Tag Archives: Weight Watchers

Tracking and track-ing

10 Jun

Today has been a really beautiful sunny day, so I’ve made the most of it. This morning, I had to cycle down to the Oceanography Centre for work (which was exciting as I got to see some really cool stuff linked with a work project), but the real bonus was that I then had to cycle all of the way across the city at about 11:30am, so I got to enjoy some of the sunshine.

I’ve also been #TWIETing today:

Breakfast:

Chocolate brownie porridge

Chocolate brownie porridge

Oats, raisins, cocoa powder and almonds (there were no walnuts in the cupboard!)

Lunch:

Salad with carrots, spring onions (scallions), spinach, lettuce, radish, tomatoes and hummus.

Salad with carrots, spring onions (scallions), spinach, lettuce, radish, tomatoes and hummus.

An apple (with my brand new apple!)

An apple (with my brand new apple!)

Snacks:

No photos, but a sharon fruit/persimmon and some toast.

Tea:

Vegetable stirfry with tofu and a peanut sauce

Vegetable stir fry with tofu and a peanut sauce

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal for an entire week now and am into the final couple of weeks of my WW membership, so I went along tonight for my Weigh In. The tracking has obviously helped me as I’ve lost 2.5lbs 🙂 I hope I can maintain my momentum as I’m back under 11 stone again – I’m 10st 12lbs (152lbs)… only 26lbs to lose, how hard can that be? 😉

So, from tracking to track-ing… This evening, I went along to the first Tri Club track session. I quite enjoy running at the track, and it doesn’t cost me anything, which is great. I also thought that it would help to mix up my training and I might meet some new people. Finally, I’ve grumbled a bit before that my Tri Club mainly functions as a swimming club, with a few rides organised (at times, locations and paces that don’t suit me) and absolutely no running, so I felt that I should support this endeavour.

A mix of people from Tri Club turned up, but I recognised most of them which was good. I was definitely at the back of the pack, but I hadn’t really expected anything else. Also, an advantage of track running is that you’re never far from the other runners and after a while it’s hard to know what lap anyone is on!

The track was very busy when we arrived, so we went for a 1 mile warm up outside of the track. Then, on our return, we did some drills, including high knees, butt flicks and fast feet. Then it was on to the main set 6x600m. We were meant to be doing them at 5k pace, but I went out at what Steve Prefontaine would refer to as ‘suicide pace’, which wasn’t wise and I paid for it later. How on earth did I think I could maintain 3:19/km?!! I averaged 5:12/km for the entire set, which is faster than my current 5k pace, but I know the last couple were very slow… and I want to see all of them start with a 4! Overall, I really enjoyed being at the track, but I think I need to push myself harder.

Do you like track running? Is it something that is readily available for you to do? (It costs £3+ per session here).

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#TWIETing again and a training ride

3 Jun

It’s been a while since I #TWIETed (Tweet What I Eat Tuesday), but I thought that returning to it might help to get my eating back on track. Quite a few people have recommended using MyFitnessPal to me, but it’s refusing to log me in on my phone at the moment, and I don’t have enough free time to sort it out… maybe this weekend!

Twitter posts TWIET

Overall, it doesn’t look like my food intake was too bad today. I guess that the ShotBloks might have been unnecessary, but I found them in my bike bag when I was starting to feel peckish!

Do you use any apps to help track your food intake?

I went to Weight Watchers this evening. I’m no longer paying for it, but my membership doesn’t expire until towards the end of the month, so I figured that I might as well go along. The good news was that I haven’t put on any weight since before I went on holiday – the bad news is that I’m still fat! In my dreams, I’d like to lose 2 stone (28lbs) before doing Challenge Weymouth – in reality, 24lbs is the most I could hope to lose and 16lbs is an even more realistic goal. I just hope that I can maintain my motivation as I know that it’s a lot easier to exercise when I weigh less.

This evening, I had to do a ‘hilly loop session’. I needed to find a hill that would take 2-3 minutes to complete, but I went to the wrong location, and the hill I found took me 6 minutes to complete. It wasn’t very steep, but as I’m still really nervous about cycling downhill, it was quite good for me.

The really exciting part about tonight was that I got to ride my new ‘pink peacock’ SOAS trikit. I had hoped that I would receive it as a Christmas present, so I’m really happy that I now own. I’m delighted to report that it’s just as comfortable as my team kit 😀

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I’m back, but not quite where I wanted to be.

