Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Stato

In the excitement of Christmas I completely and utterly forgot about my blogging target of reaching 58 blog entries this year (thus achieving and unexpected parity with 2010...).... so unless I do a blog for each of the remaining hours of the year I will not achieve this....


But never mind..... this has taught me something... when you set yourself a goal then keep a reminder of it somewhere obvious....

And on the not quite making the goal front I also set myself a secret (in that I didn't really publicise it - apart from on RunKeeper that is)... anyway the goal was to run 50k during December.... had I not had a hangover on Sunday I may have achieved that one... but today I sit here at my desk typing away at 17:42 carrying the guilty burden of eating too many pies and drinking too much wine over the Christmas period and not getting off my lazy arse and so am ending up on 45.3km... yes 4.7km short.... or 4.5laps of the block of houses where I live... I could do this now... but it is now 17:43 on New Years eve and Champagne is calling me... not my trainers... !!! Something about lack of dedication to your goal springs to mind with this one...

Still when I look at December I did have some success and did have some failures.... but I did achieve more (physically speaking) then in November.. but then I wasn't actually ill at all (unlike sneezy, coughy, weezy November)... so closing Stats for December are:  (and yes I accept I am not going our for that 4.5 laps of the block)....

Run: Total 45.3km in 5hrs 3min (up considerably from November so actually I did achieve something of my 50k goal)
Bike: Total 140.5km in 6hrs 47mins (up only slightly from November - I ought to have a bike goal for Jan)
Swim: Total 6.8km in 3hrs (amazingly 6-7 times that of November and probably more then the rest of the year combined... WOW)
Other Stuff (Yoga, stretching, core etc) 2hrs 54mins (over an hour more then November but still more to do)

It's been an amazing year .... we started it in Perth, Western Australia and finish here back home having travelled back through Australia, New Zealand, sailed across the pacific (ok no sails as such but a big cruise ship), visiting amazing places on the way and flying back from the US. We are truly fortunate to have been able to do this ...and having returned in the summer, having had a great time, got jobs pretty quickly... more then anything else I can definitely say there is no place like home.

Thank you 2013.... Hello 2014... 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

January Challenges

So I've already signed up to Janathon.... so that will be a challenge in itself... but in case I want more I've found the following; I probably won't sign up for all of them but am considering something....
  1. http://www.jantastic.me/ Not just January but actually a 3 month running challenge which you set up for yourself (goals that is) and sign up to on the website and away you go...
  2. Then "the Runner Beans" are setting up a 21 days of yoga challenge... given it takes 21 days to form a habit... this one being a yoga habit... http://www.therunnerbeans.co.uk/2013/11/21-days-of-yoga-in-january.html
  3. Then of course I could go "dry"...  http://www.dryjanuary.org.uk/ 
  4. As I do tend to like "green" coloured drinks, especially when I'm feeling ill then perhaps I should consider a 30 day green smoothie challenge...... http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/green-smoothies/30-day-challenge/
  5. Lisa just posted a link to Winter Miles Challenge which does look quite interesting, similar(ish) to Jantastic but slightly different and quite motivational.... definitely considering that as I do need some run focus in my life!
  6. I haven't found a decaf challenge yet but I'm thinking that reducing my double espresso intake may not be a bad thing... kind of like dry January but rather then alcohol I'm talking caffeine!

On other news I had a much more successful training day today with my early swim and midday run done. I enjoyed the swim - having swum 4 times in the last week and a bit I'm beginning to get a feel for the water again... yeah for that!!... the run... well that was less pretty, although at least it was sunny and actually I did have one of those lovely moments when a deer jumped out of the woods and across the path in front of me... that was special :)

 I didn't take this picture by the way - I found it on google images - but you get the idea!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Epic Failure....


Whilst I like my new job, the role, the people and the place are great..  I do dislike having quarter end/ year end/ next year planning all at the same time....this comes with the territory with the type of role and for this week has lead to long hours... which would be fine would it not be for the fact I was hoping to get in to some sort of training rhythm.... so I am frustrated - largely at myself to be honest.. as I probably could have done better.... . Monday morning I got my abs and stretches in... and then  I probably could have work left on time Monday evening to get to the pool even for a short swim.. but didn't realise what the time was so failed with that. Tuesday I did get on my bike and did a commute to and from work... success

Wednesday basically I couldn't get myself up at 6am for a run in the dark, wind and rain and was at work before 8 and left and 7 so was hardly likely to go for a run in the evening.... but I should and could have done my run early....

Thursday morning should have been a swim morning but given Wednesday's schedule I had to change my visit to my sports guy to get my upper back unlocked to early Thursday morning ... so I got that visit done instead of going swimming early, then it was another later night in the office... and by Friday I was basically simply too knackered to do anything and another longish day fueled by caffeine and sugar led to the scheduled "rest" day being achieved.. but given that was my third rest day in a row I'm not sure it counts!...

Today I could have gone on my club ride but frankly the ambient light hasn't got above the light you get at dusk and I have no urge to do anything and feel whipped out!..  - so this is my fault I may get on my turbo trainer but I'm not going to stress over it as I just feel like I need to decompress from the week past if I'm honest.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to feel more energised and back on track for a swim & run day..... whinging over!!

At least it is the shortest day of the year so from now on every single day gets that little bit lighter (until June)! I always make this point this time of year - because, well, I like sunshine and long for the longer days :)

I also got an email this week about the prospective start of Janathon.... so I have just signed up for that... I think I may be mad .... so a lot of short blogs to come in January ;)

Janathon participant logo

In light of my last blog post too I'm going to clean up my feedly feeds as well, currently there are too many sport blogs in there both from days gone by and from last years Junathon which has led to feedly overload and so actually less chance of me following anything or anyone!

Monday, December 16, 2013

I miss the days when...

I was just looking back at some old blog posts (as you do... or maybe I do... such a saddo)... anyway...

.. Tthere was a a time before I really discovered facebook and, to a lesser degree twitter, when I not only blogged more regularly but also read and commented on blogs more regularly ... I kind of miss those times...  .. and the blogging community which was... I tend to still read some (far fewer) blogs but like many people (I suspect), I tend not to comment so much on them - now where is the community spirit in that??... this makes me nothing but a blog stalker!!

So anyway - they say blogging may have been and be going on the way out but I don't think I am there yet.... so I think I will spend a little bit of my time to read and comment a bit more... and muter that blogging community spirit once more...!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Week That Was...

Unofficially I started getting "prepared" this week... Prepared to start H.I.M training which is starting in January (race 1st June).... So I guess you can call this Prep 1:1

So I had a training week kind of planned and was hoping to stick to it.... and by and by with some form of miracle I kind of did - apart from the big MISS on my long run today which was down to me tweaking my knee in a shower rail erecting incident and also inclement weather - had I gone for a run after my swim I may have made it!!

But anyway - I'm quite happy and I score myself 8 out of 10.... lose a 1.5 points for missing the long run and 0.5 points for doing a 1hr 15min turbo session yesterday rather then a 2 hour club ride.... but in a feat of complete amazement I did make it to the pool the allotted 3 times for a minimum of 20mins...

Stats then are;

TOTAL : 4hrs 48mins (plus a little bit of stuff I didn't record I think I will round that to 5)
Core/ Stretch: 1 session from 1
Swim: 3 sessions from 3 (3.4km in 1hr 23mins... a mixture of FC sets and drills)
Bike: 2 sessions from 2 (30+km in 2'15mins.. how come my turbo km are always so low?!)
Run: 1 session from 2 (4.80km in 30mins)

The aim of the next few weeks is training rhythm and some consistency... I'm not interested in speed and just want to start building endurance... so am not going to get bothered about what I'm logging exactly as long as I'm logging something regularly and keeping myself regularly active without getting frazzled... no work travel till mid Jan and whilst it's going to be manic I'm hoping I can achieve balance and find the routine!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

CTS Dorset "race" report

Well despite the east and north of the country being bashed my a big storm yesterday there had been no bad weather on the South Coast and so to Lulworth Cove we headed for the latest instalment from Endurance Life coastal trail series.

