Monday, 31 December 2012

De-tox-ey Symptoms

My plans for today were changed, which I must admit I was happy about, as woke up seriously craving salt and sugar and everything that is bad.
I did consider just staying at home, where there isn't any junk to eat, and concentrating on getting over my cold, but as the shops are shut tomorrow and I have some errands to run, I quickly went to Peterhead, where I was the only person in Asda without a trolley full of booze, then came home, had a bath and lay on my sofa watching Cadfael all day, drifting in and out of sleep. I didn't have any tea at all today, and really missed the caffeine.

I did a veg casserole thing in my slow cooker.
I am not following all the recipes in de-tox book, but there is a list of things you must not eat, (sugar, wheat, meat, dairy, caffeine, etc) and also a list of things you must have everyday (fresh juice, cruciferous veg, nuts and seeds, lots of water, and so on) and I have stuck to that. Unlike other de-toxes that insist on raw, this one does say you can cook soups and things, which is a lot easier to follow.
I made some sage dumplings with rice flour, they were, erm, gluey. But edible.

My new diary came from Paperchase, oh the joy!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Actual Running!

I ran this morning. 6.1 km which I didn't time, just wanted to do two laps of the circuit through the woods out the front. It was very freezing, and I was a snot-filled monster, but didn't feel that bad at all. It was a fine and freezing morning.

The first lap I felt great, but the knee did twinge a bit during the second, but nothing major at all. I'm looking forward to getting out there again with my Garmin. I'm going to do a half marathon in 12 weeks, and really want it to be a good one.

I then went shopping, I must have looked super-healthy to the woman behind the till.
All these things are good and tasty. Especially Robert Downey Jr. (The Sherlock Holmes DVD).
And except the candles. Good for reading by as I lay in the bath, but not good to eat.

I have a list of new year's resolutions as long as my arm. Some are basic healthy eating ones. Some are more new plans, such as time goals for my running and such, and also a few others, such as clearing my entire house of clutter, decorating the place, sticking to a budget and my favourite of all, converting one cupboard into a craft/stationery hive. It's a pull down section in this lounge unit that I've always hated but it's the landlord's so I have to keep it. It's gonna be full of well ordered pens, knitting needles, buttons, notebooks and paper.
I am genuinely excited about that.
That's how exciting my life it.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fit Moomin Mama

Booooks arrived!! The training and detox ones.

I just wanted to sit and read them, but was forced to take my daughter to Aberdeen to spend her Christmas money. I also wanted to get lots of detox supplies, however, the health food shops had been cleaned out of the staples like milk thistle, and other things I wanted to like echinacea. There literally were gaps all over the shelves.
Lush (one of my favourite shops) was jam packed and all in all it was hard, stressful work.
I kept noticing how many fat people there were everywhere. Especially teenage girls (in skinny jeans) which was disturbing on many levels.

One thing I am very chuffed about is a Moomin hardback A4 notebook I got in Waterstones for £5.99. It's big and chunky and will be a good place to document my '2013 - Year of awesomeness' plans.

We had broccoli and kale soup for dinner, with a base of organic vegetable stock and onions, and I put a potato in it to give it a little more substance.
And I drank more more green juice.
And more herbal tea.
And more watermelon.
And did more peeing.

Friday, 28 December 2012

I Could Pee For Britain

And at the International Peeing Championships, I would win.
I get up, I pee. I drink lemon and hot water, I pee. Then my one cup of black tea, I pee. Fresh juice - drive to work - run into the toilet - pee.
Herbal tea, pee.
All day, I pee.

So yesterday I thought a ginger bath would help my cold. I grated a giant lump of root, and chucked it in.
To anyone who has ever mistakenly thought sharing a bath with a tiny baby would be 'nice' and 'fun', beware, this may cause flash backs.

I lowered myself in carefully, instantly aware of the tingling, then I paused  as it occurred to me it could burn my fanny. Then I thought there was only one way to find out, and sat down.
It was ok, I survived. I lay there for a bit wondering how it would be, and after about 15 min some serious tingling started. It was nice to lay there and inhale the ginger, and after half an hour I got out. And continued to tingle for quite some time.

My yoga mat arrived, and now is in place as a new hearth rug (it's a good job I don't use the fire anymore, a stray coal would melt it in seconds). I don't care if it's not that pleasing to the eye, I need to use it everyday, so no point putting it away.

My books will arrive tomorrow morning, and I am off to the health food shop to get all kinds of amazing and exciting supplies. For the second night running I had a lot more energy. I took down the decorations, managed to dust and hoover properly, and did half an hour of turbo fire. Usually when I get home from work I do dinner and that's about all. I think it's the lack of sugar that's helping. And all this eating green stuff.

Thursday, 27 December 2012


Not a bad day. A little slip during work involving some bourbons, but apart from that, I did quite well.

I got up at 6 am and went for an icy, slidy 2 mile walk, then had more of the water-based banana porridge (that doesn't taste watery at all), and then juiced this lot - 

Turning it into this -

I already feel better, although that could be because of the stark contrast between Christmas and now. It would be difficult not to feel better. However, I did have the energy to clean the kitchen, including scrubbing the floor, after I got home from work, which is not usual at all.

My books and yoga mat have been dispatched, yaayyy!!
I have decided to do at least 15 mins of yoga, every day, forever.
I will log what I do and when to start off with, but the plan is to just integrate it into my life so that it is just like cleaning my teeth.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Crap Reduction

I ate less junk today. I made a kind of porridge for breakfast, which was oats, water, a mashed banana and cinnamon, and some fresh apple and carrot juice. I missed lunch as I was working, and didn't get a chance to stop, then had vegetable stew and finished up the Christmas cake and marzipan fruits. The house is now a sweetie-free zone. All ready for the first proper strict day.

I didn't get any exercise in, except for some serious weight lifting at work. The lady I was working on was huge. At the end when two of us where shifting her I honestly thought I was either going to drop her of give myself a serious injury. My neck kind of pinged at one point. It took all day. And I have a cold. I'm swallowing razorblades at the moment.
Booooo!! Mooooaann!!
On the upside, looking that closely at a body fed an abusive diet did steel my resolve. It wasn't just the size, but the awful, poisoned, fermenting, fungal nature of everything.

I shall have an early night tonight, will drink some fennel and nettle tea before bed, as well as some more lemon and hot water. I have a ton of water lined up for the next few days. I read somewhere that not only does any reduction in toxins count as de-toxing, but drinking extra water does too.

The exercise for the first day will be on the gentle side. I'll go for a speedy walk before work and do some yoga.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

New Stuff!! (again)

I got my Amazon Associates payment, £26 for the year, hurrah!
So, I have ordered two books that I think will help.

The marathon training book I spoke about before, one that uses swimming and cycling as part of the training.

I have also got a 9 Day Liver Detox by Patrick Holford  I intend to spend January detoxing. It can be done as 9 days in a row, or three lots of three days. I'm thinking I'll do it three days a week for all of January, as well as seriously limiting junk the rest of the time.

The following rules will apply not just for January, but for general.

I am going to severely limit/try and exclude altogether -

One cup of normal tea a day. ONE. ONLY ONE. DAMMIT!!

White bread

White pasta

Artificial sweeteners


Sugar is off limits totally for January. I doubt very much if I could give it up forever, but I will need to so something.

The other thing to focus is on things I will add as well as things I will take away.
I have had rumbling little infections in the side of my head for years now. The nodes are always lumpy, and my sinuses and teeth and always a bit crap on my left side. To try and counteract this I shall be taking garlic and echinacea every day, as well as tons of raw fruit and veg. I will juice stuff every day. I will drink things I didn't know it was possible to drink.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Shiney New Things

Look at my new yoga mat!!