10 May

I’m back, but I’m broken 😦 I picked up a few injuries on last week’s holiday, so training has been put on hold for a week, in the hope that I recover quickly. I’ve also suffered a real crisis of confidence about whether I’ll be able to complete the events that I’ve entered, which meant that I’ve had to rethink my strategy.

At the moment, my arm is still in so much pain that I’m unable to swim and running is awkward; I’m also unwilling to get on my bike. My diet has failed, so I’ve decided that after 6 years, it’s time to bid farewell to Weight Watchers. I’m not saying that WW doesn’t work, but right now it’s not a good fit for me and my aspirations.

This means that I’m a bit stuck, so I decided that the sensible thing would be to send an emergency plea to my coach, Ant, asking whether we could meet up to discuss my goals.

Coach Ant from RunCamp came around and had a chat with me about my goals. I’ve added my training data for 2014 so far to TrainingPeaks and Ant has already started to create a training schedule for me. It incorporates some of the swimming that I do with Southampton Tri Club, some of my running with Lordshill Road Runners, some RunCamp sessions, some open water swimming and some individual training that I’ll be able to do on my own. He’s also fitted in some of the races that I’ve entered. I’ve also had to be rational and have decided to drop some of the races that I had planned to do. I’m not going to run Alton 10 mile tomorrow. It’s not one of my favourite races and I think that it would be a painful slog at the moment. I’m also unlikely to do Netley 10k, which means that I won’t have completed enough races to get my name on an HRRL mug, but I don’t mind as that’s not one of my priorities at the moment. This has a plus side as it means that I no longer feel obliged to do D-Day 10k in Portsmouth, so Stu and I can go along to the Romsey 5 mile beer race, which is an event that Stu would really like to do.

The biggest challenge for me now is going to be the overcome my fear of cycling downhill. My first cycling session is on my turbo trainer, so that won’t be a problem, and I have to cycle to work every day, so hopefully, so easy cycling on my hybrid will help me to feel a bit better.

Have you ever experienced a major set back in your training? How did you overcome it?

One year in and the momentum has stalled

1 Mar

I had hoped that I was back to blogging, but I’ve not been well recently, which has had a couple of knock on effects – firstly, I’ve not had the energy to do much exercise and secondly, I’ve been too tired to blog. I’ve been to see my doctor for some blood tests and will be discussing the results with her next week. I suspect that it may be anaemia that has left me feeling listless (although glandular fever [mononucleosis] is another possibility). In turn, this has led me to making a lot of unhealthy choices. I’m hoping that I will feel better soon and make the right choices. I’m now 1.5lbs away from being as heavy as I was when I first joined Weight Watchers at 29 years old. I need to get back to being 30lbs lighter!

Krispy Kreme

I ‘treated’ myself to a Krispy Kreme doughnut and hot chocolate after I went for a blood test as I had been fasting for over 12 hours

As I’m trying to get back up to date, I’m going to break this post into short sections, so apologies if it doesn’t read well.

Valentine’s Day

Graduation Ball 1998

Graduation Ball 1998

I wasn’t well for Valentine’s Day, so I didn’t really get into the spirit of things. I had bought Stu a small gift, but I failed to buy a card. Hopefully, he knows how much I love him anyway. I shared the photo from my graduation ball on Facebook and was surprised that it received 84 likes, which is probably more than almost anything else I’ve ever posted. I’ve changed shape since then and gained a few wrinkles… and Stu and I have both had quite a few inches cut off our hair!!!

Virtual Running UK Blog Hop

Earlier this week, Virtual Running UK tweeted to let me know about their Run Blog Hop. I’d never heard of a Blog Hop before, so I had to google what it meant. Essentially, a blog hop is when a group of bloggers post about a topic and share links to the other blogs so readers can go to them. It usually takes place in a set time frame.

Virtual Running UK

I’d forgotten that yesterday was the end of the month. I think my fastest 5km has probably been 27:44, which was my time for the first 5km of Bramley 20 (which you can read about later in this post!). Is anyone else joining in with this blog hop? Please post a comment if that’s why you’ve stopped by here today 🙂

IDEA Inspired Blogger

I’m also delighted to have been chosen as an IDEA Inspired Blogger. There is now an IDEA Inspired Blogger page with my photo and link to my blog here: http://www.ideafit.com/inspired-bloggers. It’s really exciting to be part of this network:

The IDEA Inspired Blogger program is designed to recognize bloggers who inspire and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle. 

