Wk43 into an adventure week

This last week went like this:

Mon: Rest
Tue: 15 min spin drill +25 min body weight strength
Wed: Rest
Thu: 15 min spin drill + 30 min KB Strength
Fri: 15 min spin drill + 30 min scenic spin
Sat: Rest / 6M walk (and gave blood)
Sun: Rest / 4M walk

My feet were sore for most of the week, especially my left, and I did some calf raises and stretches, and rolled my feet on a golf ball which seemed to help. No running, and today (Sunday) I noticed was the first day I feel no pain in them, which is good.

The spin I did was good, hard work, sweaty, but in little chunks (15 or 30 mins) so it was bearable, even enjoyable. The machines in the gym have a virtual instructor called Miles who is so motivational. I did 15 min drills each time I went, and on Friday I did a drill then a 30 minute scenic session that took me to Italy, the alps and America. It’s cool.

On Saturday I gave my 29th pint of blood, ahead of an easy holiday week where I’ll be walking, driving and visiting people and places.

Sunday was spent along the banks of Loch Lomond, at Balmaha where we’ll be here for a few more nights. Conic hill tomorrow, and plenty of good food and fun. I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the gym (no swim yet, I couldn’t face it!, but the gym is going well).

All of the different training (more strength & spin / less if no running) has led to a clear change in body composition / numbers for me:

4 Oct 22 Oct
135.6lbs/15.5% fat 138.3lbs/14.2% fat
21lbs body fat 19.6lbs body fat
81.1% muscle/110lbs 82.2%/113.7lbs
3.6% bone/4.9 3.7% bone/5.1

That’s a reduction in body fat of -1.4lbs, and an increase in lean body mass of +3.9lbs, in 3 weeks. My water % has gone up too.

I’m off work next week, so it will roll out like this for me:

Mon: Conic Hill / Balmaha
Tue: Lochaline / Fort William
Wed: Fort William to Inverness
Wed – Sat: Inverness

I’m going to where my Granny & Aunt lived (and rest now), so I’m looking forward to that. Lochaline is such a beautiful place.

I’m really looking forward to a wee break with Fit Girl and visiting close friends in Inverness too Hopefully the weather will be good. Fun times ahead.

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29th pint given

I was telling my work Twinnie yesterday that I was giving blood this morning, and since she likes to go along with someone even she goes (so they can look after each other) she booked the same time to go along.

We’ll be giving a pint of A+ and a pint of O+ between us. Sone lucky souls will get our magic blood.😉

I got here s bit earlier, and got taken a bit earlier, and gave my 29th Ping of blood. Twinnie was still waiting to get taken after I’d finished so I popped over to see her.

Sitting down, I then had s bit of a bleeder. Oops. (Just not enough pressure on it for long enough after to keep it closed – usually that doesn’t happen – honest). Now I’ve got this big bandage to show off. Lol.

I’ll hopefully be giving my 30th pint of blood around the new year (12 weeks between donations).

Have you ever given blood, or are you due to give blood? Why don’t you? You can sign up for an appointment at http://www.scotblood.co.uk

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Wk42 – Out and refocus (not down)

So… I am out of running – sore feet and calves aren’t good and I need to take time out from running to get better. Including a rest day today and around 1-3 rest days a week. No running, swimming or spin instead, plus strength work and some walking.

I’ll refocus and not be down about it. When I see a runner, I won’t think… ‘boohooo….I can’t run’…, I’ll think, ‘I’m focusing on strength and swimming instead’.

Plantars facilitus, that’s what has resurfaced. It’s not nasty sore, but it’s not quite right. The truth is my calves aren’t right and my feet have plantar faciitus, so I need to stop running for a bit… 2-4 weeks probably. It’s not the end of the world…I just need to refocus: – Out, refocus, but not down.

I’ve written about dealing with injury before:


1. Reassess your goals

2. Look on the bright side

3. Listen to your body and recover before you start training again

4. Look at your training

5. Learn from your injuries

It’s all about being grateful for what you can do and deciding to focus on that for a bit. I remember the time when I was the fittest ever, and it was when I was swimming 3000m three times a week in Uni.

So I’m hopefully going to take up swimming again… it’ll be my ‘cardio’ along with some spin…and then I’ll do strength to hopefully change things up and help me get strong (bodyweight / kettlebells / weights). (including calf raises / toe stretches for feet).

This is probably my body telling me it needs a break from running, and I’ll give it that. Winter will be around the corner soon anyway.

How did I get here?

I took it easy with running over the last 3 weeks after the Loch Ness Marathon, I ran just every Sunday, and once I felt ok, I ran short distances last Thursday and Friday too… trying to ease myself back into it.

