Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving 10%

Whilst we were lucky enough to be heading off on our last holiday - a fantastic time in Italy - the news continued to report on the increasing numbers of displaced people, refugees, trying to enter Europe by various means largely to escape war in their home land.

It shocks me every time I hear cynical people effectively stating "not on my door" and "they should stay or return home"..... Without considering how utterly desperate people must be to leave and attempt to travel thousands of miles to a place they believe will be a better place to raise their family.

Who would not want that basic need to have security and safety?.... Did countries close their borders during WW 1 and during/ after WW2 ?... Did thousands of people not seek "a better life" only centuries ago as they left on boats to new lands, be that America, Australia or New Zealand...(read from the header "Departure from Liverpool", the second paragraph is as pertinent today as it was then)......   Sadly, particular now it seems, there are always the unscrupulous who will look to profit from this.

My partner wrote a very balanced and much more articulate post on the matter.

Whilst watching this  news we appreciated the safety and opportunity which we live in. We are fortunate to be able to afford holidays - and appreciate not everyone who has this safety and security can do that. We decided that whilst considering spending on holiday or sports gear or clothing we should also consider those less fortunate then us... and with that have pledged to not spend until we've saved and donate 10% of the cost to charity.

We're not set on any specific charity but do want to give to a persons charitable fundraising,  local, national and international charities. If we can afford stuff we can afford this. We are grateful for what we have and the opportunity life presents us - whilst I don't think I can do one big thing for the homeless, for those fighting cancer, for those fighting poverty or crime, those so desperate to leave their home for safety elsewhere;  We can do many small things by donating when we can afford it. If we can afford a holiday we can afford a bit more - we may just need to delay the joy of that holiday, which is no bad thing when you think of the instant gratification Amazon can give... - so I'm grateful for the opportunity to be more thoughtful and do something little in the scheme of things.

More tracking of resting HR

Got struck with an under the weather feeling again in the household, you know temperature, raging headache and chest ache... so some annoying virus or other... I've taken a look at what my resting HR was doing ... now I began to feel crap on Sunday but thought I was just tired from a good night out. My run on Monday felt harder then it should for easy and again I thought I was just fatigued from training... when I got on the bike on Tuesday and felt really nasty I began to suspect something more was up ... itchy throat by Tuesday evening, raging heavy head on Weds and Weds night disturbed sleep, sickness and temperature... 

and the resting HR picture... jumped up to 54 then 57 on wednesday, stayed there thursday.... 

I've rested up totally from Wednesday to today and you can see my average resting HR (according to fitbit) has come back down to 52... compare this to the period just before I went on holiday when I felt a similar virus attack..... going from RHR around 50 up to 58

So this seems to validate that for me (in my sample of two times) that if I get an increase of 6-8 beats in my RHR (fitbit takes it as an average over the course of a day excluding periods of activity) then I probably had hit the vitamin c quickly.... indeed tri 220 magazine recently said as much...  although actually by the time that happens it's probably too late anyway as the lurgy is lurgying! .. ... but I could use it as a motivation for training - ie if my RHR is still within normal tolerance (which I would say is between 52-54 BPM) then if I feel tired I probably am just tired not necessarily unwell and so training can be done and not use a feeling of general malaise as a reason for not bothering.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tracking resting HR

Over the last month I've been wearing a fitbit... Not to measure steps or activity but I've been interested to see how my resting HR is stacking up... As I've signed up for a full distance tri next year (yep let the madness commence), I thought I'd start tracking my resting HR more out of interest to see if it points or correlates to anything.

A month is not long enough for my little experiment but in essence as you can see from the screen shot below it steadily raised through the end of September and start of October and then has plummeted again. Now the last two weeks I've been on holiday so stress levels non existent and no exercise!

When it spiked I picked up a cold ... I read some research recently which suggested resting HR increase rather then being attributable to say over training, could be a precursor to having a bug. Well one month and one user and one bug is no statistical evidence ...and given it was quarter end this also coincideded with a busier time at work so could have been related to that.

So I will continue with my little experiment and see if I notice any patterns... Given we are now journeying home I'm expecting at least for my resting HR measure to come up over the weekend as I shock my body with some running and biking!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Commuting to Staines part 2

Well the summer (that there was) has been and gone ..... The easy drive to Staines has vanished in a puff as schools went back and road works popped up. Rainy days clearly don't help either..... However  there is a rainbow..... I've pretty much sussed out what I think is quite a good balance of days commuting by train, more occasionally by car and then some work from home time.

I've been able to do this more or less to coincide with the triathlon training I want to do... Which is a must for my sanity and all with still trying to have a semblance of home time with the family. It's working a bit like this;

1 day per week... Up early for turbo session indoors.... But before warm down hop on to previously prepared and packed commute bike for a ride to the station. Takes less then 15 mins so I can get there having done a good workout in time to grab a coffee and train ride in. Yes I'm in bike gear, but it's not too sweaty as I do at least change my top between turbo and departing! Getting the 7:26 means arriving at Staines at 8 just in time for the 8am shuttle to work. So I can get to work by 8:15 for shower, change and breakfast. I find these days pretty productive. Home in reverse so shuttle bus to train station and an easy bonus ride home. Trying to get the 17:11 or 17:23 if I can so door to door is hopefully as 11hour day....

1 day per week run to the station.... Means a lighter bag with bare minimals in... I can either go down the main road (which has footpath) or cross country a bit (which is pretty but has a hill in it!) but either way it's an easy 30mins form session and again into the 7:26 train with coffee. Way home either jog the 2k to Staines or take the shuttle... And always so far asked for a pick up from the train (too knackered to contemplate another run!!)... Same time train as above.

I've had one occasion the last few weeks the train was late in the morning. - this is a bit of a pain as it means I'm hanging about at Staines for 20+ mins for the next shuttle, if it happens on a run day I can run in the 2k but not an option with bike shoes on (mtb I may add!) ... So packing a warmer layer to put on will become significant I think in the coming months

1-2 days I'm driving ... For these I'm either trying to leave very very early (ie 6:50ish) so I can get to work by 7:30 and got for a run when I get there.... Or leaving late (after the rush hour) so go for a run or swim before starting the journey.

Leaving anytime between 7:30 and 8:30 has proved to be the worse time of day to drive in.... Today I left home at 7:35 and didn't get the measly 25k down the road until 9am.... Indeed yes I could have cycled it quicker (were I to value my life less I may attempt that, but the roundabout at the bottom of the eg ham bypass appears to be an accident waiting to happen in a car so probably a death trap on a bike)

The journey is certainly not and would never be as good as working in Frimley. Of course the offices are much nicer, modern (new), the showering facilities are getting there (the shower is good and I have a locker with towel and shower stuff in). I'm keeping two suits and two shirts on a coat stand by my desk (we don't have anywhere else to store them but at least I can use the coat stand). There's a canteen and we get breakfast so that does help.

I have found out I hate HATE being stuck in traffic.. I certainly wouldn't want to do this as a drive every day..... It would suck the life out of me. The train is expensive (which I can't fathom ... It's hardly encouraging anyone to get off the road but it certainly must be making someone some money).... Anyway at £15.20 per day it's I think at least 3 times that of the car (even when you include diesel, depreciation and wear and tear etc).... But I find the train whilst a longer door to door time both less stressful and more productive (fitness and brain time)... And that's why I guess I'm trying to do 2*train journeys a week, despite it costing at least £20 per week extra to me and my pocket.

So I'm still hopeful this will work, winter will be telling and certainly if the trains become less reliable that wouldn't be great! But we will see!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The accidental race report

Completely unplanned (by me) I went along to the Earth Trust 10k race last Sunday. Alison who had been planning to race it found such a lovely race and venue I couldn't resist given my plan was for 60mins build anyway!

So, along with some 10s of other fair weather racers I entered on the day for a bargain price. It was such a beautiful morning, lazy start at 11 and nothing but blue skies and the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside to gawp at so why the hell not!

The race profile showed a fast first k likely as we ran down hill towards the Thames, a mildly (very mild) lumpy 2-8k... A ridiculous (as in 30% gradient) few hundred metre climb and a mainly down hill 1k to the end. Perfect (ok perhaps apart from that hill but that was a different kind of fun!)

