Wk44 into Wk45

Last week was my recovery week from training, which coincided with a week of leave. In terms of activity, I still did – 16 miles walking, 2 cycles of about 20 miles along with 2 foam rolling sessions (and one long massage).

My sleep was better too, averaging 8.5 hours, and I had a nap or two. I probably could have had more, but rested / relaxed instead. Walks, telly, chats etc.

Here’s what I did training / exercise wise:

Wk44 – 26 Oct (leave)
Mon: 2.6M walk
Tue: 13.1M cycle at sunrise (massage)
Wed: 2M walk
Thu: 2M walk (in the rain!)
Fri: 4.6M Long Walk / foam roll
Sat: Rest / 1.5M walk
Sun: 30 min bike / 3M Walk / foam roll

Foam rolling just twice in the week was a bit pathetic (as in, I should have done it more), but I was quite sore after the massage on Tuesday night, and a bit bruised, so it was only by Friday I felt up to it.

I’ve now been off running for about 10-11 weeks. The issue seems to be connected to my right hamstring / hip / hip flexor / flute / lower back. Perhaps my hamstrings / glutes aren’t firing, and it’s causing strain in the whole area.

I thought taking rest from running, and getting a regular massage / body work and foam rolling would work, but there’s no improvement so physio is next. It should start this week I think.

My movement is really strained / restricted when I try to put my body at a 90’ angle to my legs, and I can feel my hamstrings really tight and sore, along with some pain in my right hip.

I’m going to take a bit of a change of tact from the regular cycling and walking… and instead ensure I focus on stretching, foam rolling and strength… with some cycling abs walking added in. I did a couple of easy rounds of the above this morning, after 45 mins on the spin bike, then I followed it up with 25 mins of foam rolling.

I have this lovely garagym on my doorstep and it’s a shame not to use it. So for this week:

Stretching and foam rolling every day apart from Saturday
Strength work Mon / Wed / Fri
Cycling Mon / Tue / Thu / Sun
Walking Wed / Thu / Fri / Sat

Wk45 – 2 Nov

Mon: 45 mins easy bike / 30 mins stretch/foam roll / 30 mins strength/physio

Tue: 1hr of 1 min bike intervals / 30 mins stretch /foam roll

Wed: Walk / 30 mins stretch/foam roll / 30 mins strength/physio

Thu: Outdoor bike / 30 mins stretch/foam roll / Walk pm

Fri: Walk / 30 mins stretch/foam roll / 30 mins strength/physio

Sat: Walk / 30 mins strength/physio

Sun: 30-60 mins Bike / 30 mins stretch/foam roll

I’ll do the majority of my exercise first thing – out the door it in the gym for about 7am.

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Sort of fed up

I’m sort of fed up… fed up of quite a lot of things… but trying to keep the heed and keep a positive outlook when things are looking gloomy.

Here goes:

I’m fed up of being injured and not able to run, but getting on with it and keeping the focus on doing other exercise (cycling & walking). 10 weeks off running and counting. …

This is a big one that I’m trying to fix… rest from running / what makes it sore… expert advice… foam rolling, stretching, keeping active …. physio next. Hopefully I’ll be sorted and back running by 2021!

Fed up of being restricted with covid (but know there’s a good reason for it). We had a week off on leave and all the restaurants were closed, so it meant only the cafes were open, which meant they were busy and you needed to book ahead. Working from home, being a bit isolated.

Other than that, there’s travel restrictions and common sense and not taking risks. Masks are fine, as are all of the restrictions really. Making fun of the mask situation, with a daily mask pic.

It’s the new norm. But the social restrictions are hard… on me, on everyone. I miss my friends, and my family. I miss socialising and travelling to see and spend time with people. I miss travelling abroad for holidays too – sight seeing, sunshine, warmth.

Fed up of the crappy weather and nights getting darker… this happens every year (obviously) … but it doesn’t get any easier. It rained just about the whole week we were off, and we tried to make the best of it… and had a good restful week, but now it’s only going to get colder and darker through Winter. Boooooo.

