Friday, 31 May 2013

Parallel Bars

I'd say my foot is about 25% better. It starts off great in the morning, but goes wrong after a day of walking about at work. The cross trainer made it a bit worse, as it makes me lift up my heel, so I will be just doing the turbo.

I found some good banisters at work to lift myself up on, in a parallel bars style way. I see how long I can hold myself before my shaking arms give out. It's about 14 seconds at the moment.
And  I have got the Swiss ball and weights out again. In general I feel quite recovered and energetic, it's just the pain.

I really want to run!
Really hope I'm running again by next week.
I need to run.
Want to run.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013


Dammit, my foot really hurts.
It's maybe 5% less painful than yesterday. I will have to train for the Ythan Challenge by not actually running.
It doesn't hurt at all to cycle, the stiffness of the bike shoe sole completely splints the foot, so I will do lots of that.

I've also been looking at exercises and stretches for sciatica, and in general, I am all about the getting fixed and properly strong.

I also think a pattern is at play here. My first half marathon was an utter nightmare. Woefully under prepared, and ended up injured. 5 months later I was a stone lighter, and better trained, and knocked half an hour off, and didn't get hurt.

I think that's what will happen this time. I now respect the distance, and the next one I do will be great. And I hope to do at least two more next year, and end up at the four hour mark.

This has also made me think I will not do the full-iron next year. I can't afford to do more than one, so when I do go for the full distance, I need it to be good, not an experiment. So I will do half distances both this and next year, this year as an experiment, next year to get better, then move up to full the following year.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

How fast??

Not me, time.

Looking at my wall chart, over 20 days have passed.

There are two and a half weeks until Ythan Challenge. I have tendonitis in my foot, it is taped up and being rested. It needs to sort itself out, though. I want an Ythan medal, they are usually nice.

I went to the pool today, a gentle 40 lengths, 30 of which were with the pool buoy. It was quiet and I wished I had time for more.

And in aid of Ythan and all the climbing over stuff, have done some weights, and core work. my legs feel fine today, I wanted to run, and if it wasn't for the foot, I would have. Dammit.

Monday, 27 May 2013


Hello folks.

I am super-unhappy with my marathon time. It was hot. My sciatica hurt from the beginning, and ended up kind of hobbling. Even had a little lay down on the grass at one point to do some stretching to try and shift it. Didn't work. Left leg still has pins and needles. Kinda weird.

I had wanted under 5 hours for my first marathon, I got 5:52.
So, onward and upwards., NO MORE EXCUSES.
Can't dwell on a defeat, I have just this minute entered Moray marathon in September. I will take some time off. And I will keep entering marathons until I'm happy with my time.
Not that I enjoy them. It was most unpleasant. Nothing like running for an hour and feeling hideous, and knowing you still have so many more to go. I saw so many people in awful, awful pain. Faces torn apart in agony, grunting and groaning noises coming from all around.

However, the medal is HUGE and awesome. And the support from my friends in person and in message form was wonderful.

I'm going to have a little go on the turbo today and hot bath.
It was weird driving home, I felt ok, was kind of full of caffeine as I bought two giant cokes at a Burger King as they were easy to drink as I was going along, but getting out of the car was a slow and elderly affair.

Other pics stolen from Taff - including a man running in a full suit of armour.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Cows Like Me

Today has been quite busy, and I didn't feel like running as my knee is pinging. I finished about an hour before I was due to meet the kid from school and help her carry home her bass, so I decided as it was such nice weather to just go walking for that hour, take some pictures, get some sun.

 I am popular with cows

Flowers in the park, not my garden.

Wild garlic growing on the old railway platform.

And I'll have a hot bath and good rollering session tonight, and a gentle jog tomorrow, not using my Garmin, as it's all charged up and ready for the big day.

Thursday, 23 May 2013



So, it was cold and wet and windy, and as I'm pretending I don't have a cold coming, I decided to do a run tomorrow instead, as that would be only one day away, and I don't like the idea of not running for two days in a row just before a race.

I thought I'd do some turbo-ing with a cycling video on. Taff sent me a couple, and the one I did today was from Germany. It really nice, going through the villages, looking at pretty window boxes, then I realised my legs were about to fall off as not only had I whacked up the resistance, but I was trying to copy the cadence of the cyclist in front of me in the video. And he was going some. And I began to think if I didn't pedal fast, they'd leave me behind.

