Starting to see results from all the graft

Week 7 Jantastic

Another 100% record in Jantastic.  7 weeks of consistently running three times a week and cycling twice a week.

IMAG0557   IMAG0558

What my week looked like

Monday 16th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Tuesday 17th Feb

  • Planned:  tread run and stationary cycle
  • Actual: nothing

Wednesday 18th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Thursday 19th Feb

  • Planned: 30 min spin class and tread run
  • Actual: 30 min spin class and 4 mile run on tread 30 min 24 sec

Friday 20th Feb

  • Planned: 4 mile run on tread and 45 min pump class
  • Actual: 4 mile tread run in 30 mins and 45 min pump class

Saturday 21st Feb

  • Planned:  14 mile cycle
  • Actual: nothing

Sunday 22nd Feb

  • Planned: 8 mile run and 12 mile cycle
  • Actual: 8 mile run in 1 hour 37 mins 4 sec and 2.69 mile cycle

Review of the week

I had intended to get one run mid week to take pressure off later in the week.  I arrived at gym on Tuesday and started to change; sports bra, T-shirt, sports socks and then as I took off my jeans I noticed something missing. My gym bottoms! I was so angry with myself.  I even contemplated running in my jeans but my friend kindly told me I’d regret it later with all the chaffing.  I got home and then did nothing.  A missed opportunity as I was more than half-dressed so could easily have gone for a run outside.  I didn’t and now look back wishing I had.  Thursday I did my usual spin class followed by a tread run of 4 miles.  I had done the same the previous week and quite enjoyed this combination.  On Friday, creature of habit, I did a tread run of 4 miles and a 45 min pump class.  I am really pleased with this session as I managed to run 24 seconds faster than yesterdays tread run.

I woke up on Saturday morning and my mood was low.  Nothing major just couldn’t get myself into active mode.  To be fair a cycle ride outside would have been the best thing to lift my mood.  But sometimes we don’t believe in sense.  I rested and did enjoy the day.  It was a blue sky day with no hint of wind.  It would have been a wonderful day for a cycle but I decided to leave it to Sunday…Sunday I woke up eager to meet my final two targets; long run and cycle.   The weather was like a different season from yesterday.  Sunday was a grey sky, semi heavy consistent rain and sharp cold air.  I left it later than normal hoping a weather miracle might reveal itself.  It didn’t but it didn’t dampen my spirits.  My rest had done me good.   I chose to run with a podcast of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews  which this week was presented by Edith Bowman and Robbie Collins.   The distraction did the trick to mask the wet and the cold.   At the end of my run I had achieved a Personal Best! This was my fastest ever 8 miles.   My first one three weeks ago on a flat scenic route had been in 1 hour 40 min 47 sec, my second 8 miles last weekend was a hilly route done in 1 hour 42 mins.  To achieve a PB of 1 hour 37 min 4 seconds on a wet, cold trail route was so amazing.  When you start seeing results from all your hard graft it makes the effort so much worth it!

IMAG0553  IMAG0554

IMAG0555  IMAG0556

Goals for next week

Last week I set the following as goals:

  1. one body pump class and one core conditioning session at home
  2. one spin class
  3. one cycle over 10 miles (c.12-16 miles)
  4. three runs incl one long run of 8 miles

Of these I managed half of 1, achieved 2 and 4 and failed on goal number 3.  So 2 and a half out of 4 isn’t too bad.  I should have been able to meet goal number 3 and I feel I let myself down.  I must fight through the feelings of low mood and plain laziness.  In these circumstances I need to remind myself of what I am hoping to achieve.   I need to remind myself of fitting into smaller sized clothes, feeling more energetic and being healthier inside and out.  I wont fully achieve this if I have a “can’t be arsed” attitude.  It was such a beautiful day on Saturday I would have truly enjoyed being out on my bike.   The lesson I’ve learned was to think about the bigger picture and keep motivation near by.  Or to quote a Billy Ocean song ” when the going gets tough, the tough get going”.    Next time I’m flagging I will choose a podcast and do some exercise.   One thing I know for certain is I never regret exercising only when I’ve not.


Goals for next week:

  1. 1. one pump class
  2. 2. one spin class
  3. 3. one cycle of 12-14 miles
  4. 4. 3 runs including one of 6 miles

As it is my birthday next weekend I am planning on doing most of my exercise Monday to Friday as my husband and I are away for the weekend.

This weeks been a mixture of lows-not doing long cycle and highs-achieving a PB.  It is such a good feeling achieving a PB and one I hope I can feel again.

Reflections on 2014

January to March-

I started 2014 having been in my new social work job for just over 10 weeks.  In January I signed up with for my first Jantastic and followed this religiously for 8 weeks; 3 runs per week building up to a 12 mile run at end of February.   Then my birthday came 1st of March and my motivation got a little wobbly for the rest of the month.  From having a 100% record up until then my March target came and went ending Jantastic on a not so high.


