Sunday, May 27, 2007

Swan Lake

I swam with swans yesterday morning. Got up at the crack of dawn and was in the lake by 7:30am..... Not so cold in it - ah that would be because it was so cold out of it!! Yes a cool, dark, dank morning... and then there were swans. I don't think these birds could quite believe what was happening - about two dozen people flapping around in water with orange hats on - they didn't like it. It was quite amusing watching from the bank as the swans got up and charged to the odd swimmer....wings flapping, toe tapping across the water.... and then I got in and joined them..... Ek!

Luckily they had somewhat got used to us orange headers bobbing around by the time I got around to them and they just swam along with me, mainly just ahead (made me wonder what I may be tasting in the water - swan doooo?!? Eugh!)

Anyhow - the sun threatened to come out but largely it just rained. Good swim though :o) I did a lap (1k) bobbed around for a couple of minutes then decided to do another! So that was good - 2k in about 54mins including 4 mins of bobbing. Nice easy swim with lots of gliding. Happy :o)

On the way home I decided to stop off at the bike shop as my new saddle had arrived - rejoice! So I fitted this to the bike along with a new water bottle holder. I also got a new standing tire pump. Now I thought my wheels were pumped up to the full as when I pumped with the normal hand pump I couldn't get anymore air in... How wrong could I be! On attaching the new wonder pump the PSI/ Bar was about half (YES HALF) what it should have been. Blimey! So I set to adding a bit more of the old air and I can not believe the difference in the look of the tires and the feel of them. So having treated Biancha to all this love care and attention I took her out for a ride. She treated me really really well as a result. My longest solo ride, my longest road ride in the UK this year... it may have been only about 37k (done in about an hour 30 including a couple of breaks), even so I was well chuffed with that. AND my touche was still in one piece at the end. REJOICE! No longer am I sitting on a blade! :oD

Got home for the bike and went straight out for a 25min run - didn't feel too bad on that either. So hurrah for Saturday training! :o)

Got to shop today for a dress to wear to the wedding of the year this Friday. Have a great dress I'm borrowing from a friend at work - that sounds like I don't have any dresses... well I do (kind of), it's just the ones I do own are a bit too formal and I want something summery and light (which I have none of!)... ... So I'm going to see if I can buy one safe in the knowledge I do have a really good back up if I can't find anything (and a girl never turns down the opportunity for retail therapy).

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Lost 2-1

"Walk On"

Liverpool F.C. are playing in the European Champions League final tonight. As a life long Liverpool fan it's not hard to know which team I'll be supporting!

Post Tri recovery has been going well. Did an easy swim up at the gym Monday night. Had sort of planned to do an OW but it was miserable outside and frankly I was pooped. So thought heading to the local pool with a set of flippers would be a better way to recover. The session went something like this;
W-UP: 200m, 50m Kick
3 Sets (with flippers): [50*C-up, Ftip, L/R arm, Doggy Paddle, 100*Sculling]
W-Down: 200m, 50m Whatever
Total of 1400m in 40mins

With a view to getting on the bike more often, and as it was a lovely evening, I got on the bike last night 14km in 32'. Tried to stay in easier gears but keeping my cadence above 90 (apart from the hills - ok small slopes) as I figured I need to get my legs spinning faster as well as stronger to improve the bike time. So not a hard workout but a learning one, and anyhow I'm still in recovery :o)

That's it for now - should just leave you with this song which will no doubt be reverberating around the Olympic Stadium in Athens tonight - come on Liverpool!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Eton Sprints Race Report :o)

I'll apologise now as this may be a long one.... I am a woman after all and therefore able to natter on for ages ;o)

Where to begin....

