Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Packing a bike.....

OK so I've done it once... I'm not sure that I'll do it again..packing the bike up for flight that is..... Oh but then I've got to come home with it next week and oh yes there's that little Lisbon trip - ok so maybe I will and maybe next time the pedal's will be easier (after all I'll know what I'm doing... and for those of you who use Look Keo's to undo, the right pedal (as you look at it through the bike) goes clockwise and the left goes anti)... blinkin thing! Still safely in big bag with muchos quantities of polystyrene around it - lucky I got the new dishwasher when I did and hadn't chucked out the packing is all I can say!

Obviously now on final countdown to La Santa and my work and home "must do before I got to do list" keeps on getting longer..... go figure

Still I got a swim in this morning, 2.1k in 1hr - mainly drills and a main set looking like 400, 2*200, 4*100...... all felt relatively ok - I'm thinking about high elbows in the water... "and reach over that barrell and pull".... that's what you're supposed to do isn't it?!

OK - it's late - and I've got a list as long as my arm! YIKES!

Monday, January 28, 2008


OK so just a quick post.....

Last week... still had lurgy for start of training week - which includes my heavy sat/ sun schedule.. so scores on the doors was 5.5hrs from 10.5hrs... ok given I didn't even venture out till Monday and that was for a 30min shuffle.

This weekend: Well have got myself in a bit of a pickle with my training schedule due to the illness... most relevant training is obviously my running to build me up to half Mary in March.. dilemma was that this weekends schedule said a 10k race, but I missed the 2hour LSR from the weekend before and also missed hill reps during the week. Humm so thought about it and given I've done 2*2hour runs that my endurance is ok so need to concentrate on speed... so opted for 15*Hill reps which given run out to where I did them and back ended up being an hour 5mins for something like 9k..... The yesterday, with a glorious sunny winters day I decided I needed to get out on Bianca (despite the fact I had an ugly hangover because of a lavish meal I had Sat night)... anyhow, aimed at spinning the legs - 47k in 2 hours - got in just as the sun went down (getting right old chilly then too!).

Oh so yes the post was going to be short... so to the title...Well I blame Julian (occasional blog commentor) .... He suggested I apply for an age group slot for the GB team for the European Triathlon Union (ETU) champs... HA! They've only gone and accepted me... LARGE GULP! Let's face it it's only because there aren't that many people in my age group!!! HA HA HA.... So my planned Oly distance in May has moved out a week and going to be ETU Age Group championship in Lisbon instead... YOU'VE GOT TO LAUGH (well I am hysterically right now)
...As I said it's Julian's fault... I'll be having words with him when I get to La Santa I can tell you!!

Training today - nil... sleep required from weekend exploits and have only 3 working days in this week before hols... (read 3 days of mild manic panic!)... In the words of my esteamed blogging collegue Wes... train like a champion (or in my case today .. NOT)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I need to do more... .stretching that is. In fact I've decided it should be one of my training goals. Although I'm not sure how to measure improvement really... but I need to do it... I've the flexibility of a hugely inflexible thing!

I may start recording the time I do stretch - post activity that is (don't tend to bother before).... maybe that will work. I am goal oriented after all and I like numbers so maybe that's the thing to do?

The other rambling for today is rather gross but needs to be said.. ok perhaps it doesn't ...so perhaps you'll want to skip this paragraph.... but this cold (which I am now very much at the back end of) has made me produce the most thick and gloopy snot in the world. Never had anything like it - reckon you could bind things together with it, possibly paper a wall or two... OK so I did say I perhaps didn't need to mention it.

Oh so I just managed to delete the second half of this post... how did I do that?!


So I went on to say...

Managed a strength session today at work, although to be fair I had a longing urge to go for a run. It was a lovely day, blue sky with a winter chill - perfect running weather. But I tried to be good and stuck to plan of a strength session just to ensure my HR didn't get too pushed and thus risk a lurgy relapse... Did an hour of strength and 5 whole mins of stretching! Got home about 6:30, promptly ignored my earlier thought about not pushing my HR up too much and went to the gym for a spin class... Quite evil in places, far too much "hovering" for my liking! Followed the 45min class with another 15mins of easy spinning so I could get a nice round hour in too... stretching after was a rather pathetic couple of mins... BAD KAREN - am feeling it now!

My plan for the tomorrow revolves trying for a longer run, possibly an hour in the morning sometime followed by club swim in the evening - can't even remember the last time I made it to a Wednesday swim!! Of course early morning activity is reliant on me getting up early enough to participate before work.... and as I have just consumed a rather nice pint of Guinness that may be a little challenging!! :o).... The Guinness as I'm sure you are aware is for medicinal reasons already - after all it is good for you!!

