Sunday, 27 January 2013

Catching up on the last week

After a week which involved 23k of swimming, this week was always going to be less than spectacular.  Throw in the continued snow and icy conditions, and not great mood, an an extra late shift and a Sunday shift, and a slightly disappointing week resulted.  Perhaps I'm being a little bit harsh on myself.  Despite the snow/ice, I managed (by dint of walking up to the main road) to cycle into work 5 days, and cycle home 3 days (the other 2 were late duties so Mr Tuna picked me up).  I managed to swim 4 mornings before work, staying in bed on my morning off on Thursday before catching up with some cooking, and swim before work today, totalling just under 14k of swimming.  I have to say I wasn't feeling the swimming really though!

The highlight of  the week has to have been my run on Saturday morning.  I'd been planning a long run the previous Saturday, but the weather got in the way.  After torrential rain on Friday night (hurrah!) and no more freeze, the pavements were pretty much clear.  It was still icy on our road, and out of our village, but after about 1k from our house it was fine.  Ran down to work, around the Radcliffe Camera, and back.  No walking, and completed 14k in 1h 23 minutes.  I was very pleased, even if the 1st mile was a real struggle (because I just felt dismal) and the last mile was a struggle (legs were tired).  I know now that I should be able to get around a half marathon, even if I run 14k and walk the rest.  Maybe even in the target that I've set myself of 2h15...

So total activity for this week:
13.75k of swimming
14k of running (IN ONE GO!)
and 1 pilates class
and 8 x 4.5 mile commutes

Not sure what this week will hold, but hopefully there will be something to write about at the end of it!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The more it snows...tiddly pom...

...the more annoyed I get with the disruption to my training and everyday life! 

To be fair to both myself and the weather, most of the week was ok until Friday when we got sent home from work at 3pm (absolutely unheard of!).  Monday's snow was slushy and quickly washed away when it turned to rain.  And because it was the weekend, I've still been able to get to the pool by bus yesterday and with a lift from Mr T/bus today.  The main roads are ok, but the 500m to the top of our road is very slippy and I can't get my car out.

I'm a bit disappointed with the lack of running.  I didn't run on Monday or Tuesday evenings as I sometimes do because I was scared of the icy pavements.  I did manage to fit in a 5k on my morning off on Thursday (having already swam 5k in the pool).  I went to the gym yesterday and ran on the treadmill but it was torturous and I only managed 5k before going to sit on the recumbent bike until the pool opened.  Didn't help that I had forgotten my headphones!!

On the plus side, I swam 23k across 7 sessions.  I thought about taking today off, but at least with it being a weekend day, I could take my time getting to the pool, and then maybe rest tomorrow or Tuesday when I have to go before work and it is dark and conditions are dangerous.  Also, there was a heating problem at the pool which meant no hot water (and pools only heated to 26C rather than 29C which I thought was lovely), and I won't be able to go for a swim or even the gym en route to work if I can't get a shower!

Like last week, I'm not making plans for the coming week, as I have no idea what the weather will hold and whether I'll be able to get the car out etc for things like pilates and my Thursday am swim.  At least with 2 good weeks in the bag I don't mind taking things easier in the coming week, especially as it looks like RAIN by next weekend which I hope will wash the snow away.  Only 3 weeks until my half marathon and 4 until swim camp so I really hope that I can continue to get the swimming in and resume running ASAP.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Pretty good week

I think last week was pretty good, all in all.  I accrued 16k of swimming (across 6 sessions), and 19.5k of running (across THREE sessions (go me!)), as well as the Fitness Pilates class that I went to yesterday.  No cycling, but I still did 9 x 4.5 mile commutes and learned to change a tyre (and bizarrely, I'm finding cycle commuting a bit easier at the moment, although that's probably the weather).  AND I gained an understanding of the theory of how to change an inner tube.  And anyway, I'd always said Jan and Feb were about training to get the fitness up to make the most of Swim Camp and to try to get around this half marathon.

I'm not going to set goals/targets/schedules for this week, again because I need to be gentle with myself as I try to keep myself on an even keel mood-wise, especially as it's the first week of term.  Also, snow is forecast and it's going to be jolly cold.  Not that I mind training in the cold, but I am petrified of ice, and would rather miss a few workouts than miss LOADS of workouts because I've broken something.  We'll have to see how it goes.  I've booked a place for Fitness Pilates on Wednesday night though!

