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.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Shrove Tuesday: Pancake Day. I ate too many.  That is all i have to say.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The word is Result!

The official result is only one second faster than my timed result.
The result of running a HM and thinking  you can do a sub 2hr after seeing you have only 3 miles to go and only 1:35 has passed, is the pain i have every time i try to stand, try to climb stairs and try to stand up from a crouch - which with my job happens all the time apparently - who knew!
The result of my HM is exactly the same, to the second, as Fearne Cotton's (BBC radio 1 DJ) HM she ran yesterday in Bath.  (i really want to do that one, its flat and fast)

The result of a small hole in my arm - one pint of dark red blood donated.
The result,  saving a life, satisfaction and a packet of crisps.
The result of getting my bike out to go to work - 10 minutes off my travel time, ten minutes extra in bed.
The result of the first day back to work when the week off was spent close to home: like i was never gone.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ellesmere Half Marathon

Waking up at a normal time to run a HM is really nice.  Nothing like 4am that was necessary for the Chicago one.  A 10 minute drive and a little walk from the free car park was all it took to get me to the start. Me and less than 100 others.  There was a 5 mile race on too, we all did the first loop then us HMers did a 7 mile different loop, in the country, mostly closed roads and where itwasn't, very quite back roads.  It was so quiet, so few people.  There was no big finish, no clock, no medals or t-shirts, no flyers for other races or running shops.  Just a simple cup of water at the end.  Not complaining or bigging it up. Just saying.

I tried my hardest to set off conservatively but the adrenalin that gushed through my body as soon as the start was announced was taking over a bit.  It was rather sudden. I felt no race nerves or excitement, nothing different then literally, as soon as i pressed Start on Sally i could feel the adrenalin rush.  I focused and tempered it, and going up hill helped me keep my speed down so the first few miles were about what i hoped i'd run at.  I felt like i was slacking somewhere around mile 5 and 6 but those hills!  It was a really undulation course, there was very little flat. There were 4 big hills and we're not talking short or little. I know you can skew these graphs to make them look worse, but the difference in speed really makes it apparent that the hills were a bitch! But i know i can run up them, so its mental toughness thing.  I won't allow myself to walk.

My Splits:
1:  09:31
2:  09:16
3:  09:33
4:  09:44
5:  09:53
6:  09:28
7:  09:07
8:  08:53
9:  08:30
10  09:50
11: 08:55
12: 09:13
13: 08:12
                          .16: 01:15  (at 07:32 pace)

So my end time is a bit of a shocker.  Given that i had 6 weeks to train for this, i was aiming for 2:10 with a pie in the sky time of 2:05 so to come in under that was euphoric.  I was pleased as punch!  I AM pleased as punch.  I wanted to run another half marathon to get a sub 2 hour.  I planned to run the Lichfield one in May, to train properly to aim for an average pace of 9:00.  Given my under-trained-for HM in Chicago that was completely flat and i got a 2:10:44 i never thought on hills i would beat that time by 9 minutes!!

So i now have the itch again, or rather still for the sub 2hr half.  There is the Lake Vyrnwy Half in September which is completely flat, i plan on doing that, i'm now totally confident that i can get my sub 2hr there.  But, maybe i want to do it before then.....

p.s the word today is SUPER HERO

Saturday, March 5, 2011


In a word and today's word is Birthday!!  

My birthday!

My parents are visiting but only because we want them to look at a house we want to buy.  This whole process is a big crassulent pain.  We want to add a garage but need access to a private road. It may prevent us from buying the most perfect house :(  still, i want dad to have look at it and see if we can do what we want to the property.


Jeff and I celebrated last night because i’m running the Ellesmere half marathon tomorrow.  We went to dinner and i had a few ciders.  It doesn't take me much to get drunk any more as i really don't drink frequently.   I was really feeling three Magners by the time mum and dad arrived to pick us up. They arrived late after we had eaten and took us home, saved us a fiver on a taxi which was nice.


