Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Things I Have Learned In The Last 24 Hours.

1) That I am a Hobbit. I am absolutely starving when I get up. I'm not very hungry in the evening adn could happily skip dinner, but the minute I wake up I need food, then I go straight out and train. Then I get back about 8am and need a second breakfast, or if biking to work, I eat my second breakfast behind the wheel of my staff car. If it wasn't for my pesky job I'd start having my main meal at lunchtime, too.

2) Fixing my bike doesn't always go well. :(

3) I don't know the name of one of my local pubs. A man with a big tattoo on his neck asked me if I wanted to go to the Garrett for a drink. I think of an attic when someone says garrett, not pub, and have never been in any Mintlaw ones. I image them to have swinging saloon doors, and the patrons would fall silent if an outsider came in. When I didn't know what he was talking about he laughed at me.
I was slightly hypnotised by the HUGE tattoo, though, it was truly ugly, so didn't really care.

4) I am a big liar. I told neck-tattoo man I wasn't single. It was then awkward as he was working out the front (he had passed comment on my bike fixing attempts) and I had to hide for a bit.

5) Having a Garmin makes me run faster. Knowing my speed made me want to get it rounded down to even numbers. After a while I realised I was seriously out of breath, but didn't want to let it drop.
And what I thought was an 1.8 mile loop around some fields near the house is in fact, 1.9 miles, hurrah!

6) Trying to sustain a bike pace of 17mph, including uphills is very hard, and would equate to burning over 900 cals an hour. That would make the Ironman bike section 6.5 hours, and not far off 6000 cals. Yay and yikes. Although that is at my current weight, so will be less cometh the day.
But still, yikes.

7) Starfish thighs. Coming in from the cold and getting straight into a hot shower made my freezing and bright red thighs itch like mad. I have ordered thermal running tights. 


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Bike Luurrrve.

Swimming was fandabbydozy today.

I don't think I was much quicker, as I was concentrating on getting the breathing and lack of drift right, but it seemed to really slot into place, and most of all, it's nice to know I can change things about my stroke, and it will improve further.
For the last few lengths I made the effort improve my cadence, and just get on and swim faster. And I overtook lots of people. Admittedly, slow old people, but it still counts. There are 80 year olds that do Ironmans.

There were quite a few splashy annoying teens in the pool, as it was an in-service day for the big kids. I only found this out after my kid sent me a text saying she was coming home from school as she was the only one who'd turned up. Oops. I should probably read letters from the school a little more carefully. Or at all.

Today is all about a shorter bike and a longer run. I need to get used to running off the bike. I get the feeling the bike is going to be my strongest element, simply because I enjoy it the most.
When I think about my bikes, imperfect though they are, they seem  friendly, pure things, a joy to have in my possession. I need to sort the gears on my MTB, and I want another chainring on my road bike, but that's fine. I enjoy de-greasing my chain and fiddling with things.
I clean my car when I can't see out the windows. It needs two new tyres, exhaust, plugs and leads, suspension links and track rod end. It doesn't like me. It is a bitter box of metal. On a day I don't drive it I'm still taxing and insuring it. Even if I decided to keep it off the road I'd have to notify the government. Everything about cars is controlled, expensive and stressful.
My bike is happy.


Sunday, 28 October 2012

Week 4

I think I need to eat more salt.
I've been good with the dried fruit and such before I cycle home, but have been reading about how much extra salt I need for this level of activity, and I've just not been eating it. Apparently at Ironmans they have Ritz crackers at the water stations, and I don't really add much when cooking, so when the weight has gone, I think I'll hit the salty peanuts. I like them. I usually avoid them like the plague as it's the quickest easiest way to down 500 cals in a couple of handfulls.

Where I think I've been messing up most is often I will do what's on the plan, but then in the evening, I'll go and do an extra hour on my cross trainer. I love the thing, and I've had a lot of new music come my way recently and it's great to just put my headphones and cross-train-away. And then I can't sleep as I do it too close to bedtime.

This is my plan for next week, please feel free to pass judgement. I'm currently sticking with using measurements of time to plan, like it says in the book, but will be keeping a close eye on the distance so I can see the improvement.

Monday - 1 hour swim

Tuesday - 30 min bike, 1 hour run.

Wednesday - 1 hour swim

Thursday - 30 min run

Friday -  3 hour bike

Saturday - rest

Sunday - 3 hour bike

The work commute is what really kills me, the up-hilly-ness of the journey home is horrible, I get a face full of mud and my MTB has no suspension, so a rest seems sensible between those days.
I'm off work on Saturday too, so will do something fun with my rest day.

And I got this book, that not only has lots of good advice, but makes me feel really enthusiastic about biking. She's evangelical in the way she talks about cycling, her love of it is infectious and intoxicating. I was reading it in the bath after cycling home from work and I wanted to go straight back out again.
It makes me want to sell my car and use the money, along with the constant MOT/Insurance/Crap that goes with it, to just buy awesome bikes and gear all the time.

Jiffy Bag Of Joy

I have a Garmin!
I shouted this from the rooftops yesterday, and now look forward to actually knowing how far and how fast I'm running, which is probably slower and less than I'd thought.
It was sent anonymously, but I sussed out it was the Taff man, and much standing outside waving my wrist at the sky followed.

