18.2M from Balloch

Running long this weekend was one of the last things I wanted to do… given the weather forecast, Saturday was to be wet and cold, Sunday (and the following week) was to be cold and icy… my best bet was to get it over and done with on the Saturday morning. But I couldn’t see it far enough.

I managed to get myself out of bed and fed for about 830… then got over to Patrick Train Station to get the 919 to Balloch, getting there at 10am. Maybe the weather wouldn’t be so bad?

I wrapped up well anyway, leggings and shorts, and my waterproof jacket on top of a couple of layers on top. I had my water pack and a load of gels. I had my usual breakfast and had 200mg of caffeine to get me going. Trying out different ways of getting it, and this time it was simply in pill form. Then I’ll have 3 caffeine gels on the run, 225mg on top of the 200 already taken.

See more here about the benefits of caffeine on runs. https://mensrunninguk.co.uk/blogs/caffeine-and-performance/

Once I got the train, it was a 40 minute ride to Balloch. The train was pretty empty, and the weather outside didn’t look too bad. Not much rain anyway (unlike the forecast). Bl%%dy weather forecasts! It turned out didn’t rain at all, and I probably could have done without my waterproof jacket. Oh well, it kept me warm whenever I stopped.

When I was on the train I realised I needed a pee, and luckily for me there was a toilet cubicle thingy in the middle of Balloch near the train station. So I took the opportunity to pee before I started running, then started my run back home.

I started off pretty quick, I had thought I’d aim for about 8:30 pace for the first 6 miles, and 8:15 for the next 6 and 8:00 min miles for the last 6, but when the first couple of miles were ticking off at between 8:00-8:20, I figured I’d just run and see how I got on.

About a mile in o had to stop dead for a golden lab which crossed right in my path. It didn’t even phase me. I just stopped and got going again.

It was national cycle route 7 for the most part, some of the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon route, then some. About 6 or 7 miles in I was doing fine, following the little blue signs, but took my concentration off the route and found myself going up little streets I didn’t recognise, and the signs were no where to be seen. A sure fire way to know you’ve gone off track.

I was about an hour in and I stopped to check where I was and where I needed to be. Google and google maps answered my question and I went down a street then left… in Dumbarton somewhere I think.

Finally I got on track and stopped quickly to do my first ever Facebook live on my page.

I ran on along the cycle track and at 8.5 miles in I took my second caffeine gel (I’d taken the first 4 miles in). It was all going well, along past the back of the dog and cat home I’m Milton, then into Clydebank. I’d done 6 miles in 49 minutes and got to 12 miles in 1:42… so my second 6 Miles was a bit slower, but I didn’t mind.

At that point I was starting to feel it, and realised that I like breaking up long runs in to smaller chunks than 6 miles. So I started to break it down into 3 mile sections. I got to 13.1 miles, I’m around 1:52 and stopped to take another gel and get a breather. Even though the weather was ok, I was finding this run a bit harder than my previous long runs.

Just 5 miles to go I thought / under 45 minutes. Easy peasy. But it was anything but. I wasn’t sure if it was just 5 miles to go or more. The signs said 7 miles to the city centre … but I was just going to Partick so I figured I’d be ok. I was full of gels and didn’t want anymore.

I felt like I was running pretty well, nice and steady, but from about 14 miles in my mind started playing tricks on me. Running through Clydebank and beyond, through an industrial estate, I had about 4 miles to go (I hoped) and I couldn’t be bothered anymore. If only I could stop I thought.

But I kept going. I considered stopping and doing another Facebook live of my thoughts, which were very much full of expletives and swear words, but I figured I should just get on with it and keep going. Runners Tourette’s… swearing like a trooper, I remember running friends saying they noticed that about me before.

Bikes were passing me from behind and I was sweating at them inside my head saying ‘yeh, go on, you cycle past me on your pedal thing, which makes life much easier than running’. Wtf? 😳 There has been loads of dogs on the route and all of a sudden the dogs changed from being cute little things to me seeing about 5 bull dog type dogs (and their owners).