The food was really really good.  They know how to deal with gluten free which is fantastic.  I decided to go for a main and desert and hubby had all three – greedy guts!  But i drank more Winking smile


Today we went for a walk around Whittington Castle before the house showing.  Its a tiny little ruins but worth a quick visit.  The house is still perfect.  We then went out for lunch, in the same pub we had dinner in. I really don’t mind eating in the same place when the food is so very delicious.
Last nights roast pork belly was so good i almost ordered it again.  I am quite limited in there but i ended up having pan fried sea bass which was delectable. The veg served in there is very good too, really fresh and well cooked not reheated watery crap you often get in pubs.  I totally recommend The White Lion in Whittington.

Mum made me a birthday bake – of sorts.  Banana muffins.

And she bought me flowers, the daffodils you see and some lovely tulips too.


It was fun to blow out candles, its been along time since i did that.



Over all, a lovely birthday celebration.  Right now i’m smelling the amazing aroma of corned beef* and cabbage that Jeff has been making for the last two weeks.  Looking forward to dinner i can tell you.
Tomorrows race is not until 11am so i don’t have to have an early night or anything but just need to make sure everything is prepped before i go to bed.

Chat after my race.  Good night.

*American style corned beef that they make on St. Patricks day, not the stuff that comes out of a can and is all fatty.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spreadsheets rule my workouts.

Pink means its a race day.  Green to designate the start of the week.  Lighter green (not shown) indicates its a recovery week.  Red days were rest days.

So i added the 18 week training plan to my spread sheet (on the right hand side).  I am going to try to stick to it.  Mostly my aim is to get the right miles and quality workouts correct but also to try to do the workouts on the right days so i have proper rest between types of exercise  It mostly works out well as i was attending spin classes on Mondays and Wednesdays and liked those days.  By the time the week day rides get longer, i will be able to move them on to the roads as it will be lighter enough after work.

After week 12 there are no rest days. I do't think that will fly with me but i will plan to have just one rest day in those weeks, never more than.  I'm sure life will get in the way at points and i'm fine with that happening.  Its my first season, i'm doing it for fun.  It has to stay fun and not a chore.

I'm pretty sure my body will change some more and that is a big motivator for me, so i'm going to track it too. I think an additional page on my spreadsheet is necessary: Page of Mecography*


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Okay Okay, i'll plan!

Its been niggling at me that i haven't got a training plan.  I have my reasons, mainly as history has shown me that i am useless at sticking it one.  But also because i workout to feel good.  I'm racing to enjoy myself, so i want to enjoy my training.  I fear that if i am told to do say, running on a day i really feel like swimming on, then i will stop loving it.

But as i wrote out the distances for the Olympic triathlon i'm doing in July, it really hit home how far it is.  It scared me a bit and i have reconsidered a training plan.  Its easy to think you are doing enough, even that you are doing more than you think.  I tally all my workouts, on daily mile and on a spreadsheet, but its too late to look at the week and realise that i haven't run or swam enough, i need to have something to work towards to ensure i am doing the right distances.

So, i am loosely going to follow the 18 week Olympic for intermediates. I realise that i am a beginner but the plan for that would have me doing shorter distances than i do now so feels wrong.  And i say loosely as i plan to use the distances as guides as opposed to strictly follow the days to do things.

I feel that if i can at least maintain the increases in running distances, types or runs/swims and cycling miles then it will allow me to compete at the level i want to. I want to race it as well as i can, without taking all the fun out and taking it all too seriously.

Here is what February looked like for me:

You see, i didn't notice i hadn't swam in that long at the beginning of the month.  This was just before i started this spreadsheet.  Glad i did, DailyMile is great, but this is easier to track details.  Again, i need to swim, time flies and if i'm not going to the gym to spin or run, like now when i can go outside as i'm at home in the day, then swimming can easily be forgotten for a week without me even knowing.