My training plan had 60min run build so my plan was to nose breath the first 3k, partly puff 3-6k then try really hard... Despite this my 1k splits were in fact a little over the place but at least my HR did build ... It was a pretty rough path in places (mainly looked like somehow had gone down a grassy field with a strimer the day before)... The most impressive runner I saw was definitely the guy who passed me at about 2.5k running with a double buggy. He was amazing! I passed him again just before 5K I don't know how he managed to get that buggy around the course and particularly up that Hill at 8 to 9K amazing!

Now likely due to my build plan this was I think one of the first ever races where I've overtaken people fairly consistently during the second half. It was a whole new (and secretly nice) feeling. Now for that hill I basically didn't even bother trying as soon as on the lower slopes in walked up.. Using my hands to push my thighs into action..... Having got to the summit though I was determined to let rip (as much as I was able!) for the remainder... So I flew down hill, bounded up steps to the next hill top, ran fast down hill again... Didn't realise I'd have to run up another (small) incline... Tried to power on (thinking bloody hell I've over cooked it), got to the top ... Steep stones run (out of control) downhill to round the final edge of the grassy knoll to the finish line! I was knackered by then but the skies were blue, not a cloud, and someone handed me a brown bag with a bottle of water and banana some point I decided to stop my Garmin ... But never fear as it was chipped time so my time was... 1:01:46 ..  I didn't have to wait long to see Alison come galloping in behind me... Which was a great sight mainly because it meant a well earned bacon butty and coffee was imminent!

Thank you Alison for finding this race 😍

Photo free from EarthTrust donated by official photographer Barry Cornelius

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Commuting to Staines

With my work office moving an extra 12 miles down the road you would think that that isn't much further to warrant any issues. Until you realise those 12 miles takes the office inside the M25 and towards Heathrow... Commuter belt from hell....  Given the last 15+ years all my roles in all the companies I've worked at have meant an 8 mile commute in various directions you can imagine the prospect of a drive towards London of about 20miles not too exciting in my book. But I love my job and the company I work for so nothing more to it then to give it a try.

Week 1 Day 1: 
I tried the public transport option. Now whilst I only live 3 miles outside a large town the bus service is 1 an hour except at 723 when there is another 20mins later (this must be for the rush hour). So I got the 7:23 which arrived at the station just as the 7:33 train pulled away (which I expected given the timetable)... Got myself a coffee and waited for the next train which was nicely on time. The 7:56 gets in to Staines at 8:28 and by the time I had walked down the platform and over the bridge to the exit the shuttle bus had left (promptly at 08:30) so I waited for the next which basically got me into work just after 9am... Having left my house at 7:15 this meant a 1hr45min journey - not the best and even being stuck in traffic it would be quicker (although likely to be more stressful). In order to make the bus journey on the way home I needed to get the 16:53 train (a very short day in the office) so getting the 16;40 shuttle thought it would be ok.... Except I got to the station as the train pulled away. The next train at 17:11 was slightly late so there was no hope of connecting with any bus the other end. A text home to confirm pick up required from Wokingham. I finally got home (with a lift not a bus) by about 18:00... So return journey was 1hr20mins which was better but involved no bus (the next bus was 50mins later.... I could have walked in that time had I been wearing the right shoes!)

Total cost £20, total time 3hr05min

Old journey total time 1hr and cost a couple of quid (we have a very fuel efficient car!)

Cost to the company as well.... Given the proximity of the last office my working hours tended to stretch out to 9hours a day.... Not so on day one .... 

Week 1 Day 2:
The drive.... Having spoken to various people it definitely is worth either coming in very early and leaving early or late late. For day 2 I decided to go for a morning swim before the commute so left after the rush hour (note the traffic is very light at the moment due to school holidays). I left Wokingham at 9am and using the Waze App on my phone was told the drive was clear and would be approx 40mins. So coffee in cup off I set. The drive was indeed a breeze and I got to work around 9:40 as predicted. I worked until 18:45 and Wazed my way home in 35mins (no traffic at all)

Total cost in diesel and wear/tear approx £5. Total time return journey 1hr 20mins. Working hours also extended to 8+

I would love to use public transport for the journey but clearly given the above two days evidence this is not the most efficient use of my time and resources. Thankfully we do have a very energy efficient and environmentally friendly car (as environmentally friendly a car can be). 

The remainder of last week I drove after the rush hour (ie late late days) which enabled me to get my exercise in in the morning before work, have a productive day at work and not a stressful, traffic engulfed journey.

Week 2 Day 1:
Still keen to asses public transport I decided that the bottle neck of last week was the bus service (lack of and timing) so I decided to get on my commute bike (including pannier!). Left home around 7:10 and could have made the 7:26 train had I not decided to get a coffee... In fact I could have made it even then but given there was another at 7:33 which would be emptier I decided to get that.... And then that train was late... But still I was at Staines by around 8:15 so plenty of time to make the 8:30 shuttle and so in to work by about 8:45. Journey time of 1hr35mins.... I think had I made the 7:26 I would have been on the work shuttle at 8 so in work by 8:15... This will be the quickest mode of public transport I think.

On the way back I still decided to again get the 1640 shuttle which was at the station in time for the 16:53!! In to Wokingham by 17:30 and by the time I lugged myself and pannier (now heavier with my laptop in) it was just before 18:00.... So home journey was  around 1hr15mins with good connections/ timings

Total time today 2hrs50mins cost £15:20 but with the added benefit of extra fitness and total of 30mins of heavy cycling!

Today I'm working from home, everyone is a winner except I like working in an office connecting with my colleagues in sales and operations is something not only do I need to do for my job but which gives me a sense of family at work!

Still to test out on my Staines adventure is; run commute (!! That is very keen).... Early early drive... And then I will test it all again once the schools are back.... The commute whilst kind of epic in time is fairly straightforward and not too stressful... The drive is not as bad as I feared so I'm hopeful this can work!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cotswold 113 2015 Race report

'It's been a couple of weeks now so better get this down..... !!

Before about Thursday of race week I had planned on getting (us) up early at 0330 as we live just over an hour away from the venue. My Sherpa (Alison) wasn't much looking forward to this and when I realised somewhat belatedly that registration was the day before it seemed like a return trip the day before would be a bit wasteful.... Having quickly looked at hotel options I quickly saw none available but thought I'd try the next day as typically people have 24hr cancellation policy. Luck would have it indeed that on Friday some rooms were available at a big hotel about 3miles from the race. So at least that would mean no wasted return journey and an hour extra in bed! Nice.

So I had a relaxing day on Saturday, last minute decision to fit tribars (I found last year I was mainly on my drops but thought I'd prefer a choice on the day). So bars fitted, bags packed and car loaded I had an easy drive down Saturday pm. The hotel was massive and we got a really nice room with a balcony over the lake. There were quite a lot of birds nests (house martins we thought) up under the roofing which really was amazing, and given we were going to be up at the crack of dawn was not at all disturbing

Race Day
I woke before the alarm, something like 4:15, boiled the kettle for my instant porridge in pot and slurp of instant coffee, trying not to awaken my Sherpa as I knew it would be a long morning for her too! With everything lined up on the floor the night before I bleary eyed got into my tri gear, put my race chip on and fed my face. Pre race excitement building. This day had been a long day coming..... In some ways almost three years given this was the race I was supposed to do which I had to pull out of 2 weeks prior due to an ovarian cyst the size of a peanut butter jar being found in me! I have been working with a coach for the first season in years so my training has been more consistent for sure. I was excited to see how I went in the swim, and was hoping to not walk in the run (flu and a calf strain has really walloped my running most which isn't the best anyway! So I was excited for what may happen and to be back racing again.

The drive to the venue was easy, quite a lot of cars exiting the hotel and a convoy of bleary eyed triathletes and Sherpas. We had to queue a bit to get into the car park where a £5 day parking fee was levied (fair enough given the car park was in a commercial one which would normally charge anyway)

Off to racking. Now the racking was pretty tight. Not so much the distance between bikes which was tight but manageable but actually the distance between the rack behind ... So close my shoes were in danger of embedding themselves in the wheel spookes of the bike behind. I couldn't attach elastic to hold up the rear shoe, just wasn't happening. But this a very small issue in what was a really really well run event.

