New to Triathlons, New to Shropshire. An Orthotist tracks her training with a love of spreadsheets, graphs, photos and prose.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Gnarly photo or race report?

What do you want?

Well, today you are getting gnarly photo

Day 2

A+E trip, 3 hours later no fractures thankfully.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Me! *sticks hand in the air and waves like a school child*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are we done yet?

Nope, still days in the month.  Though i seemed to forget yesterday!  Well, i had a lovely dinner party with the girls.  Food went down a treat.  Lisa even brought me a little gift as a thank you.  Our degree's last year is 1 full year in hospitals.  6 months in each discipline.  Lisa and I both did the same placements - coincidently - her a year after me.  Dundee and Sweden.  So we both spent summer in Sweden and were there over Easter.  Her thank you gift was a Swedish style Easter Egg.  I thought that very sweet.

And today Spring truly showed its face.  15C/59F and sunny all day.  I ran 5.15 miles in running skirt and shorts - no leggings and a t-shirt!  It was lovely.  I did my usual which is 3.7m normally but wanted to go a bit more to really enjoy the sun so tacked on the extra to stay out longer.  I did 3 miles of fartleks and the rest pushing it a bit.  Manages an average pace of 8.48 which is great.

Now, i need a cuppa tea.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I have gf bread, gf pasta, biscuits and crackers.  I have many replacement gf foods but they rarely taste like the foods they are trying to replace.  They often look right or feel right but rarely taste right.  But these little beauties, made by my own freckled hands actually taste like choux pastry.  The texture isn't perfect (yet) but lets face it, food is primarily about flavour.

Meringues in the oven and soup already made for tomorrows little dinner party.  Just a simple affair. Mushroom pate and chicken liver pate with crackers, spicy hot pot soup (i'm undecided to do as it says and serve with rice as i don't have bread - but it is an early dinner so perhaps i don't need it) and of course, half the reason for having folks over - desert of individual meringues with summer fruit (like i have with the choux above) and whipped cream.

It has just occurred to me that i have to prep for my first triathlon on Thursday.  I leave after work on Friday to Leeds for my grans 90th - i'm staying over night with Alison and her boyfriend.  And i will most likely get back late on Saturday.  And the clocks go forward so have to make sure i am in bed in plenty of time.  Its a 2hr drive and i need to be there early!  Geez, I just worked it out. I have to set off at 6am.  Which is really 5am.  Yeah, i won't be getting back late on Saturday then, nor will i be getting much sleep - too many nerves.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We're all guilty of of, but why does it always bite me in the ass?  Saturday was lovely weather.  bright and sunny with delicate wispy clouds and about 12*C.  Perfect cycling weather.  But typical me, i put it off.  There was so much other stuff i wanted to get done on Saturday.  And i got a lot done too. I was up at 7am, you think i could have fitted an hours ride in but no, i filled my day with other things like soil shopping and planting seeds.  Building a bookcase and baking some bread among other things.

So Sunday arrives and after getting back in to bed to read for 45 minutes - very uncommon for me to stay in bed, but it was so warm and cozy and i need to 'get in to' my book still - i get up to see its over-cast.  It was a little damp on the ground in the morning too, it must have rained just a little.  The temperature was cooler.  Again, i put off the ride, the day wasn't enticing me outside.  I had some recipes i wanted to try.  Mushroom pate - for Tuesday night when the girls come over and choux pastry.  I don't recall ever making it, maybe once before i couldn't eat gluten.  But now, when what you can't have you want more of, i really want to have gougere.  An ├ęclair or cream puff wouldn't go down too badly either!

So it was 3pm by the time i started getting ready for my ride.  I mapped my route - it was a 20 miler this week - and packed my saddle bag that i hope i never need to use.  I carry a spare inner tube; pressurised gas to inflate; tyre levers; a patch kit; Alan keys; sports beans; £1; lip balm.  And today i packed my camera.
My ride took me in to Wales for 3 miles, in and out in a jiffy.

I moved my bottle cage from my mountain bike to my road bike - something i have been meaning to do for ages, as i don't need liquid on my 3 minute ride to work which i use my mountain bike for.  I strapped Sally on to the handle bars and locked up the house.

20 miles later i got home, elated and wondered why the hell i had put if off. I love being out there peddling the roads.  Even with big head winds on the return journey.  Even with a really painful hip and lower back.  Its damn fun and 80 minutes goes by pretty fast too.


Bah!  Just missed my cut off time for a Saturday post.

Lovely Italian dinner with Katy

Planning a Sunday lunch with our men present.

Having a nightcap - Talisker, no ice.