I told myself to shut up and get on with it. I had 3-4 miles to go, 30-40 minutes, I’d be finished before I knew it. Running through yoker I stopped to ask a man where we were… just to be sure. I was on the right route… just checking what area I was in. 16 miles in and it was my slowest mile, let me just f%#%ing finish I thought.

Then just after 16 miles in I saw this sign – 1 2/3 miles to Partick. I kept ploughing on. Still no rain and hardly any wind either. Probably ideal running conditions in fact. I’d been listening to my music all the way and my iPod was showing a low battery. But it managed to last, and so did I.

At the end, I figured I might as well keep going to get to 18.2, and I was glad to finish. I walked up Dumbarton road a bit, getting stuck behind pedestrians and took the opportunity to walk off my long run and stretch a bit.

I finished in just over 2:35, 8:33 pace, and with an average heart rate of 156 / 85%. I had a for goodness shakes, water and a stretch, then home did a shower and out for a steak for a late lunch. It was well tasty.

I might have also had a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. 🤪 still no rain until about 5pm.

I realised when I got home that I was carrying so much…, lol. All this plus my jacket, gels, phone and water pack. Maybe it was hard work because I was carrying a stone worth of gadgets?!

All in all a toughie from about 14 miles in. I did another wee Facebook live at the end, and probably talked a lot of pi$h. Lol.

Probably more to do with my mindset rather than anything else. I think I expected the run to be tough (with the rain which didn’t materialise) and it was tough. I can do better than this, and I will.

I’ll either get a good playlist or a new audiobook for my solo long runs. And I’ll try and see if I can run with some other crazies who want to do long runs. 9-10 weeks to go and here’s my long run plans:

20 miles next weekend
Then 22.2 (5×4 + 2.2) 24 Feb
15 on 3 March
13.1 Inverness Half Marathon on 11 March
Holiday and a good rest
15 on 25 March
19-22 on 30 March
13-15 on 7 April
10 on 14 April
26.2 on 22 April

Tired and gubbed, I need a good sleep and rest day tomorrow. (And I need to watch I’m not a grumpy emotional tired wreck tomorrow too!) what fun this running long is – perhaps these long runs are getting too much for me? 🙈

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20 miles all over Glasgow

I moved my long run day to Sunday this weekend, a few appointments and strength training on Saturday, plus a lovely day on Sunday and I decided I’d move it from my usual Saturday morning long run day. I had 20 miles planned, and at 8am when I woke up, I was tempted to put it off. But I didn’t.

I got up and fuelled well, took my time and was out to door just before 1030am. I had a more inspiring route planned out this week compared to last, but it’d mean I’d need to think about the twists and turns, and also meant I got a little lost in the west end, but not for long.

I ran a version of the route below in reverse, running up to the West End / Maryhill locks, before running back down through kelvin grove and over to the Southside. I decided early on I’d split the run into 5×4 miles and take my gels the same as last week – 4 miles, 8 and 14.

I was running on my own, with an audio book for the first half – Ruby Wax, then random music for the second half. I had a few interactions with people along the way…

A mile or so in, I stopped to help a couple who looked lost, but weren’t, they just couldn’t decide which way to go, so I pointed them ‘that way’ – the way I was going, towards Byres Road (not sure if they went that way.)

Then running up Byres Road, I passed a man coming out of the University cafe, with a big takeaway bag of rolls and whatever (I presumed)… and a big glass bottle of irn bru. I said I bet that was going to be tasty.

Just after, going up Highburgh Road, a 3 and a half year old girl was running ahead of me, between her grandma and her older brothers or about 25m or so… and she was running faster than me. Lol 🤪 three and a half! (I spoke to her grandma and commented on how fast she was, seeing me with my water pack on, she replied saying she hadn’t been running as far as I probably had – lol – fair point).

Then about 4 miles in I was at a bit I didn’t know and came to a dead end instead of running up towards the Clyde canal. I realised and went back the way I cane and figured out the right route.

Parks I was running through were busy, and I had to really keep my wits about me … having to avoid, or not run into kids, bikes, adults, dogs…. a couple of times I had to stop dead for dogs, but I didn’t mind that much.