Four weeks til my half marathon and FIVE WEEKS TIL TENERIFE!

Tri Swim Fitness Workshop

Yesterday, I went to a "Tri Swim Fitness" down at the University Sports Centre.  I'd seen it advertised on the tri club facebook page, and decided to book a place for an afternoon of doing something a bit different (also, the University swimming pool is lovely - I would join as am eligible for a good rate as a member of staff, but it's just in the wrong direction from my house, and I'd lose swimming time to time spent getting there).

The afternoon was run by Cathy Cavender who is a swimming instructor and Janette Cardy who is a fitness instructor and personal trainer.  I have met Janette before; we do many of the same swim races and she goes about 1-2minutes faster per km than me, which translates to a 5 minute better time over 3.8k, so she obviously knows her stuff!  (And she did recognise me/my name from the summer!).

It was split into 3 parts - Fitness Pilates, followed by some flexibility work, followed by an hour in the pool.

Unusually for me, I enjoyed the dryside work far better than the swimming work.  I LOVED the Fitness Pilates.  It seems that I have very little core strength, and I am sure that improving it would be beneficial for all of my sporting activities.  And it's something that you can work at in little bits by yourself too.  The flexibility stuff was fascinating.  Janette said that my hamstring flexibility was "really bad", but surprisingly, I was able to do "the swimmer" pilates move well, and I had really good flexibility in my shoulders (just that they were very tense) (that was a big surprise, not).  But I felt so relaxed afterwards (apart from my tummy muscles which today are Quite Sore) and actually managed to sleep for 5 hours in a row (normally I sleep for 1.5-2 hours, wake up for a bit, repeat etc etc) which was amazing! 

I definitely want to incorporate this into my schedule.  Janette does a Weds evening class which I am going to try to attend this week (I struggle with doing things on evenings so this could be quite a challenge for me), and she's also going to do 2 private one off lessons for me and Mr Tuna at the start of February.  Hopefully this will give me a better idea of the things that will be good for me to do and I can practice them whilst I'm in Tenerife.  Although I will try and practice the things that I can remember from yesterday though too.

I didn't enjoy the swimming so much, probably because I was quite tired after all of the rest of the session, and also because the pool is quite cool (which is great for a hard training set, but less good for hanging around), but we did some drills, and talked about the difference between threshold and endurance training and did a timed set (which warmed me up).

Anyway, it was a fantastic afternoon and made quite a nice difference to my training!

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


Last night, after work I went to a tri club workshop on "how to change a punctured inner tube".  I was feeling pretty rotten and nearly didn't go, but I'm glad I made the effort as everyone was really kind and helpful and I now have a good understanding of the process.  Here I am taking a wheel off the bike - note the best clothes which were worn for an important away half day at work, and entirely inappropriate for changing a puncture in.

I learnt:
* how to take a wheel off a bike (including the tricky back wheel)
* how to prise off the tyre using tyre levers
* how to remove the inner tube
* how to replace the inner tube
* how to put the tyre back on.

The thing I struggled most with was getting the tyre off as I don't seem to have enough strength in my thumbs.  I'm going to need to practice...

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Last week/this week

Looking back at the first week of training of 2013, I'm actually quite pleased, despite the fact that since returning to work my mood has been somewhat mixed and both weekend days I've found myself struggling to get out of bed (1pm yesterday, 11am today).

I managed:
10k of running, across 2 sessions
75k bike ride
16.5k of swimming, across 5 sessions.

I was supposed to go out for the tri club ride today, but despite setting my alarm, I just couldn't get going.  But I was pleased with the 4.5k swim set that I did instead as that's the furthest I've swum in a month, and I could easily have carried on to 5k, had my car park ticket had a bit longer left on it!

Looking forward to next week, I'm not sure that I want to set too many goals.  My mental well-being is a bit fragile so I don't want to end up beating myself up for things that I can't achieve.  I also know that I have quite a full-on week at work.

I'm hoping to complete 15-16k of swimming, 2 runs and maybe a bike ride.  On Saturday, I am also going to a "Tri Triple Whammy" workshop in Oxford, which is going to be some pilates and stretching exercises for swimmers/triathletes, followed by an hour in the pool.  Should be good!