Monday, December 30, 2013

Day 1. No Excuses or... Using the Best Weather.

A carefree attitude to training. When you're stuck, just free your mind, be 11 again and just play at it. decided it is going to be Day 1 of Ironman training today. It's still week -6 of my 20 week plan but with it being such a biggie, I figured I should start adaptation early. Actually I have been at it for a while but when better to say 'no more excuses than New Years week.

Of course the whole idea of Ironman training is to fit it in with every day life and holidays are not made of such things. I would have felt fraudulent going swimming without getting up at 5am. As the morning ploughed on and I occupied myself with the tech phone I just bought to make running, photography and staying in touch easier, I experienced a combination of guilt and justification that Mondays are supposed to be rest days anyway.

I couldn't face cleaning bikes in the torrential rain and howling wind so I satisfied myself with sorting out the tunes for training on the phone. Before I knew what had happened, TSK was back from his walk and I had done nothing. I felt bad.

A day on the sofa is not for active people. I did so little last week I decided to pan the rest day. First hurdle, hunger. I did toast and read my new swim smooth book to get motivated. Whilst I knew toast wasn't a great idea, I wouldn't have made it through the lengthy process that is packing and dressing for a mid winter night time run, never mind finish the run.

Second step was to convince myself that this run has a purpose. After doing a 'cross race yesterday, I didn't think it would be a long run so I resigned myself to training on a stomach full of toast and testing out the breathability of my new coat when it had actually stopped raining. As it is, I left the house at 7pm in the best weather of the day. I took the coat off because I was so warm. The toast was an issue. I had to adjust the heart rate monitor alarm as my body was trying to do too many things at once.

Otherwise I spent the entire evening watching the glistening rocks in the light of my head torch and listening to the Rivelin River churning by in the periphery of the beam. I could not have been happier. I got home at 8.20 pm. Now that's what I call making the most of a bad day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Staying in and feeling positive vibes

Just for the record, since my last post, my cat got very sick.

Last Monday we had to put him down.  It was very sad since he'd been our first family pet and was still too young to go to sleep.

This is Lenny, helping with bicycle maintenance
On Thursday, my dog was put to sleep.  He hadn't lived with me since 2002 but he was still my dog.  When we visited, he didn't leave my side and when my mum got up in the morning he would come and sit by my bedroom door until I got up.  He was very poorly and of a suitable age to go.  Whilst it wasn't such a great surprise (let's face it, I had already got a hunch this was going to be a shit December), it still made me sad and as I cycled to work on my mountain bike, I could feel him running along the canal bank next to me like he used to when we lived in Altrincham and I balled my eyes out.

How I didn't crash into the water I don't know.

Then followed the two most intense work days of the year.  The annual get-together of our teams followed by a Christmas meal, just when I really wasn't in the mood for celebrating anything.

On Saturday we did Christmas shopping followed by the polo dinner where, despite being the only teatotal vegetarian, I got sick and spent Saturday night throwing up.

On Sunday, instead of doing any of the excercise that I wanted, it was more Christmas shopping.  I wrapped half of the presents before going to Norfolk for work on Monday morning where I was yelled at by the client including more crying and a deep-seated temptation to just leave.  Instead I pulled myself together and got my work done despite everyone's best efforts to the contrary (they didn't want to work late as they had Christmas presents to collect from the post office whilst I pointed out that I still had presents to wrap and get in the post but I'd travelled hundreds of miles instead).

The next day was my 40th birthday.  I had a nice breakfast in the hotel then drove home... well, back to the office to the welcome of cards and presents from my colleagues.  How lovely.

At home, we literally rushed back out to the post office to post those kids pressies and were rewarded with my present from Mother Nature - a harvest moon over the Rivelin Valley.

Embedded image permalink

I was whisked back out for a beautiful meal at my new favourite veggie cafe before going to watch "The Hobbit" at the cinema.  An amazing evening with TSK which gave me hope for the decade ahead.

On Wednesday morning I went back down into the Rivelin Valley for a run.  It was so nice to be back on my feet but I just couldn't get my heart rate to stay normal and practically shuffled along the flats and walked up all the hill climbs.  Clearly I had picked up the cold that was hammering around the office in Norfolk.

On Thursday I was in denial and persevered with a trip to the pool.  The swim went OK but as soon as I tried to ride my bike my legs suggested that there was nothing there.  I sneezed my way back up the hill and got back to working on the quotation I had to finish by lunchtime from the comfort of my own sofa.

So that has been the end of my 30s and the begining of my 40s.  For days I have had a dull head but I'm tired of being down now and, with my last day of 2013 work being a sickie, I can finally settle in to sit on the sofa, do nothing and think positive thoughts for 2014 through a snotty nose.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Running Baselines - Rivelin

Rivelin valley bottom 28:21.46

Straight up Black Brook 6:10.6
Descent of Black Brook 45:59.14

Rivelin Tops flat 9:42.00
Descent to Hagg Lane 6:57.27