Over to the southside and I ran towards Paisley, again past am area called ‘Halfway’.. halfway between Glasgow and Paisley presumably. Running down towards Ross hall I unintentionally gave a man a fright – he was walking along, in normal clothes, with a bottle of raspberry lucozade (hangover perhaps?) and he jumped out of his skin when I passed him. Lol. Perhaps he thought I was going to steal his lucozade?!

Then my last interaction of the day was near Maxwell Park… around 18 miles in, I was getting a bit tired and just wanted to finish. I was on the left side of the road, on the pavement, and a large 4 wheel drive expensive car was stopped and turning right.

Crossing the junction in front of her (as she was stopped on the other side of the road, I waved at her, and put my thumbs up to thank her. I waved and thumbs up again…

But apparently I misread the situation. She wasn’t being nice, I’d clearly annoyed her that I was putting her out and taking my right if way…she tooted at me angrily and sped up past me. I nearly turned my thumbs up into a two fingers but decided against it. Silly rich… b… 😜 oh well. Never mind.

She didn’t know I was 18 miles into a 20 mile run, and I assumed she was letting a pedestrian cross in front of her. I should probably run with others instead of running on my own. Lol. For the chat instead of me looking for entertainment along the way.

Last week was 2 strength days, 4 run days, 1 Rest day.

Oh, and today was my first day wearing my sunnies! I could have probably worn a couple less layers (3 on top and full length trousers), but I wasn’t too hot or cold. Just right. Maybe shorts or capris next long run…

Today I ran 7 miles in the first hour, and another 7 miles in the next hour. Around 8:30 to 8:40 min miles. My plan said 9:08 min mile target but I was feeling good for most of it and the miles were ticking away nicely.

I felt strong throughout – until about 18 miles when I started to feel a bit tired. My pace dropped, but not so i noticed all that much.

Here’s the stats from today’s run:

20 miles in 2:54:29
Pace: 8:44 min miles
Avg HR 152, Max HR 164
Garmin training effect 4.3
Avg cadence 178

Now here’s a comparison to my other 3 long runs in my training so far…

18.2M, avg pace 9:06,
Avg HR 152, max HR 165
Cadence 177

15.2M, avg pace 8:37,
Avg HR 152, max HR 169
Cadence 179

13.1M, avg pace 8:40,
Avg HR 157, max HR 167
Cadence 178

Check the top 3 average HR, 152 each time! I wasn’t ever looking at my heart rate on my runs, but was roughly aiming to keep the pace below 9 min miles. Hopefully my comfy heart rate (152) will result in faster paces / times in the coming months.

After the run, I had a for goodness shake, a good stretch some water and a shower. Oreo the cat visited… but I don’t think he likes me much. He’d been hanging about for a bit, then when I came along he went away. 😦

I got ready and we went to the west end, where we walked for a bit (my heels were sore, but are ok now)… and I had a baked potato and chilli.

Then we walked about the west end for a bit… up Gardner street of all places (I nearly fainted at the top – lol – only joking)…

We walked a bit around Glasgow Uni, and watched the sun go down, which was very pretty.

39,000 steps, and a nice wee sunny Sunday. 🙂 I should have a good sleep tonight.

Rest day tomorrow then:

Mon: Rest
Tue: 2 x 1200m intervals
Wed: Squat Strength 4.1
Thu: 6M incl 5M Tempo @7:50
Fri: Deadlift Strength 4.2
Sat: 18-20 miles
Sun: Rest

It’s a busy week at work, and I’m aiming to train early in the morning ahead of work.

I think I might ask a friend if they want to run long with me next weekend, to save me talking to random strangers on the run. 😜

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Long run caffeine prep

The caffeine I took in seemed to make last weeks long run go like a dream, so I’m trying the same strategy this morning ahead of my 20 miler… here’s the route I’m planning:

Then here’s my fuelling:


Cereal & multivitamins & water

SIS go energy caffeine bar (75mg caffeine) – below

Let that go down then, energy on the run every 4 miles ish:

Double espresso SIS gel (125mg caffeine)

2x Berry SIS gels (2x 75mg caffeine)

Citrus SIS gel (75mg caffeine)

The gels and bar alone are about 110g carbs, and 425mg of caffeine. Or I might just take 3 gels, see how I feel.