Through out all of this that I could moan about … or am moaning about… I’ve tried to stay positive – knowing this is for a short time, and things will get better, we’ll get through this and there are many many more who are worse off than me. It’s good to try to see the positives and know that I generally have my health, and well-being, and have friends and family who care.

To go easy on ourselves and be kind to ourselves. Check in with others, phone or FaceTime people to connect. Or send a text or message. Or send a wee card or present here and there to let them know you’re thinking of them.

I’m fed up, but I’m not. I’m trying to see the best in everything and knowing that this might be tough for a number of reasons. I’m getting by and seeing the light through the darkness. This too shall pass. In the meantime I’ll do things for joy, and enjoy the little things in life.

My leg will get better, I’ll be able to run again some time. And I’ll feel even more grateful when I’m able to. In the meantime I’ll take care of myself, keep active and get physio / massages / foam roll to see if I can get it better. Use our garagym and my bike(s) and get really fit.

I’ll work away, do what’s needed and make the most of working from home and being able to work from home.

I’ll chill out, relax and get plenty sleep and food. Watch the programmes I like, get engrossed in stories, and enjoy where I live with good neighbours and friends.

I’ll get to travel again, as we all will, and we’ll hopefully look back one day and be grateful we’re not under the restrictions we need to be under just now.

2020 is coming to a close soon, and hopefully 2021 and beyond will be a better time for us all. With 2020 being a slap we all needed to remind us how good we had it before, and hopefully after.

It’s ok to be fed up, but it’s good to acknowledge it and the reasons for it, and move on and try and find some joy and happiness.

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Wk43 into wk44 and my ankle & hip!

I’m on leave this week… possibly the worst time to be on leave, with covid restrictions and bad rainy weather, means there’s not been a lot to do. But it could be worse, best not to complain, and just make the most if it.

I haven’t blogged for a while, so this will be an update of where I’m at.

Last week I did a good amount of training, and I’m taking this week as a good time to rest and recover.

I cycled 33 miles last week, and walked nearly 22. I was good with foam rolling and stretching at the start of the week, and did it three times… better than nothing but still not good enough. Here’s what I did:

Wk43 – 19 Oct
Mon: 50 min easy spin / Foam rolling ✅
Tue: 1 hour/3.7M walk / Foam rolling ✅
Wed: 70 min bike intervals
Thu: 4.4M walk / Foam rolling ✅
Fri: 10M / 50 min bike intervals
Sat: 2.7M walk
Sun: 4.3M Walk wi Eilidh (for Moira) then 3M Walk wi Fit Girl.

This week I’ve taken the foot off the gas a bit, and tried to get some good sleeps in, a nap or two, and some walks. On Tuesday I took advantage of what seemed like the only window of ok weather before 9am, and managed to get out on my bike for a spectacular sunrise. About 7am, and by 710am it was almost all gone. But it was beautiful and I’m so glad I was up for it.

My body clock was a bit out with the clocks going back, so by 6am I was wide awake (with my body thinking it was 7am).

I’ve been meaning to send my pics into BBC news Scotland, and this time I managed to get one published – here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-54705568

I was well chuffed with that. 🙂 It also got shared lots on Facebook too. Hopefully the pics will make a good zoom background for my work too.

Our leave this week has been quite restricted, we’d usually travel somewhere, abroad, or even around Scotland. But with the Covid restrictions we haven’t.

We’d also usually eat out more, but with only cafes open, they’re busier than normal … and restaurants haven’t been open either. Oh well.

We’ve been out and about for walks anyway, and have frequented places like Little Italy, Cafe Monzo, Moyra Jane’s, Ollies and New Yolk. All local, and good food. Masks on etc.

And I bought a new colourful buff and a new purple hat for myself too. This was a millionaire cheesecake in Little Italy! It was surprisingly not too sweet or sickly either. Yum.