This event is marked as "extreme" largely due to the cliffs you climb up and roll down on the course. For a change for a CTS event the 10k was actually just short of 10k, coming in at 9.9k..... Unlike the "half marathon" which would be hard enough on these trails without throwing in an extra few miles... Coming in at 16miles, marathon something like 27 and the ultra too many miles to contemplate (33 and a bit I think!).

People evidently come from far and wide for this one as a evidenced by coach load of Dutch appeared just as we arrived for check-in! Now I haven't be training much due to the lurgy I had in November... But at least we have hills, although small ones... To train on... I'm not sure there are any really big hills in Holland and I don't think much in the way of cliffs... So I can see the appeal but how would you train for this (lots of incline 10 on the treadmill!?)

Anyway... To the race .... Given we were starting up a lovely hill (pictures to follow)... And gIven I've not trained much or run an awful lot recently I had already planned to walk the hills, come cliff faces, ... Although when it came to it this is what pretty much everyone did! The first 5k contained 4 significant climbs, of increasing length and steepness ... I had lots of fun on the down hills.... Arms out flying down was ace.... I hope I didn't annoy people... There were a couple of us really fast on the downs, with little holding back... I jogged on the flats and walked upwards.... And when my HR exceeded 170 (!!!!!) whilst walking up the hills I just stopped and took in the view and waited for me to recover a bit!

Having taken between 42 and 45 mins to do the first 5k we then turned inland and headed back... With a completely different aspect and with once again amazing views.. And at one point with no wind and the sun out it was hard to believe it was winter! The biggest danger in the first section of the return loop were cow-pats with one poor runner getting had by one of them... Slipping up, just lucky she didn't face plant in another on the way down! Travelling across the flat inland route was far more straight forward (thankfully) .... Until we got to the last and steepest descent back to the start/finish.... This one I decided not to run down like a demented dog, it just seemed too steep to risk... So I held back and put the brakes on a bit which frankly well and truly buggered my quads but that didn't matter because the finish was just around the corner! Yipppppeeeeee!

What a truly wonderful place for a run!

Given my last Endurance life event was, quite frankly, an awful experience (pushed too hard), I'm pleased to report the mixture of terrain and speed with rests meant for me it was far more enjoyable. I took the enjoyment of this event as essential to my "race" success and was the prime goal which I think I succeeded .... I'm now looking forward to a nice pint of ale with sausage and mash to celebrate!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Lulworth Cove

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Err November

Well November was pretty much a complete write (or wrong) off.... Had a cold - that was fine but lost a couple of training days... got better... then got another cold/ lurgy/ virus/ thing which just wiped me out.... so the monthly stats are easy and short....

Run: Total 27.3km in 2hrs 54min (about half of October)
Bike: Total 134.3km in 5hrs 25mins (down from Oct - but this was only due to 2 long rides and no commuting)
Swim: Total 0.9km in 20mins (err... yes about the same)
Other Stuff (Yoga, stretching, core etc) 1hrs 37mins (at this rate I will be weak)

I think I had something like 16days just ill with the strength of a weak kitten.....

...Didn't do any of my planned events... understandably ... all in all a rubbish month to quickly forget!

My aim for December is just to get some consistency and routine back in my life!! All my work travelling is already done for the month and (fingers crossed) no sign of any cold on the horizon.

I wonder what the stats will be like for December... and will I do another 10 blogs and so surpass my 2010 blogging year?!? 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

October Stats

Here they are:
Run: Total 54.0km in 5hrs 43min (down from Sept)
Bike: Total 161.2km in 6hrs 21mins (up from Sept)
Swim: Total 1.0km in 30mins (err... yes up from Sept)
Other Stuff (Yoga, stretching, core etc) 5hrs 04mins (up from Sept)

Overall about the same amount of time; less running (Boo!) but more biking (hurrah!)...

Here were my aims;
My other aims for October are;
1. To recover from the race well, regardless of what distance I end up covering (ie even if I DNF)... 
Worse then that - I didn't even start but at least I did recover well!
2. We've entered a 10k off road race in Suffolk at the end of the month; I've never been there so I'm looking forward to enjoying a relaxing run in a new part of the UK - it will be good to go explore it.
Errr.... well I didn't enjoy a relaxing run but did endure some self flagellation... but did enjoy the scenary and did enjoy the sausages, mash and gravy, and beer afterwards... some some success I guess.
3. Carry on with my Yoga, finding this a great start to my day, so getting in 1-2 sessions a week has been enjoyable
I did manage 1-2 sessions a week so well done me!! :D ... .although note I haven't done any yoga yet this month.... 
4. Find a solution to my "where am I going to swim" problem... given I've entered a half ironman next year I really ought to get back in a pool somewhere which is conveniently located but also not rammed so you can get a good workout in.
I think I have this worked out - combination of my local pool one evening a week and a pool quite close to work which I now need to join as a member in order to swim early.... once done I may even see my swimming go up from 1k a month to something more like that * 2 a week!!

November has started slowly - largely because I have a cold... yesterday I was a bit of a snot monster and just flopped around the place.. and today a cough monster... so depending on how I feel when I get home from work it'll either be an easy gentle run or just some yoga. Didn't swim yesterday as don't think it's fair to share my lurgy with a pool full of people! The only injury to note - well keeping an eye on - is I seemed to have twanked my knee last week - whilst squating down for something at the chemist I stood back up and YOUCHY!... screaming pain from my knee... not sure what has gone on there - did manage to jog a couple of miles on Friday (two days later) and bike on Saturday... knee is a little niggly from that so I think I must have strained something so maybe it is as well I have a slight cold as it's giving it some rest!

November aims to be blogged about next - and I'll let you in to a secret - Thanks to the wonders of Juneathon I am aiming to blog more this year then I did in 2010..... which means 5 more blogs Nov and Dec.... given my recent track record this could be a close one!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

CTS Suffolk 10k Race Report

Last weekend saw us take a road trip to the county of Suffolk - a very lovely historic county on the mid-eastern side of the country. Started off just in time for the rush hour on Friday evening with a planned overnight stop at a Premier Inn just near Chelmsford (which was about half way).... got to say I was slightly surprised and happy with the Premier Inn, basic but clean accomodation and we had pre-paid for the meal deal and breakfast - both of which was where the surprise came from. Both delicious and good value for money..... the poached eggs on Saturday morning were some of the best I've had in ages!!

But I digress!!.... So having had hearty food and a good nights sleep we were onward again heading North East and another 90 odd miles to the small village of Dunwich, a quaint coastal village which was in the process of being invaded by cars carrying runners when we arrived - luckily it did have a beach side car park which seemed to be coping! The event main venue itself was actually in the grounds of some old medieval friary ruins!

The format of the CTS events is fairly straight forward - they offer Ultra, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k ..ish ... distances... I say "ish" because they are off road and so by nature or often longer then the prescribed distance out of necessity. The Suffolk one (given it is where it is) is described as "Moderate"... some coastal runs are "Extreme" and these ones tend to have cliff face ascents or descents in them... Suffolk is a pretty flat area of the country and so whilst this did have some gentle hills in the race there was nothing really to get too worried about.

The race is organised such that the start times are staggered - with the ultra's and marathoners heading off early doors - which meant we had the luxury of a 11:30am start - on a gloriously sunny Autumnal morning :).... Now I haven't been running well (or consistently) of late so I had planned to take this slow... although I had managed to not pack any electronic device other then my £5 watch from Decathlon... so it was sans Garmin etc that I was to do this little race. I had no expectations, but was hoping to do this at a comfortable canter in about an hour... The event was pretty small compared to some that I do about 100 people had registered for the 10k!

