Thursday, 28 February 2013

I Don't Want To Be Last.

So today I was back to work (boooooo), but managed to get a 13 mile bike in. I really didn't want to, it was an effort. My legs felt ok, a bit heavy, but that was all. I wasn't fast or good in any way, it was an obligatory hour long session of cycling up hills for the sake of general fitness.

My mileage in general might be a bit crap this week as I've had one eye on the weekend all the time.

I'm a bit nervous about that.

I really, really don't want to be last.

Second to last would be fine, I could handle that. But not last.
And I'm a bit worried about my biking. I know my routes so well, when to twist my foot out the pedal and when to change down. I'm scared junctions will suddenly appear and I'll permanently be in the wrong gear and forget to free my feet.

Tomorrow I plan to run and bike. I also plan to see how quickly I can change my shoes, and all the kind of stuff.

On the upside, parent's evening (what little there was of it) went well.
She previously got a good report, so I knew no one was going to say 'She's a royal pain in the arse', but one went as far as to say 'I'd love a class full of Eleanors',
To which I said 'It would be a very messy class and all your crockery and teaspoons would disappear'.
She looked confused.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Double Sporting!

I have double sported on double days.
Yesterday, after the parcel arrival, I went for a little 3 mile run and 9 mile bike on my sore legs. The bike was a little faster than usual, being shorter, so that was nice.

Today I did my long run, then after a brief oily shower (heating oil is leaking into the hot water, plumber will eventually sort it, until then, I come out smelling like kerosene) went straight to the pool for half a mile of basic swimming, and then some drills.

My legs felt way better coming out than they did going in, which is good as I have to survive parent's evening tonight. The appointment system is rubbish, as they only have about 20 appointments each, and a vast amount of pupils. I will get to meet four teachers, art, geography, technical drawing and business studies.
Big whoop.

Anyhoo, the best thing was, as I am doing a duathlon this weekend and so my long run had to be done earlier, I decided to make it shorter this week, and so did 10 miles at a pace of 10.22.
I am happy about this, as although it was only a small elevation (300-odd foot) I remember quite recently being happy at having that as a 10k pace, so for 10 miles, yes please. It makes me think there will be a time quite soon when I can bash out ten miles in nice round 10 min miles, and then start eating into the 9s.

I think it helped I was sore to start with. I started quite slow and still, and so only lost 22 secs over the rest of the run. And now to get changed and go to parent's evening. Gah.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Waiting. Bored. Ironing.

Arrrgghhhh. Waiting for a parcel.
The most dismal way to spend a day.
I've even done some ironing.
Twice my door has been knocked on by people who aren't CityLink drivers.
Twice I have ran to the door with massive excitement.
Twice it's been a plumber who is unhappy about the work he has to do.

After it gets here, or when my daughter gets home from school and so can take over parcel duty, whatever happens first, I will go out for a short run of a few miles or so.
I'm conscious of not over-doing things this week, don't want to wreck myself for the weekend and the duathlon, but still need to get my long run in, and plan to get that done tomorrow.
I have a decent amount of time for these things, 12 weeks to Edinburgh still to go.

I have paid my money and my name is on the start list for my first half-iron length triathlon this year.
It felt very final entering, a real 'put up or shut up' moment. I've been talking about it for long enough so time to get on with it. That is 24 weeks away. Eeek.

The other thing is I've been looking at other people's training stats, and it seems people do VAST amounts of swimming. 8 - 12 miles a week seems quite normal for the serious and professional folk, and 3-6 miles a week seems to be about the minimum for everyone else. Most people seem to bike over a 100 miles a week, but running seems to be around 25-35. It seems the marathon bit on the end is not the part people are focusing on.
Plus running being the most destructive physically, it does seem wise to prioritise training time with the other two.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Cap-less Jellyfish Swim.

I forgot my swimming cap.
That's indeed a terrible thing, as it means that even with my hair tied back, I am swimming with a jellyfish stuck to my head, and everytime I turn my head to breathe, water cascades into my mouth from it's many tentacles.

So, I abandoned my plans to do a steady long swim, and did half a mile continuously, and then another 40 lengths of drills doing as little breathing as possible. I started out breathing every 5 strokes, and pushed that as far as I could go, which ended up being taking 2 breaths for the whole length.
It was surprisingly fun to be that close to death.

