Monday, 15 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
We left on Friday morning at 3.45am in a convoy of 4 vehicles to converge on Osterwestry Little Chef. There are guys who don't live in the Tunbridge Wells area that would meet us there. Then, its a bit of 'Olympic Breakfast' (I only it at LC once a year and this is it) and then off to Betws y Coed for the Marin. Usually the group splits into fast, med, and slow on the climb up to the trail, but this time the slow and medium group headed out of the parking lot first with the rest of us setting up bikes and generally faffing about. Then it was off.
Myself (Otter), Goldenballs, Stuntwhippet and Honey started up the silly climb that is Marin. As I felt pretty good, I lead up the climb and was first onto the trailhead and waited for the others. It then became just Goldy, Honey and me in the 'fast' group. We pushed it pretty good, and finished the ride in a state, but all in all great fun. But that was just the appetiser.
After the pub, and then dinner Stuntwhippet and myself started to look at the trails at Coed y Brenin with Goldenballs (who is starting to get VERY fast). He was up for the ride, so off we went to hit the Beast of Brenin. Great, wet, riding at one of the best trail centres in Wales and a good group of guys to ride it with. We missed the pub and went straight over to the B and B and then into the hotel bar for a pint of Purple Moose which ran out quickly and was replaced with Brains anniversary bitter (amazing!).
We had originally looked at a trail run up Snowden on the Pyg trail, but decided to call it a weekend and head back to T Wells for some house points with the wives and kids. A great move, as Vix did appreciate it. So did I, as I was totally wrecked. But, still managed to keep the training up and as I write feel good about my fitness going into the Winter. Here's to more training...
Oh, and the post title? That was heard from the rather stereotypical Welsh barmaid at the Pub in Betws when someone started singing 'It's not unusual'. Ah, Wales.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
I've just spoken with my doc who has given me a 'green light' to ride, but reminded me to 'don't push too hard'. I spent Monday getting chest X-rays to ensure that all is ok with my lungs as I keep getting Chest Infections that just don't seem to go away. But, it should be ok as I will remember to ease back at times, even if the pace starts to go away. Most likely, on the climbs.
All is well, and I believe I am over the 'post race blues'. Now, if the rest of you (WW, Bob) can start posting, I might actually get excited!
Pics from the weekend to follow.
Friday, 7 November 2008
Training has been a bear lately. I have been reading about how there is a syndrome that most triathletes (at least the beginners) get that happens after they finish a race/goal. All of the focus on the race/goal drops after the event and then you find it harder and harder to get back into training. Add in the 'not so brilliant' weather and viola! Instant sloth!
And thats what I have been. I still got out for a night ride a while ago, and have gone out for a 'longish' run with Mabel, but the drive is out. My diet has consisted of High GI and fats, instead of the good stuff. And even the thought of a Ferret Weekend (coming up in a week) in Betws isn't getting me that stoked. But here's the plan. I have been looking at doing the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon and that will get the training kick started. Besides, Mabel has started to get a bit 'too' nippy lately and I would hate to have a dog that nips the kids. So, thats that.
Off to Norfolk this weekend to see some friends, and most likely will try to get a run or bike in on Saturday and Sunday.
A lot has happened since the last post, but mainly my wife and I celebrated 12 years together. How cool? My work has been progressing well, with a few mentions in the trades about my Wellness campaign in Uni's and also a speaking gig or two at Healthy Campuses conferences. So, on the whole, life's great.
I'm also a bit excited about the prospect of our Church's Men's Dinner which is rapidly approaching. Things have been a bit quite on that front lately, so it will be good to catch up with the guys I don't see regularly. As long as they don't ask how my training has been.
Here's to the BASE training!
Thursday, 9 October 2008
I had been fighting a chest infection prior to 7oaks, but afterwards, it attacked with power. So, while I had all the intentions of starting my base training, I started to take it easy. And then the new Students started to roll into the University. How did this happen? I went from Ultra fit, to a lazy thirtysomething. In less than 1 month! Wow!
But a lot did happen in between. My son and I went camping for the first time. His favourite activity was 'burning sticks' and potholing. Mabel grew. The girls got bikes for their birthdays. Mabel grew. Vix stopped working on Wednesday nights. Mabel grew. And me? I stopped training, started to work too many hours, and took my antibiotics. Oh, and Mabel grew.
