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

Thursday, December 30, 2010

 The festive season was amazing, with plenty of fun, laughter and tasty tasty food.  Over the last few weeks at work with the chocolates and the deserts and filling meals since being here, there is no doubt in my mind that i have put on weight.  But i am trying to keep it to a minimum by running as much as my motivation will allow.

On Christmas day i ran to church (4.17miles 38mins). I haven't been to church in well over a decade on Christmas (i was brought up catholic but i am not religious now) and for some reason, i just wanted to go this year.  So i set off 45 minutes before it started and met my family there.   It was really cold, snow on the ground but beautiful.  I ran down to the beach, around Marine drive which took me past a surfer getting ready to join his friends in the surf.  I shouted a cheery Christmas greeting as i passed.  I got to church with 5 minutes to spare to stretch and cool off a bit.

Jeff and my delicious Christmas dinner

Parsnips Molly Parkin - if you have never had them, you have never lived!

My Christmas Dinner

On boxing day i also ran. I got up earlier and was out the door by 8am  As it was so lovely the day before i chose to run down to the beach again.  It ran a shorter route, i hadn't had my porridge and was probably a bit worse for wear after drinking all Christmas day.  But i did 3.9miles in 32 mins.

The Crown Hotel bathed in morning sunlight

Self portrait with my new camera.  So happy i got a new small camera.
Spa bridge at sunrise

Three Scarborough favourites.  The Esplanade Hotel, Spa Bridge, The Grand Hotel and the Regal Lady.

Yesterday i did a long run of 6.5 miles.  Ran the same route as Christmas but made it a loop to get home.  Tomorrow I must run.  Then i shall bake muffins.  Then go to a friends for new years eve.  Its all moving so quickly.  xx

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Already. Only one more sleep - crazy!

Its come around so fast. Tomorrow we will be laughing, eating, opening gifts and playing games. Yipppeeeee!!
Its going to be a very merry Christmas and i can not wait.  Its been a few years since i was home in Scarborough for the festive season and i missed it each year. We leave today at 2pm.  The roads are supposed to not be too bad.  Jeff is packing the car - though i know i could do it better. I have the Driver packing gene (Driver being my maiden name) which i got from my Dad.  Alison also acquired this gene and i hope to pass it on to my future children as it is super useful.  I remember one Easter going to visit my Aunt and family in Exeter. 5 of us in the car, a Renault sedan and as the luggage, boxes and bags filled the house it felt like a Mary Poppings car.  The whole kitchen floor was full of stuff, spilling in to the hall. I was amazed. Still am.
Anyway, i hope that my things will not be crushed and that nothing will have been forgotten. I will do the once over in the house to make sure, fill the flask of hot coffee, defrost the windscreen and off we will go. Eeeeeeee!!!!
I will be sure to drive safe and hopefully my MIL won't have white knuckles!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The weather outside is delightful....

But i feel its also frightful. 
My patients are bound to slip,
if we don't clean up the snow.
Ok, so i come from living in the States where it is second nature to clean up snow, for the paths to be cleared by 8am in places like hospitals, shopping centres and the streets of conscientious neighborhoods.  But i really am shocked by how poorly the hospital grounds are dealt with here.  Patients have to walk through slush and uncleared snow to move around the hospital grounds.  I also have to walk in the slop and slush to go from my clinic room to the workshop.  Thus bringing in snow and making the floor wet in my clinic.
But other than that, and the terrifying thought of driving in the snow, its really pretty outside, light fluffy snow fell on me as i walked in to work this morning.  We got about 2 inches last night and its still there now.  I'm hoping for a full on thaw by Thursday but i know that's not going to happen.  It will be a slow drive home.
Hopefully i will brave the roads tonight to get to my spin class, or at least the gym. I have been eating chocolates none stop.  Like really, i have NO self control when it comes to chocolates and free ones, forget it!  I haven't run or anything since Sunday. I'm starting to feel bad, not for not exercising, but because of what I'm eating.  tonight i will sweat though, one way or another!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Minus 8 and new shoes

This morning i got up to do a bit of baking, made some blueberry muffins for my husband and mother-in-law. Unfortunately they didn't turn out as sweet as i know they would prefer them - with their American taste buds - but they are edible which given my lack of GF baking experience and the made up recipe, i'm still pretty pleased with.

Once they were out of the over, and one eaten of course, i donned my cold weather running gear and hunted for my trainers.  They are no where to be found. I used them last on Monday, and since then, we have had a 20 foot container load delivered so i have no idea where they are.  fortunately, i did find a pair of New Balance that i was going to sell.  I got them from work and never wore them, they had tags on still.  I was more desperate to run than the twenty bucks i may get for them on eBay so pulled my foot in to them and wondered why i was willing to give them up. They were comfy and have great traction.  They were perfect for running in the ice and snow that is the outdoors right now.  They don't have much cushion but were just perfect for my run today.  Totally stoked i wore them.