Good night.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five on Friday

ONE.  The sun shone brightly all day and come 4pm when i left work all i wanted to do was run.  I took a different loop and added just under mile on to my usual.  The start was tough, i normally bounce the first mile but today i felt sluggish.  I picked up and averaged 9:14 for 4.55 miles.

2. Looking forward to tomorrow as i have plans in the evening.  Actual social plans.  Being new to the area, i don't really have friends here but Katy a girl from my class at uni lives close so we are going to dinner.  Two coeliacs going out for Italian.  Should be fun.

III. I invited the girls from work over for dinner next week.  I hope my boss doesn't take offence, she is quite social with the department but i really just wanted to invite the new girls as we are new to the area. They are younger than me, in fact one is 10 years younger than me and my boss is a bit older and it seemed just too big a gap.  Not that my boss is old, but she is our boss.

Fore. I am trying to decide whether to go out clubbing with the 24yr old for her birthday. I haven't been clubbing in forever and i'd quite like to go.  But its on a school night and i would need to sleep over at her house - if i want to drink.  Its a good opportunity to bond with the young folk, it would just be rough on Thursday morning.  She also lives 20 minute drive away. Well i have a week to mull it over.

////. Tomorrow i'm planting seeds, lots of seeds for salad, tomatoes, radishes and herbs.  And hopefully its nice enough to go on a nice long bike ride.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

In a word, SCARED!!

So i had my swim instruction today.  A colleague of mine is a swim instructor and i asked her to pick apart my stroke and tell me how to improve.  We she sure did that.  She said i was fast but not efficient.  I have a whole load to work on but i get what she was saying and feel that i can do what she advised.  I need to slow down and improve my technique. A lot.

In the mean time i need to swim my ass off next Sunday as i totally forgot to change my swim time.  I guessed how fast i could swim. My pool has no swim clock and i didn't have my poolmate when i registered.  So i said 7 minutes, but actually i swim it in 8.  I wasn't that scared until i saw that i have been placed 26th in the line up out of 180!!!  Holy crap i'm going to have folks swimming over me.

Its a pool swim and we do 4 lengths of each lane, 4 lanes.  I think i will have folks over talking me at the turn points.  So i'm not too pleased with myself for making this harder than it should be.  Thankfully i will only have to endure 8 minutes of it and then i'll be on a bike where folks can over take me all they want in a pretty easy fashion.

I think i will be swimming quite a lot in the next week.  eeek

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

11 Days & Counting.....Time to FOCUS

I was just filling in my workout spreadsheet when i noticed that its ONLY ELEVEN DAYS UNTIL MY FIRST EVER TRIATHLON!!  And now i'm FREAKING OUT!!!

It kinda snook up on me.  All of a sudden.  It was this thing i signed up for, this event in my future.  Something some folks think i'm mad for doing.  Something i just talked about and trained for.  Now, its right there, i can smell it.  Its so close the hairs that are standing up on the back of my neck are touching it!  I'm scared.

I lost a little focus the last fortnight and my training reduced.  It was a little to do with the half marathon, and a little to do with this silly 18 week training programme.  You see, this TP, if i were to follow it, has me doing less than i had been doing, training for Pwllheli.  So with my recovery from the HM, the weekend away and the stupid TP officially starting on Monday just gone, i allowed myself to slack.  I lost focus, i started thinking about my Olympic tri instead of my first one.  Walk before you can run Stephanie.  Get through the sprint before concentrating on the Olympic.

It was important to plan for the Olympic distance, but i need to focus on up coming events just as much.  I have a swimming lesson tomorrow.  A lady at work is a swimming instructor so i asked if she would give me some pointers.  I had planned on paying her but she said she was doing it for free.  I'd still like to give her some money but now i don;t know how much.  Maybe i should judge it on how much i think she helps me ;)

The word is FOCUS

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I almost cheated...

..but i didn't.  Thankfully, as i know i would have been pissed at myself.  I was so thirsty when i got home i needed a cuppa tea. I hadn't had one since lunch time.  That placed me in front of my pc while i drank it and all of a sudden it was 6:20pm and i didn't want to go to the gym.

Then i got pissed with my self for not just going out running in the light outside, if i wasn't going to swim, then i could just go outside (a swim was on my schedule but i'm not too concerned about getting those in, my tri in a few weeks is short and i do end up swimming 3 times a week which is enough). I much prefer running outside and i had missed my chance.

But i remembered my post about cheating and really didn't want to cheat so early on, like day two, of my plan.  So i go my ass to the gym and did a hill interval workout.  I also did arm and side weights, but no swimming. Over all, glad i went.

Remember, i'll never regret a workout, but will regret a missed one.

