Wk2 into Wk3 and being a mentor

Last week was good, my first week back at work… and I tried to keep my training up, but needed a rest day on Friday, and ended up skipping my strength workout on Monday (for a rest day) after swimming coaching so I could get logged in early after two weeks off.
Here’s what I did:

By Thursday I was getting a bit tired. I’d been used to 9-10 hours sleep each night and I was getting about 8.5.

When I was off on leave I was getting between 9-10.5 hours sleep a night (and no naps needed)… but on Saturday I took a wee nap when it was raining in the afternoon.

I was probably tired from being back at work, but on top of that my Thursday was very long; with a swim early, then a day at work, and a 3 hour training session on ‘Child Protection’ for my swimming coaching for the juniors of Glasgow Triathlon Club. It was a good refresher and very worthwhile.

Last week I also got some new goggles, a new pair of arena tracks…. I needed to change the nose bar out to a smaller one, but they’re good and a reasonable price too.

I did 2 runs last week, a 10k on Wednesday and just over 5k on Saturday.

On Friday I realised a goal I’ve been trying to get to for a while. In July 2020 I signed up to be a mentor with MCR Pathways… https://mcrpathways.org/become-a-mentor/ and on Friday I met my first mentee. A girl from a local school who I’ll meet regularly and hopefully help.

Read more about it on the link above. 🙂

It seems like it’ll be very rewarding for me too. I’ll meet her once a fortnight, usually in person, but maybe virtually at some point.

Next week I have the following planned:

I got a good lower body strength workout in today, after swimming coaching, very early. I’ll see how tired I get this week, but hopefully I’ll be used to full time working, plus 2 hours coaching, by the end of the week (after my leave).

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Week 1 into Week 2 – back to it

I had a good couple of weeks off work I’ve type festive period – it was a good break with big long sleeps and many lie ins… and a conscious decision to reduce my training back.

Here’s what I did…

It was good to get back into spin once a week and I’ll keep that going – usually on a Friday morning (on Apple Fitness). We did some nice walks and had some good rest days with lots of organisation.

I mentioned this before, but I’ve got an idea of a weekly training plan that I’ll try out which will include:

3 swims
1-2 runs
1 spin
1-2 strength sessions
2 swim coaching sessions

Here’s the plan for next week, although, Saturdays might be a short run instead of strength. We’ll see.

Tollcross isn’t open next Sunday, so I’ve booked into the Gorbals on Sunday at 9, and early into Bellahouston at 630am on Tuesday and Thursday.

I’m looking forward to swimming coaching for Glasgow Triathlon Club first thing on Monday morning… although it’ll be very early. I can fit in a 30 min apple fitness strength workout after it and before work… and now that my cool office is set up, I won’t need to spend time setting it up either.

Roll on Monday, hopefully I can wake up very early.

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My new nutty banana breakfast

Here’s my new breakfast… sort of derived from Mark Sisson’s primal porridge… but mine isn’t paleo … as I used cows milk.

Ingredients for two portions:
– 1 cup pecan nuts
– 1 cup flaked almonds
– 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon of ginger
– an egg
– a banana
– 1/2 cup of full fat milk

Method:
1 > Mix it all together in a blender / nutribullet
2 > Pour evenly into two bowls
3 > Add a handful of blueberries and a strawberry or two
4 > Add some crumbled walnuts on top

Optional > Warm in microwave for 1-2 mins (before or after steps 3 and 4)

It looks tasty, hopefully it will be tasty. And I might add some more milk once it’s heated.

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New working from home set up

Like many, since March 2020 I’ve been working from home. I started off in the kitchen for a few days, then once my other half was sent home, she worked from downstairs and I worked from the spare room upstairs.

I made do with what we had, at the start, abs but by bit I got extra bits and pieces to make it work better over the months.

I ended up using our rather wide ironing board and a gym ball for a desk and chair, and with the type of work I did, taking calls and the odd zoom, I was able to use the space well, and do my work fine. I switched from a stool to a gym ball for a bit of movement.

Sometimes I’d move onto the poang chair we have and I got a tray for my laptop so it and my mouse and phone (and I) could sit comfortably… but as the months went on it started to be less comfortable. I hadn’t taken a monitor home with me, and the laptop screen worked for the type of work I did.