So what now? Well, I will need to see the doc again, as the anti's haven't worked. Most likely I will have some pics of my chest done and see what's what. It may be exercise induced asthama. Nothing serious.
Oh, and this one might interest the bike geeks: I got to see the new Condor singlespeed Pista on Monday. Beautiful!!!
Thursday, 18 September 2008
So, with that in mind, I started to plan my training weeks. As I haven't anything solid in the calendar other than the Wales trip with the Ferrets (Bike, Climb, Drink over a weekend) and a possible duathlon (off road, 2.5k run, 13k bike, 2.5k run) I thought I would try to set a base level and build from there. So...
I have added 2 gym sessions for strenght, 3 run sessions, 2 LSD (long, slow distance) and 1 sprint session on the bike. Somethings missing right? I have decided to join the Tonbridge Triathlon club and get in 2 pool sessions (with a coach!). Now, don't think its too much. The gym is a 15 minute, 2 set core workout hitting large muscles. The run sessions will only be at Zone 2-3 (HR at 130/140BPM) and the cycle will be mostly trainer sessions with the sprint session done to a Carmicheal DVD. I'm going for periodisation on this, so will look at increasing intensity only on week 3 of the 4 week cycle.
So, what's next? Strange how when you achieve one goal, you immediately look for another. I'm thinking about 7oaks Sprint in the Spring, Windsor in June, and 7oaks in the Autumn. But, we have friends in Guernsey and there is an event called the Granite Man. Maybe one for WW, its a middle distance tri? 1.5k swim, 90k bike, and 21k run. Sounds like a long day. Maybe I could watch from the Beach Cafe?
See you soon. Oh, I read a great quote the other day, which I wish I had during the last climb up to the finish on Sunday. 'When you find yourself in hell, keep walking'
Monday, 15 September 2008
I spent most of Saturday night getting my kit ready. My wife knew that I was in a mood as I went through our collections of sports bags trying to find just the right one. Then I asked where was the plastic box that boy used to use. She looked at me like I had really lost it, but just smiled and told me to use one in the shed. 'Oh, and don't forget talc.' What a woman!
Bed for 9.30p and up the next morning at 5a. Breakfast was already laid out, and it was just tea and bagels. In the car, and at the site for just before 6a. The parking area was a bit of a mess, and people were all over the place getting sorted. I went in to registration, got signed up and racked my bike along with all of my kit. No turning back now.
Off to the pool, and for some crazy reason I still had my keys in my hand. Now, I am all ready and here I am with keys and energy gel poolside. I ran up to T1 with the keys and placed them in my box, of course forgetting that I had the gel. Anyway, they made us line up then took us to our lane and said, '1 minute in the water'. Then, the whistle blew and we were off.
I blasted through the first couple of laps and then it hit me. I'd gone too fast and my arms were starting to hurt. My breathing was all over the place, and I started to panic. How many had I done, what about my form? I shouldn't have worried. I beat my time by over 8 minutes, but thats not saying much. I'm not a good swimmer.
Out of the pool, with the gel, and I'm off to the bike. 2.21in T1 and I'm on the bike and spinning a nice gear out of town. A monster hill greats me, and I sit and spin up. Then, the fun part. A good .75 mile downhill and I am hammering it. My heart rate has steadied, and now its down to cadence and tempo. I make up a lot of time during this section and really feel good. The gel goes down at 12 miles and next thing I know I'm coming up on T2.
A beautiful dismount, quick shoe change, and I'm out. 1.06 transition, and I'm starting the run. Now, for those that haven't understood the Blog name, Dip (swim), Clip (clip in your pedals), and Skip (run) is what should happen. However, if you are tired, it can be TRIP. I shuffled. Out onto the run and into a beautiful downhill, then an uphill, then a uphill, but all along still running. About halfway, I got my stride and started to feel good. People who were starting were watching me running the other way! I was finishing, and thanks to my name on my race bib, I was getting congratulated by strangers! Now, I remember why I love this!
