Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bordering between negative and positive.......

Ok this blog will be about me giving myself a good prep talk........people might say that I'm over reacting, that I should just shut up and rest but most of you being the athletes you are will understand that we do get our selves wound up and frustrated when training isn't going right!

I tried to run today with a very unhappy ending...... ankle hurt as soon as I started running so I stopped. I then sat down and sobbed my heart out.... its not going to plan......(Its only been a week). I for a brief moment saw my marathon going down the drain.
 At my mums today my ankle just gave way and I was fighting back the tears......... One minute I am very positive about it and the next I am in a major panic.....

So this is me being positive.........
  • It doesn't matter how much I cry or bitch or moan, it wont heal my ankle and it doesn't even make me feel better!!!!!
  • Its only been a week........
  • Another week off (from running only) isn't going to damage my base fitness and especially since I'm biking and swimming.
  • Being the strong person I am I will always bounce back... I need to revaluate that's all.
  • Worse case scenario is that I wont beat my personal best but I will complete and after all its not my A race.

I have a B plan............ being the stubborn bitch I am, I will complete the marathon even if I have to drag my sorry arse around and crawl over the line...... if I don't get my PB then I will take on a low key marathon in Autumn.  I cant believe that I'm actually even having to give myself a stern talking to..... I mean what a state to get into.......jeez its like I don't even know what the word rest means............
R- ride
E - enthusiastically
S - swim
T - turbo

See I DO know what the word rest means...........maybe I need to get a life!!!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

No running but plenty of exercise...including Woodbury common.

As you know I am injured again....... no injuries for a whole year and then 2 in quick succession...... life's too short to moan and bitch about it........ moaning and being frustrated isn't going to make it any better....

This week I have stuck to swimming and biking.  I did 70 minutes on the turbo on Tuesday.

Wednesday  instead of my long run I swam a mile in 44.40 and also thrashed out another 70 mins on the turbo working in heart zones.

Thursday was a rest day.........

Friday I swam 1.23 miles in 1 hour.......30 lengths with a float to protect ankle and 30 without.  I remember when I did my ankle last time I had to use a float for about 4 weeks so the fact I can swim now is a bonus.

Saturday I finally got to meet James, who has been a legend in advising me on training and who listens to me talk shop for hours on end....... well someone has to.......

I drove down to Exmouth and I didn't get lost always a bonus.  It as pretty chilly and we set off to the common.  I have to say I'm pretty much a mountain bike virgin...... I've got no mtb riding skills and have only been riding down some muddy by lanes.  It was pretty hard going the ice made some areas pretty lethal and you can just ride through ruts of ice as they unbalance you.  I found I had to really concentrate in order to actually stay on the bike.  I was pretty wary of going down some of the hills as I was worried about falling off, damaging ankle even more ( some would say why go but I say why not!!!!)

We covered 16.9 miles in 2.24 and the average speed was about 6 mph... a far cry from road bike speeds.  In some places where it was sheltered the mud was soft and that was sooo much more fun.  I have to say I struggled on some of the hills as you have to remain seated else your back wheel just spins.  James stayed well up front for 2 reasons:
1) I had no idea where I was going
2) He was much faster than me       but I did get too look at his Lycra bum and very nice it was too, sorry James it had to be mentioned!!!
Here is the stats 

All in all I enjoyed it even though I couldn't feel my feet at the end and my wrists ached more than anything.  I think mountain bike training will help to strengthen up and give you some stamina. 

My ankle was a little stiff after swimming but soon loosened up and today it held out.... its a little stiff now but I am ready to test it out tomorrow on the treadmill.  So far I have only missed out on one long run and hope it stays that way. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First tri club swim and turbo rocks!!!

I started the week with a mega depression about my ankle but you know what.... being depressed and miserable isn't really going to help is it?  I just have to re valuate my plan...... it gives me a week to bike and swim and I'll be running again in no time. 

Monday night I went to cheddar for my first West Country tri session.  I met a few other triathletes and the pool was full.  I went into the beginners lane and was surprised to find that a lot of people there just went for the swimming...... there wasn't any triathletes in the beginners lane.......