I ended up getting a foldaway table from Amazon which worked to a degree, and used a stool we had. But I tended to find that I wasn’t quite comfortable anywhere.

Then I got my new job and I was furnished with a lovely 24 inch monitor, laptop and I had my wireless mouse and keyboard from before. I set it all up, but the monitor was probably too big to be sitting at the foldaway desk.

So I brought the ironing board out again, which gave some distance, and the set up seemed to work again. Then I got a bit of pain in my wrist, and got myself an upright ergonomic mouse which helped a lot.

It all seemed to be working ok… but it wasn’t quite right.

I was lucky enough in Sumner to be able to be working from the garden, with electricity and wifi and a good set up.

And then towards the end of the year I was back in the spare room, making the most of the temporary foldaway set up….

We had a day bed in the room… and whilst it was good to store my exercise clothes… it wasn’t ever really used as a bed… so eventually, after 20 months of making do (and putting the foldaway office away at weekends) … I was persuaded by Fit Girl that it would be a good idea to make the office a permanent set up. (Here’s the day before ready to sell).

My role means I’ll likely be working from home for the future, if a mix of being in the office a bit in the way off future… but now seemed like a good time to do it.

I spent some time researching height adjustable tables.,. Because if we were doing it, we might as well do it right and name it magic… and we also looked at storage for my clothes that had been stored in the day bed.

Then we put the day bed on Facebook marketplace and not long after we had a buyer at a good price and before we knew it (within a day or so) the bed was gone, and we’d ordered a couple of small chest of drawers from Wayfair.

Perhaps due to it being close to Christmas, they arrived really quickly, we ordered them on the Sunday and they came on the Monday… then they wee built by the Tuesday.

And we’d ordered this Flexispot electric height adjustable desk from Amazon, and within a few days it was with us too. The desk was 120cm x 80cm and had really good reviews (and also had £45 off at the time).

I’m the meantime, for a couple of days I had a bit of a temporary set up in the last week if work before Christmas, a taste of what it would be like to not be facing the window anymore, and be facing the other wall in the room.

Here’s one of the chest of drawers built. Nice and neat and cute I think. (My clothes were briefly in a case (or two!) before everything was set up).

I’d measured the space and it was 268cm (minus a cm or two for skirting boards)… and we’d checked all the measurements. But when we built the desk and moved it into place I nearly collapsed… it fitted into the space, but the tops of the chest of drawers were 70cm, the width of the actual drawers were 60cm!!

So when the desk was in place, the top of the drawers prevented it from going up! With a bit of repositioning it all, we managed to squeeze it all in… as theoretically… 70 + 120 + 70cm = 260cm and the space is 268cm… so there are now mms to spare at the side of the desk. But it works! Phew!

I put all my clothes nice and today in the drawer, and got some more storage for a cupboard where I can put my work stuff away if I want to (laptop and books etc)… and then over the holidays I got it all set up with everything I need in the ‘working from home office’.

Then in the holidays I carried the organisation and tidiness through my closet and other clothes drawers and made it all tidied (and a bit cleared out) for 2022.

We already have a sonos/ Alexa speaker, but I got cable tidies for under the desk, so it’s all tidy, a monitor stand with usb slots, a charger for my phone… and a few extension cables to make it all work well.

I got a little table and plant for the office, …

… and ended up even getting little usb lights for the back and side edges of the table (deep down / quietly I think it’s like a space ship lol). All the wires are hidden and there are some extra power and usb slots.

And I even got an under desk drawer to store and charge my Garmin swim and run watches, my running headphones and camera… and some coasters for my coffee cup / water bottle.

One of the last things I did, once it was all set up was well the foldaway table and standing setup thing I had, and I ended up getting the same amount back for the foldaway table that I’d bought it for. So that was good.

I have managed to somehow lose count of everything I’ve spent to get it all set up (shhhhhh), but it’s been well worth it and it’s ready to go for being back to work on Monday.

(After I posted this I went back and added it all up, less the sales we made and it wasn’t all that bad / it was indeed worth it). 😂

The table is great, I got to use it for the last week of the year before my holidays. There are four settings on it which are easy to preset for you and others. It’s very quick and easy to move up and down and it all works really well.