Up the killer hill, that was a downhill earlier and I am into the parking lot. Then, the finishing inflatable thing! I'd done it. Quick look at the watch, and it was only 2 hours since I started the whole thing. Excellent.
Now, I finished 183 out of over 300 and while it isn't the fastest, I'm pleased. There are ways to get faster (learn to swim would help!), but I know I am hooked. So, a few thank you's are in order for friends who have helped.
Ki-for being so supportive and the 'golden tickets', Clarabelle-for not thinking me daft, Hazel and Richard-for taking an interest in another mad idea, Bull-for making me do it, Ferrets-for pushing me on the locals, WW-you're an ispiration Ironman! Only 299 more days, City University-for letting me train, when I should have been working, Kids-because I want you to be proud, M/D-For spurring me on in the States, boy and girlies-for calling me Sportacus, and lastly to God-its all in Your glory.
Anyone else that I may have missed, you know...
Now, which way to Windsor?
Here's the result:
Swim-14.21 (254st place!)
Sunday, 14 September 2008
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
Yesterday, I taught a Spin class. Unlike some instructors, when I come out of retirement to teach, I run a cycle specific session working on technique and using Heart Rate or percieved exertion. But, I forgot that when your spending you time speaking and spinning your rate goes up. I tried to push the class toward Anaerobic Threshold on the out of the saddle climb (For those about to Rock was the track), but couldn't resist doing it myself. Still think I'm ok for Sunday.
Today, I sneaked in a swim at the pool. Only 30 mins, but worked on being long and fluid. I really felt comfortable in the water and enjoyed just doing a few laps without a specific workout in mind. I can now say that I really wish I had gotten into swimming earlier. Not only is it a great workout, but there is something about the sensation in the pool. Hopefully, after this Sunday I will keep it going, and spend time on learning technique and really getting a proper stroke. While its too early to think about it, I kinda want to get into the Open Water.
So, anyway just a few more days till the tri.
Friday, 5 September 2008
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Its been a funny few weeks. My training has been going well, with the odd hiccup every now and then (not enough time, injury) but I have been feeling pretty good about things. The one thing is that I haven't concentrated much on the cycling aspect. Mainly due to the fact that I ride regularly, and am comfortable on the bike up or down. So, with that in mind I have been using the bike for bricks. Especially now that I have got the trainer set up in the shed. So tonight I tried a run/cycle session. It was also the first with Mabel.
So, a 20 minute run later (I need to be careful with her as she is only 12 weeks) I got on the bike, flipped on The Collective on the TV and set the tempo at a static Zone 2. Time just seemed to waltz by, I focused on Bearclaw and company and next thing I knew it was time to cool down. Now that's the way to train. Quick shower, followed by CSI Miami and I am done.
So with only 13 days left till the race I'm feeling good. Then, WildWill mentions something in his blog about a push up challenge (100pushups.com). My arms are still killing me. Cheers, Will.
Friday, 22 August 2008
We have another full house over the bank holiday weekend, so will try to watch the alcohol intake. The goal is to hit a brick on Saturday (tomorrow) and then a long run on Sunday. Bull is over for dinner, so should be able to shame him into the Sunday slog.
Thats it for now, see you in a few days.
Friday, 15 August 2008
My training has been ok, with a bit more cycling and swimming and less of the foot pounding. I've seem to have a bit of an issue with soreness after the run in the sole of my left foot. I've tried some new laces and have bought some decent shoes for work (which will stay at the office) so hope that helps. The laces are elastic and have given me a few strange (and knowing) looks on the train.
Struck up a conversation with some people at the pool who kept going on about 'Total Immersion' swimming. Any thoughts on this? Is it good for open water? Till next time....
Monday, 11 August 2008
What is happening? One day I feel like I am on the top of the training game, and today....
I spent the weekend watching the Olympics and just stretching. I went for a quick ride on Saturday as I needed to go into the office in the morning. Quick cadence with a big climb. My rhythm was good, and as I started the climb I saw a rider about 1/4 mile ahead. Target. I maintained my gearing, and sat in the saddle for the climb. I got him pretty quickly and then passed him and he got out of the saddle and started to climb out. I stayed in the saddle and spun, and matched him at the top. We spoke briefly, and he stayed on my wheel for most of the ride into town. I could only guess how long he was out, but he stayed on my wheel as I maintained a strong cadence back into T Wells. I don't know when he left, but I took a glance and noticed he was gone. HR never pushed into zone 3, and I felt really good.
