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

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


So it appears i forgot to post about the first Hong Kong run and given it was so amazing it will do it now.  With pictures no less!
 The first morning i got up at 7.15am and snook out of our sardine can of a room....
It was hazy the whole time we were there, but still beautiful.
The run was great for several reasons.
1. Perfect weather 19C No humidity. Slight breeze.
2. First run in a week.
3. I found a park and it was lovely. There was an avery, a fitness route with pull up bars etc, pink flamingos in a pond, like 30 of them. Winding manicured gardens, lots of people doing Thi-chi and I mean lots all over the place. There is a pool you can do laps in, though it's a cool shape with 3 different sections and over two levels. The whole lace is no smoking! Lots of steps to challenge me. Just freaking awesome. I ran couple of different loops around it totalling 1.5miles before heading over a brigde to see the amazing views of Hong Kong island.

4. The amazing views of Hong Kong island. You know that skyline with the mountain back drop? It just made me want to keep on running so I could stare at it longer.
5. I was wearing my new fave running gear and had on fab tunes.
6. It was just a hella lot f fun running in Hong Kong!! You can't beat running somewhere new with such amazing views and architecture!
Bruce Lee. I want ab's like that!!
 4.5 miles in 43 minutes.

After i got back from my run i decided to walk as fast as i could up the stairs to our 13th floor sardine can for a little strength training. Domination over 208 steps!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Officially A Runner

Yup it happened at last, i got a bloody toe. I now consider myself a proper runner.  It happened here in Hong Kong where i just had to go out for anther run before we leave.  2 runs in 3 days.  BooYaa!  Gonna run tomorrow too if its not too damn hot in Ho Chi Minh City.

Well that's it for now. 4.3 miles in Awesome HK with a ton of steps.


Was rushed int he airport but wanted to add this to this post from DM:

Just HAD to get another run in around HK. Did the park again and down to the amazing views. Then ran back. Up lots of steps which raised my heart rate to 180 (when running I'm normally at 164 bpm FYI) so with that I was inspired. So the last mile I decided to run as many if the steps in the park as I could bare. Cooled down with a 5 minute walk home then did those 208 steps back up to our room again. This time they HURT.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Holy Humid Hell

Reclining Budda

Dropping coins in all these pots for good luck
 I have managed one run here in Bangkok, and i don't foresee me doing another one. I got up at 6.45 to see that it was 77degF and 92% humidity. I know that humidity makes me sweat like a pig, but i didn't know it would make me so slow. I managed 4.2 miles in 44 minutes. I ran the loop we walked so i wouldn't get lost but i had to do 6K for the run for water and it was only 3.2 miles. So i started the loop again. On the second pass of a little cafe full of local men sipping tea, one of them stood up and applauded me. *blush* It was cute and i managed a smile in his direction. It made that little extra mile worth it.

Mother of pearl toes.
And i thought i had big feet!
We are moving on to Vietnam on Friday and its forecast to be in the 60s and 70s - Holla! I can run every day and at any time of day!! YeeHaa! Though i actually intend to get up to run at 6am so i can run past the folks doing their Tai-chi on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake. Just round the corner from our guest house. But just the once, than i will run at maybe 7 or even 8am!

Have a good day folks.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Five Things Friday

1. I didn't get up to run this morning. But like every day here we did walk. That is to say we strolled, it's too hot to do anything faster.

2. Instead of getting up to run I laid in bed for an hour and a half and read up on swimming training for triathletes. I'm really getting excited to start training, though I will be primarily training for a half marathon at first, using the swims and bike to cross train. I really want to do a HM before I tackle becoming a triathlete.

3. We take the over night but to Bangkok tonight. I'm hoping it has no tv for they are soo bloody annoying.

4. Sunday is the run for water. I am supposed to be running a 6K to raise awareness and funds for African women who on average have to walk 6K EVERY DAY to get enough clean water for their families. Sadly no one has sponsored me! But I'm gonna run it regardless. I will need to run by that point.

5. Not that I want this traveling to go by any faster than it is, but I simply can't wait to be living in the UK again. Though I'm nervous as hell about finding a job.

Sent from my iPod

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Trying trying to work off the food.

I managed to get out for one more run in Chiang Rai, on Sunday morning, a there and back up a not so interesting or pretty road.  It was good run as i was nice and consistent. I ran 4.27 miles in 40:51 
Here are the splits: 9:26, 9:36, 9:34 ,9:34, 2:40
Loving the consistency!