Here’s a video of it in action. I’d really recommend it as a great desk, quiet, sturdy, available in different sizes and colours, it came quickly (in two separate deliveries) and it just works (maybe look on the Flexispot website direct for any offers).

I’m well pleased with the new set up, and probably should have done it a lot sooner. I’m even really looking forward to getting back to work on Monday because of it (shhh about that too!). 😂

(This is it tidied away, but I’ll take out my laptop and iPad and other bits and pieces when I work).

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Technique 1 Swim Session – 6/1/21

I thought I’d blog about my swim training rather than just share it on my Facebook page, so here it is.

This morning I started my swim training for 2022 with a new swim smooth workout – Technique 1, which consisted of the workout in the image below.

There were three in the lane, including me and we managed to space it out enough to be fine swimming.

I did a good warm up – of 200m front crawl swim, 150m Pull, 100m broken arrow / swim by 25s, then 50m front crawl again.

Then a 300m build set of 6 x 50m, which was 25m strong / 25m easy. I got caught behind someone on the last 50m, but other than that it was a good 45-50 secs per 50m

Then I went onto the 4 x 400m set… (but without fins as they’re not allowed in Bella) –

1. (Fins) > 6/1/6 < FC
2. B3/5/7/3
3. (Fins) > Broken Arrow < FC
4. FC

I have to admit the broken arrow drill took some getting used to… here’s a video of it

https://youtu.be/a7L-GKLJ0Jw

But once I got into it on the 400m swim I was fine. Until the cool down where I nearly choked and drowned – ha… first time in a while I’ve had to recover on my back.

The 6-1-6 drill is good too – in a steam lined position, arms in front, kick for 6, then breathe and do a pull to one side, then 6 kicks and repeat.

I think the drills probably made me work a little harder, with my max heart rate going up to 158, average 138.

When I finished, the other female in the lane recognised me and introduced herself as someone from the Glasgow Triathlon Club. So that was nice.

2,700m / 108 lengths in about 50 mins.

I had a shake after it, and then this tasty breakfast burrito out. Yum.

A good start to my swim training for this year. I’m booked in to Tollcross on Sunday at 9am (lane 7) and Bella Tuesday and Thursday at 630am.

If you want to know more about my swim training sessions, go here – https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2022/01/05/my-swimming-training-plans-for-2022/

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My Swimming Training Plans for 2022

As you probably know, last year I got back into swimming – swimming for myself and I’m also grateful to be swim coaching again, for the Glasgow Triathlon Club – a great wee inclusive and encouraging club in Glasgow. It’s been great to get back into both.

I’ve been making use of three pools – Bellahouston, the Gorbals and Tollcross for my swims, and I’ve been coaching at Bishopbriggs Leisuredrome and the Gorbals… and I’ll continue that into 2022.

I also did about 14 open water swims in 2021, including 2 Go Swim events, and swims in Lochan Spling, Loch Venachar, Loch Ness and Loch Lomond, oh and Abie’s Loch and a Pinkston too.

At the start of my pool sessions in June, I started off with swimming 80 lengths, or 2,000m and I built that up to between 2,500 – 3,000m each time I swam. I can use fins at Tollcross so if I use them I can squeeze in 3,000m if I cut the rest time down to as little as possible.

Here were the 2,000m sessions I started off with. https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2021/06/26/2000m-swim-sessions/amp/

And I’ll post the 2,500m sessions on another link soon.

Now for 2022, I wanted a new challenge for my swim training, so I looked at a book I’ve had for a long time, for inspiration – Swim Smooth – the complete coaching system for swimmers and triathletes.

It’s a great book, with good content, and at the back there are some examples sessions. I move tweaked then all so they’re around 2,500m to 2,900m and added in some time trials (500m / 750m / 1,000m / 1 mile).