Then, I just watched TV. I made a pact with myself to only stretch on Sunday. We took the family to the pool and just had fun on Sunday. It was great to see the kids in the pool. Boy is just fearless and really is begging for lessons. The girls were bold and wanted to stay in the pool for hours. They slept great that night.
So, today's Monday and that means Swim Training. And I am here on the blog. Can you guess why? It's because I don't want to go. Yep, you guessed it my motivation is nil. And I don't know why. My feet (arch) are killing me on my left foot, that's one of the excuses. But deep down, I just don't want to do this on my own. I've always enjoyed the sense of oneness that you got by yourself, but now that I am really making progress I want someone to be with me to tell me how much better I am. Glory Hound. So, if anyone can give me some Silver Bullet to get rid of this 'buddy' mentality please let me know.
I also checked the results for the London Tri Olympic distance held on Sunday. They are already accepting applications for 09, and I thought why not? However, the £78 entry shocked the hell out of me. Is that the norm for Olympic distances? Maybe I should look at Windsor or Eton next year.
Ok, that's me out. No more stuck in the mud Otter. Tomorrow its pool in the afternoon, followed by the Tonbridge - Home run. Wish me luck.
Friday, 8 August 2008
So, I had to work late Thursday on our Healthy Campus initative and then as I was late in London I stayed overnight in Halls and opened the Sports Centre in the morning. This would normally give me a chance to use my local pool, but it was being used by the Water Polo Club so I tried a different pool.
I walked in and was told that I only had until 8pm. It was 7.23pm so I thought, sure no problem. Went in and found one of the busiest pools I have ever seen. 3 lanes roped off, with a Slow, Med and Fast. I went in Med (along with 10 other souls) and started my 5 lap warmup. Strange, but I felt so heavy in the water. Maybe the busy pool? Anyway, then on to paddles and working on long, slow, technique strokes. Still I felt very heavy. What was going on? Well, as the title says..... I left the pool at 8.10p and thought my lats were going to burst. As I left, I happened to look at the advert for the site. 30 metres! So that was that. What a difference 5 extra metres makes.
And here I was thinking about London for next year. Maybe a bit more practice in open water.
Its been very cool to see some other blogs about guys who have completed triathlons or are preparing. One madman (WildWill) has completed the ULTIMATE. My respect for anyone who has completed any Ironman is growing by the minute. He also happened to give me some of the best advice for improving time in your training. REST.
Thats it. Family are amazing, and really do deserve some credit for letting me get on with training and supporting me when I want to just laze about. Ki has been great and I hope she realises it.
Easy weekend this week, with some light cycling on Saturday and maybe a pool session on Sunday if possible. 5 metres! Think about being in the water for 2.4 miles! No rest in the open water, eh?
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Well, I have kept it up and have been doing the doubles regularly. Today was Swim at lunch and then running in the evening. The pool was crowded, but I still managed to get in a medium lane without too many issues. I set my goal at 10 lengths warm up, then paddles for 6 lenghts, 4 lenghts with just pull bouy and then 4 on my own. Finshed up with 6 lenghts of just long, slow swim. This was truly a record as I got a good 30 minute workout and felt pretty strong throughout. Technique went to hell during the warmup, but came back at the paddles.
Then, it was the run in the evening. This is the hill one, with a gentle run in to town. 4 miles plus and I knocked it out in 34 mins. Heart rate was through the roof, but I did. And felt good in the process.
I also won the bid for the tri shorts, so am bit stoked about that. £62.99 retail and I got them for £23. Let hope they aren't used.
Thats it for now, I'll try to holla back at you later this week.
Sunday, 3 August 2008
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
So, went to the pool with Bull today. How is it that someone can change your stroke and technique in 10 minutes and make you 50% faster? Well, if you swim as bad as I do then anything is an improvement. Bilateral breathing only works if you keep you head in the pool, which is something I really never could do. Anyway, Bull changed a few things and made me realise how to swim properly. Still having a bitch of a time with the full technique but at least its an improvement.
