Rainbow prism

My sister got me this nice little prism for Christmas… put it in the right place with some sun behind it and it creates little rainbows. See it in the corner there…

The sun shines in that window in the morning, so I often come down stairs to be surprised by a nice little rainbow.

Here was today’s one… big and bright on the rug… as if someone had spewed up a rainbow all over the rug. 😂

Then we had a bit of fun… rainbow legs… or… a new idea for a tattoo for me…

It’s nice to see the sun shining again, and with one of these, I can get a rainbow nearly every day if I look just at the right time.

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Old memories… and body warmer fun

Old photos are nice aren’t they? My friend recently posted this one… of my best Halloween costume ever… from about 2000… in Aberdeen, fake blood of course, I looked horrific. I think it was the first time ever that my Halloween outfit was scary.

When I was young I preferred nicer Halloween outfits, like this one – Indiana Jones, or a musician (my hat is down my back, and my whip doesn’t seem to be in the picture). Nice hair eh?

I think this was my outfit from the year before in 1999… I think I used acrylic paint mixed with moisturiser for the orange skin. Ooft. It was a laugh anyway.

One of the nicest things that came from the month or so clearing my Mum’s house after she passed away in 2015, was all the pictures we found. My Dad used to take lots of photos, and my Mum ended up with most of them.

They worked well together on some things, and her attention to detail and determination meant that the photos were catalogued and kept well in albums etc

The sad thing for me was that whilst I knew we had a big family and I had a good time up to about the age of 9… eating ice cream etc…

But because I was so young, I didn’t remember the fun times. The beach trips with family. The family holidays. The laughs, the happy family. The day trips and parties.

But look at the picture above… how happy was I? In my over sized body warmer. Ha.

Then there’s this picture. Taken over on the west coast some where, all of us in body warmers…which may have all eventually been handed down to me.

I always remember this one because it was in a family album, specially chosen. But then I came across these snaps too.

Boys being boys, the girls watching on, me holding my big sisters hand. I must have been maybe 1-2 or so, so it was maybe 1982 or so. Even my Dad has his body warmer on!

My parents would have been the age I am now… what a difference in our lives – I have 5 less kids for one!

I wonder what the 80s were like? Very different and simpler than today probably.

Then there’s this one… how do you heard 5 kids together to get a family photo? I wonder how many attempts it took. And I wonder what was going through my Mum and Dad’s head. Pure joy probably.

Here’s a slightly less fun picture, in size order again, but teenage boys. Looks like my Dad had figured out the auto shot by then too. This was around 1988, again before things went a bit odd. A nice family holiday touring Scotland.

I think this was taken on that holiday too. I wonder who took it… and what graveyard we’d been at (we visited a lot when we were young as my Mum was researching her family history). Me and my Dad, proud as punch.

Looks like body warmers weren’t cool by the 80s, so I leave you with this old stonker of a pic.

Part of me wants to go back to those days and speak to my parents and ask what was going on… or warn them of what would be to come… a crash which went on for years… but they probably did their best, or what they thought was the best.

I turned out ok in the end anyway… and now I’m thinking I could maybe get myself another body warmer. Lol.

I have quite a few for running in, and for every day too, so I probably don’t need another one. I’m glad they came back.

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Wk7 into Wk8

Last weeks training went well, and was similar to the week before it, with 4 walks (6 miles), 3 runs (12.2 miles), 3 spin sessions, 3 strength, a yoga session and a rest day on Saturday. Nicely balanced between it all.

And I got some good sleeps too which is good. Finally it seems everything is seeming to settle down with an end in sight. Covid is making things continue to be boring, but we’re fit and healthy… able to and motivated to exercise. Boring is fine.

And we made ourselves get out a few walks through the week to get a break after working from home. We tend to be sticking to weals from home, and we’re not really getting bored of these views by the Clyde as they are pretty spectacular really.

There were lots of people out today, it’s mainly busy in the parks and smaller paths, but there’s plenty places we can go on walks and avoid people, mainly in residential areas.

We’ve been lucky not to catch or be knackered by covid by now, and we might as well stick with it until the vaccines are rolled out further / to our age groups.