All of that should keep me go-ing and feeling good throughout and after my long run hopefully. 😜

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8 miles to craziness

Last year, my monthly 100 mile target started to get annoying about 6 months in… some months I was chasing the goal all month, some months I was ahead… and I even made up my own rules to do more miles in July and offset them with less miles in September.

You’ll know if you read my blog, that I did it – I chased and got my 100 mile running goal throughout 2017 – 1,200 miles, averaging 100 a month. Now I’m off the target, and simply training for the London marathon (and a couple of other events).

Then imagine my delight on Saturday after my long run… when I realised that if I ran as I planned to up to the end of January… I’d be just 8 miles shy of 100 miles for January. How could I?…

How annoying… or how could I resist?

So tonight, when I really didn’t fancy it… in the cold, dark and wet January night after work… I got wrapped up warm in my running gear and was out the door for a run, just after 6pm.

It was freezing cold, wintery and windy. I ran up to Byres Road, along Great Western Road, then down towards the Clyde. I ran east for a bit then turned back for the home stretch.

As I crossed the river on the way home, I saw a group of about 10 runners start off from the Squiggley Bridge. I thought if I hung in behind them I’d get some shelter from the wind and rain… but it so happened the friendly runners invited me to join them and we ran and chatted for a bit.

So I joined them for part of their run on my way home … and it turns out they were the Bellahouston Harriers – my favourite running club in Glasgow!

(I met Paul from the Harriers the morning before, when I was in the middle of an interval session – I took the opportunity to stop my garmin / take a break – we had a good chat and he asked when I’d join the harriers).

Meeting them sure did take the cold and grind out of the last mile …

So here I am… 96.9 miles into January… and a 5k tomorrow first thing – and it’ll be 100 miles for January (almost by mistake, with a little push at the end). 😜

Crazy? Perhaps?

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Wk4 into Wk5

I was easing myself back in to training last week after not running for about 11 days (except for 1 coaching session).

I started a new job, and felt like I needed a bit of a rest, so took Tuesday / Wednesday off as rest days. Sunday was a Rest day too – so 3 Rest days in total.

I wasn’t sore today after my 18.2 long run miles yesterday which felt strong throughout. I felt it a little in my calves when I woke up, but other than that I wasn’t sore at all. But something I noticed was that I was a bit GRUMPY on Sunday after my long run (again)… unable to make decisions and a bit tired.

What a lovely after effect … you feel great, super, amazing after your long run, then the next day – boom, you’re a moody B. I noticed it so tried to lighten up and keep a lid on it. Nap time later on in the afternoon too. 😜

Here’s what I did last week:

2 runs, 2 strength, 3 Rest days.

Mon: Squat Strength 3.5
Tue: Rest
Wed: Rest
Thu: 6.2M easy HR 161 / 9:11
Fri: PT Deadlift Strength 3.6
Sat: 18.2M@9:06
Sun: Rest

And here’s what I’m planning next week:

Mon: Intervals 3×1600 5.6M / 8M incl 4M 8:03 tempo
Tue: Squat Strength 3.7
Wed: 3.1M Coaching (or PM 8M)
Thu: Coaching PM
Fri: Deadlift Strength 3.8
Sat: 20M long run
Sun: Rest

I’m annoyingly close to getting to 100 miles this month, and I have Monday off work on leave, so I’m going to try to get my monthly mileage up to 100. I’ll either run on Monday night or Wednesday night – we’ll see what happens. 😜

This week will also be week 4 of my Strength training plan (block 3). I’ve Strength trained consistently for 12 weeks and I’m feeling good on it. We’ve been working on doing Strength Work which will compliment my running. I’ve built up good strength and I’m pretty sure it’s working. Yahoo.

It’ll hopefully all help towards training for the London marathon, but I better get some more good runs in.