According to my Garmin I was doing 21 mph. Although even with the resistance on it's not like outdoors, and there are no hills/wind. 18mph was the fastest I had managed before indoors. I decided to get off after half an hour, and then my legs were like jelly.
Totally going to go for a longer session next week, when there is no risk of injury or exhaustion ruining things.

This is the type of thing, although this one has no other cyclists in front.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Tapering Boredom

In accordance with tapering, I did nothing today, after my 8 yesterday. The thing was I did fancy a run this morning, but will just do some rollering before bed.
I will run 3 miles before work tomorrow, and do some turbo-ing on Friday, and maybe just a little mile of so on Saturday, but not sure where I'll get the time. I have to work till one, and I want to get down to Edinburgh   before a reasonable hour.

I having major bottom half dilemmas.
I had bought some funky black and green cropped running tights especially for the day. They were a bit small when I got them, but now they fit, and are reasonably comfortable apart from a slight camel-toe situation, but have been fine on long runs.
My old and cheap tights are a bit crappy, but more comfortable. But not half a funky.
I'm tempted to wear the old ones.
And not look half as good. That was possibly the most boring paragraph I've ever written.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Major Rollering

I have some twinges.

I've had some twinges for a few days now, very mild sciatica.
I did 8 slow miles this morning, and it didn't really trouble me while I was running, but afterwards when I was  sitting down I felt a bit odd. The good thing was though, the 10k at the weekend was most unpleasant, it felt like hard work and was miserable. Trotting out 11 min miles today with lots of hills felt quite nice, really.

So, as I was off today I spent most of the afternoon stretching and rollering. And consuming vitamin C, as my daughter has a cold that I really don't want.

Tomorrow I have to go on the course. It's so utterly thrilling I can't actually remember what it's about. Something to do with people? Vulnerability? Confidentiality? Dunno.

Girl Crush!

The newest book by my girl-crush Selene Yeager has arrived.

It is, as the title suggests, all about getting fast.

I had to go out tonight so only read the introduction, but her enthusiasm is  infectious, as well as the way she really makes me think I can do this. Her confidence in me, the reader, is so solid I don't want to let her down. After next week, I will be doing everything she says. She has great triathlon as well as cycling skills.
I trust her. I'm excited!

Today I rested, had a lot of work today and pushed my legs quite hard yesterday, so they feel better for a hot bath and a bit of a walk. Tomorrow I will run. Slowly. Some marathon pace stuff. And I'll wear my number belt, daft as it may look, as I want to see how the gels fit (and hopefully not fall out)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

How Much Do I Hate Baker Hughes?

Let me count the ways.

*It's always busy and hard to park and big queues for portaloos

*The route is a total snoozefest.

*It's always warmer than I want it to be.

*Most of all, I didn't get the time I wanted.

*Stupid people stopping all over the place. So much weaving in and out. My chip time will be quite long, I stopped by watch at 6.22 miles and had a little way to go.

*Couldn't find my buddy John. So many people. Although, did manage to bump into someone I didn't want to see (Chevy) how unfair is that!?

What really annoys me is I've always said if I get under the hour, I won't do it again. This was gonna be the year, but I was 15 seconds out, so I'll have to do ti again next year.
It was weird and muggy and humid, and I saw two people in bad shape being seen to by paramedics, one was sitting and trying to talk, the other was out cold. Not good.

So, I have a new challenge to get something positive out of this crapness.

This time next year, my 10k pace of today (9:41) will be my marathon pace.
And I'm reminding myself that the first year I did Baker Hughes I was a stone lighter than I am now, and was only 14 seconds faster. Soon the rest of this weight will be gone, and I'll be a helluva lot faster than 14 seconds.

At least the medal was sufficiently different from last year. It has corners.

Friday, 17 May 2013


My marathon number has arrived, hurrah! I was getting worried.

And secondly, I was shown this picture today, and it pretty much sums up this blog (the second frame, that is)

Thursday, 16 May 2013

3:11 am

That's the time I woke up at this morning.
I lay there worrying about everything I possibly could think to worry about until my alarm went off at 5:30 to go and run, but I felt dizzy and crap, so laid there till the last possible moment.
I had way too much to do at work today and no possible means of getting cover, so had to go in.

However, I am feeling better now. I have been drinking mucho amounts of fluids.
I will do some stretching and core tonight, and get back to running tomorrow, I'm pretty sure I'll sleep well.

And a Sports Direct order came, which is awesome, as some stuff was very cheap (crappy bra top for £2, and these amazing boxers for £4) so I'm happy. There is also a running head/hairband that ties at the back, making me look all kung-fu.

