Loch Ness Marathon done! πŸŒˆ

Well, that was amazing! Loch Ness Marathon done today, with a great big massive rainbow at the start for 10 minutes – which got me going good. Down hill for the first 10 miles ish too, first mile was around 6:44 min mile lol. Maybe a wee bitty too fast. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Garmin stats here: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1378247296

Lovely run, and there was a big rainbow at the start for 10 minutes, and another at 8, 10 and at the end. Rain plus sun in September = rainbows πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒˆ

I did the first 10 in about 1:18, first half in around 1:45, then took it steady to about 18, up the hill at Dores and from around 20 miles in I got cramp in my calves, moving up to my quads.

Powered through though, and crossed the line in around 3:43 – avg heart rate 162 / 88% max 177 / 95%. Garmin training effect 5.0 – so maxed out.

Fit Girl did hers in 3:58 – brilliant effort. I’m very proud of her. (Thanks Julie for the pic above).

Was very emotional at the end. I met Jen and I was so pleased to see her – I got a great big hug and crumpled into a crying mess. But it was mainly because I’d kept the tears in on the run. Rainbows were amazing, and really kept me going. 🌈

I feel a bit broken now, so going to have a bath, another stretch and a wee lie down and out for dinner later.

I feel a real sense of achievement, and now I’m going to take some time out to recover. Might wrote a longer post once I’ve had some sleep / recovery / ice cream. πŸ˜œπŸ˜‚

Thanks for all the messages of encouragement, and pictures of me along the way. (The above pic was taken by Lesley at around 25 miles and I was sore).

Granny must have been with me all the way. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸŒˆ

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1st day Apple Watch activity stats

Well that was a pretty active first full day using my new Apple Watch… I’m liking it.

The Apple Watch and activity tracker tracks around five measures and takes in a activities from Garmin Connect too (through the Health App on the iPhone I think). The Apple Watch tracks:

– Movement (calories)
– Exercise (minutes)
– Stand (hours)
– Steps
– Distance

I’m used to using steps to track my activity and the Apple Watch does do this (and steps are easy to access), but it doesn’t seem to be a main measure.

Anyway, here’s more about it:

When you set up your watch you get to chose your movement / calorie goal based on your level of activity – I chose ‘highly active’ and have a goal of 760 calories a day to burn. (I’m not sure how to change the goal now though).

With my 8 mile run this morning and walk to work, I got my goal by lunchtime.πŸ™‚

Then there’s exercise – running, walking etc…
– 71 minutes running plus
– around 24 minutes waking to and from work
– leaves 15 minutes walking around work (and home).
My run synced automatically to the Watch which is good.

Then there’s stand time, you’re meant to stand once an hour every hour, for 12 hours with this goal setting. And I managed it, without changing what I usually do. I stood for some time, for 12 hours. 😬

I do have a desk job, but I routinely take breaks away from my desk to go and see people, take breaks when I can, and use the stairs rather than the lift mostly.

As well as the move, exercise and stand measures, it pulls your Garmin activities in (see my 8 mile run from today), and adds it to your other exercise to get a total distance and steps for the day.

I achieved my first ‘achievement’ too – for meeting my first daily goal.

The last thing you can do with the activity app on the iPhone is share you data with other Apple Watch owners, to see how you compare. There’s a news feed on Garmin connect which is similar.

Oh and I did some ‘Breathe’ sessions today – a bit like meditation. I usually do it for 5 minutes first in the morning – not meditation, but just taking time out focusing on my breathing, waking up nicely. A few reminders from my Watch, usually after I ate, and I did it 3 x 5 mins = 15 mins time out – easy!

All in all, a good and active day for me! I’m sure not all of them will be as active.

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Loch Ness Marathon elevation & more

Today I did my last run before the Loch Ness Marathon – a nice wee 8 miles in the Southside, over to Pollok Park and into Maxwell Park and home. I was running on my own, up early, running as the sun came up.

(The run included a 3 minute stop – where I forgot to stop my watch – in Pollok park dropping an elephant for my Granny’s 101st birthday).

The Loch Ness marathon is on Sunday, so 3 sleeps to go. On my run today, I had my music on – (first time going from my new Apple Watch to my Bluetooth treks titanium headphones) – but I was thinking about Sunday and how it’ll go.