The location:
So this weekend was a set of eton supersprints held at Dorney Lake, near Eton in Berkshire. A great venue for a PB (apparently). The lake is a purpose built rowing lake, so it's not pretty but it is practical. A nice rectangle of water (about 2k long) in a nice part of Berkshire surrounded by trees and green fields. This place is used for World Champ rowing and I think is where the rowing may be held in the 2012 Olympics. The course is a straight forward 400m swim off the start pontoons, doing three sides of a rectangle, the bike 4 laps around the lake and the run 2 loops up and down part of the side of the lake. So no hills - which is great but also not so great as there's no where when you can free wheel down a hill!!! ;o)

Race Prep:
Well I didn't do much training last week as I had a busy one at work and knew I was racing ( unlike Lisa who did LOTS the couple of days prior to her Oly - hat off to you Lis!). As I blogged on Friday I was wing woman to Angel on Saturday at the same race event I was doing on Sunday (it's so popular they offer two days!). It was great supporting Angel and great insight to the venue, the set up and the overall atmosphere. Unfortunately for the Saturday racers the wind was really really blowing. So the water was a little choppy and the bike was great down one side with it blowing you along a bit but a real head-on nightmare up the other side. Angel had a great race, although I can't say much for the camerawoman......

The one to the right she's in (with Eduardo the bike), maybe she was going just too fast as the one to the left is the next photo!!! LOL! I doubt I'll be taking up sport photography in the near future!

I think Angel enjoyed her race, well she smiled most of the way around anyhow. She finished strongly and came in sub 1hr 30 - BRILLIANT and only her second tri, first one she did being in Lanzarote last month.

After she finished I did my own race prep in the retail tent and got some great gear for a fiver each (BARGAIN). As Angel needed feeding we headed to a local pub where I consumed a great big burger with cheese and caramlised onion topping, with chilli fries. Nothing like lugging a few extra calories around for the race on Sunday ;o) Final bit of race prep saw me baby sitting (something I never do), for my neighbours. Great idea for a quiet night in, until I realised when they said they'd be home at midnight they really meant 1:30am... so I was a bit tired getting up Sunday... which brings me to;

Race Report:
Having seen the manic queues for registration the day before I thought I'd head down to arrive 2 hours before my heat. To find no queue at all! So got registered and settled down in front of the ice cream van (without being tempted I may add), to chill out in the sunshine. The wind had dropped, the air was clean and it was heating up. Waited for my Tri club buddy Leane and her personal Tri-Sherpa ;o) "superman" Dan. When they got there Dan did his best to keep us both relatively calm - poor him not easy with two flustered females ;o) So, 30mins before our wave we decided to don the wet suit to the waist and then move to the transition area. All v secure and we even had numbered slots to rack up to. And this is when my first mini-disaster happened. Somehow - I don't know how - I managed to pull my zip faster clean off my wetsuit. I'm sure my face was a real picture with my wetsuit open at the back with the zipper pull in my hand (lesson 1 - don't do this again)!! EK! Leanne tried to fix it but couldn't, luckily Dan (hence the superman) was close to hand and spent a few mins fiddling before being my saviour and getting me zipped up! PHEW! So I donned my orange hat (you have a different colour depending on your wave) and acclimatised my feet, hand and face before taking the plunge. Brrrrrrrrr!

The start and swim;
So about 40 of us 34-39ers were bobbing around doing a few strokes to get warmed up (I'm on the left side of the photo with the blue on my back)..... and then the starter arrived, and proceeded to accidentally drop the starter horn into the water! So a bit of an extra briefing and the rather damp sounding horn went off and we were OFF! EXCITING! Got straight into some sort of rhythm and headed for the giant bouy about 150m away. It wasn't as bad as I expected, started off slightly to one side which may of helped. Did get overtaken by someone at some point before the first bouy who I swear had propellers for feet - blimey they were moving fast - maybe her nickname was flipper or something. Got to the first buoy having gone flat out and thought two things (1) Blimey there's not that many people ahead of me, what on earth is happening and (2) I've got a long way to go yet, better stop being so excited!!.... Next 100m off to the next giant yellow buoy and everything still felt good. Turned there and got into the slip stream of two people who were swimming next to each other ahead of me. Spotting the exit wasn't so easy but I made it... in one piece... I got up (wobbled slightly) and hit the lap button of my HRM... all I say is I thought I saw a 7 as the minute time and thought "that can't have been right".