I shall wear these to work tomorrow. That's bound to help my mood.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013


Felt rather sick this morning. I had a day off work anyway, so walked the kid part of the way to school. Legs were a bit stiff, but mainly, I felt cold and weird. Decided to maybe run later, and swim first. Then my hoover broke, so I had to go and buy another one, which felt like a hideous waste of money. Then all other kinds of crap happened (including roofers on a farm building accidentally seeing me doing some dancing outside for the benefit of my cat), was kept waiting FOREVER in the bank, and then went to see a friend, which was nice, but the day kind of got away from me, and I still felt odd and it dizzy.

So, I have had a hot bath, and been doing some interesting versions of strength exercises on the living room floor, and accepting that this is a rest day. My swim would have been rubbish, anyway, so I'll make sure I do a very productive session on Saturday, and run a couple of extra miles tomorrow and the next day to make up for today. It'll be fine.

As Martin has said, I can't make any real fitness gains this close ot the big day, but I can mess things up.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Not Prepared!

This is another one of those posts that starts with 'I'm an idiot.'

So, I'm an idiot.
As it was only 14 miles, I didn't do any of my usual long run prep, totally forgetting that a couple of months ago that was my long run, and a very big deal. I didn't have a proper breakfast after a bad night's sleep, have been working a lot and not taking iron as much, and the other things that I try and keep up with diet wise. I also didn't take any gels or anything with me, and was in a hurry as I had to get to work.
I ran off-road as I didn't feel lucid enough to be constantly looking out for traffic.

It started well. the first 10 miles were great. I think 10 miles is my ideal distance as a human being.
After that, it all went a bit wrong. It had been very hot. Then windy and rainy. And I had run out of drink. I walked for a little bit, and felt more human. I kept getting stones in my shoes, and even with the walking I still averaged faster than I have been known to run the distance.

On the upside, I had a super fast shower, gulped down a smoothie, and spent 4 hours standing up at work, and my legs don't feel that bad. Once upon a time I remember being unable to get out the bath after 10 miles without moaning and howling liek a 90 year old trapped on a boucy castle.

I didn't get to swim as I had to get to work, but I should be off tomorrow for sure, so will run a few miles in the morning and then head to the pool. Yeah. Sensible sporting.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Core Me! Core Me Up Good!

I am all about the core today.
I fully expect pain tomorrow on breathing, moving and god help anyone who makes me laugh.
I have been doing these exercises, and whoever invented the crab toe touch is a proper nutter. I did some turboing this morning before work, but only an hour, due to other stuff getting in the way. I whacked the resistance up and it didn't smell. Maybe it was just the newness that made it burn. I did the same speed as before, but it was harder, and again my legs were a bit wobbly.

And less than two weeks until Edinburgh.
I am rather scared.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Plan For The Week

I need to plan things a bit more right now. I have to be sensible. Grown up.

I did 4 miles before work this morning. I was planning 5 but ran out of time, and I had my 35k for the week minimum sorted anyway, and will get my long run done early next week. I was faster than yesterday, and feel like my legs are getting used to early activity.

So this week I will -

Monday - Turbo tomorrow before work. At least 1.5 hours.

Tuesday - 14 miles run and a swim

Wednesday - 6 mile run

Thursday - 3 mile run

Friday - 3 mile run

Saturday - Swim

Sunday - Baker Hughes 10k

As soon as this marathon is over I will be long bike obsessed. I will still get 35kms worth of running done a week, but big proper rides. Miles out in the wind. Up and down hills. Hours on the turbo. Gonna be great.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Up The Wall

A bit cooler today, and my legs felt good this morning, and did 5 miles at 9:50 min miles before work. I will do the same tomorrow, and do my longer run for this weekend on Tuesday, when I have a day off work.

I've been looking for different core exercises, mainly as the old ones I've been doing are getting boring. To get on the floor and plank for a bit while watching TV is the easiest thing to do, and would only take a couple of minutes out of my day, but I can't be bothered. It's boring.

So, core exercise for today is the half handstand, or 'L' handstand. It's as simple as starting in downward dog and walking up the wall, and holding for 5 breaths.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Seems I'm A Masochist

The cheapo turbo thing arrived. It's connections are a bit plastic-y, so may not last long. To start off with I could smell burning rubber, and feared for my tyre, but it felt cool. However, the little resistance unit was pretty hot, so I think the smell was coming from there.

The whole thing is very interesting.

* I go faster, probably because it's easier, but then the constant non-stop action and higher cadence is a killer in a different way. After an hour and ten mins of speedy pedalling to fast music I was very wobbly. The constant action also makes it miserable saddle-wise.