After the marathon my feet and calves were pretty sore. The first Sunday I ran, I ran with my friend Grant in Wick, (for just under 45 mins) and every step was sore. I admit I probably shouldn’t have, but it was good to catch up with Grant. My calves were really sore and it was a bit of a struggle, I knew I needed more rest.

Then great fun, I started a cold the Monday after…boooo. Then the Sunday after I ran for 35 minutes with my brother. It all felt fine.

My legs felt better thankfully, it felt like the two weeks more or less off running had done me good. Last week I did the following – a mixture of strength and running…and I wanted to try a bit longer running at the weekend, to test it out, to see how I was.

Here’s what I did last week:

Mon: 25 min bodyweight tabatas
Tue: Rest & massage (ouch!)
Wed: 15 min Spin then 30 min strength
Thu: 40 min easy run (felt fine)
Fri: 5k treadmill (felt fine) & 30 min KB strength
Sat: Rest
Sun: 8.4M run (sore feet / not right)

On Sunday there, the run was going well until about an hour in… and my right foot in particularly got niggly… then my calf, and my ankle.

I ran for just under an hour 20, with the aim to see if I could build up to do the Southside 6 in 3 weekends time (8M, 10M, 12M – SS6 15.4M)….

The answer was no, and after that run, I’ve pulled out of the Southside 6 so my place can go to someone else who wants to enter it / is on the waitlist.

It was nice running in the autumnal weather, with leaves falling all around me. Through Festival, Pollok and Maxwell Park…. I saw loads of dogs, loads of people out for their weekend exercise (walk / run / cycle).

I love to run at this time of the year…. Low light, sunrises, leaves and colours all over the place. But it’s simply not to be.

From now on

So here’s the plan for this week is:

Mon: Rest (bath later)
Tue: 25 min bodyweight tabatas & Strength
Wed: Swim (or spin & KB Strength)
Thu: Spin & Strength
Fri: Swim
Sat: Rest / walk (or gym)
Sun: Walk

And here’s the plan for the next 8-12 weeks… (cardio will be spin or swim, maybe run after 4 weeks).

Wc 17 Oct – Get used to swimming / strength / rest
Wc 24 Oct – week off / travel / visit
Wc 31 Oct – Bodyweight Strength / Swim
Wc 7 Nov – BW/KB Strength / Swim
Wc 14 Nov – BW/KB Strength / Swim
Wc 21 Nov – BW/KB/Weights Strength / Swim
Wc 28 Nov – BW/KB/Weights Strength / Swim
Wc 5 Dec – BW/KB/Weights Strength / Swim
Wc 12 Dec – BW/KB/Weights Strength / Swim
Wc 19 Dec – BW/KB/Weights Strength / Swim

My aim is to be healthy, fit and strong, whilst also doing well on the eating side of things (healthy eating). The start of which is my oaty breakfast bake, which I’ve made the last two Sundays for the following week.

I’ll add the link to the recipe soon.

I have it heated, with Greek yoghurt on top (the yoghurt not heated) in the morning. Yum

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Sunflower baby

This year I planted my first sunflower seeds. I planted around 6 in total and 1 really took and grew (see it in the pic below) and another 2 grew a bit, but didn’t flower and I don’t think they’ll make it now.

(I admit, I am not a gardener, or at least I’m not an expert at gardening / don’t have much experience of it!)

My one sun flower grew to be about 6 foot tall, and in around August time it looked like this:

Now it’s most definately on its way out, but not before having some sort of off spring baby sunflower under the original sunflower head.

Next year I’ll be more planned and do it a bit better I think. Find out about when is best to plant them etc.🙂. It was nice to see it grow into the little tall plant and flower(s) 🌻 over the months.

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Post Marathon Blues

I’m gubbed. Just under 2 weeks since the marathon and the last 2 weeks has been tough. Race day had been an emotional day for me, and straight away I was sore, really sore after it.

I ran the course, and saw around 3-4 rainbows, the first being the one to our left at the start line, for around 10 minutes, until I ran so fast away from it and it disappeared behind a hill.

At 8 miles in, a bit of light drizzle and another rainbow, one at mile 10, one at the end (which I didn’t see, but got sent a picture of), and a big double rainbow the whole time we were eating our dinner.

At 16 miles in I got a little emotional (maybe at the thought of the 2 mile uphill at Dores?!!) but I managed to hold my tears in because I didn’t want to be a mess when I was running.

It was a really special day for me running the Loch Ness Marathon this year.

The last year has been tough, and I felt that for this round of training for the marathon, I didn’t feel as into it as I had been in the past. I was getting to 2 hours running on long runs and I’d need a break, was finding it hard to tell myself why I was doing it. Done in. My body could do it, I just felt that my head wasn’t in it.