Around the World Running Blog Relay

A while back I signed up to take part in an Around the World Running Blog Relay. We’re trying to see how many miles/kms running bloggers can log in March and April. Are you in?

Yoga

Although I’ve not had enough time (or energy) to get back to lunchtime yoga sessions at work, I finally went back to one of Wai’s ‘Yoga for Runners’ classes on Friday. It wasn’t a particularly demanding class, which was brilliant as I needed a gentle reintroduction!

Swimming

I’ve been really struggling with my swimming recently. I’ve been able to battle on with my running whilst being unwell, but I’ve not got the swimming background to enable me to do that. I’ve finding it really hard to breathe, which has meant that doing more than 25m at a time has been really hard. I left one training session halfway through, which made me feel like I was letting myself and my coach down, I missed another session and although I trained on Monday this week, I took lots of rest. I really hope that I get well soon as I hate finding swimming this difficult.

Brighton Marathon

As I’ve been ill and my training has suffered, I’ve started to worry about Brighton Marathon. Originally, I had hoped that I would be able to complete it in 4:15, but I’ve now had to wave goodbye to that as being unrealistic. I’m still going to do the race and have every intention of finishing it, but should probably be happy with anything under 5 hours now.

Bramley 20 Mile

The night before Bramley 20 mile, I had the opportunity to catch up with two friends who I haven’t seen for a long time. This meant that I had to get my stuff ready before I went out.

Bramley 20 preparation

Bramley 20 preparation

I picked up all sorts of gels and drinks as well as making peanut butter sandwiches on granary bread and buying chocolate milk for afterwards.

I drove up to the race quite early. It was strange being on my own in the car as usually Stu comes to races with me and we often car share with other runners. After I arrived at the venue, I met up with a few other Lordshillers and was able to meet up with Teri as we had agreed to run together. We had enough time for a selfie before we had to line up. Teri was originally wearing a long-sleeved top under her charity vest as well as long tights and a buff, whereas I just had on a t-shirt and shorts, so Teri decided to remove her long-sleeved top at the last minute. Although it was quite cool, the sun was out and I’ve had problems with overheating recently, so I wanted to wear as little as possible.

Before the start of Bramley 20

Unfortunately, the race did not go as planned. I decided to go out strong from the start as that technique had served me well two years ago when I got a massive PB, but it wasn’t long before I started to feel warm. By 5 miles I was overheating, which is a bit worrying only a quarter of the way into a race, especially as it was below 7 degrees (<45 F). I decided to see how I felt when I got to 10 miles as I could drop out at that point if necessary.

By the time I got to 10 miles I was struggling, but I was also determined… I knew I had to do a 20 mile run as part of my marathon training and it would be easier to keep going than try to do it on another day. By 13 miles, I felt really sick. I managed to get Teri and Luana to go on without me, so that I was able to slow down and drink more.

I drank a lot of water as well as taking on energy gels, so I don’t think I was dehydrated, but by 16 miles, my fingers were so badly swollen that I was unable to curl them. I felt rough, but was still hoping that I could beat my time from last year (3:27). By 18 miles, I realised that I wasn’t going to beat 3:27, but I didn’t want to keep my friends waiting for too long as I had promised Teri a lift home.

I finally finished the race in 3:30, which was a big disappointment for me, but at least it had fulfilled it’s purpose, which was as a training run.

After Bramley 20

After Bramley 20

After the race, I had a stretch, got changed and drank some of my milk. I also tried to eat my sandwiches, but I just didn’t want them.

Overall, Bramley 20 is a great race, with lots of snacks in the goody bag and an attractive medal. It is also well-signposted and has some great marshals… although it’s sad that these signs were required after some people’s actions last year:

Signs at Bramley 20

Signs at Bramley 20

Bramley 20 race medal

Bramley 20 race medal

Last weekend’s long run

Despite not feeling up to it, I forced myself to go out for a long run with Teri on Saturday. I needed to do 15 miles and I wanted to include parkrun as it was Stuart’s 100th run. Teri blogged about the run here: http://gingergirlrunning.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/a-week-off-training-week-10/

Stretching on my long run with Teri

Stretching on my long run with Teri ©Teri Pragnell

Unfortunately, I didn’t plan our route well and wasn’t moving very quickly, so we didn’t manage to run 12 miles before parkrun. After we had finished parkrun, we needed to do another loop, so we picked up Steve and then continued on our run.

