Sunday, 30 November 2008


A head full of cold and a very busy week at work have conspired to mean no exercise.

Just over a week ago I had a conversation with a colleague who, as a result of a routine healthcheck, was diagnosed with diabetes in the summer. He is not as old as me or as overweight. He is a pleasant chap and he talked quite a lot about the shock he had and how he is dealing with it. Basically he has cut out all sugar, has lost weight and feels much better in many ways.

As far as I know I do not have diabetes at the moment (last blood test did not show it anyway) but my Mum has type II, and I have many of the risk indicators.
Every time I speak to my Mum on the phone she asks about my weight; it makes me impatient, but as both her parents and a sister died in their 50s from strokes I have recently realised how anxious she is about me dying before her.
So the result of all this is that I have a renewed keenness to improve my diet.

So since that conversation I have cut (as far as possible) added sugar foods - so no cakes, biscuits etc and tried to eat more fruit and veg. It has been good and I now don't really think too much about it. 10 days completed - including selling fairtrade chocolate at the school bazaar and on a stall sited next to the cake stall!!

A long time ago Womble wrote 'The changes that work are the small ones that you can stick to and are easy to do, one by one.'

So the sugar has gone - it is not a small change but it is just one change and for me it seems easier to just have not biscuits or cake than say, well I can have one but no more. Losing the habit is better.

Next is cutting down on the fat. I have a lot of bad habits in that department. And I can cut those in small changes - no spread in the sandwiches is this weeks change.

Sorry this has been self indulgent.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

No bike

The sun is rising later and I was first in the car park - so couldn't resist.

A forum friend was looking for a bike - so she can Tri. My bike does not fit me, so I have passed it on to her. She will give a bike to Oxfam.

So no cycling. Maybe in the spring, if finances allow, I will get a new hybrid bike that fits.

But I did go back to SwimFit and it was good again. And I am not slowest (provided we don't do too much breaststroke!).

And I've been back this morning to practice what I have learned, concentrating on form. At swimfit we only do one length at a time at the moment, so today I tried to keep going. And managed 2:4:6:8:8:2:2 then it was time to get changed and meet MrBeanz.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

A plod :>)

I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks.

Last week was the High Peak Relay which we haven't done for the last two years. But this year we managed to get together a forum team. The hardest bit is the logistics of getting everyone to the right place to start their leg, without leaving them to freeze, and making sure the is someone with a warm jacket for them at the far end when they finish their leg. We managed it almost perfectly. And the chap who ran rather more than was planned (and didn't have any kit when he got to the finish) still wants to do it again next year! I was not running but driving and supplying the cake. Both Runner Beanz and MrBeanz ran. The weather was atrocious for the first half which included both their legs.
We were able to shelter in an old railway hut while waiting for RunnerBeanz to finish and MrBeanz to start.

Runnerbeanz ran the tough first leg, with a climb of 800 feet.

On Wednesday I went to SwimFit at the gym. I was a bit anxious about not being good enough but I managed to keep up with the drills, although I had dreadful cramp on some of the legs only lengths. I certainly enjoyed it and will go again. Although I have swum further in a session I certainly worked harder than I would have done on my own.

If we go to the gym MrBeanz likes to go early. But were both up very early yesterday and we decided that this morning we needed a bit of a lie-in. But I knew I needed some exercise - I've been feeling rather lethargic recently.

So I had a bit of a lie in then went to try out my knee with a plod. More walk than run but I did manage the running bits with no pain and (so far) no after effects :>)

A highlight of the last few weeks has been the autumn colour. I had to stop the car one morning this week and take some pictures.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Away days

We had a few days away over half term. We returned to Malvern, last visited in 2004 when I was beginning my running career and went for some early morning plods on the hills.
Not this time I went for the lie in and then walking later.

We visited Hanbury Hall on the way - they have restored the garden to the design it had before Capability Brown came along and went for the makeover country park style.