Anyway, here’s my plan for training next week… and if the weather is nice, I might get the bike out one day, but we’ll see.

I got a few good blogs done this last week, something I’ve been missing, so I’ll try to do some more next week too.

My running has been going well, although I’m building it up slowly, listening to my body and taking it slowly.

Today I managed to run 5 miles with no hamstring pain, and even got to wear shorts and sunglasses so that was nice. I’m still working on my running gait. This was about my 5th run, in change my running style and it takes some concentrating, but seems to be working well.

I’ve been doing strength workout to hopefully compliment it too, including leg work and calf raises. So we will see. 12 miles in one week doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s better than nothing. That’s for sure. And it was nice being out running in the brisk Spring day today.

My hair is getting a bit long (it was meant to be cut 2 weeks ago…) but who cares, eh?

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Giving is good…

I’ve been lucky enough recently to receive some nice presents and cards out of the blue.

The other day I got a nice card and message from a friend, and then out of the blue; a parcel from Poland, that had a grey hoodie with a rainbow on it.

Not so long ago I also got a nice little card and ladybird from a good friend who was thinking of me.

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And I was absolutely stunned into happy tears in 2015 when out of the blue my brother and his family sent me this elephant box and other elephants.

I’ve received quite a few elephants and rainbows in the past… from nice people and I appreciate and love every single one…

But it’s not just elephants and rainbows, it’s sheep and a duck from my friend, and a giraffe from the lovely Norma, who’s sadly no longer with us.

And Morag the cat with her passport etc was great fun.

Hey, even the long list present I found hidden in my Mum’s after she had passed away was nice. Even though it was probably decades old and a very out of date Christmas cake! It’s the thought that counts.

For my 40th birthday last year I was spoiled by lots of people – rainbows, flowers, balloons, bracelets, cards. It was so lovely.

Receiving gifts is great isn’t it. Knowing that someone is thinking of you. But recently, I might have got a bit carried away with giving presents and cards to let people know I’m thinking of them too.

I guess I know the nice feeling you get when you receive something to know someone is thinking of you, so I’m maybe paying it forward to others. Maybe lockdown has made it easier, or more in people’s minds to do. Since it’s such a strange time for everyone.

And there’s the rose for my garden, and the other rainbow inspired gift from one really lovely friend, who I would simply trust with my life. I miss her and her family lots.

Surprises are good, but I like to know who’s sent them. I’ll never forget this mug from someone special who landed to keep it a secret for over a year, until one day she just piped up and told me it was her.

And I was totally flummoxed by this, which turned out to be from my brother.

It’s so nice to have people be nice and grateful to you.

I got this little elephant … for luck…

And this good luck rainbow bracket and card…

And this lovely rainbow bracelet too…

And another rainbow bracelet, like this one, from Sweet Rosie…

And a mug…

How lucky am I?!

Studies show that when we give, the good feeling hormone oxytocin is released. And I can totally feel the feel good vibes when I’ve been doing the following this year.

So I’ve received lots of nice things, but here’s a list of things I’ve given / sent:

– a woolly hat for a friend.
– a medium glass rainbow to let a friend know I thought she was ace and I was thinking of her 🌈
– a balloon 🎈and moonpig card for a colleague who is leaving work.
– a small and medium glass rainbow 🌈 for a colleague who’s been there for me, and to celebrate the birth of her baby.
– a bird bath for my Dad and step mum.
– a surprise gift / cheque for two special sisters, because I can. 👍🏻
– an early birthday present of a kite 🪁 for a friends 3-4 year old.
– a framed picture 🖼 for that family.
– a purple poncho towel thing for a swimmer ex colleague / now friend and I’m so impressed with how she’s got through the last year or so, and come out the other side, inspiring and seemingly so very strong. And her writings have been awesome. 🏊‍♀️
– Christmas masks for nice people 😷
– two mugs with birds on them for two special people in my life.
– a Christmas parcel for each of my uncles, with little gifts that I think they’d like.
– a medium glass rainbow 🌈 for a colleague who’s been there for me through thick snd thin in the last we while, effortlessly!
– a balloon 🎈and moonpig card for a good friends birthday.
– a sheep toilet roll holder thingy. 🐑 Don’t ask.
– another medium glass rainbow, 🌈 but I’m picking my moment to gift that.

