Sunday, 30 January 2011

Shifting clouds

After yesterday's awful run, I had sore legs and a really sore shoulder/back however slept pretty well and wasn't too sore this morning although legs were still bit tight. I gave them a good doing with The Stick and they felt much easier afterwards so I set off to Bootcamp - die hard session with not quite as much trepidation as I'd had yesterday.
It was threatening to snow, indeed there had been some snowfall on the Ochils, and it blew through for most of the drive to Linlithgow and it was bitterly cold. We had a really good workout first of all doing some running and drills with Gordon then 'the hill' twice then down to the main school area again to do the circuits. Paul split us into 2 groups and my group spent the first 15minutes doing shuttle runs, by the end of which my legs were pretty dead but not sore if that makes sense?
Paul had laid out a circuit for us which was mixed and good fun - I have never pulled a tyre before but enjoyed being able to get to a slow run with it rather than just walking, then I discovered there were weights inside it as well! Finished off with a few stretches.
I feel physically much better than I did yesterday and I feel mentally a thousand times better than I did yesterday The big black cloud which has been following me about all week has shifted, hopefully not to return.
Time for coffee and a well earned stem ginger cookie and a couple of chapters of my new book.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Funny old day...

Yesterday morning's 5 miles was really quite pleasant, I left the house just before 8 and before sun up. I like the early mornings in the summer - 0530 time but this was pretty close, not too much traffic or noise. I wasn't sure where I was going or how my leg would feel so headed off and it eased off quickly and I had soon settled in to a reasonable rythm, something I've been struggling with this year so I went round the farm roads and back up the lovely hill near our home. It's mile 11 in our local half marathon and loved (dreaded) by many, but I managed to trot up it quite comfortably which really pleased me.
I got organised and set off to Annan just over 2hours South of here to go to my friend's funeral, the journey although mainly motorway was pleasant as the sun was shining most of the way and the hills were looking green instead of white. It was as you'd expect a very sad affair, it is so unfair when a person who loves life and brightens up everyone elses is taken from us. The priest mentioned how she touched the lives of so many people but that she didn't come into their lives so much as charge in head first :-) I think that summed her up beautifully.
Although it was very sad I met 3 wonderful friends there and it was great to be able to share with them the sorrow of the occasion and share our loss.
So, today I was supposed to run 15-16miles or 25km. I set off about 10am after a slow start to the morning - I woke at 6! I was really stiff in my shoulder/back which I blame on the 2hour drive, sitting hunched in a freezing cold church then a 2 hour drive home, with not much other movement in between to balance it out. Even when I stopped for a coffee I was so cold I was still huddled over... Anyway, excuses huh? I went out to do my run and it was awful! It was much colder out than I was expecting although I was dressed warmly enough and my legs felt like lead, I couldn't get them eased off at all and the elusive rythm which I had tasted so briefly yesterday was once again, just a dream, I had absolutely no energy to call on...
I stuck it out for 17km just over 10miles and gave up. I have spent the rest of today moaning and grumping about feeling tired and having no energy, poor John :-(
I don't feel quite so negative now and am off to have dinner, bootcamp tomorrow so will see how I hold up :-)

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Friday again!

This week has flown by, it's had it's ups and downs... Monday brought a phone call from a dear friend to tell me that a much loved, mutual friend had lost her fight with illness and had died on Sunday. Even though we were expecting the sad news, it was still utterly devastating to hear it for real. The world has lost a wonderful lady, someone who loved life and with whom we always laughed. I hope that wherever she is now she is free from pain and loving her next adventure.

I have done my 2 Bootcamps, Tue in Stirling and Wed in Linlithgow and thoroughly enjoyed them once again. I had intended to run yesterday but my ITB is really tight and this has caused the ligaments in my knee to pull up causing quite a bit of pain so I rested and stuck a heat pad on it all day yesterday.

I am day off work today to travel to Annan for the funeral so I am going to go out this morning for my delayed run. I need to get 15-16miles in tomorrow so have to get out today and try to ease things off. One more coffee then will get ready and get out.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Mud glorious mud!