We went to Westonbirt Arboretum, famous for its autumn colour. We managed to escape the greenwelly brigade and their children doing the half term stuff.

And we had a walk in the October snow.

More pics on Flickr

Friday, 24 October 2008

Knitting club?

There's a saying that the Pirates are 'not a knitting club' so thats alright, I am not a pirate.
On Sunday I went to a knitting workshop, having not knitted much for years.
It was a good day - I learned some new skills, met some new people and made this sampler:

A benefit of knitting is you can't eat at the same time - so that should help the weight loss!
This week I have been to my mother's for a couple of days and managed to fit in my longest swim for very long time - 1 km front crawl - as 2:4:6:8:8:6:4:2. And lots of gardening too.

And 0.5 kg off this week.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

progress :>)

I had an appointment at the hospital this week with the orthopaedic people. Met a very pleasant young registrar who asked all the right questions.

Looking at the X-rays (didn't think to get him to email them to me - next time) it seems there is some wear and tear, some compression of the cartilage ands some suggestion of osteo-arthritis. But not too much to worry about yet - a long way off the knee replacement bit. However he did inject some steroid stuff to reduce the inflammation that causes the pain. After two days of incresed discomfort (which was anticipated) it has been much better. Today I drove to Oakham and back - 45 miles each way - with NO discomfort and no stiffness when I got out the car. This must be the first time since last November :>)

I did ask him abut running - and he said well we can only advise, and if you run it will wear more quickly. So better to cycle and row and X-train and swim, and maybe a little treadmill running.

But I like running best.

So the plan is to swim and cross-train until Christmas, with the target of losing some of the load on the knees. And then aim to take up the running gradually and see how it goes. I am due back at the hospital in January and would like to show I've made an effort.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

a swim at last

I have been trying to get to the gym in the week and swim for some time. At last I made it for a short swim tonight - it was a bit crowded :<(

The last teenbeanz went to university this weekend. It has left me a little bereft I think - more so than I expected.

However it does add some flexibility to the week for the next 9 weeks, so we must take advantage. MrBeanz and I have agreed to meet at the gym on a Wednesday evening and do exercise and then eat there. And also go together on Sunday mornings - we need to justify the monthly membership! So lets see how long we can keep it up.

Sunday, 28 September 2008

A misty moisty morning

It was the Kedleston Cancer Research Run 10k today, and I had I offered to marshall. It is a tough course - all off road, much on grass and plenty of hills. For anyone who is graduating from the local Race for Life it is a much tougher course, as well as being twice the distance. It was indeed a misty morning when we arrived as the photo shows, after some rain it brightened a little so the race was done in ideal conditions, cool and dry, though rather slippy under foot. I was marshalling just before th 9k mark and was able to tell people that it was now downhill and only a km to go.

I took runnerbeanz to university this week and I do miss him and the time we spent together, going to training and back. Theoretically I should have more time for me now, but it has not materialised yet.

Its been a struggle recently, no exercise for some time and no excuses just that I don't seem to have the time or inclination to go to the gym and by the evening I am too tired to swim.

I see runners out as I am driving to school, and wish I was running - but my knee has been better since I stopped running so I don't want to undo the good work. However I have a hospital appointment in a couple of weeks so I want to try a little plod before then so I can say whether that makes it worse or not. The quads no longer hurt its just the side of my knee.

Ho Hum

Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Vitruvian - a marshall's view

The Vitruvian Long Distance Triathlon seems to be the Pirates end of term party. As it takes place at Rutland Water, not too far from home I thought I might go and support Meldy and the rest.