You’ll see a theme of rainbows in there, and I’ve written before about my ‘Rainbow Thanks’ – https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2017/02/13/rainbow-thanks/ – when after my Mum passed away, I realised that throughout my life there have been some really key people who have been there for me.

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And since then, I’ve gifted a small rainbow to a very good friend…

… and another to a colleague, or two… colleague who’d made their mark on me, and either helped or really inspired me.

If you’re wondering where I get all my glass rainbows from – check out and like – Rainbow Lux Glass:https://m.facebook.com/rainbowlux/

Kelly runs her small business, alongside her family, and I’d really recommend her work, and her business – here’s here website:
https://rainbowluxglass.co.uk/

Give it a look to and a like.

I have a feeling Kelly likes me too, as a regular customer, she often sends me wee surprises in with my orders.

Look – I got another rainbow from her with my recent order. How cute. It made me smile anyway.

(I now have maybe 15 or so rainbow themed bits and pieces dotted everywhere, catching up with my 27 elephants 🐘). Ha!

I don’t think I’m even joking with those numbers… as my brother would privacy call me … crazy elephant and rainbow lady!

So there we go. This is not meant to be a boastful post telling you how much I’ve given… it’s just sharing how good it feels to give, and to be able to give.

Giving is good. Being kind is ace. But it doesn’t even need to be cards and presents, it could be time. Or reaching out to a friend with support – a phone call, a chat, to listen and maybe make a difference to someone you care about.

And hopefully they’ll be there for you one day when you maybe need them, or you don’t even realise you need them. I know I remember those who have been there for me, and I’d move mountains for them. You know who you are.

Thanks to all of those who are there for me / if you ever need me, you know where I am.

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Apple Music is ace

I’ve been making a conscious effort to listen to more music, mostly whilst I work to hopefully quietly drip feed some good feeling in whilst at home inside my spare room at my laptop.

I know I probably sound like an Apple whore, but it works for me… Apple Fitness, Apple Music and their devices. Fitness syncs into Music with the music from their collated playlists for workouts, then you can find and play the playlists if guy fancy.

Or if you’re subscribed, you can play or steam just about any song you like. I like it anyway.

So this week, I started a new playlist for myself… 2021 Fun. I had one for 2020… I listen to other playlists, then add songs I like into this one.

I really like the mixed song above, a mix between Lovely Day and Good as Hell… and this Feelin’ Alright is pretty fun too.

This might sound odd, but when the US Inauguration was on, I found a playlist of the songs used… and most of them are great, so I’ve added a few of them on. Including Firework by Katy Perry which I’ve already blogged about.

Then this song below, Fit Girl was listening to it… it’s a nice song, with some good lyrics which I can relate to just now.

Butterfly, it’s a lonely night
I need someone to talk to
So butterfly, can you read my mind?
Been struggling again, so
I came to find the wings you use to fly away
I wanna borrow them someday
‘Cause I’ve been fighting all the time
I’m kinda feeling dead inside
But you, you believe me
And when I’m feeling down
You’re always around
And you remind me how
Real growth takes time
And when I’m feeling low
I see you and I know
Still got a way to go
Real growth takes time
Butterfly
Butterfly
Butterfly, sit by my side
‘Cause lately I’ve been falling
From heights and I’m terrified
I’m always gonna feel like this
How did you learn to trust that
You’ll become what you are destined to?
‘Cause I can’t seem to find a way to get out of my bed today
But you
Yeah, you believe in me
And when I’m feeling down
You’re always around
And you remind me how
Real growth takes time
And when I’m feeling low
I see you and I know
Still got a way to go
Real growth takes time
Butterfly
Butterfly
Butterfly
Butterfly
And when I’m feeling down
You’re always around
And you remind me how
Real growth takes time
And when I’m feeling low
I see you and I know
Still got a way to go
Real growth takes time
Butterfly

I have a family subscription, but you can also get just a singular one. Or you can buy a monthly lump subscription of iCloud music snd fitness etc.

