Friday, November 30, 2012


Spent a very constructive evening with the team at Accelerate running shop in Sheffield. I have a new pair of fell running shoes that I went in for and a pair of Saucony proguide 5 road shoes to trial for the weird-footed amongst us. Also got some excellent free coaching from Stu andTom Saville whilst playing on the running machine. I feel flooded with support on many levels.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 10 - Canal sunshine

A very
3 3/4 mile run
along the canal.

Got to get out more in the daylight.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 9

Back in the pool.

An enjoyable 1000m with 4 x 25m sprints thrown in.  I could feel the hard work from last week in my arms though and conceded that Monday might've been brought on by the effects over overdoing it.  So I left it at 1000m and went to work instead.

I was bolstered by 4 x 25s sprints on the bike on the way to work.

I'm definitely justified a rest this evening though I think I might try and keep up with the running.

Who knows?

Days 7 & 8

The worst rest day I have experienced in my life.  A hard day at work, harrassed by the client and dumped with a £200 bill for my tenant's water.

Spent the night trying to forget I was alive.  Really really low.

So no training on Tuesday although I did find myself cycling through the river on my way to work which cheered me up and made it easier to deal with a tired day.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 5 & 6 and the end of Week 1

Wipeout. Saturday. Rain. No desire to do anything at all except normal town gutter stuff. Our biggest achievement was walking it both ways twice which, with all the hills in Sheffield, I consider to be a reasonable contribution to the 7 mile run I should have done. We went to look at the new house one more time and we went to watch a great film together.

On Sunday rather than the big ride I have in my calendar I have been & done cyclo cross for the first time in weeks. I enjoyed it, I don't intend to miss it again and of all the endurance disciplines I think I can delay working on the endurance bike until after the cross season. If this really is about getting me ready for the bits I'm no good at, I might as well enjoy the cross season and get a half-arsed result out of the nationals.

If the weather gets bad then it's on to the knoblies for a bit. No excuses.

Talking of excuses, it's time to cut down the calories. When I found myself eating two roast dinners on Wednesday I realised I'm getting podgy.  Some athleticism might come in handy in the coming months.

Training plan percent complete stands at 65%.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 4

Well that went well.

1000m of swimmin with 4 x 100 m sprints...

I was only supposed to do 3 sprints to get into the spirit of swimming twice a week.

Enjoyed the ride to work.  Enjoyed the ride home.  Hit a kind of "on top of everything" euphoria about lunchtime which didn't really go away until I chilled out at bedtime and slept soundly all night.  How satisfying.

It's going to get cold from now on.  Studded mtb tyres at the ready.

Inspired by photos of Ironman Mexico this morning.  Good luck Ruthy.

I just need to find it in myself this weekend to go for a 20 minute run, a 40km ride, another 7 mile run and actually complete my 'cross race on Sunday and I wil have successfully completed week 1.

Piece of piss?  Since my left knee screams in pain every time I kneel on it - perhaps not (still remnants from crashing onto it in Bradfield less than two weeks ago). Triathlon isn't about kneeling down though is it?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 3 over

Well, the running happened but the swimming didn't.  Still one session down but then this phase is all about building up so I can actually do the training when I get there.

Work was done and mistakes found which make for more work.

Swimming and riding makes more sense than running then swimming.

Day 2

So here I am on Day 3.

Day 2 was a washout both literally and mentally.  Exhausted yesterday from a poor night's sleep (3:27am when I gave up trying to sleep through house anxiety and went for a walk around the house to reset my brain).  Not sure how it can be so hard to sleep after a hard work day and double training sesh but apparently it is.

When you come down stairs that knackered and hear rain hammering the porch roof it's not easy to go for a run and anyway, by that time, it was too late to do anything before my training course.

I cycled to work as I can't bring myself to take the car when it's raining in case I end up sat in traffic waiting to get through a flood I could just cycle through on my bike.  I suppose that counts as endurance training but it wasn't my programmed 5km run.  The rain hammered but I didn't care.  At least when it's wet in winter, it usually means it's warmish.

At lunchtime, I ate and rested prior to the second assault on the afternoon of work and being mithered by the most "Involved" client I have ever worked for.

It went on till late.  The running shoes didn't come out of the bag and by the time I got home at 7:30 I was wasted and ready for nothing more than a glass of wine and TV.