So as i fill my succisive* hours with more and more training i will be confident that it will all be worth it in the end.  When i cross the finish line after swimming 1500m in the sea, cycling 38km of the welsh coastline and running 10km, i know i did it to the best of my ability and enjoyed the whole process that got me there.

Succisive : of spare or extra time

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just go on the ride and stop thinking about it!

Yesterday was a bit of a success failure mix.  I couldn't sew the top i wanted as i have lost the pattern i was going to use and going to buy one wasn't going to happen.  I got my machine out and did sew some running mittens however.  Also a head band with little ipod pocket so its neat and out of my way.  I'm really pleased with that.  The mittens are a semi success.  I wanted something that i could take off but not carry. My hands get cold for the first mile or so then they warm up a lot and gloves end up being too warm and get sweaty.  If i'm running long, my hands then get cold again, especially if the temp drops and my fingers start to hurt.  I asked for running/cycling gloves for Christmas and got some great ones, but they are too warm to run in.  So..... i sewed these mittens that i can slip my hand out of and fold under the wrist band that stays on my wrist.  Therefore i don't have to carry them, they are ready to be pulled back on at any moment.  They aren't exactly what i had planned, but function just fine.

As for cycling, i didn't go.  It wasn't until today, after i made the effort to go out for a ride that i realised why i was so fed up yesterday.  I didn't really do much yesterday. Mooched around the house, half contemplating going out for a ride but generally just killing time on the net, baking some muffins, sitting around.  I thought i was enjoying myself at times but in the background was the feeling of being fed up.

So today came, i got my bike out for the first time on the roads in AGES.  It was chilly so i used my head band, gloves and new bike wind breaker jacket.  I pumped up my tyres, loaded my saddle bag and changed my seat height up a notch.  I mapped out a route of 16 miles and headed out.  

Cursing myself for not putting my balaclava on, my face was so cold.  As my rosy cheeks acclimatised my hands started to get cold.  The gloves are good, but not that good.  Eventually my hands were okay again, once the warm blood got pumping through them again.  But then my feet started to feel the cold.  I haven't got round to putting my bike shoes and clips on* so was wearing my running trainers. That breath-ability we long for in running shoes just lets cold air stream in like i'm standing under a freezer fan when on a bike.  By half way through the ride they were painfully cold and my 3/4 i couldn't feel them any more.

Never the less, I really enjoyed my 16.71 miles.  The roads were fine, not too busy. I didn't have to stop for any traffic lights, in fact, i only went through one set - boy do i love living in the country! I was sweaty and burned 900+ calories and felt fantastic. 

Jeff and i then had lunch, i made a prandicle** and preceded to eat two portions. Cycling makes me hungry!  We then popped in to town to the market to grab some veg.  Popped in to the Halifax to inquire about a mortgage and had a lovely day.  It was in town, i had a little spring in my step.  It could have been the sun shinning in my face, my husbands hand in mine, but i really believe that a great deal was due to my bike ride.  I really do enjoy it when i have started the day with a good workout.  It gives me a high all day. There is nothing like it.

I'll do best to remember that i never regret a workout, only the ones i miss.
After every workout i feel good. 

*The shoes i have are not really mine, they are loaners from the bike shop that i got my bike from 9 months ago who still have yet to provide me with shoes and clips of my own, that i paid for.  He says he cound't get my size and was waiting for the 2011 line to come out(said this in June 2010).  I'm not complaining any more as the shoes he gave me are his race shoes and way more expensive than the ones i assume i will eventually get.  They are in really good condition and very light.  He is very forgetful, so i'm guessing he will only realise that i am still waiting for my shoes when he enters a race and can't find his stuff.  

Prandicle: small meal

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Day 1

I'm on holiday this week.  Its lovely to have time off at home.  I love my job, i have mentioned this before and i'm likely to say it again too.  Its a great job.  But its also nice to be on holiday away from it too.  I chose my career because of its artistic and somandric* nature.  I have always enjoyed making things.  I used to make my own clothes - not very well, but i still wore them.  Actually, i say i have always been, but really, my memory is so very poor, i find it difficult to remember much of my childhood so really i am referring to my teens and older.  I have also always been interested in anything related to the human body and its functions.

