Thursday, February 04, 2016

Pain Misery Agony or Honor Glory Victory?

Actually a bit of both....

From this Saturday 6th I shall be participating with up to 3500+ (I think!) other individuals on the annual Tour of the mythical land of Sufferlandria (ToS)

This is a not so mythical tour (because it most certainly is a physical one) around the mythical land of Sufferland where Grunty von Agony (GvA) shall be whipping us on our way.

“Give me your tired, your oxygen deprived,
Your huddled minions yearning for the end of the interval,
The shelled remnants of your teeming peloton.
Send these, the quad-blasted, grovelling wretched to me,
And they will wish they played it safe and stayed outside.”
(From the Poem, “Suffer, Little Minions” by Grunter von Agony)
Over 9 days I will be attempting to complete numerous indoor turbo workouts; some days multiple workouts back to back... and then there is the day of double revolver - I can't articulate my fear of this - every time I think of doing this workout, twice, brings me out in a cold sweat (or maybe that is just the lack of central heating at the moment)
A fellow Sufferlandrian has done a good graphic of what the tour entails:
It will be epic... and I hope I make it through to the end... I've done over 3 hours on a turbo before now so the length of time on any one day is not the issue; but the repeated efforts days in a row will be new to me. It's definitely going to be a test, especially the last 2 days.... assuming of course I survive the first Sunday (double.. gulp... revolver... wth!)
Well yes it's going excellent training - but there's more to it then that. Anyone can participate in this event from anywhere in the world which is great and creates a fantastic online community for support... but there's more then that.... the event is sponsored by several companies creating a pool of goodies, then the riders who can afford to (min is $10) "enter" the Prize Tour by donating to The Davis Phinney Foundation... which makes them eligible for a virtual ticket in the prize draw. Here's something about the Davis Phinney Foundation them;
"The Davis Phinney Foundation was founded in 2004 by Olympic medalist and cycling great, Davis Phinney, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000 at the age of 40. Today, Davis is both a role model in the cycling community and an inspiration to the estimated 1.5 million Americans and estimated 10 million worldwide who are currently living with the disease."
Their missions is simply put "to help people living with Parkinson’s to live well today "
So there is more to this event that myself and many are doing; there will certainly be Pain Misery and Agony on the way but we, as a community (both those whom can afford to donate to this cause and those that can not, we are in it together), shall embrace the event and do our best to finish. We ride together, virtually speaking, as a community of cyclists supporting one another for a great cause close to the hearts of many in the cycling fraternity. 
Many sufferlandrians having "entered" are asking for sponsorship either for the Davis Phinney foundation or other causes close to their hearts which is a great thing. I could at this stage ask for further sponsorship - but that isn't the intent if this post - I'm fortunate that having donated my company has also matched the donation.  I will be doing a lot of endurance events this year and will at some point make a post about what I may wish for from you.... as I said, right now I just wanted to tell you what this lunacy is about over the coming week!

                 HONOR! GLORY! VICTORY


Sunday, January 31, 2016

January training

Time for review of January.... This year I'm aiming to be an epic one having entered my second ever ironman, some 6 years after my last and enough time to have forgotten all the training involved. One of the things I enjoyed doing last time around (when I was a far more consistent blogger), was to reflect on the month gone and think about some short term, next month goals... Keeping some short term aims helps the journey to the bigger picture. 

So with that said below is a summary from sports tracks of most of my training ... Differences between mileage/ sped on for biking on strava is mostly my indoor rides I sync Zwift to strava (which shows more km the Garmin records)... Some strength sessions also missing below... But think it will provide a starting point at least!

Summary of January:

On the surface nearly 27 hours of training in the month feels like it's heading in the right direction, however scratch at the surface and we see a bit of a start/ stop/ start/ stop month. Start of the month at work (start of the half/ end of the last) always presents known time constraints... Which is fine and once I'd have felt some sort of training guilt with that but now accept it is what it is. I then had a good consistent block of about 10 days... Then 5 days ago I got this sore throat thing doing the rounds so have missed the last 5 days which is less the ideal....

Well I'm happy with having done a couple of swims over 3k. I'm happy that at the start of the month (after a few swim weeks off over Xmas) that my form went from feeling like jelly to fell like it was coming back together a bit. I know 2 swims a week make a big difference and know I will get stronger with consistency.

Still having some ear issues but combating that with trying different ear plugs, the olive and tea tree oil ear drops also seem to help clear the water out (when I remember to put it in before). Anyway I'm enjoying my swim at the moment and a little frustrated with only one swim last week (shortened by issues with too many people in the pool!)

My aim for February is to gain some consistency; I'm hoping to be over the bug to participate in the Tour of Sufferlandria but will hopefully squeeze in some recovery swims in that time as well as the tour rides. I want to continue getting a better feel for the water and stronger.

Whilst I biked quite a bit in the virtual world in January (largely zwifting) I did, err... No rides in the real world... And to be honest I'm a bit disappointed with myself with that! Once I swapped for bad weather which is fine but once really just disorganised so ended up doing a tempo indoor session rather then long easy outdoor session. Strangely strava has me over 300kms ... 
Overall I'm happy with the time on the bike during January (despite lack of any biking in the last week), I'm enjoying the mixture of sessions the coach has been setting this month and really the only complaint with myself I could have is to get out more. Ironically then I won't be going outside from 6-14 Feb as I'll be suffering indoors with my fellow sufferlandrians... As we are away the last weekend of February I'll say now a wish for good weather the weekend of 20/21st and pledge for a ride outside!