The run is going well, with my HR dropping on the long runs. The hill work is paying off, but I still am a bit worried when my reading hits 193 BPM (my AT is at 182, and theoritical max should be 186), but the heart is a strange muscle and adapts even without training effect. Who cares, if I continue to peg it during the long runs then I must be improving right?
You probably have noticed that I haven't spent much time on the bike. That will change now that my MTB is sorted. Can you believe they finally fixed the brakes, and then sure enough as I am cleaning it I noticed that the rear drive side has a spoke broken. What a joke, but at least the guys at the shop were cool enough to get it fixed so that I could go out with the lads on Saturday. That should interesting.
So, net week is all about getting some quality time in with the family and only a little bit of training. Mostly Bricks of Bike and Run. Maybe some other pool training. So, thats about it. Can't wait.
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Firstly, an apology for taking so long to get something in the blog. What with the conference and sorting out everything for holiday with work I haven't had a chance to get something down. But, fear not; I have news.
The conference was excellent, with some good networking amongst my peers and workshops that were very relevant ot my post. I have a goal to push a Healthy Campus agenda into the University and it was refreshing to hear that other Uni's were also in the progress of organising their own. Its great to hear that health and wellbeing is at the top of the priority list for the Higher Education Institutes.
So, with that in my head and my heart you can imagine the training hours I put in. I tried BRICK training for the first time for the T2 (bike to run). What a wake up call. It was shocking to see just how wobbly my legs were between the treadmill run and then onto the Spin bike. But, I must have did something right as my HR went down to a steady state after 5 minutes. Just wonder what will happen during the actual event once the stress gets going.
One of the speakers we had at the Conference was Sir Clive Woodward (03 World Cup Rugby Coach). He is currently working for GB on the Elite Performance programme for the 2012 Olympics. What an inspriration! He quotes T-CUP (Thinking Clearly Under Pressure). I'll need to remember that.
So, a few questions to ask any triathlete who happens to fall on this blog. What do I do about the pool swim to bike? Do I change from my Speedos into chamios?
Music for the training has been: Placebo (Nancy Boy), Rage Against the Machine (Bulls on Parade) and sadly Chilli Peppers (Scar Tissue). No real reason, just felt the Chilli's needed a mention. Long run tomorrow, followed by some pool work. Wish me luck.
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I had a long run on Saturday HR average was 135 bpm, and total run time was 1.08. Distance covered? Not sure, but Bull and I had a great run and talked about the upcoming tri. This evening I started to go for a swim at the outdoor pool, but decided to call off. No real excuse, just wanted to be lazy. And was thinking about something.
Actually, it was for a completely different reason. We have been talking about a puppy for some time. Now, we have a young family and this might not be the best time but a dog is something I have really wanted forever. The pup we are thinking about is a Springer Spaniel. Energetic, active dog. Someone that I could run with, cycle with and all that. Plus the kids need animals, I always had pets and think its a great way to get with nature and all that.
Procession to the Conservatory. Below is a twin running.
So, to finish it off; Soundtrack for training is: Hunting for Witches (Bloc Party) and Immigrant Song (Zep). I will run/gym tomorrow and will post for one more time before I head over to a works conference. Will keep you all up to date, but...
Once in your life, you really make a truly perfect, absolute decision. Mine came the day I called V's dad and asked for her hand. Since then, I have been completely blessed with V, and Boy and the Girlies. She is my all, my everything, and my wife. I love you babe.
Friday, 20 June 2008
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
- Love my family, and my faith
- Enjoy working
- Can't stand doing nothing
Well, back to the blog. The date of the Tri is September 14, and is a Sprint. 400m in the pool (16 lengths), 25km on the bike, and 8km run. Should be fun, and I haven't even though of a goal time. As this is my first one, it could be anything. The pool should be fun as I haven't swam lengths in years. I'm going to try this weekend to do it, so that I have a benchmark.
Training has been ok, with the local ride with the boys on Saturdays and the running on a daily basis. The pool should be the fun one, but more about that later. So, readers here it goes. Look forward to having you with me.