All I did yesterday was eat, and some weights/resistance work. I'm about to get on my bike and go to work now and because of the clocks going back, it's going to get light on the way.
Back when I worked nights this was the worst night of the year. To re-live another hour in a Groundhog day kind of way was horrific, but now it means an extra hour in bed I'm all for it.

I have a very busy week ahead, very little time off, and I'm going to make this a well thought out plan that isn't mental at all. I think. I shall post it and everyone feel free to pass opinion on it.
I'm still not sure what qualifies as an easy or hard day, really. Is it a time or percentage thing? And I will plan meals, and supplements, and basically, everything.

And I'm also thinking of dialing it back a bit every fourth week, as I've been reading about that, and this is week 4 after all. I didn't like the idea of veering from the plan, but then this is the first of my two 10 week base periods, so the first should be easier than the second.

And I've been single for three and a half months, and saying 'no' wholesale, although in that time have only been asked for dates by scary or boring men or scarily boring, so not tempting.
One the other day -
'Do you want to come for a carvery?'
'Errmm, I don't eat meat.'
'Really? But you'll come for a carvery, right? You could eat roast potatoes. Carveries are the best.'

It was more than that that put me off, but it didn't help. And a couple more texts with the word 'carvery' in them followed. 

And so although this was going to be less personal blog, pah, that's no fun.
But there's no way I'll let ANYTHING interfere with my training.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Risk Of Growing A Penis.

Firstly, thank you to all the people who nagged me by message, FB post and text yesterday.
I was bombarded with orders to eat, sleep and rest, as well as a threat which politely can only be described as a dirty protest, and an interesting warning that if I continue this way I'll grow a penis. And she didn't mean it in a good way.

The most effective comment was this-

'If you train yourself into illness you'll be confirming your mum's theory that exercise is unhealthy.'

Hold. The. Phone.
That would be a hideous turn of events.

Gollum in a wig would never hear the end of it. She would be constantly reminded of how awful she looked.
My mum has never been backwards in coming forwards.

I should probably start doing some other things. All I seem to do is work and train.
Go out. Wear my nice poiple dresses. Other things that are not made of lycra with a padded arse.
Yesterday was an exercise free zone. Went to see Skyfall and ate out in town. I came home and was in bed by 11pm. It seems doing nothing makes me very tired.

And it's time to break out the waterproof winter cycling clothes. I can't let bad weather put me off. I hereby pledge to cycle all year round, although not necessarily cycle to work if it's really, really foul weather. I want to arrive able to do a day's work. I'll do extra cycling on days off if need be.

I really need a way to cycle indoors, as well. I can't afford a turbo, it's going to have to be an exercise bike thingy from somewhere like Gumtree. 

Friday, 26 October 2012

Can Someone Come Round My House....

...and punch me in the face, please? Or at least slap some sense into me.

I am making a real mess of all this.
As it is I am technically coaching myself, and of all the people I should listen to, I am not one of them.
This is not my area. I know about anatomy and the social care structures. And a fair bit about zombies and cakes.
If anyone wants any advice of those things, I'm your gal. 

My loss of appetite is getting worse, mainly because the less I eat the less I want to eat. The kid went out last night and I so it was just me to eat, and I was going to cook (open a tin of beans and heat them up and everything!), but I totally forgot, and ended up eating cereal about 11pm. And a Fry's Chocolate Cream. They're my favourite.

And on top of that I can't sleep. I'm up till 2am talking rubbish on a Facebook and watching rubbish on Youtube. I know that's an overtraining thing, but I really don't feel like I'm doing enough, so how can I be overtraining? I feel quite energetic when I get up, but then I'll go for a run or something and like this morning, halfway through feel dizzy and lightheaded.

Any benefits I should be feeling from my lack of being on the pill is going to be lost at this rate.
And I have no wish to drop weight so quickly and be so weak the muscles don't build, that I end up looking like Gollum with a curly wig on.
But I don't want to take rest days. I know that's stupid and I'm acting like a 4 year old who doesn't want to go to bed, but sensible Lucy rarely wins these things. It's been 14 days since my last rest day.
The first thing I'm going to do is force myself to go to bed at a decent time, no matter how awake I am. Eventually I'll fall asleep, even if it's just through boredom.

I was thinking some kind of coach type person would be a good idea, but it would have to someone I respect and who I'm slightly scared of going against, and don't want to let down.
All the boxing coaches I've ever met have been really scary, and I've done everything they said, and tried really hard. I could use having one of them telling me what to do, except I'm not training to be a boxer and they have entirely the wrong skill set.

I think I need to eat and rest prescriptively, and make a point of not listening to myself.
And for someone to tell me what to do.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

People Soup

Pool was awful.

So many people. And only a couple of miserable female lifeguards, and they weren't going to give me and the other two trying to do lengths our own lane.

My focus today was on trying not to glide for so long, which quickly seemed to become not gliding at all.
Then I was crossing my arm over on the pull.
Then my other arm hit an big float in the shape of a fish with two kids sat on it.
Then I was nearly drowning.
Then I moved away to a briefly quieter patch.
Then a boy in the region of 16 years old started talking to me about my tattoos (he was impressed)
Not the time, boyo.