Then I looked at the website and they were asking for volunteer marshalls, and I did think that that was better than just standing around shouting 'Go Pirate' for 7 hours. So I volunteereed for that. The email thanking me for the offer was very friendly. Then came the email asking me whether I would be at the Friday evening briefing (no, I wasn't planning to stay overnight) or at the Saturday morning briefing at 5.45 (eek).
And that was why I got up at 3.15 on Saturday morning and drove in the pouring rain across the midlands to a dark car park, only light by a few head torches (and I had not even thought of bringing mine).
Things got better - the rain had stopped and I was offered a warm bacon bap:>).
After a briefing we went down to the lake to marshall the swim start. Strangely the idea of walking into the lake in a wetsuit didn't seem to put people off doing this - but the amusingly some of these young chaps (first wave was male 18-29) - some with Iron man tattoos - had difficulty walking across the pebbly beach! My job was to shout at the later waves, to keep to the right before the start and not impeded the earlier swimmers on their second lap. (They mostly ignored me.)
Once the ladies in the last wave were off it was on to the bike feed station. Here I had to be bossy again (how did they know I am a teacher?). This time jsut before they collected new bottles htey coudl ditch their empty bottles. I collected these to be binned. A couple of pirates offered to recycle some - so they picked the best for washing and reusing. A dreadful waste really, especially as they were classed as 4 for recycling so cannot go in the council bins.
After everyone was on their second lap I moved on to the finish. Here I was collecting chips and lap bands. These triathletes were amazing - they had just competed a gruelling race over 4 and more hours and yet they were apologetic that I might need to bend down to remove their chip!
There is a great range of emotions that people experience - some are in tears some are ecstatic - some are just completely drained.
And then its all over - last pirate has crossed the finish line and the clearing up begins. I don't know how many plastic bottles were used during the day, but we had a box of bottles prefilled with water. These could not just be emptied and used next time, they would have grown green stuff at least. So what to do with them? Well a few pirates were lurking round the bar (no surprise there then) so they took a bag full to share around, my fellow marshall took some for her swim club and I brought some home for runnerbeanz and his mates.

I had been on my feet for nine hours, done more bending my knees and back than I had for a long time and really enjoyed myself.

I wondered whether it might confirm my belief that triathlons were for other fitter peole. It didn't. I t made me think that I should get fitter. The trouble is that at present I have no confidence on the bike. I have been for little pootles of 2 miles round the local roads, but going any further (other than round in small circles) means venturing onto main roads and hills. I just don't seem to be able to progress. My confidence has not been helped by one of the pirates being hit by a bus in the race - she'll be ok - only bruising and a broken collarbone. But it could have been MUCH worse.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Where did the holiday go?

As usual its nearly back to work time and I don't know where the time has gone.

Although I have completed some of the things I wanted to do, most are not started or only just begun.

I spend too much time on the computer, not being productive but surfing around .....

I haven't done as much exercise as I promised myself. The conundrum is this: if I don't get out early I don't do it, but in the holidays I feel I should not have to get up so early every day and so I am lazy and stay in bed.

So today is BH Monday and that was the last lie-in. Its amazing how close deadlines concentrate the mind!

On the positive side, my knee is much improved - no more aching quads and much less discomfort in the knee - in spite of some gymming and gardening. And the garden does look better, though still work to do.

Verdict : Must try harder.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

A good week

Cycled a couple of miles in the morning - getting the hang of the gears now. Need to up the miles!
And I tried out Body Pump at the gym. Although I couldn't do the squats and lunges (knees) I enjoyed the rest and will try and go again.

Swam 28 lengths in sets of 4 fc. Will add some variety to that - some pyramids I think to get the endurance up to 6 and more without pause. Before the knee trouble i stuggled to do more than one fc without a breather, so progress is being made :>)

I went into school and did various jobs - so lot so of up and down stairs had to do for exercise.

A level results day and the teenbeanzes did well. Both have achieved (and bettered) the grades they needed to get for their preferred Universities, so they (and we) are pleased. We're very proud of them both.
I spent the day helping grown up daughter find somewhere to live when she starts her first real job as a teacher next month. We were successful - just have to hope people get on with the references so she can move in asap.

