Saturday, December 29, 2007

I am still here!

OK it's been a crap month for blogging hasn't it. Well for me it has. Excuses - none really. Although it has been quarter end for my work, which is year end for my customer, quite a bit of Christmas celebrations AND I've got a new addition to my family;

Yes this is Soros the new cat. He's got his own blog which you can look at by clicking on the photo! Needless to say there has been quite a bit of tension in the household - what with Muffin the current dominate alpha male cat and Soros the new kid on town! Interesting!

Despite all the above my training hasn't been a complete disaster - not quite anyhow.

Although I'm currently laid up in bed having been struck down yesterday with the tummy lurgy which is currently doing the rounds. All I'm going to say is I haven't barfed so violently in a long time, but am feeling slightly better today and have just attempted a bagel. So my 2hour LSR which was on the plan for the weekend is pretty much out of the window. I've decided I won't be doing anything strenuous on the training front until I've had at least a day of food retention!

Before I got struck down I did manage to hit the pool Thursday and do a good session of drills before attempting my 3*300m time trial (to be repeated every month or so). This I thought would be good basis to see where I'm at now and then to judge improvement - and besides there are a couple of books I have which suggest this as a good thing to do!

So the idea is to do 3 * 300m on 30secs, with the idea that you are not to have more then a 15s deviance between the 3 (ie a rate you can maintain rather then blasting the first and being dead in the last). Given my single 400m TT a week or so ago was 8:20ish I thought I'd be around the 6:12 mark.

RESULT: 5:52, 5:58, 6:08 so I was very pleased with that result - very sweet. Although my first to last deviation was 16secs I think I'll still award myself a gold star! What makes it sweeter still is looking back at the last time I did this test (OK so it was at the beginning of April) the times were: 6:46, 6:58, 6:56. I really can't believe the difference! I just wonder how much more I can improve. Obviously my technique must be much better and given I'm not yet swimming regularly again I think there must be more to come. My Tri Camp is at the end of January so I'll do a retest when I get back from that and see what swimming everyday for an hour has done!

So the rest of the training has been going ok. From the schedule (which I have not achieved fully in any of the last three weeks!), I have managed all but one run, done ok on the bike, missed a few strength and/or swim sessions. Overall I've managed about 60% of the hours - so not a complete disaster but not great either. I guess as long as I'm there on my run sessions (which I'm definitely feeling improvement on) I won't worry too much, although come the new year there will be no celebration excuses for misadventure and waivering from the plan!

Hope you all had a great Christmas break!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Blimey - didn't realise it's been so long since my last blog! Thought it was last wednesday for some reason but now realise it was nearly two weeks ago!

Bad blogging!

Bad Karen!

Training summary: 1 * good week, 1 * bad week (last week)

Work summary: 1 * good week, 1 * utterly bizarre week (also last week)

Home Front: 2 * excellent weeks

Christmas shopping: Everything ordered, question is will Amazon let me down?!... and if they don't will the Royal Mail deliver?

New Family member: Arriving tomorrow.

Recent tri-training accomplishments:
- 1* hr long ride in the pouring rain. Wet but not too cold
- 1.5hr ride in the FREEZING really cold cold cold wind. I think it must have been minus something ....brrrr
- 1.5hr run also in the FREEZING cold (day after the ride).
- 400m swim time trial tonight = 8:20: Think if I had actually been swimming regularly I'd have come nearer to the magical 8mins.... but given I haven't been I'll take the new PB!

OK: Blog over. It's nearly midnight and I should have been in bed hours ago!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas Decorations!

Yes - in a mass of excitement Sunday morning I decided to put my Christmas decorations up (it's ok I don't have lots!).... Let's just say the cat thought it was also quite exciting:

How sweet he looks.... but was he looking in awe at the tree and lights?...

Did he want to simple sniff the fake tree and balls?...

No!! A quick swipe here.....

And a quick swipe there;

At least the tree has not yet come down - but Muffin certainly knows how to grab my attention if I've not fed him!!! Mad cat!!

Oh yes and training.... summary of last few days;

Sunday - following on from Saturday's muddy theme... Well I decided not to do the x-country as my leggie was still a bit sore. Decided a LSR near home would be better.... although we did have a storm blowing, so it was slower in places as I couldn't really get through the wind! ... .and it was also very very muddy in places too (I much prefer to hit the trails rather then the road). Still a nice 10k in just over the hour. Given my sore legs from the MTB ride the day before I was happy to survive that one!

Monday got up early and headed to the gym for a weights session. Don't know whether it was me or the gym, but I was really cold! Note to self - layer up, yes even in the gym!!

Tuesday. Was thinking of doing two sessions but a really frustrating day at work only led to one, although it was fairly good quality. Warmed up 1.5k on the cross trainer and some stretching then hit the treadmill for a run session. The plan called for a 20min run at 9kph followed by 10min at my hopeful half-marathon pace for March. OMG! It was hard... 10mins at 11kph I should really ought to do. Just shows how little faster running I've been doing (ie not be doing at all). Thought I wasn't going to be able to finish it.... but got into my "zone" with about a minute to go and got it done. Yikes! Plenty of improvement to be had - which is fine really... no pain no gain or something like that ;o)

Plans for today - once I've been to work (simply couldn't get up early to go to the gym this morning...).... get a strength session in followed by a swim and then a nice chill out in the SPA :o)

Saturday, December 01, 2007


So - do you think I should invest in some mud guards?

Had a really good ride today. Organised MTB trail ride in the lovely Berkshire countryside. Gorgeous! Alas it did hammer with rain last night so some of the tracks were just a little muddy (read quagmires) - but that adds to the fun really doesn't it. It was a great sunny day, although there was a bite in the air with a chilly 6 degrees.... colder then I first thought so it was lucky I had packed my rain mac as it was needed just as a layer!

Started off just before 10am pretty much headed straight off road into some woods. The wierd thing about this was that there were leafs galour covering the floor which was hiding the MUD. So that was a bit strange .. thinking you were riding on solid ground but not really. After a bit of up and down hill in the wood then had a bit of a confrontation with a couple of horses. All quite polite until another MTBiker came crashing down the muddy hill which made one of the horses rear up - could have been nasty but wasn't which was lucky really.

Finally we popped out onto a bit of road, then another bridle path for a short downhill section - which was interesting in so far as that you couldn't see what was coming due to the sun light flashing through the trees to the right!

Eventually after a bit more on the road we hit a really great stretch of path by the Thames. Really great stuff through some trees with the river to the left - a bit skitty under tyre but a fab bit of trail. Alas all this downward motion only means one thing really.... yes uphill all the way. UG! Talk about thigh and calf buster... and as for my granny ring - nah the chain simply wouldn't go into it. YIKES!

Finally (finally) and eventually we made it back to the start/finish... some 2 hours and 25k (yes only 25k) later! I'm just glad I opted for the short route and not the standard. The bowl of chilli and cup of tea were a fine welcome to the finish line!

Thought (briefly) about a swim this afternoon... .but frankly I'm a bit pooped, not just from the ride but also from the rather late dinner night (work do) on Thursday night. Nothing like a good mtb blast in the countryside to blast the cobwebs away from those kind of indulgences!