After the briefing - which included ensuring we looked out for tree stumps, tree roots and low pokey branches it was to the "start" line to begin, We did a quarter circuit of the friary before going down a country path and a short stretch of road before getting off road onto tracks. As usual everyone went off at a fast pace, including those running with dogs (the dogs got so excited at the start it sounded more like the start of a hunt rather then a run!)....

Sans Garmin I tried to start off slower then the rest (although probably way too fast) - and felt ok for the first 15mins or so - then we went up a slight incline where I began to catch some people who had gone off at break-neck speed. I got into a somewhat uncomfortable rhythm... I should have known this meant I was probably running beyond my current fitness level... but once in the zone your are somewhat in it.... so stayed with it and the crowd pretty much had sorted itself out by 2+ miles.... I was thinking I could just hang in to the half way point have a quick break and some water and then carry on.... however... the "half way" feeding station wasn't actually half way... it arrived 38 mins into the run by which time I was feeling really rather grotty! I know at some point I was trying to find "fault" with my body so as I had some good reason to stop for a bit (yes well I guess I could have just throttled it back instead).... at some point I was out of touch from anyone else in the race - couldn't see anyone ahead or behind so I thought I must have gone wrong... but that wasn't an excuse to stop either as I soon came around a bend and saw people!

When we got to the marshal at the "not" half way point, I dibbed my timing dibber in the hole and was grateful to hear "only 2 miles to go"... which was as well as the time on my £5 watch said 38 mins had gone by... around the corner from the man was the drink/ feed station. Whilst I had a gel with me I decided (probably foolishly) not to have it, but did have a sip of water and trudged off again. It was at this point I was hating myself and every step and every minute... and then I remembered to look around me and enjoy what I was doing.... have fun... remember!!...oh yes this is why... . and so whilst the last 2 miles I did dry retch at time I enjoyed the experience a bit more and took in the landscape and changing scenery. Whilst that was fun I was, I have to say, just a little disappointed our route didn't actually take us to a place where we could see the sea! But the trees, woods, trials and heather sided pathways were actually not a bad substitute :)

I have to say I physically struggled the last bit (although in a much better frame of mind) and was pleased to get back into the friary ruins and finish. I can't remember dibbing my dibber at the end but apparently I must have done as I had a finish time! The race organiser greeted everyone by name as we filtered through the finish area giving us a print out of our time... I could barely speak to him and actually apologised for that saying I thought I was about to be sick !!! How charming!!

Some dry retching behind the marquee later I reappeared (having not been sick but with a sprained tongue) and was proud to hold up my finishers medal!

I finished in a little over an hour... Which actually given it was 10.2km wasn't too bad, although given how I felt throughout I think has helped recalibrate my understanding of my current fitness levels... quite a bit away from my PB territory set a couple of years ago!!

It's been a long journey back from the pains of last summer - and I'm glad I hated as much of the run as I did and glad I didn't have a Garmin on to play mind games with me.... sounds strange but you can only enjoy yourself sometimes when you realise you are not.

My fitness levels have been recalibrated for sure. I have some way to go before I am back to anywhere near half ironman fitness.... I have 7 months to work on that.. and it will be fun as we've more CTS races planned in some lovely places around the country. I have a local half marathon entered for February time - which I plan on both doing and finishing without wrecking myself!

The thing I have realised is whilst it has been a slow journey back to some fitness over this summer I may not get back to my fastest from a few years ago.... I may do but I may also never get there - what I want to achieve though is that feeling of running and floating along effortlessly with enjoyment... for that, right now, I definitely should be going slower then I ran on Saturday!

The only thing to do after the race was to get changed - see the seaside for a bit then check in to our lovely hotel in the village of Southwold (also the home town for Adnams Brewery) eat local sausages with mash for dinner with several halfs of Adnams beer!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Race report - the really short version

Yep there isn't one!! OMG... !

Woke up Sunday morning feeling a bit sicky but figured that was probably pre-race nerves, wasn't quite sure why I was so hot but figured that was probably hormones....
.... then I looked over at the OH who just said "I think I poisoned us"... couple of bouts of sickness during the night whilst I slept albeit with really weird dreams involving stomach ache...

Anyway - I did a quick reassessment and decided I didn't want to bother risking it - and let's face it the weather was horrid in a very autumnal way.... We spent the day drinking water and letting things pass.... as it were... and so didn't do the planned half.

Slightly annoying but I am ok with it - as we got nearer to the start time of the race I was feeling pretty lousy so expect had I tried I'd have been in every porta-loo and behind every bush! Not sure if it was the food we ate on Saturday night or just a bug as Monday I still felt sick with a sore throat - although by Tuesday I was sort of ok again.

Psychosomatic or just psycho?!...

Had it been a half ironman I would gone to the start line at least, but given it was a half in Autumn well - nevermind! We have a 10k off road event a week on Sunday which should be great fun.... half the distance and more fun sounds like a good deal to me :)

Given one of my October objectives was to recover well from the race I think I can tick that one off at least :)

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October Goals and Ramblings

Gosh! Already on the 12th... so ... I have been thinking about October aims ... and have been dithering a bit because I have a half marathon tomorrow ... yes the 13th unlucky for some....

My thoughts with the half marathon are a bit mixed.... let's get the negatives out the way first;

1. First and foremost I think I really made a mistake giving blood two weeks ago. I really didn't think about it but my runs haven't been great since and my training was already a little less then ideal.... So I'm quite nervous about being able to go the distance at all. My longest run was three weeks ago which was 10.7miles.... since then I did a 5 mile (felt truly awful, 4 days after the blood giving), 6.8miles (last weekend, went slower but still felt awful) and 3.2miles on Thursday.... 

2. The weather forecast looks absolutely awful - now I don't mind running in rain but in my mind this race was going to be happening on a lovely autumnal day - a bit like today in fact.... but we are scheduled for a deluge between 9am and 1pm.. the race starts at 9:30... 

but on a positive note....
3. The reason I entered this race in the first place was to get me out and training again.. and whilst I managed lots more focused training before my new job started (well I wasn't working so had no excuse!)... I've still probably done about enough to get by - although it is likely to be quite a tough finish.

4. I have some family and friend who may be willing to suffer the weather to support me (and the several hundred other competitors)... so that will be cheery... and after the race my parents are taking us out for lunch... free food is always a good motivator even when you are 43!!

So my plan tomorrow is to go along and see what happens.... it is a figure of 8 type of course - the first 6.5miles flat and scenic as we go down some country lanes and back up the Thames path.... I think if I feel completely awful by the time I get back into Henley I will have the option of stopping and accepting it isn't my day - and I'm ok with that as an outcome.... but if I feel ok then I will go out on the next loop - which has a nice long 1.5mile hill rep in it... so really of the 6.5 miles I have 1.5miles uphill and 1.5miles steep down... the rest is pretty flat so assuming my lungs survive the up and the toenails survive the down then I can run walk my way in.... lashing rain or no lashing rain!

This was the first half marathon I ever did - when I entered I hoped I'd be good for going quicker then the time I did in 2007 which was 2:10:21 (not chipped, my logbook says more like 2:07) .... however now actually I'd be more then pleased just to finish and accept this could well be my Personal Worst half marathon result... we will see....

My other aims for October are;
1. To recover from the race well, regardless of what distance I end up covering (ie even if I DNF)
2. We've entered a 10k off road race in Suffolk at the end of the month; I've never been there so I'm looking forward to enjoying a relaxing run in a new part of the UK - it will be good to go explore it.
3. Carry on with my Yoga, finding this a great start to my day, so getting in 1-2 sessions a week has been enjoyable
4. Find a solution to my "where am I going to swim" problem... given I've entered a half ironman next year I really ought to get back in a pool somewhere which is conveniently located but also not rammed so you can get a good workout in.