Coffee and natter with LFV, shopping with the young beanzes and lots of Olympics to watch :>)

More Olympics (and more gold medals) and gardening for exercise.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Checking in

I'm not quite sure why I haven't posted since coming back from holiday, but life has been busy.
It was a good holiday - good hotel

with a sea view from our room

I seem to take lots of pics of flowers

lots more pics on my flickr pages

We did manage some exercise - a walk along the cliff tops:

and even a bike ride!

It was quite hard work the biking - as you can see I have narrow road tyres and the path was not smooth and was undulating!

Since we came back I have been to my mothers for a few days and we have had visitors.

I also managed to squeeze in a trip to the phyzz. So now I have a programme that does not include any running. I have to admit that without the running my legs do nto ache as much, although my knee does still hurt from time to time.

I have been out on my bike on the road - the first time for years. And only done a couple of miles, but was not put off - I now need to practise using the gears and extend the distance gradually. I am also swimming more.

And I have lurked on the pirate kit thread!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Off on holiday .... with a bike ??????

Tomorrow MrBeanz and I go on holiday, leaving the younger beanzes at home alone ( well they are 18, 18 and 22).

As we are going to Norfolk we thought we'd take the bikes and get some gentle exercise together.

S has a newish hybrid bike, just the thing for cycle paths. She is happy to lend it to me. But she is taller than me - I've just tried to get on the bike and its too big - the cross bar got me

Then we got my old road bike out of the garage - actually quite a nice Raleigh - lightweight etc. It hasn't done many miles, but I was a few stone slimmer and more agile then.

I just about managed to get on and get pedaling before we ran out of garden

But we've decided we'll take it and see how I get on on the prom at Overstrand. I need a nice quiet level and straight stretch of path to practise.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Putting the knee right

I went to see a different phyzz today. She examined my knee thoroughly and asked lots of questions.

There is nothing seriously wrong - no meniscus problems. Probably the medial ligament causing problems something like this.

She has advised me to take a couple of weeks off running to try and normalise the strength in the leg. So lots of exercises - half squats, leg press, balancing on the bosu together with swimming and cycling - but don't get any funny ideas.

I really want to get this right and need to focus on doing these exercises for the next few weeks while I have time.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

not so good

After running 6 miles last Sunday and going to the gym on Monday it all went downhill.
The gym programme on Monday evening left me very stiff and tired, and I chickened out of running on Tuesday - lots of excuses not many reasons.
But that made me eat badly too :<(
Wednesday to Friday was spent in Cambridge. I managed one run, by the end of which my left piriformis ached. (All the trouble recently has been on the right side, so this was a bit of a surprise.)
I was lazy yesterday and today I tried to run 7 miles but the piriformis and the knee got the better of me.
My knee and quads still give me grief - aching if I sit too long, aching some of the time when I drive, my knee sometimes feels really sensitive to touch and sometimes tingles.
I wonder whether I should just give up running for some time and concentrate on the gym strength and stretch. I would have to work really hard at that to get weight off at the same time.
I think I'll email this to the phyzz.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Granada Diary

Thursday 3rd July

Left Derby in pouring rain. Arrived in Granada to a hot evening, with a breeze which took the edge off the heat. A fascinating view from the plane as we came in over the hills - brown dry fields with a regular network of green spots of varying sizes - there has clearly been a lot of planting recently.

A bus brought us into the city centre and after walking past the hotel entrance I managed to find the door. A plush modern foyer and a modern clean room with a small window which overlooks the courtyard, no view :<( but it is ‘4 star’so I guess at the price I am paying I can’t expect better – and a front facing room would probably be much noisier.

Friday 4th July

The conference did not start until Friday evening so I was able to have a little look around Granada during the day. I visited the cathedral which was built when the Catholics took control of the area after they had conquered the Moors (of whom more later). So the cathedral was intended to be a great statement of dominance. Unfortunately since that time the city has encroached on all sides and it is difficult to get a good perspective on the building from outside, unlike our cathedrals which tend to either be built on a hill, or to have some space around them. I took an audio guide which was very useful, although it did not always tell me the things I wanted to know and in the second half it became rather tedious in the descriptions of all the side chapels.

