Friday, 13 January 2012

Still Doing It

I had a great week training last week, but I think that was a little easier as I only worked one half day and had the rest of the week as annual leave. The biggest boost to my training though was having my son to accompany me on my swim sessions and while he did gym sessions in our garage I went on the exercise bike - it was most sociable. It is so much easier to train with company - I can see why people join clubs, maybe I should try and find one nearby?

I've been back to work this week and the challenge is now trying to fit training in around days at work. I think I have to be realistic - I did a ten and a half hour shift on Monday with no break - so when I got home and had my evening meal I decided training was not on my agenda!

So it hasn't been so productive this week but I have managed a yoga session on Thursday and I've just come back from swimming - I did my Derby Tri distance i.e. 16 lengths in 17 minutes so I was quite pleased with that as a starting point. I swam it breast stroke but I am hoping to enrol in some stroke development classes so I can try front crawl. It is soooo cold here and icy I thought I'd have the pool to myself but it was busier than I've seen it - lots of other nutters in the water at 10pm on a Friday night! I did 30 lengths in total and was in the water about 31 minutes so feel like I'm not a totally lost cause.

The 100-up is becoming a little bit of a routine - I have done it on alternate days this week at walking pace and will increase that to daily then eventually speed up.

I am about to report something I never thought I would say this, but I can't wait to start running! I had a slightly earlier finish on Wednesday and was driving home through late afternoon sunshine and, unbidden, the desire to run just popped in to my brain - I am taking this as a positive sign. When I have some more brisk walks under my belt I'll introduce some run walk sessions and before too long I should literally be up and running.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Inspiration from Santa Claus

I got some great Christmas presents this year, all seemed to be on a triathlon training theme.

One book I got was "Can't Swim, Can't Ride, Can't Run " by Andy Holgate.

What a great book - it is a really interesting read and is truly inspiring. I can't believe how quickly he progressed to ironman distance - it's going to take me best part of a year from crazy spur of the moment decision to actually competing in a sprint distance event. Still, I'm not worrying that I am only doing the beginners event, the important point is that I'm challenging myself.

He actually has a lot to answer for - now that I've put it down my son has started reading the book, and within 24 hours of starting to read it he has signed up for a half ironman distance tri in Yorkshire in September!

So if you haven't read this one yet, then I dare you to try it, but watch out or you'll end up entering a triathlon!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

I did it again!

Went swimming last night and did another kilometre - that's twice in one week, in fact it could also be said to be twice in 20 years! Seriously, I'm delighted with my progress, but I'm tired today so am having a well earned rest.

100-up in the morning then probably a nice brisk walk to get the blood flowing. This training lark is making me feel better physically already -possibly all in the mind, but then my second point was going to be that mentally I feel so much better for getting active and and am determined to stay active.

Last night my son enrolled for his first half iron man distance in September so lots to live up to! I blame Andy Holgate - see my next post to find out why!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The man at the osteopath, he says yes!

I am writing today's entry feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Today was my follow-up appointment at the osteopath, trying to keep ahead of that awful back seizing up episode when I tried my running training in November. His opinion was that all of the "bits" were not so far out and went back to where they should be much more easily. He said that all of this keeping fit must be doing me good - RESULT.

Also I'm about to eat a delicious lunch cooked by my son (labouring by me). Its a recipe he first tried with his girlfriend when she came to stay with us for New Year - its from the River Cottage everyday cookbook and is called Tartiflette Toastie. Thank you both for introducing a great new taste to our lunchtime repertoire. Jess is great with food - check out her blog Jessica Eats (Food) - follow the link on this blog.

One last thank -you to Jess, I knew that the 100-up was a good plan but hadn't realised it came from the New York Times - I'm feeling very cosmopolitan.  I'm sure it will be really helpful to me so thanks for keeping an eye out for training tips for you know who, 'cos he passes them on to me so I get a chance to improve too!

I was going to take the Christmas lights down but daren't even go up the ladder in case I blow away in this horrible weather. The weather means training for today will be an evening session on the exercise bike - it's way too windy here to contemplate going outside on a bike (and besides, I still haven't got the bike Santa promised me - shopping trip alert - will keep you posted).

Anyway, for my last cycling session I managed 30 minutes, so I'm going for 35 tonight - its a real temptation to push harder, but that leads to long gaps while I have to recover so I am definitely listening to advice and taking a slightly more tortoise approach to training. Slow and steady (but not too easy) wins the day.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Wating For A Bus

It's only January 5th and I'm feeling fitter already.

