Monday, January 30, 2012

Trying something different

Well as I urge myself to get back into regular training I quite like the idea of trying something different, both in my training regime as such and also event wise.

The event thing in the near term in is kind of taken care of with another grueling EnduranceLife Coastal trail event in Devon next month. I shall  no doubt record a personal worst for 10(ish)k's but the terrain I expect to be ridiculous, muddy and possible treachorous... so definitely not the standard swim, bike run type of thing. One day I would like to try one of their longer distances (they do a "half", a "marathon" and an ultra too... losely as they will usual exceed those distances simply because it is off road trail events).... but for now the shorter distance is ample enough - when I did the one in December I couldn't actually walk for several days!!!... I think next winter season I'd like to actually go do some cross country events locally too - missed this winter simply because of the rest after Vegas and the whole returning to full time work thing gave me an excuse not to bother!!

On the training front by all means I will ensure I get a longish run and bike in each week, however I'd also like to venture into some newer (or at least revisited) exercise experiences.

With that in mind - last week I made a welcome return to body balance (which is funny as I really didn't balance at all well in that part of it), and also to body pump... which was awful in its own way... having learnt the lessons from over a year ago I opted to put as low a weight on the bar as I could ... and at times even that was a struggle...confirming what I suspected.. that I am indeed a weakling from the planet WEAK!

I quite liked both these classes... and whilst not going any way to giving me mileage stats on the SBR front (which will be like some form of drug withdrawal when I start freaking about Y-o-Y stats) I did enjoy the workout they provided and the class atmosphere they came in. With that in mind I'm going to see about going to classes more regularly and trying some new ones... even if that forsakes a SB or Run - enjoyment is the name of the game... and as I say .. as long as I am putting in the odd long swim, bike or run then so what? I am not a top competitor so where I come in the tri field is not a big driver but how I enjoy my fitness is. Over the last couple of years of going longer it is apparent I've become addicted to stats!!! Time to go cold turkey!... and find pain in muscles I never knew I had!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tuesday Commute

In an attempt to get my return on investment on my commute bike I have taken to commuting to work on a Tuesday - despite the fact there are no showers at work..... no wait... I'm no stinker.... I'm trying a product called "no rinse".... So I can at least feel like I've attempted to freshen up when I get in to work..... So far I have had no complaints.

The ride isn't a bad one, a mixture of fairly busy roads and then some cycle paths. Currently I'm starting in the dark but finishing pretty much in daylight, although my road home is in the pitch black... My bike is a cross bike - I did try riding my normal roadie once before but frankly feel too exposed in the commute, my cross bike gives me a "get out of jail" type card as I can bump it up a kerb or through a pothole without as much danger. The ride in seems to set me up for the day, increasing my energy at work, whilst my ride home I find a really good wind down from a hectic day.
So far this year I had been lucky with the weather - one day of mild bright winter, and another day of freezing (-3) but bright weather..... then yesterday I got rain. Now I don't particularly mind the rain so much actually - if you gear up for it it should be no problem - alas as I was phaffing yesterday, on "I'm leaving now" take 3 or 4 I decided I couldn't be bothered for another round of phaff whilst I put my overboots on.

This was a mistake.

By the time I got to work my feet were soaked - literally had to wring my socks out in the sink! My other layers worked fine though.....

... I think this is what the office cleaner may have looked like had he found them.....

Of course - riding in means riding home.... putting on the wet socks was not too pleasant for my journey home - but at least I took the time to put my overboots on - my theory being that whilst the socks and shoes couldn't get any wetter at least my feet would be protected from the wind chill!!!

The slightly weird thing I'm finding is that in the dark (very dark) commute home drivers are much more cautious and thoughtful overtaking me... whether this is due to the fact that I am lit up like a Belisha Beacon or because drivers are calmer driving on the way home from work I don't know - but it is most welcome. I guess once the days get longer and I start commuting home in light I'll soon find out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not much Sunday

Well I've spent a happy Sunday, mainly chilling out with the odd bit of baking (banana bread!), and some family time as it's Dad's birthday on Wednesday - celebrated with a roast chicken and various samples of local (yes I said LOCAL) wine (and beer)... it was surprisingly all rather palatable (the wine that is - the food is always scrummy at my parents)!