I then wandered through the streets, including some very narrow lanes with gloriously coloured bedspreads hanging.

By this time it was very hot (35°C and higher) and I made my way back to the air-conditioned hotel. And slept for some time.

After registering we had to find out own evening meal – a little strange we thought, as at this stage nobody really knew anyone to meet up with, so there may have been some folk who didn’t have anyone to go out with.

We then met back at the hotel to take a bus to the Alhambra.

There we wandered round a limited part of the palace as there was a concert on in one of the large spaces. To be honest it was a bit of a disappointment. I expected lots of gardens and water, but we only saw one or two open courtyards with water. And because the lighting was using spot lights you could not see the colours of the tiling – only revealed when I took a photograph and the flash revealed the colours.

Saturday 5th July

The beginning of the summer school and we had talks and workshops all day and then in the evening we went to the Science Park - a hands on science 'museum' which we had to ourselves, where we were fed tapas - which is basically tasty nibbles.

There was a Foucault pendulum, and a nice model to explain how it happens.

We visited an exhibition about the Antarctic that was originally staged in the Natural History Museum in London.

We also had a session in the planetarium, and I am beginning to learn how to identify the stars in the sky. We should have had an observing session but they decided everyone (they?) was too tired.

Sunday 6th July

There were more talks and I now have so many activities to do with the position of the Sun in the sky, there can’t be any more? This evening we had our conference dinner. It was at a place belonging to the University with fantastic views across the valley to the Alhambra. Good food too.

It really is very hot until late into the evening. This is partly because Spain is on Central European Time (the time at 15° E of Greenwich) and its Summer Time but is on about the same longitude as UK (Granada is at 3° E), so is 2 hours ahead of solar time and is hottest mid afternoon. (Can you tell I was at an astronomy conference?) Fortunately we don’t spend too much time out in it. The lecture theatre is air-conditioned, but not the workshop rooms. The hotel is air-conditioned.

Monday 7th July

More workshops and an opportunity to meet the Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Granada (where we have our meeting). I have come across this man before he stages some exciting and spectacular experiments. He is installed a Foucault pendulum, which I have filmed and intend to use in class.

In the evening we were given 10€ to go and find tapas. With every round of drinks you get a tray of free tapas, so you could feed yourself by drinking your way through the money I guess. However the tapas bars seem not to open before 8.30 to 9.00 and a colleague and I decided to eat earlier and then come back to the hotel and share ideas about teaching physics and astronomy – I know, sad.

Tuesday 8th July

The last day of workshops and an early finish. We then took a coach to Calar Alto an observatory in the mountains about 100 km away. We arrived in the early evening and the all of a sudden, we northerner Europeans felt a whole lot more comfortable. The temperature was around 21 °C and there was a gentle breeze.

We looked at the two largest telescopes – with 2.2 m and 3.5 meter apertures. Access to the larger telescope meant climbing up the outside of the building – which to my amazement I did without difficulty. After a look around two of the telescopes we had an observing session out in the open, trying to put into practice the lessons learned in the workshops.

I had the opportunity to learn how to use my camera to take photos of the stars. A very kind young teacher from Greece showed me what to do. With digital it is a case of try it and see if you have the right settings – if nothing shows up then you just try another setting!

We also visited the control room of the 2.2 meter telescope where the technician astronomer showed us how he spends his nights. The observatory is providing a service for astronomers in Germany and Spain. An astronomer will book time on the telescope and then send their request for observations. The technician first calibrates the telescope by taking readings for a known star and then he moves the telescope to the requested part of the sky and records observations, which may be images or data such as the spectrum of the star. It is probably quite tedious most of the time and you have to be very careful that you follow procedures accurately. And you need to be a nocturnal animal!!