3 marathons in a year – Loch Ness in October 2015, London in April 2916, Loch Ness in October 2016. I think it was too much for me. And I’ll be taking a break from them in 2017. They’re hard!

I crossed the line and saw my friend Jen, and got a big hug from her which I was grateful for. And straight away I crumbled into a crying mess. I was crying so hard I could hardly breathe. She hugged me tight, and looked after me for a bit before I went to wait for Fit Girl coming in.

I walked a bit and stretched, and I realised that I was sore, really sore. 26.2 miles of working hard, avg HR 162. Even my tongue felt sore when I tried to talk, it must have been tensed up.

The day after I had the usual DOMS, sore feet and legs, and back. And I had a bit of a sure throat too. I tried to get as much sleep as possible to recover and I tried to eat well and take care of myself. I knew I’d have at least 1-3 weeks off training.

The first few days after I felt like I’d been in a car accident, my body swelling up with water retention in an attempt to recover. People asked me how my marathon went and all I felt like doing was complaining about how bad I felt now, like a big horrible self inflicted hangover making me ill, sore and sad. 

I felt a bit better towards the end of the week and tried a run on Sunday night (a week after), but my right calf felt like it was properly injured, my sorest 4 miles for a long times. Not good. Much more rest required. (Which I’m fine with!)

So I had a week of being sore, then I spent the weekend with family which was nice. I remember thinking, this is great fun, and I was really happy. Really proper happy and having fun in the (coldish) sun.🙂

Playing computer games, driving places, seeing the stars, throwing stones in the water, eating ice cream. It was ace fun.

Then on the Monday the cold and streaming face came. 3-4 days of lemsips and tissues, and my feet were still sore. I was feeling like crap. Run down, body taken a battering, emotions all over the place.:-/

I knew that I wanted to get back into training – strength work to start off with, but I know I’m not ready, rest and recovery comes first.

Self inflicted pain and illness, and the achievement of the marathon seems all like a big waste of time (even with the beautiful rainbows we saw).:-/. Post marathon blues – it’s a known thing, and I’ve probably had it to a degree before, after a marathon.

You spend so much time and energy training for a marathon, then when it’s over and your body is a mess like mine is, you break down.

So here’s my breakdown, feeling like crap, on Monday I cried, on Tuesday I felt so bad (sore and with the cold) I spent the day in bed (off sick) recovering. Wednesday night I cried, Thursday morning at work I cried. I tried to be grateful, and happy but it was hard.

I spoke with good friends and it helped me to realise what was happening. I got a grip. I realised what was happening and I decided it was time to be a bit nicer to myself.🙂

– look after myself, be nice to myself.
– do things I enjoy.
– walk places, take time out of structured training, only go back to it when I’m sure I’m ready.
– eat well.
– spend time with good people (friends and family)
– get fitness back when I’m ready (next week tbc?)
– get plenty sleep.
– make some plans for a break away / adventure at the end of October.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you deal with it?

Ps: I’ll be fine. The cold is nearly gone, my legs / feet are nearly better and the weekend is nearly here.🙂

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Run Stop Run

A few months ago I had the chance to be one of the Pacers for the Great Scottish Run again, and I accepted it.

Then my brother asked me if I would go up to Wick and look after my Niece and nephews for the same weekend, and I knew I would rather spend the time with my niece and nephews. And I’m glad I did.🙂

I got up to Wick on Friday after spending Thursday night and done of Friday with a good friend in Inverness. After the marathon last Sunday, my feet and legs were sore, even up to the following Saturday.

I’d planned around 1-2 weeks rest from running or getting back into training, but it turns out I’m sorer than I thought I would be.

My arches of my feet were sore for a few days, my calves like concrete blocks, my hamstrings sore. So I felt fine taking at least a week off. And I spent the time with family and friends instead.🙂

I tried a wee run (in my every day clothes / boots) on Friday and managed 6 steps before I pulled up with my calf in pain. And on Saturday I felt some sniffles / a cold coming on. Marathons are bad for you lol.

Anyway, the weather was lovely and we went out to John o groats for ice cream. And went out to see the stars at night too. Millions of them out at Noss Head. I miss the stars in Glasgow.😦

I took some cold and flu pills, and the sniffles weren’t all that bad. I’m definitely ‘run down’ as well as being a bit sore. 

On Saturday we saw this lovely big rainbow too, when my two nephews and I were out in the car too. And we played Xbox games – Forza – my new favourite game, driving and smashing cars up lol. A weekend to remember, laughing and having family fun. 

I hadn’t been back home (in Wick) since November last year, and even longer before that, so it was nice to be up on such a clear sunny weekend.

