Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snotty Monday

I sit here with tissue to hand, because of a runny nose I may add... but don't worry I'm over the worst I reckon and thus not likely to sneeze on the screen (Eughhhhhh ok too much info)...

So a quick one then..... I'm getting better at those....

- I got a good long ride in on Saturday! Yeah... now the longest ride of the year, a neat 58 miles! Felt good and, had I been able to run, I felt like I had enough to have gone out later in the day. Instead I went out for Pasta joining the pre-half marathon feast with friends.

- Woke up Sunday as the snot monster from the deep dark sea..... So turns out sometimes things kinda work out. I wasn't running the half marathon because of the injured footy/ leggy thing which was as well. Had I been fit I'd have tried to do it and with the cold I woke up with that probably would have been unwise.... I wouldn't have PR/ PBd, I may have DNF either way it would probably have been a bad experience as I know I would have tried and not done the sensible thing of not running! So actually in a perverse kind of way I'm glad I was injured (if you get my drift!)

- Having been interviewed by the cat protection league (charity) to see if I'm a suitable home for a new furry friend I'm still waiting for the letter to say I've been accepted on to the wait list.....



During the half marathon I took advantage of the free physio on offer (whilst the runners were running the tent stayed open so I didn't disadvantage a runner if you get me).... anyhow - they diagnosed the problem as plantar fasciitis... OH MY.. .that can be a problem.... and BOY did the underfoot treatment (massage) HURT... OUCHY!..... so I've got a full appointment and start treatment this saturday (AGHHHHHH) but I'm doing self massage and ice (like I'm treating tendinitis) and, well I'm convincing myself it's feeling better but I'm not quite sure.

Did I menion my severe leg nightcramps too... been having them for a month and have been getting annoying (well who wants to wake up with toes and/or calf on fire)?! Well I had them and figured, what with the training, that I may go and speak to the doctor and have some blood testst (Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium levels etc)... BUT THEN I had a think about what had changed in the last month (other then the training) which may have contributed.... Then realised I'd started work and my intake of DECAFF COFFEE in particular has rocketed... Some research indicated this could be the problem (decaf can cause you to excrete more of those minerals/ salts and also inhibit your absorbtion of them)... SO I have dropped all decaf and caf coffee since last Thursday and night cramps have STOPPED! So at least that is progress!...I'll take a breath now....

Think that's it.

No training last Sunday because that was monster nasty cold day. Still crappy Monday, and I'm older and wiser to know not to push so took that off too ;O).... Did do a 45min turbo session this morning, but like the books say, kept HR in the low zone 1 so no stress but at least some technique work :)

Time to get refocused. Time to get healthy. Time to heal footy!

It's all about time it seems :)

Waffle and mind dumping blog entry over!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Quickie Thursday

It's been a long week.


March training on a scale of 1 to crap has been pretty crap... what with the mysterious foot/ ankle injury and the sad death of Muffin my lovely Moggie it's been... yes crap.

But given the injury meaning I can't run, I've stepped up with the biking.... which is good... and I'm enjoying it which is even better :O)... and hey, I've got to do a lot of cycling if I'm going to do this Iron thingy :)

To news of good happy things....
..... Job - 4 weeks in and it's going well and I'm enjoying it. After a quick couple of trips to Copenhagen and Madrid I now think I'll be settled in the office for the short term.
..... With the job I'm trying to get the opportunity to commute to work... this of course means a brilliant excuse to buy a new bike!!! I'm eyeing up a cross bike which is really like a roadie but with bigger wheels basically. Like I need an excuse... ahem.. better clear the garage out some more :O)
..... Am thinking of getting a new pussycat.... not that anyone could replace by lovely cat Muffin, but I'd like a playmate for Soros, my other monster
..... my foottie/ leggy thing may be hurting but I'm able to go on a cross trainer now - better then nothing!
...... my local footy team have been doing really well and seem to have got themselves out of the relegation zone and almost to mid-table safety (I still say we have outside chance of playoffs).... and my life long footy team (Liverpool), have just sneaked through to the next round of the (crappy) Europa cup, well a cup is better then no cup :)

OK - all for now.... YAWN!