I found some clubs mates had a nervous natter (as you do). The person next to me had decided his/her space should be as big as possible so I tidied their crap (and I mean kit explosion) up a little so I could get my bike in and lay my trainers etc out. Transition soon thinned down as the first wave starting at 06:00 move out to the start line. The race briefing notes stated that transition would be shut at 0550 which it wasn't (thankfully) as I still had phaffing to do.... Pretty sure everyone was out by 06:00 but the officials were pretty good about a little flexibility with this (especially as the car park queue had made some people later then they wanted to be I think). Given I wasn't off until wave 5 at 06:40 I had plenty of time to reccie the swim course and see where everyone else was starting. 

I decided having watched a couple of starts (most people now wanting to be at the front placed themselves I a madly congested middle), that I was going to start front and to the right. This meant a sharper turn at about 100m but probably more clear water.

Couple of words of advice for the final 20mins; wear flips flops, I got into my wetsuit in transition and wore flips flops around to the swim start, it was warm enough to not have to do my wetsuit up until 10mins before. It was pretty muddy and you wouldn't want to be barefoot. Plenty of people wore flips flops and left them lakeside at the start. I recovered mine from the same spot post race no problem. The other advice is to carry some spare toilet paper (or have your Sherpa have some to hand)!!! Whilst the portaloos were pretty ok (for portaloos!) mine had run out of loo roll and I had to, well, improvise!!!

We were allowed in the water as soon as the previous race cleared so it was good to get some acclimatisation. It's been a little chilly start to the OW season and I've been swimming in 14 locally... So having had a few warm days prior to the race and wat with the lake being shallow it was a balmy 16.5 degrees which is a pretty perfect temperature I think. The swim course is a kind of squared M shape, starting in the middle right gap of the M and heading out to the bottom right of the M at the start.... So quite a few buoys and sightings to be done. I swam out strong at the start and only had one side on collision! Before the first buoy I had clear water and was a bit surprised to find not many people coming past, I think one person did (the waves are mixed sex), and after turning left at the first bouy I did manage to swim at lower side of someone so got a bit of a draft but either they started to tire or I got into a strong rhythm as I soon found myself going past without any perceptive change in effort. Coach words were to swim strong but not fast (when I try and swim fast I tend to swim slow!), so I focused on timing of my recovery arm to catch (as that helps keep my rhythm without over gliding and stalling) and just swam! The only real time I had trouble spotting was the way back down to the middle point of the M shape, I think they had a boat with a sail up in the lake but I couldn't see what I was aiming for for toffee! So I took bearings off a mixture of swimming hats ahead, shoreline and a canoeist!! Through more luck then judgement I found myself right in line with a set of floats tied together which marked the v shape turn. Heading back up there were even less swimmers near me. I wasn't at the front of my wave I knew that as there had been a small group formed at the start, but there really was few people near.... In fact I only recall seeing one pink hat near me for the rest of the swim, I was already in and through some of the previous waves tail markers. Midway back up to the next bouy the lake got a bit weedy... Mostly they were low enough not to effect your catch but there were the occasionally had through weedy bit. I do remember thinking and being thankful it hasn't been a really warm and sunny May or this bit would have been quite horrible I think. The pink hat swimmer near me was off to my left and I suspect in clearer, deeper water (I bet they had done the race before!). Another turn bouy approaching I caught some more swimmers from the previous heat so given they were back markers I gave them some space (as didn't want to freak them out!)... Coming back down near an island the water got shallow and weedy again.... My recomendation is to do swim so close to the island even though it is probably the straightest line...  

Having then made my final turn I began to spot the exit ramp every three strokes feeling strong and feeling like I had had a good swim. Approaching the ramp it got a bit congested, a guy on the ramp was shouting something and as I got nearer it was him telling people to keep on swimming... Evidently some people were slowing maybe thinking they would get their feet down sooner.... I'm always one to swim until my hands can touch the bottom so I swam thorough these people before reaching the plastic ramp (when I say ramp I mean it... It is quite steep), where a hand was offered to help drag me out, followed quickly by a second as I stood up! Happy exit, felt strong hit my lap button to see a swim time of under 35mins which is what I was hoping for. Very pleased with that and overall my swim had felt strong and consistent. After 300m no one in my heat came past me which for me means I probably swam a more consistent pace as in prior years I've found people come past in the final quarter. 

Having exited the ramp you are right by T1 although have to jog down the side to enter.... The side being grassy and wet was marshalled with someone calling out the slip hazard and apmaking you aware and asking to take it easy. So I tiptoed and jogged my way down pushing up my goggles and taking down my suit. Jogged through a couple of chaps who were walking and chatting hearing them say "we've just been overtaken my a pinky!" (Which was my wave hat) so that felt quite good (for me anyway)... Getting into transition I found it quite hard to spot my position which was mid way down... Had a just looked for the messiest one it would have been easier.... So the arsehole (as I now refereed to him as) next to me had scattered wet suit, googles and other detritus all over my kit and even managed to spread his wetsuit as far as the bike the other side of me. What a selfish prat. If ever there were to be penalties for being like this then this guy deserved one! So I kindly moved his kit back to under his bike position (note I left his shoes nice and tidy despite having the urge to not do so), took my wetsuit off and placed it, my hat and googles folded under my bike. Put my race belt on, gillet on (I felt better to be safe then sorry as the forecast was for 11-14 degrees and possibly rain... Although it was probably already 14), I also put on arm warmers (laced with talcum powder so they could slip on properly)... Hat on, sun glasses (orange tint) on, grabbed bike and away we go!!! Of out of transition, across a muddy stretch before hitting the bike mount line.... Now it was because of the muddy stretch I decided to have my shoes on my peddles already, with one elasticated to the bike. Have to say there was no flying mount as it was a 90 turn out of the muddy path and onto the road/ mount line.... So ungracefully  swung my muddy toes onto my bike, put my feet on my shoes and peddled off. Not the fastest transition but it wasn't bad and I felt like I had the right amount of layers on for this time in the morning. T1 done.... 

I'd love to say I jumped on my bike and peddled smoothly off.... But that would be a lie... The mount line was a 90o turn left out of the transition exit some kind of just got on with my feet on the pedals.... And this is when I realised that I had forgotten to open my velcro wide so my feet could slip in easily (I blame the tight space, lack of ability of elasticate the shoes on and, well frankly a lack of practice (even though I had done one of my three transition training sessions!!).... So I peddled and phaffed and peddled and phaffed... Got my left foot in ok but my right was a nightmare..... The inner was folded the Velcro was stuck in the wrong places and I almost decided to just stop and do it properly.... And then my foot went it. I had a power range to keep to supplied by my coach the day before. This was my first race with power and I have to say it really helped keep me both honest and also stop me pushing too hard (or helped with gear selection). I was just getting into a proper rhythm a few miles down the road when fellow TVT club mate Jamie came flying past.... I saw the blur of "TvT" on his tri shorts shouted good luck and he was gone! Flying! The bike route itself is a flat fast two lap course with one lump of a hill midway through the lap. A few twists and turns and even a badger set to go past on each out and back section! It was both quiet country road and really beautiful. About half way to the hill another TvT club mate and wife of Jamie, Kathryn came haring past me. She wasn't hanging about and looked as strong as her husband!! I have to say the Cotswold bike is a great location, even if on occasion the roads were pretty narrow, some very pretty scenery!! It is also really well marshalled as well, everything was pretty clear (although I nearly did over shoot a couple of turns)! Coming towards the end of the first lap the sun came out and I decided it was a good time to ditch my gillet (which was annoying me a bit anyway as the bottom of the zip kept opening causing a bit of flapping).... I have to say I utterly impressed myself by being able to take off my jacket, ball it up and throw it at a marshal at the drinks station whilst also throwing an empty bottle and grabbing a new one!!! 3 miles straight back to transition and the turn point and I realised that actually I was biking well. With little wind I had only been watching my power, cadence and HR and had little idea what speed I had been traveling at... So was more then a little surprised to see my watch time (I switched it to see) was a startling 1hr25 at the half way point. Now I had been thinking I would be happy with a time of 3:15 before realising the course was a little short so thought maybe 3:05-3:10.... I felt pretty good, pretty in control and definitely not blowing ... So with a smile on my face I headed out for lap two... My nutrition continued to go down well and whilst the course was thinning out of people it was still as pretty and windless as the first lap with slightly more sunshine (so much I was beginning to wonder why the hell I hadn't put some sundress in transition... !).... At the hill I met one final TvT guy David... We had a quick chat up a hill before he took off although some point later I over took him before he came back past me again as we were in the last mile or so before transition..... It was as I was turning left to go right and into the final few hundred metres to T2 that I heard the awful sound of carbon on road and saw David on his side having chewed on some tarmac. So I stopped and checked he was ok as some marshalls came running over, he didn't look too dazed although did have some fresh shiny road rash which did look nasty. He reassured me he would be ok and to carry on and as we were near T2 and marshalls on the scene I thought I probably couldn't do much more anyway.... So I headed off up the lane to the dismount line and managed to get off my bike without falling over (felt like a bit of an achievement!!).... Back through the muddy bit and into T2. Bike done in a bloody fantastic (for me and my expectations) of 2hrs51.... Now all I had to do now with a half marathon.... Oh how we laughed...

