Wk30 into Wk31 & progress

Last week I got a good amount of running done (4 runs / 26.5 miles), a couple of good rest days and a strength and bike session done.

I got into a good sleep routine and work life balance, and I seem to be waking up before the alarm in the mornings, so that feels good and it feels like I’m getting good sleeps.

Here’s what I did last week:

Mon 22: Rest
Tue: 3.5M
Wed: 6M + walk at lunchtime
Thu: Bike & Tabata Strength
Fri: 6.5M wi DMc
Sat: 7.6M FG
Sun: Rest / walk

Plenty exercise, plenty walks and rest and enough sleep (including a good nap on Saturday). It’s good to see my running getting back on track for July. I should o 90-95 miles this month after 60 in May and June.

Now here’s my plans for next week, alternating run days with gym days:

Mon 29: 4-5M intervals @630
Tue: Bike & Runner’s Strength & 5k
Wed: 5M @7am DMc
Thu: Bike & Runner’s Strength
Fri: 5k lunchtime (or am)
Sat: Rest
Sun: 9-10M

End of the month and there’s not been much change in my weight over the months. A bit of a variance in my body composition… -1.5lbs overall, down 2.8lbs of body fat since April, and up 1.3lbs lean mass. A cm down on my waist and hips …

2 April: 139.6lbs / 18% body fat
25.2lbs body fat / 114.4lbs other
109.5lbs lbm / 78.4% lbm
76cm / 101cm / 46% wth

26 May: 137.1lbs / 17.1% body fat
23.5lbs body fat / 113.6lbs other
108.7lbs lbm / 79.3% lbm

24 June: 137.7lbs / 14.5% body fat
20lbs body fat / 117.7lbs other
112.7lbs / 81.9% lbm

27 July: 138.1lbs / 16.2% body fat
22.4lbs body fat / 115.7lbs other
110.8lbs / 80.2% lbm
75cm / 100cm / 45% wth

Heading into the right direction but no biggy. Maybe I should try harder with strength, running, rest, sleep and eating better. August is around the corner, so maybe I will and maybe I’ll put some effort in to do some sole speed / tempo runs.

This week I booked a few trips, August to see my Dad and step mum, September Boston and October to visit my uncle and aunt. Nice things to look forward to whisky keeping everything else hopefully ticking along nicely.

I only have the great Scottish Run half marathon booked in right now but I’ll maybe look for a 10k or 10 miler in the rest of the year. Any recommendations for some good races to run, please comment.

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Sleep & ZMA supplement

Anyone who reads my blog will know I struggle from time to time with sleep … sometimes waking up far too early, unable to get to sleep, or having broken sleep. My brain sometimes doesn’t switch off, or it kicks into unwanted action at stupid o’clock.

In May to June I was going through some challenges and as a result my sleep was negatively affected. I didn’t really realise it then but I was also probably experiencing anxiety and all together wasn’t doing too great.

I was sometimes getting 4-5 hours sleep a night and then would be affected by it going forward. A viscous circle, and I really had to work hard at the break. Sleep is so important and I know if I don’t get enough the wheels start to fall off.

Now I’ve done a few things to help and get my sleep back on track and mostly it seems to be working. (Touch wood!)

1. I quit coffee and most caffeine products at the start of July. I usually only had 1-2 cups a day, 3 max… and usually only in the morning, but I noticed I felt a little sick / anxious after having caffeine.

I had been taking pre workout on strength days too which has lots of caffeine in it, and decided that I’d be better not taking it. I also have caffeine in my running gels, but I haven’t been running long to use them much. And I’m not going as far to cut out caffeine altogether (ie chocolate and the odd coke if I fancy it).

I thought I’d have a rule where I would have no coffee except for on a Saturday as a treat. But I had one last Saturday and had really gone off it. So maybe that’s me off it. 3 weeks and not looking back.

2. I aimed to get more set bedtimes and wake up times. I have an alarm on my watch that goes off at 840pm, and because I’m up so early to train, my aim was to be in bed by 9pm.

That aim didn’t work too well last week as I fell into old habits of going to bed at 10 or up to 11pm, so I’ll try harder next week.

