Waterproof running jacket

With the biblical rain we’ve had in the last few days and ahead of Autumn / Winter, I thought now would be a good time to invest in a waterproof jacket.

I looked at two… this ASICS one which is nice, and this under armour GORE-TEX one which I think I’ll go with. It feels nice and hopefully will be good to run in too.

The only thing I’m not so sure about is it’s black colour (for winter) but it has reflective strips on it so hopefully I’ll be seen isn’t he dark or I can strap some lights to me. Ha.

Here’s the description and link https://www.sportsshoes.com/product/und5842/under-armour-gore%7Etex-shakedry-women%27s-jacket/

I would say roll on Autumn/ Winter, but I really don’t mean that!

Now I have it, and just in time, the rain stopped. ☔️ 😂

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Working from home set up

I’ve been working from home since about the 17th of March… about 4 or 5 months now… and I’m pretty much used to it by now.

I started off in the kitchen with my laptop… and mouse…

Then I moved up to the spare room with a makeshift desk and stool. And eventually I got my wireless keyboard and small monitor stand from the office.

Then there was my bench in the garden in the morning sun… and my chair / makeshift desk in the garden in the afternoon sun…(and the extended WiFi too).

Yesterday going into the office felt very odd.

There was hardly anyone in. But aside front that, I was able to book a space, away from people, but in a little pod. The seat was too deep for me, and I could have done with a cushion, but it did for the day. A nice little quiet area.

Now today… I got a (cheap) upgrade to my makeshift desk … a laptop stand that raises my laptop to standing height. And it seems to work well.

The best thing about this set up is that it’s height adjustable, so it can be sit or stand, and it can be folded away when not in use. Should be good for my back… instead of a backless chair / stool hopefully.

Note – my working from home uniform is active wear including a hoody – any one else?

Where are you working from home? Have you adjusted to the set up ok? Can you get peace and quiet to work? Do you like it or loathe it?

I think I like it, and I never thought I would – I do miss people though, it was nice to see some colleagues face to face yesterday for the first time in months.

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Wk30 into Wk31 – July into August

Last week I was focussed on getting my 100 mile running goal for the month and it meant I did 5 runs in the week, totalling about 35 miles.

It was 3 longish runs, a speed run and an easy run. I had a good and needed rest day on Tuesday, and I wasn’t in the gym much as I didn’t quite feel up to it for some reason.

It was the start of my cycle on Monday/ Tuesday, so I think that might have had something to do with it. But the running kept me ticking along fine. I attempted a gym workout on Wednesday, but ended up doing two 15 minute strength circuits with not much focus. Better than nothing, but I didn’t feel quite right.

I felt much better by Sunday and got a really good gym workout in. 25 press-ups, 20 mins on the bike, then circuits and a finisher.

I’ve enjoyed doing the 25 press ups for 25 days and it’s something I think I’ll keep up. Not sure if I’ll do it every day, but there’s nothing stopping me. Maybe I should do 50 a day instead.

This is what I did training wise last week:

Wk31 – 27 July
Mon: 8.6M run
Tue: Rest (Day 1)
Wed: 8M incl 4M effort (a little easier than usual).
Thu: 4.5M Speed 6×1:30/1:30 / 30 min Strength circuit
Fri: 3.9M easy = 100M for July
Sat: 10.3M easy run
Sun: 20 min Spin & 40 min Strength Circuit

Now here’s the plan for next week:

Wk32 – 3 Aug
Mon: 5M effort run / 15 min strength Tbc
Tue: 6-8M easy wi DMc
Wed: Base Strength 1
Thu: Speed 7×2:2 mins / Strength Circuit
Fri: Base Strength 2
Sat: Rest (or Strength circuit)
Sun: Long Run wi PC

I’m going back to some strength workouts I used to do, two workouts a week, plus a circuits session like the one I did today or a simple 3-5 exercise session.


Looking back at July… I had a good month with my training, including rest and sleep. My weight loss has more or less stopped, but my fat loss has still gone down, lean mass is up a bit, so that’s all good.

Up 1lb in weight, but down 1.7lbs body fat… and up 2.5lbs lean mass. I’m pleased with that… and it’s motivating me to keep at it in the gym… as well as keep up with my running training plan.