Then I came home and found I had missed a parcel.
I have had to order a new track pump as my cheapie one is terrible with presta valves. It has a little adaptor that is rubbish, and it lets out more air than it puts in.
The one I have bought is also not that expensive, although, the reviews on Wiggle are very good. Apparently it twists onto the valve, so no pushing and pulling that lets the air out.
Anyway, I missed it being delivered, so will have to stay in all day tomorrow.
I will go for a short run before 7.30 am,  and hope it gets delivered early on so I can go out on my bike later, too.
Soon I shall be back at work.....*sigh*

Sunday, 24 February 2013

I Don't Know Whose legs These Are.

Cos they are not mine.
They don't do what I say.
They have a frighteningly warped mind of their own.
I'm walking like a drunk person after a day of rodeo-ing.

It seems one day between longest bike ever and the long run for the week was not enough time to allow my legs to recover. They were twingey and sore when I started, and at 7.5 miles I had some really weird shooting pains in my left knee, and during the last mile literally every muscle in my legs hurt, and I was practically shuffling.

I averaged 11.03 min miles (oh lordy!) although it was 10.45 until the last two miles, then it all began to fell apart. The part of my knee that got bruised when I keeled over on my bike is all lumpy and swollen. During the run I kept thinking strange nonsensical thoughts about hats and why the word 'goody' annoys me.

However, I managed 14 miles. I wanted to give up and go home but I didn't, and my stomach behaved.
As I am racing this weekend my long run will have to be during the week, so not sure how clever I'll be feeling by then. So, I'll repeat the 14 again, as I have time before the marathon to do that, and I'm not going to do a route with nearly 800ft of elevation.

Tomorrow is swimming. I am very glad of that. Very.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Doing Nothing

A wonderful day of doing nothing (in a warm house, the oil man came last night, I was overjoyed to find a slip in the porch when I let the cat in)

A bit of foam rollering and stretching, a bath, and admiring the rather pretty green and purple bruise on my knee from yesterday, all while watching all five X-Men films. And that was about it.

The present arrived that my brother send from Disneyland. It must have cost a fortune to send, weighs a ton!

Tomorrow is long run day. I'm eating very well today in the hope it helps.
And I need to continue to up my training, and doing more than one thing on each day.

Starting next week I will do more than one activity a day for at least half of the sessions, and there's a duathlon at the weekend I'm doing.
Must multisport.
Or else.
Much getting up early will be involved.

Friday, 22 February 2013

50 Fecking Miles!!

I was freezing when I left and barely warmed up the entire time. I still can't feel all my toes.

It was horrible. Exhausting. But like in line with my zero tolerance on myself plan, I set out to the do the 50 and 50 miles on my bike I did, with 1,214 ft of elevation (it felt like MORE!). I was averaging between 14 and 15 mph for the first 30 miles, but by the end of the 50 it was down to 13.2 mph, and the sight of any kind of hill made me feel quite weepy.

However, I managed it. I am happy. I had two cereal bars and a gel while I was out, at 18 miles, then 35.
And I discovered I am only capable of holding three things in my head at once. As I was approaching the lay by to stop in so I could get my food out of my back pocket without crashing into anything (I'll need to work on this, and get a top-tube bag), I thought I'd better leave the bike in a lower gear, and then my phone rang, and this meant clipping out the pedals was one thing too many, and so for the first time ever, I timberrrrrred over.
Most importantly, there were no cars passing and no one saw me do this.
Very annoyingly I forgot to take a tissue, and ended up asking myself if it was acceptable to blow my nose on a cereal bar wrapper (it is, as long as no one sees that, either)

I initially thought this would scare me for other events, and that cycling 100 would literally result in my death. However, I am not that down-hearted, as the cold was truly the worst part. If it had been even a few degrees warmer, or if I had been wearing more clothes, it would not have been half as bad.

And if I hadn't had to come home to boil kettles to have a very shallow bath in a freezing house, that would have been better, too.
And if my daughter (who is off school due to a few projectile vomiting incidents) didn't announce to me that she'd let plumbers into the house while I was out, and didn't think to remove my underwear which was hanging up to dry on top of the boiler, even when the farmer knocked on the door a WHOLE HOUR beforehand to tell her they were coming, that would have made things better, as well.

However, I burned a mega load of calories, tomorrow is my glorious day of doing nothing in preparation for Sunday's long run, and I feel immensely good about getting past the 50. It's been haunting and daunting me, but no more.

AND I got a message from my brother saying he was sending me a birthday present from Disneyland. I bet it's Finding Nemo related as that's my favourite, hurrah!!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Last Day Of Being 36

This mug is me.
I love Bourbons. I love tea. It was an early birthday present from Lucy, along with some pretty socks and chocolate.