My plan as of next week is to do three swims a week, on a 10 week cycle, including a week of rest (two swims that week). And I’ll plot in some holidays too, along with my goal of swimming the following events:

Loch Tay, 3,000m – 21 August
Loch Lomond, 5,000m – 3 September
Loch Morlich, 3,000m – 17 September

If we go with weeks of the year, this is what the 10 weekly plan and weeks will look like:

10 week plan

1. Tech 1 / Thresh 1 / Speed 1
2. 750m TT-CSS / Tech 2 / End 1
3. Thresh 2 / Speed 2 / 1km TT
4. Tech 3 / Thresh 3 / End 2
5. 750m TT-CSS / Speed 3 / Tech 4
6, Thresh 4 / Speed 4 / End 3
7. 1M TT / Tech 5 / Thresh 5
8. Speed 5 / Tech 6 / End 4
9. 1km TT / Speed 6 / Thresh 6
10. Rest / 2 swims – 750m CSS / 1km TT

Weeks
(1) 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 (12,13 hols) – Pool
14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 – OW
24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33 – OW
34,35,36,37 (38,39,40 hols?)
41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51 – Pool

I’ll likely get back into open water swimming from April time once it warms up a bit.

Here’s the crux of what the sessions will look like (see below for the detail).

Warm up – 500m various

Build set – 300m various

Main set – 1,500m – 2,000m of either:
Technique / Threshold / Speed / Endurance / Time Trial

Cool down – 300m

The book has all of the detail of the sessions, but I’ve plugged them into my Garmin Workouts as follows…

Technique – x6
Threshold – x6
Speed – x6
Endurance – x8
Time trial – x4

And also added in some 50m versions for when I swim at Tollcross on Sundays.

I might as well add them into this post, so they’ll be below at the end if you’re interested.

Now that they’re workouts in my Garmin Connect, what I’ve done is scheduled them into my Garmin calendar, the workouts. So they’ll got to my Garmin Swim 2 watch and be ready to load when I swim.

That’s my swim training plan sorted for 2022, and I’ll hopefully be able to use the sessions to put some triathletes through their paces too.

Here’s the warm up, build and cool down sessions (in images):

And here’s the technique, threshold, speed and endurance sessions, in writing:

Technique Main
1: 4 x 400m
1. Fins > 6/1/6 < FC
2. B3/5/7/3
3. Fins > Broken Arrow < FC
4. FC
= 1,600m

2: 2 x 8 x 100m –
1. Fins 25LK, 25RK, 50FC,
2. 50 6/1/6, 50 FC
= 1,600m

3: 2 x 6 x 75m
1. 25 pull / 25 kick / 25 pull
2. 25 B3 / 25 B5 / 25 B-otherside
+750m steady TT B-choice
= 1,650m

4: 3 x 500m
1. Alignment – Fins 25 LK / 25 RK
2. Rotation – Fins 25 6/3/6 / 25 FC
3. Catch – Pull 10m scull 1, 10m scull 2, 30 FC
= 1,500m

5. 4 x 250m
1. Basic Stroke Rate (count)
2. BSR +5 (faster arms)
3. BSR -5 (long slow arms)
4. BSR +3 (faster)
+500m FC steady TT
= 1,500m

6. 3 x 500m
– 25 drill / 25 FC
– 50 drill / 50 FC
– 75 drill / 75 swim
– 100 drill / 100 FC
1. Fins – Shoulder tap
2. Pull – Doggy paddle
3. Fins – Broken Arrow
= 1,500m

Threshold Main
1. 16 x 100m +20s
= 1,600m

2. 100/200/300 FC strong
400m FC B-choice
300/200/100 FC pull
= 1,600m

3. 2 x CSS pace
3 x 100m
2 x 200m
1 x 300m
= 2,000m (no build set)

4. CSS pace +20s rest
3 x 100m, 1 x 200m
3 x 100m, 1 x 300m
3 x 100m, 1 x 400m
= 1,800m

5. 6 x 300m
1-2 FC
3 Pull & paddles
4-5 FC
6 Pull & paddles
= 1,800m

6. 24 x 50m
12 x 50m, sprint every 3rd
8 x 50m, sprint every 2nd
4 x 50m, sprint every 1
+500m FC strong
= 1,700m

Speed Main
10 x 100m FC B5 steady +60s
+500m FC B4/5
= 1,500m

2. 8 x 100m – 50 fast / 50 easy +10s
16 x 50m – 25 fast / 25 easy +10s
= 1,600m

3. 4 x 400m +10s
400m FC B3
400m FC B3/4
400m FC B5
400m FC B4/5
= 1,600m

4. 3 x various pyramid 500s
25 / 50 / 75 / 100 / 100 / 75 / 50 / 25
50 / 100 / 200 / 100 / 50
1. DPS
2. Pull
3. Strong
= 1,500m