I was reading this interview with Depak Chopra's yoga teacher, and she said to leave your mat out all the time to encourage constant practise. But my mat is bright purple and would annoy me, so with some Christmas money I have ordered this!!

The flooding is mental where I live. In places it came over my wellies. I went for a walk (wade) before work, it was very hard going.

I can't see being able to run on Christmas day, let alone tomorrow, but I should be able to take my bike out,  the roads will probably be quiet.

I'm hoping my filofax will arrive shortly, and the mat, and I have bought a triathlon magazine as well as a natural health one for motivational purposes while I'm drinking carrot juice.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

It's Dark. And Cold.

I have been writing my detox shopping list. Lots of lemons and green veg to be made into soup.
This morning before work I will be the only person in Tescos buying quinoa and watercress.

The main thing I wish now is that the weather would bugger off. I'm doing overtime, and finding it hard to slot in exercise, and can't cycle to work in this wind. My plan for today is to power walk in the dark before work. It is pretty flooded here, so anything I do will include wellies. And I'm about to leave now. Honest.

The wind was so strong yesterday it ripped the roof off my rabbit hutch and so now she is a refugee living in the cupboard under the stairs (it has a window, she's not Harry Potter), but I have to get my body moving. I truly intend to run all over Christmas. And swim and yoga for the detox days.

Saturday, 22 December 2012


So I trotted off to the pool. The wind was howling and it was pouring with rain. It was quite nice to slip into the warmer than usual water. There were only 4 lanes open as there was a school in, so 7 of us jostled for space. After about 10 mins I felt a little light headed, and my goggles kept steaming up. By 20 mins I was breathless and feeling weird. At 30 mins I was sitting in my cubicle, feeling just like I'd just got out the back of a car which had been careering along dark country lanes driven a smoker, and all the windows shut.

After a while I was able to get changed and went shopping. I totally blame the extra warm water.

I then thought I would rehearse one of the de-tox soups. If it was horrible it would really upset me at the end of a day filled with just juices and smoothies, and I'd reach for something bad, possibly.

So this is spinach and watercress. The stock, potato and onion in it made it taste quite normal really, in spite of the colour.
That's steam coming off it, not some kind of dangerous vapour.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Yet More Detox Talk

According to an email I've just got, it's 10 weeks to the Garioch half.
I haven't entered it yet, but I think I will.
I have to be careful what I enter as funds are limited, but that would be a good one to get the year going. I wouldn't expect an amazing time, but anything that's an improvement on my one and only other half time would be good.
2.20 would be fine. There is another local half in November, that will be the one I ace.

There is also a 10k in February too that I want to do (it's only £5 and you get a medal, which is very important).
Some duathlons could also be a go, too, but I'm not sure about the logistics of them. There's a bloke I know who wants to do them, and he said he'd drive us to the ones he's not offshore for and has a bike rack, so I might do them. However, I have no idea where half of them are, and I hate finding places on race day, so won't be doing the ones he can't make, on my own.

The rash is really quite something now. I'm pretty much on fire all the time.

However, I am going to go swimming today. I was at work for a long time yesterday, and the weather was crap so I wanted to just get my PJs on and watch Doctor Who last night, as the wind and rain howled.
And so I did.
Today I will run and swim, so all will be well.

I will also be doing a FULL ON detox for four full days, from the 27th to the 30th.
This has been the only time of the year that I've managed to do this successfully in the past, as no part of me wants to eat Pringles or marzipan logs after a few days of full on Pringles and marzipan logs.  I will plan a detox menu, and make some soup, so it won't be totally raw, but will be very liquid.
Smoothies, juices and soup. Give the ol' digestion a break.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Shiney New Plans

Nice little bike ride today. The wind was a bit harsh, but my knee only had the slightest twinge, just at the end. It was only 20k, but the ground was very soggy and it was like cycling in treacle at times.

I have to go out and embalm early tomorrow, but I think I'll do a gentle 5k run when I get home, and then get my road bike out on Friday.

I feel the need for a proper program after Christmas.
I've learned that I need to shake things up and have 'theme' weeks to stop boredom, but at the same time, just planning from one week to the next is not working either, I need to look more long term. Formulate something concrete. I'll log my activity on my spreadsheet, I just want something pretty to set my goals in.

I really love this giraffe one from Paperchase.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Men Are A Distracting Nonsense

The Speedy Pixie swings between scaring me with his full on intensity and non-stop talking about how great I am, which is then shortly followed by confusing nothingness.
Hot and cold is not the word. Surface of the sun and Arctic Winter would be a better description.
I can't be doing with this. I don't have time.

Not that anything catastrophic has happened, but for self preservation purposes I'm keeping a certain amount of distance and non-commital vibes.
But yes, I'll be running along either wondering if he's alive, or alternatively feeling the need to back away.
And that is distracting.

I was going to swim today but the rash is intense. Not only do I think the chlorine would make it worse, but I fear people would be a little spooked. Actually, once in the water I doubt if anyone would see it, but still....I'd be very self conscious, so I shall go out on my bike again, and get some running done at the end of the week. I think my knee will have stopped twanging by then.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


I was going to go swimming but I felt like crap yesterday morning. My knee was twinging but worse of all, I have developed a weird red rash.

I ITCH!!!! 

I can't think of anything new I've eaten. I'm wondering if it's washing powder related. I am prone to skin issues. But bloody hell! Up in the middle of the night hacking away at myself like there's no tomorrow and drawing blood. I've known my skin flare up when doing a detox before, but this is nothing like that, and I've not been that strict anyway to warrant such a hideous reaction.

Either that or someone has poisoned my clothes, like in Prince Of Persia. That's totally possible.

Today I will go for a ride on my bike before starting work at lunchtime. I was going to run but I think it will aggravate my knee, as would cycling all the way to work, so I'm thinking a fun ride on my bike along the railway will be in order. Nothing too strenuous, 20 flat kilometres.

Monday, 17 December 2012

That's Better!

My run was verging on good!
Firstly, the flood detoured me, and I had to go a way I hate going, as it's gently downhill along the railway line, meaning it's uphill all the way home, but at least it wasn't too slippery or soggy.
I ran for 3.1 miles then turned round, but as I was at 4.8 miles I could see in the distance the path was blocked by sheep being moved, so I decided to just time myself for 5 miles. Stopping my Garmin and waiting would have given me an unfair break, and I'm not sure if it would have worked to my advantage or disadvantage.

So, for the 5 miles I timed myself for, 11 min miles felt way too slow, even on the uphill bit, and so did an average of 10.42. After passing the time of day with the old bloke moving the sheep, I jogged the rest of the way home, as my knee was a bot twingy too. So I did run 10k, just with a little gap.

I put the new strap Martin gave me on my Garmin, it's a quick release velcro one, and also comes with a bike bracket that I have put on my road bike, so it can go from wrist to handlebars quickly and easily. I was going to put it on my mountain bike as I use it for my long work commutes, but the computer on my road bike is a bit temperamental and it will depress me to see how long it takes me cycle home on windy days, but when it comes to my road bike, I'm all about being nifty and shifting.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Naked Running

I went for a little run. I didn't get much sleep and felt sneezy and crap, and decided timing myself would be counter productive, so just went out the door and ran for the sake of it (called Naked Running, apparently), to get things moving again. I also went on my cross trainer for half an hour, and did some weights and stretching.

I ate brown rice and grapes. I took supplements. I went to bed at a decent hour.