I was expecting a lot more to be honest.  They seemed to concentrate on swim times without working on technique.  You had a certain amount of time to swim 200m and it got faster and faster.  A lot of lengths were covered.  One lady was quite put out that I wasn't using my legs...... so to wind her up I told her I was working on my 'guns' and did she wanna feel..(she wasn't impressed, never met the swim kick police before). I didn't tell her for ages that I was using the pull buoy as my ankle was swollen.... but she was a bit rude.....
The best bit was having to race another between the flags and the lady who was rude just had the edge on me but then again I wasn't kicking.  She beat me twice so I threw caution to the wind and discarded the pull buoy... I'll show her what my legs are for..........ha ha ha I went flying and beat her.... touche!!!!

I will def join the club as they have some pretty good sessions...... they have group turbo and swim sessions and lots of group rides and runs..... so I might alternate between my swim coaching and the tri club to get the most out of it all. 

Now Last week I mentioned working within heart rate zones on the turbo so this week I decided to have a go...... I was aiming for a 90% short intervals with a 60 % recovery.   MMMMMM if only it was that easy. 
This is what I actually did;
10 min warm up ( 55 - 60 %)

15 min @ 70%

5 min recovery @ 60 %

5 mins @ 72%

5 mins recovery @ 61 %

5 mins @ 75%

5 mins recovery @ 66 (mmmm)

5 mins @ 75- 78 %

5 mins @ 70%
10 mins @ 60 % warm down
Now I'm either not as fit as I thought or I have my heart rate zones a bit out but I found it really hard to maintain 78% let alone 90%.  Maybe I shouldn't have had the recovery because once I recovered I found it hard to get that heart beat back up but once I did get up there I found it easy to stay there and also I didn't want to warm down ... I wanted to keep going.
Now the plan is now to increase the time spent in the zones and maybe lower the recovery.  Today I just found myself trying to beat the percentage that I got to previously.  Its given me a base now from which I can see improvement.  The good news is that the time on the turbo has reduced the swelling in my ankle!!!! good news!

Monday, January 17, 2011


The race had finally come.... months this had been booked and we were ready to rock and roll.  Debs picked me up on route and off we went in her fab little mini armed with enough sweets to sink... well  a mini!!  We made really good time despite getting lost (The less said about that the better).

We met up with the others had a natter before off for the pre pasta party.  We ate good food, joked about Jame's hot balls until we returned to the hotel.  It was really really good to meet up with some fellow tweeters that I haven't met before and of course to meet some old tweeters who are of course my greatest friends.

I settled down for the night with James with my special mad cow PJ's... the bed was really uncomfy, they always are in travel lodge!!!! ( you need better beds, is that why its so cheap?????)
The highlight of my weekend was Sunday morning..... I tried to find the bathroom light without waking James and kept giggling to myself when I switched on the wrong light........ I then farted continuously in the bathroom for about 5 minutes ( damn cheesecake) and tried to turn the taps on to disguise the noise......I then looked at the tweets on my phone and when I saw the tweet about hot balls I just couldn't contain my laughter anymore.  James then admitted he had been awake the whole time and that was it, I couldn't stop giggling for ages.

Anyway back to the race.... after driving around a few roundabouts ( quite a few times in fact) we finally found our way.  Everyone was pretty excited and hypo or was that the haribo?  Of course Debbie and I and Lisa had to keep flashing our pants.

The race started and we were off, it was a challenging first 5 k, very uneven ground and I probably felt my first tweak on ankle after landing on a tree stump.  I ran through it and thought it was fine.... looking back that's probably where it all started to go wrong.  I thought I was doing really well, ok |I walked up the hills but boy were they steep... not long but short sharp shocks.. I galloped down most of the hills and felt pretty good. 