5.7miles 54:10 avg pace 9:31   ------------------ 9.17k

nb: i totally forgot i got up at 6.40 to run 3 miles on Wednesday morning. Totally love it when i find i have worked harder than i thought i have.  I did lamppost to lamppost knee us x3 and also leaping x3.  Good run. yay.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snowed off

Unfortunately my 10k race tomorrow has been cancelled, well postponed until Jan 23rd.  But at least by then i may be a bit faster.  Went in to town today, both Oswestry and Shrewsbury so didn't really get chance to go to the gym. Been entertaining my mother-in-law all day.

I baked some GF muffins and bought goods for more, i'm starting to feel a little like Christmas.  The house even has some decorations up now.  I found them whilst unpacking the numerous other boxes and couldn't resost.  Yes the house is a mess of cardboard, packing paper and furniture in the wrong room, but at least its Christmassy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Too. Much. Paper.

If there one thing i want for Christmas, that is to get a gift that i don't need to unwrap.  Our belongings arrived from America yesterday and i have spent the 5 hours outside work each evening unwrapping it.  Its insane how much paper there is in the house.  I used to like opening packages, but i think the novelty has worn off, for life.

Not managed to work out for two days, but haven't sat still really either.  my back is sore from work and from unpacking.

Roll on the weekend.  Not that it brings much respite.

I'm going to bed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Training plan

Okay, so i think i have pretty much worked out that long term training plans and I are not the hottest couple.  We may be great lovers at first, giving it all to the relationship, even giving a bit more than necessary.  But after the honeymoon period is over, things cool off and we don't like playing by the rules any more.  We skip dates, are unmotivated to do planned tasks and simply stop caring about each other all together in the end.  For this reason i have devised the most basic of training plan.

Monday - Spin class 45-50 mins  Run 20 mins  - My weekly brick session.
Tuesday - Endurance swim session - i will go through the workouts in my book
Wednesday - Run 45 mins Intervals or hills - something gruelling.
Thursday - Rest if i want - swim if i want - run if i want - cycle if i want.
Friday - Force Swim session - i will go through the workouts in my book.
Saturday - Bike outside for one hour plus.
Sunday - Run outside - a long run, slower and at least 50 minutes.

As i am almost doing this already, but with a few skipped session, i think this could be easy to stick to.  I realise i have to increase my intensity as i get better, which is why these are times rather than distances.  And they are flexible.  Also, its only a sprint, the swim is short - 400m so i really want to get my bike skills and endurance increased.  That is where i can make up the most time.  So really, Fridays swim and Thursdays rest/anything day can be interchanged or missed and i won't feel bad.  If i miss a force swim, i will add one to another day.  I really like swimming after doing other things, its so nice to get in the pool after a sweaty session.

Country Smells.

A bit annoyed with myself yesterday, really for knowing my husband better.  I should know that he isn't going to get up early, or even just a bit late when he is adjusting to UK time zones.  I should have brought my workout gear out of the bedroom and got my ass to the gym or out for a run.  He got up at noon, by which time i wanted to do something with him, not exercise. But i'm trying not to beat my self up about missing a few workouts in these first two weeks of him being here.  With the house stuff still to arrive, and his mum coming too, there is bound to be a few missed sessions.

Today I had learnt though and had my stuff ready.  I wanted to do a longer run outside.  I mapped a route which was 5.75 miles.  Next week is my 10K so wanted to get near that mileage.  It was 1C but sunny and fresh.  I love running outside in winter as i have a thing for running tights and skirts.  I feel cute, which i like.  I added my down gilet, hat, shades and ipod and i was off at 10.30am.  The run was serene with very little traffic.  Narrow country roads and the smell of cattle farms. I love living out here.  5.78m in 55:55  avg pace 9:40  (9.30K at 6:01 pace)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm signed up!

Yes, that's right, i found a triathlon in late march and signed up.   I'm SO EXCITED!!!! I got my appointment letter for my hip MRI and its not till Jan 12th so i'm quite sure that i won't be having surgery before March 27th.  I am so stoked that i get to race this season. Its not ideal.  I wanted to have a little more time, especially to get out on my bike on the roads, but i will just have to make sure that i go every weekend that i can.

It is held in Pwllheli, Wales - as if that needed stating with the spelling of it - which is a two hour drive.  Its a pool based tri, which i'm grateful for given the time of the year, and also as its my first triathlon.  The website is a bit sparse of information but its a 400m swim, a 12mile cycle and a 3 mile run.  I have no clue if its a closed road or what the run route is, but quite frankly, i don't care.  I'm just thrilled i'm doing one.  Its so soon!!!