I was also trying to do something Kevin had said about starting to breathe with the back arm, which seemed more natural than I thought it would, as it seemed to fit better with the rotation, but I had to constantly remind myself of it, which is hard when a kid has asked you to dive down and get their earring.

Lisa 'THE PRESTONATOR'  mentioned a triathlon that's held at night, in November.
I was thinking about this when surrounded by kids. Imagine being hemmed in by other swimmers, in open water, on a dark November night, being touched by odd things in the inky black water. Was that a person's arm that just brushed my leg? Or an eel? Or the Kracken?
I'm usually one to be girly. I've been in an armed robbery and even had a root canal work.
But yeah, no.

 Kracken would be a great name for a dog. 'Unleash the Kracken!!'

And one good thing! I saw someone at work I've not seen for a while 'You're fair disappearing, have you been ill?' she said.
I choose to take that as a compliment.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bonking and Spitting

It was the worst commute home EVER! Not only did I not eat enough again, and bonked big time, but the darkness was the deepest it's ever been, and what with rain as well, I couldn't see where I was going. My head torch is good, but at one point I was whizzing down a hill and it occurred to me that you wouldn't do 30mph in a car in the pitch black with nothing but a small torch held out a window, and the light on the front of my bike gets me seen, but doesn't really light my way.

However, the road was nothing compared to the bumpy, surface-of-the-moon track. I had to go really slowly, my head torch showed me the bumps too late to be able to divert. Some were a total surprise. I had a strange sciatic pinching going on in my right hip/bum. Have never been so glad to get home.

And is there somewhere people go to learn how to spit?
I physically upsets me to spit in public. I hate seeing it and a pretty big bug has to have flown into my mouth for me to do it. On the track on the way into work a load of mud splashed in my mouth, and in my useless non-spitting way I managed to somehow spit onto to my own arm.
I bet you Chrissie Wellington spit swiftly and neatly. Hell, she even pees on the bike.
I need to find a rough teenager to teach me.
I've googled it and apparently nothing replaces practise, and I'm just not willing to put that kind of work in.

Today is all about swimming.
I have sooooo much work to do with the swimming.
I'm also developing a bit of an attitude about swimming.
There was a contractor at work and we got chatting (after he saw me miming my stroke and breathing at my desk while trying to work my timing out), and he said how he was a strong swimmer, that he had always been 'really good' at it. I said how my stroke needed work, and he said 'Never mind, it'll come' and a few other things in a very patronising way.
He asked me what I had just been doing, I said it was to do with breathing, and he said 'I can't get my head in the water, that's just wrong'.
Hmmmm. Always, been a good swimmer, have we??
Jog on, sir.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I love purple. Or poiple, as I shall say it now forever.
Another poiple dress has been won on eBay.
(which is a portmanteau of bold and audacious, if anyone was wondering)

I want to be back to a 1 hour 10k by the end of the year, so I can do the Lumphanan 10k on Jan 2nd around under an hour, and then by the god-awful Baker-Hughes in May I shall be remotely respectable.
I was never going to do that pointless race again, but I got such an awful time this year I need to obliterate it with a much faster time.
Then I will never do that stupid, boring, annoying race ever again. I will burn all the race t-shirts and dance around the hot, polyester flames.

Between the two of them is the Mintlaw 10k. It's not a fun course, but it's a fiver to enter, and the my landlord/farmer always marshalls, and is very supportive of me. It's a 2 lap affair and he nods at me on each lap. And at some point I shall have to stop being such a scared girly wuss and do some sort of triathlon.

Biking to work today, and the way the weather and light is changing I'm looking more and more like a ninja darlek everday.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Week 3

Flirty lifeguard wasn't at the pool yesterday morning, however, even though it was initially quite quiet, some kids came in and occupied the bottom part of my lane, and a baldy lifeguard told them to 'Go over there where it's empty, can't you see this quine is trying to swim lengths?!'
Indeed. You tell 'em.

I've been watching lots of swimming videos on Youtube,  and decided to concentrate on one element of my stroke each time, and today I needed to make sure my arm is right out in front of me when I breathe. Seems I roll nicely onto my right side, arm nicely cuts through the water, but on my left side my arm drops, my palm faces forward in a 'stop' (Hammertime) type way, and I have to give an extra kick to get going as I start to sink. I feel like one of those sad, one-legged pigeons. I can still move in a straight line, but I look as if I've been in an accident. Or had a stroke.

And now I've found according to another site I am an 'overglider'.
This makes total sense, I am all about the being slow. When I swim next to a normal person the difference in cadence is embarrassing.  I've spent so long trying to concentrate on what I'm doing I've slowed down to the point of barely swimming.
I was only in the pool for 40 mins until it was too heaving with annoying people. It was technically a rest day as well, and was kind of surreal to getting out the pool and to not be that tired. Also kind of nice to have the exercise buzz without the accompanying exhaustion and aches.

The other thing I noticed was, around 50% of the men who work in the leisure centre are a bit tubby (one if proper porky). About 90% of the women are properly obese, a couple, morbidly so. Three of these women are lifeguards. I suppose fat is buoyant, but it send a weird message.
'Come to the sports centre and be lardy!'
Generally people in gyms are fit looking. In the same way hairdressers often have nice hair.
One of the skinny lifeguards walks constantly, always circling the pool, but the rest just sit there.
No wonder they are bored looking and chubby.