Tuesday, here in Chiang Mai i went out for a run to a park. Lonely planet called it a well maintained running track in a park. Well, not so much. It was a path, reasonably maintained around a tiny park.   I decided to do some speed work. It was 1.5 miles to get there and the "track" was maybe 1/4 mile.  I really haven't done much speed work and really don't understand how to pace myself yet.  I will call it interval training but i think i pushed it too hard really and couldn't maintain it so well, it was quite humid and getting to what i consider hot, as opposed to warm.  I also did some squats, lunges, push up and triceps dips. then ran home. A total of 4.2 miles.
Enjoying the spicy papaya salad.
 We did a cooking class today. And really didn't need to eat breakfast before hand - oops.  We cooked 6 courses.  I started with stir fry chicken and cashew, then sour prawn soup, on to papaya salad then green curry where we made the paste first.  Then sticky rice and mango.  I love Thai food and today was really enjoyable.  I didn't realize that i was so good as cutting up food.  I was finished ages before anyone each time, and two different teachers asked me if i cooked a lot.  I mean i do, but who knew that cutting up food was so hard for some, its such a basic skill.  
Green Chicken Curry
 So, anyway I ate a lot today, even though i didn't finish every course.  Back at our home away from home i fancied cooling off in the pool, its a short pool but when i was in i decided to exercise. I did 15 minutes of knee ups, kicks and other moving type things. Then got bored.  I may try for one more run tomorrow, nice and early, closer to 6 than 7 as there seems to be a significant temperature difference in that hour.
Sour prawn soup.

On a side note, i have been reading more on triathlons and am totally excited to start training for them.  No Muay Thai Boxing for me, i want pool, bike and road time.  With a bit of trail running too me thinks.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hiking not running

I'm a little sad but also glad I didn't run this morning. Sad as i really wanted to get one more run in up here and glad as I managed to get 7.5 hours of sleep for the first time in days, or is that nights? I have been running on(no pun intended) about 6 hours for days but just couldn't seem to nap in the day and I always wake up so early and just can't get back to sleep.

I'm hoping tonight cools off, a lot, it's currently 99F/34C, then i could run later. But if not I'm most certainly going out tomorrow before we leave for hot ass Chiang Mai.

In the mean time, I will go out on the bike again for a wee ride around, in a little while, if it drops a degree or two, or 10!

We visited a hill tribe yesterday which included a couple of hours hiking the hills, which was a good quad workout. But perhaps not enough to counter act all the sticky rice and mango I have been eating.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Almost a 10K

A Wat in Hua Hin
I'm feeling pretty damn good today. I got up at 6:40am and put on my new Nike running outfit I purchased when in Phuket. As Nike and Adidas are made here they are cheaper than in the States. Which means that they are way cheaper than in the UK. So I admit, I spent a bit of money at the outlet stores on running stuff. And some none running Adidas tops too, totaling er..7 tops and one pair of capri's. I was thrilled, one of the best shopping days in a long time, including before traveling.

I rarely buy workout 'outfits' just grabbing what's on sale or the like. But with my new out look on fitness, I have a new desire for sports wear. I don't need to match labels or anything, in fact I think I'd rather not, but having a matching top and bottom was quite nice. Short grey capris with a modern floral flash of pinky-tangerine at the hem and a top, in same pinky-tangerine, that compresses the girls more than my sports bras but not uncomfortably so. I felt good.
Ah, our trusty 7 eleven, and the sun rising.
I felt I had a good lay of the land here in Chiang Rai, we have plodded these streets for two days and it's not that big of a place. I headed south on a familar street and took it to what I consider the edge of town. Then headed east in to the morning sun. It was a hazy morning and looked very pretty but my photos don't do it justice.
The stunning clock tower (is a round-about). This is gold as gold can be.  Last night we walked past and they were lighting it up in changing colours from blue to purple to red and yellow and green. It was spectacular.

There are plenty of stray dogs in Thailand and I was nervous running past them at first ,but they completely ignore you, lazying away the hours in the sun. So i was shocked and a little scared this morning when running past a german shepard and another little thing that they started following and barkng at me. And you know what? They werent strays. These had owners, owners I was pissed at. I'm not a dog lover, nore am I scared of them, but chasing and barking at me is not freaking cool!!

After that incident my run was calm, I ran past the monument we hadn't seen yet so I stopped for a couple of minutes, took off my shoes and photographed the temple and monument. This was at mile 2.65 and i paused Sally.
The temple in the middle of the road.
All that glistens is not gold.  Or is it?
Onward on my loop, I ran now with the sun on my back. I use the sun a lot to determine if I'm going the right direction. Thank goodness it always does the same thing, though mid day help me not one bit.

My loop took me 3.7miles but that wasn't enough. The temperature was lovely at 77f/25c with a nice breeze so I did a pit stop and drank the bottle of water I had placed at the front door, stashed my camera under my shoes (no shoes allowed in the house) and decided that I was going to do the 6 miles I had in mind as I started. My first ever 6 mile run. New territory for me.

An out and back would mean that I had no choice and I wouldn't have to battle my brain to complete the whole thing. As it turned out, I felt really good and probably didn't need that mileage insurance of the there-and-back. I almost took a wrong turn but in the end I ran 6.15 miles in 1:02:57

My splits:
Average pace 10:13 Score!!

I'm pleased with these splits. Though no, they are not negative, they are quite consistent.  I focused on pushing my last mile to make it negative, but i hit some traffic along the way so only managed a slight negative direction.