Before we know it it will be November!

Monday, September 30, 2013

September - The Month that was

Keeping this brief as gotta have my breakie and get into work!! Just done a "Do Yoga with me".com session to waken me up and I'm pretty sure I'll do very little this evening so time to get my stats up for September I reckon!

Here they are:
Run: Total 71.4km in 7hrs 21min
Bike: Total 138.1km in 5hrs 41mins
Swim: Total 0.75km in 15mins
Other Stuff (Yoga, stretching, core etc) 3hrs 55mins

When I did my last blog I wrote these aims for Sept...so let's see how I did...
"My aims for September are;"
1. Survive my first quarter end at work!
I have one more day of this to go.... I will report back tomorrow.... I have felt like a duck paddling frantically against a tough river flow at times but that was always going to be the way!! Can't wait for tomorrow ;)
2. Whilst I accept I shouldn't go back to my running plan (I think I have missed too many key session in the last month), I want to get back to running consistently  3 times per week and want to get my long run towards the 2hr mark (the half marathon is 6 weeks away)
Kind of managed this.... I have run more km's in September and ran 3 runs in a week twice, 2 runs once and then blew it out last week with just one run - but that was largely because I did my longest run so far the weekend before (10.7m) and my car was in the garage so biked in slightly more.
3. I was good with my core and stability work in June and July and this has fallen off the side of the planet - so I want to get on average at least 2 short (10-15mins) of core in a week. Doesn't sound like much and I know it will be of benefit
This was still feeble but did manage more sessions then the previous month... and did a lot more yoga which I think will help.4. Make sure I start doing some regular "anti-sitting" stretches in. I can definitely notice the difference in my posture since I'm now sitting down for most of the day.
I have done more yoga but I still feel crocked from sitting all day. I have been trying to get up and walk more regularly at work even if it's just to the printer and back.... but think I could do with just doing a 10min stretch in the evening.. my hamstrings have always been tight but they have now got ridiculous - it's a miracle I can walk let alone run... 

My aims for October are basically to complete my half marathon and recover from it!!... actually I should have more then that, so will put my mind to some mini goals and do that in another blog... for now it is time for breakfast then off to work for final day of quarter end (clean up day "what the hell happened" is tomorrow!)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Month that was!

Well that one went quickly but then so much has been happening (hence the silence).... well when I say so much actually that is probably an overstatement.... but I DID start my new job at the start of August... and having had ...err almost 9months off having fun and seeking out adventures getting back into the routine of it was a bit tiring to begin with.


No - I have been very fortunate. I have found a job I really like, a company which is fun to work for, with people who are passionate about the company and what we do. I know I know - I'm in the honeymoon period right? Well hopefully not - I feel very happy and lucky.... but yes time is early and time will tell but so far so good :)

Of course - having had so much time off, going back to a 9-5ish sitting down job took me a good few weeks to get my brain in gear. Getting up has not been a problem as I have never been one to sleep in anyhow (apart from probably when I was a teenager), but the brain strain has meant I have been tired.... I have to say by 4:30pm on the Friday of my first week my brain was fried! But that was kind of expected.

Another thing kind of expected was a blip in my training routine - not that there was much routine before I know - but I had been following pretty well a plan from "Brain Training for Runners" which was leading to Henley Half Marathon which is in mid-Oct. So my training whilst not completely k-put has not been what it was, although good news is I have managed to suss out a cycle to work route and done that successfully a couple of times. Probably won't be doing that more then once, may twice a week - but it has been fun :)

The other bit of amazing news on the training front is I've actually managed to be to the local pool - not once, but twice, in the past month. Whilst a lot busier and more chlorinated then my old gym pool it has proved to be a good option for the time being. Not sure longer term though if it'll work for me. I am keeping my eye out for the trial of the endless pools at my old gym, should get an invite to that this month - and also eyeing up a different gym to join.

So here are my August stats (I'll keep it brief as there is little to tell....)

Run: Total 60.9km in 6hrs 11min
Bike: Total 59.1km in 2hrs 43mins
Swim: Total 1.85km in 47mins
Other Stuff (Yoga, stretching, core etc) 2hrs 34mins

Total a rather measily 122km and just short of 12hrs of training - there was a time in the distant past where this was just about a week of Ironman training!! Lucky I don't have one of those planned anytime soon...

My aims for September are;
1. Survive my first quarter end at work!
2. Whilst I accept I shouldn't go back to my running plan (I think I have missed too many key session in the last month), I want to get back to running consistantly; 3 times per week and want to get my long run towards the 2hr mark (the half marathon is 6 weeks away)
3. I was good with my core and stability work in June and July and this has fallen off the side of the planet - so I want to get on average at least 2 short (10-15mins) of core in a week. Doesn't sound like much and I know it will be of benefit
4. Make sure I start doing some regular "anti-sitting" stretches in. I can definitely notice the difference in my posture since I'm now sitting down for most of the day.

I've entered another half marathon since my last blog - looks like a fun one as it is along the Grand Union Canal (well fun as long as the canal is not flooded!), it's not until mid-Nov and a nice 4 weeks after the other one so I should be nicely recovered.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Form when running with a pram...

I say pram but I mean super running buggie.... I'll keep this one brief!...

On Sunday I met my friend Leanne and her "baby" (who is growing so fast I think she has become a toddler... but anyway)... Scarlett, who wasn't running with us but would be snoozing (hopefully) in her super-buggy thing... This was one mean machine I have to say... lightweight - with both a hand leash and a brake... I think it was one a bit like this;

View Full Size

Now I had a 8mile base run in my plan and Leanne had a 5 mile - so I went early did my 3 then met Leanne for the next 5. We met at a place called Dinton Pastures which is a lovely country park with a couple of lakes and plenty of paths (mainly non-tarmac) to run around... one of the best things about this place is the coffee shop by the car park - the best home made cakes to give anyone plenty of incentive to get their post workout reward (which was the main reason for us choosing this location!)

So anyway - having done my 3 miles I met up with Leanne and Scarlett and off we trotted. I was well impressed with the buggy - it coped very well with the terrain (mainly dusty and some stony footpaths). Scarlett was soon fast asleep, rocked by nicely by the motion and vibrations and cooling air (it was a very hot morning)....  I was also well impressed with Leanne's running with the buggy - one hand alternating on the hand rail to keep it moving (whilst attached via the leash)... we had a couple of inclines at the end of our 2.5mile out which meant a bit more effort mind - so feeling daring, at the turnaround I offered to push for a bit... now you can picture the scene.. I'm now pushing said buggy with toddler passed out in it and Leanne attached via a leash... there was no one getting in our way I have to say!!

Now - having taken control I can say several things about running with a buggy;
1. It was very easy to control - very lightweight and quite manoverable when needed
2. It coped with all the surfaces remarkably well - even potholes weren't a problem
3. Running with it does effect your FORM but I think in a very positive way (you do have to concentrate a bit on the up hills to make sure you don't slouch into a pushing stance though). The shape of the buggy meant it is quite unlikely you will be able to overstride and heel strike... and ... now I don't quite know physiologically why - but it does also give your glutes a really good workout! It's quite common in people who run but who sit all day to get lazy glutes - but BOY oh BOY running with a pram certainly makes them fire.. I found overall my running form improved with the pram - and when I swapped off again I felt like I was running on air.
4. You can't stop whilst running with a pram - the toddler may well wake up - this is not to be recommended!!

... I made it about 2miles into the return leg before I began to struggle a bit (well not only am I not used to running with a buggy I had by now ran 7 miles) - so I handed back the handrail to Leanne (which increased her workout!!) and felt very light and breezy running afterwards....

Scarlett woke up just as we reached the end of our run - we were both knackered - so her encouraging shouting of  "more" and "faster".... err was entertaining but frankly not going to happen!! We ended up in the cool garden of the coffee shop; cakes, warm banana and coffee as reward for our outing!