One thing that has improved is that my wake up time is becoming standard, about 530am… hence me being awake stupid early on a Saturday morning. But I’ll probably go back to bed or get a nap later.

3. I haven’t done this properly either, but I’m going to aim to read before I go to sleep. Say I’m in bed for about 9, read for half an hour or so, then sleep.

What I have been doing when I get trouble sleeping is listening to an audiobook in one ear from my iPod. Concentrating on the book tends to help me to nod off.

4. Put my phone / devices away at 840pm or before. Charge my phone downstairs.

5. Now this is a new one, and maybe it’s the lack of caffeine that’s helping, but recently I’ve been taking this in the evening – ZMA from my protein. A supplement with magnesium, zinc and vitamin B6.

The reviews say it helps with sleep (and can give weird dreams) … and it does seem to have helped. It is hard to tell as I’ve been trying to improve my overall sleep hygiene for better sleep so my improved sleep (touch wood) could be a result of any of them.

But I’m taking it anyway and it seems to be helping. A few weird dreams, and less broken sleeps for sure.

Here’s the link to it:
https://www.myprotein.com/sports-nutrition/zma/10529452.html

Another thing I know seems to work is baths before bedtime, but I can’t seem to get myself into that habit.

Anyway, my sleep seems to have improved and I’m not missing coffee too much. I’m away back to bed for some more zeds. 😉

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Recognising, accepting and moving on

This post might seem a bit odd to people who know me, as I’m known usually as being so up and enthusiastic, so positive and optimistic. But sometimes you can’t control things that happen in life and it can be tough. Hard to get your head around things you can’t control and things you don’t want to happen.

Of course a good way to deal with it is to be strong and accept what’s happening, get through it, be nice to yourself, and lean on others for support. But it’s easier said than done and it can be a journey to accepting it and moving on.

Anger, anxiety, negativity, sadness they’re all normal emotions or feelings that happen from time to time, but it’s how we treat them or deal with them that can make a difference to how we are and how we feel.

In the last month or so I’ve experienced all of them. I’ve been really angry, really upset, trying to deal with stuff and feeling sad and lost. And all of that has been transferring into negative thoughts and sadness. I’m in a better place now, but it took some time, talking, listening and thinking to get here.

I even had my first panic attack of all things … a physical reaction to what was going on. My body and mind probably thinking there was a modern version of a bear or lion chasing me. But there wasn’t, and it was then that I realised its how you deal with these things that can make the difference.

When the panic attack struck, I realised what was happening and easily brought myself back down. I didn’t let it escalate but relaxed and told myself there was no big bear or lion chasing me. It was just a natural reaction to the situation I had found myself in. It was the story I was telling myself.

Another physical reaction to it all, was feeling sick, through what I didn’t recognise at the time, but what was probably anxiety. ‘I don’t get anxious’ I’d think to myself. But my body would prove otherwise by making me feel sick and stopping me from wanting to eat.

I soon sorted that out by stopping drinking caffeine (to reduce anxiety) and realising that there was no point in being anxious. When my body stopped me from eating I knew there was something not right happening. I’m back eating everything in sight when I can, so that’s all fine again.

Letting these emotions take over could lead to depression, helplessness, sadness, even suicidal thoughts (don’t worry, I didn’t have these). But why let them in? Why do this to yourself? Why let them make you miserable?

Now instead of letting these emotions and feelings take a hold of me, I’m recognising them, acknowledging and accepting that they’re there and not letting them take over.

It’s not worth it. Instead I’m being kind to myself and deciding how to react instead, and reaching out to those who I know can help me. I’m accepting things and letting them go. And making sure I look after myself.

I can change my mindset and look at the bigger picture and remember that these are just thoughts, my brain processing what’s happening. These destructive thoughts and feelings don’t help, but they are necessary and they are happening for a reason. But crucially it’s important I don’t let them get to me – that I don’t let them make me ill.

Now I can tell you about my best friend. She’s the most laid back and lovely person you’ll ever meet she’s so laid back she’s almost horizontal.

She maybe got it from her upbringing or her genes… but she’s such and inspiration in how she deals with life. Nothing ever phases her and as a result she’s a great friend, a great Mum, and very successful in every way. Life is good when she’s around.