Anyway, my plan for the week is this-

Monday - 10k run (not in the book, but I want to)

Tuesday - 30 mile bike

Wednesday - 1 hour swim, lots of drills, 30 min zone  run

Thursday - 30 min zone 2 bike, 30 min zone 1 and 2 run.

Friday - I might of my bike commutes might be scuppered, in which case I'll rest then, or I might swim.

Saturday -  30 mile bike

Sunday -  30 mile bike

The most important thing for me right now is I maintain about 10-12 hours of activity a week, and am always progressing.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

You Ride A Bike, You Must Be Poor!

So yesterday I was almost derailed by other people asking me to do stuff, but planned round it like the bad-ass ninja I am.
I had to go somewhere and just used my bike instead of the car, it was just a 28 mile total there and back, in average weather. No biggie.

By everyone's reaction when I rocked up on my bike, anyone would have thought that I'd hitched a ride in a van with a Rohypnol salesman and his collection of sharp pointy things.

'But you'll have to cycle all the way back, too!' (Surprisingly, I knew that when I left.)
'I would have given you petrol money!' (Wtf!? I should have taken the cash and been offended later.)
'Wow, you've got a helmet and everything?!' (Indeed. And everything.)

It took ages to explain it wasn't about money and I didn't mind cycling back.
I wanted to. I needed to get the miles in. Again none of the hills beat me, although the cross chaining was terrible, I think I will have to get the ratchet fixed for the chain ring, if I ever want to use that bike for some kind of duathlon with MTBs involved I'll need all three rings.
I also didn't put my feet or tyres in anything dead, although I had to dodge both a dead pheasant and a hare.

I'm going to swim today.
I shall go the pool at lunchtime, in the hope that lots of people will be eating then, and if not, that Flirty McLifeguard will be there to blow his whistle at the damn kids.
Everything has changed with my plan this week, but I'm glad to be able to get another swim in. I was going to go Monday as well but my new phone is arriving that day so I need to station myself on the front doorstep with a face full of excited anticipation from the hours of 09:00 to 18:00, so I'll just run in the early dark first. And then be overjoyed to have phone that doesn't keep randomly turning itself off, and telling me I have no memory left when I HAVE BLOODY DELETED EVERYTHING AND TURNED IT OFF AND ON AGAIN!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Soggy Roadkill

I got up at 5.15am yesterday.
I had to get some proper exercise in, and with limited time, running seemed the best bet. 
At 5.40 I was out the door and into weird sleety rain. I felt cold and a bit sick to start off with, but kept up a steady pace even up the hills, and felt rather Rocky-like by the time I got home after ten soggy kilometres.

It didn't get light the whole time I was out. Whilst running along a narrow overgrown section on the way into the woods I trod in something. I had my headtorch on, which is very good, but I can't be looking everywhere at once. It felt soft. But with hard bits. I kept running, and told myself it was horse poo.
A huge pile of lumpy horse poo.

I almost forgot about it when I was on the way back.
Seems I'd stomped on a dead rabbit.
It seemed OK apart from the fact it was dead. Like it had glanced off a car and crawled into the track and died there. At least I hope it was dead before I stamped on it.

I was a bit spooked after that, and although it almost made me late for work I gave my shoes a good clean when I got home. Which is pretty ridiculous when you consider I'm a qualified mortuary chick (official job title). I think it's the surprise element that does that. I wasn't expecting a dead animal on the path, dead humans don't usually jump out of nowhere (yet).
I should have been grateful it wasn't a bigger dead animal to stand in, like a badger. Or a deer..

Yesterday I was given one an awesome gift, it goes right into my top ten best ever present list.
A Dory from 'Finding Nemo' toy.
'Just keep swimming' is an ace piece of advice, for everyone in all circumstances.
Along with do yoga, and eat more veg.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fat Cats That Lay Eggs

People have well and truly scuppered my plans.
Being made to give lifts, collect heavy things, etc, has ruined ALL cycle commutes. I will have to make up for it this weekend. It will be an MONSTER training weekend.

I didn't think losing training time would annoy me as much as it has. I didn't realise how protective I was over it. Some of these distractions have been utterly pointless. I didn't cycle yesterday as I was supposed to be going out after work and that got cancelled. I was proper angry.
I suppose my family and non-Iron aware friends (polyester friends??) aren't bothered, they have no idea about all this. I mentioned to my brother causally that I had a road bike and wanted to do triathlons and there the conversation died, and the subject had to be changed. It is not their world at all, and they have no questions, so that's it. However, I have a few non-sporty friends who have come to races and held my stuff and cheered at me, so I'm lucky really.

Anyway, at work today I was pierced in the side by an arrow, shot from a crossbow.
That's what it felt like, anyway.
Took me a minute to work out what was going on.
I then realised I was laying an egg.
I'd forgotten what that feel like. I kept wanting to tell people all day, but they might have thought me weird. 'I'M OVULATING' is not something local authority officers are supposed to tell members of the public.
Still, that was quick for things to get moving after all those years of faux-pregnancy stasis.

