, 2016 – 40.4, 2017 – 100, 2018 – 100, 2029 – 70. 

So this January will be my highest mileage January since I started running. 

I must have taken on the habit from December when I was trying to round up to 1000 miles and got 134 miles for the month. Plus I do feel a bit invigorated with the new year and the new job. Long may it continue hopefully. 

I got a lovely sunrise in Stonehaven on Friday morning, and I’m up early on Sunday to run 13 miles with Jen and Glynis up in Ellon. Of course my runs with Debbie were good chat all week too. 

Now next week here’s the plan. I start my new job on Monday and I’ll have travelled back quite late on the Sunday so I’m taking a rest day (or might do a wee 4 miler in the morning if I’m awake). Then I’ll alternate strength training with running each day. Simple. 

Wk5 – 27 Jan
Mon: Rest
Tue: Spin & Squat Strength
Wed: Hill run
Thu: Spin & Deadlift Strength / Gym Coaching PM
Fri: 5-7M 
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10M

I’ll weigh in on Monday too, but the signs so far this week are that my strength training and food intake is working so that I’m losing fat and building lean mass … hopefully that will show on the scales next week. 

Up to when I left home it was all looking good – down 3lbs body fat, up 2lbs lean mass. Here’s to strength training hopefully helping change things up a bit. 

Now here’s the sunrise from Stonehaven on Friday morning, which did help make the intervals a bit more bearable (even though I got chased and barked at by two dogs and joined running by another rather obedient and large dog that was more like a horse… until his owner called him back.)

What are you up to next week? Let me know by commenting below or leaving a comment on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lornpearsontrains

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Wk3 into Wk4

This last week has been a good week all round, with good training, good food intake and good news on the job front. I don’t think I’ve stopped smiling. 

I start my new job on the 27th January, and before that I’ll be working from Aberdeen a couple of days then visiting my Dad and step mum for the weekend. 

Last week I did 4 runs, of around 22 miles, 2 good strength sessions and one rest day. 

Wk3 – 13 Jan
Mon: Rest
Tue: 7.1M Easy 
Wed: Spin & Squat Strength
Thu: 5k lunchtime 
Fri: 10k Easy
Sat: Spin & Deadlift Strength 51/46kg & 30 min walk
Sun: 10k race

I’ve been logging my food on myfitnesspal just to track it short term and it looks like I’m around 300 calories in deficit each day on average, and my protein intake is around 31% or 139g each day.

That’s about 1 gram of protein per lb of body weight and what I’ve been aiming for so that’s good. 

When I was maintaining my weight last year, I was eating what I wanted, and likely being greedy. The main change I’ve made is that I’m not eating for the sake of it / out of habit / reaching for mini mars bars and I’m waiting for meals / drinking water to curb my appetite. 

The count on myfitnesspal helps too – for example, on Thursday we went out for a celebratory meal and it put me 300 cals over my daily intake, but overall through the week I was 200-300 cals under each day. It’s just a balance which I’m hopefully getting right. 

My sleep has been better too… I was still waking in the early hours some days, but managed to get an average of 8:16 per night on avg, up 30 mins on the week before. Work seems to be the main thing waking me up / keeping me up, so hopefully things with my sleep will improve even more now. 

The 10km Sunday was good – see the last post for the race report. After two strength sessions where I’d been a bit sore after them, I decided I wouldn’t beast it, but instead I’d enjoy the race and see what happened. Avg HR 160 or below. I had a big breakfast and a couple of coffees to get me fuelled and ready for it. 

I didn’t quite beast it, but I didn’t exactly take it easy… HR avg 163, max 175. It was 40-50 secs slower than the race I did in November, but still in theballparkof my recent 10k times, without me going full out.

I had some good food after it and a bath and a wee lie down in the afternoon. Then some food prep for next week and made sure I drank enough water to hydrate after the race. 

I ate quite a lot today, but still under calories by about 100. That’ll do. (Preciously I probably would have overeaten, since I’d ‘earned it’ in a race.)

Look belowI’m levitating. 😂

I’ve seen the results of all this exercise, eating well and trying to get good sleeps, in the last 2-3 weeks:

1 Jan: 140.7lbs / 75cm waist 101cm hips
24.2lbs body fat / 17.2%
111.6lbs lbm / 79.3%

19 Jan: 139.4lbs / 74cm waist 100 cm hips 
21.4lbs body fat / 15.4%
113lbs lbm / 81.1%

-1.3lbs overall = -2.8lbs body fat, +1.4lbs lbm

Heading in the right direction, my calorie deficit is ok, and hopefully the training is helping too. 1cm off my waist and hips is fine too. 