Have a good one everyone! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Muffin the Cat

Muffin my cat

I’m writing this in the knowledge that Muffin is likely to die in the next 24 hours. He’s almost 15 years old, a lovely, brilliant, funny, sensitive, tough, furry, kind, and wonderful furry black cat. He has been my friend for 15 years… I’ve had him since he was 10 weeks old when he could just fit on my out stretched hand to the wise old man, sorry, cat he is today.

Sadly I got home last night, Tuesday 9th March, to find he had had an accident and was holed up under a thorny bush opposite my house. Having dragged him out (literally) it was clear he had a very broken leg, he was cold, he was suffering, he wasn’t happy. With much haste and the support of my neighbours I got him to the emergency town vet where he has stayed overnight on a drip and looked to get stabilized. This morning I moved him back towards home to our local vet. It looks like he has sustained some kidney damage in the accident and the prognosis is not good. So I thought I’d put finger to key board now… whilst Muffin you are still here… so I can share my thoughts with you – you my cat.

But you are not just a cat Muffin. You are more than that. You have been my friend, my ally for many years in my life. You have seen me through marriage, through divorce, through family births and deaths. You waited for me when I went to Iraq… and I shall never forget your little cat face as I walked home through the door in my desert combats. Home for good, you greeted me, I said “Hello Muffin I’m home and I’m staying” it was like you looked up at me in wonder and almost smiled. You have always been there for me to hold and to cry in to your deep fluffy black hair. You have always come to me when you’ve wanted feeding, stroking, feeding or on the odd occasion when you’ve wanted some TLC (having been victorious in a fight but with perhaps the odd infected paw to show for your efforts).

It’s true to say that cats have nine lives – and you surely have had your fair share of close shaves. Remember the time when you were a kitten, when you shouldn’t have been outside as you weren’t old enough but you went anyway. That big cat at the end of the garden scared you so much that you literally crapped your pants all over the cat flap as you ran in and ran straight upstairs to my side of the bed to wipe your arse!... Remember the time I nearly killed you for your stealth climb up the living room curtains. Not a thing was moving in the room which is why I sensed something wrong. You knew you shouldn’t have been up there, you were hardly breathing just looking at me with big wide kitten “I shouldn’t be up here” eyes…. And what about that time after we moved to Finchampstead that you decided to go venturing up a tree in the forest….. now that did take some talking in order to get you to pluck the courage up to come down, although I’m still not sure running head first down the tree was the right approach. I can’t count the times Muffin that you have attempted to greet my car as I’ve pulled into the cul-de-sac. You are so loving but really, you playing the “hello” game has given me white hairs!... and I know you like sunbathing too but you really should be careful with cars – I know at least one neighbor who has run over you – lucky you went between the wheels and not under them. That was another of your lives lost that day.

I’m going to miss you Muffin; Muffin the moo, Muff-cake, Mooky, Moodle, Munchkin, Muffin the fluffin King of the Duffins, Fluff, Moo-cat, “DAMN CAT” (only reserved for when you’ve been v.v.vbad which wasn’t very often)….. I’m going to miss the way you claw and meow at my bedroom door at 0630 every day. Why set an alarm clock when I know you’ll wake me up wanting some food. I’ll miss the way, as I get up you patiently wait for me to get to the top of the stairs before you play the “I can beat you down the stairs” game…. You always set off just ahead of me at breakneck speed. You’ve won everytime I think, even in these later years. I’m going to miss the amount of dirt you manage to bring in your fluffy fur, particularly having been rolling around in the dust in the drive or garden – I know you’ve always enjoyed doing that, especially when the sun is shining. I’m even going to miss the Muffin Fluff that magically appears from under the sofa or the bookcase… can you remember that time I inhaled some (quite by accident mind), it was like me having my own little furball incident….. I’m going to miss my little ode’s to Muffin which I make up and sing to you, usually when I get out the shower and see you waiting there, sitting in the bathroom sink or something. I’m going to miss the way you go mad and INSIST on drinking the stuff my disposable contact lenses come in (which I’ve always thought simply a weird thing to like, tried it myself and I really don’t get it).