It went wrong when I hit the water... I was running through , knees up high..... loving it splashing around and then just as I hit the end I went down... right in front of the camera!!!!! Pride before a fall comes to mind!  It was hurting but I wasn't stopping now, I ran through pain once was going to do it again.  When I hit the 'lake' I lost footing again but I think by this time the weakness was there.  I sat on the edge waiting for a paramedic who strapped me up and against her judgement I said I was good to go.  At this time the lovely ladies were racing through the lake and I picked up with them.  I ran pretty slow avoiding uneven ground and Lisa a big THANK YOU for staying with me and getting me through.  The last couple of K was quite even with a few minor hills...... and there it was the finish.  I knew I would cry when I finished because I was soo upset that I had damaged my ankle AGAIN and I had only just got back to feeling in control of my training and really starting to push hard again.  I suppose on the positive side my bad ankle has healed as it took the strain. 

On the way home, in the mini, I managed some pretty good hot and cold treatment and the ankle was not swollen.  Today the swelling has appeared.  Its not as bad as my last sprain and I hope to be back after a week........

Although it wasn't a good ending for me... I was so proud of the fantastic achievement of the fellow tweeters, you were all totally amazing and I had a fantastic time and lots laughter and good times, so I thank you all for that.  I'm going  to work on strengthening my ankles so this never happens again.... I guess I had to even the odds up a bit. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fastest long run training to date.... not including races of course.!!

After my ankle injury I have felt that I've really slowed down with my running so today instead of a slow slog to build up the stamina I decided that I was going to go for it.  I was under a time restraint as I had to be washed and changed and in Yeovil for 12.

 I left at 8.45.... thankfully the wind from last week had gone..... I couldn't handle anymore side swiping!!!
I was going for 14 miles and I only had 2 hour window in which to run so I decided to see how close I could get. 
I felt pretty strong, last week I felt I was in a weird lull....... I kept checking garmin, I would let myself go over 9.30 min miles.  This worked quite well until I hit the big hill but still I kept under 10 min miles.  On the long straight home I thought I was at about 9 miles so was really pleased when the garmin read 11.22 miles ... oh lordy that was a triumphant moment.
I got close to home and decided to run down the lane until I hit the 2 hour mark.  I was getting pretty tired by now and was quite happy when 2 hours had gone by.... I ran a few minutes more just to make it up to an even 13 miles.......

I knocked off 7 minutes from my 13 miler last week so that was good.  It wasn't until I checked on the Fetch everyone site, I love the way it analyses everything for me) that I realised I had ran the fastest training session EVER. Here are the splits;
9.13, 9.11, 9.23, 9.25, 9.43, 9.54, 9.42, 8.43, 9.19, 9.12, 9.02, 9.25.  Average 9.19 min miles!!!
 Of course this doesn't include racing where I averaged 8.42 min miles but that's a different ball game.  In fact when I look over all the stats, when I first started running anything I did over 6 miles I was averaging 11.30 min miles so that shows how much I've improved.

Today has taught me a big lesson..... I always approach my long runs with caution, taking it easy building up that base, but now I can afford to push it that little bit more and still get the mileage in.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Turbo training and heart zones........IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!

When I woke up Sunday morning I didn't really feel like going for a run with the club, but we only meet once a month and I did promise so off I went.  This actually was really pleasurable.  There were quite a few new members so we set off on a nice slow pace.  The roads were a bit icy so we went across the fields.  This was the perfect recovery run, supporting new members around and it made me realise AGAIN that running isn't just all about competing and pb's, its about a very supportive social group who all have the same aim, to be healthy and enjoy life. 

The run warmed me up and I came home and jumped on the turbo for an hour.  I then did 18 x 3 press ups, weighted squats, sit ups, reverse sit ups, hamstring ball roll, planks and side planks....... and a few chin ups to boot.  I want my abs back soooooooo bad!!

Monday was coach swimming so I warmed up first 15 mins on rower before an hours swim coaching.

I am beginning to think that I'm not getting the best out of my turbo sessions, am I really pushing myself enough.......
Tonight I went on the turbo for an hour, I wanted to see what these so called heart zones are all about.  I didn't look up any heart zone training sessions as I wanted to see how far I was pushing myself, how long I could keep it up and how easy was it to float between the zones.......

My resting heart beat is about 53 to 55 ( 30%).... my max is 178.  I have got my max from the hardest I have pushed myself in a race..... this is probably not the ideal way to do it but it works for me..... I'm not going to get myself too tangled up in the science of it all.