Teri and I after parkrun

Teri and I after parkrun © Teri Pragnell

Teri was on great form and managed a blistering pace at parkrun, but I ran significantly more slowly and struggled with it. I was glad that we had some extra company for the final loop, so that I didn’t have to talk as I was so out of breath. I was also starting to feel uncomfortable… fortunately, for you, the image above is quite dim as my shorts were very short. They look lovely, but the lack of fabric meant that I had a bit of chafing 😦

My birthday

It was my birthday last week, so I originally planned to spend the weekend celebrating, however, as I was feeling ill, we kept it low key.

I tried some lovely Brooks Pureflow shoes a few weeks ago and really liked them, but when I went to buy them, I found that I could only get them in black. Fortunately, after a bit of pleading Alton Sports managed to get me a pair in a beautiful shade of turquoise. I really hope that they look good with my Team SOAS kit… I know that the fit is more important than the colour, but I love it when my clothes match and nothing’s going to change that!!!

New Brooks shoes

I’m fortunate enough to have very kind and generous friends and relatives – here’s a snap of just a few of the cards and gifts that I received 🙂

My birthday presents and cards

My birthday presents and cards

One of the first presents that I opened was a lovely running top from my brother-in-law and his family:

New running top

New running top from Paul, Cheryl, Maya, Aaron and Nathan

Then I opened a present from Stu. It’s a lovely Castelli cycling top. I’m looking forward to trying it out.

Castelli Flamma jersey

Castelli Flamma jersey from Stuart

One of the gifts from my in-laws was a pair of seal skinz socks. Stuart gave me a pair a while ago, but we can’t find them, so I’m very glad to have these as a replacement!

Some fasntastic sealskinz waterproof socks from Brian and Sally

Some fantastic sealskinz waterproof socks from Brian and Sally

I also received lots of presents that are not related to sports!

On Saturday afternoon, Stuart, Katherine and I went ice-skating. It was a lot of fun, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual as I felt really tired and was struggling to stay awake. It was also very busy as it was the end of half term week and people were also feeling inspired after the Winter Olympics in Sochi!

Embrace Sports

I’ve received lots of exciting parcels recently, one of which was my Embrace Sports kit that I ordered back in December. It’s a bit chilly here for me to wear the shorts on my bike, but I should be able to wear the top with my Wiggle bib tights and some black arm warmers until the weather gets better. (Although, I should be able to wear the shorts when I’m on the turbo trainer!)

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World Book Night 2014

Ok, so this isn’t related to running, cycling, swimming or eating, but I thought I’d share it anyway. I’ve been selected as a World Book Night giver for 2014 🙂 I’ll be handing out copies of ‘Black Hills’ by Nora Roberts on 23rd April. I read it on holiday a few years ago and enjoyed it, so I thought it would be a fun novel to distribute. If any of you are likely to see me between 23rd April and the start of May and would like to receive a copy, please let me know.

Charlton Duathlon and Winchester Duathlon

My first multisport event of the year was going to be Charlton Duathlon, but it was cancelled. It may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as I’ve been so ill that I don’t think I would have been able to do it (or at least to perform well). I now have to hope that I’m well enough to do Winchester Duathlon later on this month. It was my first ever multisport event last year, so I’m hoping that I smash my time.

The guys at Try Tri challenged me to ‘trinominate’ some people to get involved in triathlons this year. I had to get into an unusual position and then ‘trinominate’ people to make a video. If you want to know what I sound like (and see the beautiful location where I was brought up), watch the video on Facebook.

Team SOAS

Now that we’re into March, it’s getting tantalisingly close to my kit arriving – I can’t wait!

Team SOAS kit update

Team SOAS kit update – it will be arriving soon!

I just love the detail that has gone into every aspect of this kit. Look how gorgeous the arm warmers are!

SOAS arm warmers

I also had a moment of fame on the Team SOAS Racing Blog:

I've achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

I’ve achieved fame on the Team SOAS website!

If you pop along and visit there, you might spot me: http://teamsoasracing.com/our-athletes.html

November Project

This is something really cool that I read about online this week. Have you heard of it before? It seems to have similar aspirations to parkrun:

November Project™ is a FREE fitness movement that was born in Boston as a way to stay in shape during cold New England months. Now present in multiple cities in across four time zones in North America, the movement is using a simple sense of accountability (verbal) to motivate and encourage people of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels to get out of their beds and get moving. Our members vary from Olympic medalists, professional athletes, marathoners, triathletes, current and former collegiate athletes all the way to complete fitness rookies and recent couch potatoes just looking to kickstart their healthy life choices. If you think that you’re not fit enough to join the group, stop thinking and come see what the fuss is all about.