* My feet still went numb. And I sure as hell wasn't cold. I've now read it could be a nerve in my feet being compressed, and so I need to move the cleats slightly more forward on my shoes.

* Hot doesn't cover it. People have said before how a fan is needed, but I've decided not to.
It was kind of hellish. I don't do heat. It was like being in a sauna. I'm sure it contributed to my higher heart rate. And I kind of liked the suffering. It was awesome, tough, hideous suffering. And I loved being able to listen to music.

I have eaten very well today.
Spinach smoothie, strawberry, banana and protein smoothie, porridge made with almond milk, and tonight will be wheat-free pasta and veg and a huge chunk of watermelon. I am eating ALL the fruit and veg!

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Clean Energy

I have eaten too much sugar today. Not all of it was junk, some were the new Nak'd bar varieties, but I feel a bit bleugh, and it's made me think about the next two weeks of food.

I want to feel energised. I'm liking drinking more fluid each day (even if it did mean I had to run and pee during the new Star Trek film. I missed a bit with the old Spock!) but the two weeks before a marathon are not a good time to detox, so I'm not doing anything drastic. More an improvement, adding healthy things that make me feel good.

Clean energy. Like a wind turbine. (But hopefully without wind)

Today is a rest day. I have some smaller stickers to put on my chart for rest days. I think it will be handy to be able to see at a glance when i last had a proper day off.

Tomorrow I will run early in the morning, and will get my bike cleaned and oiled up. I have ordered a very cheap turbo from eBay. It may be rubbish, but it's being delivered tomorrow, so will be setting up camp excitedly by the front door, ready to greet the van man.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

100 Day To Go

To totally steal a blog post idea from Kevin, it is 100 days until Aberfeldy.

I have put the first sticker on my countdown, which is living on the pin board in my kitchen.

It really doesn't seem long enough to be able to do a half-iron, but nevermind, sure I'll be fine.
I was going to run 8 miles this morning, but got my routes mixed up, and found myself on the 10 mile route instead, but it was OK.
Hot, and I ran out of drink (only took 500ml, and big hills) but was quite happy with my pace of 10:35 min miles all things considered. I managed to run the last mile quite fast.

Then I went to the pool, and had planned to just do an easy mile, but I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, although I did drink plenty, but felt kind of crap, so did some drills and some super fast lengths with my pull buoy, and got out after half an hour. My legs felt a whole lot better afterwards. Cross training really does seem to help, and fingers crossed, I'm dodging injury, and so must not neglect swimming over the next couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sticky Willies

Another hot day. Did a quick 5k before starting work at lunch time, and properly cooked. Although, my legs felt fine, and I even ended up going over on the same ankle I did with the rabbit hole, when a lorry had to get past me so I went up on the bank, but after a few minutes it was, and still feels, fine.

So the other Lucy reminded me about sticky willies, and how you can just blend them into a smoothie, so I have been out in my garden hunting, but all my willies are tiny, and only a couple of inches (fnar) and so will give it a few more days, as no doubt with this weather, there will soon be much bigger willies in my garden (guffaw).

You may be able to see in this picture, a small Willy just poking up.
(I'll stop now, I promise)

Monday, 6 May 2013

I Want A Turbo!

My legs feel a bit stiff today, but nothing major. I'm going to do lots of core work, and an hour on the cross trainer, just to get things going again. I'll run again tomorrow before work. Today would have been my swimming day, but it's sunny and the place would be heaving with kids, so I'm gonna do a good 2k in the pool on Wednesday.

I really want a turbo trainer.
There's a few on eBay I'm watching.
I would love to not always have to think about weather. Especially the wind. I'm sure they are interminably boring, but it would give me a chance to get used to the aero position, and I'd still be doing lots of outdoor biking. I would still get blown about and face hideous hills, but at least I could get miles in on a regular basis, no matter what.

And this pose here, lizard, is my current fave pose.

And this is my current fave core hold.

If it's effectiveness can be measured by noise I make while doing it, it's very effective.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Lovely Sunny Morning!

Which roughly translates to hellish hot run.

It was actually quite pleasant to start with. Kind of nice to be in the warm for once. I did what my friend Jelly says to do, just focused on the route, not the time or the miles. I knew exactly where I was going, to the exact tree that marks 10 miles along the railway. It is where I once saw an eagle, and I've cycled there lots.
All I thought about was that tree, and how once that was done, it was all homeward bound.