Most of the run I was comparing it to how I’ll be feeling on Sunday, and how I felt last year. I ran the marathon with Fit Girl last year, her first marathon … and she did great.

I was and am very proud of her for her determination and drove to finish it and do so well with a 3:57 finish time (even with knee pain). Here’s the route and all the stats from last year: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/911311886

This year, I feel like my training hasn’t been as consistent, with life or work taking over in some way. I’ve taken a week and a long run off here, and my heart has maybe not really been in it as much as it has been before. I’m not sure why, but I’m feeling up for the marathon now that I am where I am.

My VO2 Max estimate shows as 51 (an estimate of how my body uses oxygen), and it’s been higher than that, but it’s all good. I know I’ll still be able to do it.

I ran 8 miles today and I just need to run just over 3 times that distance on Sunday. 26.2 miles.


Earlier in the week I re read this post I wrote (below) around 3 years ago when I ran my marathon pb – 26.2 miles around Glasgow, on my own, absolutely flying. I know what I can do and I know what I want to do.

A nice reminder for me, of how it feels to run a good marathon: https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/09/25/the-best-marathon-of-my-life/ if you’re running, remember your cape and tie it in tight.

The whole event was well organised and it was nice to run in familiar inverness, along a very pretty stretch of road along the south side of Loch Ness. The early start and the bus journey, and waiting in the cold for the start just built up the start and the good run even more.

Then from the start we were nicely treated to what felt like 10 miles of downhill… (it maybe wasn’t ALL down hill, but I remember it that way).

After we finished, I vowed to run the marathon on my own. And this year I plan to run to my heart rate as usual. I’ll be all kitted up with my water pack, and my caffeine gels – and all my gadgets, headphones, Apple Watch for music, Garmin, hrm. I’ll pack on Friday night, and we’ll travel up on Saturday, back Monday.

The weather looks ok on Sunday, after a rather rainy Saturday, the wind might even be behind us all the way?? Which would be good!

On the run I’ll let go and try to keep my HR between 150-160 for the first half, then up to 160-165 up to mile 20 (remembering the two big up hills in the 18-22 mile region) then see what I have left for the last 10k. I honestly have no idea what my time will be, but hopefully the wind, the route and my cape will keep me on track. Getting excited now.πŸ™‚

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So, who is running at Loch Ness?

A few months ago we realised that one my family is running the 10k at Loch Ness, and this week I found out a few more people I know are running at it.

It got me thinking – I wonder who else I know who is running at Loch Ness? (Maybe I’ll see you there? – say hello if you see us there).

(I must mention Jen and Glynis who I met at the marathon last year, who are doing the 10k, then are planning on doing Amsterdam later in the month).

My number this year for the Loch Ness marathon is 1629, and I’ve signed up for updates to be posted to my personal Facebook page, along the run.

My plan for the marathon is to run with my heart rate at around 150-160 for maybe 16-18 miles, then let it increase 18-20, then see what I have left for the last 10k. Who knows what the outcome will be.

We’re going to inverness on the Saturday, and picking up our race packs. Then running on Sunday, dinner with the family hopefully, then back home on Monday.

This year our hotel is really close to the start / finish so that should be good for the legs. 😜

Let me know if you’re running at Loch Ness this weekend, by commenting below or on my Facebook page. It’d be great to hear from you.

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1 week to go to LNM

Last week was full of rest and recovery, work and 4 runs. 34.5 miles, a bit more than the week before, but taper long run 13.1 miles the weekend before Loch Ness Marathon. The week before it was 31 miles at the end of the week.

My 13 miler on Saturday was quite an easy one, coaching and I wasn’t really paying attention to me. I was pretty tired after it, but probably just need to be eating more this week to help prevent tiredness or lack of energy after my long runs. Yum.

Ice cream probably isn’t the best fuel, so I’ll be eating to fuel this week coming. I’ve had my last coffee for a week, caffeine fast so that when I take on caffeine pre and during my run it hopefully helps me.

Sunday was a very lazy day, we went out for a bit, then spent the rest of the day watching telly. And I took care of my feet – hard skin softened / removed.

I’m ready for the marathon, and looking forward to it, as is Fit Girl.

This week, I’ve already started with an early morning 8k up to Maxwell Park and back, under the moon, then under the sunrise as it came up. Very pretty. I ran on my own, at around 620am, and kept my HR steady for the first half, then opened up a bit and let it go to around 165 towards the end. I felt nice and strong, I just need to do that over 5 times the distance on Sunday!