I am also trying to curb my pamphagus* habits, especially after working out.  I do love to eat, but i also would like to loose a little weight.  Its hard, but i will try to curb the eating when i don;t need to - like when making dinner. I can't help but snack on nuts and other little things like dried fruit when i'm making dinner.  Perhaps i need to put them in a tin where they re more difficult to get at. I bet half of it is that they stare at me when i'm grabbing stuff out of the pantry.  Okay, i have a task, which i'm going to do right now!

Pamphagous - eating or consuming everything

Monday, March 14, 2011


Just a few things that are a bit annoying.

  • My spin bike badly needed adjustment.  I had no easy spin just medium and up.
  • The instructor.  I really didn't like her style.  Unlike other instructors, each song was a bit of everything.  Fast spin, slow, high resistance, low.  It was all over the place.  She would make us stand on a high resistance and then sit down again so fast that i had barely had time to do two revolutions.  With my bike not working properly, it was most annoying.  With the evenings getting much lighter, i'll be thrilled to not need spin classes if she is a regular.
  • As i was standing around waiting for the half marathon to start a few weeks ago, i heard this girl saying to her none running supporters/companions 'its so annoying to see people running before the race, its like they are trying to prove they can run further'.  i was so tempted to say, no, we call that warming up, but what would be the point.  Dafty.
  • Jeff left yesterday for 19 days.  I'm not loving being alone again, kinda annoying.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Isn't it cheating anyway?

In a word: Cheating.

So its barely in to week two of March and i fail the task of a daily post.  I basically knew this would happen with the weekend in Scarborough and Whixley, and had planned to set up posts to publish each day i wouldn't be able to.  Well my time ran out, as did any inspiration to even get a few words written and come Sunday, here i am after missing two days.  But as i asked, isn't it cheating any way if i write them all on Thursday and just publish them on other days?

My official 18 week training plan starts tomorrow.  The TP i hope to not cheat on.  It will be flexible, i can say that.  I will miss workouts, i know that.  But will i cheat?  Hmm.  And what defines cheating if i have already stated i will miss workouts?  Well, i suppose i would say that if i can, i should. If there is a reasonable reason why i can't get the/a workout in, then that's okay, but if i just don't workout, for no other reason than i can't be bothered, then that's cheating.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The word is WHY?

Why is it i find time to exercise when i am working way easier than when i am off?  I think its the expectation of having lots of free time, being able to mooch around get up when i want and i will fit everything in dead easy, as I'm not at work for 8 hours.  When in reality, i get up at the same time, as I'm not one to laze around in bed, if I'm awake, I'm pretty much up out of bed. 
I do have lots of free time when on holiday with no children to entertain, but if i don't plan it i waste it.  Waste hours surfing the web.  Sometimes i have a purpose, other times none, just reading, learning, clicking links to see where they get me.  And for some reason if i get dressed and do my hair - like i do on every work day, then i never get round to exercising.  I have to do it in the morning or it won't happen.  I suffer the same way at the weekends.  AM or fail.
I suppose as i know it happens that way at least i tackle it.  And when i do plan to workout, 90% of the time i do.  I just have to plan.  The happiest holiday days are when i workout, make a good lunch, bake something, make something else, like marmalade or a handbag or a top then have dinner, made by either Jeff or I then watch a film, read a magazine or do something else productive, even if its hanging the washing up or ironing.  Productive days are the best.  So why don't i make them all like that?
I try to plan my weekends to be busy.  There isn't often that i like a lazy weekend of doing nothing, accomplishing nothing.  They happen, but not too often.
This weekend Scarborough!!!  Yay!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sore and stubborn

After two days off i finally went to the gym  Programmed 45 minutes in to the TM and set off.  My legs started to hurt right about twenty minutes in. Oh i wanted to stop.  I so wanted to stop or to slow.  But i'm stubborn so managed to carry on.  Did 7.42km in 45 minutes.

I'm trying to decide how much effort to put in to working out this week.  We leave for Scarborough right after work tomorrow.  Friday will be spent with mum, nothing planned as such so could go for a run in the AM.  Saturday we are going to a 3yr old birthday party as need to leave at 9am but will be getting home late.  Sunday Jeff leaves, so that day will be easy.  And sad.  Another 2+ weeks alone :(

My real training plan starts on on Monday though. So i'm kinda thinking this post half marathon week can be a bit of recovery, a bit of a respite before the real training begins.  So, i will probably just run on Friday.  I like my usual run in Scarborough. Its all hills, i don't have a run like that here and i miss that great hill training.

Okay, decided. Just one usual 3 miler on friday morning.  Now i gotta go pack.