Day 1 Training for the WHW

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve decided to do the West Highland Way, and I’m going to do it for charity…. namely mental health.

Mental Health is something that I have struggled with in the past after I had my kids and still issues to this day with anxiety, but I always try hard to stay on top of it. However, not everyone can be proactive or do that because mental health can be extremely crippling at times.

As most readers of my blog know, I have applied to University to do Mental Health Nursing and I’m waiting to hear the decision on whether or not I’ll get in. I feel that there needs to be more people who have had lived experience, going into the field for many reasons. But I digress!

So, I was supposed to start training on Monday but I had volunteering and didn’t leave myself enough time to do the walk and instead, decided to do it today. I will be honest in saying that I was tired, I had zero motivation, and I’d been feeling quite down… but I did it. My watch failed me just at the end but I know I did a bit over the 5 miles that I had planned on doing.

I’ve chosen to do a bit around where I live as I think that some of the terrain will be similar in parts to the WHW. I had many thoughts when walking and at parts, running…. that actually 15 miles a day is achievable. I think I have given myself enough time but I really need to try and get a good pair of boots.

I think I’ve also decided to do things via B&B’s because I don’t know that I can carry all of the gear as I really don’t want to spend my money paying a company to do it for me. However, I’m going to start taking a backpack out with me and increase the weight just to see what I can cope with.

Tomorrow, day two, I’ll be training with my amazing personal trainer, Mark. He will help me with building up muscle and stamina etc. He will also help me with nutrition and making sure everything is balanced properly. I’m usually pretty good with creating dinners that are nutritional meals and I’m going to try hard to eliminate white rice and pasta, use quinoa and brown rice. But I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t! I’ll be burning a lot of calories and I need to make sure the balance is right. Here’s what I’ve made for us all tonight, a vegetable curry and homemade leek and potato soup:)

New Challenge #18for2018

After thinking further about what I wanted to achieve this year, I decided to incorporate two goals into 1 .. or is is maybe 3 goals +? I’m not entirely sure! Either way, this one has got to be one of my biggest in terms of exercise, mind and body, as well as craziest of all. I think. I mean, there has been so many that its hard to keep track of the things that I have done over the years!

What is it, I hear you ask? Well I’ve just decided to finally pursue a dream of walking a whole 96 effing miles,of the West Highland Way! I have set a date for the 9th of April as its pre midgie season, not too hot (does it ever get hot in Scotland?), it won’t be incredibly busy and I have a chance of maybe staying in a B&B should I choose to go down that route, the kids are still in school and nursery and I have 6 whole days to do it which will mean an average of 15 miles or so a day. Easy, right?

I’m actually super excited, yet scared as well. I haven’t started training but tomorrow will be the 1st day of a long schedule of walking and meeting nutritional goals. I will probably re start the BodyCoach in this time as well but being careful that I don’t overload this mind of mine which already has a lot going on in it! I have been reading a lot of blogs from people who have done it, getting ideas, inspiration and tips. From taping areas where I usually get blisters as a preventative, to making sure that I walk my boots in, to best places to stay or camp.

I want to make sure that I am meticulous in all detail and plan for all eventualities because as weather goes here, we have 4 seasons in one day. I need to make sure that I have good walking boots, trainers, plastic bags to keep clothes dry, sun cream, first aid kit, compass and map, emergency battery for phone, a schedule left with friends so that they know what I plan on achieving if anything happens, and lots of other things too.

I have decided to train by walkig 5 miles a day and then doing a long walk 1 a week of 15 miles. I heard that this is a really good way to prepare and I hope that I can achieve this. The 5 miles a day won’t be difficult and for the long walks, I hope t do that on the actual trail itself, in order to get a feel for what I am up against. I have heard about bogs, and the likes so best to experience it now, right?

Another decision that I need to think about is, will i stay in B&B’s along the way or will i sleep outside under the stars, cook on an open fire, swim in the Loch… it all sounds so romantic yet the reality will be me in tears 10 mins into my long walk, cursing myself for what I decided would be my year of fitness! hahah

I guess having 6 days to myself will give me the space that I need to think about life, the past 10 years, goals and the likes. Its been a tough 10 years at times and I hope to channel that into doing something positive which will be raising money for the Mother and Baby Unit and Perinatal Mental Health Services in Glasgow who helped me through PND. I wont hassle people for money, but if anyone wants to sponsor me please feel free to, or even make a donation to a mental health charity of your choice. Mental Health to those that know me, is a huge passion of mine and I have submitted my application form to do Mental Health Nursing this year (fingers crossed, still waiting).

So, what do you guys think of this new goal? Do you think I’ll achieve? Have any of you done the WHW? Does anyone have any tips?



Fitness Target

I wasn’t going to reveal my new goal as of yet but since I’ve been training and about to start a new training schedule, I thought “why not”?.

I was out walking last week and an idea had come to me about what I can do differently this year to achieve my new goals as detailed in previous posts for my #18for2018. Although this thing that I’m doing is something that I have already done years ago, my fitness level isn’t as good and I’m carrying more weight. I’m also doing it with my trainer and a friend which will be challenging in itself as most things I do are solo.

The other thing that I wanted to do which I didn’t actually think of previously was to choose a charity. I have in the past done the race for life 5ks and 10ks in Glasgow but this year I’d like to do it for the Mother and Baby Unit which is based here in Glasgow. You may already know that I do volunteer work for them every week, I go in and do massage work with the Mims to help with anxiety and for relaxation.