This week, here’s my plan:

Mon: 5.1M (+ walk)
Tue: Rest (walk / Edinburgh)
Wed: 8M wi FG
Thu: 6.2M
Fri: Rest
Sat: Travel to inverness
Sun: 26.2M Loch Ness Marathon

I have the following Monday off work, which I’m sure I’ll need. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do on Sunday. Fingers crossed it’ll be as good as last year. I’ll add my number and the link you can track me on soon.

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Wk36 into 2 weeks before the marathon

That was a bit of an eeeeeek week last week. I’d decided id take some rest (sore feet: plantars and toe joints) so I ditched my 18 mile run the weekend before, and didn’t get back up and running until Thursday last week.

A whole week off running. :-S it was a little unsettling but felt fine. My sleep wasn’t good, I think I averaged around 6-8 hours a night, but I was busy at work do that took over. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, not able to get back to sleep, but that seems to have settled down now.

I managed a coaching run in the Thursday night, then a 5 mile run on the Friday morning. And we got our long 20 mile run out of the way on Saturday morning too. So about 31 miles for the week. Rest and taper time I guess.

We went all over Glasgow including loops in Pollok park (Fit Girl chose the route). Then it was a restful weekend after that, including a nap on Saturday afternoon and eating out a lot (and a rest day on Sunday).

Mon: Rest
Tue: Rest
Wed: Rest (5M walking)
Thu: 5.4M coaching
Fri: 5M run
Sat: 20.3M run
Sun: Rest

Fast forward to this week and after the rest, my feet feel better and I feel well rested. I’m still feeling something in my plantars (left particularly), but I’m feeling good.

I’ve noticed my vo2 max estimate has dropped, it went down to around 49 after taking the week off running, and it’s slowly picking up to 50 today, after my 5 mile run on my own on Monday (fast finish) and my 10 mile run today (mostly with my work Twinnie) in the pouring rain. (Droont rat pic – why I didn’t wear a cap, I don’t know!)

My vo2 max estimate was 53 when I ran 3:37 at London marathon, and 55 when I ran 3:32 at Belfast marathon, so the higher it is, the faster I seem to be able to run my marathons. I’ll see if it increases with regular running in the next few weeks. (Fingers crossed).

Here’s the plan for the next few weeks, I was tired after my long run (but not sore), so im taking a rest day on Wednesday this week (and Sunday):

Mon 12: 5M run (fast finish)
Tue 13: 10M run
Wed 14: Rest
Thu 15: 6M run
Fri 16: 5k Friday
Sat 17: 15-17M long
Sun 18: Rest

Then the following week, a bit of rest, a massage, some walking and a few runs ahead of travelling up to Inverness on the Saturday:

Mon 19: Rest (5M walking) / massage
Tue 20: Rest (Edinburgh) (4-5M walking)
Wed 21: 8M run
Thu 22: Rest
Fri 23: 5k Friday
Sat 24: Rest
Sun 25: 26.2 Loch Ness Marathon

Not long to go now! I’m really looking forward to it.

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Sunshine Songs Playlist – Task

What does music do for you? I listen to it every day, either first thing in the morning, on my walk to work, on solo runs. I love it to make me feel good and energised, and helps me feel grateful for all that I have and am.

I really listen to and take great meaning from the words in songs. And as a result I have what I call my Super Powers 10 playlist.

I started off with only limiting myself to having 10 songs on it, but as time went on I added songs which have real meaning to me. Now there are 43 in the list.

See more here, and all of the tracks in the images in this post – https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/08/15/my-10-super-songs-super-playlist/

A also have another expanded playlist with around 200 great songs on it for running to.

– – – – –

Now I have a task for you …

What about getting a playlist together with only uplifting and positive good songs?

Call it Sunshine Songs – (songs that bring you sunshine.)

Start with this one song –

Lovely Day by Bill Withers

And add a song a day – Only songs that make you feel GREAT (they can be current in the moment ones, or oldies).

Suggestions include …

… Titanium by David Guetta, and
… Lifetime by Emile Sande

(or any of the ones on the pics in this post).

Listen to it via headphones, or even just one song from it, each day – Super Sunshine Songs, just for you!

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