OK enough blogging already before I get far too carried away..... Three blogs in three days must be setting a record as it is!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

SportTracks Update

Phew! I worked it out so I can train again - lucky!

Just for those who really want to know. Despite moving my logbook and despite deleting everything and reinstalling I was still getting the error message on import... wasn't even taking me to the screen with the GPS watch options in it.

Anyhow - I figured there MUST be another directory or file somewhere with something in it that, when I reinstalled, it was finding - as it didn't ask me to set up a new user or anything like that..... Couldn't find this mystery directory for love nor money - so took a break and had food.. came back and ... ta-da....stumbled upon another zonefive software directory, buried in a hidden directory!... c:/user/appdata/local/zonefivesoftware.... directory - didn't know to look there, let alone think to! Obvious really .. NOT!

Anyhow, once I found it I found "Preference.systems" file .. so moved that into the same place I stashed my logbook.... then reinstalled... and HEY PRESTO! TA-DA! It installed from scratch.. so moved the logbook back, then dared to edit the preference file with my previous "reports" stuff (don't worry just copied and pasted from old text file to new). So I've even got my old reports back to.... ALL IS WELL... I can breath again ;o)

Quite literally actually..... yes I can breath again whilst running that is. So I did a nice slow and easy run this morning, not wanting to go too mad on my first run for a week. Nothing stella, just easy - kinda felt a bit flaky some of the way through but made it around.... and still feel ok tonight ... HURRAH for that too :o)

Decided, given my lengthy day at work and still recovering from lurgy, not to train tonight. I keep on hearing the advice from a hockey buddy of mine in my head ...Yes the great Pikey once said (relatively recently)... "you know Doris you need to take it easy and don't go back too hard too soon, or you'll just end up being ill for longer like last summer"... [ED: Did I ever mention my hockey nickname is Doris before.. humm anyhow].. so not to upset the create Pikester I've decided to sit back and take things easy tonight! Planning a RUN again in the morning - why not!

Monday Run: Very easy 4.5k in a relaxing 28mins!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Quick update

Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!

Still not over the cold - very frustrating... GRRRRR... but I do think I'm on the way back up again.

Got to Weds and thought I'd try a strength session before a swim... made it through that but couldn't face the swim as just felt to groggy - better to not do to much too soon I thought.

So got to Thurs, felt just like I had a head cold really and so consulted by tri book "if symptoms are in the head then go ahead train Zones 1 and 2, if symptoms are throat or below then do not train"... humm so I thought it'd be ok to try for the gym session and one of the planned runs.. "10mins warmup then 20mins at half marathon pace"... So got on the x-trainer for a warm up before stretching a bit. Then hit the treadmill for a gentle 10mins before upping the pace... and that's when I went all funny. 3mins at my half-mary pace and that was enough - barely hit the stop button in time... YIKES! So that was me done it. Coughed through the night and had no voice at all Friday and generally felt rough all over again.

So I've admitted defeat these last 72hours and not even thought/ bothered about training. HIGHLY frustrating but NOT as frustrating as the fall over of my Sporttrack software package I use to record my training. For some reason which I can't fathom it no longer wants to import anything with a "permission denied" error on import - which is frankly weird. And despite numerous attempts at reinstall the problem still persists. So no training which is as well as I can't record it anyhow!!

Maybe I'll get back to a gentle run tomorrow?


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Nearly 10...

So my training week called for 10.5 hours.... and I did 9 hours 55mins.... although I did include an hour of sports massage in those numbers (under strength and conditioning), after all that pain ought to be recordable don't ya think!?

The good stuff was the running, the bad was the swimming. Kinda ran out of time for swimming. Over cooked the running versus the plan for two reasons; (1)I missed my 2hour run the previous weekend due to nasty vommiting disease thing (that word is so graphic don't you think - blur), and (2) cos I made a really rather silly school girl error with my half mary plan - essentially I've been training a week behind schedule (turns out despite the Maths degree I can't count!).

So I am currently re-jigging my training plan to account for that stupid mistake!! DOH!

I've just had a good ok actually GREAT weekend! Until about 10pm Sunday evening when I realised I was going down with another lurgy - this time a cold - YUK!