Looking back over 2020, here’s my monthly progress – steady weight loss from March, until July when it’s settled and my body fat is continuing to reduce:

Jan 2020: 142.4lbs / 16.5% / 23.5lbs / 79.9% / 113.8lbs
Mar 2020: 140.5lbs / 17.4% / 24.4lbs / 79.1% / 111.1lbs (-1.9lbs)
Apr 2020: 134.7lbs / 16.2% / 21.8lbs / 80.2% / 108lbs (-5.8lbs)
May 2020: 132.7lbs / 15.3% / 20.3lbs / 81% / 107.5lbs (-2lbs)
Jun 2020: 131.1lbs / 14.2% / 18.6lbs / 82.1% / 107.6lbs (-1.6lbs)
31 Jul 2020: 132.4lbs / 13.3% / 17.6lbs / 83% / 109.7lbs (+1.3lbs = lbm)

Variance Jan to Jun: -11.5lbs / -2.4% bf / -5.0lbs bf / +3.3% lbm / -6.2lbs lbm

Variance Jan to Jul: -10lbs / -3.2% bf / -5.9lbs bf / +4.1% lbm / -4.1lbs lbm

I’ve been eating what I want in July, and the exercise has been allowing it. Still tracking it, and seeing how I’m doing with it.

Anyway, in July here are some of my stats:

Running – 100 miles – 18 runs: about 4-5 long runs, 4 effort sessions and 2 speed sessions.

Strength training – a good start to the month, then a bit of a break, and a few more sessions, then a break and back into it… about 12-13 in the month in total.

What I did find good was doing short sessions… 15 – 20 mins, over and done with, working hard, boom. Done. I feel very lucky to have the garagym handy.

Walking – 16.8 miles… about 25-30 miles less than the June and May… I had been doing more walks in lockdown and got out of the habit once thing started to get a bit more normal. Less solo walks, and more with Fit Girl and one with Audrey on morning.

Steps – I still did on average over 10,000 steps a day… I’m hoping that will go up a bit in August.

So the plan for August is to aim to do 3 strength sessions a week, maybe another short one, and 4 runs a week – planned like this:

Mon: Effort run
Tue: Bike & Base Strength 1
Wed: Speed run
Thu: Easy run
Fri: Bike & Base Strength 2
Sat: Long run & Walk
Sun: Bike & Circuits / Metabolic Strength

I’ll maybe swap some of the days about, like Saturday and Sunday, and put in a rest day when I need it, but that’s the idea. Aiming to do it at 7am weekdays, and a little later at weekends.

This weeks long run will be about 11 miles I think and I’m going to meet up with Paul and see how he’s getting on.

What fitness and training do you have planned for August?

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Wk30 into Wk31

Last week was good training wise… I was in the gym 4 or 5 times and ran 3 times and walked about 3 times. I didn’t do my long run as I took a restful weekend instead, but did my long and easy run this Monday morning instead.

Here’s what I did last week:

Wk30 – 20 July
Mon: 45 min walk / Spin & Deadlift 20 mins
Tue: Run 5M effort 6:54/7:05/7:15/7:30/7:25 / Strength circuit 33 mins Wed: Speed Run 7×1:1 min (4M)
Thu: Spin & Deadlift Strength 66kg
Fri: 3M easy Run / 24 mins Runners Strength / 71kg DL Singles x20 every 30 secs Sat: Rest / 20 min walk
Sun: Rest / 40 min walk

I also did my 25 press ups each day and posted videos nominating others to do the same. I’m hoping to raise awareness for mental health and issues which arise from it… and I think Eilidh who I nominated is gong to set up a just giving page for SAMH, so I’ll likely donate to that.

I’ll admit now that it’s this week, I have felt like crap. Absolute crap. Tired, unsettled, not feeling like doing anything. Not to give too much detail, but on Monday I got my period … roll on feeling sore for about a day.

On Tuesday whilst I had training planned, I knew the best option was to rest, so I did. And I ate a lot too. The unselttled-ness continued until after my run on Wednesday morning… a bit of a mixture of lock down, lack of company / socialising probably and some stuff ticking along in the background that I can do nothing about.

My run this morning was pretty crappy, up until about an hour in when I finally felt ok. I hadn’t pushed it much, but I had a slight stitch, and could hear some negative talk which wasn’t helping either. But by the end of the run I was feeling better – good old endorphins.