We went a wee walk along to ‘the Ducks’ on Sunday morning, and I reminisced with them about how many of the houses weren’t there when I grew up 20 years + ago. I might be getting old.🙂

I remember the rocks I used to climb all over as a kid, I didn’t hours down there. Houses and Places I used to visit.

A nice bit for me was down at the north baths on Sunday with the kids, the water still as anything, with some of my favourite people ever.😀 special times with special kids.

Then I watched Callum Hawkins win the Great Scottish Run, and saw a few people I knew, on telly, Paul Clawson and Lesley Mcdonald. It felt a bit strange not being a part of it this year, but it was good to be up here.

Then this evening, I was settling down after a good Sunday, and my old school friend Grant messaged me. Grant is now the depute rector of the local high school.

Grant messaged me a few months ago and asked me what I thought of him doing 10k every day in September. I said I thought it’d be tough and he better watch he didn’t injure himself (with out rest days). He was doing it to raise money for a playground in Staxigoe.

And on Friday the 30th, he did his 30th 10k run in September!! A great achievement, with lots of press coverage in the local paper, and over £4000 raised for charity. Run Grant Run and that he certainly did. I and a lot of other people I know are well impressed with his achievement, I don’t think I would have even tried it, never min achieved it like he did. Well done Grant!

Now he seemed to be on a roll, as he took a rest day on the 1st October, and asked me if I fancied a run at 8pm on the 2nd…. it was dark by then, and I don’t usually run at night time, but hey ho I thought. Why not.

A lovely run under the stars and a good chat with Grant to catch up with how he got on. I had a feeling my right calf might be a bit of a problem, but I thought I’d test it out anyway.

With my slight cold, and the up hills, it was a little tough at times, but I slowly got into it. My right leg is well and truly gubbed, probably injured, so sore I had to limp at points, so I’ll need to take some proper time off running. Another week at least, maybe even 2. We’ll see. 

It’s not the end of the world, and I have memories, a medal and tshirt for it.:-/ it’s probably time for a change in direction (from running) anyway right?

I ran almost 7k in just over 43 minutes, under the stars, with my good friend Grant. Good chat, ticking along, hardly able to breathe up the hills, and sore and injured old body. 

It’s really pretty up here, but I’m back home tomorrow. Get rid of my slight cold and maybe get some walking, and more rest and recovery in next week.
I’ll get back to running when I’m ready. Time for some time out instead

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Getting there with recovery

This week hasn’t been the most fun week I’ve ever had … and yes, I know it’s self inflicted, but I’ve been sore and in anti inflammatories all week.

It seems the marathon on Sunday really took it out of me. So much so I think I feel a bit of a cold starting. Boooo.:-/

I had a three day week at work, and it was only by Thursday I felt I could handle going down the stairs instead of taking the lift. It was odd waiting for and using the loft every day, not something I’d usually choose to do.

In the main part my arches on my feet are sore, and my right calf and my left quad … and everything else including being tired and hungry. And all in all just a bit emotional too, but trying not to let it get through.

On Monday I still felt high, but on Tuesday and Wednesday I just felt swollen and in pain really – a bit like I’d been in a car accident. (Touch wood). And now my throat / back of my nose is agitated / sore, which probably means a cold is on its way.

I’ve taken some time out though, and I’ve got long sleeps in – they should help my recovery. And eating plenty. I plan to take around 2 weeks off training, maybe even longer if I still feel like this.

I’ve been doing a few short walks, but all in all I’ve been rather kind to myself.

One thing I’ve noticed is my weight, or more specifically my water weight / body composition I think. After the marathon it shot up to the heaviest I’ve been years, I’d been around 133lbs for a while, and it went up to 139lbs.

But weight isn’t everything, and it’s when you look at the body fat % / other % it gets interesting.

Where body fat % is body fat, and lbm is all other body weight including bone, muscle, water.

Mon 22 Aug: 132.1lbs / 13.6% body fat
17.8lbs fat / 114.9lbs lbm

Mon 25 Sep: 136.7lbs / 11.1% body fat
15.2lbs fat / 121.5lbs lbm

Thu 29 Sep: 139.1lbs / 13.6% body fat
18.9lbs fat / 120.2lbs lbm

It seems to me that my body is holding water to help me recover from the battering I gave it on Sunday, and that’s where the extra weight has come from. Clever body.

I’ve decided to buy the Withings Cardio scales, so if anyone wants to buy a set of used Withings wifi Body fat scales (that give you graphs like below) let me know lorn🙂

I’m away up to spend some time with family this weekend, a long weekend off work. Then I’ll be in Edinburgh with work on Tuesday.

I have some health and fitness plans for when I’m back on my feet, but just now I’m just going to do my best to recover.

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