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18.2M long training run

After a wee bit of a time off running in the last couple of weeks (blame the ice, a little lack of motivation and starting a new job)… I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t looking forward to my long run today.

I’d done my first run in 11 days on Thursday and I felt like my fitness had plummeted, but in actual fact – it’s perfectly fine. I was a little bit put off by starting in the dark (at 730am as I had an appointment later), and the weather forecast for rain, but all in all the run went very well.

On my training plan I missed my 17 mile run last weekend, and it said I should do 20 this week. But as I’d done 15 the last time, then had some time out, I figured I’d do it a bit in between at 17-18 miles (if I felt good).

I didn’t pressure myself with a pace target, anywhere between 9 and 9:30 minute miles would be fine. I didn’t even look at pace except for when the mile splits ticked off … I ran by feel (easy) and by heart rate.

I wrapped up warm, with a litre of water in my water pack, and three caffeine gels. The double espresso one was taken first at 4 miles in (125mg caffeine 22g sugar), then lemon at 8 miles in (75mg caffeine, 22g sugar), and a berry one at 14 miles in (75mg / 22g).

I had my normal breakfast which was about 300 cals, then had this SIS caffeine (double espresso) go bar before I left. Another 75mg of caffeine. So I had 350mg if caffeine all in all. Yahoo!

I put my iPod on, and listened to an audiobook – Rise by Sian Williams, about how people can deal with trauma and adversity, rise above it and thrive. It certainly took my mind off the rain, route and the run.

I had put a shout out on my Facebook page last night asking for routes, and I got a few suggestions which I’ll probably use in the future, but for today I decided I’d just run out along the Clyde, and keep going East… it didn’t matter where to… until I got to 8.5 or 9 miles, then I’d turn back and retrace my steps.

I have to say the route wasn’t all that inspiring, but I was just pretty much just set on auto pilot running easy. It rained for maybe the first hour, then eased off. I just needed a route where I didn’t need to think, and one that’s elevation and turns weren’t too challenging … out, back, done!

I had my waterproof jacket on, cap, long leggings and shorts and a couple of layers on my top. It was just right (even though it was a bit warmer today).

I was running along and at 7.5 miles I came across a place called ‘Halfway’ … talking to myself, I said, I’m not half way!… I’ve still got about 1-1.5 miles to go until I’m half way. What a silly name for a place!’ 😜 I eventually got half way… up to 8.5 miles, then to 9 and I decided id go up to 9.1 to make sure I covered 18 miles.

I felt really strong throughout. I split the run down into 3 mile blocks… each of them ticking off nicely at a good even pace which was determined by the hills / flat. I reached a half marathon in just under 2 hours, and kept ploughing through the miles.

In Rutherglen on the way back, I really considered popping in to say hi to my sister and my nieces, but figured it was going so well, and if I stopped it might be hard to get going again, so I kept on running.< a href=”https://lornpearsontrains.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/image41.png”&gt;<<<<
s pretty much flat for the first 4-5 miles, then up hill to 9 miles, and reversed on the way back. I was thinking how strong I felt, it seemed my legs just kept going on and on, my back felt strong, I felt really good, right to to the last mile with the wind in my face running along the Clyde.

It seems the strength training is probably doing my running a lot of good! I didn’t even feel DOMS after all my strength training yesterday where I deadlifted almost by bodyweight and did some tough TRX moves and a finisher – enough to make me feel sick. I’m really pleased with my progress with it.< a href="https://lornpearsontrains.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/image61.jpeg"&gt;<<<<
e run, I thought the wind was in my face on the way out and I was looking forward to it being at my back on the way back, but it seemed to be all around. I still felt strong throughout.

