Sunday, 2 September 2012

Finally, my routine has returned to something resembling normal. All the boy's clubs and activities have started up again and that gives me a more solid framework to fit my training around.

I decided that I needed a change of gym. I've been going to the same one for years now and I think it's definitely time to move on. I'll be trying out a few different places over the next couple of weeks and hopefully find one that I like and that inspires me to get stuck into some tough training. I think also not having people I know around me will help since there will be less distraction. When it comes to training, I'm a lone wolf all the way.

You might find that I'll be posting here more frequently in the coming weeks. There are things in the offing. This is always a time of year which I find energising and rejuvenating and I intend to make use of it.

The big excitement of this week is that I have a legend coming to stay (or should I say Leg End?) Can't wait! Trans Britain Taffy, I can't wait to see you. Got a hug right here with your name on it ;)

Sunday, 26 August 2012


I haven't blogged in ages. I have thought about it on occasion, I have even made a couple of half-hearted attempts but ultimately, my heart hasn't been in it so I haven't bothered. It's a blog with few readers - I'm effectively talking to myself so that itself shouldn't really matter but it does because it's an attitude that has pervaded other areas of my life and it's making me feel wretched.

I know the advantages of eating and training well and I have let these things slip due to crappy health problems and the restrictions of caring for my mother. This was stupid, or if not stupid, at least backwards. I should have made a priority of those things in order to sustain myself and enable me to care for my mother and carry on with the rest of my life. What I find is that when two or more parts of my personal puzzle get out of place (e.g. eating clean and training), everything else starts to slip. I am more prone to fatigue, injury, poor sleep patterns, PMT and negative thinking. Letting these things fall by the wayside is the psychological equivalent of digging myself a great big bloody hole and jumping in, there to wallow in pity in the darkness at the bottom.

I posted elsewhere that "I have forgotten the face of my father" because it's a quote that's been echoing around my head for days. In essence, it just means that I am not being true to myself and if that's the case, no wonder I feel so crap! I also appeared to have forgotten the flip side of my situation. That is, if a couple of pieces going astray throws things out of whack, reinstating those very things will start to reverse the process and allow everything else to fall back into place. It's wonderful in it's simplicity.

So tomorrow is the start of a detox. I need to get my liver all happy again and, I'm sure, great things will follow.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

I love this time of year. Plenty of inspiration from Wimbledon and the Tour de France and (sometimes) decent enough weather to get out there and train hard!

June is a bit of a double-edged sword though since it's also when school closes for the long summer holiday and nothing puts more of a crimp in your training schedule than having to keep a child entertained. Luckily, my boy is now big enough to do some training with me. It means adapting my routine and requires a little less rigidity from me but so long as I can keep active, I can stay sane. We played tennis this morning and he did some keepy-uppy (and pointed and laughed) while I did my hill sprints. The rest of today's training will have to wait till he is in bed. I'd be a liar if I said I didn't find that frustrating - I do! - but it's the best that's on offer at the moment. I cannot lift weights with him around. I have tried before and it was a miserable experience. I can't concentrate with someone talking at me the whole time. It's the same at the gym. During sets, the earphones go in, the gym face goes on and my headspace is my own. That's how I like it.

The clean eating is going well. I feel better already. It's something that continues to frustrate me - I know how much better I feel when I eat properly and yet I still go through phases where I don't and still manage to feel surprised when I feel like crap!
One of the few things that frustrates me about a high protein, low carb diet is the lack of crunch, or should I say crisp! I have a huge love of tortilla chips (hand me a big bowl of nachos and I'd be a happy girl) and I do miss those. I haven't yet found a replacement food which ticks all the same satisfaction boxes: savoury, spicy, crunchy, messy finger food. One thing that came close though are the cashew, walnut and sesame crusted chicken goujons we made. We scoffed them before we got a photo (oops) but they were surprisingly good. The nuts were crunchy on the outside,the chicken juicy inside and they held up well enough to repeated dippings in a bowl of homemade salsa. Win!

Kneehab is going to plan. I am woefully short on cardio fitness but no longer in daily pain so I can start to build that back up. Strangely, running uphill is more comfortable (for my knee, not my lungs) but hills do you good.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Just Keep Moving

Injuries have left me feeling a bit blah lately and with the blah comes the slacking off on the clean eating front and the drinking of too much wine. Put it all together and what have you got? A miserable, lardy, slug of a woman and that ain't me! Enough is enough.

I'm not going to focus on running events as a way forward at the moment. A 5K run is enough to trouble my knee so there's no way I can put in enough miles to enable me compete in anything. I've tried pushing through and that only resulted in pain when cycling as well as on the run. I think the thing to do is to stop beating myself up about it and focus on other areas of health and fitness so that once I'm fully recovered I'll be strong enough to get back into running with only a reasonable level of discomfort ;)

Over the next 30 days, there will be no alcohol and clean eating is back on the cards. I'll be sticking to a schedule which gives me an 8 hour long eating window each day in a bid to eliminate the late night munchies. This means fasted cardio first thing, followed by a late breakfast around 11am and staying the hell out of the kitchen after 7pm. I will also be doing press ups, crunches and squats (100 each day). This is not meant to do anything other than focus my mind properly. It's not a task which will be particularly physically taxing. It's more about the routine and getting myself tuned in to my goals again.