T2 (longest writing t2 in history as started this blog post in June but seem to be continuing and finishing it from here, it's now September!!)
The biggest thing on my mind in T2 was should I risk the T2 portaloos or should I risk that I can get into the public loos about 400m out of transition.... Given I ran past the portaloos to rack my bike I decided I didn't want the extra yardage and risk the public loo.... So quick rack of bike, quick application of Vaseline between my toes, helmet off, cap on, grab gels and go!

Always entertaining trying to find your run legs and more so with a full bladder! Luckily I found and was able to access the public loo quite quickly after the exit from T2.... The loo was queue-less and very clean... And blissful!! Having got myself sorted got back into my shuffle... Main focus from my watch point of view was noting my cadence primarily and then heart rate... Cadence because when I tire that drops, my running gets heavier and slower... My aim was to tap around 170 ... My HR I wanted to try and keep in an easy zone for at least the first lap. The course is mostly off road, there are a couple of pinch points on the course but nothing too off putting. I smiled to and thanked all the marshals, primarily because I am grateful for the attendance but also it keeps me positive and out of the "unhappy" place you can get into! The first lap passed rather faster then I expected, coming in around 41mins for the 7k which included my loo stop.... My second lap was predictably for difficult... Now I had done a big training session (metric half which ended in a 13.2k run)... So whilst the second lap was hard I figured in my brain I could do it as I'd done it already in training... My lap time had dropped towards 45mins but I had survived without walking! The third lap was then a case of just running towards mental markers on the course. My main overall aim for the run was simply to keep going and not walk - well apart from the aid station - but to keep going, when my cadence dropped to run taller, lighter with short steps... The last 2-3k were a bit of a blur but I was determined to keep running... With the words of my coach in my head when it gets tough, when it gets painful, just dig in. Well I dug deep and didn't walk and was well chuffed to have completed the run in 2:13... Quite a bit outside my pb for a middle distance run, but to be honest this surpassed my expectations of where I am right now... And my pb was done in 2009 so I was a bit fitter and younger then!! 

Overall results:

Overall I was over the moon with this race. A psychological success as well as a physical one. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Juneathon Day 13

It may look like I missed day 12 but I actually reverted to desperate measures and captured it all in 140 characters of a tweet.... That was a close one!

This one will be brief too... Today I rode easy 30mins on my bike then gave it a clean and wipe down because tomorrow I race!

1.9k swim
90k bike
21k run

I'm hoping for something under 40 for swim, maybe under 35 if it goes well... Something around 3:15 to 3:30 on the bike and then hopefully survive the run... Assuming to GI issues then under 2:30 .... If I go under 6:30 I will be well chuffed... I'm still a long way away from my PB of 5:40... And maybe I will never see that time again!!!!

Still tomorrow is going to be fun if nothing else! In the words of  yoda... There is no try!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Juneathon Day 10 & 11

Well day 10 was so bereft of activity it barely deserves a mention.... Swimming was on my schedule but I'm fearful of having an ear issue before Sunday that I skipped it... And we'll because I had to be in at work be for 0830 so it wasn't going to happen before work and after work the adult swim time is after 8pm... So both these things just meant I was a bit of a juneathon no show for day 10.. I can't even claim extra steps from the car because I was wearing heels I parked closer! Loosely I will claim some toe yoga, about 5 Sun salutations (abridged version) and some general buttock clenching at appropriate (rather then inappropriate) moments......

So moving on swiftly to today ... Day 11 and a whole different story.... Despite the fact I have a race on Sunday I was shocked to see a multiple 2hr long total brick session appear in my schedule... WTF!... Not able to do 2 hrs before work I settled for splitting the session 1hr before and another hour when I got home.... The session was a mix of 10min bikes followed by either 5 or 15min run all done and a variety of paces. Needless to say I'm now knackered!!

So Juneathon Day 11 was 6 10 bike sessions and 6 run sessions (50mins total)... With transitions it ended up 2hrs...

So with that good night and happy damn nearly friday!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Juneathon Day 9

Back to being a day late again... Noted...

Yesterday was umm Tuesday so I got my juneathon exercise in nice and early and did a pre breakfast 33min easy jog.... Well 30mins easy actually with a very hard flat out 3mins in the middle!!

That was it all done before breakfast... If only I could get my posts done so swiftly!!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Juneathon Day 8

Following hot on the heels of the pathetic day 7 post I thought I may as well carry on the motion and get to day 8... And so just over a quarter of the way through!

Woke early after a very restless night full of bad dreams.... Was I think just after 5 when a cat decided I should be awake! This should have given me plenty of time to get up and fit in my morning workout but somehow I still managed to not be ready for action until 7... And then I had bike sensor issues so actually didn't get going for another 15mins or so! Lucky then that my workout for the day was an easy 33min turbo which was 15min warm up and 15min warm down with a 3min max effort in the middle..... All whilst watching an episode of casualty!

Prescription for tomorrow is something similar but on two feet rather then a bike!

Juneathon Day 7

Frankly yesterday was a Juneathon disaster .... Although I did have a lovely lazy morning and I did cook us a lovely late breakfast which was enjoyed in the sunshine!

Juneathon activities peaked at walking to the car and doing some yoga... Although it was only toe yoga so I'm not sure I can gain much credit from that!!?

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Juneathon - Day 6

Still running 24 hours behind I'd better do a double dip day soon just to get my day lapse back..... If you get me!!

Anyway a very quick summary of yesterday....

Got up
Had light breakfast
Went to the lake for an OW swim... Temp still at 14.5c ... Could do with it getting warmer this is still chilly....
Did 3 laps about 2250... Had a 30-60s break at the end of each lap happiest bit was actually my lap times were all consistent! 
Came home intending to get out quickly in order to make the 70k ride I had planned and meet with some fellow club mates at the end of the "cake" ride.... Then worked out I wasn't got to make it even if I got a real wiggle on... So ended up having second breakfast and watched the tennis.
Finally got my arse in gear and headed out... 70k was the order of the day ... Headed west... Good grief it was a big westerly ... Head wind pounded me when it could but in a way I was happy with that as I knew when I turned for home I'd be flying!
Came back with good tail winds which led to some Strava PRs!!! Home in time for apero (red wine), with olives and cheese!!

Junathon Day 6 done

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Juneathon Day 5

Woke up this morning and realised with mild panic that I had forgotten to do my post Friday night..... "wah! Failed juneathon on measly day 5 despite exercising"...

... Then I remembered we had 24 hours to blog so actually I'm safe for now anyway

To keep it short yesterday morning I had a run on the agenda .... Warm up followed by 10mins of 30s intervals easy/hard then 10mins of 1min intervals easy/hard and then a warm down.

It was really really hummid... So having started the week with succumbing to putting the heating on for a couple of hours (1st June and the summer was really here)... By Thursday night/ Friday morning the weather had transformed in to a hot humid sweat fest!! Still actually I quite enjoyed my run in the warm and the rain.... Warm up ibfelt knackered and legs tired still from the race last weekend however recovered enough and even the last two 1 min intervals seem to find a different gear!