So I legged it into T1. Lesson two and three happened here. Got wetsuit off f-a-s-t :o), tried to get a top on (has my epipen in it in case I get stung whilst riding/ running) - the top was a real bother (lesson here, get 2 * epipens, attach one to bike and carry for run). So the top was a hassle. But still got shoes on, hat on, glasses on and grabbed my bike and legged it to the end of transition. Where... DOH... saw someone running out with me with THEIR RACE NUMBER ON!! Which I didn't! Yes I managed to not get my race belt out of my bag before the race so didn't even see it to put it on. What an idiot. Momentarily contemplated doing my bike without the number but decided not to run the risk of a DQ, so launched my bike onto the nearest empty rack and ran back to my kit where a bag kit explosion insued as a searched for the belt! Grabbed it, caught back up with my bike and off I went. Lesson - make sure you get your race belt out!

Boring! After the excitment of the swim and T1 it took me one lap of the lake to get my breath and back in "control". 4 laps of a flat lake is not the most inspirational, particularly when lots of your age group are overtaking. Still I tried to be consistent and not blow up too badly. I concentrated on trying to keep a steady cadence between 80-90rpm whilst getting some carbo/ electrolyte drink in. It was after the second lap that I thought to myself "you know I may be in for not only a pb here but also that season goal". It was during the third lap I vowed to get a new bladeless saddle (everything was numb by Lap 4!).... So I kept on going, and thought "if I can only get into T2 at around the 55min mark I may stand a chance of that goal."


Smooth. Although I do wish I could do one of those swishy dismounts those other people seem to do. Me, well I was just relieved I got the same foot unclipped that I tried to put down. Phew, no sideways falling for me (this time)! Ran back to my slot, racked my bike had a good change into my trainers - those elasticated laces are a blessing and off I ran.

The good thing about the run is that it was a up and back, up and back thing which meant you were always running with people around you (despite the photo!). It was also near the finish so there was an atmosphere for some of it. Leaving T2 I thought I was going to cramp in the front compartments of both lower legs - never had that before. But as it was I was concentrating on not being sick so I think that took my mind off it ;o). Relaxed as much as I can do in the run and just did what I could til the end!

No no not the newspaper type - here are my race times (splits according to my watch!), I know you've been wanting them;
Swim: 07:16
T1: 02:48
Bike: 44:59 (11:16, 10:59, 11:35, 11:08)
T2: 01:13
Run: 26:50

"Fan Fare" ..... Total time 1:23:06 !!! So I achieved a PB AND one of my season goals...


I am so pleased. I don't have a clue where that swim time came from but I'll take it! I know I can improve T1 and I can improve my bike (just need to get on it more often). I had ouddles of fun! I finished with a smile :o)

So thanks to Dan the superman for the photos! A great race and PB for Leanne too, despite the nerves - so a good day was had by all!
No longer a "novice".....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The secrets are out....

OK my parents have left the country and not at all likely to log on and read the blog. The first secret is theirs and they've now told my Nan so I think I'm ok to blog it........

Here goes........

1. Mum and Dad are getting married. Yes. I said married! No they're not renewing their vowels, they are getting married - and yes to each other!!! They've been divorced about 19 years and got back together about 2 years ago. How sweet is that! To be honest I half expected the marriage thing would happen at some point but really wasn't sure how I'd react. But I am actually really thrilled for them both. It's really, really cool. Oh and I did I mention they're getting married in the lovely Greek Island of Corfu in about 10days time!!!!

which brings me to secret #2....

2. Unbeknown to Ma and Pa my brother and I have booked flights up and taken the time off work and going to be there for the big day!!! A big secret that one. I can't wait to see their faces :o) We're going for 3.5 days and have managed to arrange flights, accommodation and transport - which is fab. Oh yeah and I had to email the wedding organiser over there to make sure they didn't get married before we arrived! So we travel May 30th and return to the UK 02 June... with their big day being Friday 1 June :o) which brings me to secret #3.....