Well I'm surprised to say that I'm quite enjoying my run at the moment and I've finally found a pair of trainers which don't give me a blood blister for starters which is probably helping matters! I've probably been most consistent with running over the last 4 weeks and have even done an "easy" 16k which whilst wasn't easy actually wasn't absurdly horrible either. Should have been doing another 16+k run today but throaty thing has stopped that. I'm still slow and don't expect that to change but the consistency has certainly got me faster (for me in my mid 40s!).
I expect my running for Feb to be slightly less overall as the ToS will likely have an impact. Looking forward though to a race at the end of Feb, although originally supposed to be half marathon looks like we are relocating our weekend so will be 15k.. So will have to race harder then to make up!!!

On top of the above there has been a couple of entertaining strength sessions, although I confess these are the more likely sessions I miss. I think next month I should also post some stats on missed sessions... More red the green in Training Peaks is never a good thing! 

First and most important thing for February though is to shift this bug properly and then get into the swing!.... Vichy VIchy VIChy......

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving 10%

Whilst we were lucky enough to be heading off on our last holiday - a fantastic time in Italy - the news continued to report on the increasing numbers of displaced people, refugees, trying to enter Europe by various means largely to escape war in their home land.

It shocks me every time I hear cynical people effectively stating "not on my door" and "they should stay or return home"..... Without considering how utterly desperate people must be to leave and attempt to travel thousands of miles to a place they believe will be a better place to raise their family.

Who would not want that basic need to have security and safety?.... Did countries close their borders during WW 1 and during/ after WW2 ?... Did thousands of people not seek "a better life" only centuries ago as they left on boats to new lands, be that America, Australia or New Zealand...(read from the header "Departure from Liverpool", the second paragraph is as pertinent today as it was then)......   Sadly, particular now it seems, there are always the unscrupulous who will look to profit from this.

My partner wrote a very balanced and much more articulate post on the matter.

Whilst watching this  news we appreciated the safety and opportunity which we live in. We are fortunate to be able to afford holidays - and appreciate not everyone who has this safety and security can do that. We decided that whilst considering spending on holiday or sports gear or clothing we should also consider those less fortunate then us... and with that have pledged to not spend until we've saved and donate 10% of the cost to charity.

We're not set on any specific charity but do want to give to a persons charitable fundraising,  local, national and international charities. If we can afford stuff we can afford this. We are grateful for what we have and the opportunity life presents us - whilst I don't think I can do one big thing for the homeless, for those fighting cancer, for those fighting poverty or crime, those so desperate to leave their home for safety elsewhere;  We can do many small things by donating when we can afford it. If we can afford a holiday we can afford a bit more - we may just need to delay the joy of that holiday, which is no bad thing when you think of the instant gratification Amazon can give... - so I'm grateful for the opportunity to be more thoughtful and do something little in the scheme of things.

More tracking of resting HR

Got struck with an under the weather feeling again in the household, you know temperature, raging headache and chest ache... so some annoying virus or other... I've taken a look at what my resting HR was doing ... now I began to feel crap on Sunday but thought I was just tired from a good night out. My run on Monday felt harder then it should for easy and again I thought I was just fatigued from training... when I got on the bike on Tuesday and felt really nasty I began to suspect something more was up ... itchy throat by Tuesday evening, raging heavy head on Weds and Weds night disturbed sleep, sickness and temperature... 

and the resting HR picture... jumped up to 54 then 57 on wednesday, stayed there thursday.... 

I've rested up totally from Wednesday to today and you can see my average resting HR (according to fitbit) has come back down to 52... compare this to the period just before I went on holiday when I felt a similar virus attack..... going from RHR around 50 up to 58

So this seems to validate that for me (in my sample of two times) that if I get an increase of 6-8 beats in my RHR (fitbit takes it as an average over the course of a day excluding periods of activity) then I probably had hit the vitamin c quickly.... indeed tri 220 magazine recently said as much...  although actually by the time that happens it's probably too late anyway as the lurgy is lurgying! .. ... but I could use it as a motivation for training - ie if my RHR is still within normal tolerance (which I would say is between 52-54 BPM) then if I feel tired I probably am just tired not necessarily unwell and so training can be done and not use a feeling of general malaise as a reason for not bothering.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tracking resting HR

Over the last month I've been wearing a fitbit... Not to measure steps or activity but I've been interested to see how my resting HR is stacking up... As I've signed up for a full distance tri next year (yep let the madness commence), I thought I'd start tracking my resting HR more out of interest to see if it points or correlates to anything.

A month is not long enough for my little experiment but in essence as you can see from the screen shot below it steadily raised through the end of September and start of October and then has plummeted again. Now the last two weeks I've been on holiday so stress levels non existent and no exercise!

When it spiked I picked up a cold ... I read some research recently which suggested resting HR increase rather then being attributable to say over training, could be a precursor to having a bug. Well one month and one user and one bug is no statistical evidence ...and given it was quarter end this also coincideded with a busier time at work so could have been related to that.

So I will continue with my little experiment and see if I notice any patterns... Given we are now journeying home I'm expecting at least for my resting HR measure to come up over the weekend as I shock my body with some running and biking!