I was out the door for 7:30, but I think I need to get up a little earlier to get my training in. I’ll get out of bed at 6:45, out for a run or training by 7:00 on Thursday and Friday.

Now here’s my plan for this week:

Wk31 – 27 July
Mon: 8.6M easy run
Tue: Rest
Wed: 8M incl 4M effort
Thu: Speed run 6×1:30/1:30 / KB Strength Circuit
Fri: 4M easy run / Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Sat: 8-10M easy run with Eilidh
Sun: Strength

And to maybe spend some time thinking about all that I’ve got to be grateful for too. That should help lift the spirits a bit.

Here’s a start:

I have a loving caring partner, who is ace.
I have a nice house, and an ace garagym.
I’m healthy and fit.
I have a good job in a good team with a good boss, and I can work from home easily and efficiently. I just ordered some new nike sports bras.
I can eat what I want.
I gave £10 to the Lamont Farm Project.
It’s warm enough to wear shorts.
I’m getting more sleep now that I’m working from home.
I have lots of people who care about me.
I’ve focused and lost about 10lbs since lockdown.
My training is going well, and I’m taking rest when I need it. I’m running with Eilidh on Saturday am.
Our garden is nice, and our Newly seeded grass Is growing well.

I’ll stop there. That’s enough.

Here’s the grass two weekends ago… seeded and covered:

And here it is now after some sun and lots of glasgow rain … ta da!

It’s still needing some work to make it full everywhere, but it’s getting there nicely. And maybe nicer than the older bits of grass! Eeek.

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7 x 1:1 min Speed repeats

About a month or so ago I signed up for a garmin online training plan for a half marathon. 4 runs a week, I thought it would give me some motivation to push myself a bit more than I normally would, and a plan to go along with… and it seems to be working.

Coach Amy seems to have confidence in me anyway. 😂

My vo2 max estimate seems to be going up, and I’m running faster than I usually do, (because usually I’m just not all that bothered about it). But with 1-2 speed or effort sessions a week on the plan, it’s making me work hard and get out and do it.

Today I woke up to a rather grey, wet and soggy day… a big contrast to yesterday… but I got my shorts and vest and cap on, and out on a thin jacket too. I’m the rain wasn’t all that bad when I went out, but it was a little heavier but the time I was finished. I’ve been more soaked before.

So today’s run workout was:
1 mile warm up,
then 7 sprints and recoveries – 1 min fast, 1 min recover,
then a mile to cool down / finish.
By the end I was at about 3.8 miles so I rounded it up to 4 miles.

I did it along the Clyde at the front of where our house is. Not far from the Squinty Bridge. I felt strong throughout, and knocked out all 6:02 to 6:35 ish minute mile pacing for the 1 min intervals. My HR went up to about 165 on the intervals, peaking at 169 on the last one.

My cadence on the sprints was about 190, faster feet do make you go faster overall.

One thing that has happened on the last three speed / effort runs I’ve been on is that little dogs have wanted to join me… 2 in festival park the other day, 1 in glasgow green yesterday and another, out neighbour’s little dog Oscar today. They just want to have fun and run with me!

After the run today I felt like I’d worked, but not too hard, which is a good sign. Here are the obligatory Squinty Bridge photos… one from when I was doing the sprints…

And one on my cool down jog, the Finnieston crane and the bridge. A proper grey, rainy day, but good conditions for running. I was out for just over 30 mins, just enough to get a good workout in but not get totally drenched through.

Next week I see I have a 4 mile effort session, then 6 x 1:30:1:30 and an easy short run and an easy long run. And I’ll mix all that in with my strength training and daily 25 press-ups and nominations.

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Wk29 into Wk30

Last weeks training was a good mix of training and rest. With two rest days when I needed them on Monday and Wednesday, I put extra effort in on the other days.

I ran about 23 miles, getting me up to 62 miles for July… and walked a few of times… about 6 miles. I was in the gym an unusual three times… which felt good too. A good wee average of about 11,000 steps a day (even with only 1600 steps on wed day when I hardly left the house).