Shopping at the market was fun and confusing.  This is just around the corner from where we are staying, and we have cooking facilities so have cooked for the first time since starting our trip. 
I'm really quite thrilled with my run. I really enjoyed it. I felt the same at mile 6 as I did at mile 3. I have been slacking with my core and strength training in general but hope that I can change that.

I'm really looking forward to doing longer runs, not necessarily here in Asia but when I'm home in the easy temperatures of the UK. I still can't get my head around that I will soon be living back in the UK. It's strange to have been away so long and I feel like I have changed a lot in my time away. I certainly see a lot of things differently. It's an exciting time.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

After my successful run on thusday I decided to go out again on Friday morning too. My aim was to do four miles again but I also wanted to push myself a little harder. I donned Sally and hit the streets at 6:35am. I really tried not to look at my pace or time and just run. When I got to the end of the road I decided to run on the beach, I new it would be harder and I was interested to see what my heart rate would be like. I pushed it to the end of the sand and turned back. I ran on sand for about 3/4 mile between mile 2 and 3. At 3.5 I was really tired, hungry and thirsty. So I decided to walk the last half mile home. I don't like to give up on a mileage goal but it was so hot and I was so thirsty. I knew I had done well but I couldn't do the math, my brain was a noodle still.

So I was thrilled when I hooked Sally up to find not only I had a fantastic pace, faster than I thought I could maintain in the heat, but I had negative splits as well! I always have positive ones as I start off too fast but today was different. I want more of these days.
My awesome splits
4:48 (keeping that pace would have been 9:36)
7:56 walking last 1/2 mile.

Two thumbs up.

We are heading way up north to Chiang Rai tomorrow, we were expecting it to get cooler as we moved north but I looked and it's going to be even hotter, in the 100's. Not too happy about that. Still may try to do more Thai boxing though, taking more than 1/2 litre of water this time.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cha-Am Sunrise Run

The last time I ran was in KL 6 days ago so I needed to get some miles in asap. Yesterday was spent on a bus from Phuket to Cha-Am, ten hours north. We had a long, early start day, eating only fruit and yogurt so when we arrived we headed right out to dinner. We ended up eating in a place that was having a private function and were playing games and singing karaoke on an extremely loud speaker system. We could barely hear each other but a meal with few words is ok when you are spending 2 months living in each others pockets. After dinner we had a quick drink in the bar across the street and played some pass the pigs. Jeff is reining champion with 2 out of 3 wins.

We then had a pretty early night which is just what I needed to get me up before the sun to run. I took my little camera in hopes of a stunning sun rise. It was pretty but nothing amazing. I was, but really shouldn't be surprised at how busy it was, even before the sun was up. At 6am. By 6.30 it was a bustling street of vendors, sweepers, shoppers and locals going about their day.

I really need to start getting up early to run. It's totally bearable heat at that time, not that I would choose it over sub zero temps, and really interesting to see the locals all doing their thing. Though I have just convinced jeff to getting up earlier and then perhaps taking a siesta in the mid day heat, he still wouldn't get up before sunrise.

We are staying right in the beach and currently I'm sitting on our balcony where I can see the sea. It's just 100m away. Folks are so polite and smiley here, one of the ladies I ran past who was sweeping, with a hat and scarf over her face to protect her from the dust she creates, gave me the biggest smile so far and all I could see were her eyes. She warmed my heart with that smile a gave me a little spring in my step.

The run started off fast as usual but I quickly slowed when that drip of sweat reminded me i can't run a 9:30 mile in heat and humidity. I was soon soaked and so very thankful for the Sweaty Betty wrist sweat bands my sister bought me, they really are eye savers.

I ran all the way to the end of the beach which was just over 1.5 miles. I really wanted to try for 4 miles so did the turn around and decided to just run past the road our Happy Inn is located and double back once more. When i hit 3.8 miles I turned around and at 4 walked to cool down. Well that walk was longer than expected as I got lost. Lost in the sense that all the side streets look the same, I had marked our place in my head with 'between the 7 elevens' and really I should have known better by now. There are more 7 elevens in Thailand than there are Starbucks in the States. They are often no more than 50m away from each other, just like Starbucks. Convenient yes, but use them as map reference points and you're screwed. 

After a good ten minute walk I hopped in to the 'foreign help booth' conveniently located exactly where I was getting frustrated, and got directions. I was 200m north or three 7 elevens away from my street. It was a good cool down but I ran home as by that point I was so very thirsty. Back inside I downed a bottle of water without stopping. 4 miles in 44:08.
My man is still sleeping so the balcony seemed like a good place to be. He's got 5 mins then I'm off in for a shower. We are renting a moped today to check out the place. It's not a usual foreign tourist spot, more Thais come here on weekends to party but in the week it's quiet and tranquil. Or as tranquil as it can be with moped engines and bicycle bells a-ringing. 

Please forgive me if this hard to read,I'm not sure how the iPod cut and paste will mess with the alignment etc

Sent from my iPod