So after quite a bit of rain last week I ventured out Saturday morning for an off road trail ride on Rocky. This is an organised event so quite good in terms of trail fully route marked and post ride refreshments (in terms of bowl of chilli and cuppa tea!). Despite the previous rain Saturday was a simply glorious day (despite the frozen car and paths!). A beautiful clear sky - what better weather could you ask for (ok so it could have been a few degree's warmer, starting off at 1 degree was a bit chilly!). A perfect morning saw a fair group of riders slog up the odd hill, whiz down the odd path and simple GAWP at the breadth and length of some of the puddles (read lakes). Needless to say my toes did get a little wet in some of those - but luckily the worst if these were in the last 5-6k of the ride. So total time on the bike 2 hours, for 26k (ok so the time not great but it was mostly off road!)

Later Saturday I ventured up to the snowdome in Milton Keynes (about hour and half away), for some pizza and adventure with a snowboard. Quite surprised myself with the board - haven't done any boarding for about 5 years yet I did manage to get on with it pretty much straight away - hurrah! Only time I came a cropper was on the button lifts - which doesn't count as coming off them whilst on a board is inevitable IMHO
So, I was looking forward to my boarding holiday before and now I really REALLY am! Big sigh of relief! Oh and for those interested, it's a week in TREMBLANT, Canada. Never been there before but it looks like it's going to be great!

Sunday I met up with my Tri training buddy Leanne and we headed out for a long run. She and her husband are also doing the Reading Half... So Dan headed out for his 2hrs on his own as he's a tad faster then us. Leanne had a 75mins on her schedule and I had 2hrs... so effectively we were going for a certain route then I was going to carry on a bit. Twas a grey and grizzly day but almost perfect temp for run (although I didn't really appreciate the wind!). We had a great route - from her house down to the River Thames, down the path to Henley then back up some country roads. It was a GREAT run, the river run bit was a bit gloopy underfoot because of the rain, but that didn't last too long. Luckily for me Leanne had planned the route to go past some public conveniences (which I had to visit - let's just say I regretted putting that chilly oil on my pizza the night before.. Yooouch!).... Anyhow, only thing to do having got to Henley was to run back - which was largely up hill, including at one a one stage a 14% gradient - YIKES!

Still we managed it - which was great. Leanne's 75min turned into a 103min run and she did it EASY! She's going to blast her expectation of sub 2hr30 for the half mary!!! I went on for another few mins and finished on my allotted 2hrs with 17.4k - slightly less then last week's two hours but probably hillier and also included an unscheduled potty break!!!

Following from the run I did feel slightly washed out - until Dan rescued us all with giant bacon butties - YUM!

Felt fine really after, knee not as stiff as the previous week - think the sports massage helped there. Only trouble now is this darn cold I've got. Felt increasing rough yesterday, culminating in me leaving work early (ok actually on time) and crawling in to bed by 9pm. So I missed my swim session planned for yesterday (humpf)!... didn't sleep at all well last night and still have no energy beans, head is pounding and my throat sore... need more sleep!!

Only 2 weeks and 2 days until my tri-camp in La Santa! Whopp-dee-doooo!! :o)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A day off!

So I made one of my resolutions to rest when I felt tired (within reason)... and after all the excitement of the last 24hours and the need to disconnect my dishwasher this evening, has led me to believe the today is the day for my weekly rest day. After all I have actually done 7 consecutive days since I got over the lurgy actually when I think of it like that I'm even happier that I've spent this evening yanking the built in dishwasher out and disconnecting it instead of going to the gym or swim session.

Yes the dishwasher - so it did die some months ago - and thus I have been suffering the indignation of actually washing my own dishes recently!!! The new washer is arriving tomorrow so no more wrinkled paws for me ;o) .. It's amazing how many dirty dishes one person and two cats can generate in a day!!!

On to the exciting 24 hours.... well my UK 70.3 Ironman application has been accepted! EK! So it's real now - I'm in - lucky I've started training!!! Better get that count down counter on my blog!

Excitement #2 ... Second holiday booked!! So as you may know I am going, at the end of the month, back to Club La Santa in Lanzarote for a winter training camp. So I thought what better to do then come home from that and then travel to Cananda and go snowboarding! Yippee!! .... Unplanned but highly exciting!! And yes possibly slightly risky for the 70.3 and certainly not in the training plan! But still, life goes on and when presented with an opportunity for fun, laughter and happiness why not go with it?

... yeah as long as I'm wearing the wrist guards and a helmet right!!

