Sunday, 26 August 2007

Not taking it easy. Now feeling v sleepy.

Crikie - this week has flown past. Rather than blog-as-I-went I'm now left trying to fill in all the details. It's been all exercise this week - and a little work. I think there has been a bit of a manic attempt to regain some fitness - it seems to be working.

24th August
Hill run . 33min . terrible pace . lungs were dead at the end . it was hot and sunny . nuff said

25th August
TheO had another tennis match (which she won ... now in 2 club finals v v proud) so I pottered off to the gym. In an effort for balance, and having done some crappy hill work and a long slow run, I thought I might try some speedwork.

5k in 27.09
stood on treadmill with timer stopped for 1min
9.40 for 1.1miles
stood on treadmill for 1min with timer stopped

3 fast miles but with gaps - was really quite pleased with that. It was a proper workout.
Followed that with a weights session. Got to go and sit in the sunshine and watch the end of the match - bliss.

26th August - TODAY
TheO is picking up their triathlon training and went for a swim and gym today. It was too much - I had to go to the gym again. I thought I might take it easy. I didn't.
Gym session all machines incl hip machine, all on a good level of effort; loads on the tummy machine.
1/2 mile on elliptical machine - a good 6min warm up.
Then a fast mile on running machine at 1% - 7.42 ... thought it was my fastest mile ever so was a wee bit gutted to discover it was 9 seconds slower. However - it was a v hard but controlled run where I felt I could have run more at the end (albeit at a slower pace), finally managed to control my breathing - loved it! Stretched out.

Came home, had some omlette and a nap in front of the footie.

Going away on Monday 'til Friday - whiskey tour of Scotland with TheO and her brother and sister-in-law. Desperately hoping I'll fit in some running. Wont see a gym though. Bugger. Have to keep this streak going.

I hope everyone had a good w/end.

ps/ Will post more on this later but what do people think about the categories used sometimes in the US for heavier (regardless of build/height) competitors: Athena and Clydesdale - would people like to see that category used here as an incentive for larger runners? It tends to be a voluntary category - you choose if you want to be part of it, but you choose when registering.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Just about recovered.

Yesterday I was, quite literally, too tired to type.
You know what it's like - the sun is shining, you're feeling remarkably perky; you make a rash decision.

Ran the delightful bike path to St Andrews.
7 miles - 1.15.32

Average 10.48 p/mile
Sunny with light breeze hot but not too hot as there were great shade patches to run in - so sunny ultimately I almost burnt one shoulder and the rest of me went lovely and golden. :)
9.41 - good - downhill
10.16 - good
10.36 - good
11.18 - wtf
10.54 - average Took a gel at 5 miles in - helped immensely (not that the time shows it).
10.54 - average
11.49 - can you tell I haven't done this in a while?

5k in 31.40 - delighted
10k in 1.05.40 - less than delighted

3 min slower overall than 10wks ago

Good news - no blistering/rubbing or irritation from orthoses - so the aterations have worked their magic.

I was delighted by this run. It was slower than ideal but I didn't want to die at the end. My heart and lungs bore up extremely well. I managed to relax and just enjoy.

That was just the beginning of my day though:

Beach walk with dogs - tide was right out so took them further than usual - they were delighted. It was great to walk barefoot and wash my feet in the sea. Then, as TheO had come into town and picked me up (forever grateful) I said I'd pop to the gym with them.
3 x 12 reps on all machines and 80 tummy reps. Really pushed my arms but did lighter than usual on the legs. My shoulders and pecs are complaining this morning.
At teh end of the gym I finally hit the wall of sleepy. I was sitting on the arm curl machine and realised that the elbow support was just the right height to put my head on ... I think I drifted off for a minute or two.

Slept like the dead.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Through the pain...

It was only hormone induced pain, carefully controlled by a half dose of Paramol (hmmmmm, gooood). But yesterday I decided that I needed a longer exercise session.

1 sweaty hour later I was done. 60 min on the elliptical machine. As usual the distance bit was bust - but I'd be impressed if it was even as far as 5 miles. The point was not to worry about time, or distance, and just keep moving for a whole 60min. (It's been 2 months since I did a session that long! Crivens!)

The first 40min were a little slow, I occasionally wondered: if I was outside if the speed I was doing could actually be called 'walking'? Pah - banish those thoughts. The last 20min were both faster and felt more productive. This not only reminded me why I enjoy distance running (more relaxing, get into a rhythm, less pressure) but made me realise that I will be able to get the milage up again. Not a massive breakthrough but a good session. Used the 'weight-loss' setting so it oscillated between 3 and 5 resistance for the entire time, worked the legs well.