So this is how it went......
15 mins warm up  50 - 55 %
10 mins                60 - 65 %
5 mins ( recovery) 55 - 60%
10 mins                65 - 70 %
5 mins ( recovery) 55 - 60 %
10 mins                 65 - 70 %
5 mins ( recovery) 55- 60 %
5 mins                    80 %     
The 80% actually seemed easier to get to than 65 - 70 % and once I was there I was doing ok.  Now this wasn't a really hard turbo session.... I wanted to get a feel for the heart rates and how I reacted to them.  I know that I would struggle to keep up 80 % ... feeling the burn.....

Now I've just go off and checked some turbo training plans and it seems that I should really been concentrating on hard efforts of anything between 65 - 80%
So a new target is to reach 75 - 80 % and sustain it for longer each time with a recovery in between.

What does this say about me...... its not about climbing onto a bike anymore its about training my body, getting fitter, getting the best out of myself and kicking some SOME GOD DAMN ARSE.   I might be getting older but I will give as good as I can.  I can't deny that I am in it to win it...... but I guess I'm not different to any competitor..... I mean isn't that why we all do it? So STAND aside ladies, I am coming through...... and that my friends was aimed at a lady at work who thinks she will beat me at Taunton triathlon...... I mean come on love.... IN YOUR DREAMS!!!!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Shearwater and the db max crew......

I wasn't planning on doing another longish run this week but when Katie invited me down, how could I resist.  A change of scenery, a change to meet some new like minded buddies and woodland running.

I was worried that I would get lost but Jake did a brilliant job of navigating.... he must get his sense of directions from his Dad not me.....
We got there nice and early and met up with Katie so we went to check out the views.... jeez it was cold.
Fantastic  views from heavens gate......... I will visit their again.

The others arrived and the ladies set off first with our trusty map...... mmm I don't think we followed the map the way we should have but nevertheless we arrived back at the starting point covering about 5.77 miles which had been the plan... we just did it our way.  I think we should blame the blokes near Longleat house who obviously told us wrong!!!!! It was a beautiful place to run, running past Longleat house itself.  The first half was mainly on the road but nearer the end we got into some deep muddy woodland tracks. We arrived back at the carpark we started quick rest before we went off again. 

This was a really muddy track and it was great.  It was mostly downhill toward the lake which was fun, once we hit the boat house we came back. 

I really enjoyed this run even though I felt really tired most of the way round.... we ran 9.68 I'm 1.38.30 not a bad average considering the state of some of the track.
Great run with a great bunch of people.... kids loved it to .... so a big shout out to Shelia who looked after the kids whilst we ran. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Long windy runs!!

Now lets get this straight from the start..... when I say windy runs I'm not referring to the wind that comes out of bottoms, so you can all stop sniggering now, yes that includes you sat there at the back... yes I can see you....shall I say fart loudly just so you can get it out of your system......... good then I shall begin....

Now don't get me wrong I love the fact I live smack bang in the middle of a nature reserve being close to nature, all those beautiful tracks where squirrels and deer are in abundance.  Swans don't eat bread because they are that wild and you know you are being watched as there are hoards of twitchers hiding in dens.......

But sometimes just sometimes you wish that there were some wind protection.  I love the fact I can run down quiet roads and not see a single car for my whole run but today the wind was not my friend.  Which is worse? You run with the wind behind you get up a good speed only to find when you turn back you are almost running backwards or like today you are getting continuously side swiped.  The first half of my run was a good pace the left hand side wind wasn't too bad apart from it made my left eye water and my cheek smart. Once I had turned around this was even worse.  I should have ran 7 miles turned around and headed back but I chickened out and headed for home.  I knew there was a sheltered lane near me that I could make up the mileage and hopefully get out of the wind.  I arrived home at about 12 miles and I had planned on doing 14 so I had to do at least more than last weeks run which was 12.  I headed for the sheltered lane........SHELTERED my arse.... this lane is about quarter of a mile long. It goes down hill slightly but the wind was totally against me was a battle going down and no help either on the way back because even though wind was behind me it was uphill.  I managed to stick to it and clock up another mile.  I'm not going to worry about a mile seeing as I know I have a wood trail 10 mile run planned with the DBmax club ( that's the Crewkerne triathlon club to you mere mortals) on Saturday.
Anyways here's the stats.... 13 mile run in 2.08, miles away from my half marathon pb but its a training run save the best for races!!!