She’s an example of someone who doesn’t let all of these things get to her. I’ve known her nearly all my life and I don’t think I’ve ever seen her angry or upset. There’s no point (although sometimes they do help).

Life is too short to let these things take over. Anger, anxiety, hatred, negativity … they’re part of life, but they’re not always not good for you. Your time would be much better spent being grateful for what you have and enjoying it when you can.

Grief and loss are also parts of life, and it can be a journey to go through them, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and not let it ruin your life. Do things that make you happy, visit people you like and love.

There is room for these other emotions, they’re a natural part of life, but you don’t need to let them get to you. Notice them then ask yourself why you’re feeling them and how you can diffuse them and get on with life.

Cry if you want to … it’s ok not to be ok … but notice when it’s happening, and learn how to not let it affect you adversely if you can.

Be kind to yourself, take time out, spend time with loved ones and kids, go on holiday, do something amazing or something small. Make time to enjoy life. Reach out and ask for help, look for the sunshine and rainbows. The storm will clear.

I’m reading the Happiness Trap by Russ Harris just now, and another book I’d recommend is How to take charge of your life, The users guide to NLP by Richard Bandler. A couple of good books which might help you to change the way you think for a happier life.

This TED talk is a good listen / read too:

The gift and power of emotional courage
https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_david_the_gift_and_power_of_emotional_courage

http://t.ted.com/HcclvSa (the article).

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Now stop and smile, because you are amazing and life can be good, if you let it be.

You don’t need to let life beat you up, you can change the way you think so that you thrive and enjoy it again. I’m nearly there and soon I’ll be back and having fun again.

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New backpack …

I’ve been using a messenger bag for the last few years to take my stuff to work. It’s only a short walk of about 10 or so minutes, but I decided I’d get a new bag that spreads the weight over my shoulders rather than across my body.

I had a look online, but you can’t beat seeing and trying things like bags, and his weekend I got a north face Isabella bag from Cotswolds. I could have got it about £9 cheaper online, but I thought I’d support the shops rather than buy online. And it was in the sale in the shop too.

It should be good for work and will fit everything I need in it… and it’ll be good for travelling too. It’s very comfy with lots of compartments and everything you need.

It’s 21 litres, and just the right size. The fleece bits are lovely and it keeps everything separate and safe. It’s good for spreading the weight of the bag across your torso and should be better than my other bag, I think, for my sore neck / shoulder. Here’s all the features:

If you’d like to get one google ‘north face Isabella back pack’ and you might be able to get a best price and free delivery (or go to Cotswolds if they have them).

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Wk29 into Wk30 training

This last week my plan was to ease off and take a break from the heavy strength training and focus more on running and getting my sore neck sorted.

I had a good week of 4 runs (23.5 miles), a bike and tabata strength session, 2 rest days and 2 trips to the chiropractor, including 4 mile walks there and back.

Re my neck – I went to the chiropractor on Monday and just about went into shock after it. The second session on Friday felt better, but it’s still not right. I’ve had things cracked that didn’t know could crack and I’m not sure it’s making much difference. I have 1 session next week as part of a deal I got, then I think I’ll see a physio as they helped before.

I’ve had this pain in my neck / shoulders since early May, and it’s not good so I’ll get it sorted. I feel ok when I’m running though, and I’m going to limit the weights and get on with any exercises the physio gives me.

Here’s what I did last week anyway, a good and balanced week.

Mon 15: 5.2M
Tue: 4.1M / chiropractor (4M walk)
Wed: Bike + KB tabata strength
Thu: Rest
Fri: 9.2M wi DMc / chiropractor (4M walk)
Sat: Rest / walk in the park
Sun: 5M wi FG

A good level of activity and I was even out on Saturday night for once (after a nap to set me up for it lol).

I also got mostly good sleeps apart from a couple of nights, but I think a couple of naps this weekend should help that. It’s raining later, so what better thing to do than nap eh? (Or maybe go to the cinema?!)

Here’s my plan for next week. Maybe a 5k run at lunchtime at work If anyone fancies it?

