Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Watercress Soup

Thankfully I'm feeling slightly more human today. I can swallow for a start, still not feeling terribly hungry but at least I am eating. I have been in to work although due to complete tiredness (well not in the scheme of life things, but I'm floppy if you know what I mean), anyhow due to the tiredness I decided not to risk a swim as believe one more day of rest better then going back too soon (I've learnt this from prior bugs)..which means 3 days without endorphins...



Yes that's what 3 days without endorphins does to me....


But as I say I'm feeling MUCH better then yesterday. A key indicator of this is......


I actually felt like having some today... so I did... YUM! As pack of Minstrels weren't enough I had to go for a Twirl too... Oh! So maybe I did get some artificial endorphins in today after all!!

So having done my batch of odd shopping yesterday I continue to take a fancy to Watercress soup. Having finished by tub yesterday I ventured back to a smaller branch of Waitrose on the way home this evening... only to find.. .there was NO WATERCRESS SOUP!


Don't they realise this is my current elixir?!

Ha! Not to be put off I thought .... what the hell.. how hard can it be to make!! So I grabbed myself a bag of watercress and figured that would be about all I need... and then figured maybe some semi-skimmed milk may also be required (usually I have skimmed at home).

How hard can it be?! Well relatively easy it thankfully turned out. Googled "watercress soup" and uncovered three receipes; largely you take an onion and some potato (in my case sweet potato as that's what I had), chop up and sweat in a pan with a bit of olive oil, add about 700ml of stock (veggie in my case) and bring to the boil. Simmer until the pots look like they're nearly done. Lob in the bag (170g) of watercress and about 150-250ml of milk, bring back to the boil and simmer about 5mins.


Oh and then you have to blend it.


Well I put half in the blender (I thought I was being sensible doing it in two portions). Well despite the top being on it it turns out the heat/ steam was a little too much.. no sooner did I press the "pulse" button then steaming hot cress broth exploded out of the top spout!!!! YIKES!

Still - despite having a splattering of green on the wall, cupboards, me and even a bit on the ceiling I successfully finally blended both batches, put back together, reheated and had a bowl.


I feel quite proud really - I think it even tasted nicer then the shop version of yesterday!

Of course I have made enough to feed a family of ten so I'll have to put it in the fridge and maybe freezer!

Now I have some elixior I should be back on the training rungs tomorrow.

And breath... less then 3 weeks to go.

Oh PS: Did anyone see the triathlon at the Olympics? Blinkin incredible men's race - Alaistair Brownlee has the heart of a lion and I feel for poor Tim Don. A great race!

Monday, August 18, 2008

You know when something is up when....

- You are off your food

- You go to the local Waitrose (suppa duppa grocery store) and NOTHING in it takes your fancy.

Not even the icecream
Not even the chocolate
Nothing from the fresh bakery

Something is wrong...

You drag your sorry arse home with the following;
A punnet of blueberries
Watercress soup
A Lettuce
6 tomatoes
Half a cucumber
Small amount of cooked ham and chicken
Some goats cheese
Broccoli spears
2*sweet potato
.. and a small baguette to go with the soup

So I must be craving vitamins and minerals - I want fresh stuff... I don't want carbs, I don't want biscuits, I don't really fancy bread, I don't want cake.... this is VERY unlike me!

I'm feeling pooped and my throat feels like I've accidentally eaten some stinging nettles, sore from the back to my tum.





A disgruntled triaflete (aka bear with a sore head/ throat) is roaming these walls... I want to train.. but I want to sleep more!


Now where are the throat things and the paracetamol... HUMPF...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The weekend and The Vitruvian Reccie

Hi People!

So what of this weekend of continuation of both the Olympics and Autumnal weather (I'm not joking, we've gone from spring, two days of summer sometime in June and now just gray wet and windy days - bleah!)

The plan for Saturday saw Leanne, Dan, Keith and Steve met up on the Vitruvian course... not that Steve and Dan are actually doing the race but they will be support crew on the day! Not great having a 2+ hour drive to get there as hammies and back were tight to start... Still be all gathered up, Keith and Steve having cycled from somewhere to meet us. Made it about 400m up the road when Leanne realised her sparkly bike (just out of service) couldn't change into the big ring... so we had a quick pit stop and started again... BOY was it W-I-N-D-Y... the kind of wind which blows you side ways across the road and makes it feel like you're going up hill when you're going into it... YUK!