There are curated playlists for any type of mood… and you get your own station which I plays songs based on your likes and preferences. Feeling happy and Friday feeling or get up are playlists I use, but also chill.

I think it’s good anyway… and I’ll keep adding to my 2021 Fun playlist.

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From survival to being able to thrive

I was recently tasked with a self development project of looking at my life and my career and plotting them out. Looking at the positives and the negatives of both. It was a good project and also got me to look at my strengths, skills and values and what gives me reward and helps me to thrive.

It helped me to realise that over the years I’ve experienced many ups and downs… hard times which have seemed to have gone on forever with seemingly no end in sight… but also good times filled with fun, adventures and happiness. You could say it’s been nicely balanced, and you’ve probably got to take the rough with the smooth.

This is a long one, so grab a cuppa!

In life and in my career I’ve faced challenges, but it’s the way that I’ve dealt with those challenges, what I’ve learned from them, and how I’ve bounced back which has truly shaped me into the person I am today. It’s also helped me to seek out and appreciate the fun / good times more.

I’ve written before about how the hard times have led me to realise and come across many positives – the key ones are people – realising that others are there for me, and that I’m there for them. That people really make life special, and I have an opportunity, enthusiasm and drive to hopefully make a difference and help others too.

In my experience, people help you to see a wider perspective. The good ones listen and question you honesty and openly. They tell you the truth, even when you might not want to hear it. They make you think and they can help change you into a better person. You know who you are – so thank you. (And hopefully you know that I’m here for you too.)

Now Covid and the pandemic has had the unusual effect of putting most of us across the world in a similar position of restrictions and lockdown… and much much more.

As the quote says, we might all be at sea, but we’re not all in the same boat – some are in luxury cruisers or yachts, some are in rowing boats, and some are drowning. But for the first time that I can think of we’re all under similar blanket restrictions which will hopefully be for the good in the long run.

Life seems harder, or certainly a lot different than we’re used to, and the not knowing how long it will last, along with winter and whatever else, is hard.

Whereas I can think of, and maybe you can too, of times where things were really tough for me (or you). Life became a real struggle… a never ending storm that wasn’t seeming to let up.

Meanwhile others just get on with their lives, and they’re not affected by the things which impact is individually. Inside it felt unfair, but you just had to get on with it.

When bad things happen we might ask, why me? But when we’re all in it together it doesn’t seem so bad. That others are going through similar, or that we all (should) do what’s right for society.

When shit hits the fan in life, maybe it’s easy and reasonable to ask why me? What did I do to deserve this?

Ill health and injury
The actions of others
Emotional or physical abuse
Bumpy childhoods
Workplace issues or redundancy
Death and bereavement
Accidents
Even through to wild fires and earthquakes or floods, which might impact a group or community

Bumps and storms in life like those above have the ability to shape us, or break us. As the saying goes – fall down 7 times, get up 8 – it’s the way we get back up from the falls that is important.

Resilience is being able to bounce back. And as in Lucy Hone’s TED talk (link below), the ordinary magic that resillience can become is based on three things:

1. The understanding and acceptance that struggle is part of life – to expect that tough things happen.

2. To tune into the good – focus on the positive, giving the good attention.

3. Asking yourself if what you’re doing will help or harm you? If it harms you, it’s not worth it.

Lucy Hone: 3 secrets of resilient people
https://www.ted.com/talks/lucy_hone_3_secrets_of_resilient_people

Being able to accept our vulnerabilities, and knowing when to ask for and get help and support, is key to being able to bounce back from adversity or trauma.

Accepting that struggle is part of life, it’s happened, but to move on, learn from it, find the positives and shape our future from it all. Not dwelling on the past, but learning from it, to make our future better.

Read – How to take charge of your life with NLP, by Richard Bandler. https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2014/03/30/take-charge-believe-and-be-happy/

‘If someone wrote bad things all over your walls in your house, you wouldn’t leave it there would you? You’d maybe read it, or some of it, then your paint or wallpaper over it and forget it.’