At the end of the 30 days I should be well placed to crack on with my next goal!

Monday, 4 June 2012


Remember when you were a kid and you kept a diary or a journal? Yes? Good ... then you'll remember that you only ever had time to write in it when nothing was actually happening in your life. Turns out that blogging isn't much different!

There's a lot going on just now and I'm struggling to keep up with it all. I feel like everyone is getting a bit of a raw deal from me at the moment, like there isn't enough of me to go round. Ironically, there is plenty of me! Well, more than usual. Training-wise, I feel like this year has never really got off the ground. Running is being hampered at the moment by a niggly achilles (and the rest!) Unfortunately, it's also not comfortable when swimming. Time is hurtling on (apparently it's June already!) and I think I seriously need to re-assess what I'm going to manage race-wise. I'm not sure I'm in the right frame of mind to do that though. Currently, I'd just like to sack the whole lot off!

I won't do that but I do need to find a way forward and it's not clear to me just yet what that is going to be.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

As ever, this is not the post I thought I was going to be making. Further health problems mean that I've had to take another look at what events I've got lined up and try and make a reasonable decision about what I'm realistically going to be capable of. This means the 40 miler is most definitely out of the equation and I can focus on the Thunder Run instead. It is mercifully both further away and also not so huge a distance.

Strength training isn't so problematic but running has been difficult recently. I'm hopeful that things will soon be under control and I can get back to it. In the mean time, I'm eating as healthfully as I can, taking all my vitamins and supplements and resting. I have also factored in a bit of excitement and indulgence!

On Saturday we are flying over to Denmark for a few days ... for the opening of this year's Giro D'Italia. I'll have my boy with me for the bagging of swag (for some reason they prefer to give away goodies to the kids!) and I have been assigned the task of acquiring a certain autograph for my BIL, that of this chap, Ivan Basso:

Not sure of my chances to be honest. The weather forecast is not good and if it's cold or rainy, the cyclists tend to stay on the team buses and I don't blame them - these guys have no natural insulation against the cold! They do, however, have the most incredible tan lines known to man.

I'm also planning to take my boy for a wee day trip to Odense. Lots of pics of it here:
Pretty buildings this way

The choice of destination has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Odense is the base of one of the world's largest marzipan manufacturers: yum

Sunday, 22 April 2012

As Mr Young used to say ...

... we're cooking with gas! Literally and metaphorically. I should perhaps point out that Mr Young was my high school Physics teacher. He was awesomely uncool and gave precisely zero f*cks about it. He used make us do lots of experiments with lasers so he could 'helpfully' puff on his pipe in class thus creating smoke so we could see the beams more clearly. He had many a naff catchphrase, one of which was: "We're cooking with gas!" He was, in short, rather ace and I was always very fond of him.

This week, I have been doing a whole lot of cooking. I haven't yet got over my fatigue issues. I have also eaten a lot more carbs than usual over the past few months. I know from previous experience that the two are not unrelated so last weekend I managed to smack myself in the head with a clue by four, decided to go back to my paleo-esque type of eating and what do you know, within days I was feeling brighter and more alert. I'm sticking with it from now on. Foccacia is like crack to me - enjoyable but ultimately just not worth it. It's not worth going there. This means I have had to be a bit more organised with my weekly shop but that's no bad thing. I quite like planning out my meals for the week. I enjoy food immensely and I look forward to all my meals so I quite like knowing when I wake up on Wednesday morning that I will be tucking into cashew and walnut crusted chicken later that night.

For me, this type of eating involves a breakfast that is more typically Scandinavian - proteins and salad rather than cereal - a lunch that usually involves an elaborate omelette and a dinner of fish/meat and veg. Sweetness comes in the form of sweet potatoes/yams and fruit (either before or after training). Oh, and protein pancakes! For me this type of eating works because it is mindful in that I have to plan ahead a little but I don't ever obsess about it. I don't have any wild cravings and, importantly for me, I feel I can eat a decent quantity of food. I don't like to feel that I'm going without!

As well as cleaning up my diet, I've been cleaning up my personal life too. I feel better for it and I now have something which has been missing for most of 2012:

Not to get too hippy about it but there's been a lot of hand holding and a sense of moving forward together. There's a kind of special synergy about at the moment and that means a lot to me. I tend to cut myself off when things are rough and, for the first time, I am really not doing that ... and it's okay :)

I've also introduced a new element to my strength training and I am loving it! We're going for the full on Strongest Man approach. More on that next time but for now, all I will say is Farmer's Walk - oof!