So my training starts now!

Fourteen weeks and counting...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Scared of a Motivation Slump.

If you read back over how i have managed to stay motivated to work out, it's by having a goal of entering a race.  I simply don't work(out) well without a goal. And that goal need to be tangible. Not merely be stronger, loose 10lbs or feel healthier, i want a race bib, perhaps even a medal or t-shirt to go with the pride of finishing something i have worked hard for.

I had my appointment with my consultant about my hip, and he came to the same conclusion as the medical director i briefly spoke to.  The only option is surgery - or nothing of course, but if i want to be pain free, surgery it is.  I was lucky in that i got a bit of a staff bonus by him seeing me so soon - one week instead of 2+ months - but i doubt that he will bump me up his 3-6 month surgical list.  You may think being medical staff i would think to bring or wear shorts to the appointment but no, i just wore loose trousers thinking that may be good enough.  Not that clever me, so a gown it was. Of course then he has to pull up the gown to see my spine and pelvis, with me just in my knickers.  Great, so the guy i work with has now seen my ass! In boy shorts, thank goodness not a g-string day!!

 First i have to have a contrast MRI.  I have a local anaesthetic in my hip area, they inject some contrasting stuff and then i have an MRI.  Doc said to make my hip hurt before they scan so they can see if there is any inflammation or the like. Sure, at least i know exactly how to make it hurt.

After the scan we will meet again and confirm that i want to go ahead with the surgery.  Its a horrible procedure, with many risks.  There are of course the everyday surgical risks of infection, reactions to anaesthesia etc. but also as they have to dislocate my hip and put in under traction to get in to the socket, there is potential for nerve damage through stretching it too far.  And who would choose to have their hip dislocated?? The only nice thing is that its arthroscopic so the scars would be very minimal.

The recovery is the unknown, and i didn't even really discuss it with him.  Its so patient dependent i understand that. I will be keen to work hard, and get back to work and get my fitness back so i will be on the shorter side of recovery times.  But probably 3-4 weeks off work as i read 6 weeks, so i bet i can cut that!

So one of my concerns is this run up to surgery.  I could be in in a few months, say March, or it could be 6 months.  This means that i can not sign up for any triathlons.  Or really any races. I can't afford to waste money even on the cheapest of short running races.  So i'm scared.  I have to keep in the best shape possible to make my surgery less risky my recovery quicker but its just not the same as training for a race.  I am also annoyed that, after a year of training, being the fittest i have ever been - no kidding, surgery is going to take it away. To knock back months of work.  To potentially stop me competing this coming season.  I feel like its just beyond reach, something i have wanted for what seems forever - even though its really only 8 months.  And if i don't get to compete in 2011 then who knows when!  I hope to be pregnant sometime soon also.

I like the idea of maintaining my fitness in case surgery is nearer the summer, then just jumping in on a sprint tri last minute, but as i understand it, they sell out before they start.  I'm guessing i could jump in to a running race late in the game so perhaps concentrating a bit more on my running speed to reduce my 5k or 10k time will keep me motivated.  I am about to sign up for the Telford 10k and plan to find a few more in the winter months.

I will race god damn it!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday night stupor.

I'm currently trying  to motivate myself to go out in the cold and get to the gym.  On Fridays we finish at 4pm so i popped out to the pharmacy to collect my GF food prescription.  I think what i have now will get me through to February, its quite a lot, but i do go through a loaf a week if not more. I also got some pastry mix, so i can bake some mince pies and perhaps a quiche or pie and pasta and crackers too.  I normally don't eat much pasta but with getting home from the gym at 8-8.30 and being hungry and lazy, pasta is the perfect quick food. I dropped in to grab a few bits of food and indulged in some cheese but did grab my gran some biscuits to add to her Christmas hamper.  I'm not much good at waiting to taste new food stuffs so had myself a little snack of crackers and cheese.  Pretty darn good Gorgonzola considering the cheep-ass price!

On Tuesday night i did endurance workout #2 in my book (swimming).   It took me 50 minutes to complete but i missed 225m off the cool down as my goggles leak.  They get worse through the workout and it gets too frustrating to keep adjusting them. I plan on buying some more tomorrow. I'm happy with a 2275m workout and the time flew by.  I really like having a plan. That book really made swimming even more fun.

Last night i ran 8K. I am going to run the Telford 10K on Dec 19th so need to increase my distances over the next few weeks.  Also, i need to do more running.

So, how to i get myself out the door tonight?  How do you convince yourself to go back out once in the warmth of the home?