Now next week, I’ll tweak my training a bit given I’ll be away at the end of the week below is what I’m planning, including a big Wednesday with a run in the morning and strength in the evening (if I can muster it after work).Here’s the training I’m planning: 

Wk4 – 20 Jan
Mon: 6M Easy
Tue: Spin & Clean n Press Strength 24kg
Wed: 6M Easy / Spin & 5×5 PB (day 13-14)
Thu: Rest / Travel
Fri: Run – 8 x 400m:400m
Sat: KBs circuit or rest
Sun: 13M / Travel

I’ll maybe not track my food but I’ll try and eat well, include protein every time I eat, and not snack on sugar when I find myself hungry. (Ie not be greedy). Still aiming not to eat everything in sight, have a bit of hunger if it happens and aim for 30% protein, with a small calorie deficit. 

On Sunday I’m hoping to run with Jen and maybe Glynis in Ellon again. They’re doing 5 miles easy, then 6 miles at 8:45-9:00 min mile pace, then 2 mile recovery. Should be good. A busy week ahead.

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Nigel Barge 10k

Today I ran the Nigel Barge 10k for the first time and it was good. It takes place in the Garscube estate, which isn’t far from me, and it has plenty parking and was well organised.

Run by the Maryhill Harriers it’s been going since 1943 and was set up in memory of a soldier who died in the Second World War. It’s been going for 77 years then, and the running club is even older.

As one of the first events in the race calendar, it’s popular with running clubs from across Scotland, and I saw a few club vests from England too. There were about 230 runners, and most of the route is run on tarmac, a double loop, and some of it near or on open roads.

I was warned at the start that the route is very hilly. Horrible hills… and hills there were a plenty. I found it was good that there were two loops as you knew what was coming next by the second loop, and the last km was more or less downhill.

The race started a couple of minutes before 12am – enough time for any icy patches to be thawed out, and enough time for my breakfast to have gone down. I took a sis caffeine shot an hour before the start (150mg caffeine) and got my number around that time too. Number 37.

We all went up to the start about 10 mins before 12, and I felt ready but a little of the usual race nerves. We’d walked a bit of the route, and I didn’t have any pressure on myself to do any time in particular. I just wanted to run and not push it too much, and see what happened.

I thought I’d maybe try to keep my heart rate to below 160, but it ended up with the hills, going up to 170 ish on some of the uphills and I tried to keep it to between 160-165 the rest of the way. I’d wrapped up pretty well and it turned out it was just right for the conditions – 4-5’C but calm and clear.

The first mile ticked off fast, about 7:42 min miles – a wee downhill from the start line. It was a little congested in the first mile or so, but probably a good thing to filter the runners through.

It all felt fine, until the long slow hill up past the vet school. It seemed to go on forever… and I felt quite relieved at the top… not only was the lead marshal there, but there was a medic assistance car at the top too. There was quite a good bit of crowds cheering us on too.

Then came the next nice downhill… a bit of recovery after the uphill, I checked my heart rate, around 163… and I let go a bit on the downhill towards the car wash at the bottom. A sharp left, past the canal, then up another long slow hill.

On the hill I passed a young female runner who’s lace had undone. School girl error I thought… double knot! But she bent down and tied it quickly and then ran ahead effortlessly, carefully going onto the road past the runners ahead of her. She probably didn’t lose much time.

A marshal at the top again and a sharp left, on up again, before crossing a road and finally getting a downhill into Dawsholm park (that I didn’t really notice) until it became a bit steeper. Through a muddy bit, (I was glad I didn’t wear my new trainers), over a bridge then up another steeper hill.

At the top and a female marshal, my HR was about 171 by this point and I took the next downhill section towards the half way mark as a good recovery. (But I remembered it for the end). So much for not pushing it… see the splits and heart rate above.

Past the half way mark and my watch said about 24:30, so I thought I’d likely be finished around 50 mins or so. I was feeling fine, and kept ticking along. Down through the now less congested start, over the bridge and up the long slow hill past the vets again. I do slow down on uphills, but more so I don’t overdo it. And I try to take advantage of the downhills when they come.