I was going to write Phew!!! But I think I have used that already :-)
We've had a busy weekend, woke up yesterday morning to another day of freezing fog and a very heavy frost. Not at all conducive to going out to run... Yesterday was a long run(21.25km) along the Forth & Clyde canal which was quite picturesque as it was still mostly frozen, there were a couple of patches where a little thaw had occurred and the swans and ducks could get in and swim - their legs must be devoid of nerves or they would be frozen! The towpath was in reasonably good condition although a tad muddy in places - the shoes bear testament to that they're a fetching shade of grey!

Today was Die Hard Bootcamp session 2 this time we met at Kirkton Park in Bathgate, a pretty wee park on the outskirts of the town, with a HILL in it! Killer Hill I think would be an appropriate name for it - it's not very far to the top in that it will only be 400 - 500m I guess, but it seems to go straight up - at least it does after you've been up it a couple of times! Our warm up run was just over 2 miles but it went up the same hill just a little bit further along on a good wooded trail which every time you thought you'd got to the ridge, went up again :-)
It was all good fun (?) in incredibly heavy claggy red clay/ash MUD! with a 20 station circuit to follow - one of the stations however being up the hill and back! Great fun doing pushups on frozen ground with a slight covering of mud on it - at one point my feet slipped away behind me and I collapsed on the Bosu ball which we were using for the pushups in a fit of helpless giggles - a picture to conjure with!
We went for lunch with a friend afterwards, it was good to catch up - thankfully he is a runner too so he understands our madness :-) Enjoying a little bit of quiet downtime just now with a coffee and a home made peanut butter & choc chip muffin before heading back out the door in half an hour to do an hour of pilates. I think I will aim for a day off tomorrow, but depending how work goes and depending how I feel in the evening I might do a gentle 5km, we'll see...
I'll sleep tonight!

P.S. Another good friend and much respected runner suffered a dreadful injury in the summer, he completed his first race today - Much Respect and congratulations to him :-)

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Where has the week gone?

Can't believe it's Thursday night and I've not been back here since Monday! Had a good week so far, went to the gym at lunchtime on Tuesday and walked/ran for 25minutes, my calves felt like rocks they were so tight. Did 10min on the bike after and that helped to ease them out a bit so Tuesday night's Bootcamp wasn't as bad as I feared it might have been. Last night at Linlithgow was a bit tougher, but managed an hour each night in the lovely clear night air, even though it was minus 2 or 3C both nights. I like being outside.
Today's exercise was lunchtime spin class and although it felt hard at the time it didn't feel too bad, this afternoon though my legs have just gotten more and more tired so this evening's 3mile run/rest is a rest and I'll try to do a 3 mile run tomorrow evening as I am at a conference tomorrow so it will be good to stretch the legs. Aiming for 12-14 miles on Saturday morning and then the DieHard extra long Bootcamp is on Sunday. All this exercise will hopefully pay off...
Or it will kill me :-)
It's day 20 of the 100 Day Challenge so tomorrow will be 3 weeks and they say that if you do something for 3 weeks it becomes a habit so hopefully this is a good habit.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Dum de dum dum DOMS!

OK not quite, just a bit achey but have a sneaking suspicion they'll bite tomorrow...

Got up yesterday feeling good after Saturday's run, no recovery issues, did the hoovering and then it was time to set off for my special "Die Hard" Bootcamp, this is for the souls who are taking part in three sessions a week and lasts for 1.5 hours instead of the usual 1 hour weekly session.
Little bit of trepidation as it was as yet an unknown, so arrived in plenty of time and then spent 20mins wishing I'd detoured via supermarket to avail myself of their facilities.
However we gathered in the biting wind- but at least there was no rain and a feeble sun was attempting to break through, and after the introductions off we set for a trail run =:-0 Just what I needed to make me realise that whilst not painful I had rather stiff and tight legs! 20 mins or so on a nice mixed trail and I'd started to warm up so enjoyed the second half, especially as it was hilly and muddy - I used to be really prissy round puddles and mud but now I just plough through it :-)

Second half of the session involved pairing up with a partner and was a mixture of running round a small area of grass - on the path, as it was very soggy, in quarters, walk, jog, run, sprint - of course sprint quarter was uphill and into the wind just for good measure. One partner used the equipment whilst the other ran the circuit, a good range of equipment which really worked us out - my arms were dead by the end, I didn't know I could do squats while holding a medicine ball straight out in front of me or swing a kettlebell weight before yesterday! Thoroughly enjoyed the session, and we got our snazzy black Die Hard T Shirts as well.