What I don't love is I have run out of heating oil.
And it's Friday tomorrow, so chances are it will be Tuesday at least before any arrives.
Until then I will be filling the bath with kettles. I have a couple of electric fires so the lack of heat doesn't bother me, it's the lack of hot water I hate. No one wants to come home from a long run to scrub themselves down with a saucepan of tepid water.

I went swimming today, after finishing up the spring cleaning and sewing orders, so I was tired before I got in, there, and it was very busy. I did half a mile continuously, and then 5x50m of breathing every 5 strokes, and only having around 20 secs recovery between each 50m.

I then went to the tip, did a load of recycling and went to the supermarket and came home ready to run, but after a mile I felt cold and weird and my legs were sore from yesterday. So, I came home for a hot bath.
Which I had.
Then I noticed the radiator was cold when I came out....poo.

I have a new year feeling, and am glad I am up to date with my work and the house is clean all in time for my birthday.
Tomorrow I will go for a really long bike ride, and as much as it would be more interesting to map out a long route going somewhere interesting, I'm a bit nervous about straying too far from home in case anything breaks, so will do a decent size loop a couple of times, so if something happens, the farthest I'll need to walk in bike shoes is 10 miles or so. Let's just hope that doesn't happen!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Getting Faster.

Too tired to move.
I have sat down to have something to eat in the middle of cleaning my bedroom, the last room in the house to be done, and now I don't want to get back up. A trip to the tip awaits tomorrow, then I'm pretty much done.

However, I am happy about my sporting today.
I did 5 miles in 48.08. My goal had been to get less than 10 min miles, and at 9.38, I did by a good chunk, and I wasn't pushing as hard as I could.
Then I cycled 11 miles, the goal of which was to stay at a consistent 15mph. But it's really quite windy and 14.3 was my average speed.

When I got home I realised if I had continued my 5 mile run at that pace for another 1.2 miles, I would have managed a very speedy (for me) 10k. Just around the hour mark. So that is my goal for next week, to do a sub 1hr 10k.

Tomorrow I will be swimming and running again, and then a long bike on Friday if the weather is good.
My plan for Saturday is exciting me. I intend to have a proper rest day of doing nothing.
Actually nothing.
Sofa, duvet, a giant book on kings and queens, and films.
I haven't done nothing for a whole day since the last time I was properly ill (and not just a cold), which is a good 6 years or so.
It's gonna be great.
Then I'll go for a long run on Sunday, 14 miles. Seems a bit daunting....

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


The plan was to swim intervals and run.
When I was at the pool I knew time was slipping away from me, so I did a long swim there, and the run will be done tomorrow.

So, 2km in roughly 1:07. I didn't take my watch, but next time I will time myself, as I really want to get it below the hour.

The best thing was I was struggling to start with, but after 40 lengths I felt great. I think I could have done 100, but stopped at 80 due to time. My focus was on making sure my catch is strong when I'm breathing.
I suspect I have been concentrating more on getting air in my desperate lungs, and my hand has just been just wafting under the water like a lettuce on a stick at the time.

Tomorrow was going to just be a bike day, but now it will be a run day, too.
A substantial brick session is in order. 

Now a substantial doing nothing session is in order, I'm exhausted. Very long day.

Another message from the Turtle.
Still wants to come and do my plugs.....gah.....

Monday, 18 February 2013


I just did an hour on my bike before work today, just over 13 miles in glorious frosty sunshine.
My legs were tired after yesterday, although they didn't feel bad, just a bit slow.

Tomorrow I will run and swim.
I'm going to go for another 1.2 mile swim, and a little 5 or so mile run.
And I have some sewing to do, and (for some reason I'm excited about this next bit) large amounts of cleaning.
I have some time off work and am going to make my house shiny.
I bought a load of stuff like sponges and rubber gloves, I'm ready, BRING IT OOOONNNN!!

Selene Yeager has a new book, but it won't be out here until May! BOOOO!!
It's called Get Fast. And that's what it's gonna do. Get me fast. Yeah.

The Turtle sent me a message asking me if I had a nice Valentines day.
There was no way to answer that question without letting myself in for more trouble.
So I replied with some nonsense about monkey shaped aliens.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Gimme Hills!

I woke up at 6am  is as per usual, but then went back to sleep until 9. 9 o'clock in the AM!
It was everything I had dreamed it would be.
The plan was to do a little bike and a little run, but the weather was mild, I'd had a great night's sleep, and I thought a nice long run would be good. Especially as I ate too much yesterday.