3. Due to #2 I'm not going to make it back in time for Blenheim race :o( This was to be my first OW Tri, my third Tri ever (counting the "mini" in Lanzarote), and a good prep for London... but there are things in life which are actually more important then a race and Mum and Dad certainly count in the more important then pretty much anything category! So I'm not competing in that - but it's ok ... why???..... well...... I pleaded with the race organiser for this weekends events (2 days of Tri's about 12 waves a day in age groups), these are quite local and the distance is good (400m OW/ 20k/ 5k). So given my plea and my story he let me in to race TODAY!!!! ... which is why I'm sitting here having consumed 2 * chocolate brownies heated up with a dollup of vanilla ice cream! I did it :o)

I will write my race report tomorrow as i'm fading fast now... but it was FUN, it was GREAT, I am just THRILLED about the whole thing!

These are the things I'm particularly pleased with;
1. The swim time!!!!
2. T2 went well. Well it couldn't have been worse then T1 ;o)
3. The time, the time the time :oD
4. The post-race massage!

I'll write up tomorrow the full break down of things, now I need my sleep... zzzzzz's ...


Thursday, May 17, 2007


Yes a year ago today I got home :o)

Best feeling I've ever had. I'm not a parent so no idea what child birth is like (other then painful!), so it's not that sort of comparison. But when I came home I've never felt so much emotion, and frankly so much relief. Spending anytime away from what we call "normality" is always likely to be life changing. A year on and I'm still comprehending and coming to understand how I've changed, my values, my lifestyle, my outlook. But then spending 6months in a war zone when you come from a very part-time military background and working in a normal job as a normal accountant in a normal town in the UK - well it's going to take a while to adjust.

So I'm so glad to be ALIVE!

I didn't run yesterday evening, but I went tonight (to celebrate ;o) ).... and you know, it was a better night anyhow. A beautiful evening after a really wet and dull day. A lovely run in the countryside, the smell of the damp grass drying and the sound of cows mooing and oh ok James Blunt on my iPod (and a small dog that nearly got my ankles).... but it was great. I AM SO LUCKY. 7.2km in 41mins.

This Saturday I'm acting as Triathlon wing woman/ support crew for a friend, Angel, who I met in Lanzarote. She's doing her first UK Triathlon (first ever Tri being the sprint in Lanzarote), and her first OW Tri. Can you believe her b/friend has ditched her for a 5hour bike ride... so ok he's doing an IM in a few weeks so I guess we'll let him off ;o) It will be great insight for me just to watch a Tri - never done that so watching the fight at the start of the swim and the chaos in transition will be fun!


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ssshhh I'm keeping a secret (or three)....

I'm bursting with excitement.

I'm keeping three secrets at the mo - all inter-related.

I can't share them (yet!)

A couple of you know what the secrets are.........

I'm not very good at keeping secrets.

I have until Sunday to keep zipped up.... it's going to be hard!

Other things....
Open water: Why is it so cold!?! They say the lakes will start warming up soon. Well not soon enough is what I say. Another sub 16 degree swim on Monday evening chilly, but actually a really nice thing to do straight after work. Managed a 400m loop in about 9mins - which was fine given I probably did nearer 450 with all my mis-steering!!! ;o) Then I went off round the lake for a 1k swim! This was my first non-stop 1k swim ever, open or pool. So just concentrated on getting around without steering into the bank, buoys, other swimmers, ducks etc etc. A slow 24mins but again am really happy as to get the feel for the wetsuit in the water is really important right now.

I scored null points for activity Tuesday, largely due to a 7am leave to get up to London. Went around to my parents straight after on the way home and was too late to get a run in before eating. Hey ho!

Got back on the bike this morning for a 40min turbo/ alias session. Not bad 15k ride, mostly small gears and spinning with the odd big ring to entertain me. Got an episode of Alias in (of course) which was the main thing ;o) Realised after being on the bike for only 40mins (or should that be the blade - ouch) that I need to spend more time on her otherwise 40k at London in August isn't going to be done sitting down!! LOL!!!... So my training goal I've always stated is to get a regular 3hr ride in a week - better start concentrating on ramping that up then!

Planning on a run in the rain tonight - I like running in the rain, kinda makes you know you're alive!

No more blogging for now or I'll be tempted to spill the beans!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

An endurance sport....

