Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First time...

So having been on a mega roadtrip this last week I thought I'd do a quick blog on all the things I've done for the first time... Just to show no matter how old we get we can still do 'new' things .... In no particular order....

Went to spectate at the London Marathon... And saw the first men and women fly past before going on to support the masses and in particular Kirsty Dawn 'the Reemanator" as she undertook the challenge of her first marathon.

Next stop was the road trip to the south of France...
First time on the chunnel in a car. (strangely weird being in your car with the engine off and moving)
First time driving a right hand drive car on the "wrong" side of the road
First time stayed overnight in a budget French motel, the wrong motel it turned out... But given it was €40 for the three of us paying it twice was not a problem!
Next day first time Betty (the car) had gone that far in a day with about 8 hours driving shared between Popey and I.

Then... First time I've stayed in the south west of france, very pretty.
First time I've cycled in france (I had packed the bike).
First time I had wine twice a day (lunch and dinner) for two days in a row (I must have had wine twice in day before now)
First time I've run in france (which hurt plenty i suspect due to to the wine consumption)
First time i've eaten leek tart (surprisingly yummy!)

Then there was simple the most epic car journey ever on Good Friday, a drive so utterly epic I can't believe we did it... With Popey and I sharing the driving from the lovely tranquility of Labretonie up through France, through Paris... In to Belgium, around Antwerp, on towards Amsterdam before finally getting to Haarlem (northern holland) some 15 hours after starting and 1200 km later... Epic .... And we didn't get lost either!!!!

Which brings me to my current location; Bloomendaal (which is close to Haarlem) where we've been watching the last 16 and quarter finals of the euro hockey league to watch my old club Reading play as well as the best from Holland, Germany, and Belgium (we missed the Irish teams on Friday and there have also been some other English teams playing)

I'm sure there have been plenty more firsts among this journey which is nearly at it's end (only the 6 or so hours to drive home after two games of hockey... One of which will hopefully see Reading win and through to the semi's next month)

On the tri front, well once home tonight or early hours of tomorrow morning I have a week to detox and reawaken my body before training proper commences for the 6 months ahead.... I'll be getting a right shake down and reality check next Monday with a 10k 'race' which the only expectation I have is one of immense pain and suffering!!!!

Update: In an epic game of hockey the Reading Boys got through.... Conceding an equalising goal with about 30seconds to go in normal time leaving the score 2-2, no goal was scored during silver goal extra time so down to 1 on 1's with the keeper.... Which we won by the whisk of a whistle blow. Amazing!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, April 15, 2011

March Stats

OK so this is ... err .. a little belated!!

I was supposed to do a half marathon in March but, quite sensibly I think, I withdrew. So March focus was really more about getting back into an exercise routine gaining enjoyment and not worrying too much about the session intensity or length.

Here are my summary stats;

  • Run - 14 - 50.5 mi - 8.7 hrs
  • Swim - 5 - 4.6 mi - 3.3 hrs
  • Bike - 4 - 77.5 mi - 5.5 hrs
  • Cross - 13 - 0.7 mi - 6.2 hrs
  • Total - 36 - 133.2 mi - 23.6 hrs

March started off slow - well it was my last week at work in the first week of the month ;) ... and then started to build... my weeks went something like this;

Week StartingRunningBikingSwimmingCross Training

28 Feb 1111.
07 Mar 113.623.52.00.0
14 Mar 1118.913.60.80.0
21 Mar 119.340.30.60.3
28 Mar 117.314.51.20.2

Week StartingRunningBikingSwimmingCross Training
TIME (Hrs)

28 Feb
07 Mar
14 Mar
21 Mar
28 Mar
Now this all pales into insignificance compared to my Ironman training but hey - I'm on early season/ maintenance mode. Having said that I do have this small matter of L'Etape Caledonia coming around in less the 4 weeks which is an 82mile ride in the Highlands of Scotland... given my complete lack of cycling this is going to come and bite me in the arse I reckon... so I'd better get out on to that saddle or I may well cry!!!!

This month so far is definitely feeling more consistent, although my bike is still lacklustre... MUST TRY HARDER.

My swim is coming along ok - getting back into the swing of it - I've set myself a target of a minimum of 2*30min swims per week although lately I have managed to get to club swim for a longer session.... surprisingly I posted a new 200m PB at club swim on Wednesday night... 3:25.. which is dreamy... !!

Running I have much work to do on... I am redefining my running, having been enlightened from a variety of sources (especially Brain training for runners), I'm focusing currently on technique more then I am either pace or distance.

So March was a nice bit of maintenance/ habit forming. April is about consistency and re-establishing my base for the start of the official 6month programme leading to Vegas!!

Right - with that I think I ought to get out on my bike... ;)

My Roly-Poly Nan

As some of you may know a month ago my lovely Nan, Vera Gallantry passed away. Despite Nan's age she was a vibrant, vivacious and fun loving person and it feels like she has been taken from us shockingly quickly - although indeed she led a wonderful life and I think we are all in some ways grateful that there was no long lasting disability or illness.... Still...  a shock.

Anyway - whilst in the midst of some declutering (which is one of my mini-retirement goals) I found some old school books and within one a little ditti I wrote about my Nan. I thought I wrote this when I was about five but clearly from the cover of my English Language exercise book I was 14.

This was written with the innocence of that age and I shall not change... it was written with some bemusement and some humour... I think that perhaps it was supposed to be a poem but it doesn't end up like one and was written in the past tense... maybe I was writing it at the age of 14 of the memory of her when I was a young child of 5 or 6 - that would make sense I think.

Here you go;

My Roly-Poly Nan

My Roly-Poly Nan and her waddling walk, acts like a child in my presence.
She wants to play games, ball games in the garden the back of course.
She would jump for it, but not too often.

Once we had finished that it would be inside to either play monopoly or cards.
My Nan has even got a trophy for badminton.
I can't exactly imagine my plump Nan playing badminton,
but life always holds surprises and this was certainly one to me.

My Nan's hair often changes colour.
Whether it's meant to be blue, orange or pink I don't know.
My Nan's hair was like an ever changing rainbow of colours.
Every-time I saw her it seemed to be different.


My family and I have been blessed with such a lovely person in our lives...  and so fortunate to have only recently, before she died, have such a wonderfully large and loving family gathering for my Dad's 65th birthday.

I will miss my Nan, her infectious laugh, her wise eyes and knowing smile.... but I have the memories of those special moments between the two of us which will last for my lifetime.  I love you Nan xx