It's been a couple of weeks since I last ran properly, and there was a week's gap before that.
Today I will be doing 10k and aiming for 11 min miles. The mp3 player and Garmin are charged and ready to go.
I have a better week work wise, and plan to have repaired the damage done by bad weather than a hectic timetable, by the end of this week, if not, definitely by Christmas.

I also plan to run on Christmas morning. It'll just be just me and the kid at home, so going out will not only do me good, but will also stop me feeling bad if I eat some junk (which I fully intend to do).

Basically more marzipan than you can shake a stick at.
I make these marzipan logs with raisins and cinnamon inside covered in dark chocolate....I'll post pictures when I make them.

Damn, that's a boring post. However, to keep myself remotely on track I like to post everyday so I don't just wander off.....

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Detox Dawn

It's a bit like the apocalypse here. Wind and floods.

My hallway is very soggy. If this wind keeps up there will be no bike action. Big bits of tree kept hitting the car as I was driving home last night, and I'd rather they didn't hit me when I'm on my bike.

There is nothing verging on junk in the house, and as well as training I also intend to spend time body brushing and laying in a bath with a load of sea salt in it.

A wild weekend, then. It's been a mad couple of weeks, so this is needed. Some extra sleep wouldn't go amiss either.

These are my new slippers. Matt sent them to me as a surprise. I have Hobbit feet :)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Weekend Of Awesomeness

Apparently it's going to be windy and raining this weekend, which is better than the ice that's been covering everything. I left work last night at 9pm and didn't go over 35mph, the wheels slipping more than once on the smaller country roads.

Tonight I am going out with my friends for a Christmas do. We shall go to Wetherspoons and I shall have the sweet potato and chick pea curry with chips, and I shall enjoy it, as to eat unhealthy food and feel guilty about it is pointless. That's like a lose/lose situation

And then the weekend of awesomeness begins.

As it will be windy, I'm not sure how this will effect my cycling, so my main stipulation is that I run on both days, a 5k and 10k, do two days of turbo fire, two days of yoga, and some weights. I will be able to get to the pool on Monday before work, and it won't be full of kids then.

I have bought a load of spinach, fruit, oats and brown rice.

I will then make an effort to be extra healthy all week, as that will be a nice build up to Chrsitmas.

This is going to be fun. I'm going to feel all fit and glowy!

Thursday, 13 December 2012


It snowed on me. Just as I was starting to run, it came down thick and slippery.
So I went home.
I did do some yoga and a session of Turbo Fire, but it's not like running, and I'm beginning to feel bad for not running, and minimal cycling.
And now today is lining up to be a git of a day. Have to get up super early to get the bus to work after dropping the car off at the garage last night, then get back before garage shuts so I can drive over to embalm a body, and will probably not be home until, erm, dunno. Late.
So my only chance for exercise will be dips and pulls on bannisters at work, and making myself pointlessly go up and down some stairs a few times.

However, I am off work this weekend, so will make it weekend of training and detox.
Two days of very healthy food and tons of exercise. Even if the snow is 8 feet thick, I will hike, I will get to the pool, and spend hours on my cross trainer. Focussing on how I'm going to repair everything and get myself moving again makes me feel less guilty or like I've failed (when really it was all the weather's fault...) and that makes me feel less bad. And if I feel good about it all, the exercise is not a chore to get done, but an activity I am choosing to do!

Yeah man, this weekend. I will do three sessions on each day.  I will eat lots of fruit and veg and brown rice. I will drink spinach. And herbal teas.

To keep a decent level of training up over a long time there has to be a contingency plans, and bumps in the road have to be expected. And I will work around them, rather than be derailed by them.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

I Will Run Today

I got fancy Shot Bloks!! Ones from America! You can't get cranberry ones in Aberdeen, that's for sure. I don't like gels, I find them gooky. These are like chewy jelly sweets, made with organic brown rice syrup and pectin. I now need to run/cycle some distances that warrant them.

They were sent to me by Martin, along with a mini Seattle Space Needle, to go on my shelf of holiday souvenirs. :)

I am running today.
I really hope it's not too icy, I want to get at least 5 miles done. Yesterday there was just a thin slippery layer over everything, so no good for spikes or shoes, just good for falling over. As I've not been able to run as much I shall aim for a sensible time, maybe 10.45 min miles.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Bugger Off, Wind.

(as in weather, not intestinal)

Cycling home was awful. Cycling to work was pretty awful too, but I'm glad I did it. Nice to get some proper hard exercise in again. The wind was against me on the way in, and had died down by the end of the day to be no help at all. However, the arm warmers Anneke sent me came in most handy. It's really hard to dress for such chilly weather when you know you're going to get hot, but arm warmers are the best! I wore them under my thermal top, and even when my arms felt hot, I had no urge to remove them. It's like having very hot hands. A happy toastie feeling, rather than an urge to dis-robe.

I was going to go swimming this morning but I have to work at my other job, and then later tonight I am going to see Speedy, so some exercise will need to be shoe-horned in to my day. This is a manic week with lots of overtime, so will have to be vigilant in making sure I get the training in.

I should run really tomorrow, but I'm almost scared. It's going to be hard going.

Monday, 10 December 2012


I set my alarm early enough to cycle into work, but there were gale force winds and rain whipping about, so I re-set the alarm and went back to sleep.
When I got home from work I did an hour on my cross trainer and half an hour of yoga. Still very DOMSy. Making 'ooff' and 'aahhh' noises when I get out of chairs.

I also found a cool banister in one of the buildings where I work, a nice stairway where I can hold on either side and lift myself up and let my legs swing, and so do some dips, and if I don't get to cycle in today I may well explode. It's been more than a week since I've been on either of my bikes, and only a couple of runs. It's depressing. Not just physically as I miss the exercise, but I'm scared I'll lose my progress, and start to slip back. My muscles are doing well with Turbo Fire, weights and resistance work, it's the cardio I'm worried about.

On the upside, my weight is going the right way. At least weighing less should make me faster even if I can't get as much training done.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Turbo DOMS

The day before yesterday's Turbo Fire has rendered me DOMSville, population, me.

Arms and quads. Ouch.

I didn't cycle to work yesterday as I wasn't in bed until late the night before, and shattered when I woke up. I did a good hour of yoga when I got home, and had a hot bath, as I want to be in cycling form today, and had an early night.

I really can't wait until the ground is normal and I can just run. Normal biking. Normal training.
This was supposed to be my week of running, and I'm really hoping the ground clears up so next week will run-tastic.

If my car holds out will be seeing Speedy early in the week for a meal.
The Turtle messaged to see what my reg number was to get parts for it. But that will have to be delayed as I have lots of other more urgent things to pay for on my car.

Saturday, 8 December 2012


I was going to run but the most recent lot of snow was melting yesterday, and everywhere was flooded again.

So, I did my Turbo Fire, and went on my cross trainer, and more hanging from my chin up bar.
I then gave my mountain bike a good wash and oil, and got ready to go out with the Speedy Pixie (also less pixie like after talking to for a while).
I thought I'd put some air in my car tyres on the way, and just as I was pulling out the nozzle the whole valve came with it, and I watched my car tyre deflate in seconds.
I tried to change the whole tyre, but the nuts were on so tight even jumping on the wrench did me no good. I didn't have time to wait for the breakdown company, so called my local garage as I was just down the road from them, and they sent a boy out rescue me (astronomical call out fee probably to follow) and with oily hands and wet knees from kneeling in the snow, I was on my way.

Speedy was on time, and we had fun, decent kiss, and I think he understands the importance of being good in the Hobbit, so that should be happening soon.

I need to get back on my bike, this weather is really ruining things. Booo snow and ice, booo!!!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Grippy Things!