All in all a really enjoyable experience - my butt cheeks are still aching now two days later - just goes to show how weak they are!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Choosing Running shoes...


I need some new running shoes and sort of know what I like but also like to check things out.... and this seems to take an age! Whilst I like going into specialised shops invariably if you go in on the "off chance" they rarely have more then a couple of pairs of shoes in my size I want to try on.....

I used to always wear Asics Gel Cumulus - this was in the days when I wore orthotics - so cushioning was the order of the day because the orthotics gave me the stability. However, when I was studying for my Sports Massage qualification a few years ago I decided that actually the orthotics were unnecessary if I actually tackled the cause - which pretty much was relating to a weak core. By strengthening myself functionally I managed to completely get rid of the orthotics and actually felt my running felt an awful lot smoother as a result..... so now I go for cushioning as I seem to be a neutral runner (if anything I slightly supernate but that is what you are supposed to do I believe when you first make contact with ground??)

Anyway - this lead me to trying out different types of shoes over the last few years;
The Asics Cumulus basically were ok but felt heavy
Mizuno Wave rider I liked but then they changed the model so significantly I rapidly disliked them!
K-Swiss KONA - I loved - but my calf muscles don't and I get a hot spot on the side of my right ankle bone (no idea why), these are good for shorter runs but not longer then an hour.

Whilst we were travelling we both needed to but new trainers and happened upon the New Balance 890v2 - these have been brilliant!... so why not just buy some more?

Well two reasons;
(1) I've got one annoying blood blister (which is hard skin with the blister underneath).. and I'm not sure it is because of the shoes or because I was wearing flip-flops a lot of the time!!

(2) I have been keeping an eye on line and my size seems to have been stocked out... although I could have ordered directly from New Balance..... hence the research into alternatives.

So this morning I spent hours - literally HOURS... doing some more research!! My short list became (in no particular order);

Asics - DS Trainer
New Balance - 890v3
Saucony Ride 5
Brooks Ghost

I've noticed that manufacturer's are keen to establish some basics; type of shoe (cushioning, stability, minimilist), offset (from heel to forefoot) and weight

I've liked the New Balance for several reasons; the weight of them, the cushioning and I guess my default (as I hadn't realised) the offsett (8mm)

So having done the research I hit some on line stores and got myself a bargin on the Saucony Ride 5 (well they are last years model, this years look similar but who was I do refuse a 50% discount).... and then surprise surprise but my favourite on line store (Wiggle), literally before my very eyes, put up some New Balance 890v3 (although they are stating they are expecting them in at the end of the month - I just hope they get them in because I had by this stage found them in two other places - but I'm a loyal Wiggle customer, so order them there I did!!)

Both pairs of shoes are cushioned, neutral shoes with an 8mm drop. The Ride 5s are heavier then the 890s (although if I had spent more money and got the Ride 6s they would have been about the same)

These seems like a whole lot of effort for a couple of pairs of trainers .... but the good news is whilst doing my research I managed to clip the relevant pages into Evernote so I should never have to spend that time again!!!

New Balance 890v3

Saucony Progrid Ride 5 (I ordered the red pair)

Will let you know what these shoes feel like once they arrive! I'm hoping at least with the 890s that I've found a shoe and brand I can stick with for a while - once you know what works it makes it a lot easier - until the manufacturer changes something of course!!

Incidentally - I also want a pair of Nike Free's but they are not a necessity I just like they way they look!!!! I like the 5's and at some point wouldn't mind giving them a go but I think I've spent enough money now on running shoes!!!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Last week summary

Unlike an action packed Juneathon week - this week that was was, well, rather action less..... but that was kind of my intent.

... although I didn't do any of the stuff which is easy and kind of important... you know like stretching and yoga.. .but hey ho... I did get my three runs in, although one of those wasn't the prescribed interval but an easy run instead.

Weekly Summary;
Run 2hrs 25mins and 14.2miles travelled

I did however participate in that great British tradition of sport watching at the weekend as was amazed to watch;
1. Lions victory Vs Australia - an epic third test. The Lions roared and Australia had no answer (well ok they did come back to a few points but we did end up thrashing them - which is unusual)
2. Tour De France - what an amazing couple of days in the Mountain. Saturday saw Team Sky rip it up with Froome and Porte ending the day 1st and 2nd in the overall classification.... then Sunday the pack (especially Movistar) took it right back to them, Team Sky suffered, Chris Froome however held on to the coat tails of the lead pack and thus retained the Yellow Jersey...
3. All I need say about item 3 is ANDY MURRAY WIMBLEDON CHAMPION.... Breathtaking... The whole nation cheered that one (well I say whole nation but I'm sure there are some Tennis or Andy haters out there who couldn't give a stuff....but still).... what a reward for someone who, yes is talented, but whom you can see has dedicated and worked hard to achieve his dream. I'm hoping that in two weeks time Froome can get the same result in the TdF.

As for this week,... well I've already packed in a bike ride (yesterday) although suspect when I come to do my run today I shall be feeling that in my legs! Focus for the week continues to be running but also want to get some core, yoga and stretching sessions in.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Friday thoughts

I miss Juneathon!

As I have been slightly slack this week I am basically giving myself a mini recovery post Juneathon week... I'm kind of getting my runs in but not much else.

I say kind of as yesterday should have been a 4.5mile run including some sprinkles (intervals) but through phaffery and busyness I didn't do this during the day - I was contemplating moving it to today (Friday) but then The Pope got home and suggested we go out for an evening jog to catch up with each other on the days events before dinner. So we took to the local country park and did an "easy" 3.5 miles run... whilst everything which I was monitoring said I was in the "easy" zone (breathing, pace, HR)... this actually felt like quite a hard session... why is it that perceived exertion can sometimes be so off? I'm blaming it, on this occasion to some hayfever, a bit of Asthma and a day of little movement, I had also not eaten an awful lot during the day and my sandwich at lunchtime was about 6hours beforehand.

Anyway - at least we got out and it was a lovely evening and great way to catch up.

I'm still on plan (well I am only at the start of it) for the Henley half marathon which is mid-October.... but in July I'd like to do a bit more cycling as well (well I would say that as today it is a glorious day and I love biking in the sunshine!!)... and maybe the odd open water swim session too (assuming I actually fit into my wetsuit!)

On another note - I wonder how much blogging I will get done this month?! I know I will never see the peak of last month ever again (unless I participate in Janathon next year - as there are more days in January!!)

That's it for now - Have a great weekend people!

Monday, July 01, 2013

Juneathon - Summary

Just to wrap it up I thought I'd summarise what I got up to....

Run      53miles in 9hrs 31mins
Bike     90miles in 5hrs 32mins
Yoga     3hrs 04mins
Core Stability 1hr 25mins
Stretching     36mins (seriously!!?? GOSH I should have been doing more of that!)
Swim    0.5mile in 22mins

Total of just over 143miles and 20hrs 32mins of exercise.

Hopefully I've re-found my exercise HABIT!

Juneathon Day 30 - The LAST DAY!

Well well well..... the last day of Juneathon and on the agenda was "do something in order to collect reward of coffee and slice of cake".... So I arranged to meet a friend at a coffee shop - she had running on the agenda and as I had ran on Saturday I had biking!

I took a rather circuitous route to the coffee shop and happened upon the only bike TT course in the local area which I know - which is just short of 5miles.... so I thought it would be wrong of me on such a gorgeous day not to hang on to my pants and give it a go... a put foot to pedal and tried with all my might to get myself around the course PDQ... I had done this route once before about 18months previous... and yes that may have been in winter and the weather may well have been awful... but that besides I did, rather surprisingly, do a Personal Best by over a minute!! .... not that I knew that at the time... anyway.. having blown myself to pieces I was even more determined that a coffee and cake were next on the agenda!