This is what I’ve been doing this week, exercise wise:

Wk44 – 26 Oct (leave)
Mon: 2.6M walk
Tue: 13.1M cycle at sunrise (massage)
Wed: 2M walk / shopping
Thu: 2M walk (in the rain!)
Fri: Long Walk / foam roll
Sat: 50 min Indoor cycle / foam roll
Sun: Walk / foam roll

I had a really good massage on Tuesday from Clare. But my hip / lower back injury is still here. I’m a bit sore after the massage, but I know it will have done me good.

I’ve been off running for about 10 weeks, and it’s not any better. It’s starting to get really annoying, and nothing I seem to do helps it. (I might even cry a little inside when I see people out running, but don’t tell anyone 😥).

Walking (about 80 miles this month) and cycling (150 miles for this month) isn’t aggravating it in any way, but it’s not fixing either, so my next step is physio. Hopefully with KM Woods physio in Finnieston, in the next week or two.

I’m planning / guessing I’ll still be off running til the end of the year, but we will see.

I found out last week that the Brighton Marathon has been postponed, until Sept 2021, so I’ve managed to change my flight and hotel for that, and hopefully I’ll be all fixed and ready for it by then. I changed the flight out to a bit later than above – to fit with the Bots from Ellon who are going down too. It should be fun, (as long as I’m better for it).

My last wee update is about my right ankle… there’s been a lump on the inside of it for about 6 months or so now. (Sorry for the feet pictures!)

In late August, after talking it over with my brother (GP), I went to my GP about it. Better to get it checked out.

As if 2020 wasn’t bad enough, the thought of this maybe being something not so innocent was enough to make me be a little concerned. Aaahhhh.

I decided not to worry, and just get it checked out wait for the results… but here’s what happened:

21 Aug – GP appointment (phone then face to face)

8 Sep – ultrasound and X-ray – they said my GP would get a report in next three weeks, then a letter came in for an MRI…

25 Sep – MRI with dye… I had some strange side effects after it, nausea and sickness the day after. 🤮🤢😳 I wasn’t told about it as being possible side effects, but it can happen as a side effect, so that wasn’t much fun. But it didn’t last long. I took the following (Saturday) afternoon as a sleep to get over it.

15 Oct – results with GP, but unfortunately the GP was off sick last week, so I only got the results today.

29 Oct – the GP called me to say it’s likely a ganglion cyst (and not a tumour); but they want to do a CT scan to check the bone around it etc. So my next step is probably the Queen Elizabeth for a CT scan.

( ps: the NHS is good isn’t it? ).

I had a CT scan this time 6 years ago when I bumped my head. At least they found a brain that time. 😂 (The pic below was me back then… before a big black eye developed, just in time for me to attend my aunts funeral with a big black shiner / remember that?)

Back to my foot, and there’s a little bit of pain / tenderness in it, but the main issue is the other foot kicking it, as it sticks out a bit. Lumpy bumpy Lorn.

I’ll need to wait and see how it’s treated, but at least it’s probably nothing nasty.

By the way, I upgraded my cycle shoes, to some Northwave Origin 2s (above) and they’re great. I’m still using them with toe clips as they work for me, but they along with long socks and leg warmers have really done a good job of keeping my feet warm on long cycles.

Now the focus is for me to get my right leg and hip / lower back sorted so I can get back to running in 2021. It’s the same leg as my ankle issue, but the issues probably aren’t connected … so to speak.

By the end of this year, I’ll have probably run about 800 miles, and cycled about 500-600 and walked about 600 I think. Not bad for being injured for about 4-5 months. My weight has stayed pretty steady too – I think I’ve been burning what I eat / eating what I burn.

I’ll be back on my bike next week (indoor if it’s heavy rain), and maybe once indoors this weekend. And I’ll get some walks in too. And I need to get a grip of myself to get more regular stretching and foam rolling done as it’s important.

Hopefully physio can help me get back on track and get my injury sorted once and for all.

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Moira’s virtual run (walk) 2020

Today I had a walk and chat planned in with my good friend Eilidh.

We met at Victoria Park, and not long before it, I signed up to the Moira Jone’s virtual 5k run … and did the walk in the park for it. #runformoira

£10 to enter, with an option to donate more, I paid £15 to the great cause and went to meet Eilidh.