Here’s what I did:

Wk29 – 13 July
Mon: Rest / Walk
Tue: 5M incl 4M effort run 7:33/7:13/6:54/6:56
Wed: Full Rest day
Thu: 7M Run / Spin & 15 mins strength
Fri: Spin & Squat Strength / 45 min walk / 5 min Time Trial 6:59 Sat: 9M Long Run (start of 25 press-ups x25 days?)
Sun: Gardening & 15 mins Deadlift strength (6 sets x 5 reps @66kg)

A good week, with some good balance between training and rest and fuelling my exercise. Our first meals out this weekend for months… I had a tasty rib eye steak and frites in Ca Va in Giffnock on Saturday. Then a nice goats cheese salad toastie on Sunday. A couple of flat whites out too.

I had my first haircut for 19 weeks today – it was kind of a relief – masks a plenty which was fine.

It’s nice and tidy and a wee bit longer than I’d usually get it. We’ll see how it goes.

Oh and I treated myself to a nice big ice cream today too. International ice cream day was today apparently.

Here’s my training plan for next week:

Wk30 – 20 July
Mon: Walk & Run 5M effort 🤮
Tue: Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Wed: Speed Run 7×1:1 min
Thu: 3M easy Run
Fri: Spin & KB or deadlift Strength
Sat: 8M Run
Sun: Rest

I’m also aiming to do 25 press ups a day for 25 days – Monday will be day 3… to raise awareness for PTSD, anxiety, depression and suicide… and I’m hoping to get in the gym most days and do some quick deadlifting. I have a plan for that, which I’ll share soon.

Tomorrow sees me being able to help a couple of important people in my life… with a bit of a present I planned since my birthday. I’ve received a lot of kindness in the last few months, and I thought I’d pass it on.

Hope you have a good week next week. 👍🏻

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Foxy’s Garagym gear

I don’t think I ever told you this, but in 2014/15 when I was doing up the garagym…

I got some gear made with the logo that I’d made on it. I got myself the foam board and magnetic sign made, but I also got myself a branded long sleeve T-shirt made too.

I had made the logo in Microsoft Excel as my photoshop software had stopped working. I fiddled about a bit and inspired by the fox emoji 🦊, I managed to make this – and I rather like it.

And here’s the gym mascot who inspired the logo – Foxy (actually a doorstop). And since I got him I managed to get an orange Foxy for the gym too. 🤣

This week I decided I could do with another long sleeved top and a hoodie… so I logged back onto vista print where I got my first lot of gear. And spent some time chatting to a very helpful designer there.

She helped me get the best positioning of the logo… and then even gave me a £10 credit towards my order (I’d complimented her for being so good and helpful).

So here they are… they’re ordered and will arrive around the end of the month. Why not eh?

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Lovely present – Apple Watch strap

Today I received a lovely belated birthday present from a lovely person.

Nice choice of wrapping paper too!

It’s one of those subtle rainbow Nike / Apple Watch straps… (you know, the ones I’ve somehow been seeing in adverts online / the internet seems to know I like rainbows, and apple watches!)

I feel very lucky and very spoiled. Thank you – you know who! Here’s it on this morning.

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Lockdown eggs (again)

I go through phases with the food that I have for breakfast and lunches. Right now for breakfast I’m having protein and yogurt, with Asda Fibre Flakes and Red Berries… with some blueberries and milk on top. 400 cals of taste and energy.

Then for lunch I’m still having my lockdown eggs that consists of:

– A muffin or protein thin bagel
– Guacamole (an easy version of avocado)
– 2 poached eggs
– Tomato salsa and cherry plum tomatoes (chopped and heated) – cheese (grilled) and salt and pepper

Being at home most of the time and working from home I’m getting quite good at making it quite quickly and without fuss.

I’ve also become quite good at making poached eggs with just a pan of boiling water… no gizmos, no vinegar or swirling etc.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Boil the water at 9, let it simmer on 2.
2. Crack the egg/s into a small cup, and pour gently into the simmering water. 3. Simmer for 3 mins.
4. Take out and lay on kitchen roll to dry a bit.
5. Serve.

Perfect poached eggs on muffins or bagel thins, with a nice kick from the salsa, and more tasty from the avocado and cheese. Yum.

My lockdown eggs … I wonder how long I’ll keep making them before I get bored of them.

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Wk28 into Wk29

Last week my training went well considering. 4 runs of about 20 miles, two gym sessions, some walks and 2 rest days, one which included gardening… heavy lifting and raking on Sunday and I’m feeling it a little today.