Anyhow - I'm very pleased to report that the course is no where near as hilly as feared... In fact compared the the H.I.M it's almost flat! Although that doesn't paint a true picture and out of respect to the course I must confess there are a couple of challenging hills but really nothing too scarey! ... and breath a huge sigh of relief!!

Still have toe issues, but think with some more tweaking of the left cleat I may be close to resolving the cause of the injury and as said last weekend I'm managing it ok - more pain on biking then running and currently I'm feeling quite strong in the run - almost as good as I felt in January (before the back problem)... anyway where was I... Oh yeah the bike course.... So we had a lap with the boys then Keith and Steve cycled back (from where they came) and the three of us continued around another lap. We had less stops on the second lap, I had one close encounter with a wasp or bee when zooming down hill the poor bug must have been zooming up... hummm lucky I was wearing glasses, the bug did hit my cheek/ glasses at about 50kph (>30mph) which I think gave it more of a headache then me!!! LOL

Here's the profile of the route:

Oh it's not as bad as that picture would have it - seems to have squashed a bit loading it!!... Anyhow, we join it at the middle top, the cheeky hills are on the left side and then there's a nice flat/ down on the south side, only when you turn north west do you start to have rolling hills again.

Having completed the two laps this wasn't enough so a quick pack of the bikes into cars (well in my case bike, less front wheel which I forgot to pack and left by the side of the car - lucky no one wanted a spare wheel!).... So Leanne and I headed off for a run leaving Dan with instructions for two strong coffees to have been purchased in 30mins time!! ;o)

The run course is pretty flat really (couple slight inclines but nothing of notice, and again nothing compared to the HIM).... So the good is that it's flat the slight bad is it's mostly tarmac - which I think will make my foot a little sore, but hey by the time I'm running and it's hurting like everything else will be too so I'll probably not notice it!! LOL

Did about 5k on the 30min run, 20mins effort then 10mins walk/ jog back. The actual route on the day continues down in the direction I was headed, turns right then down the south east side of the reservoir to I think about that nobly bit in the middle bottom of the picture... .out and back twice is the half marathon part of the race. At least it's quite pretty!

Thankfully got back to a nice coffee from the shop (via Dan of course), we then fought the wind and staggered down to the water front where Dan gave us an idea of the swim course - two 850m laps! I think it's all coming together (well apart from my swim which still seems to be lagging behind)!

Having completed what we set out to do it was time for good byes. I had a lose arrangement that I would pop over to see some good friends in Leicester but felt a bit pooped to be honest. So I phoned Hellen up to say I was probably going to get in the car and drive home..... and then she put her youngest on the phone... Now Felix is 2.5 years and I only saw the family about 6 weeks ago... .and I know kids grow up quickly at that age but BLIMEY... he was having a right natter... so I couldn't resist it and headed the 45mins or so to their house instead.

Felix greeted me with his newest trick;

He then thought it would be a good idea to try our my trainers for size;
What a cutey!

Anyhow, kindly Ben and Hellen offered a bed for the night and an overgrown courgette (zuchini) for dinner;
Ben had missed these two for a couple of days..... hummm did I mention we'd had a lot of rain recently!! ;o)
Luckily there was also some pasta! So we had a nice relaxing evening with a couple of glasses of wine.. a perfect end to a great day!

... and then there was today... humm... well I was supposed to do a 2hour easy recovery ride... humm.. well I've been fighting a cold for a few days which has now turned into some beastly sore throat thing... by the time I got home I just felt pooped, even more then after the ride/ run yesterday. Suddenly the sofa looked kind of appealing.. and that's where I slept for a couple of hours!! Still I dreamed of riding and swimming so maybe that counts for something. Still not feeling too great and swallowing is like nettles from my throat down to my belly!! :o( Hopefully I'll kick this without too much bother as I'm having a nice long weekend break next weekend!! :o)

Ok enough for now - may even summarise my months training next week, not been too bad since I got back from hols (which is as well as The Vit is less then 3 weeks off... GULP!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Are you watching?

I think either you love it or hate it... the Olympics I mean! I'm assuming most bloggers who read this are sports fans so probably love all this sport on TV.... and then there's those who are not really sports fans but will still love it.... and then there are those few who just don't care - shame on them is what I say!!! ;o)

I have been pretty much hooked from Day 1!

Some of my personal "best moments", obviously this is biased towards GB success.....

YES! A GOLD first thing Sunday morning with Nicole Cooke's amazing road race... a good team ride actually with the rest of the team helping out for sure.