So, once I recovered my breath, I pottered back towards the coffee shop, pacing a lovely, typically English Country Fayre at Hurst - I think it was the "Hurst Horse Show" now that I google it. What a splendid day for a Fayre I have to say!

On arrival at the coffee shop I had a text from my friend who had been running a few moments late - but no matter... she soon arrived looking about as good as me (ie very hot and sweaty) with her daughter passed out in the runner baby pushchair thing!! We had a good catch up with a Cappocino and in my case a big slab of Coffee and Walnut cake... Ummmmm ummmm,...

The only thing left to do after that was to cycle the shorter way home!!

Total for the last day of Juneathon;
Bike 25.2 miles in just over an hour and 30.


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Juneathon Day 29

Well day 29 was relatively straight forward... The plan said "run 6 miles at base pace".... So ... Having already done a good 30 Facial stretch in the morning this is exactly what I did setting off about noon.... Now I didn't exactly realise that for a change it was quite warm outside. Most unusual... But I didn't let this spoil my run ;) .... I set off on a normal run route then cut over a railway line (using the bridge I may add) before entering Gorrick Wood near Crowthorne. It was incredible lovely in there, all I could hear (other then my panting) was birdsong. A very peaceful place..... Had it not been so lovely I may have sworn more about the loose sandy path! Having run through the woods I was soon back in suburbia and on a main road so venture down an unknown path, which I suspected should com out on a path which went around the local golf club.

Fortunately the path did indeed come out where I suspected so had a quiet footpath jog through the golf club and finally returning towards home.

Long run done at midday, slightly hot!

Total of about 6miles in about an hour and some minutes.

Day 29 done.

One more day to go.... Just one more day...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Juneathon Day 28 - Flex your digest with a bit of Yoga

Yesterday was going to be a Yoga type of day - so I found a different session to do on the DYWM website and, as I was going to be consuming a pie and a pint in about an hours time (yesterday evening this was) I thought I'd do the one from coach David Procyshyn called "Yoga for Digestion - Quickie" .... I had no idea what so ever what this was going to be about but it was just over 20mins long so fitted my window.

Now I have to say I've never done Yoga like it - it was kind of interesting and kind of weird ... there were these diaphragm exercises which were, well weirdly odd... but here is the thing..... at this time of year I get quite tight in the chest (asthma from the pollen, I know this even though I am an asthmatic in denial..) and whilst the asthma is pretty much in control typically my upper back and chest muscles are quite constricted... and, as it would appear, is my diaphragm..... I'm not sure if this session would work for everyone but I went with it and not only did it give my tummy a lovely relaxed feeling but my chest really felt released after - my diaphragm in particular. So I think I'll give it a couple of days and do this again and see what happens.

Thanks again Juneathon as without the habit I've now formed and with a firm target in place I may never have done Yoga today and found such an interesting little work out!

Summary for 28th June;
Yoga - 20mins

I have a run scheduled for today (day 29) and probably a bike (and a celebratory coffee and cake) for Day 30!!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Juneathon Day 27 - Little Intervals in a run

I'm finding Juneathon easier on my days when I have a run planned and am a little forgetful in the days when I don't (as indicated in by blog post of Day 26)

So yesterday was easy - wait for some deliveries then go out for a 4.5 mile run with some 90s intervals "sprinkled" in whenever I wanted... as the interval length was longer then previous weeks the book said to do these at 3k pace.... Not that I have a clue how to pace myself!! As I'm using the table in the book though I get a rough idea, and given the interval was for 90s it's not like I was going to sprint was it. The interesting thing was when I got home at looked at my watch 3 of the 4 intervals were at exactly the same pace... well done me... maybe I am getting better at pacing after all.... indeed each of the base pace runs either side of these were also at the same pace!! I was a little gobsmacked by this I have to say!.... However the 4th interval and the final run section were both slower - not massively but significantly enough - so maybe I didn't pace myself so well after all!

Only a few days left now of Juneathon - I really thank audiofuel for tweeting about this and the person who started it all off... it has really given me a nice way to focus and get back into the exercise habit!

Summary for Day 27
Ran 4.6 miles in about 47mins

Incidentally my blog entries for June has now surpassed that for the whole of 2011!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Juneathon Day 26

Gosh it was a close one yesterday....

I was just getting ready for bed when I suddenly realised I'd done pretty much nothing active all day (I don't count a quick browse of Marks & Spencers as a potential Juneathon entry!)

Fortunately though I had planned on only doing a 15min core stability routine (yes you guessed it from that book) .... Am getting quite used to this exercises but am still very weak... I'm pretty sure I have no muscle in my right butt cheek as I am particularly unstable and tire on that side.... Given the size of my arse this is a little surprising ;)

Having done my routines I went to bed relieved that I hadn't missed out on the Juneathon extravanganza especially when we are so close to the end!

Summary then for Wednesday 26 June:
Core stability exercises for 15mins

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Juneathon Day 25 - Hills

Blimey - we are almost there - the light at the end of the Juneathon tunnel is shinning brightly.... Brighter even then the "Super Moon" of the other day (but that is largely because I didn't see the moon due to cloud cover!)

Anyway... Yesterday Day 25 I went for a little jog supposedly at recovery pace (which by the way is something less then a 11min mile)... did that for about a mile and a bit then got to the current HILL of DOME... which is where I had my upset tummy a few weeks ago... this is the first time I have revisited this particular hill since then...

Anyway - 4 hill reps later and looking a bit pink in the face a slowly jogged by way home for just under a mile (I went a different way home hence it was shorter)... this time it wasn't so difficult to remain solidly in the recovery pace zone!!

Total for Juneathon Day 25: 3.2miles in about 35mins

On other matters of the Heart Rate monitor sort... Well you know I've been having some issues with my Garmin HR strap - having done some research I've found the Polar strap (which I know is soft on your skin and gives a good contact) can fit the Garmin transmitter... so I've ordered the strap (you can buy it on its own, there is clearly a demand from Garmin users!!)... so I will see how that works out!

Think I may celebrate the end of Juneathon on Sunday with a coffee and a cake!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Juneathon Day 24 - Back to swimming!

Somewhat surprised to say that when I woke up yesterday I wasn't aching at all from the previous days 40miles of cycling.. I really did expect to be sore - I did have a slightly tired feeling in my arms/ shoulders and legs but really hardly noticed it.... although I'm not sure my butt would have been too happy if I had sat back on my bike seat!! Ha ha!

So for Juneathon yesterday I did something I haven't done in a very VERY long while - I went to the public swimming pool for a swim... now I thought this a little daring especially given the preceding hour a school had been in the pool ;) ... but the water was surprisingly fresh and changing rooms clean.... so I don't know what school it was but clearly the kids were well looked after and behaved well!!!

I didn't have any specific plan or idea what I was going to do given it has been a while since I went to the pool... so settled for a 20min splash about - which ended up being about 22mins.... I did mainly front crawl with some drills and some breast and back stroke to mix it up a little. I think I did about 750-800m in total.... Long gone are the days when I could bash out a 3-4k swim...... The swim did feel good though - the only real problem with public pool swimming is the fact that the "fast" lane isn't particularly fast and so I think swimming multiple laps would be difficult with more then 2-3 people in the lane.... I managed one set of 100m the rest were done as 25 or 50m reps.

Still - (a) good to be in the pool and (b) another Juneathon entry bagged!! Total 22mins and 750m

Monday, June 24, 2013

Juneathon Day 23 - Wokingham Bikeathon

Yesterday was the day I literally got back on my bike - inspired by some live action at the IG London Nocturne and also some Channel 4 TV showing of triathlons I decided it was about time I got back on my two wheels as it has been some weeks. It also helped that my local town was running the annual "Bikeathon" which is a family friendly affair with two route 15miles or 35miles... My thoughts were I could do the 15miles but I could really challenge myself with the 35 - now I used to regularly be able to bash out this distance or longer when I was training for an IM a few years ago - but that was a few years ago and if I did the 35miles it would be the longest ride in over a year... and the longest ride of this year by some 12 miles (and that doesn't include the 3miles to and from the ride itself)... luckily I knew that if I felt awful at the 15mile mark I could always finish as the first bit of the challenge is the same.