Sunday evening we have an hour of pilates and we'd been told last week that this would be a foam roller session, both John and I were looking forward to that as he'd run 11miles on Sat and 16 on Sun so was needing the stretch as much as I was. We turned up in the "I don't really want to do this but I know it will be good for me" frame of mind and guess what? The whole session was done using 2lb weighted balls, one in each hand! By the end of it I couldn't feel my arms!

However, I do feel much better and healthier than I did last week so hopefully all this exercise has banished the bugs. I have to run tomorrow at lunchtime then it's bootcamp in the evening, sure makes the evenings fly in!!

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Happy Runner today :-)

9.7 stress free miles on tired legs, really reassuring! It poured with rain the whole time I was out but after the freezing rain in Florence in November it was a warm shower! I'm happy that the running legs and desire/psyche are still in there somewhere and are starting to stir again - maybe it's like the snowdrops starting to poke little tentative shoots sunwards? Whatever the reason, it's hard to describe the feeling of getting that first long-ish run in the bag after a break, and this morning's was probably the least stressful run round that route ever.
I listened to a Marathon Talk podcast on the way round- I'm way behind with these and it's still only October in podcast land, but I love them, it's like having pals to chat to on your run, which is somewhat ironic as I prefer to run alone...
My legs were tired and took me quite a while to warm up but I was happy to just toodle round and enjoy being out and on the go again without the hacking cough I've had for the past 3 weeks. Tomorrow I do my 3rd Boot Camp of the week which is 1.5hours as opposed to the weekly 1hr session so that will be interesting. Gentle (??) end to the weekend with an hour of pilates and then I'll be ready to sleep again :-)

Friday, 14 January 2011

Tired but still going...

but not sure for how much longer! :-) Might be a very early bed tonight! I can't remember if I mentioned the 100Days Challenge before but basically you sign up to move intentionally for 30mins every day for 100 days. Well, even though I am really tired and quite achey from all my exertions this week - no pain though, just tired muscles, I managed 30min on the Wii fit after work tonight. Just enjoyed a high protein high iron/vitamin C dinner - steak, potatoes, sprouts, broccoli, carrots and a little glass of Rioja.
Tomorrow's weather looks pretty yukky - heavy rain though mild temperatures, but I have to "suck it up" and try and get in a 10mile run. Hence the potentially early bedtime :-)
However that's the first week of the new intensive routine almost over, just a Bootcamp and 2 runs to go! I think Monday will have to officially be REST DAY.

Thursday, 13 January 2011


quick add on to this morning's post... absolutely shattered now, really enjoyed spin at lunchtime, then did some diary rejigging to fit in a course next week which meant I went to Glasgow to the Blood Donor Centre this afternoon. I am a platelet donor so I go every 3-4 weeks to donate platelets.
If you are a blood donor, I'd ask you to consider platelet donations, particularly if you are fit and healthy, ask when you next go to give blood. If you're not a blood donor, please consider it?

Will be really stiff tomorrow morning but will get a wee run in and then a longer one on Saturday hopefully.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Happy Campers...

Since I was last here on Monday, I have completed the first 2 of my 10 week Die Hard programme with Burnit Bootcamp - phew!! It's been good fun and although my muscles are telling me I've used them I'm not in any pain so that's a bonus.
Session 1 was held on Tuesday in Stirling, but the weather wasn't favourable, it was like an ice rink underfoot and the grass was just as bad, we nearly cancelled, but decided that we could do a slightly reduced workout on the tennis courts which still had fresh fallen snow on top of the ice so afforded some grip. Stewart started off saying if we got 20-30 minutes this session he'd be happy, we managed 55minutes! A lot of static exercising with a little jogging was the order of the day but it was good fun and we'd lots of laughs along the way.
Session 2 was last night, had to travel to Linlithgow for this one and conditions looked much more favourable there but the school we were using decreed that we couldn't use the outside facilities as they were unsafe so they gave us a dance studio/gym to work in - 45 of us in a reasonably small space, but we managed. Paul & Gordon devised a really good circuit using every spare inch of the hall, split us into 3 teams and off we went. It was a much tougher session than Tuesdays - although I was working on tired legs, but what a blast! I finished it on a real endorphin high which lasted all night and I am sure contributed to one of the best sleeps I've had since before I was ill over Xmas.
Now I need to fit in some running! I am going to a spin class at lunchtime today with a friend and will either run on the treadmill tonight or if the weather is kind will try for a run outside - I need to practice running with a head torch on in preparation for the Mighty Deerstalker in March - more about that one later!!