We ended up walking a little further, about 7k in total… I’m still off running, so didn’t even attempt to run, but the walk was nice.

…good chat, lots of dogs, nice scenery and plenty falling leaves.

At the end we were treated by a rainbow in the north too. 🙂

A nice way to spend some of a Sunday, and the rain stayed away which was even better.

If you want to donate to the Moira Jones fund, go here: https://www.goldengiving.com/fundraising/santanderteam (Santander are matching the donations).

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Wk42 into Wk43

This last week I did 3 cycles / 28 miles… which was two outdoor cycles done this weekend and a gym spin session on Wednesday. I’m still enjoying the cycling, but I’m going to see about some physio hopeful to next week, my injury still isn’t improving, so after about 9 weeks off running, it would be good to get it sorted.

I’m still getting pain in my right hip flexor / lower back, and there’s a restriction in movement when I bend my body at a 90’ angle to my legs. I have a massage on the 27th, but I probably need to get some specialist advice before that.

It’s fine when I’m walking, and I got quite a few walks in, nearly 18 miles all together, but just two foam rolling sessions. I have do better with that. They’re only like 25 mins, so there should be no reason not to be able to do it in a day.

Here’s what I did last week:

Wk42 – 12 Oct
Mon: 5M / 80 min walk
Tue: Rest / Foam rolling
Wed: 35 min intervals spin
Thu: 2.2M / 40 min walk
Fri: 4.2M / 70 min walk / Foam rolling
Sat: 10M / 50 min outdoor cycle am
Sun: 4M walk / 10.8M outdoor cycle pm

This was a nice pic I took on Monday morning. 😄

And here are the totals for last week:

My sleep wasn’t great, I woke up at 4 or 5 a few mornings. And stress on my garmin vivosmart was higher than usual too. I took a good rest day on Tuesday and had managed to get my sleep back on track by Thursday.

Next week I aim to do foam rolling / stretching every day, hopefully at lunchtime. The weather is bad on Monday, heavy rain, so I’ll do a spin session in the gym… then I’ll take it from there. I’ve arranged walks with friends on Tuesday and Sunday morning.

Here’s what I’m planning:

Wk43 – 19 Oct
Mon: 1 hr indoor spin / Foam rolling
Tue: 5M bike / 3-4M walk / Foam rolling
Wed: 70 min bike intervals / Foam rolling
Thu: 3-5M walk / Foam rolling
Fri: 10M / 50 min bike intervals / Foam rolling
Sat: 45 min bike intervals & Foam rolling
Sun: 3-5M Walk

For my bike, I’ve managed to get some north wave origin cycle shoes, and I did try the spd pedals, but I’m so used to using toe clips that I’m going to keep them (they’re more versatile for if I’m cycling in trainers / walking too).

I’d been having trouble with cold feet when I was cycling early with trainers on (with the air vents that you don’t really realise are there when you’re running.

The solid cycle shoes are great for on the spin bike, and on the bike outdoors. On the outdoor cycles, my feet were nice and cosy today… and the leg warmers I wear help too. 😂

This last week felt nice and balanced, even with my crap sleeps. And we have one more week of work, then a week off. Not sure what we’re going to do – staycation and just down days off work. Looking forward to some fun. Hopefully the restrictions ease off a bit, but if they don’t, it’ll be fine.

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Wk41 into Wk42

Last week was good for me. Training wise I was on my bike outdoors twice and on the spin bike in the gym twice to so about 38 miles in total. Some good cardio workouts. Then I did quite a few walks, which turned out to be about half the distance I’d cycled – – about 19 miles.

I only did two foam rolling sessions, when I planned to do one every week day. So that should be my focus this week.

