Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Here comes 2009!



Some Stats for those desperate to know;

In 2008 I managed to ....

Swim .... 96.20k in 49hours 56mins
{note this is not even 10 races of the Olympic S long distance Swim race of 10k... puts that into perspective!!}

Bike..... 2657k in 117 hours and 36 mins
{cough - I believe this is less then the distance cycled on the tour de France!}

Run.... 701k in 74 hours and 43mins
{So if they were ultra's then this would be about 7?... }

Can't compare to the year before as I was on polar training for part of the year then on sportstracks... I would have thought my mileage (ok kilometres) on everything has increased given I went on to half iron this year just gone.

Still a bit undecided as to my sporting goals for next year... some of this is dependent on my life outside triathlon and those plans have been thrown up in the air recently and not yet landed!! I have some races in the the calendar though, although I suspect the first one (Wokingham Half) is going to be skipped as it's too soon after this illness thingy I'm getting over... like it's 5 weeks away and I've not trained at all for 2!! I've got Reading half though at the end of March and Austria 70.3 is booked - both of which I'm looking forward to :o)

I wonder what else.... one thing for sure the first two months of the year will be very defining for me and likely to help steer the rest!!

I hope you celebrate this year end in style and welcome in the new.... and a big BIG shout out to Eric who is doing some MAD "Across the years" event, started already! Go Eric Go!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Easter Eggs!!!

I'm not kidding.. I have just ventured to the local corner shop for essentials and there on the shelf were Cadbury's cream eggs... Now, although these are not specialist Easter Eggs as such... they are still egg shaped and made of chocolate and generally sell around Easter time. There were also packs of mini-eggs....




On a brighter note... Muffin seems to be in a better mood now he can get to the wound ok.. although he hasn't gone out much (I think he's embarrassed about the lack of fur on the bum end of his tail... he looks a little silly).

On another note... it's been nearly two weeks since I last did any form of exercise... and yes I have had a reasonable excuse I'll give you that... this is the longest non-exercise break since I broke my hand in January 2007!!!

But the good news is I am feeling rested and am hopeful that I may be able to start the new year with a gentle swim or turbo session... I'm a bit fearful of running!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Battle of the "Purr"

All was quiet in the household

The only thing stirring was the lady in the bed.... having woken up just after 4 she was wondering if she'd be able to get back to sleep..

Soros the cat arrived with stealth, a quick jump landing on her head telling her he was there.... he started to purr, started to dribble and was quickly dispatched to the foot end of the bed and so hopped off altogether.

All was dark. All was quiet.

The lady began to drift back to sleep.

Then the bedroom door slowly, softly began to open.

Startled back to full awake the lady turned the bedroom light on to see what monster of the dark was too big to get through the crack in the bedroom door.

Looking down she saw, looking up... big wide eyes, blinkin from the sudden light.


"Muffin - what are you doing" she enquired to the old black cat... "it's the middle of the night and it's not like you couldn't fit through that gap in the door?"

"Meow!" with that Muffin jumped on the bed... how unusual she thought... but then I've been under the weather, maybe he's sensed that and come to keep me company.

She turned the light back off with the black cat barely at the end of her fingertips purring away.

Drifting off again with the sound of purring gently lulling her to sleep the lady became aware of another body in the room, a silent stalker moving around the bed.

She knew what to expect next. With a leap so quiet the other cat arrived on the other side of her and pushed against her and snuggled up tight. And so it began.... as the new arrival started to purr so the big cat on the other side challenged his rival with an increase volume. The sparring continued louder and louder... purr PURR PURRRRR.... until the lady shifted as she finally drifted back off to sleep.

All was dark. All was quiet.

Hummm. So anyhow I got up this morning and Muffin was still acting weird... picked him up - he squealed in a cat rage sort of fashion and I discovered a bump on his tail... ok so he wasn't looking after me last night, no he was feeling unwell. Evidently he's been in a fight and has (ok now had) an abscess on his tail.... it burst as I took him to the vet.. what a stink! Still he didn't like the vet and did scream at her quite a bit as she clipped his fur off but she did manage to get some antibiotics in him (rather her then me).