I started work later yesterday so went for a run with the grippy things as they had arrived, hurrah!

It was only a brief few kms as I was short of time, and I went to the park again as there is less snow there, I think the amount of trees helps. Here where it's more exposed it's welly territory. I didn't cycle as the roads were really icy. However, my car misbehaved and I think the thermostat is stuck open, so I may well have to cycle to work this weekend if it doesn't behave.

This is them-

And this is where I ran. And as tempting as it was to see if the ice would hold my weight, I didn't try.

Going out with the Speedy Pixie tonight. I need to see if I can make him understand how important it is to be quiet in the cinema. I can't go and see the Hobbit with anyone who doesn't have good cinema skills.
This film is too important. If he doesn't grasp this I cannot go with him.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

My Phone Is Ringing!

My swimming plan for yesterday was to just swim a slow and steady mile. I've been doing a lot of drills recently, and just wanted to swim continuously without stopping at all, and so made sure I crawled along and did a mile in an hour.
I felt nice when I came out, my hips were nice and loose, (in an Elvis type of way) and I felt I could have easily done more.

I also did my Turbo Fire, and hung from my bar.

Not sure if I'll bike to work today, the weather is a bit mental and I don't want to slip off. However, my grippy feet things have arrived, so I'll be running or cycling today no matter what!

I have decided not to see either of the Biker Boys again.
I found myself trying to ignore things and convince myself that they were ok, but you can't force these things. It would be wasting my time and theirs.

A different bloke has asked me to see the Hobbit next weekend, and I don't know him well enough to give him a name so we shall see how that goes, nothing concrete has been arranged, and I'm wondering if I should take my kid instead. I also have mild dating fatigue.
However, he is a sporty running/cyclist type, so we have stuff to talk about, and his best marathon time is 2.52! Bloody hell! I know too many superfast men.
He reminds me of a tall pixie/gnome. I mean that in a good way.
He rings me, on the phone. To speak to me in person.
Clearly he hasn't been warped by life to fear the telephone as much as I do.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

I Need An Ark.

Ice, snow, and floods. One minute I was sliding, the next my feet were buried in snow. At one point I thought I saw where the path went through the trees, but it was actually a ditch covered with ice and snow and I ended up standing in freezing muddy water halfway up my legs.

The worst part was I had to keep detouring, in places the flood was too deep to cross, so I would turn around and try and find another route, so was never able to settle into running, and constantly scared of slipping over.
I have planned 15k, and was going to aim at steady 11 min miles, which I managed, but gave up and went home after 7.6 km (it was the ditch incident that sealed it). At one point I was just going up and down a 200 metre length if path to try and get the distance it, it was like swimming.

However, it was a nice warm up for the week of running. I'm swimming and turbo firing tomorrow, and if I look back a few weeks ago, I'd have been happy to do nearly 5 miles in any weather at all at a steady pace, so not terrible really.

Whilst contemplating looking for the Christmas tree in the lorry container next to my house, I was distracted by a pair of wetsuit gloves, and wondered if they would be any good for cycling? They don't have any padding, but should be warm. In fact warm to the point of sweaty. I shall try them when going to work on Thursday, and I will also have super warm arms as lovely Anneke sent me some arm warmers from Wiggle, which will be perfect as my body is usually warm enough, it's my arms and legs that freeze.
I am proper happy with my set up :)

Although I didn't find the Christmas tree, but nevermind, plenty of time for that.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Turtle Attack!!

Oh, jeepers!

First off, no exercise, driving about the countryside in the snow looking at dead people, didn't get home till late, and so on, blah..


I had been thinking to myself maybe it was best not to see the Turtle. Although having my spark plugs done for cost price was very tempting, I thought it might be a bit weird.
But on the way home tonight I stopped at Tesco, and saw what I thought might be his car in the car park, a distinctive Land Rover.
I entered the supermarket gingerly, and down the first aisle I saw what looked like his younger brother.
Breathe out.
His brother has his car. That's fine.
Then off I go to get rabbit food and washing powder and there he is!!
Over a year since we split up and not seen him once! Anywhere! Ever!
I had been working all day and looked like crap, and it was weird and awkward.
In my weirdness I 'high fived' him, as it seemed like the thing to do. He looked confused as I held my hand up and I had to explain to him what I was doing, then he high-fived me back.
Then I agreed to him doing my spark plugs some time soon, said I'd be in touch, and I will.
The other Lucy is reading this and thinking 'Hmmm...I predicted this.....' and probably glowing with her psychic powers ;)

Then I came home to an awesome present from the lovely Rhonwhen 

The universe is telling me to get out there and have lots of (safe) sex.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Week 9

The weather is really messing things up, and my planned run was cancelled.
The paths were again just a sheet of ice, so I put my wellies on and dragged a reluctant teenager out for a bracing walk.

Went to see Biker/Boxer Boy.
He's nice to be with. He worried about me driving in the snow, and he is a very entertaining friend.
He's an engineer that's done a huge amount of travelling, as well as during university he was a bouncer, so he has lots of stories that involve riots, ladyboys, 'this one time in Texas', etc.
And he loves his dog and is a few years younger than me.
However, I don't know if we are friend-zoned, and so this could well rumble on a bit.....

And I also got a phone call from a different funeral director, he'll pay me almost double but he wants to see my work, so I have to get there this morning and actually do a good job and do everything properly.
It's a little backwater place. I bet they have the sort of equipment you find in a field hospital.

My plan for this week is this-

Monday - Whatever I can fit in, gonna be a manic day.

Tuesday - 15k run

Wednesday - swim + Turbo Fire

Thursday - 30 mile bike

Friday - 10k run + Turbo Fire

Saturday - 10k run

Sunday - 30 mile bike

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A Proper Grown Up Man.

Well Biker Boy number one is is very much Biker Man.
Very grown up. I bet he has a pension plan and votes in a careful, considered fashion.
I arrived 10 mins early and he was already there, and meal was nice and there was never a quiet moment, and he paid while I was in the loo, but not entirely sure if I really like him of if he really likes me.

He put his hand out to shake at the end and then used that to pull me in for a small-ish kiss, but then maybe that means nothing. Maybe he just kisses everyone. Like a person who is secretly French.
However, he gets major points for not laughing at me when I said I love the Golden Girls.

The DOMS from my attempted chin ups was ridiculous yesterday. The first part of the move, the 'dead hang' bit is what I'm mainly working on right now.
There was still a lot of ice and snow, so until my crampons arrive, I was stuck with the cross trainer, on which I managed an hour, grimacing bitterly with each arm movement. Which I love.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Dental Ambush

So I get up and walk my daughter to school, but it takes forever as there is a thick layer of ice all over everything. I slipped up on gravel, people, GRAVEL.

So I think, 'Nevermind, I'll run this afternoon when it's melted'
Then I toddle off to the dentist for a harmless check up.
'You have a crack in a filling,' he says 'I'll fix that now'

Then so I stumble home, talking like a stroke victim with a big smear of blood on my chin.
And the ice hadn't melted.

But the Turbo Fire discs had arrived, whoo!
So I did the first session, or rather, had an unco-ordinated flail/seizure along to it.

I also ordered these as chances are this ice and snow situation will get worse before it gets better, and I want a solid winter of training with minimal weather disruption.

Next week will be a good week of training, as I am only working 3 days. One thing I will do is put a longer run in there, as I want next week to be running-based. My legs have had plenty of rest recently, so a 4 runs next week, two 5k, one 10, and a 15k will be just fine, along with one long work commute bike and one swim. And lots of TURBO FIRE!
And there will be a weigh in at the end of the week, for added motivation.
My clothes are feeling looser so I have the courage to get on the scales.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Biker Boys.