We then moved on the time trials and managed a Silver in the ladies event with Emma Pooley.

Now the AMAZING factoid I picked up from the cycling so far is that Emma only rode her first competitive road race 3 years ago (!!) AND more impressive there's an French lady, Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, who is 49 (YES 49) years old who competed in the TT... so there's hope for me yet... LOL!!!

Looking forward to track cycling now.... there's quite a bit of expectation over here for the boys and girls to bring some gold home. It will be fab to watch.


Need I say anything more?... Oh yes, being a Brit I should also mention;

ADDLINGTON - who has a Gold and going for another.... our swim team seems to have improved a lot since Athens (not terribly hard). It's amazing watching the races, I mean those guys can do 100m faster then I can do 50!!!! MAD! and Inspiring at the same time.

Shame the girls relay screwed up the semi's by opting to rest two of the team (and therefore failing to qualify), although looking at the final not sure we'd have won a medal anyhow.

OK - so the running is only getting going today. The BIG question for me is what will happen to Paula Radcliffe in the marathon. She's like had a stress fracture and been out for a couple of months and been training on a x-trainer!!! Think the race is due to start early hours of Sunday morning so I may set an alarm to watch the last 15mins or something.

The Heptathlon is off now which I find an amazing event (well that and the Decathlon, ok that and the rest of the games). Anyhow now the track and field has started more amazement to come.

Oh and of course there is;Now I did wonder how they were going to create one of those nice symbols to represent the triathlon... I'm not sure that one does it for me!! But still - much to look forward to in the early hours of Monday and Tuesday morning, perhaps another alarm jobby to watch it live!!.... Or maybe I'll catch up the highlights on line later!

Now there have been several funny/ "ouch" moments at the Olympics so far, there was a Turkish (I think it was) female weight lifter who having failed to lift a weight proceeded to stroop off and walk into a wall! That was quite funny.

But I ask you - should the BBC be treating a Knight like this.... Here's a little video clip of the legendary SIR Steve Redgrave (GB Rowing Legend in case you didn't know). He's commentating in the rowing and it rained a bit, not a proper coat in sight they obviously opted for whatever they could purchase .... is it me or does this jacket simply not fit!!! See this video clip

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Questions and Answers


(a) What Pace for intervals?: I had a few people who said they didn't know what their paces were... so I only "know" my 10k and half Mary paces from what I've done or assume I can do... so I set my 10k pace based between what the time I think I should be able to do if I did one straight off (ie not too stupidly fast) and what I have done in a triathlon.... I think this meant my Garmin was set up for a pace between 5:24 per K and 5:04 (yeah dream!).... similar for half pace; I've done 2:02 and think I should be just under 2hrs .... so my pace zone was set something like between 5:45 and 6:00mins per K... There's also plenty of "pace predictors" on the internet, so if you've done a 5k say you can whop that in and it'll give you a predicted pace..... in my case these seem quite accurate.

Oh yes and sorry about doing this in kilometers

Oh ... Ok so the title should have been "ANSWER" actually... as I think I only have the one!


(b) KM or Miles: Hummm.... I pose this to myself all the time. I live in miles, but the sport tends to be done in KM.... also training in "KM" gives an apparent "faster" time, although clearly that is purely psychological! But running like 5:30mins per K just sounds better the 9+mins per mile ;o)

(c) BIKE... this is the current BIGGY!!! I'm thinking, no, I'm going to get a new bike. Make my current stead into a training/winter bike and get myself a carbon for a little end of season pressie... the question is do I go for a tribar cockpit or not bother. I'm fairly torn. On the one hand I do go aero quite a bit in races but on the other most of my races this year have been pretty hilly so can't be aero up those as too much gear changing (and huffing and puffing off the saddle) are called for........... I've had a couple of chats with some peeps recently and both came down on the side of a road bike rather then tri-specific. I think I'm heading this way too but wondered if anyone out there had any ideas???

As for things training related..... still going ok - managing the ongoing foot issues better then the lead up to the half iron in June, but dancing in highheels on Saturday night seems to have aggravated the foot a bit (no sh*t shurlock)... still .... I've got another killer run scheduled for this week... oh in fact scheduled for today .... another mixture of easy, half and 10k... although this time only one bout of 10k... but it's 10mins at the end of it... YIKES!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

8 on 8th 08

Well more like 8.2 on the 6th but still.... Remember the challenge set by Nancy?

So inspired...
".. and so the torch came to the shores of this United Kingdom, to go on small jog on its quest for world domination...."