Aspiring to become a silver smith, fashion designer, interior designer, garden designer, architect, handbag designer, greeting card maker and long distance truck driver, i ended up being an Orthotist.  Yes, i said a long distance truck driver.  After a trip to California at thirteen seeing those chrome adorned trucks, big enough to live in, housing a mini life on shiny wheels.  I wanted to cross the extensive barren country, stopping in dusty towns, eating apple pie in roadside diners with tumble weed blowing by.  Moving on to high-reaching cities, bustling streets and fast-food giants on every corner (not that i ever really aspired to eat at them). I wanted to sleep in my truck and drive the country over and over and over.  But mostly it was the chrome of the trucks.

But i ended up an Orthotist.  
And i'm really freaking glad too.

And i'm glad i'm on holiday.  Sitting at home, not feeling like i have to go somewhere to really make use of the time.  When working in America, i never felt this relaxed with taking time off at home.  In fact, i NEVER took time off to be at home.  With such a ridiculously pitiful amount of annual leave, there were no relaxing at home days. I would make every hour of those holidays work for me. I would always schedule my flights in the evening and work that day. I would fly home arriving late and work the next day.  No time at home to regroup.  But now, with 28 days a year as opposed to 15 (i negotiated a extra 5 days - i should have got 10 for the first 5 years - how anyone manages on ten i have no idea!) i sit here after quite a productive day; house viewings, a bit of shopping and an eight mile run quite content.   Tomorrow i plan on doing nothing more than a bike ride and making a blouse (we will see how that goes - just coz nothings planned...).  I have had the fabric for ages, and now its time to sew.

NaBloPoMo : Somandric - Pertaining to the human body.

Monday, February 28, 2011

NaBloPoMo - March

Regarding my previous post, i'm still undecided, but in the mean time, i like NaBloPoMo's theme this month.

I signed up to National Blog Posting Month a few years ago (and still get the monthly email), and perhaps even once got through a few days of one.  I haven't tried since then.  The principal is you use their theme for the month and post every day relating to it.  I have never posted every day, but it has always been something i aspire to do, at least once.  Not a massive aspiration i know, very achievable you would think.  Well i'm going to give it a try.  It will take some planning at times, as i know i won't be able to get to a pc for a few of those days (hmmm, can i text in, i think so...).  I am also turning it in to International BloPoMo - Unsure why it would be National in the first place, given the nature of the internet *shrug*.

So tomorrow i will be posting for 31 days in succession.  Fingers crossed.  To keep with the theme, i really liked this site they recommended. Save the words. Perhaps i will use it everyday to grab a word and relate it to my training or life in general.  Same blog, with a little extra background theme.

Today though, a tapered long run. Thinking 8 miles.  My HM is on Sunday so don't want to over do it, but only got in 3.75 yesterday.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not so Lazy Sunday

Up too early this morning - 7am - due to falling asleep on the sofa at 10pm reading my new cycling magazine.  Still, it took me until 9:20 to get ready to go on my long run.  Jeff still not up either.

It was a cool morning but just right for tights, new running skirt (i have the preppy black and an aqua/green one - today was the aqua/greens premier run), a sleeveless then long sleeved cold weather top.  No rain predicted.  I used my Fuel belt with two bottle in it and a packet of chews.  I had my turn sheet to avoid any extra miles as this was already long enough.  12.2 miles mapped out.

Same as last week its mile 8 that i start feeling it in my calves.  But i kept a steady pace through out and managed to push it at the end again too.  I really like to finish strong and every run i do i pick up the pace at the end.  I'm really starting to get a good feel of what i can manage, how much i can push for how long.  It was about mile 9 that i started pushing harder.  This basically equates to me not becoming slower in the end, but that's just fine.  When i'm doing shorter distances i tend to up the pace for the second half and near the end really go for it, the last few minutes are often a sprint.