Running home, I rounded up to finish with a last strong half a mile and 0.2 to finish. I picked my cadence up to 180+ for the last half mile and still felt good.< a href="https://lornpearsontrains.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/image37.jpeg"&gt;<<<<
ished dead on the time I guessed I would finish in 2:45… and my average heart rate was 152, so nice and comfy. My heart rate peaked at 165, so not too taxing. And 9:06 min miles, just under the pace my plan had me aim for this week. So all good. 👍🏻

Recovery after was a good stretch, water, a for goodness shake and a shower. And I’ll go for some lunch soon too, a nice big tasty meal to replace the calories burned (but not too big).
lornpearsontrains.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/image52.jpeg”> Feeling pretty awesome now, and hoping my body recovers well after a good long winters day run. Perhaps I’ll go down and collapse into a big heap when the 350mg of caffeine wears off?! 😜

My plan is to keep up with the strength training twice a week and out a real focus on getting back to my running training to build myself up to run the London marathon. Plenty time left, and plenty miles to run.

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Ways to get running in the morning

I don’t like winter. I don’t particularly like running in the dark, or in the cold, but needs must when you’re training for a big event. I might have forgotten that in the last couple of weeks…

I confess… before today, I hadn’t run for 11 days. 11 whole days. My last run for myself was two Saturdays ago – a good long 15 miler. I’d spent two weeks on a new training plan and it was all going so well, until the snow and ice came last week.

I’ve noticed the difference too… today I ran 10k in 57 minutes – comfortable but hard in bits. My heart rate was 157 on average.

Compare that to 3 weeks ago and I ran 10k in just under 50 minutes with about the same amount of effort, avg HR 161. 😳 bye bye fitness!

Winter brings so many excuses to the forefront as to why I don’t want to run, but I’ll get back on track with it this week and next.

The cold, snow and ice lasted well into Sunday so I decided I’d be better off not running long, or running at all. (Did a 45 min spin session instead). Strength on Monday, then Tuesday was warmer and I could have run, but didn’t.

I don’t have the motivation to run in the evening unless I’m coaching or running with someone else. It usually keeps me awake, and it’s not the best. The answer is to run in the morning – before work. Get up early and out the door before the day starts.

I’ve been doing this for a while – finding little ways to trick myself into getting up and out for a run first thing.

Here, in no particular order, are my ways to get running in the morning:

1️⃣ Decide on a weekly activity plan the Sunday before the start of your week – decide when your run days will be, and commit to them. (Publish it somewhere if you want a record if it, or for others to see it to motivate you to do it.)

2️⃣ Have an overall goal and training plan, so that your runs will add up to you achieving something great (ie train for a marathon in 12-16 weeks, or 50-100 miles a month).

3️⃣ Check the weather the night before and decide what you’re going to wear.

4️⃣ Leave all your gear out, ready to go, in a spare room or somewhere where you won’t disturb the rest of the house. Dress for the weather and make sure you have everything you need (cap, buff, jacket etc).

5️⃣ Lay out all of your gadgets etc you’ll need – garmin, HRM, iPod, earphones, keys, so they’re handy (and all charged!)

6️⃣ Decide how far you’ll run and decide on a route (look in http://www.walkjogrun.co.uk).

7️⃣ Post the route on social media to tell everyone you’re going to do the run.

8️⃣ Get an early night and a good sleep. (If you want 8 hours sleep and you’re getting up to run at 6, go to bed at 9-930pm, asleep by 10).

9️⃣ Lay out anything you want to eat or drink before the run (especially if it’s a long run) so it’s handy and you don’t forget it or make noise getting it.

🔟 Arrange to run with someone else – this one hardly ever fails, you won’t want to let them down.

1️⃣1️⃣ Set an alarm or two, giving you enough time to get up, get ready and go out running at the time you planned.

1️⃣2️⃣ When the alarm goes off, count from 1 to 5 and by the time you get to 5, be standing up and going out of the room.

1️⃣3️⃣ Make an appointment with yourself (or someone else), and be out the door to run at that time.

1️⃣4️⃣ Make running important, get out there and get it done!

And if all of that fails, run at lunchtime, or after work. Make time for it – it’s well worth it. !

Next week I think I’ll move my run days to Monday, Thursday (or Wed) and Saturday, and my strength days to be Tuesdays and Fridays. See if I can get a run in at the start of the week to set me up well.

How do you motivate yourself to get up and out for your runs?

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