I had a bit of a stressful thing going on that I had to deal with and as a result my sleep wasn’t good on Monday Wednesday and Thursday. It was annoying as lack of sleep impacts everything, but I managed to get it back on track at the weekend.

I was also kind to myself / gave myself a break by having a rest day on Thursday where I did not a lot but deal with it all (and after a very active day on the Wednesday).

I’ll not go into the detail here, but maybe one day I will – I have a feeling it will all be worth it anyway. I’m pretty resilient and I’m usually good at parking things and not worrying, but sometimes when things are important they can consume and I let them for a short time to be able to deal with them.

My garmin activity tracker measures ‘stress’ and usually when there’s less sleep or more worry – stress tends to go up… and as you can see from the graph above my stress did go up, then was better at the weekend. It’s usually about 25 on average and last week it was up at about 38 each day. No need!

Last week I was waking at 12 or 1am with my mind racing trying to fix what the issue was, then I’d either get up to work on it, or toss and turn for a few hours. I got through it anyway and today is another week.

I’ve done well to park this particular issue and it should be over soon. I’ve been spoiled in lockdown too – getting too used to good 10 hour sleeps – which must be good for you in many ways. I’m sure this week will be better – and I’ll have a focus on getting to bed early and taking care of myself.

Oh and early on Thursday I posted on Facebook to ask for a lend of some capes and I gratefully received a lot of them… and a poncho… thank you for the lend, I think they probably helped. I had some good help from a few people last week and it was really appreciated by me.

Hopefully this bump will be over soon and I can get back to what’s normal for me, soon.

Anyway, here’s my training from last week:

Wk28 – 6 July
Mon: 4.5M run incl 3M Effort
Tue: 20 min Spin & Clean n Press Strength
Wed: 2.5M Walk & 8 min spin & 16 mins KB Circuits / 7.3M Run (pm) Thu: Rest
Fri: 5k incl 1M Time Trial Run 6:07 (5k)
Sat: 4.3M Run
Sun: Rest / Gardening

I did a couple of good run sessions, a 3 mile effort run on Monday with an avg page of 7:30 min miles. My avg HR ended up being ok at 151, and I felt good throughout. It maxed out at 163 so I must have got the effort just right (I like to be under 165 before it starts to get really hard).

Then a one mile time trial on Friday resulted in a bit of a surprising for me 6:07 minute mile. My fastest for a while, maybe forever. I’m following a garmin Half marathon training plan and it seems good with 1 to 2 effort sessions or time trials and a couple of easy runs a week.

I’ve been keeping an eye on my nutrition and trying to keep a slight calorie deficit, but still eating what I want. I was maybe 1500-2000 in deficit last week… and my protein intake could have been better as it was only 26%… so I’ll try harder this week.

I probably ate too many treats / sugar… so I’ll try to eat a little better this week.

But on Sunday I just ate what I fancied, including a nice tasty ice cream as part of lunch. Yum. Well worth it on a sunny day.

All of that has led to a little decrease in weight, leading to 10lbs loss overall in lockdown. Mainly by not eating everything in sight / everything I fancy / knowing when to stop … and keeping active.

It seems to be working well anyway, and working from home etc seems to be agreeing with me. The flexibility and not needing to go into the office is working to get a better work life balance I think. A haircut will be needed soon though I think.

Now here’s my plan for this week… 3 runs and 2 strength / gym sessions, and a couple of rest days again.

Wk29 – 13 July
Mon: Rest / Walk
Tue: 4M effort run
Wed: Spin & Squat Strength
Thu: 7-8M Run
Fri: Runners Strength & Time Trial (possible deadlift set)
Sat: Long Run
Sun: Rest

I woke up this morning a little sore and tired and felt like I needed another weekend day. I lifted a lot of bags of sand and compost and did a lot of digging etc, so my body is feeling it today. So best for it to be a rest day. Maybe with a walk at lunchtime to get some activity in.

The new flower bed isn’t quite finished yet, we’ll need more soil to finish it off, but it’s getting there. Not all my handy work might I had, Fit Girl did a lot of it… but team work got it nearly finished yesterday and got a few plants in, including my birthday rose bush centre stage.

Have a nice week everyone.

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