I got a heart rate monitor for Christmas so Monday's task was to set the time, date, etc and also tell it how old I am and what my height and weight are. Surprisingly it didn't laugh out loud at the info and so I proceeded to have a 30 minute ride on the exercise bike to test out the monitor and measure my heart rate throughout.

I tried to be in the aerobic range while I cycled but it was hard as I was also being coached by the real triathlete of the family about keeping my knees over my feet rather than stuck out at the jaunty angle I was using. Also I had to try not to glaze over as we got in to the realms of cadence - I really am interested but it seems there is so much information coming at me at once that my brain is suffering a little bit of overload. (It is only small anyway and so is easily challenged by technical details!).

It's Tuesday, and, spurred on by my success on the exercise bike and the fact that I could still walk when I came down stairs in the morning I promised to do more exercise today. We started to plan the days events, I had to go to work for 1pm so we decided we'd swim together at the late night session at the local leisure centre - adults only 9-10pm. However he had a little something to show me first - a first step towards improving my running technique.

Instantly another example of brain overload came to light when the son described the "100 up" exercise which he is going to do every morning. The easy version is to walk on the spot, lifting the knees high at each step, you are bare-foot and try to put the ball of the foot down slightly ahead then the heel follows. The arms are held at 90 degrees and you do 100 steps moving your arms as you would in a running action. When you get fitter you are meant to do it running on the spot. This exercise helps to cure you of heel-strike as you practice ball of foot-first until it becomes second nature.  Hubby and son realised I had problems visualising the exercise when I asked which arm you move when you step on the right foot. Hubby did a demonstration, I asked again and he seemed to think it hilarious that I couldn't get it - but we had the last laugh at his expense, as when we analysed his action he'd been doing it wrong! So he and I had a lots of fun while we did "Spotty Dog" walks up and down the hall - the son is too old to have seen the wooden tops so just watched us in a bemused, tolerant fashion, much as we used to watch him when he was a toddler - my how times change! So now I finally understand the "100 up" and have promised to do it every day.

After work I got in at 6.45pm and we had a reasonably early tea, then down to the swimming pool and in the water by 8.50. And now I have to tell you I made some amazing progress. First of all my overall distance was 40 lengths which is 1KM - how about that! Also I tried to improve the technique, I was still doing breast stroke but it was slightly better - I tried to visualise moving well through the water and remember that the more relaxed you swim the easier it is. Also with a little coaching from the son, I had a go at real front crawl - not the head up all the time effort from my youth, but putting my new goggles and even newer swim hat in the water. I only managed about two thirds of a length but I did have a kind of light bulb moment and suddenly when I went back to breast stroke I could co-ordinate the bobbing and breathing much better - it made  the last 6 lengths much easier. Just for comparison we did some interval training and I discovered that in the time it took me to do 5.5 lengths, the younger generation had completed 12 and had started his recovery period. But I persevered, and every time he set off for the next set, so did I and I kept up the 6 per set so felt really pleased. When we got out I actually felt my legs belong to me and I could walk in a straight line and no threat of throwing up (contrast the session before Christmas). Typically Em wasn't on duty in the pool so I couldn't have a chat and show off my improved level of "fitness". We came home and I ran in the house yelling guess how far - and guess what it felt great to say I can swim a kilometre ( I think I was 27 the last time I did that).

It's now Wednesday and I have done my "100 up" and been for a brisk walk for 25 minutes through the wind and rain, so that's 3 days in a row now.

This is where the bus comes in - after waiting all these weeks for a bit of training, one session comes along and then so do another 2 - I am feeling very pleased with myself. I will hopefully keep going now.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Zumba, Swimming and Lemsip

Looking back to December and my training, this is a summary I wrote qbout what happened but unfortunately I didn't manage to post before the Chrismas break overtook me. so here it is, if a little belated.

I've managed one zumba session since the silly work season quietened down and I really enjoyed it.

Stepping up the training I  went to a 9pm swimming session with my son, he did so many lengths that I lost count, but I counted mine and I did 30!!!!!!!! I was so tired when I got out of the pool I thought my wobbly legs would fail to carry me to the changing rooms. Then I realised that the lifeguard was a friend of mine so I had to have a quick chat while pretending that I wasn't about to collapse. Still, the Derby Tri only needs me to complete 16 lengths so this has given me a real boost.

This, I was sure, was surely the start of a great new training regime but sadly, within three days of my swimming session, I succumbed to the nasty cold germ that was being passed around at work and my routine turned into timing my next dose of cold relief medication so that I could keep going at work and finish the Christmas preparations.

Once again I am going to have to wait a while until I feel better, so I'm guessing that I know what my New Years resolution will be - train more, stay fit!