Day 5 complete!

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Juneathon - Day 4

Having done lmp (last minute posts) the last few days I'm getting this one in early (it's only 7:45pm) although that is guaranteeing a longer post!

Juneathon exercise effort was a bit slack today; think the last couple of days effort post race has tired me out and I just feel like sleeping!

So other then the normal work car parking further away I have done little else... Oh wait I did walk to the shop at lunchtime... But thinking I had done squat I have just been for a walk around the woods behind the house.. (a) to get me moving after a day mostly sat down (b) to let my mind relax and transition from work to home and (c) because actually it has been a beautiful day which I've witnessed from my office and I just wanted to wander around with the warmth of the day still hanging on... It was beautiful, peaceful and graceful. I love nature.

So Juneathon Day 4 was exercise wise a mile, maybe slightly more of strong walking. Here's some happy snaps I took on the way

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Juneathon - Day 3

It is 11pm now as I write this post and there's me thinking I was late last night....

Worked from home today so couldn't do the same sneaky tricks to make me slightly more active (but which don't count)... However during my day I did (this is the be active but don't count for Juneathon list...)
1. 5mins of yoga stretching.... Did this twice.... Literally this is just standing, bending stretching and nothing more but does move me again having me at my desk for longer periods
2. Walked to the cafe which is v close by to get a couple of take out sandwiches for lunch
3. Whilst waiting for the sandwichs to be made I did some toe yoga (i kid you not!)

So that is all well and good, well better then just sitting in a chair all day!

At the end of the day I carried out what I'd been dreading most of the day.... A bike turbo threshold set.... Consisting of 15+ mins of progressive warm up, 30mins time trial all out measured effort and then a spin cool down.... Would like to give some stats but speed sensor broke as I started so all I can say is my HR got pretty high and some how I didn't chuck up

On that note I bid you good night!

Juneathon Day 3 DONE!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Junathon Day 2... Still no race report

Tsk... Race done two days ago and still no report and you are not getting one now either because it's already past 10pm and I should be sleeping... So instead a micro juneathon blog...

Today I did this but this does not count:
1. Parked at a bay at the back of the car park again thus adding a few more steps into the office... But not many mind
2. Went to the upstairs office at least twice (4 sets of stairs) and did not use the elevator... Thus adding more steps to my day.
3. Partook in several phone conversations whilst standing

All the above made me at least a little more active.... Then I got home and went for a 55min mixed pace run, covering a measly 8.something k... You could say my legs were feeling the effects of Sunday still and you would be right... I did the hard intervals hard but suspect the reality is they were still slow!!

That's it for day 2... Eyelids are currently doing too much weight lifting and likely to hit max reps any moment... Zzzx

Monday, June 01, 2015

Yes... Day 1

Well I had plans for an epic blog race report about the Ardingly (hardingly more like) tri I did yesterday but that will have to wait... As frankly I'm knackered!

Plans for recovery swim today scuppered as I've had a bit of an upset tummy... So mostly the only running I've been doing is to the loo (apparently that is TMI)....Now I don't think this is a bug as I've realised that it could be the bread I purchased at the weekend which has spirulina in it ... Apparently that can act as a colon cleanser... Perhaps not the wisest choice of carb loading bread then eh?!!?

So ... Instead... Juneathon is here so some form of activity was required... These do not count.... 

1. Parked furthest spot in the car park, making my walk about oh 20-30 paces more then normal
2. I walked ups several flights of stairs at work today and did so a couple of times.
3. Did some vague stretches

Realising 30mins ago that that was all a bit pathetic I can duly report Junathon activity for Day 1 is....
..... Drum roll.....
......more drum rolling.....

10 press ups 


I know you are impressed...

Day 1 done...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Juneathon is coming!

I am doing it. If for no other reason then to get my blog writing stats up...

So ready yourself .... Although I'm sure the blogs will be brief but can I make it the full 30days..... Hummmm...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sorry Sir Soros

My dear Katski, Soros, Sorioski, Soski, Snorbits, Sooooooorrrrrrrrrrros, I'm sorry today maybe wasn't what you expected. You know you've been ill, quite ill especially these last few weeks. I'm don't know if today was the right day to help you on your way, you have been such a brave, strong and resilient fur ball. You know how hard it has been getting for you to breathe and before it got difficult and frightening for you we thought it was time.... You enjoyed some car roof sunbathing yesterday and a feast of tuna last night and this morning..... We know these last few days in particular you've been wheezing again and you've been struggling to suck in air but I know your last moments were peaceful, your final breaths were easier as your body said goodbye to your spirit. We tried out best for your last days to be as good for you as could be.

I'm sorry for the few times I've sworn at you in the middle of the night as you decided my head or tummy looked like a good landing spot. They were not! But these were rare occasions of disquiet. I've rarely if ever come across a feline soul so intelligent, independent, quietly demanding (only on your terms) and affectionate when offered the possibility of duvet time (evidenced by extreme pogging, purring loud enough to warrant an asbo, and dribbling like you had no off switch on your saliva).

There are some occasions I want to capture here whilst I write.... I first met you when you lived in your first home, back in the days when you were a city boy; your humans at that time were Jackie and Ollie and you lived in the big smoke of London Town. I stayed up one night visiting them and hadn't seen much of you (as is your way), then went to sleep and suddenly you materialised as soon as I was under the duvet. Suddenly no longer this shy tabby but some sort of gleeful, pogging dribble monster.... As long as I didn't stroke you you were immersed in joy. Little did either of us know then that later you would move to the country and I would become your human. When Jackie and Ollie upped sticks in 2007 they dearly wanted to take you with them, but there was an issue dear Soros that  you may have been some other animals dinner... So heartbreaking I know it was for them to say goodbye to you I offered to home you and you literally did Escape to the Country (inspired by your move the BBC later commissioned a whole series about people doing the same.... But I digress)...

Moving here wasn't easy for you... Not only had you had teeth taken out so felt crappy and were on antibiotics but you were moving AND into a house with another cat. All in all a stressful time for you wasn't it little one. It definitely took a while for you and Muffin to settle, Muffin being the big black jealous cat and you being the Towny. Over the course of the next months you both got used to your own spaces and places and began to tolerate each other and even I think like each other. Muffin having breakfast time with me and you having the pogtastical duvet time in the evening. You both shared your human well..... The time you found dear Muffin and let me know where he was I will never forget and I have never been able to thank you for enough (because you don't understand human language, but I've often mentioned it to others)... That was his last night, had you not ran to and from the bush meowing (which is a noise you rarely made) I would never have known Muffin was there and he may well have died a lonely nasty death. As it was you made sure I could find him, I know we couldn't save him but at least he was not so scared.

The time immediately post Muffin I know confused and disturbed you.... You came out of yourself a bit more which was nice to see.... And then I decided to get another kitten to keep us both company. To say it scared the living day lights out of you is an understatement! You looked at me with big fearful eyes and a WTF expression as you saw this little black mini furball for the first time. At first you ran away from it (which incidentally was a little pathetic), until you and I had a face to face chat. I even demonstrated how you were supposed to pin the kitten down and reprimand it should it be needed. After this chat you did change and realised you didn't need to be afraid but lead.... And that you did. Caribou was nothing more then a very frightened little thing and took to you like the older cat brother you were. I know at times you had found yourself a nice sunny patch and he came and lay next to you but I thank you for that tolerance. You showed him such things as the cat flap, how to sit patiently to be fed, but he has never got the hanging of opening doors towards himself the way you can/ could. You were a master of many little cat tricks, intelligent Katski that you are.

... And this is how you sit on the shed Caribou...

Pesky paparazzi! Who said you could take my moggy picture....

A year after Caribou arrived there was another disturbance to your routine, but this one was most welcome and I know has brought you both moments of quiet bliss together; yes when Alison moved in you had I think your human equivalent of sole mate in the household. Someone who is happily quiet sitting reading a book in your company who will just let you be (unlike me, I know I fuss too much). You have spent the last few years insisting on being able to sit on the toilet seat at both bath time and shower time.... Insisted on being in the bedroom at bedtime and being my Alison's feet or side. Insisted not in a loud way, but a persistent way. You've shared study time being on the windowsill mostly (occasionally on the mousemat) when she has been working, always present but never, or at least rarely, a bother. 