Today is about trying to improve my 5k time. 10:05 minute miles is my best recent time, so shall be looking for 9:55, and if I come out with 10:00, I'll be happy.
Today is also about going to the dentist.
I know which one will be more fun.
It's only a check up, but they always lead to bad things, and my dentist is incompetent.

I gave my arms a day off yesterday, so will also be blasting them with weights later.

To stop myself ending up in a sit-com style situation, I shall be seeing Biker A on Saturday night, and Biker B (also known as Boxer Boy) on Sunday night. A table has been booked for Saturday, apparently there's a special Christmas tapas on. I do like a man who thinks to book.
He's 42, so maybe it's the sensibleness of years.
Biker B is 33. It may all be a waste of time as I'm not sure what's going on in his head. Especially since he texted me to tell me he'd just totally shaved his head. So not the weather to be doing that!
I think I might buy him a woolly hat...or a wig.

This one would also keep his neck warm.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

2013 - Year Of Awesomeness

While I hate the whole new year party shenanigans, I do like the goal setting and fresh start aspect.
So I have new notebooks at the ready, and a brand new set of goals that I WILL achieve.

45 min 10k
2 hour half
4 hour marathon
Swim a mile in 40 mins
10 chin ups
Cycle 100 miles
The events I want to do are Mintlaw 10k, at least one duathlon, Ythan Challenge (but is hard to get into, very popular) Garioch half marathon, Baker Hughes 10k (I hate it, but need to get a good time so I can ignore it from then on) at least one standard triathlon and one middle distance (half Iron) triathlon, Moray marathon and towards the end of the year, another duathlon. There is a winter series that I shall be doing one of the last of early next year, and so to do one of the first ones at the end of next year should show a marked improvement. Something I can really measure. 
I also want to shift 20lbs, and get really, really good at yoga. I want to do the yoga teacher training course in 2014, and the one I want to do is a 200 hour residential intense one that anyone can do, as they say you don't have to be able to do the poses to be able to teach them safely.
However, I do want to be able to complete all of the poses. I do think a teacher should be able to practise what she preaches.
 My swim yesterday was rather good. I don't think I was much faster, but I felt stronger, and like I could go on forever. If anything I was slower, but the steadyness and concentration was almost zen like, and I didn't come out feeling as dead as usual after the same amount of time.
 The other thing is I'm in the process of arranging a date for this weekend, but I'm already booked to go out with a bloke on what is a 'kind of' date. I was thinking of making them both the same day, as one (the more date like one) has suggested dinner at a venue of my choice (The Beautiful Mountain, thank you very much) and the other is a drink at Slains Castle (a pub almost opposite) and it would save petrol to only go to Aberdeen once. However, that could all end badly. So we'll see.....I might err on the side of caution.
It's going to be difficult and confusing enough as it is, both are rough biker types, both oil engineers, both do a lot of travelling, etc. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


AGAIN with the green stuff.

Today I decided to make it an orange juice heavy smoothie, in the hope that the strong flavour would make the raw spinach more bearable.
It did. This bubbly concoction is spinach, orange juice, banana and protein powder.
And the vitamin C from the orange will help me absorb the iron better.

I'm aware this looks very much like yesterday's picture, but it tasted a hell of a lot better, and the straw is a different colour.
And I took garlic capsules amongst other things, and made a lentil and vegetable stew for dinner (again, looked like vomit, but tasted nice)

I am also considering going back on the pill as it makes things more predictable, and when it comes to events, I can manipulate my cycle by not taking a break between packets.
Also, nature has cursed me with a 21 day cycle.
Great if you want to have lots of babies, and are happy to lay 15 eggs a year instead of 12, not so, if you don't.

Today is a multi sport day. I will bike fast, and swim slowly. I'm still going through drills and only doing about 20 lengths of normal swimming. And I will eat more brown rice and tofu, and lift more weights, drink more spinach (shudder) and strive, STRIVE!
Strive at my goals like a striving thing.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Clean (And Green) Eating

I feel the urge to eat well.
Junk food is not appealing, as so today nothing processed (well, not very processed) has passed my lips.

Yesterday I had porridge for breakfast, protein shake and some pasta for lunch, and brown rice with tomatoes and tofu for dinner, and various dried fruit bits and pieces. I didn't take any pictures of the meals as generally plates of mixed ingredients look like vomit.
However, this is a smoothie I made today as I fancied something green, and according to a woman on the internet, this is a non-healthy tasting spinach smoothie, that is healthy.

Spinach, dollop of peanut butter, a banana, rice milk.
And it tastes like spinach, dollop of peanut butter, a banana, and rice milk.
Straw to the back of the throat. Gulp it down with as little to mouth-to-smoothie contact. Done.
Thinking of Popeye the whole time.

And if I ever use the words 'clean' or 'detox', that does not mean I will be excluding tea or chocolate, or bread, etc. It means nothing really junkie or processed like Coke, biscuits and chips.

This is the week of the bike.
There's been a lot of swimming and running going on, this week I will bike lots, swim once and run twice, a 5k and a 10k, and will do 5 sessions with my weights.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Aim High, Fall Slighty Short.

Well yesterday started out rather awesome. I did stick in the 10.45 min mile bracket (or rather, 10.20 for the first 5k, all over the place for the next, still getting the hang of pacing) and came out with an average of 10.48, and took 1 minute 32 seconds off my 10k. The best part is my legs were sore and heavy when I started (and screaming and swearing at me by the time I finished) and it was still a result.

There's this friend who wants me to do the winter duathlon series with him, and he will be offshore for one, and I was thinking of having a go at it then, as I get the feeling he only wants me there to ensure he doesn't come last. I wanted to get a head-start on the whole thing and do myself proud.
He timed himself on a dummy run and came out at 1.42. Then he suddenly decided to do the Inverurie one this weekend and came out at a respectable 1.35 (the slowest person on previous results is about 2 hours), so plenty of people behind him.
He sent me a joyous text shortly after finishing, and said he'll be emailing me a full race report and he can't wait until the next one.  I said lots of congratulatory things and told him I was proud of him, but was thinking 'Oh bollocks' in a sour grapes kind of way.

This will be the first time I enter anything almost certain in the knowledge I am going to come last, and that really sucks all the fun out of it.

And as a total contrast, Martin (East Coast Runner)  ran the Seattle Marathon in 3:03:09, with jet lag.
Just, wow! He will be at Aberfeldy when I do my first middle distance triathlon. He'll be finishing so far ahead of me he can wait at the finish line and be ready to help peel me off the tarmac, and help me to my car.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Feel The Burn!

Bit of a crap bike yesterday, 20 miles at an average of 15 mph.
The only upside is, the 20 mile circle I do is 75% uphill. One part is so horrible I'm happy to be able to climb at 7 mph, and that goes on for nearly 2 miles. I'm going to see if I can find a flatter route, or at least and out and back, so I'll get as much uphill as downhill, and see how they go. I had really been hoping to sustain a 17mph pace for the full 20 miles, even with the hills.

The main thing was I felt frozen the whole way round. The road was icy, my gloves were not good enough, and I just couldn't warm up. My skin was bright red with the cold, and became insanely itchy in the hot shower. I was like a big itchy, lobster.

Today is about trying to improve my 10k time, although my legs feel a bit fried, so not sure how that is going to go, and tomorrow I'll go for a swim, as I think my legs will be needing it.

And my arms were burning when I woke up yesterday morning, I could almost feel the heat coming off them, felt kind of awesome, really.
Increased bloody flow. Yeah.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

I (Slightly) Rock.