Golf! I'm not kidding - doesn't it take an age! We had a big family golf day yesterday where I caddied for my uncle... The day was FAB, despite the best efforts of the weather to rain us off, but it did take a llllll-ooo-nnnnnnnn-gggg time to complete the round. So I consider that some good mental endurance training for my future triathlons ;o)

With the return of my energy beans on Friday I got back to the Tri stuff at the weekend. Went on a mtb trail ride Saturday morning, a swift 25k in an hour and a half (sounds like a fast time but actually a lot of it was on road rather then off). Rightie stood up to the bumps really well so pleased with that. Got back to the event start, washed the mud off the bike and secured it before going straight out for a 5k run. Still fully clad in my mtb gear covered in mud i must have looked a bit of a strange sight! Still I did the run in 27mins which was surprising, although it did begin to hurt a bit on the way back! Had some warming veg chilly when I got back to the start again, followed by a shower and some RETAIL THERAPY in the bike shop! Purchased one set of sparkly new aerobars for Biancha! Am undecided as to whether to try this on her before Blenheim or not....hummm

Was *supposed* to go Open yesterday morning but had major cramping legs overnight Saturday and decided floating around in a lake wouldn't necessarily be the best or safest option. So I went to the local public swimming pool instead. Got the old "workouts in a binder" out and set about one of the endurance sessions. Made the majority of it before they shut the fast lane and put us front crawlers in with the above the water breast strokers and, well it was carnage. So I had a swim down at that stage - but not until I had done the following (and look at some of these times - the pool must have been shorter then normal!!!);
6 * 75m (20s Rest Interval): 1:26.2, 1:23.5, 1:25.3, 1:28.4, 1:26.4, 1:28.2
Main Set
2 * 200m (20s RI): 4:03.0, 4:02.9 (Consistent!!)
100m Easy (20s RI): 2:11.4
2 * 300m (30s RI): 6:18.9, 6:23.7
100m Easy (20s RI): 2:15.6
1 * 400m (40s RI): 8:10.2 (Fan Fare! I new record! I told you the pool must be shorter!)
2 * 200m (Easy 30s RI): 2:17.0, 2:13.7

So the session was supposed to be another 400m, another 100m easy and the warm down was another 6*75 (50 Free and 25 Back). But still I'm really pleased with what I got done (and the times - I've no idea where this is coming from!).

Stats for the week still not bad given the lurgy I've been fighting;
Swim: 1hr46' 4.0km (Mon, Sun)
Bike: 2hr12' 41km (Mon, Sat)
Run: 32' 6km (Mon, Sat)
Total: 4hr 32' 51km
plus 5hours caddying!

Overall happy with that - particularly that spanking swim yesterday!

Off to work for another exciting day :o)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Things that go meeoooowww in the night

I'm asleep

I noise disturbs me

My brain and ears wake (my eyes stay shut)

A cat; triumph in it's voice.


I sleep

I get up this morning to find left overs in the hall - I'm not sure what he caught, I assume a mouse. Luckily I'm not feeling too queasy this morning! I only hope he hasn't found a nest and this was a lucky kill or I'm in for a few weeks of mousing!

Some people have pets which help them train - I have a cat who generally sleeps with the occasional "moment" of excitement attacking a toy or catching live prizes from the wood!

Oh and I think I'm feeling better :o) ... back to it!

Thursday, May 10, 2007


I feel like a car on a cold day whose choke hasn't been pulled out properly - remember those cars?!!? They turn over, you think they're going to start then they just don't...

So got to my spin class in the end Monday which was hard - evil hard - but one that makes you feel saintly after. Jumped straight on the treadmill for a quick 1k er whilst the class warmed down and then went for a swim..... and this is where my week started to go wrong..... Got my good old "workouts in a binder" book out and figured it's about time I continued the swim build I did at Lanzarote and go for a full on "Endurance (speed)" session which went something like this... are you ready....
Warm-up (wait for this...):
300m swim
200m kick
100m swim
12*25m moderate (:10s rest)
WHAT - that's the warm up??.... joking right... well no - so I did that, choosing to front crawl my way through all the swim sections.... the next "bit" was supposed to be a main set of:
4 (yes that's four) sets of [300m mod (:20sRI)+2*75PFQ(:15s RI) +bonus rest 30s]
THEN 400m Kick (100easy, 200mod, 100easy).....what again!........ and then ... warm-down of just 100m..... huh....

