Sunday, January 19, 2014

TWTW - not so good

Gahh... having got nicely into my good habits last week I slipped stumbled and fell my way through the last week... Having finished year end at work we've gone straight into the sales planning cycle at a ferocious pace and, well something was going to give a little!!

I managed some yoga Monday, and some core and stretching Tuesday and then only a 2k run on Wednesday but a run is a run.. as I tweeted about these I was still in the Janathon competition... until Thursday came and went with no time for anything, that night we even had dinner in bed (the better half also had a ridiculously busy week, with the addition of 1:45-2hrs each way commute.... I know not how I would have managed that on top)... so Thursday I pretty much got up, went to work, came home, ate and tried to sleep!

Whilst a bit disappointed to ruin my streak actually I'm old and wise enough to understand we need to prioritise sometimes and anyway, I was due a recovery week!!!

Nice little graphic from run keeper above - this week is the last column so really I've done an ok 3 week build cycle and 1 week recovery, although given I've not swam or cycled this week perhaps have "recovered" more then necessary... ha ha

Did finally manage to get out for a run today - lovely day... finally woke up during it, was liking it but then I twanged my right calf, just a little so decided to cut the run short.... So basically of all my January challenges I didn't achieve either Janathon (exercise and blog/ tweet every day), Jantastic (3 runs), or WinterMilesChallenge (run 10miles)...

Still a new week starts tomorrow eh!

On another front - given my work really was quite intense this week I employed a tool called "Focus Booster" on my laptop... The thinking behind this kind of thing is you work better when you need to concentrate hard if you do it in shorter bursts... simply more sustainable... so I had the app set for 45min bursts with 5mins "recovery"... in the recovery period sometimes I went and made a drink (or to the bathroom), had a chat with a colleague or just hoovered up some email... I found working like this on Friday was much more beneficial then my work experience on Wednesday which frazzled me.... there are times in any job where you just feel like an extension of your computer (excel in particular)... and this last week was definitely one of them. Certainly with the aid of focus booster I found the experience less brain draining then before.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


The Weekend That Was

Have to say I like being part of Janathon, as it's getting me back into the exercise habit.... Which feels great.... Doing a little exercise every day, from yoga to running, from core to swimming is proving good so far... But we're only a third of the way through the month so quite a way to go yet.... But it's all about getting the right balance too and after this weekend I plan on tomorrow being a rehab/ prehab kind of day with some yoga, core and maybe some time with the dastardly foam roller..... Optional evening swim dependant on work but if I go it will be short and focused on some easy drills.

Whilst we've had some awfully wet weather the last few weeks yesterday morning we were greeted with a bright, slightly cold, winters day.... Fantastic weather for a club ride! We hit the quiet lanes of Berkshire for a few hours. I have to say whilst motorists and cyclists are a little bit at war at the moment I've felt over the recent months that a lot of car drivers are certainly more "cyclist aware" giving, well I would say extra room, but I'm fact the right amount of room, when overtaking and also being patient for the safe opportunity to overtake. Car drivers of Berkshire I thank you.... Having said that it only take some person to spoil it, and so it was towards the end of our glorious ride there was one angry lady in a green car who have several angry honks of her horn as she overtook (very very close to us) oh and up a hill, whilst the sun was low on the horizon ahead... Neither sensible or patient. She was pretty close to taking me and the other guy at the front of our bunch of 6 out... I wonder how she would have felt had she done so.... BUT still.... They say there is always one, and that goes for cyclists too.... It was only the other night when someone was cycling down the footpath with no lights and nearly took me out .... Hummm maybe I'm the magnet!!? Anyway back to yesterday... The club ride was great and by the time I got home I'd been cycling for over 2.5 hrs for around 40miles... What a great way to spend a Saturday morning, so rewarded myself with a slab of cake and a coffee!

Sunday's have become swim/run Sundays of late.... Well I've done it three times anyway, s nearly a habit?! I was in the pool about 8am and had decided to do sets of 200m, alternating between front crawl and using a pull buoy, until my arms fell off.... Well they didn't quite fall off but I completed 1800m for my longest swim since before I got ill in 2012... So happy with that... This time my reward was coffee and newspapers and back to bed for breakfast in bed!!

Some time and much phaffing later I headed out for my run.... Apparently I've signed up for a half in, oh, a couple of weeks time. So thought a long run should be in order... Despite my legs feeling like heavy weights dangling from my hips... I plodded out 9miles so there is a remote possibility of me finishing the half, albeit in a PW!
So the weekend that was; 40miles bike, 1800m swam and 9 miles run....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, January 09, 2014


Yoga 25mins before breakfast. You can call this a recovery type of day...

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Even shorter...

Got up... Eventually...

Put on run stuff and headed out...