When I was a teenager, that actually happened to me – writing all over my bedroom walls. It was almost unbelievable. I came home one night when I was about 15, to 4 walls full of writings in black marker pen, all written by my Mum.

It was truly horrific and so very upsetting. But I got through it, I eventually forgave her and moved on. Fully confident that I would never be like that, or treat anyone like that in my lifetime. I longed for a normal nice home, and that’s what I have now. And it’s ace.

Getting back to it, focusing on and talking about the positive, rather than the negative or bad bits in life, really does make a difference. Why focus on or keep thinking about the bad? Will it help or harm you? If it’s the latter, let it go.

Sure it can help to talk things through snd get other people perspective so you know if you’re on the right track or not, but don’t be consumed by it. (I say that because I have been, so many many times, and I know it’s not good for me, but sometimes it’s hard to let go).

Think about what you can control. Let go of what you can’t.

Looking back I can see two major themes in my life which really shaped who I am, but were also unique to me. They helped shape the person I am today, and how I deal with things – a bumpy childhood, and a series of deaths where I felt it was my place to step up and play my part to remember those who passed on.

The uncertainty of a bumpy childhood from age 9 onwards, probably led to me finding it hard to process and deal with uncertainty…

…but it also made me into someone who works hard to fix things, to lean on others for help and support, and someone who’s grateful for the simple things in life – A settled home and family life, friends and family, fun, health and happiness… because that’s what’s most important in life (to me).

With a Mum who wasn’t quite there for me for one reason or another, I reached out to at least 5 other female figures in my teenage years, who I’m grateful to, and who have helped shape me into the person I am today. And they are still there for me any time I need them.

And of course, my Dad, who helped and made a difference to so many others, and gave me the belief that I could do anything I set my mind to…

… And my big brother who always looked out for me, from day dot, and still does – maybe all big brothers should do that, but he does it effortlessly and always has. (Even his annoying name calling made me resilient and able to deal with banter and cheek at work and in life – but don’t tell him I said that, or he’ll add another nickname on to it!)

Slartybartfartboilonthebumfatpodgepodgekettlemmmmmnnnmonkey….!

Now I’ve transferred that experience into resilience, problem solving skills, great networking and people skills, ensuring I build and grow networks in my life and work, to get the best from them. For me and for others too.

And it all now feeds into my values of being there for people and hopefully making a difference, being the best I can be, and aiming to help others be the best they can be too.

I could have fallen apart and gone off the rails when I was growing up, but I worked through my issues, worked to try to understand the issues my Mum had, and ultimately forgave her.

Through out my life I’ve got help – I’ve contacted and signed up to counsellors, working through my issues, my concerns and worries. Helping me to come to terms with everything. I think it’s important to take care and live to your values and what you believe in. Be real and be who you want to be.

Then I was able to out my big girl pants on and be there for my Mum after she passed on, and for her Mum (my Granny) and sister (my Aunt) – in one of the most important parts of life, in their death – to ensure they were sent off / remembered well.

Death and illness is hard. They can come along when you least expect it, can change your life and outlook forever, and they can impact people in a similar way, or a different way. I’m fortunate (touch wood) not to have been impacted by illness much in my life, but bit by bit death has knocked me and made it’s mark on me.

Death is partly unique to you, in that you had a unique relationship with the person (or animal!)… but others suffer and are in pain in their own way too. It can be life shattering, and it’s hard to know what to say to people who are dealing with it. The best we can do is remember the person (or animal), remember the positive and good times. And as a bystander, be there for someone going through it.

When you experience the death of someone yourself or you need to be responsible as executor or in remembering them, it can be about simply surviving… about taking care, being kind to yourself, asking for help if you need it, and taking each day at a time. Speak up. reach out, ask for help if you need it.

Using every part of you to get though the pain of it all, to get out the other side. To grieve, to learn that grief is ok, and it’ll be around, but that life will come back and be around too. I turned it into a task by task thing, go to the lawyer, the funeral director, pick the coffin, register the death.