I know we left you for 5.5 months nearly 2.5 years ago as we travelled and had some adventures. And whilst we worried if you'd be ok, you didn't seem to mind ... and had mostly a lovely time with house sitter Mike (and Shula) who soon realised your love for tuna and how being allowed on the duvet turned you from a quiet almost reclusive cat to this enthusiastic, pogtastical dribble monster. So I think you actually were more then fine and we worried for no reason.

You've had some moments little Soros and have rarely been a hunter. Allegedly you did come home once with bird in mouth when you lived in the big smoke, but I've never seen you hunt since being here, despite the opportunity.... Although there was that one time.... You know the time I'm talking about.... When you say on the windowsill watching the birds in the garden (number 3 all time favorite hobby after duvet time and car bonnet bathing)..... As you watched I remember being nearby when I heard a massive thump on the window. I've never seen you move so fast as you hastened your way from the window, sped down the stairs, through the kitchen and out the cat flap at breakneck speed. Closely followed by myself. I was a bit behind you as I had t get keys and unlock doors and found you almost beside yourself with amazement with a bird in your mouth. I will never forget Soros. You were so excited but didn't quite know what to do as the bird came too and started moving .... Despite flying into the window it hasn't been killed, just stunned ... So all your dreams came true in that moment, you looked so happy and cat proud and then unsure. I asked for the bird and you gave it to me and let me put it in a hanging basket to recover. I swear I've never seen you so happy in the moment (other then at duvet time of course).

You've even tolerated the arrival of another black cat, the stray Mawnan Smith who has been a challenge ..... But you've just got on with it in your easy going, quiet tabby way.

Whilst you've been eating well these last few years we have noticed you losing weight, last time we took you to the vet, about a year ago they checked you out and said you were light but ok (and compared to caribou who is now a big black furball you will also look skinny).... This winter we've been more worried about you as you didn't want to go out so much and finally we took the decision three weeks ago as you had been sneezing and coughing a bit to take you to another new vet. I know these few weeks you have gone through quite a bit for a cat that doesn't want to be touched too much.... But you've been stoic in your tolerance of vet visits and attempts my Alison or I to give you tablets. Whilst the tablets have helped you be more comfortable we knew your time was coming to an end.

It was really hard making this decision now and we will all miss you my furry kitten. I will miss your dribbles and especially the soft dark yellow fur behind your ears.

Rest now little cat. Breath easier and sleep.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Janathon day - damn it...

Janathon came and went and I made it half way.... *sigh*.... started stumbling just due to work pressures and then I got flu so that just ended it all really... two and a bit weeks of being pathetic, although to be fair for 3 days I (well we actually because we both went down with it) had high fever, aches, pains and general nastiness ..... so that really wiped me out frankly.

Which brings me to actually the main topic of conversation for the blog which is a race report (gasp! shock! horror!) for Wokingham half marathon... I say race in a loose version of the word. Whilst there were plenty of people chasing each other and PBs there were (in turns out from several coversations on course) quite a few of us just seeing what we could do and enjoying a little run on a wonderful winters day.

Background then: This time last year I had an entry to Wokingham Half and had sort of done some focused run training.... then it rained (and rained and rained and rained) and the race was cancelled because the roads were under a couple of metres of water. The race was cancelled quite at the last minute so my friends who had entered still came up and we had a bit of a social gathering and fun run anyway. The good folks of Wokingham Half though carried everyones' entry into this years race (I guess they had an insurance policy which paid out).... So one year later and coming off the back of having flu and little to no training the preceeding weeks it was here again.

Now I confess - I was actually thinking running the race wouldn't be a terribly good idea. I had made it to 10miles a couple of times in my training but not for some weeks. With the flu I did nothing for two weeks - so I gave myself a test run of 20mins 9 days beforehand - recovered ok from that. Then the week before I did a long run - 8miles which took 1hr30... so was pretty slow and the thought of another 5 miles was frankly a little ludicrous.... BUT then I saw my training plan...

My coach - who does know best - basically had scheduled the race and basically said relax don't worry about it and enjoy it.... WTF

My thoughts... " Really - "enjoy" it.... Really.... Hasn't he seen all the RED missed session in training peaks... does he not understand how long it took me to do 8 miles... Enjoy... ennnnnjoyyy  PAH!.... sigh... but if he thinks I should that means he thinks I can so maybe I could ... OK THEN I'm BACK IN!!"

Friends arrived and my plan was to enjoy a day out. We were luckily blessed with stunning winter weather - cold but bright and glorious - if it had been dull, cold and raining I'm not sure the prospect of a 13 mile adventure would have been so enjoyable. My better half who was marshalling then text to say she would be at station 10 - which was a perfect place for a drop out at mile 10 if I needed. I wasn't feeling proud and given my state I did go into the run leaving myself options to bail out if I wasn't feeling it or if I felt unwell.

.. and so we gathered.. stripped off and put kits bags in tents - shivered and found a sunny spot in amongst the queue to get warm before the start! Jules was aiming for 1:30, Sue for under 2 and me for whatever it was - give my run the week before I was thinking 2;20-2:30 would be about right. My plan was to run at a comfortable HR, keeping it below or around 148 for the first half and then whatever... I had two gels which I planned to have around 7.5 and 15k. I had my Garmin on but the only view I was looking at was cadence and HR. Time and pace were not of any concern... and more then anything else... the aim was to ENJOY and do what I could.

Without a blow by blow account the following graphic kind of sums it up... Before the hill between mile 10-11 the only walking I did was vaguely just to have a sip of water....

Approaching the 10mile marker someone's phone went off announcing in a computersed female voice  "10miles in 1hr 47mins" .... and I have to say it totally pysched me out... Not only was there a bloody great big hill (ok slope but that the time it looked like a mountain) ahead of me but I literally thought "shit - it's taken me that long and I thought I was going ok, so it will be at least another 30mins"... so frankly it demoralised me quite some. And despite the nun who ran past me I doubted a bit and lost faith.... I took on some water at the aid station ... walked a bit on the up over the motorway bridge... jogged on and then .. because other people were.. I walked on towards the top of the hill. Hurumph... The Nun and I ran near each other every now and again which was quite good fun as they were getting some good support... but eventually I pulled away (relatively speaking)... I was now counting down the kms to the end... I played cat and mouse with several runners the last 2-3k which helped just keeping the rythm going... arriving towards the home straight I had a good shout out from some supporters from my Tri Club and further down from Jules (who had come an agonizing 40s outside his sub 1:30)... I trundled towards the line with my arms aloft very happy to have finished... only for a little lady to come flying past... well I wasn't about to be beaten on the line so we ended up sprinting together I'm sure I got the photo finish ;).... we ended up with the same clock time and had a laugh and gave each other a hug as we crossed the finish mats... it was quite a funny end.

I then turned my watch off and was more then a little surprised to see my final time was 2:11:42 ... so whilst not close to a PB actually much better then I thought and expected. Once downloaded I saw to my 10k time was a surprising 59:57 and more surprising 1:38:27 for 10miles... You can see my pace slowed quite a bit in the second half which is not surprising and my HR going higher as I carried on (no surprise there)

Ulimately I was very happy to have got out and tried and was very surprised by the result. My form however must have gone to pot the last few miles - I battered two toes such that I have two blue nails (yuk) and I spent the next two days walking down the stairs backwards (it was the only way)... So the coach was right ... the weather was excellent.... and we all had lots of fun. Jules missed his time by seconds few and Sue ended up somewhere around 1:55 having taken it easy - excellent result.

It was a good race and not massively busy which was good. Also the atmosphere and camaraderie for the runners around me was really great - so I thank them for their support as well as all those supporters on the course.

Apparently my coach thinks I will be able to run 1hr 30 tomorrow.... he is hilarious.... but I have been walking forwards down stairs for a few days now so who knows - there is only one way to find out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 13


I woke up. It was raining. I snoozed.