As for me... well I'm still resting up. Off work until the New Year. But I have colour in my cheeks and I'm feeling like I have a bit more energy, thank fully the ibruprofen and rest seems to be working.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

La sfida è sopra

...which I think should mean "the challenge is over" in Italian (I don't know why I picked Italian to translate to but I thought I would!!)

To keep it brief.... went to the gym on Thursday for a dreadmill session; 1 mile easy, 4 miles tempo (at 8:45) then a mile easy.

Felt sluggish to begin with then got going, felt a bit rough during the first tempo mile and then felt awful so stopped...and walked a bit. hummm... so decided to treat the session as a speed session instead with 1mile on .5mile recovery........................... felt rough again at the end of the next mile. It was at this point I figured all was not well... I know I was running a tempo session but I did feel really well wierd... so walked a bit then tried running again then walked a bit and felt awful... ok so then I stopped.... and then I went for a lay down on the stretch mat....

To keep a long story short I didn't feel much better for some time and went to the docs on Friday who's advised complete rest and ibrofen as he suspects a little ol' viral infection of the tick-tocker or something near it at least... yikes! Still I should feel better in days just need to put my feet up and relax.

So I've told my boss I won't be in and that includes email... life is after all too precious.... and work can wait.

Not sure what this means for the Feb half marathon will just play that by ear as and when I'm up to running again.... my body for now is telling me to rest and rest I shall.

On the bright side of things this should at least give me enough time to wrap my Christmas pressies, and on the downside it means I've missed the last post for my Christmas cards.... so I'll still send them but they'll be late (although to be fair most people will think it a miracle they got one at all as I'm usually mega rubbish at sending them).

Also on the positive front it IS the shortest DAY today..... so from now on I should be getting progressively HAPPIER as we get more sun light (well allegidely but we all know there's generally too much cloud cover to even notice).. so tomorrow I think we get an extra ... wait for it... drum roll.....



DateSunriseSunsetThis day

Dec 21, 20088:04
3:547h 49m 40s

Dec 22, 20088:04
7h 49m 44s

I can't wait ;o)

Needless to say I'm disappointed in how the December challenge has finished but these things happen and I don't see any point dwelling on it... the rest will do me good and I'm sure will put me in a good position to start 2009 with extra enthusiasm!

In case I don't blog again before the big day, I'll just leave you with SEASONS GREETINGS and wish you good will to all of you and your families.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Double quick....

Or not as the case may be....

I had a good day today :o)

For starters my bats have been officially identified by the batman as long eared bats.... which are quite cute so I'm happy with that... I can also now disturb the bat-dung (well clear it up!) and get my Christmas decorations down from the loft! I'm not expecting them back until March/ April time and the best thing to do is put down some disposable polythene to capture the "do". Looks like they roosted well and probably had a family up there (ahhh), usually long-ears roost together about 10 at a time. Next spring will be interesting then!

I did also make it to the gym this evening, first a swim then a body pump class..... I was right with my thinking of swim improvement..... did 5*100m with 25s between and my times were between 1:46 to 1:51 for each 100m.... which I'm very happy with. Looking back two years my 100m time was something like 2:08-2:16 so quite an improvement!

The body pump class straight after the swim was an interesting concept.... let's just say my arms (triceps in particular) and shoulders were crying at me, even with wimp weights on the bar!!!!! LOL!

Challenge plans for tomorrow are undefined, I have a long day trip in with work, at least 3 hours each way and unlikely to be home much before 9pm... I may get something done in the morning if I'm lucky (ok willing!).

That's it for now! Half way through the month and about half way through my challenge sessions (I don't know how I've managed that!)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Made off....

Or more like "MADOFF".... great surname for a guy who's just ripped off the banks and your and I's pension funds no doubt... oh the irony.... sorry just watching the news....

So what of the December challenge (I hear you shout)... humm well kinda bad but good news

Twas a busy week last week work and personally it was a bit of a heavy/ emotional week too.... so in essence my relative lack of blogging (ok complete lack of blogging) correlated fairly well with my lack of "challenge".... After double monday I did manage a swim later in the week.... the rest was consumed with work, food, wine or me.... hummm

Got up yesterday morning having given myself a bit of a shake down I decided that I needed to get on track... so I donned my running gear, dug out my off road trainers and headed for the tri-club cross country meet.... Yes I was due punishment for being a lazy sloth during the week... a 5.7mile (very) muddy, (fairly) hilly, (very) cold jaunt in amongst some forest and bracken clad park land... perfect.

