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.

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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!

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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.

Mixing it up a bit

Week 6 Jantastic-

I’m half way through Jantastic and still maintaining a 100% record for my chosen targets.  But that’s only half the story as the headline news is I feel fitter and stronger.  Post Jantastic I am hoping to remain committed to 3 runs and 2 bike rides a week to help achieve my goal for a fit and healthy me in 2015.

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What my week looked like-

Monday 9th Feb

  • Planned: Tread run and body pump class
  • Actual: 45 min pump class

Tuesday 10th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Wednesday 11th Feb

  • Planned: nothing
  • Actual: nothing

Thursday 12th Feb

  • Planned: spin class
  • Actual: nothing

Friday 13th Feb

  • Planned: tread run and body pump class
  • Actual: tread run 4.70 miles and 45 min pump class

Saturday 14th Feb

  • Planned: 3 mile run and 10 mile cycle
  • Actual: 3 mile run in 35 min and 10.24 mile cycle in 1 hour and 8 mins

IMAG0532      IMAG0536 IMAG0537     IMAG0539

Sunday 15th Feb

  • Planned: 6 mile cycle and 8 mile run
  • Actual: 6 mile cycle in 42 mins and 8 mile run in 1 hour 42 mins

IMAG0540    IMAG0545   IMAG0547    IMAG0546

Review of the week-

This week had the beginnings of being a brilliant week as I was starting with a body pump class.  But I finished work later than anticipated so only managed pump class.  I missed spin as I had dentist and due to dentist was too late to make the class.   Therefore by Friday morning I had 3 days to fit 5 cardio activities in.  I wasn’t too worried just a matter of mixing it up and being focused on my goal; meet Jantastic targets.

I did the same Friday night session as last two weeks-4.7 mile tread run (last week managed 5 miles) and pump class.  Saturday and Sunday I did one run and one cycle on both days.  Like last weeks long run I pushed myself to run faster at the end.  This time I managed 1 mile faster than the whole run had been so really chuffed with that.  It was really great doing both activities back to back.  I never felt overwhelmed or too tired just right.  In fact I just felt really strong in my legs and lungs.

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Goals for next week-

My goals last week that I achieved were: two body pump classes, 3 runs incl one 8 mile run and one 10 mile cycle.   The one I didn’t meet was spin class.


This week I hope to achieve the following:

  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

I am feeling fit and fabulous.  Long may this satisfaction from exercise continue.

Humdrum week

Week 5 Jantastic-

I am really pleased I have met all my Jantastic targets this week again; 3 runs including one of 8 miles and 2 bikes.  My 100% record continues.




What my week looked like-

Monday 2nd February

  • Planned-nothing
  • Actual-nothing

Tuesday 3rd February

  • Planned-evening run
  • Actual-nothing.

Wednesday 4th February

  • Planned-tread run and body pump class at gym
  • Actual-bike at gym (15 min-4.8 miles), body pump class then tread run (16 min-3 miles)

Thursday 5th February

  • Planned-spin class
  • Actual-spin class

Friday 6th February

  • Planned-tread run and body pump class at gym
  • Actual-tread run (37 min-5 miles) and body pump class

Saturday 7th February

  • Planned-8 mile run
  • Actual-8 mile run in 1 hour and 40 min

Sunday 8th February

  • Planned-10 mile cycle
  • Actual-nothing

Review of the week-

This week has been a humdrum sort of week.   No amazing achievements and no awful days just humdrum.  Another way to describe this state would be by saying it was uneventful.  I completed 3 runs and 2 bike sessions.  Nothing more and nothing less.

I started the week by taking a rest day on Monday.  I had exercised Thursday to Sunday previous week so thought it best to take a break.  I had the time and opportunity to run on Tuesday evening but didn’t.  I can’t even come up with a reasonable excuse.  I was plain lazy.  This meant on Wednesday I was playing catch up with myself.  I arrived early for body pump to fit a tread run in but the gym was so busy all treads were full.  I had 15 min free time before class so did a session on stationary bike.  The class was good but the lunges almost broke me! At the end I still wanted to fit a run in so decided to stay for 15 mins.  I normally manage 3 miles in 15 mins but my legs were like jelly.  It was over 16 mins before I reached 3 miles.  I pushed myself too much in one day and paid for it with my jelly legs.  I need to remember quality over quantity for fitness sessions next time.  Thursday having learned my lesson I left then gym after spin class.  Friday I did same as last week; run on tread and body pump class.   Had a great tread session clocking up 5 miles in 37 mins.   I felt really strong before my long run on Saturday.  I kept a fairly slow pace for 7.5 miles and then pushed myself for last half mile.