At mile 14, an obnoxious family were taking over the path, I called excuse me, they looked but didn't really move, so I ran around them, leaving the path and going into the long grass, and putting my foot down a rabbit hole and doing an amazing kind of trip-but-not-falling thing.

My ankle wasn't happy, but I don't think I've done anything serious to it.
The gravel path was slippy under my feet. There were cows out everywhere, so lots of flies for me to swallow.

I had two water bottles on my pack, and I assumed I had been drinking mainly out of one, but it was quite even, meaning at miles 15, on a bloody hot day, I was almost out of water.

After that things are a bit of a haze of walking and jogging. I got so thirsty I eventually stopped sweating, and was ridiculously hot and fantasising about cool water on my face when I arrived home. In a heap. With various bits of flies in my mouth I'd not been able to wash down.
I sat on the cool kitchen floor drinking, trying not to puke it back up again.

After a bath and some stretching I felt ok. My knee support is really doing it's job. I've only ever once walked on a long run and my knee was agony after, but today it was fine.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Awesome Day!

It's only mid-afternoon, but today has been fabulous.

I have been reasonably productive, done some tidying and ironing, but all at a ridiculously slow space. Sorted out my DVD cupboard, put everything in order of genre. Had a long bath, and then a really, really good stretch. And wearing PJs again.

Also, a bag I ordered arrived. It should have been quite expensive, but I fought tooth and nail for a barely used on eBay.

I have the black one.
That's exactly how Chewbacca would carry his stuff, is he were in the market for a bag.

To cover over the kangaroo logo, I have ordered this patch -

It's going to be the coolest bag, ever. Particularly handy for the bike, I'm thinking. My phone and stuff will be easy to reach. I always stop to answer it, but getting out of my backpack is time and aggro.

Tomorrow is the long run. It will be all trail. I need to go ten miles then turn around and come home again to guarantee I do the miles. If I run on the road the circuit will go past my house a few times, and I can't trust myself. And on the plus side, although it will be slow and in places, gritty, muddy and such, the road will seem easier afterwards.

Friday, 3 May 2013

I Never Knew I Was Dehydrated Until I Started Drinking Loads

I generally have cold feet.
When I get home from a run, they are warm for about five minutes, but then shortly like ice.
I have to be very careful with my hands, as I have Reynaud's and my fingers become white, and look like corpse hands, except for the fact they are painful.

However, after drinking loads more yesterday (about 3 litres with the pee tea stuff), I was woken in the night needing the loo, but also, my feet were really hot. I sleep in thermal socks, I never have have warm feet a night. But last night I had to take my socks off.

So,  the other cool thing is, I actually enjoyed my run this morning.
I have had good runs, fast runs, bad runs, but never actually found myself thinking 'Hmm, this is pleasant' but this morning I did. It was just a gentle 10:13 min mile 5 k before work, but it was lightly raining, and I found myself singing along to my music.

Running almost every day this week has gone well. My legs are not stiff or sore at all. I will do lots of yoga and stuff ahead of my long run on Sunday. Yoga is OK to do on my glorious day of doing nothing, as it's gentle, and fun. And I can do it while watching films.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Any Excuse...

....For stationery!

So it has been pointed out ot me that it's just over 100 days to go until my first half-Iron.

So I felt (as I am obviously a child) that some kind of sticker chart was called for.
And so may I present , '100 Days of Half Iron Training'. It'll be like an advent calendar. But without chocolate or pictures, just sweat and effort. A little gold star for myself at the end of every iron-training day.

And the bottle is the remains of my tea stuff. I added waaay more lemon and cranberry, so it's actually quite nice.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pee Tea

Not to be confused with a tee-pee.


My car wasn't ready when I went to pick it up last night, so had to go this morning, which dented my time, so only managed 5 miles, but I'm still planning a heavy mileage week.

But anyway!

I'm excited for three reasons -

1) Selene Yeager has a new book out this month and I've pre-ordered it. She's an awesome biker chick and she will make me a fast cyclist. I know this, as the book is called 'Get Fast'

2) I have found a fluid flushing water recipe, publicised by another tough fitness chick, Jillian Michaels. It's pretty basic and obvious stuff, as well as the general principle that drinking loads make you pee loads. And dandelion is the supremo pee maker.

3) I'm planning my super long run for Sunday, so thinking of having a proper day of doing nothing on Saturday. Literally, spending hours in the bath and on the sofa. And drinking LOADS of fluid and stretching. I have a sewing order to get done, but that would be the extent of my activity. Unless I get called into work. The money's nice, but a proper day off would totally rock, too.