Let others help you too. You’re not alone. And there are professionals as well as those close to you to help. Funeral directors, lawyers, and the Samaritans or other charities which are there to help you.

Or it can be about you taking time to remember the good times, the fun and the influence the person (or animal) had on you. The good they brought out in you, the good you want to live on though you.

My elephants and rainbows, for my Granny, stars and the moon for my Aunt, the number 222 haunting me (by my Mum), giraffes and sun rays for the lovely Norma.

In the two years after my Mum’s death it crashed down on me and my brother in a way I never would have expected. My other siblings of course lost their Mum and perhaps dealt with the challenges and thoughts of dealing with it, but my brother and I dealt with the estate, the detail, the action, the decisions – the low lying storm that it was for a whole two years. It was horrific and probably life changing.

I wrote before about how a rose tinted world works for me – whilst times were tough, there were a lot of good that came of it too. Good memories, photos and things, friends and a reminder that there are many people there for me. Maybe it did nearly break me, but the people around me, as usual, bouyed me up and helped me to survive and thrive.

https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2016/04/05/my-rose-tinted-world-works-for-me/

Meanwhile – and what felt unfair to me at the time was – that the world carried on as normal. Work continued, society continued, others we born, others died, but this was a big bloody horrible thing which was impacting me and those very close to me, with the enduring disruption that a long storm brings.

I was working through it all, feeling a bit like I needed to move on, but felt I couldn’t. Other things in my life had to be put on hold, meanwhile I was close to falling apart and was put back together by friends and family.

A long period of never ending uncertainty, then once we were finally out the other side, then my career started to unravel leading to times of real uncertainty leading to me fighting… put plainly, fighting to survive again.

By saying fighting to survive, I don’t mean I was close to suicide, I’m confident and grateful that I’m quite sure I would never be that low to take my own life … but I was fighting to fix what had gone wrong, and it wasn’t working. I was speaking up, for what felt like an age, and no one was listening. Nothing was working.

It was a struggle, that seemed to be keeping going on and on and nothing I tried or did could fix it. I was choosing to go forward with it, knowing that it was the principe that I was standing up for, hoping that right would come through. And it didn’t. I tried and I tried, for so long, and it was all for nothing.

But then positives came out of that too – again I built strong supportive relationships with colleagues and friends, there for me to help, listen, support and guide me through the storm I was trying to steer through again.

Just like in my teenage years, I had very little control over what would become years of uncertainty and loss… me trying to fix it and it not working. I tried to secure a future, and I still am… but it’s getting tiring. I’m feeling done in and like I need to take another tact. But I’ll know I’ll get there.

In all of these tough times, I do remember thinking, why me? Why couldn’t I just have a good life, a nice normal home and family and life?

But then I know that all of the tough times in life are teaching me good lessons, and are certainly making me more resilient as a person. I’ve learned, built a wider perspective and good support network. I’m calm, unflappable… and I’m a good person, who cares a lot.

It was all life experience to help me or others in the future. If I’m able to get though this, I can do anything… in the same way, I know I’ll get there, no matter how bad or unsettled things feel, I know everything will be ok.

It’s how we respond to these things that can help us to get out the other side into better times. We might have little control over the things that happen to us, but we can choose how we react.

We could fall apart and cry and get angry and bitter, or do damage, or we can stand up, accept it’s happened, move on and know we’ll get through it.

Here we go back to resilience, and if it harms us… it’s not worth it. Focus on the positive, the good and the good will come through. If you have no control over it, let it go.

Now add covid in, and all of a sudden we’re all at sea… it’s not just something / tough times impacting me, and those close to me it’s affecting everyone in different ways.

In an odd way, what I’ve found is that covid isn’t all that bad – for me at least. I’m lucky to have a home, and gym, a job where I’m able to work from home, good food etc. Good friends, family, technology etc, I have everything I need.

Gratefully so far, I (and the people I care about) have managed to stay safe, and not contract covid. I’ve some fiends / colleagues who have caught it, and it sounds truly awful, but luckily I don’t know anyone who has passed away from it or been affected too much by the restrictions.

I’ve survived – I’ve got through the hard times in my life and come out the other side. You probably have too, many times.