The half marathon I am doing at the end of March is a bit hilly, so I thought I'd do my hilly route twice, which is just under 13 miles. I was slow, and I ran out of water at 8 miles (seems I drink less in the snow) but 10.57 min miles for lots of hills didn't upset me too much, and of course, I ended up doing a little 0.1 to make it HM distance.
My knees were a bit sore and I'm walking like John Wayne right now, but when I got home I looked up the elevation for Garioch and it's 423ft, and I did 741ft today, so extra chuffed.
And my stomach behaved, except for being a little crampy when running downhill, but nothing alarming.

I am starting work at 12 tomorrow so will get an hour's biking in before I go, and then I plan to do a fast running interval session, a long bike, and a duathlon practise during the week, and a long run of 14 miles next weekend.

My mileage is beginning to get a bit more respectable.

This week has been -

Running - 32.9 miles

Biking - 43.1

Swimming - 1.9 miles

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Today is a rest day.
So bloody ready for it, too. Tomorrow I shall run and bike in some dummy duathlon type way. I was given a few extra weeks to train due to the last one being cancelled, so much make the most of that reprieve.

Anyhoo, I've been thinking about how this Iron business is a lot like death.
Sometimes you have to stop and attempt to grasp the enormity of it. Really allow yourself to not just think, but know you will not be here forever, you will leave, it's an unknown but inevitable move, the pondering of which should make you appreciate life more, and maybe make out a will and get some life insurance. But then stop think about it or plummet into depression.

After my 30 mile bike yesterday the thought crossed my mind that I was in no fit state to run anywhere. And that's just after 30 miles, let alone the half at 56 or the full at 112. I grasped the full horror of that, but like with death, it doesn't do to grasp it for too long. it becomes counter productive.

I will let the fear motivate me when it comes to training, but not when it comes to my motivation to try.

So then, after the full enormity of the task had hit me, I thought
'Meh, I'll be fine. May take a while but I'll finish.' and then I shout 'For Sparta!!' and a few other things (in my head, not out loud). And the 'A day may come when the courage of men fails....but it is not this day' speech from Lord Of The Rings, as I am an Iron Nerd, too.
And that helps.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Swish Handlebars

The weather today was (drumroll) not shitty!
My plan was for a long road bike ride. My longest ride ever has been 42 miles off road, which involved half an hour sitting on a log, eating crips and sandwiches. My work commute is 32 miles, but has a hefty 8 hour rest halfway though, so I thought I'd try 30 miles non-stop on the road, just with water.
It was great for 20 miles, but the last 10 were hard work, and mainly uphill.

When I'm on the flat I feel I could cycle forever, but then there's a big hill and I feel utterly drained.

Then I came home and used the rest of my afternoon off to re-wrap my handlebars. I needed to be alone in the house without distractions. It's one of those jobs that I know will get better every time I do it. I overlapped too much to start with, but it looks passable. I'll leave it a little while before I re-do them.

They were disgusting. I had once put my chain back on and although I'd taken my gloves off, I still managed to get them all black and greasy.

 Look! Yukky!!

Nice!! (if not slightly uneven)

And I'm kind of chuffed with my saddle. I felt a bit sore today while riding, and also my lower back felt tight, but overall, with minimally padded tights, it was fine. I'm certainly not in pain now, or Sudocremed up to the eyeballs.

Looking at it closely, it appears very little of me is on the saddle (quite impressive for someone with a butt as big as mine) as there's mud on it, splashed up from the road, as you can see by the little dent where the logo is.)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Zero Tolerance

I was tired when I woke up, yesterday's run took it out of me, but the plan today was for the longest swim in a very long time (2km, longer than the half Iron distance) and I was happy to do that as I knew I wouldn't be fast today, so going slow and long seemed like a good plan.

First I had to embalm. That was an odd journey. At one point I was driving along in a snow tunnel, the ploughed snow either side of the road was far higher than the car. Work was hard and freezing by my new stainless steel table had arrived so I was happy. I then headed off to the pool, shovelling oatakes in my mouth as I drove.
The led to swimming indigestion, and I discovered what it is to both burp and cough underwater.

The swim was slow, labourious, and I couldn't wait for the 80 lengths of the 25m pool to be over.
I wanted to quit after 32, as I saw I was being slow, and I'd been fighting cramp on and off, and there was an annoying family taking up the shallow end with tiny children that would have been better off in the kid's pool.

However, I have now instilled a 'zero tolerance for wussiness' program in myself.