You can read more about it here: http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/11/november-project-free-fitness

If anyone lives in the Southampton area and meets the criteria to set this up locally, then I’d love to join in!

Cycling

I’ve had a few problems with my hybrid bike recently (which were exacerbated by the number of trees that I’ve had to carry it over… it’s been very windy here), so I’ve not been cycling to work every day. Anyway, I recently learned about two useful websites:

  • Veloviewer.com This website makes it easy to extract data from Strava.
  • Tapiriik.com This website syncs your data with Strava, GarminConnect, RunKeeper, DropBox, Training Peaks and Sport Tracks.

Breeze Bike Champion

I’ve signed up to become a Breeze Bike Champion, so that I can encourage other women to go out cycling. The training is in a couple of weeks’ time and I’m really looking forward to it.

Well, sorry that’s all a bit of a jumble. Hopefully, I’ll be able to post another update tomorrow!

What did the postie try to deliver today?

15 Jan

OMG! OMG! OMG! I think my Team SOAS kit has arrived… I’ve received a “Sorry you were out” note through my letter box and the main clues on it are that:

    • it’s an international item
    • it’s a parcel
    • it’s too big for my letterbox
While you were out card

Team SOAS parcel?

I really hope it’s my kit. I’m so excited about it! I’ve been gear hungry ever since I first saw it!

Today’s been a hectic day with me cycling to various locations in the city for meetings, but I’ve also managed to fit in some online reading and some exercise.

I went back to Weight Watchers for the first time this year and was pleased that I have lost 1lb since 18th December 🙂 I now weigh 10st 9lb (149lbs or 67.5kg). I’d like to get back to 9st (126lbs or 57kg). I know that a lot of people think that it’s not a good thing to focus weight and I am trying to concentrate on eating healthy food, but I also want to be slimmer.

After WW, I went to the Lordshill Road Runners Wednesday night training session:

Wednesday LRR training

Wednesday LRR training © Kevin Yates

It’s not easy to see me, as I’m hiding behind someone! It was a hill training session in the rain. I’m annoyed at myself as I don’t think that I pushed myself as hard as I could have done, but I was feeling tired.

My lovely friends at Try Tri have been checking out new locations for events and recorded this video today:

It’s really cold here right now, so I think they’re crazy for going in and trying the lake. I reckon their secret location is the beautiful Kingston Maurward in Dorset. The lake looks really clear (and perhaps a bit shallow). Hands up if you think Chris received a GoPro camera for Christmas!

I also read this interesting article: http://breakingmuscle.com/swimming/im-a-triathlete-i-dont-kick-when-i-swim It dispels the myths around kicking when swimming for triathlons and is worth a read.

I followed a link from a fellow Team SOAS athlete (Hi Cheryl!) to an interesting article about tokens (medals, tshirts etc) from races and race numbers and what people do with them: http://www.ironman.com/triathlon/news/articles/2013/12/all-that-glitters.aspx#axzz2qU7aZshD  I tend to take photos of my race numbers for my blog and the medals all go into a pile of stuff that I never look at again. What about you? What do you do with your race goodies?

Some really sad information that I read on several blogs today was about the death of a fellow runner Meg Cross Menzies who was killed by a drunk driver in Virginia. Runners are being asked to tweet photos of themselves running in her memory on Saturday January 18th with #megsmiles.

Anyway, that’s it for today… I’d love to post more, but I really need to start getting some quality sleep!

What have I been doing since my holiday?

22 Nov Gosport Half Marathon

I’ve been so busy in the fortnight since we’ve been back from Portugal that I’ve not been able to update my blog as much as I’d hoped to, so here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to.

CC6

The Sunday morning after we got back was a cross country race out in the New Forest. It was hard getting up in time for it as I was feeling shattered from the previous day’s travelling, but I knew I had to if I still wanted to be in with a chance at winning the club’s participation award.

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Near the start of the CC6

Near the start of the CC6 (all CC6 photos © Paul A. Hammond)

It was not an easy race, with quite a lot of it being muddy and hilly and the last section was a hard uphill slog.

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CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

I played cat and mouse with Kathy for a while, but towards the end her superior speed won out and she was able to finish ahead of me. I felt quite pleased with my performance as I didn’t give up and I knew that I was running on tired legs.