And finally this is my motivation cat.
Look into the cat's eyes.

I will be back into the happier weight range by Christmas, based alone on the current a 1-2 pound per week loss. It's nice to be able to see light at the end of of this chubby tunnel.
And I won't be like the cat.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Must run! (and bite sofa and swear)

Oh man, stuff is happening!
I've been off the pill for 10 days and hormones are beginning to kick in.
I've either been taking, being injected with, or having an implant of contraceptive hormones for years. My body thinks it's been pregnant for DECADES! (Including an interlude where it actually was pregnant).

I think it might be why my appetite has decreased, and why I keep having freaky naked dreams.
So much energy I'm fidgeting and being ridiculously cheeky. And swearing a lot. But not in an angry way, I just seem to enjoy saying mofo. And threatening to bite people. And typing in BLOCK CAPITALS.
And busting mad dance moves. And breaking into song.
My brain is like an episode of Spongebob crossed with Lord Of The Rings at the best of times, now it's like that but with an injection of radioactive caffeine, and a few dozen hyperactive squirrels shoved in through one ear.

I don't fear my hormones, there was never an issue with shouty/scary/stabby/plate throwing PMS stuff.
I might cry slightly quicker at a film I was already going to cry at, but that's all.
I'm hormonally generally quite stable, except for now of course.
And there's no way I have have a rest day tomorrow or I'll never sleep. I'll be buying pretty purple dresses on ebay ALL NIGHT (like this one I got earlier)

Anyway, yeah, running. I don't like it, but I'm remembering how I used to be better at it, and I will again.Where I've been pressed for time this week I've had to substitute and swap stuff about, and I've ended up doing more running than anything, and my foot hasn't hurt, and with the weather being colder it's easier for me, so will run on my rest day tomorrow.
I hope to be slightly more sane in a  few days. I am woman, hear me roar.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Flirty Lifeguards And Food.

I'm not hungry. That's freakin' front page news.
Yesterday morning I had two Weetabix, went for a half hour run and then for my swim and food shopping (everyone in Morrisons SMELLS!), and when I got home I really didn't want lunch. I had some cereal and a protein shake with a banana in it. It had better be possible to complete an Ironman on those three things, as it's all I want to eat right now.

I didn't start work until lunchtime so as I went mid-morning the pool was full of kids, but luckily Lifeguard McFlirty was on duty.
I have no idea why he's so flirty.
I wear a legsuit, and I do not fill it in the way the olympians do, in fact I look more like an Edwardian gentleman, but with a cap, goggles and a nosclip. I look hideous.
Anyway, he's good with is whistle. If kids get in my way he tells them off, but in the end he came up to me with an a rope, and asked me if I could swim it up to the end and hook it on. So I got my own lane. Although, I wasn't entirely sure how to swim and take the rope with me. It had a hook on it that I put round the shoulder strap of my suit. The thing was, the more wet rope I was pulling along the heavier it got, and it started to yank down the front. Luckily I make it to the other end before anything bad happened.

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot more swim-fit, except as I was swimming along I thought of something funny that happened, and laughed while my head was under water, and ended up taking a big breath of pool, and then had a mini panic, and it took a few strokes to recover.

My commute cycling has been scuppered for today as I have to do someone a favour and need the car, so I shall do a 20 mile road bike session this morning. However, it has been pointed out to me that the peak might come off my bike helmet, and so it does, so wa-hay! I can see where I'm going, which is handy.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Butt Photography.

I have been looking at before and after pics of chubby people on this blog, and it seems a lot of women take pics of their butts in little knickers, where as I was/still am threatening to take pics of mine in bigger knickers/stolen boxers. Stealing underwear to pose in on the internet would add some real sport to the situation. The last bloke I went out with had both Spongebob and Sonic undies, wish I'd had the forethought to nick them.

Although for someone who hates their arse, there's an awful lot of my rear on the internet already.
A little while ago I noticed if you put a pair of cycling tights on inside out, you look like a baboon. This a very hard thing to photograph as you have to bending over to get the full effect, but I managed it.

And then it was Pam's birthday, so I took a pic of my butt in fancy pants for the occasion.

And that pair of knickers feature in a Youtube video that involves two women called Lucy dancing in the woods with a cauldron of fire and REAL thunder happened during the filming. Either god was impressed or angry. Probably impressed. But that video is a secret. Anyone who knows what it's called must be silent.

I then realised that the video in question was filmed the day of the Baker Hughes last year, and that was my first proper race. And that made me think wow, I have not been running for long. Hiking and mild swimming were the only things I did before that, so to go from first proper 10k 18 months ago to planning an Ironman is pretty fast, but hey, it'll be fine. I've been watching lots of Ironman videos on Youtube and there's tons of people who are chubby and unfit, sign up for an Ironman a year in advance and do it. And I saw one finish it in 12 hours, and he was a right lardo the year before.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Week 2

See here's the thing.
When it comes to following a plan, the bike bit is going to be tricky.
Week 1 was supposed to be 2 hours of bike on the intermediate program, but due to my work commute, I did 9.20 (lordy, 110 miles!)