Monday, 10 January 2011


Oh I really don't like Mondays :-) Thankfully there's only one a week but after a busy weekend it is always a struggle to get motivated on a dark Monday morning. Come summer it's much easier as it's bright and I have even been known to run 5miles before breakfast! Anyway, it's over now and it wasn't too painful.
I was much more tired today from yesterday's run in the snow than I should have been for the distance, but I know I'm still not completely clear of whatever horrid bugs took hold over the Christmas break so no run today. I did plan to go to the gym after work and was scheduled to do an interval session which sadly I really enjoy, however was so tired at the end of the day that I gave it a miss.
I am taking part in the 100Days Challenge and today is Day 10 so I did 30mins on the Wii Fit.

Tomorrow is the first day of a 1o week 3 times a week Bootcamp which I have signed up for, so that will count as tomorrow's input to the challenge... I am looking forward to taking part but am also slightly nervous of the unknown. Hopefully it will be fun as well as strenuous and will help to shift some of the weight I need to lose to help me run faster. Will let you know how it goes ;-)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Managed a run!

Did a 9.1km run/walk in the snow this morning, it wasn't pretty and it was slow but it was great to be back on the feet again! Cold wind but the sun is out now and it's so peaceful running in the snow as everything is hushed and not so much traffic around. The farm roads which are normally full of big potholes and puddles were a joy this morning, the potholes are full of ice and the snow on top of them has left a nice smooth surface which has wide tractor tracks on it for running in. Not much other life about this morning, one man and his dog, and a couple of hares on the farm road.
So So glad I got back out again, got to try and double the distance next weekend but will work towards it during the week.
When I got back I cleared last night's snowfall so am off for a well deserved epsom salts bath now.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


Well no not really thwarted, just a change of plan...
Got up this morning to a beautiful white wonderland so we swithered about going go to the BUPA Cross-Country Championships in Edinburgh, or staying home to try to get my first proper Barcelona run in.
I've been a bit under the weather since Christmas so haven't been able to get out and I'm starting to panic about getting the miles in for Barcelona. However, just when I'd decided to stay home and try for a wee run/walk, the sun came out and we decided to go to Edinburgh as it was going to be a nice day to be outside. It was. Sun shone all day, it was bitterly cold, but we were well wrapped up in appropriate layers and 1000 or so hardy souls braved the cold to run the BUPA Winter Run 5k on a rejigged course thanks to the overnight snow. It was good to be able to cheer them on before we climbed up the hill to watch the professionals!
Just heard that if you watch Mo Farrah on BBC sports clip, we are at 41/42 seconds :-)

We got home about 4.30pm after an enjoyable day in the fresh air but I decided to clear the snow from the drive rather than go out for a run - I think I'd more of a workout with my 90mins snow clearing than if I'd gone out!
However, tomorrow I will run either outside or on the treadmill as the horrid cough seems to have abated and I am feeling much more up for the challenge...

Friday, 7 January 2011

A new year!

Last year I celebrated my 50th birthday and decided to mark this momentous landmark by attempting to complete 5 marathons before my 51st. I managed to achieve this goal by completing

Barcelona - 08/03/10

Swiss Alpine Marathon Davos 31/07/10

Chicago Marathon 10/10/10

Toronto Marathon 17/10/10 (yes 1 week later!)

Florence Marathon 28/11/10

It was a great journey, hard work and occasionally emotional, and as I got to the end, I wished I'd written it all down.

This year we have decided to try something slightly more ambitious and I have decided to write it all down this time so that I don't miss any of it :-)

So far the year hasn't got off to a great start as I've been unwell and therefore unable to get out and run, but maybe just maybe I will manage a few miles this weekend so I decided to start this blog today.

My year of running starts with Barcelona Marathon on 06/03/11