So here's to day 3.  7:08am.  Catching up to do.  Coffee in paws and strength in the bag at least.

Best of all, it's not raining.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 1 of Many

Last week I ditched my own triathlon training plan for this year in favour of someone else's because I trust someone else with some experience and not myself particularly much - having only done half ironman distance and not very successfully at that.  I didn't switch my plan for any old one but a published one on t'internet written by a bloke who does a magazine that I have read and who has lots of comments from people saying "thanks for this plan it really worked for me".

So now I have a plan.

As I wrote my plan in my diary last week I got to week 12 and really started to have the thought, "These days with two training sessions... that has to be an either / or session... really?  Doesn't it?"  No, it doesn't actually - it's both.  Deep down I knew it but I'm not sure I wanted to believe it.  I know now why Smithy only does these every other year.

It's a 20 week plan so that leaves me 6 weeks t'other side of new year to fill before I start the official plan.  "SO", thinks I, "I can spend the next 11 weeks getting myself up to speed so that when I actually start the 20 week plan, I can manage the volumes of training".

So this week is week -11 of my 20 week plan and as Monday is a rest day, it's day 1 today  (technically I started with a 8.5 mile run on Saturday just to make sure it was worth me resting on Monday).

This morning I got up nice and early to go swimming but as I pottered down the stairs in my fluffy dressing gown and slippers and heard the rain on the porch roof I concluded that I really didn't feel like swimming today.  Still, I took a lead from Ali C and decided to determine just when I am able to swim at Ponds Forge in a 50 m pool - so much more valid and enjoyable than the 25 m option.   Result - Tuesdays evenings - giving me the perfect excuse to swim in the evening, not in the morning.

I did my bike to work which I am starting off at 30 minutes (conveniently this is how long it takes me to get to work) with 4 x 25 s sprints in it.  Proper sprinting on a touring bike laden with swim kit but we did it and were suitably charged up for the day by the time I got to work.  First result, first tick in the box, first training session in the bag - what a feeling of being on the road to success.

The training course of today came and went and alarmingly I got to the end of the day feeling relatively full of energy and ready to go.  Even the ride to Ponds Forge left me feeling only mildly hungry which I washed down with a bottle of gooey sugar drink.

Few people were swimming - or it might've just been that they were spread out over a longer length but I only got passed once and had to pass twice.  The lengths scrolled by.

One downside of a 50 m length is when the watch misses a lap (odds suddenly become evens), I think to myself, "I'll just do 2 extra to make sure I've made up for it".  Two extra laps is 100m!  SO I've done a 1700m swim tonight and I will claim sitting on a fast man's feet for 4 lengths as my 4 x 25m sprints prize.  A second tick in the box.

I'm not saying that this Ironman training lark is going to be a piece of piss but I have managed day 1 and I have survived.  Not only that, I am looking forwards to day 2 which is shaped like a 3 mile run before work.

I don't exactly feel sprightly now but I know I'm going to sleep and I hope if I sleep I wake up happy and ready to go out.

It's going well and I don't think I can wish for better than that at this point.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday run

Feel dreadful for neglecting Norton Wheelers today but Thursday, Friday and Saturday were just so exhausting, there was not a chance I was getting out of bed early this morning and needed to do something for myself for once.  So I am still trying to get the Windows 8 machine to feel comfortable and I went for a lovely run up the Loxley valley this time for a change.

Brilliant mix of river valley, industrial history, clifftops, cowfield mush, horseys, a vertical scramble up a landslide (eek!) and a comfortable byway back to Malin Bridge. Wasn't supposed to be so exciting but the miles just flew by.

No photos because I left my phone at home.  The landslide left me clutching at branches and scrambling over brambles hoping  my feet wouldn't disapear from underneath me.  There was a pony that refused to move from a styal leaving me to clamber over the gate.  There was a lot of cow mud and a lot of gawping at disused factories. 

The left knee niggled all day.  The right heel blister persisted though I mostly kept it at bay with the early application of a blister plaster.  I have to find a permanent solution to this though and it might involve me taking a knife to my shoes before I make another trip to the running shop (to Stuart's horror).

I may also try my old canadian insoles in those particular shoes just to see if I can get a break.