Eating my breakfast or dinner will not be the same either. You’re always at my side more faithful then a faithful dog. You always lie next to me with your belly in the air waiting for your tummy to be stroked…. Or simply waiting for me to finish what I’m eating so you can lick the bowl out! You always follow me into the kitchen, I don’t know why you think I’m going to feed you every time?… even when I’m cooking for myself you’ll creep in and reach up, just stretching enough that your little paws suddenly appear on the edge of the kitchen surface!.... No matter how many times I tell you “you won’t like onions” you still want to make sure with a sniff before you scrunch your eyes up in horror and disbelief. In fact can you remember that time as a kitten when you got on the kitchen side and ate a bayleaf which had been taken out of a Bolognese.. .yes I bet that did taste yummy going down – but not so good when it got stuck in your throat and I had to pull it out with tweasers to stop you choking (that was probably one of the nine lives in that incident too)

I could say much more little Muffin… about the strange ways you sometimes try and wake me (lick of the armpit, gentle tug of my hair or a well pressurized bite to my nose), but I think we’re out of time. I’ve just had a call and so I’m going to the vets to see you now my little boy. I know you have been suffering this morning and they’ve tried to make you comfortable. But what you don’t realize is your kidneys are not working and are making you feel worse and worse. The vet could maybe help you mend you broken leg but they can’t mend the trauma this last accident has done to your old little kidneys my friend. I’m sitting here in tears this is our final farewell … I will wait with you little Muffin until you are at rest.

You have seen me through so many wonderful times in my life and given me such laughter and happiness for someone so small and furry. My heart is breaking but I have such wonderful memories and more. I love you Muffin, Muffin the cat. Muffin my cat.

Muffin the cat R.I.P

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A few days on the road

So over the last week I’ve been in Copenhagen (last Weds/Thurs) and the last couple of days Madrid…. What a jet setter – but really it was flying visits on both occasions with just one night stay… so you could say this interrupted my training … but to be truthful I have been in full sulk mode with the foot injury!! I did manage some core training on both trips though – and certainly something is better then nothing.

Travel should be over for the near future which is good all the same on the quest for Iron.

Back to my SULK

I’m seeing my Osteo on Weds night so hoping for a diagnosis at least. My footy/ leggy/ injured thing is feeling a lot better, but then it should given I’ve not run on “IT” for nearly two weeks now. What I should have been doing is going to the pool for some aqua jogging and swimming as well as the biking…. But in my SULK I thought it a much better idea to eat cake and drink beer….. Possibly not the mindset of someone who is going to attempt their first ever Iron distance event this year! LOL….. Lucky it’s still some five months away then!!

Despite my epic sulk last week (and believe me it was a good one) I did actually manage to bike quite a bit. Given I’m still half hoping I make it to the start line of the Reading Half (a week on Sunday, now stop that laughing).. I thought it best I at least put some effort into a couple of rides at the weekend. Despite the sunshine it was, to coin a phrase, bloody freezing and if I had nuts they would have been clearly frozen right off. However I don’t (not sure how the guys in the ride coped!?)… but I did manage a nice round 50 miler on Saturday, which made me quite, well tired actually… and followed this up with a lone (and still freezing) 30miles on Sunday. A double bikey weekend… that was a first (outside tri training camps)… and the longest single ride (both time and distance) this year. So despite my sulk and my travelling last week I did still get two quality sessions in. Run score of zero is allowed and well, swim score of zero was really rather pathetic and I have no excuse (other than the beer was nice thank you!)