Like with the snowy gale force run of yesterday, there will be no quitting.
No option to let myself off the hook if I don't feel like doing my training.
It will take injury or serious disruption to make me switch days or cut a run, swim or bike short.
This will be like being in the army.
Except I have nicer shoes and no weapons.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

12 Windy, Frozen Miles.

Awful weather.
Woke up to the sounds of gales, and looked out at snow landing at an alarming rate.
As I was filling the kettle at the sink I saw a fallen tree being dragged up onto the yard.
Not a great day for my long run, but back to work tomorrow, and no guarantee any other day will be better.

I made a spinach smoovee before I left and put it in the fridge in case I was incapable of making it when I returning, and took two Shot Bloks with me, just in case I felt awful and likely to bonk.

I did two laps of my 10k route, (cutting off a little bit to make it a round 12 miles, instead of 12.4), and on the second lap I saw my footprints had been covered by the snow.

The best part was on top of the highest hill, where it was hard to breathe and see as the wind drove snow into my face, I saw a mountain biker, and we gave each other huge grins and waves, as a recognition of how awesome we both were to be braving the weather.

I knew it wouldn't be fast, it was hard going underfoot and with the wind, and so I concentrated on just making the distance, not letting myself quit, and so only averaged 10.53 miles.
When I got back I wasn't massively pushed cardio-wise, and I think due to the Shot Bloks I was feeling quite sane, but my legs were/are massively fatigued. More foam rollering and screaming tonight, I think.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Swimsuit. In Public.

I'm scared.
I really want to do the Turriff triathlon at the end of April.
But I'm worried about being in public in a swim suit.
It's fine at the local pool, when I'm in the water and surrounded by chubby old people. And as April is bound to be a bit chilly I would put a jacket on before getting on the bike, it's just the bit before and after the swim, hanging about in a tight trisuit.
This is fitness/weight loss motivation indeed. It's 8 weeks away. In that time I need to be happier with myself.
I can cope with a few wobbly bits if I am fitter and faster, and looking at my current progress, that's not a big problem. But the progress NEEDS to keep up. No stalling. No weight plateauing.

I have tri shorts and tri top. All ludicrously skin tight.
And 9 weeks to go....

These are the shorts (in black) -

And this is the top - 


I went out on my mountain bike this morning.
I was shattered after yesterday. Running after swimming didn't make my legs feel that tired at the time, but I went to bed early last night and slept like a log. I was achey and slow this morning so 12.5 miles before going into work at lunchtime was the best I could do.
I shall foam roller the crap out of myself tonight (not literally) and get everything ready for my long run tomorrow morning, which I will hopefully manage to get in before the forecast snow hits.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Children And The Elderly!

I'll give them a seat on the bus, but dammit, get out my swimming pool.

It opened at 8.30, so I decided to go at 9.30, when the first lot of people would be leaving, but still a bit early for teenagers.
So many old people.
And within half an hour of my arrival, so many children.

However, the kids go back on Thursday, so I shall return then.
I did ten lengths to warm up, then the fastest half a mile yet (24.04) then I did ten lengths of breathing every 5, as opposed to every 3. That was hard work and I did it slowly, although when I timed myself I was only 2 seconds slower per length, so less breathing must equal better swimming, even if it is done more slowly.

I then went home, did a massive amount of cleaning and tidying in preparation for when workmen come in and mess it up again, had a quick lunch (smooovie of the day, blueberry and banana), and went for a run.

The run was too soon, and it was 7.8 miles of indigestion and feeling awful, but I was a couple of seconds quicker per mile than the last time I did that distance (and I hadn't been swimming previously), so could be worse.

My goggles drove me mad in the pool, always letting in water, in the end I had to make them so tight they were welded to my head, so I went to the shops and bought some new pinky/purpley ones. Ooh, nice.

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I got up this morning to this-

The wind was howling, the snow was beginning to lay, but still no word of a cancellation.

So I got my stuff together and drove to Guinness Boy's house.
We loaded up the bikes on the rack and were on our way when my phone buzzed, and it was Kevin telling me it had been cancelled, so we turned around. Guinness Boy was most upset as he'd curtailed his booze last night (only 4 pints) to be ready.

For some reason I suggested we go for a bike ride anyway, as the snow wasn't settling over his way.
It was hellish.
The second hardest bike ride of my life.
The wind was bitter and FIERCE, and as I didn't know the area, every hill was a horrible surprise. And I've never known a route where you are either going up or downhill, with no flat-ish bits at all.

My feet were so cold and numb when we got back, I wasn't entirely sure if I was walking or not. And as I was only planning on the duathlon distance bike ride I didn't wear bike tights, so it was 20 freezing hilly miles with my butt directly on the saddle. Oddly enough it wasn't that bad. My road bike saddle is definitely better than my mtb one. It's smaller but more technically shaped.