There it was, gratefully up the hill and past the medic car again, I was working hard, but knew there was a good downhill on the way. I flew down it this time, overtaking a guy who possibly didn’t know where I’d come from. Wide strides, hoping to let gravity do the work for me.

A sharp left guided this time by three marshals so you didn’t fly into the road ahead. Up the next slow hill again. Arg. Around the corner again and this time there was more traffic, and I was conscious j had a crossing ahead, but I got across it fine.

I noticed the downhill into Dawsholm park more this time around and I opened up my legs again, into the park again, mud again … and then my left trainer started to feel loose … ahem … they were double knotted at the start, bit before I knew it my left trainer was untied, laces flying. The only thing I could do was stop and tie it. I stopped my watch and counted the seconds in my head … 10 seconds – and I was up going again. Doh. Oh well.

A female runner behind me caught up with me, and we powered up the last hill together. As with my usual form, I didn’t push it too much and she overtook me. Past the female marshal again, and left onto the main road. With 1km to go I knew it was all downhill from here.

My HR was 168, but I tried to ignore it and just went to run strong for what would be the last 5 mins or so. My watch was at about 44 mins so I figured I’d get around 49 mins or so.

I careered down the hill, seemingly effortlessly, past the lady who overtook mr on the last uphill. Onwards and I passed another woman who I’d been following for a while and I’d noticed had a jimmy Irvine 10k top on.

Not far from the finish, a car tooted at us, and I passed a guy who was walking before he got seen before the finish. I over took another woman, then the walking man overtook me (effortlessly it seemed, the walk must have done him good).

In towards the finish and the distance was spot on. I stopped my watch at 49:20… it will likely be around 49:30 official… 40-50 seconds slower than the Jimmy Irvine 10k in November, but my HR this time was a bit lower, so I likely didn’t push it as much as I did in November.

I finished and felt pretty gubbed but recovered quickly. I was pleased with how it went.

Afterwards I got my medal, a banana, some water and a caramel wafer. Some stretching and recovery ahead of a bath later on.

Then we went to the Tea Garden in Partick for a nice hearty portion of mince and tattie’s and beans..: with a banana milkshake for me.

A good wee well organised event, a nice route, and close to Glasgow with plenty parking and plenty up and down hills – or undulating as described.

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Blue Monday and making changes

The third Monday in January is ‘blue Monday’ …

Blue Monday is a name given to a day in January (typically the third Monday of the month) claimed to be the most depressing day of the year. The concept was first publicised as part of a 2005 press release from holiday company Sky Travel, which claimed to have calculated the date using an equation. It takes into account weather conditions and this only applies to the Northern Hemisphere.

It’s this time of the year and into the next few weeks, after the restart after New Year, that people can give up on their resolutions and go back to their old ways.

How are you getting on with your plans to change – to get fitter or healthier, lighter or leaner or faster?

Sometimes changes can take a long time to take effect, so three weeks in, maybe you’re thinking of giving up, but maybe it just needs a wee tweak rather than giving it up totally.

Every year January can be the kick start for many to make some changes to improve yourself… but how do you keep those changes as part of who you are, so that you’re constantly improving until you’re happy?

1. Research what it is that a. You’ll be able to stick to and b. How you’ll fit it in and make it consistent.
2. Find out what works for others, but more importantly, find out what works for you.
3. Make the changes small and achievable.
4. Track the results from the changes to make sure that they’re working, if not, change it until it works for you.
5. Get support from others – motivation to go out that walk or run, – someone to look after the kids, or – someone to join you on the walk / run and make you accountable.
5. Listen to your body and be kind to yourself.

The kick start I needed wasn’t in January, it was around about March time in 2008. Two things happened, after a few years of me settling into a relationship where we were eating out a lot and enjoying life..
1. My honest and up front Dad said to me that I was looking ‘comfortable’ – which was true (my BMI was just over 25… and I was indeed looking comfortable).
2. I started a new job, which would mean less of a commute (down to 10 mins each way), meaning more time for me, and what felt like a good time for a full reset.