Week 2 is supposed to be 2 hours 30 bike, but it will be about 8, and with regards to the heart rate, it's dictated by the hills and guess work. I think the most important thing for me to pay attention to in the program is the bike workouts that involve a quick transition, and making sure I get some quality road bike work outs in that aren't commuting, and doing my best to speed up the commute.

So, due to other commitments (ie, stuff I have it take to work that I can't carry on my bike) I'll only be cycling to work 2 days this week, and I can only get to the pool once. I've also been reminded my brother is here, and I'll see him a few times and drop him and the rugrats back at the airport on Saturday.
I can't let these things get in the way too much as life is always going to throw things at me and if I can't juggle them with training then I'm screwed.

Monday - 30 min run in zones 1 and 2

Tuesday - 1 hour swim, 30 min run in zone 2

Wednesday - 30 mile bike

Thursday -  Rest

Friday - 30 mile bike

Saturday - Proper brick 30 min bike followed by 15 min zone 2 run like it says in the book.

Sunday - 20 mile speedy road bike.

This might even be less than last week, but there's more running, and that's what I don't like, so it balances out, and bike wise I'm still ahead of the book.You may have noticed I'm very exact with my bike distances, but I'm rounding down. I do that with everything. The work commute is actually 30.2. I'd rather do more than I record just to be safe.

Until I get a heart rate monitor, this is how I will be measuring zones.

Zone 1 - Trotting like an elderly donkey.

Zone 2 - Running to get the washing in when it starts to rain.

Zone 3 - Slow 'Walking Dead' zombies are after me.

Zone 4 - Fast '28 Day Later' zombies are chasing me. Not necessarily on fire.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

I Lost A Sock!

At work.
I'm very upset.
I get washed and changed after my commute, rinse my bike clothes through in one of the laundries and tumble them for the ride home. It was a nice proper wicking sport sock. I asked people. No one had seen it, no one seemed to care :(  I had to cycle home in bare feet, as wearing just one would have confused me.

However, yesterday's work commute was, dare I say, ok. It rained the whole time and I was soaked, but the winds were light and I'd rather be soggy than blown into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
There is a huge hill not five minutes from my house, and my little legs are still asleep at that point, but it was fine. The second hill is on a track, and there are so many potholes no speed can be got up, but it was again, no probs.

On the way home there is a horrible hill. It goes on FOREVER. I don't even enjoy going down it as I know I'll have to face it the other way and it sucks all the fun out.
With my lack of small gears I often get off about half way up and walk the rest of the way. Panting like a dog.
But not yesterday. Made it all the way up, although cross chaining to such an extent I'm sure many a proper cyclist would have lynched me at the awful grinding sound.

So yay. Go me.

And my appetite is definitely changing.
Before I would eat as soon as I got to work, but today I didn't feel hungry for a few hours, and before leaving I literally have to CHOKE DOWN a small bark of Green and Blacks dark chocolate. I have never had to force feed myself chocolate before, but glad I did, as I didn't 'bonk' at all on the way home, which is just as well as I'm not on the pill anymore (ba-da-bom-tish!)

I got some rather fine Thinsulate ear muffs in the local petrol station for £2.99. They are very slim and sit on the back of the neck and nicely under the straps of my helmet, and really cut out the wind noise. And are yet another thing to put on myself in the morning. What with gloves, overshoes, lights, waterproofs, etc, I feel like I'm dressing a sodding Christmas tree as opposed to getting ready for work.

My saddle soreness has progressed to not so much about being sore, but just tender from sitting on a saddle for many hours. I feel like someone has run up to me on the street and punched me in the fanny with a toaster. Nothing I can't handle, but I'd rather they didn't do it again.

                                                                 Brave Little Toaster.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Kona Day!!

I shall walk about wondering what's happening, while people around me generally have no idea there is such a thing as Ironman, or that there is a world championship going on today.
I want Rachel Joyce to win (want, but not the most likely), and for the men, Andreas Raelert or if not, Craig Alexander.
Andreas' brother Michael will also be competing, but he wears his shorts too low like some super-fit Axl Rose, which is just wrong. So he must not win.

 See?? How weird and uncomfortable does that look?? A couple of inches of butt must be on show at the back. Pull up your shorts, man!! And he rolls his top up. Wrong. If I was his sponsor I'd be annoyed that only half my logo was on show.

I have no idea how they cope with the heat in Hawaii. It must be like competing in an oven. Or in fact, a kiln. The pros get the chance to train in warm places, but to some age grouper who qualifies in a chilly country it must be hell, and they should get an extra big medal.

I'm seriously thinking of getting the gear trigger replaced on my mountain bike, I had one done as it was utterly seized, but the other was ok-ish. Now I cannot take it out of the big ring at all, and that is definitely making my uphill commute home even more nightmarish. But at the same time, being forced to deal with this lack of gears could make me a stronger cyclist.
I tell myself as I'm dying on an incline that IronLucy doesn't need small gears. But she bloody does.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Yoda And My Butt.