Wednesday 9th July

We were allowed a late start as we did not get back from our observations until after 2.00 am. We went to a different venue today – the Institute of Astrophysics who were co-sponsors of the course. There we had an excellent talk on dark matter – which is really wrongly named as it is not dark – that would imply it absorbs the light that falls on it. Rather it is invisible and transparent to radiation. This was followed by a tapas lunch where the plates kept coming. A speciality of the region seems to be gazpacho in small glasses. And so the conference came to an end. Presents for the course leaders and evaluation forms completed. Was it good? Yes overall, though it was rather too heavily focused on sun dials, not enough observation time and no cosmology in the workshops.

No running but I have walked lots and used the stairs almost every time coming up to my 5th floor room. Not eaten too much I think but drinking litres of water.

Saturday 10th July

Home and time to download the photos and sort the wheat from the chaff. I have some rather cool image processing software image-j which is used to process medical images. I tried it on some of my star photos wow !

Can you see the plough?

And finally a piece of street ironwork that caught my eye!
More pictures will go up on flickr.

Running? I have done a couple of runs since I got back and now have a schedule to take me to Robin Hood, which includes lots of strength stuff at the gym.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

I'm off ...

School hasn't quite finished but I am off on a trip. I am going to an astronomy education conference in Granada - and I am quite excited. I've never been to Spain, so that will be interesting and I am really getting into astronomy at the moment.

I don't expect to run while I am there, it is a very full programme, but when I get back I shall have 7 weeks to train properly with no excuses.

Back next week.

With some photos.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

A week off

After last week's six miler we went out for a belated birthday lunch. Travelling in MrBeanz's Honda Civic proved to be very painful. The angle of the seat made both my piriformis and knee go into spasm. I confess I had probably not stretched properly after my run, but it has put me off travelling in the car again.
It also resulted in me having a week off running. When I went out on Tuesday for my short run my knee just didn't want to know. It has been sore on and off for most of the week. So I decided the best thing was to rest it.
I went into the garden yesterday evening to discover these beautiful flowers had come out and I hadn't noticed.

I must get out there everyday.
Yesterday I went down to London for a meeting about teaching astronomy. It was a great day. The first time I have arrived at St Pancras since the new refurbished station opened.
What a fantastic building it still is. The original building by Gilbert Scott has survived the developments to accommodate the Eurostar trains. The lower level used to be out of sight - and was used to store beer barrels brought by train from Burton on Trent which is on the line from Derby. I have also heard that there used to be stables down there. The roof was built by Butterley - a Derbyshire engineering firm who still exist in name at least.

My meeting was at the Royal Astronomical Society in Burlington House. At lunch time we were shown some of the archives of the society - which included first editions of Newton's Principia and John Flamsteed's Star Atlas - another Derbyshire connection there. It was kind of mind-blowing to see ( and be able to handle!) these old books that did so much to change the way we think about the world. Newton may have been a bit of a b*stard but he was also a great thinker.

Anyway back to running. I woke this morning, heard people running down the road, thought about getting up and decided to stay in bed, I have been up before 6 every day this week. I will try a little plod tomorrow. I did eventually get up and take RunnerBeanz to his race - where he at last broke the 40 minute barrier with a pb of 39:31. So he was pleased - and so was his proud Mum! He had run round with a V60 from the club (it was the British Masters 10k champs) RB, then pipped him to the post in the last 100 metres.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Another week passes

I managed a run on Tuesday morning, short but trying to run a bit quicker on the R bits.

Now its Sunday morning and its long run day - up to 6 miles, but hard going. Maybe my 'hayfever' is really a cold as my HR was up compared to last week. So I just took it steady and stopped to look at the views.

The flat part of my run (middle couple of miles) are along the Derwent Valley, part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site
On my way back just before the steep climb home I cross the bridge seen on the right in the picture. This is the view if I look back.