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CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

Swimming lessons

It was good to be back at my swimming lessons – I hoped that I would be stronger and would not have picked up any bad habits whilst I was away, although I know that swimming with a wetsuit on makes me lazy! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in any of my blog posts, but in the last session before my holiday, I dived into a pool for the first time in my life. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me it was massive. I’ve spent so long standing on the edge of a pool, but was terrified that I would get too deep and be unable to breathe, or would hit my head on the bottom, so I just couldn’t bring myself to try it. I’m now desperate to go swimming with Stu as I really want to show him how well I can dive.

Chris got us to practise quite a lot of butterfly, which is not (and never will be) one of my favourite strokes. I’ve now had two lessons since I’ve been back and I know that I really need to work on keeping my head more streamlined during front crawl as I lift it up and don’t even realise that I’m doing it. I was also given a few pointers when doing breaststroke to try to keep my hips lower so that my feet don’t come out of the water. I’ll report back on my progress soon!

I received the video of me swimming in Lagos, which has really shown me where my swimming is going wrong, so I’m keen to get in the pool and practise:

Lordshill training

On my first Monday back, I coached a session on hills, so we went to Holly Hill and I got my group to practice various aspects of downhill running which I think went quite well, but it involved more running (to and from the venue) than I had anticipated and my legs were a little bit grumbly!

This Monday, I had planned to do a core session. I had a long list of exercises, but unfortunately, it rained and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to make my athletes lie on wet ground 😦

Southampton Tri Club

Straight after my LRR session on Monday, Stuart and I rushed down to The Quays to have a go at our first session with Southampton Tri Club. Katherine had originally tried to persuade me to wait until she was back, but I wanted to join asap and Huw at work persuaded me to go. I was in a lane with three others: Liz, James and Jo – all of whom are bloggers and LRR members! We did a 200m warm up, which felt like hard work, before being asked to do ‘200 off 4:40’. I didn’t know what that meant, so the coach explained that we had to swim 8 lengths of front crawl and have a break within 4 minutes and 40 seconds. unfortunately, I’m quite slow, so it took me over 4:30 to swim 200m. This would have left me with no break, so I waited for the others to do 2 lengths before joining in again. We had to repeat it 5 times, which felt really hard – I don’t often swim that far in a session. (Later when I asked Stu what he had done, his main set was exactly the same!!! How is that fair?!) We also had to do a variety of sculling drills, but I had to work extra hard as I didn’t have a pair of fins.

Overall, I really enjoyed the session and know that I need to work on my technique if I’m going to do OK at Challenge Weymouth, so I signed up to Southampton Tri Club yesterday evening and am now an official member 🙂

I’ve now done a second swimming session and know that it takes me 4:44 to swim 200m. I’m definitely towards the bottom end of the group, but I am not the slowest and I hope that I’ll start to make good progress.

Yoga

On Tuesday evening, I went back to yoga with Stu. Our usual instructor, Wai, is away, so we have a different instructor. It’s nice to mix up the sessions a little. We did a few shoulder stands and plough pose, which is one of my favourites… although I can’t seem to stop my feet from going right over and touching the ground, whether or not my legs are straight!

Weight Watchers

At my first WW session after our holiday, I found that I had lost 4lbs. I went again today and had lost another pound. I had thought that I might have lost more as several people commented on how good I looked today and I felt that I was looking more trim. My WW leader said that she didn’t think I needed to lose more weight and as I my BMI is now 24.47, which is within the healthy range. I am happy to be classed as a gold member again as the money that I save can be used for my tri club membership, but I would still like to lose at least another stone – I’m sure that it will help me to run faster! Every time I so much as glance at something ‘bad’ I ask myself whether Kat would eat it and the answer is usually ‘no’!

Interval training and social run

On Thursday morning last week, Stu, Liz, Katherine and I met for an interval session. This is when I usually have a Run Camp session, but as there are no more until after Christmas, we decided to have ‘Run Gang’ instead (it’s like ‘Bike Gang’, but with running!) Stu had devised times for us to do 400m intervals, but my Garmin decided to amend my pace and breaks, so I wasn’t getting any rest. In the end, I reset my Garmin and just did the best that I could. My last interval felt really good – for 200m I felt like my technique was as good as Mo Farah’s or Usain Bolt’s – but I was unable to sustain the pace.

On Thursday evening, I went for a lovely 11km run with Teri. It’s nice just to be able to run and chat. We had intended to run around Portswood, but we ended up going through Bevois Valley and then back towards the Common.

This week on Thursday morning, Stu and I met Liz and Katherine for a gentle run around the new parkrun route (Route C). I didn’t want to get out of bed, but was glad that I did the run when I had finished.