Here’s what I did last week:

Wk41 – 5 Oct
Mon: 13M / 69 mins outdoor cycle / 50 mins foam roll & stretch / 0.7M walk
Tue: 50 mins 5 min tempo ints bike / 20 min foam roll, stretch & strength / 0.8M walk
Wed: 2.3M walk wi FG / 1.6M walk
Thu: 3.6M walk Clyde
Fri: 50 mins 5 min tempo ints bike / 0.5M walk
Sat: 2M walk Maxwell Park
Sun: 30 min outdoor cycle / 5M walk / 2.2M walk

I cycled out to Braehead on Monday morning and saw a nice sunrise.

I’m using my garmin to track my workouts, walks and foam rolling sessions. And it also tracks my sleep, health and other stats.

I’ve cycled about 66 miles this month so far, and walked about 26 miles. 11 days in.

I had a nice walk on Tuesday morning before work with Fit Girl, we were up pretty early, and it was dark for most of it. There was still some nice light.

We also had a nice walk on Saturday in and around Maxwell Park. Then on Sunday I went a good walk and chat with my friend, before meeting Fit Girl for lunch and a walk.

I cycled about half an hour on Sunday (to and from my friends), then walked 7 miles. Had a burger and chips and then a nap. Lol. Quite a balanced day really.

I had a really good catch up / walk with my friend who I haven’t seen in a while. I think we’ll be in touch much more and I’m looking forward to it. It’s good to reconnect. She’s a really smashing person, and we get on well.

Clearly I’m not running just now, but I’m keeping fit and active with cycling and walking and I know that I need to work, and take some time off running, so that so that hopefully my injury goes away and I can run again. Short term off running for Long term gain!

My injury seems ok, like the paid has 95% gone, but there’s still something it quite right. Massage on Saturday – I cannot wait. I’ll need to really make the foam rolling abs stretching a focus this week and stop being lazy with it. It’s good when I do it, so I need to fit it in and get it done.

Now here’s my plan for next week:

Wk42 – 12 Oct
Mon: 50-60 min walk
Tue: Intervals bike
Wed: 60-90 min bike
Thu: 50-60 min walk
Fri: intervals bike
Sat: Walk / massage
Sun: 60 mins bike
Foam roll / stretch each week day

I’m planning my cycles outdoors on dry days. And as it looks like it’ll be raining tomorrow, I’ll go a walk instead of my usual Monday morning cycle.

This week I also had a play about with my bike… but it really shouldn’t be this hard. I tried to take the pedals off an the left one was stuck. I spent what felt like hours trying to get it off… got some men to help, bought a pedal wrench…. blah blah blah.

Then got a good tip from Bob on Facebook to use some heat on it. He suggested a blow torch… 😳 but I decided some boiling / hot water might work. And it worked a treat. Two minutes in and it was easy to come off.

Ha ha. But then I had a struggle with the clipless pedals not working with the cleats!! Ahhhhh! I’m parking it for the now and have put my toe clip pedals back on until I can maybe get a bike shop to help me. 🤪

You don’t get this complexities with running!! That’s all I can say.. but maybe if I didn’t buy the cycling shoes, I wouldn’t need the pedals etc!! We will see how that all goes.

I leave you with some nice flowers we say in Polloksheilds on Saturday. 👍🏻

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Good spin session & my HR zones

I forgot how great a good spin session can be. When I first got on the spin bike this morning, I could see it far enough and I nearly gave up after 5 minutes. But I’m glad I stayed on.

Here’s the session my garmin training plan had in for me…

My heart rate zones are as follows:

Zone 1 – up to 119
Zone 2 – 119 – 138
Zone 3 – 139 – 158
Zone 4 – 159 – 174
Zone 5 – 175 to explosion 😂

When I got on the bike, my heart rate monitor wasn’t connecting to my garmin… which was a little annoying… but my Apple Watch on my arm did the trick so I knew what zone I was in.

For the zone 4 parts x 3, I was uo out of the saddle, more or less running… HR ❤️ around 161-171. Oooft.

Safe to say I was a little sweaty afterwards. Eek.

50 mins spin, avg HR 145, max 324… ha ha. Only kidding. Max about 171.

Looks like a nice day out again so maybe a lunchtime walk and definitely some foam rolling is in order.