A little more progress :)

The plan was to do 5k yesterday, and to try and keep the Garmin between 10 and 10.15 min miles, which I managed nicely, and averaged 10.05, and so cut exactly 30 seconds off my time. It's still a far cry from my fastest, but the constant improvement is encouraging.

I've been reading about 'Less-destructive training'.
There's a book I will buy myself after Christmas, when my mechanic has stopped bleeding my dry, on marathon training, by Nikalas Cook. I plan on doing a marathon in 2013, and as I want to do everything I can to minimise the risk of injury.
I seem to be surrounded by injured runners, people waiting for surgery, people having MRIs, and the 30 second improvement today I'm sure was helped my giving my legs an easier week with lots of swimming. As a triathlete, Cook is apparently all about using less destructive training as a way to prepare for a marathon. I think 'prepare' might be the operative word, rather than 'win' or 'sub 3 hour', but that's fine with me. 

I will bike today, and then do a 10k tomorrow, with the aim of 10.45 min miles. I'd like to say 10.30, but that might be a bit ambitious, as 11.03 was my time last week, so to knock nearly 20 secs off a mile will be enough to make me happy.

Possibly going out next week with a boxer type boy (but who is also an engineer working in the oil business, as most men round here are). I'd like to take my gloves and get him to do some pad work with me, but that might not be appropriate.
He seems quite normal, and I'm really hoping there will be no Guinness burping.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Gonna Get Buffed, Man!

Well high wind and rain ruined my planned time trial (it would have severely disabled me or been an unfair advantage), so rather than my usual 1 hour swim, I aimed to do 1 hour 15 mins continuously, of crawl and drills.

Before I've had to stop at the end every few lengths for a bit of a breather, but today I just kept moving, only pausing briefly to pick up/put down pull buoy.
I wasn't any faster, but definitely feel more swim-fit, and the DOMS in my arms felt better when I got out of the pool, too.

I can see all kinds of new muscle going on.
Maybe this is the upside to being one of those people that always put weight on easily, my body is also happy to make muscle. I generally take showers as I'm very careful with the heating oil, but had a bath last night and was looking at my arms and legs and bloody hell. New shapes all over the shop.

I want to look like this.^^  Slim, but with muscular definition.
And be able to shift washing machines when necessary.

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Yesterday was a whole big bundle of stress, so the most I did was weights at home, as I was imprisoned there due to circumstances beyond my control.

I did some more of my girly-almost-off-the-floor-by-an-inch chin ups, planking, wall sits, and lots of abs. I also gave my home-made punchbag what for. I have not been awake long, and fear I may have disabled myself, as my arms feel like they've been through a mangle. I tried to stretch them out and ended up with cramp in my neck. And it will probably be worse tomorrow.

So, today will be a triple hitter.
I will run, and see how fast I can go, and how fast I can cycle on the flat at full pelt, and some nice swimming drills. I'm not going to time my swim, as it's always depressing, and I'll be pretty knackered by then as I'm going at lunch time, when the level of annoying people at the pool is at a minimum.

And of course when my Turbo Fire arrives I will not just have sore arms, EVERYTHING will hurt.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Piss Off, Bambi!

Funny old work bike commute.

Even though the sign said the roadworks were only for a week, they were still there, and I went through that bit where last week I had to carry my bike over big gaps as the nice man let me through.
Seems they are now re-surfacing it, and the men are not very nice!
I sneaked though as there was no one around, but they were all at the far end laying tarmac. I got off my bike and luckily there was quite a wide verge before the stone wall of the neighbouring field began, and walked my bike along there, whilst giving the workmen a cheery wave and a wide berth, but they all scowled at me, in a 'You shouldn't be here' type of way.

The wind was horrendous on the way home. From the top of the big hill coming out of Rosehearty I could see 5 tankers and supply boats sat out, unable to get into Aberdeen Harbour, probably the same story all along the coast.

The moon was periodically helping me see when it poked out through the clouds, and at one point I saw a shape moving across the field to my left at an astonishing rate, and I was sure it was an owl about to fly across me, so slowed down. However, it was a panic-filled deer, and as he came flying over the hedge I swerved to the right and my back wheel slid from under me and I kind of just sat down on the road, really.
It wasn't very dramatic. The deer was mega spooked, it kind of kicked up in the air. I think where I was going into a headwind it hadn't been able to smell me (not that I smell bad, you understand) so it was shocked I was there.  

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Rock Hard Abs, Feel The Burn!!

Taff is sending me this.

It looks like torture, and that's not a bad thing. It's like those Insanity workouts.
I'm thinking I do want to be strong all over, and I was reading about Ironman Linsay Corbin, and she's very big on strength workouts, which take her total weekly train up to 34 hours a week or so (which includes the yoga she does on her day off). The thing is, I am bothered about what I look like, the shape, not just the fitness. I want to be slim, but I'd rather be slightly slower but be strong with it. Women need to do weight bearing exercise to protect against osteoporosis, as well as studies have shown it can also help prevent dementia.
I also want a decent stomach. It has been too ravaged by a large baby and stretchmarks for it to ever be good enough to show in public, but I could still get some rock hard abs and definition. And be able to bounce medicine balls off of it.

Did 40 mins of swimming as it was supposed to be an easy day, most of which were drills. I didn't feel tired by it at all, and did lots of side kicking. 

And guess who's offered to help me with my car, and I've said yes? (I really can't be giving the garage any more money, they have Grinched my Christmas away already.)


Go on, guess.

Yep, that's right. (this bit is only relevant for anyone who knows me, apologies if you're thinking 'Eh?')


I'm not sure if this is going to happen or how it will pan out, but what I do know is I'm not going to shave my legs beforehand, as that's the best insurance policy ever. I am not Bridget Jones, nothing would happen if I was wearing big knickers. Or had hairy legs.

That is because it's not a sensible road to go back down. But he was the most fun bloke ever. No one has come close in the making me laugh stakes, and there's nothing wrong with being friends. Lots of time has passed, so should be OK.
I think.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Week 7

Yesterdays activity was all about seeing where I'm at. How strong am I?
I tried my chin-up bar for the first time in months, and managed to just get my feet off the ground. I'm going to try it next standing on a stool, and see if I can actually do a half chin-up.
I got my weights out and did the same sort of things, trying to see how much I could lift doing a pec fly laying on my back. Not as much as I'd hoped.

Still, it's good to know where I am so I can build on it. Today I am going swimming, and will do lots of drills, but this week I will also be clocking how fast I can cycle and run, even if it is just momentarily.
I need to log it all accurately and plot my progress. I hadn't made any for a while, until yesterday, and it's incredibly motivating to see improvement. I also saw someone I've not seen since September and he was all 'Wow, you've lost sooo much weight!' which was rather nice to hear, too.

And I'm pretend engaged a fell-running fireman I know. If we're both single in 5 years we're going to have a Batman wedding. However, this means I'd have to wear a Catwoman outfit, and that requires a phenomenal figure. Ha! And regular brides worry about how they look in a white dress.....pretend Catwoman brides have things way harder.

So, this weeks plan -

Monday - Swimming

Tuesday - 30 mile bike

Wednesday - Swimming

Thursday - Running and cycling time trialling

Friday - Swimming

Saturday - 10k

Sunday - 5k

There are no rest days, as I've had a few recently, and the swimming days aren't very hardcore, and the time trialling may be intense, but only for a short amount of time.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Saturday Ying Yang

Two things, one good, one bad.

