Monday, 20 August 2012

Monday... (enough said!)

Pretty crappy Monday, fed up hearing people say 'Oh I forgot' or 'I've forgotten my password' and was sad a good friend and colleague is leaving us :-( so was glad to get finished... However by time was halfway through tonight's session with Pinpoint all the stresses of the day had completely disappeared! Now I know that sounds cheesy but it's true!  Was a tough workout on the back of a tough couple of day's running, but 4 rounds of awesome tabatas and then a tropical downpour to cool us down at the end, was the perfect antidote to my day. 
Sitting here tired now but stress free and feeling really good :-)

If you're feeling that your in a bit of a rut with your training and you are looking for something a wee bit different, check these guys out - it's only 45 mins 3 times a week and the benefits are awesome.
When I started as a Pinpoint Guinea Pig in April I was asked to write down a goal, I can now say that I have achieved that goal, so now I have to set another one :-) that might be a bit harder...
However I have lots of goals I want to achieve in my life, but the realisation that I've achieved one I set a couple of months ago is a real feel-good feeling...
Ask me again tomorrow after my hill-reps if I'm still feeling as good :-)

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Success! (of the non running kind!)

Cute little critters aren't they?  They are building blocks and life savers, platelets...

I am a platelet donor, I have been for almost 7 years now, I used to be a blood donor but then they discovered that I have a really high platelet count and asked if I would donate platelets rather than whole blood.  I can give a triple donation every 3-4 weeks rather than the 12 weeks you have to wait between blood donations.  Without going into gory details, this is because you get your red blood cells back when you donate platelets so your body doesn't have to restock for as long between donor sessions.
Anyway the reason for the Success in the title, is that for the last 6months I have struggled to get my iron levels high enough for them to allow me to donate, they are high enough for healthy living, but there is a Euro legislation which sets the 'safe' level... I have always been just under it or occasionally a fair bit under it, but when I went today I had a cracking Hb count of 13 (the level is 12.5) so I was over the moon that I was able to donate again!  Three adults on chemotherapy or undergoing major surgery or 9 premature babies or children undergoing chemo will benefit from the fact that I spent an hour sitting squeezing a mini rugby ball :-)

I'm not looking for praise or glory, but if you read this and you're a healthy, fit adult would you consider donating blood, or platelets?  You could be saving someone's life... Thanks x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

On the UP (hopefully...)

It's been another gap between postings, but partly that's because training is back on schedule and I'm managing to keep up with the program, so far without any adverse side effects!
I have 3 midweek sessions and 2 weekend runs in my schedule this time around which is a wee bit tougher than previous programs, but I'm enjoying it and will hopefully reap the benefits in October.

In my last post I mentioned that I had withdrawn my entry to the Devil of the Highlands Ultra, however we decided we would still spend the morning in Glencoe supporting the race.  As it was we travelled up on the Friday evening, had a great meal followed by a 'jam session' in the walkers bar of Kingshouse Hotel, and spent the night in a Hobbit House at Glencoe Ski Centre.  This allowed us to be up bright and early, and out on the hill by 8am in time to see the first runners coming through.  We took some flags to wave and some jelly babies to hand out to the runners, the weather was stunning and we got eaten alive by Midges!  I was scheduled for a 7 mile run that morning, we only covered 5.5miles up over the mountain then back again, but given the terrain and the gradient it was a fair compromise.
I took lots of photos, which are pretty much all the same, a runner against a stunning backdrop, however if you were the runner it means something to you :-) they are freely available on flickr for anyone who wants to look for themself!
Hobbit House No 6
Here's a photo of our Hobbit House, cute huh?  It has a double bed, 2 single beds, lots of power points, electric lights.  It's cosy and warm, would stay in one again :-)
There are all the facilities you need at the centre all we took was our sleeping bags and pillows - though there was one family who looked like they'd brought everything but the kitchen sink!
It was great to be out on the hill on such a beautiful morning and to be able to share an encouraging or sympathetic word with every runner was indeed a privilege, my heartiest congratulations to all who took part on what ended up a very warm sunny day.
We headed back down the mountain after the last runner had passed us - about 10am, had a well earned breakfast in the cafe at the ski centre then drove back home enjoying the sunshine with the roof down on the car.  In the evening we went out with some members of our online running group - predominately Falkirk parkrunners - it was nice to catch up and see that we do have clothes other than running gear!  However the venue we chose, whilst nice for a meal was WAY TOO LOUD for us folk of a certain age and it was impossible to hold a conversation :-(  Fortunately there were big screen TVs in the bar so we managed to see Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah do their stuff!
Sunday morning is long run time, I was to do 16miles, so set off towards Bridge of Allan and ended up in Dunblane via Sherriffmuir, a pretty run - it was another gorgeous day, but a bit hillier than I intended!
The next week was filled with training, but was successful, and I did my first ever race pace followed by LSR back to back weekend... this will be the pattern for the next few weeks as the program builds in intensity but I'm enjoying it and enjoying being able to complete the sessions in one piece.
I have also managed to get back to my PinPoint-Fitness friends, I can't manage the three sessions a week that I was doing before, but I have gone along on a Monday evening for the past 2 weeks and had an absolute blast!  It's great that they are now running evening fitcamps as it fits into my day better and is my optional Rest/Cross Training session.  I intend going back 3 times a week from November once the marathon(s) are out the way.  I feel the benefit already from just having done 2 sessions :-)