As well as that, I’ve thrived in life and in my career and I know I will again. Fun, holidays, kite flying, ice creams, rainbows, friends, family, rewarding work where I make a difference – I’ll get back to it all. I know I will.

There’s a saying to ‘be kind as you never know what others are going through’.

It’s true. Be there for each other, ask if everything is ok. Be there in whatever way you can. If you see someone struggling, phone them, text them, give them your time, listen. I do it for others, and ungrateful that others do it for me too (you know who you are!)

Let them know that you’re there if they need you. That there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that storms don’t last forever, rainbows will appear and sunnier days will come. They will survive and they will be able to thrive and smile again.

Storms come and go, but rainbows and sunshine are a plenty too. We can get through the storm with others at our side, and the right clothes to keep us safe, dry and warm, if we have the brave the outdoors. X

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Getting there with my running

Today I went for my second run of the week, and my forth run since I decided to try a different tactic with my running to try to get over my hamstring issue.

I ran 4 miles up to Maxwell Park and back, and for the fourth time since trying my new tactic, my hamstring wasn’t sore… again!

My new ploy is to try to change how I run, from mid to heel strike running to toe running. It takes a bit of getting used to and you have to think to do it – to effectively change your natural running style…

… but I’m trying to see if I can take this opportunity of building up my miles, and also hopefully build my legs elsewhere, instead of straining my hamstring all the time.

I know there could be risk in changing your foot strike, in toe running, the load goes into your calves, so it’s important to build it slowly to avoid injury, but touch wood it seems to be working. And my cadence is automatically increasing too… from about 175 to 185+ so that’s good.

My pace and heart rate and feeling are fine, I’m just trying to build it all back up steadily without being tempted to run too far or put too much load on, and to prevent any further injury.

We will see hopefully it’ll work out ok S for the better and I’ll see this pesky hip / hamstring injury off for good.

The long term goal is training for the Brighton Marathon in September this year, but if I’m not fit for it, it won’t be the end of the world. Fingers crossed though!

Some of the eagle eyed of you who know me well, know that I ALWAYS round my miles up to the nearest 0.1 of a mile, or mile ideally for monthly mileage … and you’ll see I did 4.07 miles today…

Well this is ahead of what I plan to run on 23 February … 2.23 miles in memory of Ahmaud Arbery. This story really got me last year, and if you want to know more about it go here:

https://www.runnersworld.com/news/a35521521/ahmaud-arbery-virtual-run-finish-the-run/

I heard some more about it today on my run when I did my Apple Fitness Time to Walk with Bubba Wallace. I’ll run my 2.23 miles with pride and careful thought on the 23rd.

(And my monthly miles will be rounded up too… ha).

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Wk6 into wk7 training

These posts are generally for me to look back on my week and how my training went, and to plan the next week. They help me to be consistent with my training, and in getting a balance with things like sleep etc.

A weekly check up of where I’m at, what went well, what went not so well and what I’ll aim to do better next week. Since lockdown and working from home it’s probably become easier to be consistent with my training – with the garagym on my doorstep and my aim to get rid of my injury…

Apple Fitness has been a good game changer to get some good spin and strength workouts in, and now I’m trying out their HIIT and yoga too.

Here’s what I did last week –
– 3 spin sessions
– 3 strength / HIIT sessions
– 3 walks 8.3 miles
– 1 run (due to the snow / spin as cardio instead)
– 1 yoga session / rest day

My sleep improved, letting go of some things, and focusing on what’s next and what I can control.

I felt a bit gubbed on Thursday and took a good rest day. It and a few good spin sessions, and a relaxing weekend seemed to do the trick.

Now here’s the plan for training next week:

A similar mix to last week, with some runs in the mix, keeping them short… maybe even shorter than 4 miles depending on how Monday mornings run goes.

I’m enjoying my strength work and cross training anyway. The balance of it all keeping the endorphins flowing and helping my sleep too probably.

We’re very fortunate to have this space and set up. It’s good to have been able to make it cool and work for us.

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Custom Metcons ordered!