Was not loving it after a k or so... Yet enjoyment is my aim of running... So decided to "spice" things up a bit... So I mixed in some sprinting "like a dog going after a ball"... Some leaping... "like I knew how to leap"... Some "flicks, kicks and side way Sinbad"... Just to really make an idiot of myself (lucky it was still dark).. Oh and some "walking" because my heart was pounding... And then some jogging too... Somehow mixing it up like this I managed to run 5k in just about 31mins and it was much more fun then the first km!

Not completely done I added a skimble "core & stretches" when I got home.

And then I went to work...

.... That was Day 8 of #janathon but my first official run of Jantastic and WinterMilesChallenge !

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Emergency Janathon bedtime post

Woke up
Thought about doing a turbo session.... And actually did! 30mins "Steele" basically warm up and 3 times 3 min intervals with 3 min recovery...

Remembered I had a meeting first thing at work so promptly abandoned the bike and turbo set up in the living room and went to work...


Got home seeing my abandoned trainer and knowing I still had 30mins left of the programme I had been watching got back on the bike (having changed out of work gear) for another 30min "Steele" .... Thought about a quick run off the bike (as it wasn't raining) but decided I didn't want to peak too soon and use up all my energy so settled for a shower instead.

Have eaten and now it's time for bed... Just getting today's Janathon in J.I.T ... Well in time for today although strictly speaking I do have until tomorrow to post. ... Still another day done... BOoM!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, January 06, 2014

Do Yoga With Me?

Monday is more of a rest and recovery day with some yoga first thing and optional evening dip in the local swimming pool....

Now I've said before and I'll say again - if you want to do a little yoga session at home then you could do no better then going to take a look at "Do Yoga With Me" really well led on line classes which you have no excuse not to do as they are free (assuming you bear no additional costs getting on line in the first place!)... When I travel and have little opportunity for anything else I will often go to the website and do a 30min - 60min class. My preferred trainer is Melissa McLeod, very good pace, narrative and excellent for someone less yogi like me. If you want something hard core then I'd suggest one of Fiji McAlpine's sessions - I've barely lasted the distance with those!

Anyway back to today  - the outline plan was to Yoga on awakening and then see how I felt about a little technique based swim this evening.... however those plans were left a little in tatters this morning when for some reason I didn't wake up at the usual early time... although to be honest I know the reason - it was because I had a fidgety night!! Anyway... having got 16min into my Yoga I was shouted up to to come and help with a mouse rescue! Yes this wet weather is giving our youngest cat much mousing opportunity and he came in with another live one which required capture and replacement to the forest. This of course put the household back so Yoga session was swiftly replace with getting ready for work session and leaving before the traffic got too insane!

At some point this morning my upper back then decided it had had enough and got all knotted up.... so I decided rather then go and swim, possible with one arm or no breathing, that I'd come home get the dinner on (Cauliflower cheese) and do the yoga session again! This time I got all the way through and even managed to sneak in my Level 1 #FitTeam14 squats and lunges after to boot.

#Janathon Day 6 = DONE (30mins + 16mins of Yoga and 30 squats and lunges (10,8,6,4,2)

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A quickie before bedtime

A quick blog that is.... It is Janathon afterall...

Got up saw a spectacular sun rise on the way to the pool.. did my longest swim in nearly 2years clocking a non amazing 1500m in total (a mix of distances, drills etc)

Came home and made myself a breakfast smoothies with the standard yogurt, milk, banana and oats and added peas (as we had some left over from pie night)... Whilst this is certainly an unusual way of getting a portion of veg in the diet I didn't find it too offensive and found it provided suitable energy for my long run....

Having digested my pea smoothie I ventured out, in a rain free period, for my long(ish) run. Main objective to take it easy with a low HR and cadence around 85. Managed to miss most of the flooded areas and did 12.5k in 1hr 20...  Smacked the last k at just over 5min k pace... Which shows how slow I was running the rest of it... But did have a lovely time ans smiled and said hi to everyone I saw on the way!

Janathon Day 5 done :)

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rain = Turbo!

Well it's been lashing it down since before Christmas I'm sure... ok so at least for days... the ground and roads are soaked and the puddles are becoming little lakes... so it came as no surprise to see all the club rides cancelled this morning. To be honest I was already thinking on the way home from work last night that riding today would not be a good idea - even if we had no more rain there is so much debris in the roads.... so when I woke up at about 6:30 and heard rain well I made my decision and went back to sleep.... then when I got up later I saw all the cancellation emails... No matter I got myself a new turbo from decathlon a month or so ago....

So after MUCH procrastination (some would call that phaffing) I sorted both a suitable trainer road session and some TV on catch up from the iPlayer (BBC). ..... 2 hours worth of it... the session itself was an endurance session, so nothing near anaerobic.... just 2 hours of peddaling.... I must wriggle around a lot when I'm riding out doors because I sure was getting uncomfortable in the saddle by the end of it!