It was after the 50miler bike ride I had my first Iron related “WTF!” as I realized, having peeled the layers off my tired body, that I’d have to ride that 50, double it, add a bit and only then would I have cycled the required 112 miles…. And then run a marathon… Oh having already swam 2.4miles … Yeah right the joke IS on me!

But still – I’m going to have quite a few “WTF”s on this journey I suspect.

First things first though…. Foot/ leggy/ whatevery diagnosis and onwards and upwards.

Must start thinking and more importantly eating, like someone who is going to do this!!


Tuesday, March 02, 2010

February Stats

OK so we know February included the big 4 ohhhhhhhhhhhhh and so included some rather good celebrations (which equates to missed training days), and then there was me starting back in full time work.... but on the upside to the road of iron, February also included 3 days of a week long tri camp (I went at the end of January) ... the question is then.. how did I do...

Swim fishy swim swim.... Another big month, posting 12.1miles, compare this to last year of 3.2miles (!) and you can see my love for swimming is definately growing!! Slightly down from January but that was planned and because Jan did include the "5 in 5 day challenge". I'm also determined to hold on to the gains I made from swim camp (November) to be honest, well it cost enough so need to get my ROI!!!
AIM for next month is to keep the consistency up, I'm aiming for 3 swims a week of at least 30mins. I also would like to increase the distance of at least one swim session to nearer the 2.5k mark (I'd say without looking I average around the 2k mark currently)

"Push those Pedals".... a good solid bike month, given we are still in the grips of a quite nasty winter I managed a healthy 164miles, the longest of which was in the cold and rain Saturday just gone at around 42miles. Now clearly I shall be upping these miles in coming weeks - I mean my race miles is 112 so doing only 164 in a month (rather then a day) does mean there's a way to go. But let's consider versus last year and I was only at 138miles (although to be fair was marathon training). So in summary I think this is a good solid start and I am beginning to really get into my biking!
AIM for next month is to be more consistent with my bike training and to UP THE MILES (albeit at a nice leasurily pace!). I'd like to have cracked the 60mile barrier sometime in March, I think that would be good to do....
Drilling it home. Hummm now I've done several "drill" sessions the past month as well as trying to up my mileage for Reading Half marathon. I think I've had a steady to mediocre month really (suffered the most because of the birthday celebrations I reckon) with a mere 42.8 miles ran... down from January (47miles) and also Feb last year (62.9miles).... HOWEVER I did end the month with a run injury (WTF!) and should have done a 10-12miler on sunday just gone... Mileage from last year was higher largely because I did longer runs as prep for the marathon.
AIM for next month is to just get my ankle/ achilles sorted. I don't know what I did on Friday (4 miler, 2 at tempo) but I couldn't walk properly after. My left foot can't seem to push off the toe without pain in my achilles area. I've rested it (from a run point of view) all weekend and may be able to run by the end of the week. With Reading Half on 20th of this month I would originally have been aiming for a PB, right now I'm aiming to see if I can run and may make it to the start line. The ironman is the priority so an injury at this point is not what I'm after and so shall errrrrr on the side of caution - I'm sure I can find another half to do if I get desperate enough!!
Would update number of rest and "lazy" days too but don't have sporttracks on this laptop (I'm getting my stats from my RunSaturday site - I know, kinda sad and kinda geeky all at the same time). Also a recap on "other stuff" which I am now including in my training hours (because it makes me feel good... the increase in hours rather then the pain say from a sports massage!)
I've got a bit of travel coming up this week and next - so I'll need to adapt to that in my schedule too.
Also had a great chat with the coach, he has some very sound and postive suggestions - the first of which is that the training plan as such shall start after Reading as that has been my focus through the last couple of months since returnig from Bolivia. Having said that with the injury (which I've not yet fessed up to), I may be doing more cycling now then running!! We will see..
Ok lunch break over - better get on with some of the real stuff which pays the bills!