5. 15 x 100m
3 x 100m Base stroke rate
3 x 100m BSR +3 spm
3 x 100m BSR +6 spm
3 x 100m BSR +9 spm
3 x 100m BSR +12 spm
= 1,500m

6. 2 x
3 x 200m FC strong
4 x 50m FC fastest, +5s
= 1,600m

Endurance / Open Water Training
1. 3 x 750m = 2,250m
2. 2 x 1,000m = 2,000m
3. 1,600m = 1,600m
4. 3 x 1,000m = 3,000m
5. 2 x 1,600m = 3,200m
6. 4 x 1,000m = 4,000m
7. 6 x 750m = 4,500m
8. 3 x 1,600 = 5,400m

(I doubt I’ll get to be able to be swimming endurance sessions 6, 7 and 8, but you never know, we’ll see!).

I’m back coaching Glasgow Club triathletes at Bishopbriggs on Monday morning (very early at 615am), so I’m looking forward to that. 🏊‍♀️

And I have a swim tomorrow and Sunday to get myself warmed up and back in the pool after a wee mini break in the last week or twin

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2021 Totals & 2022 Events entered

The numbers are in for my activity last year … thanks to Garmin… as I’d hoped, I managed the following:

Run – 400 miles / 100 / 8x a month on avg
Cycling – 600 miles / 69 / 6x a month on avg
Walking – 635 miles / 332 times
Strength / Physio – 161 / 13x a month on avg
Swimming – 115 miles / 185.1km / 5690 lengths

1,750 miles in total 🙂

On average I exercised around 5.5 hours per week, or nearly 287 hours / 12 days non stop.

Garmin says I burned about 168,000 calories doing all of this – or around 1113 snack sized mars bars!

As you probably know I started back swimming in June… (and I’m loving it).

I’ve been swimming between about 20km – 38km a month or between 600 – 1,200 lengths a month.

I swam a total of 5,690 lengths, or 115 miles. I swam the most distance in December, (probably with the goal of aiming to get to the 115 miles by the end of the year), and I did two events – Loch Lomond 3,000m at the end of August and Loch Morlich 3,000m in September.

I did my open water swimming between June to October, and I’ll maybe start again from April onwards in 2022.

I’ve entered the following next year – so I’m looking forward to that…

I’ll maybe look for some runs to enter too, but my focus will be on swim training and working towards these events – especially the 5,000m swim in Loch Lomond!

With my running being a bit hit and miss in 2021, I still managed to do 400 miles across 100 runs… I’ve enjoyed the shorter runs without any pressure to run far.

And fortunately my injury seems to have gone away. Possibly due to time, rest, cross training and maybe even a change of job with less stress and concern. Who knows, but it’s good to be back running if I want to anyway.

Now for my weight… it’s gone down a wee bit in 2021…

From a peak of 140lbs / 17.3% body fat in July, to about a half stone lighter – 132.8lbs / 14.4% body fat.

Down about 3.5lbs since the start of the year… and since July, I’m down about 6lbs body fat and 1.5lbs lean mass.

And I know what it is I did to make that happen – easy simple daily intermittent fasting – basically not having my breakfast until about 10 or 11. Giving my body a rest from food, (apart from a shake after swims to refuel), and being flexible with it.

I also did plenty activity and had good sleeps and rest days too. Less walking in winter, but maybe it’ll pick up in the new year.

Due to the lower running about this year, I did less steps, but still a good amount – in the millions … 3,208,580 or an average of about 8,800 a day.

That compares to 4,824,338 steps in 2020 (avg 13,100 a day), and 5,041,489 in 2019 (avg 13,800 a day). I’m not walking to work either… so that adds up to the reduction.

I’m enjoying the strength training in the garagym when I do it. We’re lucky to have it set up the way it is.

Going into 2022, I’m planning on continuing my mixture of training, with a bit more of a focus on swimming, with some runs, spin and strength work and rest days.

Here’s my roughly planned weekly schedule – I’ve built up to this and it seems to work for me:

Here’s to 2022, and keeping fit and healthy going forward.

I also have some goals outside of fitness… life goals I guess you could call them – some to do with my new work (completing my CIPD and settling in well), and some financial and personal to do with making sure if see friends and family and maybe complete something that’s been on the cards for a few decades. We’ll see.