Yesterday's bike commute was horrible, grim and bleak.
Cold ears, achey legs. Brakes had been playing up before I left, but they were ok, but the gears messed me about. They go up fine, but not down. The opposite was true before I fiddled with it.
The wind was freezing on the way home, it was dark and nearly all uphill. The worst part was I was starving. When I initially started all this my appetite went through the roof, and before leaving to cycle the 15 miles home I'd have a little something, but I've adjusted and I'm not so hungry anymore, so after lunch at 1pm, didn't have anything all afternoon, and left about 5.30. The wind was against me, and after the an hour I felt hollow and weak. I got home at 7pm and ate two bananas before I had the strength to get into the shower.

According to BikeRadar I burned 2460 calories going to work and back.
I have to remind myself that hard training will make me hard.
Sorry, harder. I'm already a badass.

Today is a rest day, but I will be doing some yoga, Pilates and some ballet. I'm liking this video at the moment recommended by the other Lucy. She is my ballet Yoda. Although slightly taller and less green.

I was thinking I should take some horrific swimsuit pictures to really chart my progress. Then I realised this aint Weight Watchers and quite frankly I'm not that brave. So as my butt is my most hated body part, I was going to document that with a monthly (clothed) rear shot. And then tell myself that it's important to blog like no one is watching, or it gets boring.

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I'm working a strange shift this afternoon, so will be cycling in about 11am, and then home tonight, day 4 of week 1, 30 miles. I'm going to wear my headtorch as well as the headlight on my bike tonight. I'm hoping this will make me look slightly Darlek-like

Anyway, internet banking is better than normal banking as you can name your accounts.

I used to just have 'current account' and 'savings account' on the screen.
Then I renamed savings 'Crap I Begrudge' as it's where I put tax and heating oil money.

Now I have a third Ironman fund (it's bloody hard to take pics of a screen), as next summer I will need to pay the entry fee for the year after. It'll probably be about £400.

And I need a wetsuit. And road pedals and shoes. And a tri suit. And travel/accommodation (insert a million and things here). A skint person should probably pick a cheaper hobby. Like doing heroin.

A bloke I know who will be doing the half and the full iron thing with us said the other day that it was interesting how the amount spent can really effect the performance. The athlete is of course the most important thing, but decent gear does matter. I once saw a bloke do a very quick half marathon wearing trainers with holes in them and a Metallica T-shirt, but no one is winning a triathlon on a shopper bike.

My lower legs are looking thinner. I've always had the calves a Romanian shot putter would be proud of, but there's definitely less leg than before. This is interesting as even when thin, I had bulky calves and I found it hard to find long boots that fitted.
But then I wasn't cycling 100ish miles a week back then.

It's only 2 days to Kona and the Ironman World Championships.
I shall  watch it here. I'll be at sodding work for some of it, but it does go on for a long time, so I'll be at home for the exciting bits.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Looking Like A Twat has Never Worried Me.

I need a new bike helmet. Using a MTB helmet on my road bike is no good. What with the position being so different and my head being lower, the peaky-bit obscures my view, and I can only see about 2 metres in front of me, so I have to angle my neck up and that's bound to hurt on long rides.

The opportunity to buy a silly hat will soon be upon me.
But it will have to me cheap (ish).

This is the most sensible choice, and it matches my bike.

But then, oh! Look at this!!


Although, seeing as my cat leaves dead mice in my shoes, I can't quite say I like her at the moment.

And then there's this, which I think would keep my neck toastie, and I like the visor bit. :)

Today is my last swim of the week, and next week I shall have to go super early in the morning as apparently the schools are off again, and I'd rather tut at elderly earlybirds than scream at kids who think swimming pools are there to have fun in.

Actually, something odd happened last time. Three breast-stroking (as in doing the breast stroke, not fondling themselves in public) dry-haired old ladies went in at the same time as me, and apart from the fact I overtook them a lot (which is novel for me), I didn't really notice them, we weren't sharing lanes or anything. Anyway, when I went to my locker to get my shampoo they were already dressed and at the mirror.
One of them looked straight out me, tipped her head in my direction and said to her friend 'She's out.' in a flat tone.



So what?

Were they secretly timing me?
Did I annoy them somehow?
Were they very impressed with my awesome swimming? (awesome compared to them, that is).

I wanted to say 'Who's she, the cat's mother?'
As it was I said nothing as I didn't really think about it at the time.
Now I need a time machine to go back and shake some answers out of one of them.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I Need A Codename/Alias.

So I've been off the pill for 48 hours and I've yet to turn into a super athlete.
And why is it every bloody nut on my bike is so ridiculously tight I end up throwing spanners across the room and crying?? All I want to do it grease my bearings, and more as an exercise than anything else. I have a set of cone spanners. I have 13mm, 14mm,15mm, and 16mm. What size is my bike? 17mm. So I hack away at it with an adjustable spanner and a normal 17mm wrench. And bruise my hand and nearly smack myself in the mouth with one of them.

Anyway, I know I should be running off the bike and not the other way around, but today it was just easier to run first. My hilly 20 mile bike circuit can take me 1.14 on a good day, 1.23 on a hideously windy day, but took 1.19.32  today, which I suppose could have been worse, was quite windy on the high ground.
I imagine that the multi-sport knock-on effect will get worse before it gets better.

I've taken to saluting other cyclists. I think it's an appropriate greeting.
No one saluted me back, but they all waved or said hello.
I wore the super padded winter bike tights lovely Lisa (the PRESTONATOR!) sent me, and they worked. I didn't feel at all like I'd slid down a volcano without knickers on, like I usually do. I could do with an Iron codename like her. Suggestions on a postcard, please.