I got up. It was raining. I fed the cats.

I sat down (for light breakfast). It was raining. I ate.

I waited. It stopped raining. I got changed into running kit.

I went outside and ran 5k easy in 31 mins and I didn't get wet!!!!

I went to work. Late.

But it's ok because I came home from work even later!!

Good night all!!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 12

Very nearly forgot to blog as it was some time ago that I actually did something today other then staring at a spreadsheet!!!

Woke up with a swim in mind but a fear for new year swimmers. After the mayhem in the pool on Saturday afternoon (yes it was the adult only swim session), I feared for a repeat this morning..... The swim Gods however shined their light down on me... Apparently it had been manically busy but when I arrived I arrived in a lull!! Started off with just two (yes 2!!!) in the lane which hit a max of 5... All of which was fine.... Starts getting a bit awkward at 6 people and above that just silly (lack of lame discipline and etiquette) .... So I was very lucky indeed.

My swim set was made up mostly of sets differing in lengths and intensity... Plan was for 2600m and whilst I followed my plan (so I thought) when I got out of the pool and hit stop my watch told me I'd done 2500m.... I somehow managed to miss a small 100m easy set in the middle!!

Anyway... I did my swim, got changed and got a coffee on the way out to slurp on the way to work.... To commence yet another manic week at work... Not that I had much of a non working weekend mind.... But still the light is hopefully at the end of the planning cycle tunnel as the deadlines are now all!!! It's like a train of swimmers all getting to the end of the pool at the same time... ie it could get messy!!!

Janathon Day 12 Summary.... 2.5k swim
Jantastic weekly log: 1 swim of 1 committed... Tick

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 11

Just been watching the Packers Game!!! Great game... Well I would say that given the Packers won.... Although to be honest I don't understand why the catch was not a catch... The result could easily have gone the other way.... Still now off to Seattle.... I love Seattle.... So if Green Bay don't win I will be supporting the Sea Hawks in the final.... But I'm hoping to see green and gold at the Super Bowl this year.

anyway.... This post is supposed to be about Janathon really.... Had on my plan a 2.5 hour ride but also needed to do some work and wanted to rest a bit today.... So I opted for a one hour turbo session because (a) it was shorter and involved less phaffing with cold weather kit... And (b) I'm thinking about doing the Tour of Sufferlandria at the end of the month and if I'm to do that then I thought I'd better get an accurate FTP.

So Janathon torture of the day was 1hr turbo, including 20mins super threshold interval.. Bleah!!!

Despite managing to keep to my Janathon commitment (albeit with a couple of days just easy stretch, core or yoga), I do feel right now my tri training is falling short of my planned sessions. I'm trying not to give myself a hard time because I'm working all the hours during the week and partially at the weekend at the moment and will be for another 2 weeks... So I'm trying to not get frustrated and accept it. At least I'm ticking over even if I'm not getting any fitter/faster....

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 10

Pretty much a third of the way through... Will I make it I wonder?!

Today started off very slowly... For two, no, three reasons....

Firstly due to high winds forecast all club rides for today were cancelled last night. So with no club ride to hustle out of bed for I saw no reason to hurry

Secondly it has been a very long working week this week and with little time off over the Christmas period as well I decided I could do with extra chill time in bed. Snoozing, coffee and croissant were the order of the morning

Thirdly I may well have had a glass of wine too much last night (I am a light weight) so my head felt wooly!!! Thankful for excuses 1 and 2!!! Ha ha ha

When I finally got my arse in motion I decided rather then turbo today I'd have a run and possibly swim (!!!) day. So around lunch time I headed out into the blustering wind and fortunately avoided any rain. Had a nice little 10k run over the hill (but not quite far away) ... So it was a windy and lumpy 10k. Mostly quiet trails and lanes though and only the odd fallen tree to navigate around. I literally had a lovely time! .... Although my hamstrings won't tell you that as they are now a bit tight and sore!!

Spent a few hours this afternoon doing some work and decided them to head to the pool for a swim session (missed from Thursday) ..... Oh my the pool was really busy... As busy as it gets with people in the morning sessions... But slightly worse as there were some angry chaps and blissfully ignorant swimmers (ie not paying attention despite the busy pool and not letting people pass at the turns)... The blissfully ignorant seemed to be winding up the angry ones without even knowing.... And then there were the kickers ... In the fast lane.... Now I'm not being funny but that is just completely stupid.... Unless of course you are an Olympic swimmer in which case you could probably out kick all the crawlers in the pool!!! Anyway... To be honest it was pretty chaotic so I did some drills and shorter reps in a quieter lane and only moved to the fast lane when I got into 200m sets. Alas I didn't get to finish what I started as the pool closes at 6:30 on a Saturday... Which isn't too bad... But what with the crowded pool I got something like 2k and 45mins of actual timed activity in my hour long soak!!!

Still... Got home and put on the pie and chips which were scheduled for last nights dinner!! No power cut can keep me from Friday pie for too long!!! 

All in all not a bad day!!! And a double dipping Janathon day!!!

Janathon day 10 summary
Run:     10k. ... In about 62 mins
swim      2k.... In the pool for an hour (about 45mins of swimming and lots of waiting for a gap!!! Ha ha)

Janathon 15 Day 9


I'm posting this a day late.

So I will keep it brief and sneak it under the radar.....

Got up. Phaffed a LOT.

Got on my turbo and actually pedalled for 30mins. Nice little TrainerRoad session.

Went to work. Worked late.

Got home to a power cut.

Leading to household disaster of no pie Friday. A calamity.

But it was ok as we had wine. Cheese. Cold cuts.

I wanted the wine after a long week at work. It tasted good... Ummmm 

So that was Friday.

Janathon tick
And as this was a bike session...
Jantastic week 1 = tick 

30mins cycling (turbo)

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Janathon Day 8

A micro blog to go with my micro workout.... Work got the better of me today.... Not surprising ... Awoke in time to work out with extra traffic on the road due to bad weather that I wasn't going to fit a 20min run in let alone a 30min turbo.... So I did 15mins of stretching and yoga... Given the yoga contained three press-ups I'm counting that as my micro Janathon entry....

I want to make some more time for me tomorrow my health is better if I'm more active for definite!

Janathon Day 8 15mins core stretch and yoga...

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 7

Something strange happened today.... Not the fact that I went swimming... Before work... With the pool strangely empty... No ... I went swimming without my Garmin..... Dun dun dur! This wasn't planned mind. I just. Forgot. It. You can imagine my confusion and decision making of what I should do.... I mean I was already in the changing room and in my costume when I realised... I bravely made the decision I could do it. I could do one session without a watch, no stats, no gadget.. My wrist felt bare ... They say in swimming that it is all about feeling the water.... This was the first time in a long time my left wrist felt the water. Is this what they are talking about??!

Luckily for me my session largely was made up of 25m and 100m reps so these were within the tolerance level of lap counting when I'm swimming!... Phew at least! All in all I think I did around 2550m I was in the pool for an hour anyway.... So not bad for a winter mid week swim.... I just wonder where all the usual people were... It really was strangely quiet....not that I'm complaining! It was great having a swim without the usual turmoil as everyone reaches the end at the same time! 

The best thing about morning swims is getting a costa coffee (albeit from the costa express vending machine) at the end .... Makes the journey in to work in traffic slightly more joyous... Although the joy could also be coming from the fact a swim session has been completed!

As far as Janatastic goes this means I'm 2/3rds through my weekly "target" of one swim, one bike and one run session a week 😄

Oh and I did start my day with 10-15mins of easy yoga and stretching .... Who knew this would help my hamstring tightness out..... Ok you did and I did but actually knowing and doing are very different things ;)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 6

This is going to be more of a micro blog tonight.....