In the evening I had some tightness in my left knee and my legs left a little stiff.  I decided on Sunday not to do my cycle.  I had already met my Jantastic target so it was purely pleasure and leisure going out of for a ride.  My legs felt normal so decided to listen to my body and give them a rest day.

Overall, my week was ok.  I met my Jantastic targets of 3 runs including one of 8 miles.  I managed to increase one of my other runs from 3 to 5 miles and went to two body pump classes.




Goals for next week-

  1. two body pump classes
  2. run three times including one 8 mile long run and 4-5 miles on each other session
  3. one spin class
  4. one 10 mile cycle outside

Bye bye humdrum week!

Going with the flow but not getting flushed away

Week 4 Jantastic-

I met all of my Jantastic targets this week.   But at the start of the week I really never thought I’d make it and contemplated having to use the “joker” on Jantastic.  I was ill for three days and until I woke up on Thursday morning wasn’t making any fitness plans.




What my week looked like-

Monday 26th Jan

  • Planned-lunch time run
  • Actual-no exercise

Tuesday 27th Jan

  • Planned-spin class at gym after work
  • Actual-no exercise

Wednesday 28th Jan

  • Planned-evening run with my running buddies
  • Actual-no exercise

Thursday 29th Jan

  • Planned-lunch time run on tread at gym and spin class at gym after work
  • Actual-30 min spin class followed by 15 min run on tread (2 miles)

Friday 30th Jan

  • Planned-run on tread at gym and body pump class at gym after work
  • Actual-45 min body pump class followed by 23 min run on tread (3 miles)

Saturday 31st Jan

  • Planned-10 mile cycle
  • Actual-10 mile cycle



Sunday 1st Feb

  • Planned-6.5 mile run
  • Actual-6.5 mile run


Review of the week-

This week was about going with the flow.  I was unwell from Sunday evening through to Wednesday night.  I had sore ears, sore neck, sore muscles and sore throat.  I topped myself up with cold/flu plus tablets and didn’t do any exercise.   I looked after myself.  It sounds easy but to be fair I had to be persuaded by my husband to not exercise on Monday and Tuesday.   It was the right decision as my body wasn’t ready and doing it might have prolonged my illness.  By Thursday I felt 100% better and ready to start exercising.  I could have used a “joker” on Jantastic and there is no shame whatsoever for doing this.  But I was determined not to let my 3 day illness flush away all my fantastic progress.  I dug deep and set about meeting my targets.  I took it easy on Thursday and Friday tread runs but also doubled up on Thursday by doing a run after spin.    I am really proud that I met most of my targets this week.  I had set myself some extra ones too; cycle 10 miles and do toning exercises 3 x a week adding more repetitions and weights.  Well, I did cycle 10 miles and did a body pump class but not 3 x a week.  We can’t win them all!

January Progress report-

Four weeks of consistently running 3 x a week and cycling twice a week.

I am now fitting into smaller sized jeans

I feel super motivated and more energetic

I’ve increased my running mileage from 9 miles to around 12-14 miles total per week.

Goals for next week-

February Jantastic has a new target of a long run/cycle or swim per week.  I have chosen to do a long run of 8 miles.  I am hoping to increase the mileage of my other two runs this week too.  I will maintain the 10 mile cycle at the weekend.  Finally I hope to get back to 3 x a week of toning exercises.  Here’s to a fabulous February for everyone!

Practice makes perfect

Week 3 Jantastic

Another successful week for my fitness journey.  See screen shot below:

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Here is what my week looked like:



  • lunch time run (planned)
  • run in evening 4.13 miles in 48 min 20 sec (actual)


Feedback-the evening run was great.  I only planned  to do 3 miles when I started out but it was going so well I ran an extra mile.  Pace was good too-11 min 42 sec


  • spin class (planned)
  • 40 min spin class and evening toning exercises (actual)


  • evening hill session (planned)
  • no exercise (actual)


  •  non exercise day (planned)
  • no cardio but evening toning exercises (actual)


  • spin class (planned)
  •  4 mile tread run in 30 mins incld speed intervals (actual)

Feedback-I did a 5 min warm up followed by 3 intervals of 3 min at a fast pace and 2 minutes recovery (incline set a 1%).  I followed this with 10 mins on a hill incline 5-6%.  I really enjoyed this session.


  • non exercise day (planned)
  • 6.5 mile cycle (actual)




  • long run  (planned)
  • 6 mile run in 1 hour 16 min 35 sec and evening toning exercises (actual)

Feedback-I was a little disappointed with my pace on this run.  It averaged 12 min 45 sec which is slower than I hoped for.  My last 6 mile run I did in 1 hour 14 min 23 sec (pace 12 min 23 sec).  I can only think my “girl thing” affected it.  I am taking inspiration from professional tennis player Heather Watson who during an interview post getting knocked out of Australian Open she talked about her periods.