We just went to view a house and its lovely. I would put an offer in today!  We just need to find out if we could build a garage as unfortunately that is a must for his classic car.  I have a feeling we will miss out on this house because of that, so i'm not getting my hopes up.

Instead, i'm making more marmalade.  Today its light golden and thin shred.  The house smells delicious.

So, on to label designing.  And more house hunting on the net.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blissful Swimming and Golden Sticky Deliciousness.

Oh beautiful empty pool, how i love you.  I was shocked at the peace and quiet in there yesterday after work.  I got my side lane that i like, up against the wall.  I remembered every thing to swim - cozzy, pull-bouy, watch and drink - flipped my book open and it landed on a workout i was happy to try - sometimes i flick to get one that suits my mood. I hadn't swam in 2 weeks, the pool was closed for 5 days and it had been so busy i was hesitant to go back, i get annoyed at inconsiderate swimmers all doing breaststroke and not leaving a lane for fast folks.  I had also been concentrating on running for a bit, so i was totally expecting this swim to be harder.  I felt like i had been training for years. I had an amazing workout. I loved the swim set, it was interesting and fun. Just fab!

Warm up
200 crawl  4x25 concentrating on distance per stroke
Main set
200 @T + 5sec  30RI
100 @ T x3  15RI
Bonus 1min rest
12x50 odd easy even fast. 15RI
Repeat set once

I added in 150m of pullboy as i was feeling so damn gooood!
Cool down 225 crawl
Total = 2625m

A woman interrupted me to ask about my book.  It really is great.  A really decent amount of workouts, great practical size for the pool side (A6) and of course the waterproof nature because its pages are actually plastic. I never dry it off, just leave it in the bottom of my bag.

I have finally got labels for my Marmalade.  And i have a new addiction.  Not to eating it, but making it (and giving some away), well okay, i really like to eat it too - or what would be the point!  I already have more oranges and plan on buying more this weekend. I want more of the dark and chunky but also want to make some lighter thin shred too.

It is the most satisfying thing i have done in ages. 

At least as satisfying as the cushions i made a few weeks ago.

One large brown teadybear soft brown one, two Pringle, one yellow and a bolster.
 All in a weekends work :)
This weekend is house viewings!  Can't wait!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recover on the Climb!

That's what she said, mid-way through the spin class after a sprint section.  No rest, just straight on our feet climbing - supposedly recovering!  She was tough on us.  And to end was two sprints in a row as the ipod jumped so we missed the long slow climb.  Not that would be any easier to end a session with, but come on, 2 successive sprints, Bitch!

There was one guy in front of me and he was hot.  Not eye candy hot, just hot.  I opened a window about 20 minutes in, as did the instructor and this guy was steaming. I thought it would last a few seconds or so, but it was constant. It was crazy to see.  Everyone was sweating, but he was literally steaming, not just a little but like a power station.  True physics in action.

In review of last weeks training, i love this graph:

I accidentally ran every day.  It wasn't intentional, just happened.  Tuesday and Thursday were bricks, Wednesday was an easy TM run, testing out the knee, Friday was just a quick run, Saturday fartleks and Sunday my long run.

I rested yesterday.  And didn't run tonight.

Tomorrow though, back on that mill :)

You too could win, but i want to!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Splits

Really happy with these splits.  The mile 5 and 7 had decent up hill sections and i picked it up in the last couple of miles.  Mile 8 was when i started to feel fatigue and lactic acid build up.  Over all, a pleasing run considering it rained the whole way.
Making marmalade. This is day one.  Poach fruit, boil pulp, squeeze out pectin and chop rind.
Day two is today, dissolve sugar, simmer until it will set - about 3 hours, jar.
Tomorrow, eat!!

There are many things i love about running, but up at the top of the list has to be cute
running skirts and new shoes.  I bought this skirt with the $75 gift card i won on Dailymile
(spare change for a sale 2nd skirt on sale too).
The weather was so lovely i wore it with no running tights.  Great day.