So at about 9am off I pedalled to down town Wokingham to see what would be!

Whilst in the "registration on the day queue" I was surprised and very happy to see my oldest friend and her family - they were doing the 15mile ride - what a challenge for all of them! It was a fortunate moment so we had a quick catch up and chatter and agreed we should meet up for lunch sometime soon as she is one of the people I've not yet managed to catch up with since getting back home.

The ride itself started a little late and I have to say was, well not disorganised, but very crushed at the start. This isn't a timed ride or anything and the organisers did let batches of riders out on to the route every few minutes. But it was a VERY busy and a popular day for many groups of riders (of all ages and on all bikes which was great to see).... I have to say I even found the initial mile a little nerve-wracking - and I'm not a 7 year old and I'm 5'8 so could see what was going on... but it was congested, there were a lot of inexperienced bike riders (so weaving about the place)... I think perhaps if it is going to be this popular in the future the organisers may want to change the way or the place they start.... Still - it all worked out and the route was excellently marked up and food stations very well stocked!

The ride itself - well I went off far too fast... excited to be out and around cyclists I think! After a while I decided there was every chance I would blow up, especially if I were to do the longer ride as I had quite forgotten to stock my pockets or water bottles with any carbs! ... and whilst I did cycle past the first food stop it was because I wasn't expecting it and was too far past on a very narrow lane before I realised what I missed.

I saw the route split for the short to long ride and despite feeling a little tired decided there were enough people heading straight on and I should just carry on as well! So - now committed to the 35mile ride, unless of course I canned it as I went within .5mile from my home!! I soon felt my legs whilst going up a couple of small ascents - and I mean small... but then my bike legs are not what they were!... but still felt okish - just in need of a little bite to eat!! At about mile 18 some guy came past me and I decided sucking into a wheel would be the order of the day - he was actually pacing another guy around and so like a clam I sucked onto their wheels - which was hardish going but not as hard as taking the wind ;)

We finally made it to food stop 2, which thankfully they decided to stop at too, where I literally inhaled 3 mini Mars bars - and I don't particularly like Mars Bars usually but at that moment the sticky sugary sweetness of them was just what I needed!

We soon departed and headed off for the final 9-10miles, I had thanked them for their wheels and they were happy enough for me to continue.... although I struggled to keep in contact in parts... but still managed (I think they slowed up for me!) to be with them to the end...34+miles ridden, knackered and job done!...  I didn't get to thank them as they cycled straight through the town and didn't stop for their finishers medal and goody bag (at least I somehow missed them at the finish so assume this is what they did). So numbers 200 and 335 THANKS!!

Having finished, got my medal and sucked on a piece of orange (there was no chocolate at the end!)... I changed into my granny gear for some easy spinning on three miles home!

Total time 2:28:55 for 40.3miles which includes my easy poodle to and from the ride and some time stopped.

Thanks Wokingham Council for putting on a great event!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Juneathon Day 22

I'd like to first point out that with this post I have - this month - equalled the number of blog entries I did for the whole of 2012! GOSH!

I am a born again blogger - well at least this month I am - now that I have re-established this habit who knows what may come of my blogging next month?!

Anyway - back to the point of this - Juneathon Day 22 and yes this was yesterday as always (apart from that one day!) my blogging is a day behind the event itself.

Believe it or not - as I only had 18 weeks to Henley Half Marathon after I entered it - it meant I "started" the "plan" already at week 3, and guess what... week 4 is a recovery week... ha ha ha ... so this weeks long run at base pace was a nice 4miles.... actually 4.2 miles if I'm precise (the plan was 4 but I did more mainly because I didn't want to walk home in the rain!)

I had a good run out but as usual found my cadence and overall running form deteriorate as I went through my journey - the second half being a bit uglier in every way then the first - but still much more pleasant then the whole of the long base run I did last Sunday.

So - Saturday June 22 - ran 4.2 miles in an easy 43mins

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Juneathon Day 21

An easy one for Friday 21st June

... 15mins of core stability and strength exercises - based on the Brain Training for Runners programme... I like this as it doesn't involve a lot of brain power to either think about the exercises or do them - quite ironic given the book title.

So a short session and hence a short blog!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Juneathon Day 20

10 Days to go - hope I make it!

Yesterday 20th June was a run day.... originally intended to get this done early but suddenly it was 0830 and I didn't have enough time to squeeze it in before my day really got under way!

So just after 1815 I got my running gear on - the plan stated 3miles at base with 3*60 efforts spinkled in... I wasn't particularly looking forward to it I have to say as this week from about 2pm I am getting a bit tight chested in an asthmatic sort of way... now my asthma is only mild and I only get it this time of year.... and I don't let the fact it feels like I'm in a wetsuit with constricted lungs ever (ever) stop me doing something... it is just a little unsettling... but during the afternoon I dosed up and even took an antihistamine (I am an asthmatic in denial you see - so it takes a few days before I accept what is happening and do somethinng about it)...

Anyway - suitably prepared I went out and actually had a LOVELY little run - just stayed local and jogged down and back up the local flat bridle path.... it was a nice evening (if a little close), my asthma wasn't a problem (prior preperation had worked), and it helped me unwind my brain from the day. I have decided that my paces I'm following should be nudged up a level - sort of makes sense given the base pace I was running, and have been noticing the last few runs. I won't go too mental though and just nudge it up one level (this is all based on Brain Training for Runners by the way).

All in all.... 3.15miles in 31:29

Juneathon and on and on!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Juneathon Day 19

... an easy Day for 19th!

Basically just did the BT4R Core Stability and Strength exercises - which took about 15mins.

I also went to see my Aunt in hospital - I know hardly a Juneathon activity - but she just had a hip replacement op and it was great seeing her (also first time since I returned from out little holiday that I have).. but going to see her made be grateful for;

1. Our Health Service - both my Aunt and Uncle have had hip replacements in the last few months. The care they have both received in this procedure has been excellent - So thank you NHS!

2. Human energy... Despite my uncle only having the hip replacement a few months ago he was down his allotment yesterday morning being active - amazing eh! My Uncle and Aunt inspire me with their approach to life - they may not know that but I know it and thank them for it.

3. My health - this time last year I was not able to train and was waiting for an operation myself. When you have periods of being laid up in you life, there is little point wallowing but you do get to appreciate more so the times when you are fit and healthy and able to embrace activity. So - thank you to my health!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Witterings

OK - I know - a NON-JUNEATHON post! Shock...

So just a couple of other witterings.....

1. I finally got around to updating my race results page on my blog the other day. I realised all my PBs and my best "season" happened in 2009.. like 4 years ago... how time flies! This was the year I got a very late entry into London Marathon to do my first Marathon which was only a precious 4 weeks before my main 70.3 I had entered... I guess the marathon training set me up well for later in the season! I was also very consistent with my training that year - and interestingly was self coached too.

2. I realised that I haven't done actually finished a triathlon since 2010!!! in 2011 I was training for the World Long Course and the swim in that was cancelled so I don't count it as a triathlon and I entered a half (Little Woody) but DNF'd that... so the last actually Triathlon I finished was my Full Distance Challenge Barcelona in October 2010... it is now 2013 and this blog is supposed to be about TRIATHLON training... durr.... so


I've decided I want to find a little (aka sprint or super sprint) tri to do this season. I know we are already in June but if I get back in the pool and do a little bit there is no reason why I can't enter and finish this kind of distance. Whilst I'm focused on my half marathon training schedule I reckon I can easily supplement this with some swim and bike sessions.... So I just need to have a search on the internet and find something appealing!