... and when I say hilly... there were only a couple (in each lap)... but they were like make-your-heart-feel-like-it's-about-to-pop-outta-ya-throat-steep... yuk... but good for the soul (kinda).

Having gotten thoroughly muddy I then headed home via some friends for a cup of tea (and shed the mud over their carpet... WHOOPS!).

Also went for a swim in the evening... thus making it an amazing three swims in the week.... first three-in-a-week since I don't know when.... I *think* I'm improving, I must remember to take my watch during the next session to time some reps and see.....

Just for good measure I've done a very short 2mile "easy" run this evening (to justify the lemon torte and cream I had!)

Stats updated... gotta get some double days in if I'm going to get the challenge done... I know I've got at least 2 days where I won't be able to do anything so I need to ramp it up to make sure I get to the end of the month with the challenge DONE!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Short double day

So if nothing else I'll be setting a blogging pb this month for most blogs in a month right?!?

Just a shortie as I need to head to the land of nod!

Yesterday was a FABulous day. The Christening went without a hitch (or squeal!) and there were plenty of cup cakes and champagne to go around after! All the kids enjoyed themselves and all the adults had fun (or is that supposed to be the other way around).

December challenges for Sunday = NIL but I was entertaining/ helping to look after kids all day so that ought to count for something!??

So what of today.... to keep it brief. I headed to the gym for a dreadmill session (2 miles easy) and a swim session (something like 950m)... Did both so that's two more down... Hurrah for that :o)

Hope all you guys out there are enjoying your Monday!

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Double day 6

Gotta fly (well drive) off to deepest darkest Leicestershire....

So - got up and made it (just, well actually late) for the body pump class...

Got home, assessed conditions and headed over to Swinley Forest for my 6miles "easy" ... not sure a forest hills and trails is ideal for easy but I needed a forest run today (forests are healing for my spirit!)... didn't enjoy the first 45mins... then I came out of the dulldrums - pumped up the volume and binned the "easy" for a storming final 10-15mins!

6 Miles in 1:02 or thereabouts!

Have a great weekend folks - by the time I come back I will be a changed person with additional responsibilities in life!!

Friday, December 05, 2008

This will be short - Day 5

Today = A Bagel day.... an empty bagel day....

Challenges = Zip, zero nadda

Tomorrow will have to be a triple decker! As I'm to become a God Mother on Sunday which will thus mean another day of likely nought in the challenge front for Sunday!!

Said it the blog would be short!

Could've/ should've swam first thing but couldn't seem to wake up.. I blame the late night 5 miler from the night before.

This evening I was out catching up with a friend I've not seen in over a year or so, we had a nice meal out... then went back to where I needed to drop him off and bumped into some other folks so ended up going to the bar for a lemonade (I was driving). So I've had a nice evening, it's great when you've not seen a group of people for a while and you pick back up where you left off, very welcoming bunch of guys. So all was not wasted today - just the December challenge element!!!

On to tomorrow's double or even triple decker then!!

Hope you have a happy friday folks, don't forget to start that Christmas shopping at the weekend!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Err... Yes...another daily challenge report


I'm so good at it!

OK so here's how the day went...

I got up and was pleased to see that there was neither any snow or frost. Good news. The north of England and Scotland were getting blizzards as us southern wuss' were getting a shade of gray!! LOL! To be fair it did look like it had rained at some point over night... anyhow, I was happy as it meant it would be ok for a lunch time run.

So off I set for work.

Now I knew I'd be getting a call somewhere between 12 and 1pm but wasn't quite sure when. Figured I'd go for that run after. Got engrossed in some work and then had to deal with a pokey issue at about 12:15... resulting that when my call came on at 12:30 I was on the phone dealing with said pokey issue and couldn't answer it! Grrrr... still some text comms later and got to the call at 12:45

How on earth is this related to the run I hear you ask...

... well by the time I got off the call it was about 1pm and then I realised my mistake... I hadn't eaten since breakfast and I was STARVING! Prospect of doing a 5 mile interval session on an empty stomach.. no thanks... no bottled it and went and got a sarny instead.