I did hopever run today after a hours long session on the turbo trainer last night followed by the 3 x 18 press ups, sit ups, squats and reverse sit ups and I have been playing on my new pull bar.. Its in the kitchen doorway and I cant walk through the door without banging my head so each time I enter the kitchen I have to do chin ups..... actually this could be a whole new diet plan..... avoid the kitchen at all costs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cracking start to 2011....... and mass confusion on bike parts!!!

I'm a stats girl...... so lets start with last years stats...
I swam 37.3 miles
I ran 1079 miles and I biked 1110 miles.  That's pretty good but this year will be better.  This year will see me getting more technical, heart rate zones, better nutrition, I mean I have just started measuring my pulse every morning to see if I am overdoing it and I waved a big GOODBYE to booze..... eeek!

So as the title suggests a good start to the year.  I finished run December but I kinda got into the habit of running everyhere to get the miles in so new years I ran 1.26 miles down the pub to recover the car with Ben my 9 yr old son.  Apple doesn't fall far from the tree there. Then I took the kids out for a 5.6 mile bike ride.  I was supposed to be having a rest day but I just couldn't help myself and I really want to get the kids especially my eldest a bit more active.

2 nd Jan
 I took the kids swimming and managed 0.62 miles in 29.29.  Now I have done a really silly thing....Taunton Triathlon I have put my 400 m swim time down as 8.30 but my best effort is 9.52......... I really need to do some work here.  I can just about push my self to get 10 mins in training so with the added bonus of adrenalin and competitive streak I think I might just do it.  Its also a tactic as I will be there with people who I can chase whereas before Ive left the field behind.  This year I'm going to start with the faster boys n gals as I know that that red mist comes down and  I will go with a rocket up mt arse!!!!
I also went mountain bike riding with my friend Stuart.  We covered 21.03 miles in 2.06 and it was great fun.. It was a flat ride but the tracks were very boggy and uneven and it was great. I typically rode straight through all the puddles because I like getting dirty...... was good fun and went really quickly.

3rd Jan
I started the day with 4 miles of hill sprints. A half mile warm up to the base of an hill that is about half a mile long and gets really steep ( I call it the booby hill because once you've ran up and down it a couple of times it makes booby shapes on the elevation chart)  I ran up and down three times and it was quite difficult  but I LOVE HILLS and with Run Rampage around the corner best I start loving them a hell of a lot more.  After the first sprint up I felt bluergh.... but soon warmed up and took up the challenge.  

I did want to get out on Whoopie then as I had spent a whole night worrying weather I had the right god damn cassette on the back of my bike..... 25 teeth versus 28 teeth, cadence versus top speed.......AAAARRGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.   I was totally thrown into turmoil and self doubt with my tri racing bike and weather it (or  should that actually be me ) would be capable of conquering the hills at Wimbleball.  I got myself so stressed out about it that I actually had nightmares.   Thunder thighs and dodgy gears plagued my dreams........So I decided the best thing to do was to get out on said bike and go ride some big ole hills....... that was the plan until it started to snow AGAIN.... ( piss off snow, really I've had enough of your little outbursts and your refusal to budge).  There's so much that I don't actually know about bikes and I'm taking a crash course.  There is so much to know and when you ask people you can get some very conflicting advice

I decided to go swimming and I'm glad I did...........I was actually really tired as soon as I started swimming I could feel the tiredness in my whole body, maybe the x country bike ride took more outta me than I thought........I have decided at the start of every swim session I will do a timed 400 m to see if I am improving.  This today took me 10 mins, that's slow.  After that I did another 18 lengths going slowly to improve my technique and to get my average stroke down.  I did succeed in this and learnt a rather important lesson that faster is not always better.  In order to get in the top three of my age cat I really need to pick up the pace.