I've registered an interest to do this as it's not open yet, dependant on how much it's going to cost.

Etape Caledonia

81 miles and 6, 393ft of climbing.
No panic though, it's not until May.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Food! (or vomit, hard to tell)

Chrissie Wellington seems to live off dried fruit, seeds and bananas when training.

I've looked at a lot of Ironman diet plans, and factoring in the lack of animals in my diet I will be having protein shakes. I'm going to aim for 50g of protein a day, which isn't excessive really, and I don't want to make that up with lentils, that would be hard work and boring. And windy.
I will eat nuts. I like nuts (hurr hurr) but right now I still have fat to burn, so will be laying off them until I'm skinnier.
This last nights dinner. It's some butternut quash and lentil soup I made (at some point in history) and found in the freezer, which I jazzed up by using it as a base for a vegetable stew, and had it with wholemeal sage dumplings.
It tasted very nice, but like most photographed stews/stir fries/curries, looks like a plate of puke. Except mine looks like a plate of puke with testicles.

I have a tendon thing going on with my foot, it made itself known after the 15 min run, but nothing serious, and running for just 15 min felt easy..
If the people of Peterhead weren't so smelly and grubby the swim would have been more pleasant, but I'm happy with what I managed. I've only just got back to proper swimming and doing at least a mile, and I can feel my stroke improving as everything becoming less of an effort.
But the urge to shout at people who don't shower before getting in the pool is getting too large to control. Maybe I should just point at them like the monkey in Family Guy does instead.
When I had put my hat and goggles in my bag before going in the shower, I hadn't realised how close they were to my knickers, so they got all wet and I had to go home commando. Still, if a person is going to be an Ironman, something small like a lack of knickers shouldn't worry them.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The Pill

I've been reading about the Pill and it's effects on athletes.
I generally don't count little numbers, the gains from things like shaving legs have never interested me, (although I do shave my legs anyway, because good grooming and not resembling Bigfoot is important).

However, I've been reading a study that found the women who took part in a specific muscle/weight/resistance trial who were on the pill had 40% less muscle mass gain than those who were not. That's quite worrying. While I may not want to be a body builder, my swimming and cycling strength is very important to me. Could this be one the many reasons women gain weight on the pill, as less muscle mass effects their metabolism? Does it effect existing muscle or just the ability to build more? 40% is such an enormous number, I don't think I can afford to ignore this. It has been shown women on the pill are less likely to have stress fractures, as it increases bone density, but then resistance work will also do that for me.

There is no concrete evidence to support a VO2max negative side effect, some studies have shown it to be a 5% reduction. Although women have won Olympic medals both on and off the pill, and at every every hormonal phase, but there are plenty who report either a big help from the pill, or a huge hindrance. Marathoners who claim being on the pill slashed their endurance. If it is a truly personal thing I feel I ought to try.

I've been on the pill for few years, and right now it's a handy habit rather than a necessity. It's not like I am at risk of getting knocked up 24 hours a day, I operate a very strict make 'em wait policy.  There would be time to plan.

It seems it takes 4-6 weeks after cessation for the benefits to be evident, which will be hard to monitor as my fitness will be improving anyway, but I shall try anyway.

Muscle article

VO2Max article

Week 1

This is my plan starting Monday, 8th October.

According to the book it's a rest day, in fact, according to the book there's three rest days this week, but that ain't happening, buddy.
I'm used to one rest day a week, maximum two. Plus, as I am off work tomorrow, I want to make the most of it and get to the pool. At the moment I may not be able to get all the planned swims in, but a new pool is being built near where I work, which will make it easier.

The bike workouts in the intermediate program total 2 hours for the first week, spread over three days. My work commute varies according to where I have to be, but generally will total about 100 miles a week, and so I don't have much choice but to do that for the minute. Plus, I like to take my road bike out too, so will add that in. From what I've gathered from others the bike is the most important element, so am happy to concentrate on that. Plus I've spend so much bloody money on bikes and stuff, I ought to.


Monday - 1 hour swim, 15 min run.

Tuesday - 20 mile 'fun' road bike, 15 min run

Wednesday - 1 hour swim, 30 min run

Thursday - 30 mile bike

Friday - Rest.

Saturday - 30 mile bike

Sunday -  30 mile bike

Stupid O'Clock

I am now ready to start the 10 week base period outlined in the book I'm following. I'm kind of picking and choosing a bit as I'm not at the beginner bike level, so will be following the intermediate plan for that, not technically a beginner runner or swimmer but will be doing the beginner for that cos I'm a bit crap at them. The plan is to then do another, next-level base period, as for the rest of the program I do not want to be doing the beginner anything. Sod that. I don't want to 'just' finish this thing. I want to be so proud of my time that I scream it in the faces of everyone I meet.

I'm rubbish at following plans to the letter, and may make up large chunks of this during the first base period.

It seems to do this requires early-ness of a most hideous level. I took this picture from my doorstep, last week before my morning bike. It's either the village in the distance or an angry mob with torches and pitchforks. More likely it's the village. That doesn't mean they don't know how to weild a pitchfork, though.