Most often, like 98% of the time I sleep fully and peacefully and feel refreshed in the morning... Not last night... I woke up at 2am with my head full of work (unusual as I'm usually v good at parking it) ... And despite trying to think calming "ommmmmmm" thoughts of floating down a river to a peaceful forest I tossed and turned until gone 4am.... When I finally decided to get up and write everything work related going around my head on to some paper!!! The hunter cat heard me get up and snuck into the bedroom to placate me with some face pawing and uber purring on my return.... So peaceful was the purring that I duly fell asleep around 4:30 and despite waking before 6 I somehow nodded off again ignoring my fake sunrise and then work again at 7:20.... Yes basically what I'm saying is I had a restless night! ..... Clearly getting my excuses in on the blog post today eh... The eventual late wake up meant I'd missed my swim opportunity but wanting to do something I turned to some yoga! So got up and basically stretched myself out some  ... It is important in times of work stress to look after yourself and make sure you give yourself something in the day... So this was my gift to me.

I had hoped to do turbo session when I got home but it was late the time I did so ate instead, watched an hour of crap to whilst working and then have taken myself to bed.... I'm knackered!

Summary Janathon day 6: 20-25 mins of yoga and stretching

Monday, January 05, 2015

Janathon Day 5 - Back to work

Back to work day for the masses who had lots of time off over the Christmas period.... I was grateful for a partial break for the bank holidays but I've been working mostly the last two weeks and the biggest difference today was the amount of noise in the office.... Which was quite disturbing after the last couple of weeks quietness!!

But I digress ... This is supposed to be about Janathon and now given Jantastic has started about that too.... My Jantastic pledge is to complete one swim, one bike and one run session I week... This should be easy enough no matter how stressful gets over the coming two weeks... 

Today I woke earlyish; no rats and no mice presents from the felines... Joy! Having had a light breakfast I jogged out into the raising sun for a short 20 mins ...actually managed 3.2k which means my easy pace appears to be getting slightly faster... Depending on what you are used to.... If I could get my easy back towards a 6 min per km time that would be great not there yet but it could yet happen!!

I planned on doing a short yoga or stretch session this afternoon but given how late I got home that went out of the window and became chill time... Although I find yoga chilling the sofa sucked me in and I couldn't then escape. I read an interesting tweet this morning about how long people are seated in a day... Something like 15 hours.. Gosh! I did think about timing it just to see where I ended up then realised it would be simpler to work out how many minutes I wasn't sitting then to add up all my seating sessions... So figured out : I got up around 0630 and bed by 2200.... Of the day I ran for 20, fed the cats and did chores this morning, let's call that 20mins... Walked to the post office at lunch time... 30mins including standing and queuing.... 10mins to and fro from the car and say 10 mins of other stuff... So of the 15.5 hours out of bed today I reckon I've been active for 1.5 hours.... Good grief... So that is 14 hours sat on my arse... On the sofa, in the car and largely at my desk.... Holly crap! It is no wonder my hip flexors are tight and my hamstrings sore!!! 

I now want a standing desk .... 😀😱

And I should have done my yoga....

Summary Jantastic day 1 and Janathon day 5: 20mins of jogging and a huge amount of time sitting on much arse!!

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 4

Yep.... Still going... 27 more days to go.... That sounds a lot... So I will just be pleased I made it to day 4 for now!!!

Given a wimped out of my club ride yesterday due to a better weather forecast today I was pleased to see no rain this morning.... Freezing fog as predicted but no rain ☺️... All apps predicted the fog would lift about 10 and so it did... So whilst the temperature didn't get above 1 degree I did go out.... Not at all speedy but I pretty much blame that of the temperature... Whilst my core was pretty much ok, my lower back must have had less layers then anywhere else... I wore some bib winter tights which were excellent but I guess my coat raised up a bit so just less layers... Happy with my 2hrs 20 mins... Had difficulty getting my leg over my bike when I got home such were the fixed state of my legs.... Brrrr... And I have to say thanks to the driving community... Most drivers were brilliant, were patient and gave a lot of room overtaking which I was grateful for given the conditions.... 

Having got home and warmed up it was the day to take down the Christmas tree and chop it up into green sacks so it can be picked up tomorrow... I am going to count that as a little Janathon activity too 😉

Summary then for Day 4

Ride: 2hrs 20mins 58k including frozen bum
Tree demolition: 30mins including blowing up hedge trimmer, sawing of trunk and stuffing it all into bags

Oh yes... And he had ANOTHER cat present this morning... Thankfully smaller as it was very much alive so I duly caught it and returned it to the forest!

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 3

On the agenda for today was a club ride with the intention of getting in a good 2.5 hours.... Then I looked at the weather and decided I didn't want to get that wet (I now risk riding in freezing temperature tomorrow.. Hummm)... So planned on a 40min jog instead

But first things first... I decided as it was my first proper day off this week that I would run the risk of Reading town centre ... Gulp... I've not been in to Reading shopping on a Saturday morning for probably a decade or more (I mean why would you!!! All those crowds and hassle)... Anyway my phone had begun to get clunky and showing signs of being near the end of its life so I basically went and did a smash and grab at the O2 shop and got myself a shiny new HTC One M8.... Very shiny... And very red... Nice.... I also whizzed into Oxfam to get a family calendar for the kitchen.... Job done I scuppered before the crowds got overwhelming and the car park fee too much! 

Despite my new shiny toy when I got home I confess to doing some phaffing with it before venturing out into the mizzle for what ended up being quite a nice (wet) outing.... 41mins for 6.4km... Hamstrings are definitely feeling a little tight but then I've just realised this is my 3rd day in a row of running (unheard of) and 4th run this week (also unheard of)... I should stretch more (and run less)!!!

On the agenda for tomorrow thus is a bike ride and the task of doing something with the Christmas tree.... The decorations are down ... So now we just have to cut into small enough pieces to fit in the garden waste bags.... That could take a while.... 

Oh yes and how I can I forget... We started the day with a first.... The cat brought in a present of fresh rat... Yes rat! At least it was dead in the living room.... Eugh.... Now he gets mice fairly often but never before a rat.... We leave near a forest and it's been quite wet so I guess inevitable that he would find and kill one one day...... Still... Utterly gross and as I say I'm just glad it was already dead as I certainly wouldn't have tried to catch it by the tail and return to the forest as I do for live mice!!!

Friday, January 02, 2015

Janathon 15 Day 2

After I posted yesterday I took a quick look of at my blog..... And to show what an accidental creature of habit I am I actually did almost an identical workout yesterday to January 1st 2014!! Weirdly coincidental!

Anyway, it's nearly the end of the day.... I can tell this because the old cat has just sneeked up onto the bed as is now purring in my ear in such a mesmerising way it makes you want to sleep.... So before I nod off I'd better blog my day.....

Woke early about 5:45 and pondered my day... Some key work activity and some key workouts... Given I ended up doing quite a bit of work yesterday I granted myself a late start so headed to the pool for an arm spinning "ladder down" set which consisted of easy 600, 500, 400 etc etc with some sprints in between each 6*25 after the 600, 5*25 after the 500 etc etc... To cut a long story short I managed it all with warm up and cool down 3.3km... Longest swim in a while and certainly the longest this year ;)

Having done that for myself first thing I quickly got into the work groove and had a very productive day. Breaking for a short walk around the woods for lunch before getting the rest of my "to do" list done.

So much in the groove was I that I called it a day at 6 and capped a fine day off with a 31min run and 5k .... To hence come home and cook pie and chips for dinner!!! Yum!!

Tomorrow's plan at the moment consists of a club bike ride.... But having seen the weather forecast I may postpone that until Sunday and run tomorrow instead!

Well, day 2 down and I seriously think I may be peeking too soon!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Janathon 15 Day1

Well I did it.... Did something I mean.... My training plan was urging me to do a 40min run.... My mind was not... So I took to the great outdoors with my better half for a gentle 20min run around the woods behind our house. Was muddy and done at a sedate enough pace to have a nice natter the whole way around. It is good to be outdoors!!

2.75km muddy run done in around 21mins ... Jolly nice

Not quite done when we got in we cracked open the skimble app on the phone and did a work out called "Holiday Huddle" ... A circuit based workout with things like lateral squats, high 5 planks and sit ups.... All was fine until I had to do straight leg lifts ... Clearly I have hamstring issues at the moment as I could hardly straighten my legs... In fact I don't think they did... Seemed a long 15mins but I count that as a solid workout!!!!

And that's it for Day 1 of Janathon.... I hope I last a few days more!!!

In the meantime wishing you and yours a very happy new year and all the best for 2015