Reflections on the week-

I achieved all the targets I set myself this week.  These were 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 3 toning sessions.   I found this week very do able.  I felt relieved that I had finally found a manageable way to fit toning exercises into my life.  The revelation was that it wasn’t through a fitness DVD and it wasn’t doing it pre going to work.  These two conditions like my previous one of going to body pump twice a week were not possible.  I am very committed and motivated with my fitness goals.  But fitness is only one aspect of my life and there are other aspects that also require my time (in no particular order); my full-time social work job, spending time with my children, spending time with my husband, caring for my dog, volunteering, relaxing and doing all the other mundane things like tidying/cleaning etc.  For a fitness schedule to work it needs to fit easily into a person’s life.  This is the “do able” bit as if it’s not realistic it is not going to get done.  This is what I discovered about myself with exercising in the morning.  Yes, this is a very do able thing many people use to help them fit in all their life commitments but this doesn’t work for me.  I could break the reasons down for why this doesn’t work for me but to be fair they mostly relate to I am not a morning person.

Goals for next week-

If something works well don’t make the mistake of changing it too soon.  So, I am going to keep my targets the same as last week; 3 runs, 2 bike rides and 3 toning sessions.  I am planning on increasing my bike ride to 10 miles, increasing the repetitions of the toning exercises and add some weights too.

Let’s do this guys,

Super small wins are wonderful

Week 2 of Jantastic

Another week meeting all my targets; 3 runs and 2 bike rides.   Here’s a picture of my results

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However, the week was totally different from last week.   The main reason for this was the not so wonderful weather.

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How my fitness week looked


lunch time run 3 miles tread          (Planned)

3 mile run on tread in 22 minutes (Achieved)


evening spin class                       (Planned)

I booked a spin class but due to bad weather and the potential of more bad weather decided  not to go.  When I got home I asked a friend if she wanted to go for a run.  My friend had already tried to run but stopped as it was far too icy and dangerous.                    (Achieved)


evening run outside                (Planned)

My husband was working late so I needed to be back home from work for the kids. (Achieved)


none exercise day                          (Planned)

4 mile run on treadmill in 30 minutes.  I planned this as I had missed out on yesterdays evening run with my running buddies.  (Achieved)


none exercise day        (Planned)

3.14 mile run outside in 36 minutes and 59 seconds with my friend.  I wasn’t really intending to run tonight but my friend was having a “week from hell” and had not managed any of her 3 target runs.  So I said I would run with her to help with motivation. (Achieved)


long run outside                (Planned)


5.932 miles in 42 minutes cycling outside.  I had hoped to cycle longer than this but it was Baltic! (Achieved)


long cycle outside                      (Planned)

30 minutes spin class at gym. (Achieved)

Review of week

I am very pleased I’ve managed to run 3 times and get 2 bike sessions in.  These are my Jantastic goals and I am super happy that despite the weather I achieved them.  However, I had also set myself some personal targets for this week-

  • few body pump sessions at the gym (Wednesday and Friday)-didn’t go to any pump class this week
  • make Mondays lunch time run  longer-this I was able to do! 
  • make my mid-week run a hill session-didn’t complete a hill session this week

Well, one out of three isn’t too disappointing.  I suppose this week it is worth reminding myself of the bigger picture (healthy and fit for 2015) and to embrace all the small wins when they come.   When not everything goes to plan it can be very easy to fall into the trap to recall all and only the negatives.  People can rapidly reveal all of life’s losses but seldom can remember what has been good.  I was on a Cognitive Behavioural Approach training course last week and there are elements from this which may help us fitness fanatics.    Cognitive Behavioural Therapy “is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave” (

As a Social Worker and Volunteer Counsellor I use elements of this approach in my day-to-day work.  One of the suggestions from this course was to end the week listing all the positives that had happened.  In fact it may even be therapeutic to do this exercise daily.  So, here are my positives or wins as I have called them;

  • I ran three times this week
  • I cycled twice this week
  • I achieved another 100% week in Jantastic
  • I helped a friend out and upped her motivation
  • I was recruited to join #runderful runners #earthathon team as part of the “virtual” earthathon relay on twitter
  • I am still feeling 100% motivated and committed to fit and healthy me goals for 2015

Goals for next week

In addition to my three runs and two bike rides I want to find a way to get some toning/conditioning exercises into my week.  If I can’t realistically manage to attend two body pump classes per week I need to find another way.  So, I looked out some fitness DVD’s and will give the toning sections in theses a go.  I am going to try to do these Mon, Wed and Fri morning pre leaving for work.


Here’s to a fit, healthy and successful week

We can do this guys!

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!