Then little changes along the way helped:
1. I exercised more and aimed to be in a calorie deficit each week. I aimed for some events and decided I’d try to build up my running (zero to 5k event to 45 mins to a 10k event).
2. I ate better – I ate less – I made better choices and stopped being as greedy. I became conscious of everything I consumed I drank plenty water. I ate about 30% protein (log via myfitnesspal). I became aware of my appetite, rather than just eating by habit. I felt hunger sometimes and knew it was ok. Sometimes I ate just what I wanted, but usually after a big long run where I could afford the calories. F£&k it or balance.
3. I became more prepared, went to work with my food for the day – lunches, snacks. I said no thanks to the office goodies (because I had my pre planned and prepared food and didn’t need a Thornton’s chocolate).
4. I gave up alcohol – which freed up calories and saved a lot of money.
5. I set myself a body fat % target and a body weight target based on that.

Exercise became a big part of my life – I’ve mainly settled on running and gym work now, but over the years I’ve tried out basketball, I’ve done swimming, gym classes, spin, circuits, hiking, cycling.

Each one gives different results to the next, but put simply, they all burn calories – which lead to a calorie deficit – which can lead to weight loss and changes in body composition – as long as what you’re putting in (food etc) is less than what you’re burning. Find what works for you and do it.

Now I train around 5-6 times a week, usually before work / 8am. And whilst I don’t have kids, I know others that do, and they fit it in. Half an hour here, or an hour before everyone is up, as long as they get support from their other halves / family.

Having an other half (or friends) who is / are active can really help too. A bit of motivation and company. Big long walks, runs before the runs comes up so you both feel good. I know fit girl really motivates me, but with it it being a chore – it’s just part of our lives.

And whilst exercise is great, you can lose weight without it, by eating less. Think intermittent fasting, or reducing your calorie intake each day, drinking plenty water / tea. I’d find it hard, but for some, if they can’t exercise, it’s the way to do it. Intermittent fasting isn’t for everyone, but we can all smoky eat less, and say no more.

Other things I did that I still do now – I walk to and from work (10 mins each way), I walk when I can (2.5 miles into town etc), I take the stairs (instead of the lift). I get up from my desk and walk around regularly. I try to get good sleeps – sleep is very important and maybe one of the magic bullets that people don’t realise it is.

I also make better choices – soda water instead of coke, pop chips (80 calories) instead of kettle chips (200 calories), whole meal rice (200 cals) over takeaway rice (400 cals). I stopped eating a small mars bar every night after dinner just because it had become a habit. I had go to low calorie but satisfying or high protein snacks.

My main change this year is with food – I’m aiming to not eat like a greedy thing – to eat what I need and try to get 1g of protein for every lb of body weight a day (about 140g). Aiming for about 30% of my intake from protein.

I weigh in regularly to see progress, and don’t see it as a bad thing – it’s just a measure which shows the results of my actions. I weigh in lbs just because I like the number rather than stoned and lbs. I look at body composition, not just the overall number – am I losing fat? Am I gaining muscle? Am I ok with my weight? I occasionally track my food in myfitnesspal to see if my calories are under or over.

It all seems to be working as I’m down around 2-3lbs in 4 weeks. My weight / body composition is the outcome of my actions (exercise and intake). And in 2019 my weight more or less stayed the same – even with me running 1000 miles and doing other bits and pieces. I’d probably found a balance.

But all in all the question I ask myself, and the question my Dad started to ask me more often as we both got older is – am I happy? Not just with my body, but with life?

If you’re happy with all or most parts of your life, everything else gets easier. You can work on those things you want to change. You can hopefully get the support you need to make the changes and keep them consistent.

You can still have the odd treat, but if you can get a balance and still get what you’re after, then life can be great. It doesn’t need to be too complicated, and it shouldn’t be.

Take a step back and look at it all – your life. Are you happy? What changes can you make that can be consistent and forever, and help make you even happier? What balance can you achieve with it all?

Someone said to me the other day, ‘you’ll have a six pack won’t you Lorn?’ I don’t, and that’s mainly because I don’t care enough about it. I care more about enjoying my training, having fun, being social, and seeing progress. And I like to learn and share what I’ve learned.

I have a feeling that whilst I like my body as it is, my genes and the way I train probably wouldn’t allow it to get a six pack. But the main reason is that it’s not important to me. Health and happiness is much more important than being a certain weight or having a six pack.

What’s important to me is to be happy, healthy and fit. And this year hopefully that’ll all come back together again for me.

Find out what’s important to you – your health? Your fitness? Your new born baby? Your friendships? Your family? Being there for and being a role model to your kids? Find out what works for you – and go do it.

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Fresh start for me in 2020

Finally I get to say what I’ve been hoping would happen for a while now… I’ve got a new job at the BBC!