Sports massage

On Friday I had a sports massage at You Massage Therapy. The masseur, Pete, is a really nice guy who is interested in sports. I’ve had sports massages from other people, but Pete seems to get the pressure just right. I thought that a massage would be a good way of preparing myself for my forthcoming race.

parkrun

On Saturday morning, I was Run Director at Southampton parkrun. It was meant to be Stu’s turn, but I wanted to save my legs for Gosport Half Marathon. It was the first time that Route C had been used and quite a few people got PBs, so I’m looking forward to trying it.

Tri Expo

After parkrun, we drove down to Bournemouth for the Primera Triathlon Expo. I ended up buying various goodies for myself:

– Endura overshoes

Endura overshoes

Endura overshoes

– Endura toe covers

Endura toe covers

Endura toe covers

– Bike bag

Topeak top tube tri-bag

Topeak top tube tri-bag

I also bought three bags of blueberry protein powder.

Superlife blueberry super protein powder

Superlife blueberry super protein powder

We were both given Bustinskin swimming hats and USN bottles and vooma gels.

USN vooma gel and bottle

USN vooma gel and bottle

Stu decided to check out the bike porn and decided that he liked a Storck bike, but at over £9.5k, it’s a bit out of his price range!!!

Stu admiring a Storck bike

Stu admiring a Storck bikeIMG_1597

To console him, I let him buy a couple of sachets of recovery hot chocolate.

Apres recovery hot chocolate

Apres recovery hot chocolate

Christmas presents

After we left the tri expo, we went to visit Stu’s parents with an ulterior motive in mind… members of Southampton Tri Club are expected to bring a pull buoy, fins and hand paddles to every swimming session. Stu and I had added these to our amazon wish lists, but realised that we need them now. Unfortunately, Stu’s mum had already done her Christmas shopping, so we collected our presents early – thank you, Brian and Sally!

My Christmas presents from Brian and Sally

My Christmas presents from Brian and Sallyspeedo-8-027610006-zoomspeedo-8-017910004-zoom

Gosport Half Marathon

I have kept Graeme’s words in my mind about self-limiting beliefs, so I decided to aim high despite not being on form since April 2012. I decided not to look at my watch for the first two miles of Gosport HM as it takes me nearly that long to warm up, so I was delighted to find that I was running at a reasonable pace when I finally glanced at my watch. I chose to continue running according to how I felt and was delighted to achieve a 5 mile PB (42:10), which meant that I was on track to get somewhere near my HM PB of 1:52:19.
It was an overcast day that was about 6° C with no breeze, so it would seem that those conditions would be ideal for running. Unfortunately, although my breathing was comfortable and my legs felt good, between 8 and 9 miles, I started to overheat and got tunnel vision, so I had to slow down. I took on plenty of water and was fully hydrated before the race, but I could not cool down. At 10 miles, Stu was by the side of the course (he had cycled to the event) and he could see that I looked ill, so he kept popping up for the next three miles as he was worried about me. I was determined to finish and hoped that even if I wasn’t near to my PB, I would still get a sub 2 hour time. I was also aware that I was my club’s leading FV35, so I hoped that I would be able to retain my position.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. In the final mile, I was passed by many of my clubmates. Full On Sport’s chip timing system failed, but according to my Garmin, I finished in 2:00:13. I was incredibly disappointed, but Stu has pointed out to me that not only did I get a 5 mile PB, it was also my second fastest ever HM and it was over 30 seconds faster than I did the race last year. I also managed to completed it (and a cross country race on the day after I got back from Portugal), so as long as I complete a cross country race on 1st December, I will win the Lordshill Road Runners Championship participation award alongside Di Mattingly.
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dsc_4789(1) dsc_4790(2)dsc_4791(1)dsc_4792(1)dsc_4793(1)dsc_4794(1)Gosport Half Marathon Running and smiling at Gosport Half Marathon © Paul A. Hammond

Shopping

As I know that I need to work hard on my cycling, I realised that I had better buy myself some winter cycling clothing, so I went online to Wiggle and ordered myself some bib tights and a long-sleeved jersey. There wasn’t a lot of choice, so I chose DHB Team Wiggle Honda kit as it had great reviews. Orange isn’t my favourite colour, but it all arrived today and I think it looks quite nice.