This mill was built by Walter Evans in the 18th Century to spin cotton. There were already other mills using the river here - including paper and corn. Evans worked with Richard Arkwright, who was building mills up river of here at Cromford.
He not only built the mill but many cottages for the workers, a church and a school. The original school became structurally unsound (allegedly only the younger children were allowed on the top floor at the end!) it was replaced by a new building, which my children attended. The cottages are now higly valued and fetch good prices when on the market - even though they have no off road parking:

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Running on

Another week has passed and I have manged to run almost every other day.
Which is good - including 5 miles last Sunday and another 5 miles this Sunday. The average pace today was the best since I came back to running this year - and I did my best mile as well. If you want to know the gory details they are on my Fetch Training Log.
Yesterday I went to Chatsworth with LFV. It was a lovely day and we had a good walk round the grounds a few of the things we saw:
Revelation - this hydraulically powered water feature opens and closes as it fills with water. All the water features are supplied by water stored in reservoirs at the top of the estate, which in turn are supplied by water off the fells.

The meadows were fantastic, full of the most glorious flowers:

More pics on my Flickr page

Thanks for all the support.

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Still here

Two weeks since I blogged - not sure where it went.

I gardened at half term. As usual I suffered the next day or two - knee didn't like squatting so lots of back bending -but it has to be done.
The bog garden is beginning to show some colour now.

My quads are still giving me problems. I think it all stems back from protecting the leg too much. when I injured my knee. I heard this edition of Case Notes on radio 4. The female runner seems to have the same problems as me.
I had a session with the phyzz, A. She gave me some exercises to do to strengthen the quads and bring them back into balance. I MUST do them more regularly otherwise paying A for a session is a waste of time.
A and I tried out a Body Balance class at the gym last week, it was advertised as core strength and a mix of Tai Chi (sp?), yoga and pilates. But it was too advanced for me and although I enjoyed it I don't think it did me much good - I've had the first pain in the piriformis for about a year (although that could have been driving MrBeanz's car) - and my knees have been hurting more at night. I would like to find a beginners pilates class.

I have managed some running but not enough really. I've been reading back in my blog (really must save it somehow it is the nearest thing I have to a diary) and looking at when the training went well. Last summer I was getting out in the mornings before work and taking a route where the inclines are more gradual. I shall go back to that I think.

On a non-running note I had a bit of a rollercoaster ride over the last couple of days. Back in the spring I entered a national competition to win some biggish money to spend on a project to enhance physics teaching in school. A week or so ago I heard that I had won £1000 as a 'good runner up'. I was disappointed not to get through to the final but pleased to have £1000 to spend. On Thursday I had a call to say we had been upgraded to finalist so there would be £5000 to carry out my proposal and the opportunity to win even more money. Great excitement - scared, brain buzzing wondering what I had let myself in for. Then Friday morning another call - sorry we got it wrong, just the £1000. Complete deflation and disappointment. But we do have £1000 to spend on Physics.

Friday, 23 May 2008

made it to half term

I went out on Monday morning and it was fine.
On Tuesday I was stiff from cutting the very long grass with the flymo.
On Wednesday I went out to run, but my knee was not having any of it - so I walked round a very small block and came home.
And today I went out again and ran ok - up to R7W3 this week :>))

I have renamed the zones in the training centre - otherwise I will never get to the stage where it tells me I am running :<(

Sunday, 18 May 2008

A good weekend :>)

Maybe risky to post that title on Sunday morning but it is.

On Friday evening I invited some friends over for pasta. Some were running the White Peak Marathon or the half on Saturday. I guess others came for the company and the wine. So we had a good natter, plenty of pasta and a (relatively) early night. One of the runners had a 'spare' Garmin 305 to sell - well it would have been rude to turn it down wouldn't it ;>) I will be even more geeky about the numbers I suspect.