Although it's a rest day tomorrow, it's time to get back on the bike for a warmdown and then pick up the momentum again.  The strength-style lifting hill sets I've been doing up and down stairs over the last few days doesn't seem to have done me one hell of a lot of good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My offer has been accepted... may the chaos commence.

Got up early this morning not really wanting to go swimming. I decided when I was there to just swim and enjoy myself.  At 7:40 I promised myself I’d swim till 8 then at five to- when I realised I’d had 29 minutes swimming, another 5 minutes seemed fair.

Still only 54 laps.  A little disheartening since my elbows were starting to ache but then, there was a time I would’ve been over the moon with a mile in 40 minutes. 

I was tired afterall.

I love the feeling I get at 8am when I’ve already done my hard training for the day and I can just bimble to work on my bike, do my job and come home on time but tired in the evening.  Tonight I have the joy of tidying the loft to look forwards to.  But I am looking forwards to it because I am preparing for Wootton Bassett stuff to come home to Sheffield.  Back to me.  There’s not a lot of stuff there but it’s stuff I haven’t seen for months and it’s my stuff. 

As I swam I thought about my new house.  It has been a continuous niggle to me that we aren’t “moving up” with this house.  We are – we’re acquiring an extra bedroom and the basement is more convenient as a store than Wootton Bassett’s loft.  We’re gaining a city location and a bigger garden (contradiction?) but we’re losing the country-village feel and the parking space at the front of the house.  Then I am reminded that Walkley has that village feel to it and that there seem to be some unwritten rules around parking on the new road where everyone has a spot in front of their house and there are some pokey little parking areas in spaces where, historically, there might’ve been a house.

Just down the road there’s the Walkley community garden where volunteers do gardeny stuff.  Last week that seemed to have included a bonfire but even that didn’t phase me.  It’s a space to sit and watch the world go by or take my friends when the arrive at my house, dogs busting for a pee.

We went to the Hawkins lovely and massive new house last night and I wondered if, given a bit more expense every month and a little more commitment at work we should actually stretch ourselves to the house size and shape we desire – and possibly look at that valley up there and then I think that out of the last 5 years we have scrimped and saved our way to ski holidays – if at all – and otherwise only been away in the UK.  We sacrificed last years’ summer holiday to Atkins and so I think I deserve some life back!

When I told TSK about my thoughts on stretching ourselves to make the size and shape of house that we really really want he reminded me about our lifestyle.  That we aspire to have more excitement and adventure in our lives than the average house hold.  An engineer and an administrator are never going to afford the farmhouse or the city centre detached with the massive driveway – at least not for a while.  Do I want to clean it? No.  Do I want to do its garden? No.  So I am happy with my 3 bed terrace, it’s lawns and shed and its potential offshoot kitchen and spare bedroom extension… or having none of that and going skiing this year instead.

I lifted myself out of the pool pretty tired.  I don't want to go back to the fixer upper house and strip wallpaper.  It's too hard.  Thank goodness fate stepped in on that one.  Doing the Race this year is going to be hard enough.  I don't need a home renovation to screw it all up.  If us gals are fitter in our late thirties than any other time in our lives, I intend to get the most out of this last year and I'm not talking about decorating.

I showered, packed up my bike, said hello to Chris and wobbled to work where the estate agent called me.

My offer has been accepted.

Let the chaos commence.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012

2012 October Stats

So after 1 month of the Long Training, how'd I do?  At least I am only in a prep phase so it doesn't exactly matter that I have had a slow week this week does it?

Ha ha... who am I trying to kid?  I went out for a ride today and got knackered going over to Hathersage and back.  That's, like, pitiful.  Anyway, I've mostly been trying to raise my swimming and running game and doing short punchy 'cross races.  Here we go anyway...

I have been looking forwards to this for a couple of weeks.

Swim: 4.95km, 2.6 kph
Bike: 356.62km, 12.7 kph avg, 2767m
Run: 49.5km, 8kph avg, 667m

Detailed: Phase - Prep - Endurance 75%, Force 16.67%, Speed skills 8.33%
swim: 100% end - Target 2hrs, achieved 1:52:13
bike: Endurance 71%, strength 14.15%, Speed 15.19%, (stationary 3.29%, 9.1% 'cross - split between speed & strength) - Target 25:20, achieved 29:07:53
run: Endurance 64.66%, hills 4%, offroad 31.3% - Target 4:30, achieved 6:13