My new Wiggle Honda kit

My new Wiggle Honda kitIMG_0032

I was also lured in by SportPursuit… it’s such an evil website, as it knows just how to suck me in. I wanted to get a pair of plain black shorts and ended up ordering a pair of black shorts, a Pearl Izumi jersey and a pearl Izumi winter jacket for cycling.

Pearl_Izumi_Womens_Elite_Softshell_Wxb_Jacket_White 11221120_3YQ Bellwether_NEWTON_Bicycle_Shorts_Black_Front__83336.1359390098.1280.1280

I think these goodies should arrive just before Christmas 😀

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Rest day or laziness?

23 Feb

After two late nights in a row, I really didn’t want to get out of bed on Wednesday morning. My legs were also feeling really tired and I was concerned by the size of our laundry pile and the general untidiness of the house. Another issue was the fact that I hadn’t got all of my stuff (lunch, clothes etc.) ready on Tuesday night. This left me facing a dilemma: should I swim or not?

I had been looking forward to swimming since I had my assessment, but I also realised that I had been neglecting other areas of my life. I know that to be an Ironman takes single-minded determination, but I just don’t think I’m there yet, so I didn’t swim. A lot of my friends would tell me that it’s good to have a rest day every week, but it felt like laziness to me… On the positive side, I caught up with laundry and did some healthy-ish cooking in the evening followed by food shopping. This meant that I also didn’t do my scheduled track session, but sandwiched between a 20 mile race and a 14 miler, that seemed like a sensible decision? What do you think? What would you have done in my position?

Another positive on Wednesday, was my visit to Weight Watchers. I have been dithering about whether or not to quit (mainly because I’d like to achieve a happy weight without obsessing about what I eat, although I suspect that’s not possible), but despite being lax about my diet, I lost 2.5lbs 🙂

On Thursday morning, I managed to peel myself out of bed in time for Run Camp. It was a quiet session, with just Stuart, an older female triathlete and I… But it was also another 2k time trial. My heart sank, but I hoped I would be able to do better than on Tuesday as my legs were feeling less tired. I set off at a fast pace (as usual), but by the time I was 1k in, I realised that the older lady was hot on my heels, which made me want to push on… I hate being last. Towards the end, she picked up her pace, so I gave it my all for the last 100m. Fortunately, I beat my competitor and finished in a time that was 25-30 seconds faster than on Monday, although it still wasn’t the sort of time I should be running.

I chose not to train again on Thursday evening, partly because of the race on Sunday, and also because I was offered a heavily discounted deep tissue massage at You Massage Therapy. It really helped to relax my neck and I hadn’t realised how tight my legs were – I really must stretch more after exercise and also use the foam roller more often. The massage felt great and my shoulders instantly felt more relaxed. Unfortunately, I ate two Danish pastries after leaving You Massage Therapy. Why do I do this to myself?

When I got home from my massage, Stu was able to give me some new running shoes 😀 Brooks have on a special trial offer, so I am able to try a pair of Brooks Cadence for free for one week and at the end of the week, I need to fill in a feedback form, before I’m entitled to £25 off a pair of Brooks shoes. I’m excited about trying them out! They’re lightweight shoes and the look quite cool… but I was disappointed that I was sent the most dull colour scheme of all of the pairs available: black and white 😦

I also finished off an article aimed at getting runners at my club to run in the most appropriate group: http://www.facebook.com/notes/lordshill-road-runners/are-you-running-in-the-right-group/550860651615336 I was a bit nervous that the article would not go down well, but it seems to have received a positive reception. I also jazzed it up a bit in In-Design so that it can be included in my running club’s newsletter.

On Friday morning, I got myself back on track by going swimming before work. It was another day when I didn’t count my lengths as I was trying to do drills. I managed to do an entire length of the pool breathing properly whilst swimming breast stroke and in 41s which matches my PB, so that felt like a huge win. I am still really struggling to get my front crawl arms going with the breathing. I did half a length and then got paranoid that people were looking at me because they thought I was drowning, so I resumed breast stroke. I am going to have to get over my fear of being watched.

In the afternoon, I was able to pop into the University library to collect a book that I reserved: Swim, Bike, Run It’s a bit dated now, but there seems to be sensible advice in it. If anyone else can recommend a really good book for a complete newbie, I’d be interested in hearing about it.

Finally, I have to make a decision about parkrun. I had planned to run with Kirsty and get paced to a Southampton parkrun PB by Tony, but that was before I got a place in the Heartbreak Half. Do I race it bearing in mind that I have to run 14 miles the next day? Do I try out the new shoes? What would you do?