I sat in Guinness Boy's bathroom, shivering, trying to find the energy to change my clothes, and I can say I've touched warmer feet on a corpse. When I came out he had made made me some strong black tea and done me some toast and margarine, and there was a banana on the plate next to it.
I have never been so happy to see warm food in my whole life.

After defrosting fully I came home, had the farmer/landlord catch me and tell me he was going to knock a wall in the front of my house next week so that I can get hot water and heating from the farm (£100 extra a month, but dammit, my house will be boiling! No more heat rationing!!) which means mess, coldness, possible times of no heat or hot water, and men traipsing through. This had better not impact my super training plans.

Tomorrow I will swim. I'll have to go early as the schools are off, and there's bound to be kids there. *shudder*

Saturday, 9 February 2013



Lots of them.

I am having another mini detox. I have just under two weeks until my birthday, and my present to myself will be at least half a stone off. I have only weighed weighed myself since the beginning of the year, when the last detox removed Christmas. The other time I felt I should have lost more than I did, and it disheartened me, so decided to leave it a little while in the hope of seeing a bigger loss. My clothes are definitely looser, so stuff is happening, but then my muscles are also definitely bigger.

So these are the smoothies I have had today. I intend to live off these, porridge and soups/various rice dishes for the next 10 days or so.

Spinach, orange and banana with protein powder (fabby new glasses! £1 each in Tesco!!) -

Raspberry and banana -

And below is my packed transition box, complete with Batman sticker. Tomorrow is my first attempt at MULTISPORT!! I'm a bit worried about being the last person in and out of transition. I hope the marshalls are good and I can see where everyone else has gone, and not get lost.

Today I took it easy, and did a five mile bike and a 2.5 mile run, just to keep things ticking over. I then cleaned my bike, oiled it, tried to pump up the tyres but it's so hard to get the nozzle off I ended up taking out more air than I put in.
I have to be at Guinness Boy's house for 9.20. Apparently he has emptied out his recycling box and is going to use that. It's not that I'm snobby, but I just would never do that. Seems like no fun at all.
He works offshore and not short of money at all, he could buy a super-cool box. But no. Just empty out the tins and he's good to go. I may take some pics tomorrow, but as he doesn't know this place exists, they won't be of him, a that seems a bit mean. I'll take pics of his box, though.

Friday, 8 February 2013

I Fell Over (again, but indoors this time)

So the alarm goes off at 5.15 am, and after a very bad night where I was in a lot of head pain but too tired to work out why, I fell over on the way to the bathroom.
This tipped me off that the toothache I was feeling was a sinus infection.

So I took a massive does of vitamin C and some painkillers and went back to bed for two hours.
I was a lot more human when I woke again, and went to work. I will do an hour of cross trainer tonight, as that's harder to fall off, and I won't get all cold and rained/hailed on. I will still do this duathlon on Sunday (if it's not cancelled) as I am stupidly macho.

I do a four week shift rotation and this is the worst and busiest week, so this will also be the easier week where I dial the training down a little. I feel better for cross trainer and rest days.

There is snow forecast for the weekend. It's just not bloody fair!!
I NEED SPRING!! I need light mornings and to not hear wind and rain lashing at the window the minute I wake up.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Yeah! *Fist Pump*

Tomorrow I will get up at 5.15am and run 5 miles before work.  I have filled my mp3 player with Linkin Park in preparation.
Then on Saturday I will get my bike ready and go for a ride. It's supposed to be this duathlon on Sunday and it's yet to be cancelled, although if it is icy, it will be. I need to be prepared either way.

Today has turned out to be a rest day. My legs are sore. I hobble like an old person.
That hilly route really is a bastard. I've worked out if I do it twice, it's 13 miles.
If the duathlon is cancelled, I will do that bastard 13 miles on Sunday.
If it's not, I will get it done next week.

I have a few days off coming up so gonna BLAST the training.
Will go swimming a few times in one week, and get a 40 mile bike ride in.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Poking My Legs.