So… I decided on these colour ways for my custom metcons…

I changed the soles from being white to grey… but kept the white tops and pink and orange bits.

They’ll only be used in the garagym so they should be easy to keep clean.

I think they take about a month to be made (and I tried on the size to be sure).

Good things come to those who wait, eh?

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Up down up…

I’ll be honest, yesterday, for one reason or another wasn’t a good day for me. Perhaps I was tired, and a bit sore from training week in the week… I just felt a bit shi!!y. I was down, but I recognised it early and didn’t push myself too much, I was kind to myself, took some time out and knew that better days would come.

Instead of pushing myself with a spin or strength workout in the morning, I did a half hour yoga session, did some work and went on a ‘dealing with uncertainty’ webinar later in the afternoon. All about recognising the impact uncertainty can have on you, and using the experiences and resources you already have to get through challenging times. I’ll add some notes from the session at the bottom.

This whole covid situation, winter, being stuck in, working from home, not being able to travel and some uncertainty for me is playing tricks on me a bit… but I’m putting in plans to make the future a better place for me, and if I’m honest with myself, I have things very good.

Yet I’m still choosing to harm myself a bit, by looking at the past, in the hope that something will come of it, but deep down I know it won’t. I’ll get no return, no matter how hard I try. So there’s likely no point in dredging it all up… even though I’ve just even trying to do what’s right – it seems there was no point. It’s hard to accept, but I’ve learned that it’s best to move on when things harm you.

So today I decided I would do things that give me energy – to start off with, a good hour in the gym – 20 mins strength (with Kyle – full body workout) and 30 mins spin (with Kym – two big hills with a flat road and intervals between them).

A good bit of movement and some good cardio and aerobic work on the bike – avg HR 146, max 167!

Before that I’d woken up at 1am… and rather than get up and stay up ruminating, I wrote down my thoughts quickly, and got back to bed and to sleep. These thoughts aren’t worth waking myself up, or staying awake for; and I’ve become better at being strict with myself so that my sleep isn’t stolen.

I know that exercise is the fix that helps me feel good, helps me get a good balance, so it’s important for me to do it. As does do social interaction, and a good amount of rest and sleep. (Even though it makes me look like the above 😂).

The garagym alone is something I’m very grateful we have… it’s enabling to get out exercise fixes, even in the middle of winter with freezing temperatures and inches of snow outside.

I have some good plans, which should see themselves through in the next 6-9 months or so. In the meantime, I’ll listen out for the days when I’m down, and I’ll not let myself go deep down. I’ll pick myself back up, reach out for chats, and relish in the good days.

Up down up down up… hopefully more ups are on their way, and I’ll get back to being more balanced overall with a bit more certainty around the corner.

Better times are on the way, it’s just they’re going to take a bit of time to get here, so I need to keep being patient and know that it’ll all come good some time soon. In the meantime, I need to get my positivity, happiness and confidence back.

Notes from the dealing with uncertainty webinar:

Be more present in the now
Don’t dwell on the past / focus on what you can do / what you can control
Control – internal external
Choose your response – to be strong
Managing emotions
Sense of purpose / destiny / purpose / role

Find sanctuary where we can find safety
Human brain to assess risk

Staying in touch with colleagues / friends / family
Use technology to connect and stay in touch
To be human with them
The team / family / friends are out there

Limit exposure to negative information
Not bombarded by too much negativity
Triple filter – True / good / help situation ?
Talk to others
Neutralise negativity

Positive – thinking about what I want
(Not what I don’t want or what won’t work / help)
Thoughts / feelings / actions = success

Understanding positive thinking and self talk
Use logic & reason
Generalise / distort / delete

Thinking style emotions and our health
Positive thinking chemicals – can help us to be mentally and physically healthy
Negative = stress / cortisol
Important to help us learn

Adopt positive thinking
Be flexible and learn to change your perspective
Motivate yourself towards the positive
Seek balance – performance & recovery
Mindset starts internally
Walking / thinking / talking

Use the weekends and evenings to recharge / re energise
Do fun stuff you enjoy
Be kind to yourself and take care of you and others

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