Got the body working and feel fine today. Might even go for a run later.

Friday, 17 August 2007

I'm all about the statistics.

As TheO went off to play a tennis match (and win :) ) I decided to go for another run and to test out my newly adjusted orthoses.

I managed 4 miles without stopping today. Was delighted. Finally managed to relax and enjoy my run. I'm not quite up to pace but I managed to keep my overall pace to 10.29 a mile. Whilst going through this new adjustment phase I've been busy looking for statistics to cheer me up.

Since this all started on Aug 1st 2006 the longest I have been without an exercise session (be it a good invigorating walk, a yoga session, swim, run etc) is:
7 days in August '06 (really horrid cold)
7 days in August '07 (no excuse really)
This is a huge and almost unimaginable change from 1996-2006.
Holding on to the positives really makes me see how it can all come together in the end.
I've run for the first time for 3 days in a row this week... my legs can tell and I'm delightfully tired.
The orthoses need another adjustment, but luckily my podiatrist is a really, lovely woman and no minor alteration is too much trouble. I can't recommend the service highly enough.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

The good and the bad.

Did 5k in 31.00
Then did mile 4 in 11min as I walked for 2 min during it. Am pansy arsed.
It was brilliant to go for a run with my pooch again. She really loved it, and put me to shame.

Recovery was good. Heart and lungs were much improved on yesterday. No hills really helped.

Set off about 40min too late (for me reg. food) and it was quite warm at mile 4.

Total: 4 miles in 41.20 so 10.20 per mile on average... not great but not too bad.

However I can't believe this crappy run-walk thing that's happening. I've always run, or not; but never walked unless a MAJOR stitch literally stopped me. Really need to build up my stamina again so I can run 10k in 60min and then 8 miles in 80 min ..... this might take some time. Feeling so unfit made me feel unsafe which really pissed me off.

But - thank god for logs and blogs. I looked back and discovered that a year ago I bought my first running trainers. I was delighted at being able to run for 15min without stopping and I was a good three weeks away from being able to run 5k. The fitness will come back, it will just take time. I should be pleased that after a month without any running I can still complete 5k. Also, I've finally had my easy month for the year. Onwards and upwards, if I go at the same rate as last year I should be up to half distance by November. Bliss

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The weight of expectation and fried breakfasts.

A run, a real run. (A bloody awful, rubbish, walking run.)

5K - 31.26

average pace 10.09

ran 1st mile then had to walk for 1min up the worst hill section
ran 1/2 mile then walked for 1min up a hill section
ran the rest.

Muscles feel good.
Heart and lungs feel v bad, lungs in particular are cough ridden now and feel constricted.
Heart was working too hard - well harder than I'm used to.

Expected better fitness than this - who knows why when in the last month all I've done is:
slow 4miler
slow 2.5 miles
40 length swim
30 length swim
22 length swim
1 mile fast run

RUBBISH must get back to it. It had better come back quickly as today was so disheartening. Really shows how expectations change. I need to be able to knock out easy 10min miles now and for 9:30 to be a quick but solid run held for a good 10K... hmmmm.

Spent yesterday thinking about what I want a achieve from my fitness:
  1. To maintain my mantra: Not for one step. (Ie I will not walk for one step - sadly abandoned today.)
  2. And to be faster in the three races I have done next time I do them. (5K, 10K, Half)
  3. And, here's the biggee - to get a sub 2h half marathon time
  4. And maintain 1/2 marathon fitness year round...
  5. All this whilst losing another 2 stone and getting to a size 12 for my non-wedding.

Manageable? Who knows it all starts whilst NOT taking the first bite, but the first steps!

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

New Feature - Best Search

As the 'thick middle' of this month approaches I have been inspired by Warrior Women to add a new feature to my blog. "Best" and I use that term v loosely Search that made my blog pop up.

In second place are the numerous searches for Sudafed and Running ... is this a new enhancement technique or does everyone have a cold?

But massively in the lead is the search : ooof

What did they expect to find? I'm intrigued.


Busy Busy

Delighted to be back home for a whole few weeks! Just back from another jaunt. This time to the wedding of two close friends. An excellent time was had by all - especially them, which is what matters most!

It was my first trip to the emerald isle. (Well, Northern Ireland.) It did not disappoint. Green loveliness, farms , horses and the obligatory rain (luckily not on the wedding day). The journey was smooth and everyone adored our dogs. :) I would like to point out that N'orn Ireland is a country without access to an espresso machine - my first 'hit' in days yesterday was a joy to behold.

