New trainers day!

Today I’m wearing a new pair of trainers … I really like this model of Nike’s (so much so I have three pairs…. shhhhh).

They’re the Nike Free Run Flyknits 3.0’s and I have them in purple and white… (the purple ones and black ones I got on a deal so I couldn’t resist).

They might look a little odd but they fit like a glove and when the white ones get a little grubby they can go in the washing machine and come out looking brand new.

They’re good for walking, cycling and very day wear. I love them.

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Body assessment and new bouncy seat

So last night I had the most brilliant body assessment, manipulation and massage with Clare the ‘Movement Therapist’ – Glasgow’s finest –
She really knows her stuff. 🙂

First Clare got me to do some movement and looked at my posture and how I was moving and standing.

It seems I’m a bit squinty, maybe down to a slight injury / weakness in my right leg / glute / hip flexor – and my body trying to compensate. Hips, torso, shoulders twisted … tight on and leaning to one side and leaning forward too. 😳

After the assessment, she did some manipulation of my body (!) and made some adjustments through stretching, cracking and a few other things.

Then she finished with a deep massage of some of the areas she knew would help me.

And she gave me some advice on how best to foam roll and recover.

She bamboozleed me with lots and lots of names of muscles (that I think she thought I knew but I didn’t), and we had a good chat too.

And she gave me a good tip to sit on a stability ball at my ‘desk’ at home to prevent slouching and tightness, and enable movement whilst working. Here’s my new seat…

I have to say, after 2 hours of body / massage work last night I feel a bit like I’ve been run over by a bus (!) but I can tell it will have done good.

I’ve got a few bruises coming through, but hopefully this is the start of recovery for me and my tight little body. I have another session with her in a couple of Saturdays time.

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Time for a walk

After a few busy days where I took some rest from exercise … I got up this morning and went a good long walk around the Clyde.

55 mins listening to an audiobook and getting plenty fresh air and movement.

I got rained on a little towards the end, but had my waterproof on and it felt good to get out before work.

It definitely blew the cobwebs away.

For one reason and another the last few days have been a bit tough. But today I can put a lot behind me; and feel I can really start afresh and see what will come next.

I was listening to an audiobook when I was walking, to try to help me stop thinking about all the other millions of things whizzing around my head. My attention from it was distracted, and as I started to think about some other things… I looked up, and saw a nice rainbow – and said ‘hello Granny’ and smiled.

In other news. My back was annoyingly sore this morning … an injury or stress building, who knows… but I thought a walk and some movement would be a good thing – and it was.

Going with the distracted theme, I’ve been a little distracted and forgetting sometimes to eat… anyone else get like that? 😳 lucky me… Fit Girl delivered me my lunch like this today… warm ambrosia creamed rice with a smiley face of berries. I’m very lucky to have her.

Today marks the start of a new chapter for me and I’m really looking forward to it. But first up my aim is to get my back recovered, get a massage tonight and some regular daily movement in. And get some good perspective to rise above what’s not important and get back to being me.

It’s all good in the hood.

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September Stop & Recover

I always used my blog as a bit of a journal… to remind myself of events, distances run, training completed… and I’ve also used it as a tracker for injuries as well as a place I put training plans and information.

Well I’m afraid to say, that after a really good 6-9 month of training, an injury has eventually crept up on me. I noticed it first in early August, and I think it stems from maybe a workout I did in the garagym… maybe deadlifting, and maybe pulling a muscle of sorts but not noticing when I did it, or when I was training after it.

At first I got a bit of a sore lower back, I maybe thought it was my rather unergonomic desk / ironing board work station. But really it’s probably just a pulled muscle that’s taking a while to get better I think.

It seemed to get worse after some long car journeys, sitting in the same position driving for hours. And now it’s at a point where I really need to take some proper time out and get some treatment for it.

It’s not the end of the world, and I know rest from running is probably best… so I’ll likely take September off running and get a couple of massages and sign up for some physio for it too for some guidance on how to make it better.

I took 8 days out at the end of August where I didn’t run, but walked did some stretching and foam rolling sessions, and an easy bodyweight strength circuit every two days. Movement and activity, but not too much.

We went on some walks and it felt ok, but when sitting at night I can feel it sore. I know what to do next, and the main thing is getting advice from people who know (physio and masseuse) and focusing on recovery.

Here’s what’s happened:

– Early August, in the gym, mainly working in deadlifts.
– Noticed a twinge in my lower back, but it felt ok.
– Also noticed an odd large bruise on the left of my lower back
– Continued running (a lot… 85 miles up to 24 August) and it felt ok before and after running.
– Noticed sore lower back when sitting at desk (ironing Baird) – then also noticed it standing. – The pain really kicked in after a long 3 hour drive up north.

What it feels like
– It started as a dull pain in my lower back, around early August.
– Then it seemed to move into my right hamstring, and into the middle of my right hip.
– When I tip my torso over, think the good morning movement, I get to 45’ and it feels a bit tight / sore inside the hip.

– The upper quad and hip flexor has started to feel sore too.

– Foam rollering is sore on the hips and glutes…
– Hips sore when lying on my side.
– It all feels connected – lower back, hamstrings, upper leg, hips. And even into my back and shoulders and neck at points.

So the plan for September is to:
– Do some movement in the gym – stretching and foam rollering.
– Cycling as long as it’s ok on my back / legs. 30 mins on Sunday felt fine / good. Hey, I might even get my actual bike out on the cycle paths some as well.
– Bodyweight exercises, focusing on building strength in muscles / without any pain. – Walking to keep active too.
– Get a massage at the start and the middle of September with Clare. – Call up and get referred to a physio.
(Stay off running, but focus on recovery and being active instead of running / missing running).

I’ve written about how to deal with an injury here before, and rather than feel down about it, I like to just have a refocus instead and focus on something else for a bit. Know that recovery is needed sometimes and it also makes me feel grateful when I don’t have an injury or pain.

So I’ll hang up my running trainers for a bit and see what happens. And my new friend will become the foam roller. Ouch it’s sore, but worth it. The massages will be good too.

If only the pools were open I would have gone swimming, I’m lucky to have the set up in the garagym that I have.

So today I had a good active day… I did 10 mins of stretching, then 20 mins of simple Bodyweight strength exercises and foam rollering, before 30 mins on the bike – a 5 min warm up, then
1 min speed (110rpm), 4 min recovery,
1 min climb (75rpm), 4 min recovery,
1 min speed (110rpm), 4 min recovery,
1 min climb (75rpm), 4 min recovery,
1 min speed (110rpm), 4 min recovery.

I met my niece and had a nice lunch, then a walk in the park with her (Queens Park). And an ice cream for afters.

Then I went a nice walk in another park (Kelvingrove Park) with Fit Girl before dinner.

Roll on September and I’ll try not to be sad about not running. My body probably needs a break from it… and I’ll be careful to listen to it to rest and recover when I need too as well.

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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

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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