After my great time in News helping get new people in and helping all the lovely people there… I was on a quest to find another role that would best use my skills and experience…

On Monday I had an interview for a role in Ken Mcquarries office – and on Wednesday I found out I got it! Just in time for today – my Dad’s 79th birthday.

I took this little elephant below in my pocket for luck on Monday, and the pic above was taken just after my interview.

Ken is the Director of Nations & Regions and works all over the UK but has a base and I’ll be a part of his small team going forward. Big stuff. Maybe I’ll get to travel a bit more again if needed, and I’ll get a nice new desk etc.

Oh and I might have bought myself a few presents in anticipation of this… a new pair of oakleys, a running jacket and some new trousers.

It was all a bit of a bumpy journey for me in 2018 and it knocked a lot in my life off… but hopefully soon I’ll get to settle back into a role which plays to my strengths, and everything else will fall into place a bit better.

Looking forward to starting at the end of January. 👍🏻

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Wk2 training into the next block

Men… maybe don’t look / read on now… (the following might not be of interest / relatable…)

I’ve been doing a bit of research into how as a female you can train inline with your hormones and cycle to get the best results – with the thought that different levels of progesterone and oestrogen throughout your monthly cycle, you perform better at some points in the month (roughly the first two weeks) than at others (last two weeks).

I’ve been tracking my cycle through my garmin app for a while now and it’s pretty regular, about 29-30 days… so I decided I’d make a 4 weekly training plan based on it.

Here’s what I did last week as a start… when I was effectively waiting for day 1, so I could start my training plan properly:

Mon: Spin & Circuits
Tue: Run – 8 x 400m:400m – 5.7M
Wed: 6.2M Run
Thu: 5k lunchtime
Fri: 6M Run (Cycle day 1)
Sat: Rest / give blood
Sun: 7.8M Long Run

I did 5 runs (about 29 miles), one gym session and i had one rest day on Saturday. My cycle started on Friday, and luckily (tough wood) I don’t get much pain but the odd cramp.

Now here’s the next block:

Wk3 – 13 Jan
Mon: Squat Strength
Tue: 5M hills
Wed: Deadlift Strength
Thu: Spin & Circuits (or 5×5)
Fri: 6-7M Easy
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10k race

Wk4 – 20 Jan
Mon: Rest
Tue: Clean n Press Strength
Wed: Run – 8 x 400m:400m
Thu: Spin & 5×5 PB (day 14)
Fri: 6M easy run
Sat: Rest (travel)
Sun: 8-9M Run

That was the first two weeks where I’ll be training with weighted strength and running. Then the next two weeks will be a little less hard, effectively giving myself a bit of a break. And it’ll fit in nicely with a weekend away at the end of January visiting family.

Wk5 – 27 Jan
Mon: Circuits
Tue: Rest & Travel
Wed: Hills
Thu: Spin & KBs
Fri: 5-7M
Sat: Rest
Sun: 10M

Wk6 – 3 Feb
Mon: Rest
Tue: Spin & Circuits
Wed: 3x1600m intervals
Thu: Spin & KBs
Fri: 3-5M run or rest
Sat: (Cycle day 30/1) / Rest
Sun: (Cycle day 1/2) / 7M run

I’m being a bit more strict with what I eat – ie not eating everything in sight, and trying to manage my appetite. It seems to be working. Fuelling my runs and training but not overdoing it, and I’ve also been trying to make sure I hydrate well too.

Next week is a big one for me and fingers crossed it all goes well. If you have a cape you can give me tomorrow, I’d appreciate it. 👍🏻

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Myprotein layered bar

In the quest of simply getting more protein into my intake… I regularly eat SIS protein bars which have 20g of protein in them, not much sugar and are reasonably priced if you get them on offer (which SIS tend to do a lot).

Then I found these ones too… my protein layered protein bars. I got the Birthday Cake version and the Lemon Meringue Pie version.

A 60g bar, they have about 200 cals each, enough to give you plenty energy as a snack, 20g of protein, 16g of carbs (2.4g sugar) and 7g fat. You can see from the graph below they’re nearly 40% protein, so if I’m aiming for a third of my intake to be protein, these will help.

Both flavours taste sweet and tasty, a good snack for any time of the day. I like them anyway. nice that you feel a bit like you’re eating birthday cake or lemon meringue pie too. 😂😂 (that’s the birthday cake one below).

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