Curious about what this would say about my run yesterday. I did my usual route but in Fartleks. It ended up with an average pace of 8:10.  I'm doing a half marathon in 3 weeks, but i hardly think i will do a sub 2 hours. But, i wont be properly trained either.  This does state that my 10k time is actually over my personal best though. This makes me want to run a 5K to see how i would actually do.

Would you believe me if i told you i didn't realise how dirty my trainers were?
 I had no idea until i got my new ones.  They are a little white aren't they?!
As an Orthotist i find this very interesting (i look at the wear patterns of all my patients shoes), but even just a runner, its nice to be able to see what kind of runner you are.  These clearly show that i a a mid-foot runner.  There is basically no ware on the heels. The red arrows are to show that these areas are not worn, they just didn't have the blue on them. There is about 2mm of tread missing from these sections. I do love these shoes, i was properly fitted for them, but that was before i knew what kind of runner i was.  Though i have just repeated them (almost - new one are Cumulus 12 the old were 11's) but for my next shoe purchase i will investigate if there is a better shoe to provide mid-foot cushioning.  Until then, i need to dirty up my new ones so you can't see me in the dark!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Gone Mad!!!

I have gone a tad crazy with the old credit card and signed up for not one, not two but three races tonight!!

First off, the 1500m sea swim in Llandudno.  This is held on June 18th and is the same sea swim to the standard distance Sea Triathlon i also signed up for.  I am crazy.  At least that is the general consensus of opinion on facebook right now.  I'm inclined to agree.

Not entirely sure as to why i choose to do a sea swim Tri for my first standard distance, but the fact i get to practice the swim made it seem less crazy.  That and its not too far away and just the right time of year i guess.

But before then, i am doing the Pwllheli Sprint which is a 400m pool swim, 20k bike and 5k run. That's on March 27th.  Then on May 22nd I am doing the Cheshire Sprint.  Also a pool swim, but 500m then 20k bike and 5k run.  For this i have company, Katy is joining me and we may have a friend from London come up to support us, which would be superb.

So it really just seemed like the natural progression to do the next distance event.  What can i say. I need races to motivate me.  I now have races to do that.  My god do i have races planned.  I also have the Ellesmere half marathon in 4 weeks, and my knee is still bothering me a bit.  There is also a little 10k trail run on April 10th which i may do.

I haven't signed up for the Lichfield HM on May 1st.  I'm gonna wait to see how things go.  There are plenty of HMs i could do if i'm so desperate to do one.  I really want to get a sub 2hr, but my focus has just shifted. I'm sure you get why!

So right now, i am shitting bricks!! I know if i train hard, i can complete them all.  And hopefully even compete in them too, as opposed to just finishing.  Bring it on!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Five Things Friday

1. Did 30 boring tiresome frustrating minutes on the elliptical then started browsing cardio machines. They used to have one that simulates running, with no impact but it appears to have been removed.  I'd been craving that machine from 5 minutes in on the elliptical.  So i was kinda at a loss of what to do. I got on the stair stepper, and didn't even get to the quick start, then got on the gliding one. Managed 3.44 of that before i got off. Then i noticed folks going in to the spinning room and dashed downstairs to see if there were any spaces left. Yippee! yes there were.  I had time to choose a bike and get my arm weights done and a 5 minute warm up before class.  Really glad it was on as i expect i would have wandered around getting frustrated i couldn't fun and then, well hopefully gone for a swim.  But spin class is DISCO SPIN on a Friday night so was a little different and super busy.  So, i think i am just going to go to every spin class they hold next week!

2.  On Wednesday i left my earrings on the treadmill.  And can you believe it, someone nicked them!  Really, like, you want someone's earrings? Really?  They weren't anything special, little oblong hoops with tiny acorns, all patina'd silver, pretty cheap thank god, but i liked them a lot.  They were the second thing i have left at the gym and its not been handed in.  So from now on, i am taking off all my jewellery before i leave the house. Especially my watch. I always put it in my locker, but what if one day i forgot to lock that, it would be just my luck the opportunistic thieves that are at my gym would half inch it!