By the end of March I faced the reality of my fitness.  I had allowed my weight to gradually increase and suddenly it was affecting my motivation, my health and well-being. Enough was enough.  So I plucked up the courage to try a personal trainer (PT).  Claire, my PT, was an absolutely fabulous person and very motivating.  Claire really helped focus on my core workouts and gave me invaluable techniques.  I wish I could say at the end I got a six-pack but sadly the closest I got to that was standing next to the beer aisle in the supermarket.   If you have the money to spare then having a PT is really helpful.  The first 6-8 weeks were probably the best as after this I think I lost motivation and money! But as a short-lived, time limited treat to boost fitness fatigue I’d definitely recommend.


My friend had signed me up for an obstacle race in September 2013. This had totally escaped our memory until April/May came and suddenly we thought S**t.  It was The Major Series and was a 10k obstacle race over an estate with hills, mud and water.  There was a lot of mud!  I would sub name this event mud, sweat and tears! It is sooooo hard trying to walk let alone run in mud which comes right up to your face at points.  I am so pleased I did this but would probably sign up for the 5k instead of a 10k next time.  Or maybe just an obstacle race sans le mud like Spartan or Men’s health survival of the fittest.


mud race


It is unusual for me not to have any races in first half of the year.  I think the 2013 May marathon in Edinburgh truly drained me of all my energy, enthusiasm and motivation so I kept 2014 pretty bare.  But by the summer I needed something to ignite my passion.  I signed up for the Perth Kilt run.  I hadn’t done any 5K races before so this was exciting.  On the day I got a PB 32:29 this is definitely one I would do again and maybe try to encourage my children to run too as a family day out!





I got a new bike for my birthday in March so planned on getting out more with friends. The good thing about cycling is that my non running friends also enjoy this activity.  I’ve always liked cycling but never managed to build up mileage so this year I got up to 25 miles which I am pleased with.   I came across a local cycling festival in September which was hosting a “ladies leisurely cycle” so me and a few friends popped along for a hilly and not so leisurely 20 mile cycle.  The reward was a wonderful coffee with some scrumptious scones.  Well worth all the hills!




I joined a local running club at the end of the summer.  It was run by my PT, Claire.  It was one of the best things I’d ever done.  I met some fantastic people who I’m happy to call friends. Although run club has taken a wee sabbatical some of us still meet up for runs.  The end of club race was the Poppy run in Monikie Park.



I signed up for a Santa run which was organised by same people who do the Perth Kilt run.  This was one of my favourite races of the year as I did it with my youngest son.  It was such an amazing moment running across the finish line with my son.  We trained together for 5 weeks.  My time wasn’t important on this race.  What really mattered was that my son enjoyed himself.  Goal achieved as he is asking to do it next year!



Hopes and Plans for 2014



January often feels like Groundhog day. We awake full of vigour and determination to achieve our New Year Resolutions; lose weight, stop smoking, drink less alcohol, eat less chocolate or other many similar ones.
We place high expectations on ourselves to fulfil these resolutions. Then somewhere between February and December we lose track and our resolve weakens. But it is not all doom and gloom as along the way we have perhaps lost some weight, stopped smoking for a bit and even ate less chocolate!
However, these improvements are predominantly short-lived success stories. Lasting change in our behaviours takes longer to achieve and requires not only determination but a firm commitment to change. This commitment is in the “New You”. To have a solid commitment to change there needs to be more benefits to the “New You” than the status quo-the old you. I am sick of my January groundhog day so I am committing to change. Over the coming year my plans for 2014 are to:

1) Run 3 x week. To help (re) motivate me I’ve signed up for Jantastic. A free running challenge to help people become motivated with running during the winter months ( or @jantasticme)

2) To try 3 other cardio activities during the week at the gym. I am going try out Zumba, Body Combat and Spin. When I’ve tried them for a while I will choose one or two of the activities to do 2-3 x a week.

3) To go to a Body Pump class twice a week

4) To get a PB in a Half Marathon. I am thinking of signing up for the St Andrews Chariots of Fire half marathon which is on 13th April 2014.

elena marathon photo
5) To do my local Parkrun ( once a month to help gauge my fitness levels and test if I am getting any faster.

6) To do an early morning run once a week! This will be a real test of my commitment.


Change is rarely smooth so I know my journey to the “New Me” will be a bumpy ride. But it is one I am firmly committed to as the benefits outweigh the negatives. The “New Me” will be fitter, healthier and more energetic.

Wish me luck, lets hope my persistence and motivation rewards me!
Elena 🙂