Anyway - so any attempt at physical activity had to be done early - does hoovering count? Ummm.... lucky the only thing I planned for today was a blog review (I've spent ages phaffing about with not much in particular), and starting (for the nth time ), the 100 push up challenge - there is now an app for the phone and everything so what more of an excuse do I need!!??

So did my test and did manage more then I thought - although still only a measly 7!! HA HA HA ... 93 to go...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday Mojo

So I got inspired this morning.... Whilst reading a fellow bloggers blog.... And this is part of what blogging is about in my opinion.... One of the reasons... To inspire and be inspired.....

Anyway, I digress ... As you will have noted my blogging was rather random and sporadic last year.... For no real reason other then, well maybe I was bored with it and maybe I lost my blogging mojo.... After all I've been blogging for a few years now and I think I kind just lost my way and my reason.....

But this morning I kind of saw the light I think (it would have been hard nor to, it was a lovely bright winters day).... But I saw the blogging light... I think I stopped blogging so much, not because I didn't have anything to say, just maybe nothing new. Maybe ive been bored, and maybe i bored you, My sporting goals have been so focused on big events, I probably felt I lost my blogging direction, my blogging mojo, and so my blogging habit. Sometimes I had so much to say I simple said nothing.

So time to turn a new leaf, or at least actually form a new habit.

This year is about regrounding and refresh on the sporting front, trying new things, having less focus on a single target and more focus on the bigger picture (which sounds like a contradiction in itself!!)..... The bigger target being FUN with FITNESS... And so I won't say I will commit to blogging more but you may find I do as I rediscover my blogging mojo.... I love being inspired by this community.

So with my inspiration apparent with the bounce of my step, I visualised a slow but enjoyable 70min run around the local countryside earlier today... Got on some winter layers (it was -1 when I ventured out) .... And headed out to the great outdoors, following some known and well stomped on trails and discovered some new footpaths which I ventured up, along, jumping over fallen trees and leaping over the odd stream. I had fun out there today. I came back feeling refreshed and happy. We should be more grateful for what we have outside our door - the great outside on a cold and bright winters day is, well, awesome.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012 Plan, well kind of.....

So what next?

Actually I haven't figured that out the big picture exactly yet... BUT for 2012 I'm thinking at least more triathlons - 2011 wasn't too successful given I actually only took part in two races... one I DNF'd and the other the swim was cancelled!!

So in order to ensure I get at least ONE triathlon in I'm going to do at least one sprint!!! I may even push the boat out and do an olympic distance as it's been a few years since I did one of those too!!

I've entered the local Reading Half Marathon which I've not finished (either DNS or DNF) the last couple of years.. and actually given that is only 12 weeks away on Sunday I really had better think about getting some more focused training in - rather then random but enjoyable training I'm doing now!

I also want to do a couple of other running events - the New Forest 10 - an off road trail race which I did last year... a really enjoyable trot in the countryside..... and I may try and target a late half marathon for a PB attempt... my current half PB is something like 1:58 done a few years ago at Reading.

I'm eyeing up a relatively local (so no extensive travel) half ironman distance event - which would be late June....

I oddly find myself thinking about Ironman.... but not this year, probably not next year... but sometime when the memories of 2010 and the training required for going long have faded a bit more (and my family and friends have forgiven my absence from last time!!!)

The key aspect to 2012 is to enjoy what I do - which is always my aim - but to ensure my life/ work/ tri life is all in balance, stay healthy and hopefully injury free.

Given I'm a stato geek I've been reviewing training diaries and will probably stick with ZoneFive's SportTracks software and am looking at downloading the latest version to test and pay for (it has been freeeeeeeeee in the past and I've used it extensively - but the plugins now cost £££ and so it all adds up - just want to make sure it is VFM compared to other things on the market - such as training peaks etc)

Online community wise I have dipped in and out and in again on RunningFreeOnLine but think I may just stay with DailyMile for something light and easy... whatever I end up sticking with I'd like it to be light and easy, not clunky or prone to hangs.... so if anyone has any suggestions I'm all ears... I like online community "stuff"....

I'm also going to help out some friends of mine who are doing an awesome bike ride for charity - 200k in two days, whilst aiming to lose 50kg between them! If you want to read more take a look at Jen's blog and Sarah's blog..... this will be a real, but very achievable, challenge for them both and a fabulous journey I'm sure!

Time to dust of the cobwebs and start having fun - who said Friday 13th had to be unlucky!?