What I actually did.......
Warm-up: tick
Set 1: tick
Set2:... uh-uh.... bonk! Never made that... just had to stop half way through one of the 75m runs.... what was that about... not like me at all. Not that I thought I'd be able to complete the whole workout but didn't expect just to blow up like that. Couldn't figure it out at the time really... but then the next day came and all became clear.

Tired. Lethargic. Ears sore. Throat sore. A summer lurgy! Hey ho - well there are times you just gotta listen to your body and rest up .. or in my case sleep... 12 hours a night for the last couple and I think I'm beginning to feel the first spurts of energy coming back. So if I sleep well tonight and feel ok tomorrow and I may take myself out for a little jog, 3 days off can't do any harm although annoying - I need my endorphins after all!... but in the meantime... sleep...zzzzzz's (ok after a bit of staring at the box in the corner of the room they call a tv).


Monday, May 07, 2007

2008 Open Water

No I'm not going to wait until 2008 to try out Open Water..... 2008 is my race number for Blenheim! I'm on the last start of the day on the Saturday sprints... 14:15 I start! I'm not sure what I should aim for as a finish time as the swim is longer then I've done before (750m and it's open which will be a first), the bike route isn't that good apparently, flat but not on tarmac, total of 19.8km, then a two lap 5.4km run at the end. Will be glad to get out of the swim in one piece then just enjoy the rest will be the aim I think!.... which brings me too....

Yep - I did it yesterday morning....
0540 - alarm went off (what!!)
0545 - got up, largely because the light was on and the cat nibbled my nose (well done muffin)

Got to the lake at 0630, yes early but most OW swim venues only open between 0600 - 0900 (a time I'm usually found still in my duvet!). In order to encourage me to actually go I signed up for a swim class which I have to say not only got me out of bed (as I'd already paid!), but was really worth it for the experience the coach shared with us. Got into the water slow and steady, acclimatised feet (well you have no choice with these being first!), then hands, then face and neck then splash! Did a bit of floating around and then took the face plunge! Really weird initially. I'm pretty comfortable with water but I still had a momentary "ek" moment when I first went head down! Still found out how to spot (not great at that), and not surprisingly I sort of steer left (probably cos rightie is still a bit weak)..... So my swim session lasted about an hour out and about 35mins in the water.... and yes it was cold.... very cold! Brrrrrrr!

Really glad I went and really enjoyed it once I got over the initial hurdle of getting in. Have three and a bit weeks to Blenheim so at least three more opportunities for open swimming, I don't want the race to be my second time - that may just freak me out!

Managed a strength session yesterday afternoon including some core work so am suitably aching this morning in a nice kind of way. Currently waiting to see if the clouds will clear for a bike ride, doesn't look likely and as I'm a fair weather cyclist I may just go to a spin class tonight!

Quick summary of the week then;
Swim: 2hrs 15' 3.55km (Mon, Wed, Sun) Mostly drills and an OW session :o)
Bike: 3hrs 32' 53km (Mon, Wed, Fri) A good 2hr MTB session :o)
Run: 1hrs 55' 17.3km (Mon, Tue, Fri) A good tempo and good long slow run :o|
Strength: 2hrs (Wed, Sun) I am weak but one day I will be strong! :o)
Total: 9hrs 42mins and 73.9km

Pretty happy with that although could have done with one more run in the week but still v happy with both tempo run and easy run I did during the week.

That's it for now - I have now outblogged myself from last month!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Good.... The Bad... and... The Ugly


Friday training session 1: lunchtime very (very) easy run to de-stress from work.... 9.25km in a slow 1hr 6mins (I think I could have walked faster). Nothing lung busting at all but 10% more then my slow easy run last week - so my longest (time wise) non-stop run of the year - hurrah!