I was limited for time yesterday morning, and still wasn't feeling great, so just did 5k. I had hoped to run in the 10.30 min mile region, but as it was I averaged 10.15, took nearly whole minute off last months 5k time. And I reckon I can improve on that still by the end of the month.
A good thing.

Then I went shopping with a man who had downed two pints of Guinness before he met me, and so burped alcoholic burps at me in close quarters all afternoon. He's nice. But smells like a brewery.
A bad thing.


Shall get my road bike out today, get some fun speedy miles done.
Protein shake.
Early night.

Rock 'n' roll.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

I Have The Power!!!

Everything I had planned for this week has gone wrong.
Whether it be snot, or other people disrupting me and my plans, I have done hardly anything, just a few days of running and one poor swim. I have eaten badly and lost out on sleep.
My run this morning was abandoned due to thinking I was going to puke.

But I will not dwell.

My foot had been slightly twingey, so I'm choosing to believe this enforced rest will have done it good.
I am planning my meals and activity for next week now, and I will repair everything, and then some.
This week is going to be really, really good. I have a few days off so will put in some proper multisport training, as well as concentrating on swimming as I had planned.
It is going to be an awesome eating and an awesome training week. (See that? Itallic AND bold. I mean business!)
Mega psyched, man!

Friday, 16 November 2012


I was a croaking, sneezing mess yesterday, so some yoga was all I did.
I know they say you can exercise as long as it's your illness is not below the head, but I just want to get better, so I've been filling myself with vitamin C and zinc, and about to leave for a run now before work this morning, aiming for 4 miles at around 10.30 each.

And last night I was tucked up in bed by 8pm with my hot water bottle, laptop (so I could talk rubbish to my friends and lol at pics of a grumpy cat) and watch the most excellent 'Centurion', a film featuring Michael Fassbender (all films should feature him.)

He runs around the Highlands and gets beaten up a lot.

I find films like that quite motivational. Ditto 300. And Gladiator. I quote them at work when things go wrong, along with Lord Of  The Rings. I'm a joy to have in the office.

Thursday, 15 November 2012


I couldn't cycle yesterday, and it's all gone a bit pear shaped this week with stuff getting in the way.

I will go for a little run tomorrow morning before work, and it's not like I never cycle so won't hurt me to have a few days off from it. There's a sore throat rumbling and I need it to piss off, pronto, definitely before Saturday, cos no one wants to go with a girl who sounds like the illegitimate offspring of Marge Simpson and Les Dawson. Although he is aware of my normal voice, too. Maybe I should record myself speaking now before things get too bad.. It'll be like in Home Alone 2 when Kevin plays previously recorded answers rather than actually speaking to people.

I have decided to do some focusing on certain areas. Next week will be swimming heavy.
I'm not good or fit enough to be trying to get good at everything at once, but I don't want to neglect anything too much either. I just want to slow down a bit and concentrate on what I'm doing, then when I'm better at it, then get good at doing three things at once.
I have some leave next week so will only be biking the once, and will do two runs, and three swims.

Kona 2012 is now on Youtube. Huzzah!


Very scary how these people being interviewed at the beginning, these people who live and breathe Ironman, are paid to do it and seem so confident can, like Chris McCormack, end up dropping out. Or like previous 3 time winner Craig Alexander, not even make the top ten.

Just finishing is a very nice goal to have indeed, getting a reasonable time will be an awesome bonus.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Well I didn't cut 40 seconds off.
It was exhausting, cold and windy, and I was tired to start with. And what's worse, I had to stop as there was a gritty feeling in my shoe, and was MOUSE POO!. I stopped and shook it out, but there's nothing like running along with a mouse toilet on your foot. I have to stop keeping my shoes in the porch. The cat drops mice off in there and they hide in my shoes until she's bored and leaves them alone long enough for them to flee the premises.

I usually only run about twice a week, and this was my fourth run in 7 days, and 9 seconds faster was all I could manage. My next 10k will be on Saturday, and all I'll do between now and then is 60 mile bike. Maybe a bit on my cross-trainer on Thursday night.

And I did get a new dress, but it was only £3.19 on eBay so totally doesn't count. Just hope it arrives in time for Saturday.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

HMS Lucy

Well yesterday is going to count as a rest day, as although I went swimming, I wasn't able to do much.
It was heaving, and I took my own kid with me just to make matters worse. The few lanes for proper swimming were mental. Kids. Old people stopping halfway. People who really shouldn't be there.

However, pull buoys, what the bloody hell???
I felt like the good ship Lucy.
And in danger of capsizing, as my rotation was all over the place to start with.
I kept crossing my arms in front of myself, but once I'd calmed down, I realised I was shifting. The end of the pool approached like an iceberg. I was nearly 15 seconds faster! My cadence was higher too, the whole thing felt like a bit of a panic and my arms were burning after 100m of that.

Still, it was fun, and while dodging the kids, I also tried side kicking drills again, but this time without a kickboard, and was much quicker, probably as my body was lower and legs higher, so I was in a straighter line.

Then I came home and fixed my bike chain using a proper pin, which went well. I took pictures to demonstrate this, but they were so boring I'm not going to post them. So here is a pic of a crocheted scene from 'The Exorcist' instead.

10k again today, hoping to cut the 40 secs off.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Week 6

So I thought it was my rumbling stomach waking me up yesterday morning.
I am a real morning eater, if I didn't have breakfast I'd faint on the way to work.
As I came to, I realised it was a bit of an odd noise for my body to be making, and in my confused state, looked out my window to see this lovely lady.

I thought about going and trying to sort her out, but she seemed quite happy, and I have experience of trying to catch a livestock, it doesn't always end well.
Luckily when I went running I saw the sheep man and just told him where she was. He's about 90, but surprisingly nimble.

So I tried my 10k, with an eye on my Garmin, and managed to average 11:04 minute miles. Could have been worse, I suppose, but was 40 seconds slower overall than I had been hoping for.
I have now set the pace alerts and the little man virtual training partner thing for next time.

Today I am going swimming. It's an inset day so hopefully the place won't be crawling with kids. I have been reading this book to get some ideas on drills, and have my pull buoy all ready to go.
It's occured to me that my kicking is so poor I might actually be faster without it....

I also hope the pins arrive for my chain. I have found a calcuation formula for how long a chain should be with lots of diagrams that I can't make head or tail of, and really wish I'd kept the old one!
However, I have also found a video that is a little easier to understand, that says chains should be the length of the distance around the big chain ring and the largest rear cog (missing out the derailleur) plus 3 links, so I'll try that.

So, Week 6

Monday - Swimming

Tuesday - 10k

Wednesday - 30 mile bike

Thursday - rest

Friday - 30 mile bike

Saturday - 10k

Sunday - 1 hour bike of varying intensities - 30 min run

Bit of a crap week as work is all over the place.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Try On ALL The Clothes!

On my bike yesterday I tried out some stuff from the Selene Yeager book, doing intervals of different intensities. She has training plans for all kinds of stuff, and it was interesting to try and apply some ideas and feel the different zones, dictated by something other than terrain.

Then I came home and ripped a load of clothes out of my wardrobe, as I'm out next weekend and need something nice to wear, and as I expect a mechanic's bill to fall through the door soon, I must NOT buy anything new. I also wanted to monitor my size according to my clothes.

I assumed none of my jeans would fit me, but there are one pair that just do, and a pair I can do up if I lay down (but not breathe, or walk, or sit in) and a few pairs I can't even get over my hips.
I can get into the dress I want to wear, but again, I don't look good in it. Yet. So more clothes were hurled out the wardrobe. Plus I need different options as I don't know where I'm going yet. And there's two possibilities of who with too, but I still haven't decided, delaying on both.