On return, having done no exercise for what seemed like weeks (actually 9 days) and eating too many full fried breakfasts (yum) - it was time to go back to the gym. Managed to bugger up my timing by having to go and collect prescriptions but did manage 1mile in 8.10 another 1/2 mile warm up and cool down and some essential tummy and tricept exercises. A bit rushed but fun none the less.

Off for a long run now - it might kill me. Good to be back though.

Monday, 6 August 2007


Hello all - I missed blogging so much, but was unable to face the dingey squat referred to as an Internet Cafe. I even missed by blog-versary. 1st of August was one year's blogging. Crikie - that passed too fast.

New images have been added to my last post.

So a quick refresh of what we did in Iceland. All those who want a more long winded approach should have a peek at: Life of a Wastrel.

Day 4 - Went up Hallgrimskirke which had an incredible view of the whole of Reykjvik. Also found a brilliant heated outdoor pool with hot pots and a steam room and sauna. You pay and you get a key for your locker. There's somewhere to put shoes so the changing rooms are clean. You have to wash naked before but the showers are great and shampoo/body wash is provided. Very civilised. Fancy fish restaurant in the evening - mmmmmmm.

Day 5 - went to the Photography Museum which had 3 small exhibitions. Some incredible large scale photos of Iceland and some heritage displays from the turn of last century to the mid-80s - fascinating.
The Settlement museum which was short and highly informative whilst being slightly interactive. Cool touch sensitive table: there was an American woman who just could not get the hang of it though - you had to wait for your language then touch the table to get an expanded bit of info - she had to choose between Icelandic or English and failed every time!?!

Day 6 - mostly rest before we head off in the car. Swam 30 lengths in the same fab pool.

Day 7 - we collected the car and started our journey. Drove up the main ring road (route 1) taking millions of photos on the way. We went through a 5k tunnel which was a twisting, turning, climbing feat of engineering. Walked up Grabrok volcanic craters:

Stopped at the incredible peat houses. We bumped along a track out to the point of a fjord to find Grettislaug outdoor hot pools. We waited 'til the tourists had gone and sank ourselves into the hot pools whilst looking at the snow covered peaks of the mountains around. An incredible spot.

The night was topped off by spending the night in the Tindastol Hotel - the oldest in Iceland and where Marlene Deitricht stayed when entertaining the troops.

Day 8 - headed off to Akureyri to meet those who flew up. Got to our country hotel. Peace and quiet in a huge valley.

Day 9 - Husavik - a small town in the north provided us with a place to stop (and smell the fish) on our way to Asbyrgi where the North American and European continental plates meet and are still moving. The giant horseshoe shaped rift of cliffs rising out of the land took my breath away. Then more natural wonders as we bumped our way along a dirt track to Dettifoss - Europe's most powerful waterfall is beyond words. It was a freezing day and grey as hell. The power of the water was stunning.

Day 10 - Huge day. Went to Godafoss falls - where there was a geocache. Saw lake Myvatn:
Krafla and the lava fields (still warm in places) walked the huge Hverfjall crater which provided great views and was a proper bit of exercise too. Old lava lake at Dimmuborgir was like a lava garden that someone had designed - freakishly quiet there - as if all the birds have flown off because disaster threatens. The stinking sulphur bubbling mud pools and whistling steam stacks were a highlight though. The smell and the steam really brought out the small child in all of us. Late night sun hitting the evening waves was a perfect end to a packed day.

Day 11 - Incredible , time to drive back to Reykjavik. We took a route (F35) through the interior. It's a barren desert with incredible views over the two smaller glaciers.
Stopped at the 'oasis' in the middle. This mini-Iceland had hot pools, a geysir, a steam vent, and bubbling mud. All in the least hospitable campsite I have ever seen. It was late July and the temperature was 3 oC - and some people had CYCLED there! Frickin CRAZY.

Made it back in time for a super fast 22 lengths crawl before going out for an incredible meal at Vi(th) Tjornina. The best meal I've had in Iceland: Raw fish starter, Guillimot main and the best chocolate brownie. Perfect in every way.

Day 12 - Our last day was v relaxed. A wander to the Perlan to see more stunning views of Reykjavik and a nice family lunch gave plenty of time to snooze and read too. Oh, also went to the Modern Art Gallery.


Overall the most incredible holiday I have ever experienced. I need to go back in winter, I need to see the darkness as well as the light. I think I'd like to move there - it just blew me away - and felt like home simultaneously. Home still feels a little small, but nonetheless welcoming.