I had no plan for today other than a short recovery run before work.
However, it was hailing constantly, and very windy, and when I went out to feed the rabbit it was like walking on marbles. I think I was lucky to just fall over the once yesterday, so decided to spend an hour rollering and stretching, after a warm bath. My legs are feeling kind of solid. I poke my thighs and they seem quite hard. New shapes are forming.
They ache a bit today, too, probably because I had to shoot off to work and spend the rest of the day standing after my long run, and didn't stretch or roller as much as I'd have liked too.
I'm doing 45 mins on my cross trainer tonight, which is quite a low intensity thing to do. Possible rest day tomorrow. Not sure yet, my plan is a bit all over the place this week, but my dummy duathlon trial run and my long run are done and I've swum my mile, so the important things are covered.
I do seem to spend a lot of time in the bath poking and flexing my muscles.
I hate vest tops and my upper arms were never good enough, and although I don't hate my tattoos, I have no desire to show them to everyone either. But my arms are really changing shape and I have so much training to do in the heat this summer, I'm going to have to man up and embrace up naked arms.
Which will be a lot easier when they are thinner and more toned, and less like big raw sausages.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Captain No-Boobs

That's what they'll call me.
I'm beginning to be able to fit back into my old bras. Which in a way is good, but also bad.
It's also not fair. When men lose weight certain objects appear due to the change in proportion, not start to bloody shrink.

Anyway, soon after I got up it started to snow like no ones business.
It was also my long run day, but I have gone past the feeling of fighting laziness, and straight into a gnawing feeling inside if I don't get to train.
I gingerly picked my way down to the road over the ice, and the immediately slipped up and landed on my arse.
So I went back inside and started sewing, planning to run a lunchtime when it should have melted a bit.
However, it kept snowing, so then I decided this could be the best it gets, and went out and did my 11 miles. It was only 1 second faster per mile (10:44) than my 10 miles last week, however, it was hugely slippy underfoot, and a few times I did that sliding along on one heel thing. I also picked the hilliest route possible. It's quite evil in that it goes on forever, and there isn't a nice downhill. It's long, and winds up, and then when it reaches it's highest point, the downhill bit is off road, and involves dodging big rocks and frozen tractor tyre ruts.
My first half marathon this year is a hilly one, so this needs to be done.

The good news is snow training is good for me, and I felt OK when I got home, no clinging to wheelie bin and trying to catch my breath, and my stomach behaved. Before leaving I had a hot chocolate made with rice milk and a Cadbury's Chocolate Creme. The hope was that no only would my body feel better, but my mind would be clearer too. Which worked, and was lucky, as I got a call to go and embalm when I got home. A quick bath and roller and I was fine to go off to work. Once upon a time a long run meant barely moving off the sofa for the rest of the day.
My lower back/piriformis situation was quite good, too. I taped it up last night with Rocktape (applying tape to you own butt is not easy). 

Monday, 4 February 2013

I Look Like A Tinky Chav When I Go Swimming.

I do.
Saw myself in the mirror on the way out this morning. Big anorak as it was sleety-snowing, woolly hat over hair I see no point in doing if I'm off to the pool, no make-up (ditto reason) and trackie bottoms with a splash of mud up one leg.
Although I go swimming in Peterhead, a town where most people are wearing elasticated waists and could do with a bath, so it's not like I stick out there.

I did a mile in 50.20, which is the fastest time yet, although, I did pause the time briefly to get water out of my goggles. I also realised I turn too much when I breathe, meaning my underneath arm is crossing over my body in a kind of useless way, so the last part of the swim was about concentrating on just getting my mouth out of the water, and not 'checking out the weather' as some bloke on Youtube said.
I then did 6 extra lengths after a brief rest. I'm trying to swim 6 times a month, so if I add an extra 2 each time, in just under 3 months I'll be routinely doing a mile and half each time, and hopefully as I get faster, I can keep it all within the hour.

And I spent an hour in the afternoon stretching and rollering, and did the 20 min core dvd. Tomorrow is my long run, which will be 11 miles, and I'll chuck in some reasonable hills, as the first half marathon of the year is a hilly one.

 I know I need to get some long bike rides in, the farthest I've been is 42 miles off road. But I need to do it on road, and get it up to 50 miles. The problem is if something breaks, and I'm 25 miles from home, in bike shoes, which are a nightmare to walk in. I would actually be better off walking in my socks. So I'm thinking of finding a shorter loop and repeating it. Boring as it would be, at least I won't get stranded anywhere.

And I bought tissues for my transition box, as opposed to just stuffing my pocket with loo roll.
I seem to get snotty when I stop moving, and I will never, ever do that snow blowing thing that people do.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Multisport! Multisport!

In my head that word is always shouted in an excited fashion by a little latin man with a sombrero on.

So I decided either an arduous bike to work, or a duathlon practise.
Wind and rain lashing at the window at 6am meant I picked duathlon later on in the day.

Plus, as there is this race this weekend, I can't do my long run then, so will have to fit it in in the week, making this the ideal day for a trial run.