3. My husband is bribing me with my new shoes.  I'll let you use your imagination what he wants for them ;)

4. I have been convinced in to running a HM in March.  Its just up the road in Ellesmere, only £11 and why the hell not eh?  Well, under trained and a knee issue, but lets forget that.  Its on rolling hills, so i know i won't get a sub 2 hour. In fact i will be lucky to get close to my 2:10:44 for my last one.  That was all flat.  But it will be fun.  Leanne is running it, a girl from work, and i'd imagine that we will be about the same pace.  She did her first HM the same day i did mine, hers in England though and got a 2:05:??.  She hasn't been training that much for it so i think we will probably run it together.  That will be a very new experience for me. I'm not used to running with anyone at all.  In fact, i have only ever been on one run with someone, that was my bro about 6 months ago.

5. My BIB for the Virtual 10k I am doing on March 8th.  2 days after my HM in fact. I guess it will be my recovery run on the treadmill then.

Have a great weekend.  I'm making marmalade and friends are visiting on Sunday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I will admit to being a total gadget freak and also a spreadsheet and graph addict when it comes to exercise.  If i couldn't track my workouts down to the minute, second, calorie and stroke, i wouldn't be half as motivated.  Not sure what it is that makes it so important, but it is, and i'll take anything to make working out easier.  If you recall, i started this blog to help with motivation, to keep me focused.

I have all the gadgets: a Garmin Forerunner 305 - wouldn't dream of running without it, a Poolmate swim watch - how did i manage to count laps before?; a odometer on my bike and a dailymile account - one of 2 digital forms i log in to, the other being on my ipod touch in a running log app.   So i can easily track what i am doing, though both have negatives.

So i decided to start a simple spread sheet.  I do love Google Docs and i have a ton of spreadsheets for all sorts of stuff on GDocs.  GF muffin recipe trials; expenses; LadyCorpus inventory (which is my label for bags i make and sell). and training plans of past.  As you can see below, its pretty simple but easily gives me monthly totals and clearly shows my rest days. I'm not so happy with this part.  I can see now that i am not working quite as hard as i would like.  My ipod app has a rest day on the calender but its been out of action for a month now: the battery is so dead it wont charge, so i haven't noticed my streak of rest days this month.

When i do work out , i work out hard, but i need to be more frequent.  February, i will make it so.

I'd definitely like to be getting higher running mileage than that, but currently i'm getting some knee pain and couldn't run on Wednesday. I did the elliptical instead and had no problems.  My colleague physio who is an avid runner immediately asked how old my shoes were.  Well, yeah, they are 500-600 miles old, over a year, they are my first pair i bought a year ago.  So i have some new ones on order - Hubby is bringing them from the States so until then, i will be doing less running and nothing for a week i think, well, at least 4 more days, then i may just have to try!

 But for sure, definitely LESS rest days in February!!

Fridge Magnet

Not necessarily wanting an 'area' with my running/racing bibs or medals hung, i kept moving them around especially since moving house.  Finding the Chicago HM medal, stuffed in a draw but thinking that its such a nice looking medal, frustrated me once again. Then POOF! a light bulb went on.  I can turn it in to a fridge magnet.  Where it can then sit, so i see it every day, yet it's discrete and not in your face.  Perfect.

I don't imagine i will put all my medals up there, but the cool looking ones or important ones. Right now, just this one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


That is how many calories i (supposedly) burnt off tonight.  I think i made up for last nights laziness. I did the hour spin class (880cal) then 15 minutes of running 9:14 pace 2.61K (193cal) then 15 minutes of hill intervals 2.61k at 9.14 pace (200cal).

I then came home and ate this.

Which is terrible healthy.  Miso soup with 1/3 red bell pepper, one celery stick, one pak choi, seaweed, rice noodles and a diced slice of tofu.  The bowl is really pretty large, and i didn't realize how many noodles i had added, along side everything else. I didn't think i was going to finish it, but 30 minutes later it was gone.  Now i'm a fast eater, souper fast eater in fact, so for anything to take 30 minutes for me to eat, it has to be big, and souper hot.