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185,100m swimming in 2021 (6 months)

This morning I was at Bellahouston again, for my 11th swim of December and my final swim of the year. I had one 2,600m swim / 104 lengths to do… then I’d have swim 185,100m or 115 miles since June.

I’m doing sessions which I’ve made up, which are 12 sessions of 2,500m, then I generally do an extra 100-500m on top of that in the hour that I swim.

Since I started back swimming in June, I’ve swum an average of 31km or 19 miles… between about 10-14 swims each month.

Today I spoke with another regular swimmer Paddy who goes about 5 times a week to Bella or the Gorbals, and after my swim I had a good chat with a guy called George. He started swimming in May and has built up his lengths from about 25 to 74 today.

He came out of the pool today a bit annoyed that he wasn’t able to do 80 in the hour, but I said it’s harder swimming without lane sun, as there’s more turbulence… and then we had a chat and I shared my 2,000m sessions with him in case he wants to do them in the new year.

https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2021/06/26/2000m-swim-sessions/

After my swim today I felt very pleased to have kept to my plan for December, having swim 12 times and rounding my annual meters up to 185,100.

Here’s me after in my swim suit and towel before I got changed. I like Bellahouston Pool – everyone is so friendly, but I must get them to fix getting the flags in for my back crawl turns.

Tomorrow I’ll run my last run of 2021 too… that’ll be:

400 miles running
600 miles Cycling
115 miles swimming
And I’m 5 miles walking away from 635 miles.

So that’ll be a total mileage of 1,750 miles for the year! Or about 2,800km.

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Wk50 until the end of the year

Two weeks ago I had a good balanced week of exercise… with 2 short runs, 3 strength sessions, 3 swims and 1 spin session (and 2 swim coaching sessions) in the week.

My sleep wasn’t too good, with me waking up at about 3 or 4am most days… but hopefully that’ll improve in the next week or two.

I got up a few times, which I shouldn’t do…. so instead of doubt that on Saturday night / Sunday morning, I put an audiobook on my iPod and drifted back off to sleep. I find that works.

I’ve been waking up around 3 or 4am each morning, and most days I can get back to sleep – but sometimes I get up and write out what I’m thinking. I must be excited about Christmas. 😂

As at Monday of this week (20th) I had 12.7 miles to get to 400 miles running this year…

… and 4 swims totalling just over 10,000m to get to 185km or 115 miles swimming.

… One more cycle / spin and I’ll have cycled 600 miles this year….

And I’m at 621.4 miles walking.

That looks like about a total of …

1,736 miles….

So if I can walk another 14 miles, that could round it up to 1,750 miles.

We will see what happens. We tend to talk a lot more when we’re on leave, and we have one week of leave up to 31 December, so it could happen!

I’ve been having a bit of a share of my Christmas jumpers… and masks and scarfs this December (on my personal Facebook / Instagram accounts). I’ll see if I can get a slideshow on here.

I have bought a Christmas jumper or two in the sales each year for a few years now and I enjoy having a laugh with them. This year I realised I have 11… so I had to round it up to 12, and now I’ll stop, I promise.

Slide show

This one is my new one:

Start fitness have some great deals on Christmas jumpers… go treat yourself.

https://startfitness.co.uk/search?q=christmas

I also got some nice Christmas masks to wear and share (my 2021 version of a Christmas card, I sent one to all other 17 people in my team lol).

This is my training plan for this week into next…. I’ve had a couple of good rest days, a run a couple of good swims and might do a spin abs strength session on Boxing Day, with a walk (or a run) on Christmas Day. Probably a walk.

Today we put up some cool outdoor coloured lights. We meant to do it sooner but life and work got in the way. I think they’re well cool.

They’re on a smart plug, so I can turn them on and off via an app, but they’re set up on a timer on the app so they go on and off when automatically.

You might have seen on Facebook that we treated ourselves to a home office upgrade and got it all set up just in time for Christmas. I’ll do another post about that in holidays. I’ll include the type of table it is etc.

I added some coloured lights on the back and side edges today… so it’s a bit like a space ship (lol). And I’ve hidden all the cables away too.