It had been a muggy day when the torch was passed to me so I took with vigour a plan in mind... this was a journey into the the Finchampstead countryside last night which was great, a mixture of trails and quite country lanes.... here's the report:

I was actually DREADING the run yesterday.... not only was it my l-o-n-g-e-s-t in a long while but I was set the following BEASTLY session;
20mins @ Warm-up (easy)
10mins @ 10k Pace
10mins @ easy
20mins @ Half Marathon Pace
10mins @ easy
5 mins @ 10k Pace
5 mins @ easy


As I said I was really dreading it - the torch and I managed to find a pretty much flat route (thankfully). Did my warm-up sucked it in and set off for my first interval. I managed to set my Garmin up well with the session, did the easy by HR and the rest by pace (gave myself a window rather then set pace). Was quite pleased how the first 10k pace effort went... then it took a while to get my HR back down (only walked to slurp some gatorade).

It was difficult at first getting my pace back up for the second interval, this time half pace... but once I got into it I managed to hold on for the full 20mins although I can't say it was terribly comfortable!!

Another slurp and off at easy but getting my HR back below 148 proved near impossible, mainly hovered around 150 despite jogging with fairy steps!! Needless to say I was NOT looking forward to the next 5mins of 10k pace torture...

LUCKILY though the start of the 10k pace was at the top of a slight hill!! Joy; the down helped get my legs turning over and speed up to the desired pace which I then held - although there were some people out for a evening stroll, I barely could talk to say "excuse me" as I rounded the lake - I think they must have thought I was a bit crazy!!... and I must have looked a bit mad that's for sure (the virtual torch lighting my way - maybe they knew what I was up to?! LOL ok perhaps not)... Frankly I was more then a little surprised that I managed to wind the pace back up again (without having cardiac arrest too) for this final lunge towards the end goal! LOL

I jogged back up through the park home, had set the Garmin to do the last 5mins easy (HR 148 or less) and then set it up to go straight through into a timer with the lap button being the end of the stage.. consequently by 80mins run turned into 83 - so bagged a couple more mins and a couple hundred metres over the distance.!! Total distance 13.24k which is a bit over the alloted 8 Miles I think - HURRAH for me and HURRAH for the torch!

Time Dist Split T Dist Pace Avg. HR Max. HR
0:20:00 3.21 20:00 3.21 6:13 139 (75%) 148 (80%)
0:30:00 5.08 10:00 1.87 5:21 156 (84%) 162 (87%)
0:40:00 6.50 10:00 1.42 7:03 145 (78%) 162 (87%)
1:00:00 9.98 20:00 3.47 5:46 158 (85%) 165 (89%)
1:10:00 11.27 10:00 1.30 7:42 148 (79%) 164 (88%)
1:15:00 12.22 5:00 0.95 5:17 160 (86%) 165 (89%)
1:20:00 12.83 5:00 0.61 8:09 147 (79%) 163 (88%)
1:23:05 13.24 3:05 0.40 7:41 148 (79%) 150 (81%)

Decided to run with my iPOD for the first time in ages. Mainly playing some tunes by Linkin Park and Foo Fighters (I need these for this session!).... anyhow, just as I was finishing up "Home" by the Foo Fighters came on which was quite apt as by then I really needed to be back home for sure!!

Monday, August 04, 2008


S'ok... I'm here... Is there anyone still out there?!

How are you doing? Enjoying summer?.... I am well :o)

I haven't blogged in a while (got out of the habit that's all)...

So a month gone and to keep it brief....

1. I HAD A FABULOUS HOLIDAY... Chicago was completely brilliant as were the beaches of Lake Michigan... and boy did I SHOP!

2. MOJO IS BACK (WWOOP!.. Lucky with The Vitruvian only a few weeks away)

3. I HAVE A NEW JOB (WHOOP! WHOOP) Still at the same company but am excited about what I'm up to!

I'll blog about points 1 and 2 once I've downloaded photo's and stuff.

All in all things are good in the world of Karen :o)... will promise to make it less then a 28 odd days before I blog again!... Maybe even more tomorrow..??!!!

PS: I've just read Lisa's blog who mentions Nancy's blog where Nancy has set an Olympic challenge...8 on 8th 08.... take a look. I have what can only be described as an horrendous run scheduled for sometime on Wednesday, not sure I'll get to 8miles in the 80mins but I will give it a go and write about it in due course!! .. .:O)... and I know Wednesday is the 6th but Nancy lets us off that!