It was definitely both.  And guilt free too.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little lighter. A lot shapelier.

As i do not want to post pictures of my actual bottom, but wanted to pass on some good news, i tried to draw a picture in Paint.  I'm that sad yes, i photograph myself almost naked to see if there are ever any changes.

I know i'm a bit thinner, but i'm still in the same size clothes mostly, i'm almost the same weight too.  But thanks to these completely embarrassing pictures i can see the changes that my body has made. Or rather, that i have made to my body.

Proportionally the diagram above shows too much of a size difference, but the shape change is pretty spot on.  My butt is definitely more pert. I have a much nice shape to my inner thighs and i have significantly reduced my saddle bags.  You can see the fat i want to get rid of in the MRI.  This area was a lot bigger, i suffer from very distinct additional fat cells in that area.

Today helped me continue on the reshaping journey. I ran 8.58m in 1:19:57 an average pace of 9:19.  I'm really pleased with that.  And i got negative splits as i managed to keep it slow at first. Its the longest i have run in a long time and i managed a 9:20 pace!  I am training for a half marathon. I think i'm going to do the Lichfield one on May 1st so there is a bit of time to go, but id like to get to the double figure long runs pretty soon, so i can focus on making them faster. I want a sub 2 hour HM so that will require a (quick flip tabs to a pace calculator) 9:05 ave pace.  My September HM where i was only 7 weeks in to my 13 week training schedule averaged at 9:58 so i feel its achievable.

The Hip Thing.

I am still waiting on the radiologist report and the consultant appointment to discuss the results, but i think i have made a decision.  And that would be to not have surgery.  I was so excited at the prospect of eliminating the pain for good, my vision was blurred with a life of pain free driving.  But in the cold hard light of day, the risks of the surgery are quite great.

Arthrogram.  They inject anesthesia and contrast in to your joint cavity.  This is it happening to me.  So cool.
It's not an easy surgery and the fact that only one surgeon in one of the best orthopaedic hospitals in the UK does it, gives you an idea of its specialism.  I haven't yet found out how many surgery of this type he has done, that i would do before going ahead  It's a relatively new procedure.  The risk comes from then dislocating your hip and putting it under traction.  You can trap and/or stretch nerves causing damage and also arteries and veins.   You could loose function or sensation.  These could be temporary or permanent Those on top of the every day risks of surgery. Infection, allergic reaction to anaesthesia, you know, the usual suspects.

So i had to decide, if the potential for any of those things, is worse than the pain i get when driving.  It seems it is not.  I can not stand the idea that i will have to spend a life time of taking pain pills to drive anywhere of length, but lets face it, there are a lot of folks whose pain is a daily thing, who take pain meds all the time.  I have an aversion to pain meds and treatment in general.  I have never been one to take a paracetamol if i get a head ache. I don't even use plasters (band-aides) when i have a cut - unless it really needs it.

The contrast injected makes the MRI more successful. 
I got dumped by my American GP because i wouldn't go for his annual check up (i would have had to pay for it all due to my insurance policy)  I wrote him a letter telling him i was healthy, exercised 4 times a week, am aware that my range of motion in my joints was fine as i am medical staff (one of the listed tests!), that i had my follow up with my GI doc (for my coeliac) and i was doing fine.  That i had my life insurance medical and that it came back i was A* healthy - the top category.  He didn't care, he wanted to do tests, take blood, make money off me.  He wouldn't give my vaccines for work if i didn't do the annual check up. I complained to the ones up high and promptly got a letter from his surgery dumping me from his 'care'. Good riddance.

So, the most awesome thing about this decision is that i can continue training with gusto and enter some more triathlons this year.  Also, i want to do a half marathon and another couple 10Ks.  And, we can start to make babies when we planned.  Yippee.