Friday "training" session 2: Didn't do the swim but got back on the bike - the mountain bike - ek! Much fear and trepidation! Had a really good off road session with a mate; about 7k on road in 20mins to get to friends house then about 1 hr 30 of off road stuff (about 15km)... Blimey my legs are weak and have no power! Started off very nervous bearing in mind this is the first off roading I've done since my fateful over the top incident which broke my hand in January. Still by the end I was loving it - if only I could work out which gear to be in to get up those hills! ;o)

Post MTB session went to the pub for some carbo loading... like Garfield I love lasagne.... so had a nice big plate of that... oh yes and three pints of lovely English beer. I do love a good pint and it's been a long while since I've had one - so I had three... humm... didn't cycle home... taxi!

My head this morning ;o)

Oh and found some countdown timer thing..... look right and down..... Blenheim is 4 weeks today - first open water tri.... nervous.. me... never ... EKKKKKkkkkkkk

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fruit and yogurt

Well that's what I'm eating for breakfast.... yummy! Really pleased it's Friday for a couple of reasons;
  1. Obviously it's the last working day of the week;
  2. I's a bank holiday weekend so no work Monday... Woohoo!
So a day actually in the office and three days off - can't be bad :o) I've had a good training week so far (ok until my thurs blip), as I'm feeling fully motivated from my La Santa experience!

Monday started the day seeing the hand man about old rightie..... Now it seems I've aggravated the wrist a bit (could it possibly be I overdid things - never, not me guv...) Anyhow, I'm pleased to say the bone seems to have healed fine but I have a bit of tendonitus in two of the tendons in my wrist. Doc suggested I rest it for 6 weeks, which I will.... in September ...after the seasons goals of completing the London Tri are done. By carrying on I shouldn't be making things worse it will just take longer to feel better. So I can put up with that. Frankly I'm just relieved no surgery is needed :o)... So went from the quack to work then scappered sharpish from there to make the 1815 spin class at the gym. I had a good workout but the instructor didn't - doesn't it annoy you when you can see daylight between their front wheel and the resistance block above it! No wonder her legs were going round so fast when my wheel was hardly moving! ;o) . Left there (after a good stretch), and went straight to the club swim session. Great to meet up with people again but the pool was not so great. I shouldn't really compare with the pool at La Santa because there really is no comparison, the water was heavily clorinated (it's a school pool), the water was just nasty. I didn't enjoy the session at all. Have since discovered one of the open water places are open on a Monday evening (whereas everywhere else is 0600-0900 and we know I'm not a morning person)... so am looking to swap my Monday club night to another day in the week and go Open instead.
Tuesday was the first day of the month, as mentioned in my last blog, this means the club meets up for a run and curry (although not at the same time!).... so off we trotted in the evening... well I plodded and the others went!! The fast boys at the club are pretty fast, and the slower people are still much faster then me. So I happily dropped off the back and got a nice 40min tempo session in - we all went down the Thames towpath from the place we met at down to Caversham (which is my home ground). So it was a lovely run, clear skies, sun setting on the way back, rowers on the Thames. Lovely. Needed a good stretch when I got back but reckoned a did a 7k in about 41 mins which is fine for me, in fact I was quite pleased :o)
Wednesday: Not wanting to let up on the momentum I'm gaining with my training I got on the bike and caught up with an episode of Alias! Very easy spinning mostly as my legs were a bit heavy from the run the night before! A fun start to the day, easy 13km in 40mins - and Sydney Bristow kicked some more arse as normal! Now here's news for the week - I managed to get a strength session in!!! Shock! Horror! so this is my first strength session I've managed in about ...oh ... 5 months!! We were given some strength sessions in La Santa which were supposed to be able to completed in 45mins.... so thought I'd give one a go.. and it didn't even take that long (well I was doing min reps and min sets). So - quality! :o) I wonder how long that'll last!? Went from the strength session to the swim. Anyhow, lucky for me it was a drills session at a much nicer (if not slightly colder) pool then Monday. We did a 400m warm-up (as usual I lost count so assume I did that!), then some lengths crawl and lengths catch-up then we went into back-scrathes and finger dragging all working on the recovery bit apparently. Before going back into some straight lengths. All in all only did 1400m in the hour session, so it was pretty easy going compared to La Santa (I'll stop mentioning those words soon!! LOL....). Assuming I can get there for 1930 each week I'll try and make this my regular club swim session.
Thursday: This won't take long... meant to go for a long easy run.. left work at 1830 and went to the pub!!!! So run didn't happen but wine did! So am going to try to get the run in at lunchtime today (will mean being disciplined and determined to leave the desk!) with a good swim session in tonight up at my club. Feel the need to do a longer swim session just getting some lengths in, but we'll see how my motivation is this evening!