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Wk39 & 40 into Winter

September was a bit of an odd month for me as I wasn’t running; but I substituted running with other bits and pieces and had some good massages and foam rolling / movement sessions to try to see if I could get my hip flexor recovered.

It’s not made much progress, and I need to up the focus on recovery and not just blindly doing cardio for the feel good factor. I was good at the foam rolling / stretching in the first two weeks of September, then not so good in the last two weeks.

Here’s what I’ve done in the last two weeks:

Wk39 – 20 Sep
Mon: 15.5M / 73 min cycle
Tue: 5M walk
Wed: 1hr cycle / Foam roll / 4M walk
Thu: 5M Walk / 2M walk
Fri: 3.5M Walk wi Audrey
Sat: Rest / 5k walk
Sun: 6M / 2 hour walk

Wk40 – 27 Sep
Mon: 11.1M / 57 min outdoor cycle
Tue: 3.2M / 54 min walk
Wed: 1.7M / 28 min walk
Thu: 16M / 79 min outdoor cycle
Fri: 12.5M / 60 min outdoor cycle / 5k walk
Sat: 20 min walk (rain)
Sun: Rest / 4.3M walk

115 miles cycling and 85 miles walking for September. 10k running.

I probably need to do less waking and more time in the gym doing active recovery.

It was about three outdoor bike rides a week, and four to five walks. Being off running has been ok for about 6 weeks now, with a couple of try outs that didn’t work. But since I’m cycling instead of it, I’m not missing it as much as you’d think.

I do keep seeing runners and I feel a little tweak of sadness, but I think it’s probably a good idea to stay off it until my hip flexor recovers. And do what I can to help it recover. I’ve had two good massage / body work sessions with Claire in September, and I have another two scheduled in for October, so I’d better get the work in.

Like I said above, I should have been doing stretching and foam rolling, but I didn’t as life took over and I didn’t make that a priority. So now my hip flexor and lower back are still sore… and I need to have a word with myself and make my recovery from this a priority, instead of blindly doing cardio on the bike or out walking.

It felt good at the time, built up my confidence out on the bike, got me to see some lovely sunrises and made me feel good anyway. I now feel I need to have a plan for myself for October into November and December.

So I’m going to put a bit more structure in and I’ve signed up for one of Garmin’s cycling training plans. You can customise it to your life, picking the hours and days you’ll train on the bike. With the weather turning, I’ll do a mix of indoor and outdoor cycling, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays (or Saturdays).

If you’re interested in setting up a customs training plan: In your Garmin app, go to Training & Training Plans and have a look.

I’ll aim to be in the gym at least 4 times a week, but ideally Monday to Friday, doing stretching, foam rolling and movement.

I’ll mix cycling outdoors 1-3 times a week with indoor spin and walks too, as I have been doing. It seems to be working for me. Particularly with the nice sunrises I’m seeing.

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Diamonds and rocks

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Cold feet and hands!

Jeezo, I didn’t realise how cold it can get on the bike… the temperatures in the mornings have dropped a bit to about 3-6’c and whilst I’m wrapped up with plenty of layers… my feet and hands have become cold on long runs.

My right foot in particular turns to what feels like a block of ice by the end, after an hour and a half outside. 🥶 I have a hat for under my helmet, which is good, and my jackets are windproof / waterproof so that’s good too. But my ankles are usually a little exposed and my running gloves are a bit thin.

So I went online and ordered these… fingerless gloves with covers on them. They worked a treat this morning. 😀 there was sometimes a bit of a gap between my cuff and the glove, so I’ll get a solution for that in the form of another sleeve type glove I have, but that’s my hands sorted.

But for my feet… I ordered a pair of long socks for cycling, and also a pair of bright shoe covers too. 😂

I have a feeling the shoe covers will probably look a bit odd, but I don’t really care, as long as they work and keep the heat in…

I don’t really mind what I look like (although the pink will be ever so fetching / but it might clash with my orange jacket – oh well).

I’ll let you know if they work or not!

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