I had been thinking earlier in the morning that I should have aimed for an early run, but there was no peeling me away from my desk today so I missed 11sy run, missed lunchy run too. Tried not to finish too late but it was still way past 6 when I left the office.

Thought - nothing for it I'm going to have to go home, get changed and do the dreadmill thing. YUK!

So got home... phaffed some...

It was 1845... oh no it's not it's 1930 ...WTF? where did that time go!!??

So whizzed upstairs and got changed for the gym

Midway through I thought; "wait a mo, why drive for 15mins when I can just run on the road out and back (which I dislike I always go in a circle) to Wokingham and back, that's 5miles"

So I started changing from inside gear to outside in the cold gear and grabbed my Garmin..... UH OH!

DRAT! DARN! and FONT (as Lisa may say)!

Somehow the thing had come on in my bag and the batteries were flashing flat.. GRRRrrrr

So I plugged it in and watched the end of Eastenders (giving it a whole 15mins would be enough I thought)

.... so I programmed in my run program, got my ipod sorted, wrapped up and off I headed.

Mile 1 was "easy" and it was relatively easy once I had warmed up
Mile 2 was a speed session; managed a 8:18 min mile without dying too badly
0.5 Mile recovery before
1.0 Mile speed, somehow (and I don't know how) managed 8:19min mile (although felt like death at the end of it)
0.5 Mile recovery, mainly wondering what had just happened and figuring I needed to get my gloves back on
1.0 Mile easy home; this started off hard to get in the right pace but frankly after about 3mins I started motoring quite comfortably again (like 10min mile pace)

Did the lot in 48mins on the button for an average of 9:36min mile (I think) which is ok my me

Have realised I need to get a couple of double whammy session days to get ahead of the curve, the December challenge waits for no man (or woman) and I've got a few days off at the end of the month!!

Today I give myself a star, but could try harder (to get the drated run done earlier in the day!)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Day 3

Small steps are better then no steps...

December SWIM #1 has been banked...

Got up early this morning, like dark outside and scrap the ice off the car early... left the house, it was minus 1, got out of the cul-de-sac and it was -2!... so ok it wasn't mega early; I was in the water by 0700... did a 30mins session for 1050m... nothing too strenuous.

But it counts... it's in the bank.

Contemplated a spin class for this evening but was still at work when the first one started, and by the time I left work just before 7pm I was scraping more ice off the car and it was back at minus 2!!! So not on your nelly was I likely to go home then back out to the gym! Brrrrrr!

Tomorrow has a 5mile run in it, a bit harder to be done as 1m easy, 2*[1m PDQ + .5 recover], 1m easy... hopefully we're not going to get some snow so I can do it outside at lunch time otherwise it's the dreadmill.. YUK!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December Challenge - Day 2


Obviously I'm more awake today! Hurrah for that!

OK - so today I've done one little itsy bitsy run.... Now I must confess I am following a running PLAN for the Wokingham Half planned for Feb.

I've got the plan from Runner's World (.uk version), their SMART COACH thing and based it on my 5k TT from the other week. This is pretty good although the pace is a little bit, like on the button... which isn't terribly ideal for running... so I've done some further research (through my fellow bloggers, so thanks very much)... and found my pace range from the geezer called McMillan (see here). So I am armed and ready to tackle my run challenge at least ... smiles all around!

So I'm happy to report that the December Challenge has commenced!

The plan called for 2 miles easy at 10:14 (which is in fact per the McMillan thing a range of 9:53 to 10:23 mins per mile). Now I've not done such easy runs really in previous training (what with tri I tend to mix it up more), and wouldn't normally do something of this length and think it well worth it, but I'm happy to "start" with this as I'm still a bit pooped! AND I need to up my running time's all part of the plan!

In summary 21:22, 2.15miles avg 9:57min/mile. VERY GOOD.... today I give myself a star.

Monday, December 01, 2008

December Challenge Day 1

Workouts = NIL


I landed from the Boston red-eye at 0530! Exited Heathrow Term 5 at 0605, was on the train to Birmingham (boarding at Reading) at 0740. Got home 1630.

Collapsed in a heap of snooze.

Had bagel and soup.

Heading for bed now

Day 2 of December is tomorrow, let's see what progress I can make on my challenge (a good nights sleep will help!!).