Not satisfied entirely with this 2 hour mammoth session I had had a little word with myself and said if it wasn't raining when I finished then I'd go for a run around the block straight after (KEEN I know, I can't even remember the last time I did a brick session).... so anyway.. given it has been raining for days this wasn't a likely outcome - so I thought.... alas ...I finished my turbo session, looked out.... squinted hard... and despite the gloom it wasn't actually raining... so I put on a jacket and my trainers and headed out.... approximately 90 seconds later it started raining... how typical! Still I covered a little 1.2km run in about 6mins.

Janathon Day 4 done...
Turbo Bike - 2hrs
Run - 6mins

Whilst on the trainer road site earlier I saw a link to "Tour of Sufferlandia" which you can consider as 9 days of bike focus training.... or 9 days of suffering on the bike... anyway.. despite the running I will be doing as part of Winter Miles and Jantastic I may put myself through that too... although that could be one sign up too many!!

Friday, January 03, 2014

Day 3 Swim

Given the amount of rain we have had recently and continue to have (have you seen the forecast!)... I decided to go swimming this morning... not just in my garden either but down at the local pool. 

I had no fixed agenda but ended up doing a CSS swim test... covering the 400m in 7:15 and 200m in about 3:30 (I say about as I handily hit the "delete" button from my swim watch so can't quite remember but it was something like that)... so putting in my numbers to SwimSmooth's site I get a CSS of 1:53 which is a little shocking as I've not been back in the water long ... I guess my technique must be coming back quite quickly.... just got to work on the endurance side of it then.

I exited the pool having done 400m FC, 200m Drill, 200mFC, 200mPB and 100m of mixed for a low but exciting total of 1100m in about 26mins or something like that.

I may or may not get any more activity in today... but at least #Janathon Day 3 is done :)

Oh and on other news I seemed to have got a bit carried away with myself and signed up for both Jantastic and Winter Miles Challenge if these don't help me have a bit of a run focus I don't know what will (as long as I don't forget I signed up for them!!!)

That is all on Day 3!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

So what did you do on Day 2

Woke up late... so the intended morning swim was a no go if I was going to make it to work for my 8:30 (which got cancelled incidentally at 8:31... so I could have gone... but anyway).. .so given I wasn't doing that but wanted to get something in at least I participated in the January #FitTeam14 Challenge and did my level 1 squats and lunges... except I may not have because I did 8 Squats, 8 Lunges, 6S, 6L, 4S, 4L, 2S, 2L... and I think I should have started at 10... a-hem... still 20 Squats and 20 Lunges before breakfast isn't too shabby a start to the day!

Got home at 6:30 and something weird came over me as I decided on the way home that I was going to head out for a run (two runs in two days is practically unheard of for me anyway... so weird)... I intended a quick lap to the shops and back using as many short cuts as possible this is possible a 10min run... and then well basically I seemed to be enjoying myself and so ran for just over 20mins! Weird huh!

Not done with that when I got home I added a short Skimble session (phone app thingy) and did something called "Strengthen and Stabilize" which was supposed to be with a Bosu thingy... well we don't have one of those and frankly I found it hard enough - mainly sets of core work (plankety plank etc)... so that was 14mins of extra homework....

Janathon still on track which is not really a massive achievement given it is only Day 2...

Summary Day 2
Squats and Lunges
Ran 3:53km
Core Strength work for 14min (with little stabilisation involved as no Bosu!)

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Yep.. Day 1 Done = I'm in!

Day 1 of Janathon went a bit like this.

SLEEP sleep sleep sleep some more and then..... snooze

Finally awaking from my super sleep slumber at about midday... so that meant any idea of starting the New Year with a Park Run was gone.... but that was ok because I didn't have that idea anyway....

Finally decided to head out to the woods behind the house at about 2pm for a few kms of relaxed activity... some jogging with some side stepping, leaping, bounding, hopping, lunging and squatting (just squats mind I wasn't doing the squating for any other toiletry purposes...)... I probably looked a little bit weird given it was pissing it with rain, everywhere was very muddy and I am a middle aged woman.... luckily I only came across normal dog walking people when I was jogging.... but anyway... I HAD FUN and that is what getting fit should be about really shouldn't it.

Not content with all that when I got home I got out my phone and into "Workout Trainer" App for a quick SKIMBLE, I chose the 12min30s "Core Abs & Stretches" routine.

and then... just for the hell of it... I decided I also wanted to see how many press-ups I can do before collapse (3.... long gone are by 40+ days, but that was a decade ago)... and how many burpees... just because I don't think I've done those in years... surprised myself with 5...

Given it is the 1st day of January and the first day of Janathon I fear I may have peaked too soon!!

If you are keen for something else to get into during January (and the rest of the year for that matter), take a look at Stuart Amory on youtube and Twitter @StuartAmory PT and get into #FitTeam14 !!