Humm.. As for training... Well I went for my scheduled 45min run yesterday morning (luckily between rain showers). The half-mary schedule called for 45min with 1-3min efforts interspersed throughout. It was going well until I got about half way when I started getting the feeling of impending doom... well impending wind actual (of the human rather then meteorological kind!). This then developed into a rather painful stitch. After fighting it for some minutes I eventually slowed, stopped and tried to blow the stitch out... eased a bit, started running and I felt the gas on the move.. moments later I let loose the biggest burp!! A bit embarrassing really doing that in the street - but at least it was in the dawn light so no one could really tell if it was me or the cows in the field... I thought that would be the end of the stitch but frankly it stayed around till the end!! Looking at the splits on my Garmin I'm quite pleased with the interval speed, between 4:30 and 5:30 mins per k... depending on length of effort and probably elevation - somehow the intervals coincided with downhills ;o)

Total 7.2k in 44mins, average 10.4kph Happy with that!

Then just to test my knee out further I went out for a 22min easy run in the evening. All was well I thought until I got up this morning when the joint had seized again a bit overnight. Still at least I've rested it completely today!!

So tomorrow is dishwasher day and then it's Friday. Workouts to do: 1 run (hill session), 1 strength session, 1 bike, 1 swim.... Will I make it!?!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Another New Year thought?

OK Perhaps not (I can hear you breath a sigh of relief!)

Although I have been considering why I haven't bothered blogging my 2007 recap? Well partly because I haven't had much time and partly because I have this overwhelming feeling of both achievement and resolution. 2007 was a strange year, but one where personal issues have been resolved, where I have completed a journey and one where new adventures have begun. So I guess 2007 is still somewhat W.I.P?! Of course from a sporting point of view I've been thrilled with my first season in tri - the lifestyle triathlon brings is such a healthy one, and the people you meet along the way add to the benefits - it's not just a sport it's a lifestyle, it's a choice for goodness. At least that's what it provides to me.

So enough of 2007 recap - As long as I get past this weekend without breaking my hand I'll be happy (as you may recall I broke my right hand in a MTB accident last January and the equivalent event is on this weekend - luckily a different venue - but I think I'll test my luck and do it all the same ;o)

Since I've got over the lurgy I've hit back at the training schedule. I'm now just starting Prep Phase 2 Week 1. I've had to mix a couple of things up due to missing my half-mary 2hr LSR the week before. So I've added this to this week, whilst keeping the hours training the same. I actually managed the 2hr run on Saturday, a nice day for it. Quite surprised myself with (a) achieving the full 2hours (b) running 18km easy in that time and (c) not really suffering too much post run. Having said that I woke up Sunday with a sore (really sore) right knee which sort of ruled out my intended 2hr road session on Biancha. Fear not however as I headed to the gym and sat on a static bike (AGH!) for a whole hour.. yuk! ... Still I managed it and followed it up with a 45min swim - which was an ok session but not fab.

The DOMS then really set in whilst I sat on the sofa yesterday evening - but thankfully a good sleep last night led to somewhat easier legs, particularly knee today. Made it to the gym this evening for some strength work. Given the new phase of training means the strength is indeed becoming strength sessions as the reps get less but the weights got more. Enjoyed the session and hung in for an hour and half in total including some good stretching off. Still not sure about the knee, have two more runs this week, one 45min with 1-3min intervals and one hill rep session. Hummmm.

Summary of week so far (from Saturday);
SWIM: 45mins 1.6k
BIKE: 60mins 33k
RUN: 120mins 18k
Other: 85mins

...and now enough of this dribble it's time for something far more important... Sleep... zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, January 03, 2008

The difference between....

a resolution and a to do list?

So I've been thinking of my NY resolutions and figure all I've come up with really is a "to do" list really! So what is a resolution? Wait a minute whilst I look up the formal definition.....
res·o·lu·tion [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1.a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution.
2.a resolve or determination: to make a firm resolution to do something.
3.the act of resolving or determining upon an action or course of action, method, procedure, etc.
4.the mental state or quality of being resolved or resolute; firmness of purpose.
5.the act or process of resolving or separating into constituent or elementary parts.
6.the resulting state.
7.Optics. the act, process, or capability of distinguishing between two separate but adjacent objects or sources of light or between two nearly equal wavelengths. Compare resolving power.
8.a solution, accommodation, or settling of a problem, controversy, etc.
a.the progression of a voice part or of the harmony as a whole from a dissonance to a consonance.
b.the tone or chord to which a dissonance is resolved.
10.reduction to a simpler form; conversion.
11.Medicine/Medical. the reduction or disappearance of a swelling or inflammation without suppuration.
12.the degree of sharpness of a computer-generated image as measured by the number of dots per linear inch in a hard-copy printout or the number of pixels across and down on a display screen.

[Origin: 1350–1400; ME resolūtiōn- (s. of resolūtiō), equiv. to resolūt(us) resolute + -iōn- -ion]

4. resolve, determination, perseverance, tenacity; strength, fortitude.
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.