So that's a bit of a lengthy blog isn't it - and not terribly exciting - but hey two blogs this month already, one more and I've already equaled last months poor effort! ;o)

Better go - the fruit and yogurt went ages ago, the cat's even cleaned the bowl out and sloped back off to bed... which I'd love to be doing but really I'd better just get to work!

Thank crunchie it's Friday!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Club La Santa and all that

Oh - so my blogging for April wasn't great was it..... but my training wasn't so bad (lucky thing!)... Well I spent my week at Club la Santa in the sunny island of Lanzarote and had a completely F.A.B time. A week on a beginners Tri camp with lots of similar minded people is to be highly recommended to anyone taking up this sport - and for those actually already in it, yes we did have some definitely NOT beginners on the course but everyone did their best, everyone was really friendly and everyone supported each other. So overall it was GREAT!

To summarize really we ran pretty much every morning, swam every day and biked every day (bar one when I just couldn't sit on that saddle anymore ;o) ....)... here's a summary of my personal triumphs (in no particular order);
  • Completed by first 40k+ bike ride....
  • Got confident all over again about being on a bike (BIG SMILES)
  • Completed by first 60min non-stop (no walking) run of the year
  • Did my first ever non-stop 30min swim (don't ask me the distance as I lost count!)
  • Did my first (and second) wetsuit swim
  • Swam faster then before... did some 100m splits (fast) in 1:42 in a wetsuit and 1:52 without .... GO KAREN GO!
  • Did my second ever Triathlon (a mini; 400m/ 17.4k/ 4.7k in 1hr12mins)
So I was a very happy (although tired) person when I got back last Thursday! Took things easy Fri/ Sat then on Sunday I even ventured out on my trusty stead followed by an evening splash around.

If anyone is reading this (does anyone read this?) and wants to know more then I'll happily email you back. We got some good stuff about strength and conditioning on the camp too; allegedly the sessions are only 45mins long - there must be time in my week to fit a couple of those in?!

Summary for April:
Swim: 8hrs 37mins - 16.7km
Bike: 11hrs 01mins - 227.8km
Run: 7hrs 11mins - 57.9km

TOTAL: 26hrs 49mins and 302.4km
(Blogs = 3 Poor effort - must try harder)

Not surprisingly this outstrips last month by some way, after all I did spend a "holiday" doing nothing but training! But I am suitably chuffed to pieces as I am still in one piece (pretty much). Average then is 53mins a day and 10.08km. So much for the increase of 10% per month....
Swim.. 7.2km to 16.7!
Bike... 119km to 228
Run... ok so this didn't get it's 10% and actually went slightly down (boo hiss) 59.5k to 57.9k

Obviously I'm not necessarily expecting to get the same volume in this month but now I know how much I can do then there's no reason, with careful diary management and some dedication why I can't maintain a level somewhere between my March and April totals.

The main theme for this month is to take my biking from Lanzarote and get going on the English roads (which incidentally don't seem as good!) and really build to my 3hr weekend ride. Open water swimming has started at a local(ish) lake so I'm going to be going there once a week. As for the run - well keep on plodding is the motto I think.

Of course I have an impending trip to San Francisco which will no doubt hinder so I'll have to plan some rest/ adaption for those few days.

Today, being the first Tuesday of the month, is Tri club run and curry night. So will be off to that later for a slow plod and a well deserved curry and gossip!

Will blog again this week - honest guv!