The Mother and Baby unit and the perinatal mental health services were a great source of help to me when I was going through pre and post natal depression/anxiety with both of my kids and I’m always looking for ways to give back. They have also inspired me to apply to do mental health nursing this year (providing my application form is successful).

So what am I talking about? TOUGH MUDDER! Like I said, I have done it before but it was approximately 10 months after my son was born (I think), and if I was able to do it then, post Baby…. I should be able to do it again… right? (Pic above is the one that I did)

I’ll be setting up a go fund me page and I’ll be getting t shirts printed for myself via a wholesale t shirt printing company who are offering me a discount, and if my fellow team mates wish to participate in a charity of their choice, we will all be designing some crazy shirts to stand out in the crowd.

So what do you all think about this years challenge? I thought about maybe adding a 10k in there as well but need to look at work holidays and see what there is on offer as I currently work every weekend and if I can’t get a holiday, I’ll need to look at swapping… I’m already groaning at the thought of this…. can’t believe it was as much as 3 or so years ago that I completed the gruelling 10mile obstacle course.

Wish me luck… training commences this Friday….

2018 So Far

As I wrote earlier this year, I’m doing my #18for2018 which I was inspired to do after listening to one of my favourite authors, Gretchen Ruben via her lovely podcast. I thought it would be nice to have a bit of a catch up to tell you all how I’m doing.

On my list I had talked a lot about exercise and how I really wanted to get a grip on it again this year. I have a Garmin and I usually motivate myself by taking part in one of their various weekly competitions. This wk I believe it’s the 40k step challenge which based on my daily goal average , won’t be an issue and this is from this morning as I had been a bit pressed for time between school run , dog walk and volunteering. I’m also all set up for a new challenge which is a pretty big commitment and I’ll tell you all closer to the time, but until now, I’m not divulging!

Another goal was for me to spend some more time with friends, which I managed on this rare weekend off. I had a night out which consisted of an amazing friend paying for me to get my make up done as she knew I was feeling a bit down about my appearance, followed by dinner, drinks and a club. See below for make up and slightly tipsy, obligatory selfie.

The next day I had arrange to meet my best friend for lunch minus he kids. We never really get to do this much at all as our schedules can be so different and she has children younger than me, one of which is still feeding so she can’t be away for too long which I completely understand. We enjoyed an hour of catching up, food at Wagamama in Silverburn and just enjoying some child free time together.

The next goal that I wanted to achieve was trying to slow down enough to read a book, and I’m getting to grips with this but I still find it difficult to stop my mind enough to concentrate. That’s where listening to guided meditation comes into play and I have done two within the last wk, tonight will be my third.

This particular goal makes me feel slightly sad as I have always been a reader from ever since I can remember. From swapping books with fellow classmates, to trying to hide a novel when in class because it was more attractive to find out what the girls of the baby sitters club were doing or how Nancy Drew solved the latest mystery, than it was to concentrate on work. However, I feel that my mind is so “busy”, that I find it so hard to concentrate.. instead I’m speed reading. It’s something I will get back on track with because books are such a fantastic world to help you escape from real life and let’s face it, we all need to do that from time to time.

I prefer real books to kindle versions but I do own a kindle and at times they do come in handy but I don’t think you can ever replace the smell of the pages, holding it in your hands and the feel of a book. A kindle just doesn’t cut it for me and I’ll always love browsing the shelves in WH Smith , Menzies or even the various charity shops.

So that’s it from me for now and I still haven’t completed my entire 18 for my list as of yet. It takes time to really think of things which are attainable but also difficult and to fit it into your life and schedule. These things will come but I want them all to be meaningful and with a positive impact on my life.

Have you achieved any of your goals yet and if so, how did it make you feel?

Body Coach Week 1

A week today, I started with The Body Coach, Joe Wicks plan to transform my body but most importantly, to teach myself more about nutrition and about getting back into exercise.

This week has been a learning curve… some good days and some bad. I had wine last wk, but rather than drinking alcohol 2-3 nights a wk, I’m only drinking once a week. The motivation to get my shit together so to speak, meant that I didn’t follow my usual , post alcohol routine of eating rubbish the next day.

I was TOTALLY on plan AND working the next day which is usually a combination of pure mayhem. Due to “prepping like a boss”, I had loads of food at my disposal and it was great. I wasn’t hungry at all and I even went for a run before I started on shift.

However, with the good comes the not so good but that’s totally my doing and I’m not being negative. Here’s why…. I haven’t read the plan completely and digested (pardon the pun), all of the info especially the all important SWAP function. I’ve had lot on with clients and normal work, but the positive flip side is that although I went off plan twice , 1 with wine and yesterday cause I was tired after 3 nights in a row with insomnia. BUT, no crisps, chocolate, cakes or anything sugary has passed these lips.

I am going to have 1 night a wk which will be social and I’m allowing myself some wine. My exercise has been what it should be, water intake amazing and although I may extend the plan by 2 days, it’s really nothing in the grand scheme of things.

I’ve had wobbles because really, it’s a huge amount of info to take in. The preparation is key. I can’t stress this enough. You won’t succeed if you don’t prep…. unless you’re totally laid back and have minimal commitments, which it’s the complete opposite of my life.

I’m also lucky that my friend Jo is my constant source of support as well as the Facebook groups that I’ve mentioned. A week in and my mindset and willpower has changed and in the best possible way.

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