Mon 22: bike & KB tabata Strength
Tue: 4M
Wed: bike & Runner’s Strength
Thu: 5M
Fri: 5k
Sat: 8-12M Lisa
Sun: Runner’s Strength

4 runs again, 2-3 strength, although if I get 2 done through the week I’ll likely rest on Sunday. All good in the hood. 👍🏻

58.8 miles for July so far, and that might get up to 80 or 90 for the month if I keep running the way I’m planning to. Back up to usual levels again after a couple of 60 mile months.

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My music this month

Here’s a good wee album I bought recently that I really like. Nice upbeat tunes to run / workout to. I know how Julie Lord likes to hear what I’ve been listening to, so I thought I’d share it here.

What’s your favourite music just now? Comment below or on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/lornpearsontrains

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I’m back and I have some plans!

The last 4 weeks I’ve taken a bit of time out to get some balance… some running, some rest and sleep, some strength training and some walking.

I’ve listened to my body and rested when I needed it, and managed to run another 60 mile month in June (same as May).

My mileage was a bit of a reduction from the norm for me, but I’ve been strength training 2 times a week and resting or running on other days.

I felt a bit like my cape had fallen off, and I caught up with some of my people for chats, walks and a bit of perspective. Now I feel like I’m back on track, and ready to get on with some good training mixed with a good work life balance.

Here’s what I’ve been up to since mid June (instead of posting weekly on here, I’ve kept an email draft of my plans / progress):

Mon 17: Rest
Tue: Squat Strength / 5.1M walk Chatelherault
Wed: 6.5M Run DMc
Thu: Deadlift Strength / 3.2M easy run Pollok / 4-5M walk
Fri: Rest / 11k steps
Sat: 3.5M Run
Sun: Rest / Travel

2 Strength, 3 runs (13.2M), 3 rest days, lots of walking

Mon 24: 3.2M Run
Tue: Clean n Press Strength
Wed: Rest
Thu: KB Strength / 7M Run
Fri: 4.2M Run
Sat: Rest
Sun: 8.3M Run = 60 miles for June!

2 Strength, 4 runs (22.5M), 2 Rest days

Mon 1: Rest
Tue: Rest / Walk
Wed: 5k Run / Squat Strength
Thu: Rest
Fri: 5.1M Run
Sat: Rest
Sun: Deadlift Strength / walk

2 Strength, 2 runs (8.3M), 4 Rest

Mon 8: 4.5M Run
Tue: Clean n Press Strength / 60 min walk
Wed: 60 min walk / 7.6M Run
Thu: 5.2M Run / Travel
Fri: 7M Run Inverness canal
Sat: 4M Inverness
Sun: Rest

5 runs (28.3M), 1 strength, 1 rest

My sleep has improved a lot, and in the last week I’ve come off coffee / caffeine to see if it can help me to sleep better and improve my health a bit. I might still have a coffee on Saturdays as I don’t want to cut it it all together unless there are obvious negative effects from it.

I’ve also had a sore neck and shoulders since the start of May. I’ve been doing physio exercises to try to help it, and had a couple of massages. I think I’ve figured that it isn’t muscular, so I’ve booked to go see a chiropractor to see if they can help.

Next week I’m planning the following training – taking a bit of a break from heavy strength training for a couple of weeks. A focus on getting out running more often for a bit…

Mon 15: 5M / Bodyweight or KB strength
Tue: 4M / chiropractor
Wed: KB strength or 5k run
Thu: 9M
Fri: Rest
Sat: 4-5M wi FG
Sun: Rest

And here’s my plan for the next 11-12 weeks – training for the great Scottish Run half marathon at the end of September:

1 July – 5, 5k, 5.2
8 July – 4, 7, 7.6, 5.2
15 July – 4, 5, 9, 5
22 July – 5, 4, 15 (LM) – maybe 12 of these
29 July – 4, 5, 8
5 Aug – 4, 6, 10
12 Aug – 4, 5, 12
19 Aug – 5, 6, 8
26 Aug – 4, 5, 9
2 Sep – 5, 4, 13.1
9 Sep – 4, 5, 12
16 Sep – 5, 4, 9
23 Sep – 3, 4, 13.1

I’m aiming to do more running up to the end of July, then runs and strength in August and September. And I’m also looking to continue with better sleeps and take rest if I need it – and get my neck / shoulders fixed too!

Have you missed my posts? What do you like to read in my posts?

Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can come up with.

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