That makes me sound like I'm flakey and indecisive. Which is pretty accurate right now. 

Anyway, thought it would be better to illustrate the pile of clothes rather than the squeezing into jeans thing. No one wants to see that.

Today's challenge is an evenly paced 11 min mile 10k. It should come out at 1:08:02. Hmm...we'll see.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Runnin' Along, Lookin' At My Wrist.

PROPER Garmin action yesterday.
I decided to run 5 miles, and to try and average 11 min miles. I picked a route with no stupid hills, and watched the thing like a hawk, and it was much harder than I thought. I'd look and I was doing 10.15, then slow it down, and find I was 11.30. However, it worked out fine as I averaged 10.59, and did 5 miles in 54:54:00 exactly. On Sunday I shall do 10k at that pace, hopefully keeping it a bit more steady, and speed it up from there.

The bike cassette thing went surprisingly well.

Before (In my experience, a Lisa Simpson duvet cover is an ideal floor protector, and Youtube on standby is wise)

 During. Very hard to get off, hurt my finger.

After. Ta daaa! Not sure if it's on tight enough. I'll soon find out if it falls off.


However, when I was running it I noticed it's still slipping, and it seems the link where it joins is opening up, and not bending correctly. I think the chain could do with losing a link or two as well. The derailleur seems higher. I wish I'd counted the links on the old one! I've just read they are usually a couple of links longer than necessary, so at least I can ditch the bent one.

I weighed myself yesterday, too.
I initally thought I'd be happy to lose about a stone and half. I have lost just shy of a stone since starting Iron training, and there is no way I have just half a stone to go. More like another stone and half, that might be possibly enough. We'll see. Depends what size I'm wearing,
I can hear my mum now freaking about about this, as she always says I'm too thin or too fat.
However, I hereby pledge I will have shifted that stone and half by my birthday in February, and more than half of it by Christmas. 

Friday, 9 November 2012

You're That Quinie!

Said the man in the van.

You see the road was closed. There were no signs when I had entered the road, but all of a sudden, there it was, and no diversion was signposted. It was a small country road, so I backed up a little, and went left at a crossroads. After about ten minutes I realised I was just going to someone's farm, so back to the crossroads, and went right instead. This seemed to be taking my very much out of my way and I thought I'd be late for work, so I went back to the roadworks, and scooted through the signs and up to the men sitting in their van drinking their tea. It was wet and windy, and one slowly opened his window. I asked him which way to go, and he said,
'You're that quinie!'
I did think he looked familiar.
'The one fae the council!' he went on (seems he has an elderly relative in my jurisdiction).
I confirmed that was indeed who I was, and he said 'Ach, just go through. There's some big holes so be careful.'
Anyway, he wasn't bloody kidding, at one point there was a trench all the way across the road. It was like a three foot deep chasm. I had my road bike with me, so was able to pick it up easily, and although it was only about two foot wide, jumping across with a bike and backpack (and an audience) was a bit scary.

At work I looked on Google for an alternative route home, but all added about 4 miles, and so I went the same way, but it was much scarier in the dark, with just my head torch to illuminate the trenches. Took quite a while to pick my way through. I was scared if I fell in a big hole my bike might get damaged.

It was quicker going to work on my road bike, there's a hill I always have to push my bike up on the way out of Rosehearty, it's like scaling a cliff. I was once looking out a window at work and saw a cow in a field next to the road slip over while trying to walk down it. However, on my road bike with all it's gears working, I managed it fine. Although it didn't feel as safe when lorries went by me and winde battered me, and my packpack threatened to unbalance me.

Today is all about running. And possibly this cassette business later on, so if it all goes bad I have the weekend to attempt to sort it/go out and get different tools/trip to casualty/etc,


Thursday, 8 November 2012


Well it's here (speedy delivery!), and it's pretty. I will keep it sooooo clean (for about a week)

I shall attempt it at the weekend, in daylight hours. I'll put my glasses on and everything. It looks simple enough on the Youtube vids, although these things often do, but then there'll be something jammed on and I'll end up hitting myself on the head with a spanner and bleeding on the carpet. If you never hear from me again, that is why.

Following a conversation at the weekend, I've been thinking about things I'm scared of.

1. Join a running/tri club.
This is very unlikely to ever happen. I remember trying to conquer this last year but was rejected for not having 7.30 min miles, and was too relieved to be offended.
Whereas joining a boxing club, where men change in full view and everything is sweaty and smelly was a easy. I went on my own and everything, it was fine.

2. Mechanics.
All garages and tyre and exhaust places. Even taking it to my own local garage is a nightmare, and when I ring them up they know my name without me telling them, they are so used to me.
I think it's due to all the awful costs involved over the years. I once had a garage quote me £750 for a steering part (fitted). I had no other choice but to go to a breakers yard and get one. Granted, it saved me £680 (fitted) but that was a very bleak day. The man assumed I was with some blokes who were in before me trying to buy used brake linings, which he wouldn't sell them, and they swore at him, and left, and then he swore at me and told me to get out too. I meekly explained who I was. I hate breakers yards the most.

3. Telephones
Especially at home. Work related phone conversations are ok, because I get paid for them.
I never answer my home phone. In fact, the more it rings, and the more urgent it appears, the less likely I am to answer it.

4. Filling in my tax return.
This is something that could easily fall in the category of just things I dislike, such as the dentist, but it's goes a little beyond that as it causes months of fear and paranoia, and I feel guilty even if I haven't done anything wrong.

5. Pennywise the clown, played by Tim Curry in 'It'.

Given the choice between a morning buying tyres and an afternoon filling in my tax return or doing an Ironman, I'd rather do an Ironman.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Cyclists Have Eyes Too, You Bastards.

*Deep breath*

Approaching first big hill, and wonderfully silent and smooth new chain starts to jump and slip. Have to get off and push bike up hardest hills in pissing rain and dark.

Get to work, people insist on being annoying and having petty arguments and making each other actually cry, I mean, what the actual fuck?! Go to order new cassette, discover I have no idea how many teeth old one has, have to think of excuse to detour with work car back to where I left my bike so I can count. Then hurrah! There is an incident, didn't even need to lie.

I rinse and dry my bike clothes, and when I went to get them out the dryer I find a man in his nineties has removed them so he can put his stuff in, and is inspecting my bra.
'Didn't think it belonged to any of the wifies in here.' he says as he hands it over. I feel sullied. It's only a sport's bra, but still. If this is what communal laundries in sheltered housing are like when I'm old, blood will be spilt.

The wind picks up. I set off home with rain blasting in my face, lit in such a way by my head-torch that it looked like driving into snow. So, so wet through, water running off head and down back of neck.  Drenched. Backpack heavy. Bum and saddle soaked, a sore, chaffing nightmare.
Utter blackness. Have to aim my head at the road the whole time to have any idea where I'm going. Neck hurts.

About 50% of cars dip their lights as soon as they see me. About 25% dip them as soon as they see me raise my arm to shield my eyes. The other 25% don't bother at all, making me flail my arm, brake, and swear. And ultimately, a couple of times, fear for my life. This is all I saw, most of the way home.

Then I remembered the time I was sailing with my dad in the winter in rough weather, and his shoes got soaked, and he took them off and big wave came over and took them and the spare shoes away, and he spent the rest of the time barefoot. And we were out there for days. Blue, frozen feet. Made him even less patient with my crappy sailing skills and impressive vomiting skills, but he didn't actually complain once (about the cold feet, never shut up about my puking). So I told myself to-

Worse things happen at sea. And in trenches in wars. You can cycle in cold and dark and wet and wind. Think about hot showers and oven chips.