Soooo, I had intended to press 'lap' on the Garmin so I would know how long each part took, but then halfway through the run I realised I had gone further than intended, and was still 0.3 of a mile away from the house, so I just stopped the time at 2.4 miles, and started it again for the 8.6 mile bike (which again, due to my miscalculations, was 9 miles, but I stopped it at 8.6), and stopped and started it again for the last 2.4 run.

The whole thing took 1:25:48. Now looking at average transition times, some people do it in as little as 18 seconds, (maybe they don't change their shoes?) and one took over 2 minutes (maybe his shoes got stuck on, and he felt like a cup of tea?) so adding 1.30 minutes for each transition adds 3 minutes onto my overall time, making it 1:28:48. The wind was horrible. Hills I usually go up find required getting into the little ring and were a real struggle. Due to the extra bike effort, the last run was very tough, the first half mile especially.

Looking at the easiest to find old results, that would put me second to last. However, Kevin found other results and the slowest one was 1 hour 38 minutes, nearly 10 minutes less than me.
Boy, I hope that person is there, and that they've not improved. And that it's not super windy.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Aaaand Again...

2 mins 51 secs off my 10k time today. A nice improvement in 16 days.
I went out after getting home from work, and did decide to push myself, but luckily, didn't feel as pukey as yesterday. However, as it wasn't that long after lunch, I was occasionally concerned food may exit in an unpleasant fashion, but it was ok.

Not including dodgy training times using measured out roads on Map My Run, my first 10k race was also my fastest, in 2011 it was a couple of seconds over the hour. I was over a stone lighter then, and I really think I can makes some bounds, especially when thinner. I'm sure weight is coming off now, but weighing myself regularly depresses me. However, today I wore a running top that a few weeks ago I couldn't zip up, but now I can. But I won't be wearing it much as it also appears to cause a bizarre boob-sweat stain.

I think there's three things that have caused this progress-

1) Having a Garmin. Just using a stopwatch is all well and good, but often I wouldn't speed up until too late in the run, as I am often loathe to push myself. The Garmin is frightening, encouraging, motivating, and helps me plan and measure better.

2) Entering races with proper sporty people. I am scared of them. They are not like the ladies in pink with make-up sliding down their faces, and those who walk most of a 5k. I don't want to be last. And more than that, I want to do well. And do well at big things like marathons and triathlons, things I feel I have no business entering.

3) I am eating better. I am still having too much sugar (but less than before), but although I thought wheat would be really hard to cut down on, it's going quite well. I used to have bread every lunchtime, and sometimes a roll with dinner if it was soup, or dumplings if it was stew. I am making things like that with wheat-free flour, and having oatcakes every lunch time, and routinely buy wheat-free pasta. It's just the odd roll now or toasted muffin now, so I'm having about 25% of the wheat I was, and I'm being more careful with remembering to take supplements such as iron and b-vits, and having protein shakes. And I am an oat eating machine.

Tomorrow is the bike. Not sure if I will bike to work or do it when I get home. Largely depends on the weather tomorrow morning, and how much of a wuss I'm feeling.

Friday, 1 February 2013

2 PBs and Disappointing Box.

I went to get my transition box today. I wanted to spend about a tenner and get a purple one.
I ended up spending bloody £15 on a clear one.
B&Q have a craptacular selection of boxes, and some were super flimsy. This thing has to survive being thrown about in cars and such. And although it may be a little large for duathlon purposes, there's no point in buying two for when there's more triathlon stuff to deal with, and there were little trays inside, most of which I took out to use to bike bits in the shed thingy. Although I kept one in there on the bottom as it may come in handy for gels and things.
I then spent ages searching for a envelope of flower and butterfly decals I saw when having a clear out, but couldn't find them, which I now realise is a good thing, as it would look like I'd just stolen a toybox off a kid. Then I ordered a big Batman decal off Ebay for £3, which is far more badass.
And I've put Timmy sticker on it.

So this morning, although windy and rainy, was not icy or slippy, so I tried to see how fast I could do 5k, as well as adding a faster section. People seem to do 400m intervals, but I have no idea how far that is, so I just went down to the main road at one point, pushing the pace, which is half a mile. It felt like there was a hand inside my chest pushing me onwards, and I managed that half a mile at 8.50 pace. The whole thing was 29.05, (9.24 min miles) which is 55 seconds faster than my 5k a few weeks ago, so snow helps!

I then went swimming, and did a mile in 50.38, also less than before. I then did an extra 4 lengths, as I plan to increase the distance a little each time. After the mile I had a breather of about 30 seconds, adjusted my goggles, etc, and so the last 4 were lovely. I felt my form was better, and in general, was far less knackered than usual when I came out.
It's still a crapola time for a mile, though.