OK so I did cut and paste that! So essentially a resolution is like a "to do" but one which seems to have firmer resolve around it's intent - I mean I could say a new years resolution is to (a) tidy the garage and (b) keep it that way. But does that mean I really really intend to do it or would I just like to do it (believe me it's the latter - whenever my garage gets tidy it seems an excuse to make it untidy again!)

So let's make some proper resolutions in the following categories - Family and Friends, Health and Fitness, Home. Not too many in each category as I want them to be doable and they are resolutions for change/ improvement not to do's just to get done... Also I'm going to add the how I'm going to achieve them

I hereby resolve that;
Family and Friends:
1. Ensure my Nephew's know who "Auntie Karen" is and be not only a loving auntie but a FUN one too! :o) I'm going to do this by making sure I see them at least once a month (as my brother and sister-in-law read this now I've got to stick to it), try and get to at least one of my older nephews school do's, possible even baby-sit ...but as bro and sis are reading let's not take this last one one too literally, esp on a saturday night ;o)

2. To ensure I get quality time with both of my parents! As a child of divorced and remarried (to each other 20 years later!) parents it's important to me to continue to have the relationship I have with both parents as individuals. I'm going to do this by taking my Mum on her quarterly shopping trips (yes Mum I know you read this too so now I have NO excuse for not shopping with you at least once every 3 months!), and having a nice meal out with Dad when my Mum goes away to her friends house for the weekend... failing that I'll meet Dad after work at his golf club the odd wednesday evening!

3. The good OLD friends who I'm close to but who are not local I resolve to speak to them more regularly and see them at least once a year!!! The great people I've met in the last year I resolve to strengthen that friendship! Keep social with current mates!

Health and Fitness
1. Healthy eating! Establish a "one bad food meal" of the week, no more. And NOT to eat too late at night!

2. Ironman 70.3 UK - need I say more... do this by entering (done. twice. by mistake. opps long story), and train like a demon!

3. Listen to my tired body more. If I'm feeling pooped from work and/ or training accept it and don't train. Health is important, overtraining will not lead to a healthy Karen!

1. Keep the place tidier!... Get a cleaner!

2. Make my home less of a carbon cruncher! Recycle as much as I can, double glaze the windows and possible look at cavity wall insulation.

I'm purposefully not adding a work/ career resolution - maybe that will come later in the year?! Maybe I should think of something "new" to try or learn too but I'm not quite sure what!!

OK and finally.... I've got back to training yesterday! Hurrah! Managed a steady run of 7k in 41mins (5:56 per km). Honestly I felt pretty awful throughout but I think that was largely down to the wine and stilton I'd eaten the night before with my neighbours rather then the after-effects of the tummy bug!!

This morning I had a really good swim session; 2k (longest swim in a long while) in an hour consisting of a 400m W-Up. 400m 4*(4*25) Drill sets: Main set and warm-down. Felt good. Everything untimed as it was really all about form.

Have also done a strength session this evening. So feel ok, despite that lurgy thing....

Talking of which - the lurgy I had seems to have actually made it on to the beeb website!!! Take a look at this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7169347.stm

Talk about nasty looking bug! With all that colour it's no wonder I was barfing up ;o)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

1st Jan bedtime ramblings...

OK so I must think about 2008 and what I want to do this year - what are my resolutions anyhow?

Why is Muffin the cat making so much snoring noises. I know he's ill but is there really any need. I'm just so soft letting him on the bed at night, but then he's not well

Now I've had a full day of no tummy troubles and two days of proper food I'd better look at the impact to my training schedule and think about where I need to pick up from.

God it's work tomorrow and it's 23:41 - far too late for a gym session first thing before work.

Why is my throat a bit sore - have I caught it from the cat, ok that's not likely he IS a cat!

I've had a really relaxing and lovely start to the New Year. In fact my whole few weeks of Christmas have been excellent, despite work do's, being busy, me having the puke monster bug and a variety of kitty-cat traumas.

Oh I must do my ironing and take my suits to the dry cleaners. WHEN am I going to get a chance to do THAT filling!?!

It's 2008! OMG! It's 2008. I'm 38 this year. How is that possible? And when did that happen? Actually I'm glad I'm 38 I know more now then when I was 28 that's for sure, let's not even contemplate how much I though I knew when I was 18 (how laughable)... OMG I was 18 TWENTY - that's two-zero TWENTY years ago.

Oh no it's 23:49 I should turn the computer off and sleep.

Expenses! I must do my work expenses - tomorrow. I must do them tomorrow. I hope tomorrow is quiet at work!

Night night... oh yes and ....

HAPPY 2008 .....yippeeeeee!!!!!