3. I mowed the lawn of doom this morning.... so called as this is the place where the cat does his killing... so in killing fields today I had bird wings (no body), a mole (half in half out of its hole), and I think some innards (maybe from the bird?).... my cat is truly disgusting but he is only doing what comes naturally to him (and we have trained him rather well with his bouncing soft cat ball so what should I expect!)

Juneathon Day 18

Gosh - I almost forgot to blog day 18... which would have put me out of the Juneathon sweepstake.... if there is a sweepstake that is... in my mind there is .... and if there isn't well no matter - I will reward myself with something come the end of the month!!

Yesterday saw me back to running - a hill running day... no incidents to report (unlike a couple of weeks ago!).... a really pleasant run in the countryside - I had my pace zone (recovery pace) set up on my Garmin... this time with a rather alarming alarm sounding at me if I ran too fast or too slow for the zone!! I am quite liking the run paces from Brain Training for Runners and it is as well I'm using the paces for "zones" rather then a Heart Rate Zone because my Garmin HR Strap is giving me BONKERS readings.... to the point that if I believed it I'd be better off stopping and calling an ambulance!! But rather then let my watch put me off my stride I changed the screen so I didn't even see the HR throughout the workout - which is as well!!

My route took me up a bridle path where I originally planned to do my reps - but there were a lot of flies sitting in horse dung and frankly it was a bit overgrown... so I did my first 60s interval there and jogged out at the top of the path which joins a quiet country lane... and as the lane is actually on a hill... I did the remaining 2 reps there.... before having a leisurely jog home! The only "error" I made was thinking it was a cool day (because it was overcast), so I wore a long sleeve top... if only I had realised how humid it was under that cloud!! All in all an enjoyable, if rather sweaty, workout!

 Juneathon Day 18 in the bag!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Juneathon Day 17

After my horrible run on Sunday I was looking forward to a more gentle relaxing Yoga monday!

So - out came my laptop and found my way to the Do Yoga With Me website and switched on Melissa Mcleod for a nice Bend and Stretch session. There is something about Yoga which is quite satisfying - I never thought I'd say that!! But it definitely leaves me feeling both stretched, relaxed and chilled out - and no matter if I do it early or late it either sets me up for the day or relaxes me before bed.

So there is no real excuse in the future to not carry on adding Yoga to my exercise habit. .... Although I'm still weary of doing one of the "Fuji McAlpine" sessions from this website - she is more of a Yoga Ninja - have done one of her sessions before and ended up a bit of a Yoga mess!!

Anyway - Juneathon Day 17 done!!

Incidentally soon I will have blogged more in June this year then I did in the whole of 2006... although I only started blogging October 2006 ... and more blogging records will be broken on my way to completing Juneathon!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Juneathon Day 16

Another week over - another day of Juneathon!

Yesterday was a "base run" day and for whatever reason I found it incredibly horrible... there are days when you run like the breeze and days when you run in sludge - this was a sludge day... this is my training diary entry having just finished....

Gosh this really didn't feel good! I think combination of things - I felt like I was taking it in the "easy" zone. My pace was ok in the base zone (too fast to start with)... thought my HRM was again going bonkers but did check a couple of times and actually my HR was quite high for me in a slow run - so don't know what is going on there - maybe it was because I didn't have a coffee in the morning beforehand!! ;)... .BT4R said this was supposed to be a 6mile run but I am a fan of time over distance and as I got home in just over an hour and 5.8miles this seemed a suitable time to stop. Did see some lovely fields full of buttercups and took a nice picture and did help one old lady with driving directions (which meant I got a fortunate mini rest in the middle)... I like the route - just wasn't loving the moment today!

And here are a couple of pictures I took on the route.....

and this is what cooked for me when I got home (I am VERY lucky!)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Juneathon Day 15

Half way... and I wasn't about to be undone my horrid weather and the urge to hibernate... although it was gone 10pm when I got down to something... I like Juneathon... it is getting me motivated and keeping me honest and getting me back into the swing of regular activity - no matter how small or large that activity is.

Juneathon Day 15 ... ok I didn't do much but I did 15mins of core/ functional stability as per Brain Training For Runners p.368

15 days down, 15 days to go.... ohh yeah!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Juneathon Day 14

Yesterday morning I actually managed to get out the house and do an early run - it reminded me that I do like running the early part of the day; peaceful and quiet and I think sets me up for the day ahead... if only I could remind myself of that when I first get out of bed ;) .....

Anyway - I was going to do a loop run (I prefer loops to out and backs), but having had a lovely 20mins in quiet residential area leading to bridle paths and country footpaths I came across a main road which was beginning to flow with early morning commuter traffic..... so I decided rather then inhale exhaust fumes for my way home I'd simple turnaround and enjoy the same peace and quiet I had enjoyed on the way out!

So Juneathon Day 14 I ran for 4miles in about 43mins (this was ran at "base pace"... )

I also managed 10mins of a stretch warm up.... this in itself is a miracle ;)

Juneathon still going and we are nearly half way!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Juneathon Day 13

Yes yes - shocking - I am blogging on the actual day of activity.... it has been a double blog day!!

I went to the dentist today - surely that SHOULD count as a Juneathon activity - it does after all get your heart rate increased and stresses your body....

... but just in case the dentist doesn't count I also did a 32min session of Yoga, the DoYogaWithMe.com Twist and Stretch session... I have done this before and still find it challenging but not too difficult and feel stretched and relaxed after. Nice! I also think it helps "unkink" me from both sitting and stretch me from muscles which have tightened from running.... so definitely worth doing!

Juneathon Day 12

.... busy day .... and I wore "work" shoes for the first time in about 8months and walked in them leading to painful blisters... does walking in work shoes count as a Juneathon activity?!.... ok maybe not...

But I did do a short but important workout .... 15mins of "Brian Training for Runners" Resistance workout which is pretty much all about core conditioning working on all those little out of the way muscles which help stabiliser your pelvis area whilst running - the hope of which is that you are stronger, so your running form is "better" and hence you are less likely to get injured. So whilst only 15mins of frankly not very high intensity effort, an important 15mins all the same. So that is what I'm claiming for my June 12th Juneathon entry!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Juneathon Day 11

Gosh it is the 12th and I almost forgot about blogging about Day 11... that would have seen me kicked out of the competition for sure!!!

Yesterday I got back to running ... YEAH ME!

As I mentioned before I have been so inspired by Juneathon that I have entered a half marathon... I know it isn't until October but I need that long to train for it!!

... as we all like a good plan to stick to (well I do anyway) I have decided upon the one laid out by Matt Fitzgerald in "Brain Training for Runners"... and as there isn't 20 weeks till my race I have started at week 3 of his 20 week Level 1 Half Marathon Programme.

I've adapted the days slightly so I can do my longer run on Saturday - so yesterday was hill interval day (remember this from last week?) but as I've effectively gone back several weeks in the book it got a bit easier! I also am trying to stick to the suggested paces for my anticipated level (not that I have done any timetrial to actually find out)..... so yesterday I....

Ran in total 3.75 miles in just over 47mins

I know this pace sounds very slow... and actually it was.... the 1.5miles was ran at recovery pace, somewhere between 11-13 min mile... and I initially found this pretty hard to do I have to say. But did crack it and found it really relaxing once I got into it. The hill reps I did on a different hill to normal (a shorter one for starters)... the plan said 5 reps of 45sec hill with 2min "active" recovery (which I decided meant walk back down the hill!).... having done that I jogged another 1.25miles (was supposed to be 1.5 but I was already home!) .... Felt like the length of recovery time meant the 45s hill reps were good quality - really did quite enjoy myself out there!!