We’re all ready for Christmas now. Hope you all have a lovely time. I’ll hopefully be in a place to blog some more in 2022 now that things are all settled down and the best they’ve been for me in a very long time.

Merry Christmas. Everyone. 👍🏻🎄🎅🏻

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Road trip – 18 Dec 2021

I took a road trip yesterday and I thought I’d post the pictures here to remind myself of how magical a day it was.

First thing on Saturday in Glasgow there was freezing fog (and I think it stayed all day), when I escaped out for a day trip to Glencoe.

I hadn’t really looked at the weather other than to know it was forecast to be a nice day, so the fog in glasgow was a surprise.

I was out the door for just after 715, to get the blood pumping and steps in over a quick 5k. I didn’t expect to run faster than usual, but I felt good so I went with it.

We went out for some breakfast at our new favourite, the Grindhouse, about a mile away, then I started the journey to Glencoe.

I stopped at Tyndrum for a pee and to message Pennie Latin about how good her podcast, Speaking of Suicide is… I’d listened to the Mark Allen episode and then Joe’s story which was so moving and engaging.

If you haven’t listened to the series, I highly recommend it. Search for it in podcasts, it’s brilliantly put together, with amazing stories and I’m sure it’ll save lives.

I took a few photos on the way, and after Tydrum, the fog seemed to clear and it was a beautiful blue sky day.

(Me in Glencoe in my Christmas jumper and body warmer).

Here’s my first favourite picture of the day, at my new favourite spot in Glencoe. Bright blue skies, but it was cold:

Here’s me a bit further on. The almost full moon was just rising, and someone else stopped to get a picture, so I asked her (Sandra) to take a picture of me.

If you know me or have read this blog, you’ll know that the full moon reminds me of my rather eccentric aunt who passed away 7 years ago… she used to call her best friend… Sandra… and go ‘arrrroooooooo’ down the phone at her.

It was a funny coincidence that the woman taking my photo was called that too, but it made the full moon and scenery even more special. After taking some photos, I drive some more and then stopped at the spot I’d been at earlier at Glencoe.

I took some pictures and videos… and I FaceTimed Fit Girl and then FaceTimed my Dad and step mum as the sun was setting, to let them see and share the amazing sight.

This is I think my favourite of all… the e place was so tranquil, with the low hum drum of cars far away on the A82 and other roads, and the water lapping into the shore.

On the way home the almost full moon was almost magically guiding me home. With bright stars surrounding me, I felt very safe and secure and it reminded me of when I’d travel to see my Granny and Aunt in the winter.

I used my Stellarium app to check, but I could see Jupiter shining very brightly, then Saturn faintly and Venus bright in the sky. My Dad loves planets and the stars, so it was nice I was able to share the view with them too.

If you don’t have the Stellarium app, and you like the stars, I’d highly recommend it.

I even saw the plough to my left, with the moon in front of me. I was reminded of December 19 years ago when I helped me aunt May my Granny to rest in Lochaline. It was such a life chabgujg experience, and the first time I really let some sort of spiritual or symbolism into my life.

(Stars / moon / rainbows = strong values / my drive to my family / my Granny proud).

At one point I asked Siri to play my music randomly; and the first song that came ok was Runrig, Protect and Survive…. Bringing me right back to being 11, with my Mum, at one of their concerts. Another random thing, that fitted so well.

When I was driving along the A82 on Saturday, the road was well lit up by the moon, and I stopped to get this picture up on the flat pong but of road, that I always say I’ll stop for a picture but I never do. My iPhone 11 Pro camera made it probably more bright than it actually was, but again, it was so tranquil and nice.

So I had the moon, the stars, the mountains, the scenery a good podcast at the start, then good music accompanying me, and I had my Christmas jumper and my body warmer and my Rohan jacket to keep me warm. I did a good thing that day, and I made myself feel very proud to be me.

I stayed at that spot for quite a while and it was dark by the time I left. I was cold and hungry too, but I had snacks in the car and warm clothes. It meant I’d be driving home in the dark, but it was well worth it.

As I drove into Tyndrum and beyond, the fog was back, so I had to drive carefully. And when I got to Glasgow the fog was as thick as I’d left in the morning, maybe even thicker.

What a lovely day and night… well worth the journey and time taken to do a good thing.

Here’s my fav picture again to end the post.

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