On Saturday morning I was due in school at 9.15 to take some of the small boarders swimming. So an earlyish run was called for. The new garmin was not charged or set up , so off I with the old one for R5:W2 - it went well and I seem to be getting back to it now.

Off to school to collect the little girls. I didn't actually have to go in the water, that was left to someone else, I had a coffee and natter with a colleague. After depositing the girls back at school, I made my way over to Cromford to cheer in the friends.

I drove through some lovely countryside - I don't really know the part of south Derbyshire around Ashbourne. I didn't stop for pics - otherwise I would miss the speedy peeps coming in. The race is all along old railway routes , so on the whole fairly level but a few nasty inclines (down) near the end.
The finish along the canal is lovely Julie managed as mile as she made a charge to the finish.

I had a good natter with old friends and meeting some new people - including someone I had met at TrailPlus about 4 years ago- we recognised each other but it was she who remembered where we had met.
And so to Sunday - the Sun is shining and I have had a swim. So I am feeling virtuous :>)
Now back to the preparation for the week ahead. If I can do this properly it gives me a chance to get to bed reasonably and so go out for an early run - see the mind is willing even if the flesh is weak.

And I look forwardto seeing joggerblogger and b-z at Robin Hood - and maybe a few more folk too?

Thursday, 15 May 2008

an early morning plod

The first early plod before work for ages.
And I enjoyed it and didn't stop to walk coming up the hill at the end.
So pretty pleased.
I might even do it again one day!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tris and things

It was Stratford Triathlon this weekend and while I have no intention of doing one, I do enjoy supporting. Lots of Pirates and Waisters did this one, so I went along for the company.

I have had a conversation with my brother and we seem to have agreed to do Robin Hood Half together on 14th September. Which means I HAVE to get back into regular running. I have now recovered my Garmin, so can begin collecting numbers. I went out on Saturday for 30 minutes in the park. Hard work and undulating so slow, but at least I was out there.
The intention is to do two runs in the week - working towards an hour and a lengthening run at the weekend. Hopefully as life settles down a bit, some swimming as well.

I looked back at what I was doing last year when the running was going well - at least I thought it was until the stuffing was knocked out of me at Amsterdam. I managed to improve my pace by the time it got to October. Judging by the Garmin data I seem to have been running at just under 150 bpm once the first mile was out of the way.
So that will be my guide as I get going again.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Losing it ...............

I am a bit confused.
I struggle to find time to run - I guess that means I do not want it enough.
But I have plodded a few times and am losing a little weight.
But I still have achey legs - however that doesn't seem to depend on the plodding.
I am confused.

But runnerbeanz continues to run well.
He did his first track race for several years yesterday, running 5000m for the club. A creditable 18:41 ish. And he might be willing to do it again if required.

You can tell by the trees that there is a prevailing wind at the track!

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Mudchute again

I had hoped to run FLM this year, but my cronky knee put paid to that even before training had started.

I know that it is a really bad idea to take a weekend away in term time, but I went anyway.

June and I travelled down at a leisurely pace on Saturday morning. We knew that there were some doubts about whether our Travel Lodge hotel was actually built yet (yes, we're talking London here not the Costa del sol). When June booked the hotel it was due to be open, but when she checked for directions it said 'opening 6th May'. So we went to the one nearest to kings Cross to check - and the website was correct it was NOT open, but nobody had bothered to tell us. A wonderful receptionist at the KX branch sorted us out, so all was well eventually, but I shall not ever book with them again.

Off we went to the expo, where we met up with Tigerrunner, Hippo and RichK. We carboloaded (well I carboloaded, June didn't spot the 'weightwatching?' heading on the menu, and wondered why it was a rather lite meal!). After wishing the runners good luck we collected supplies for Mile 17 and made our way back to our hotel.
Our evening meal was in an Italian restaurant close toe th hotel, and was inevitably full of runners - including a couple of chaps from my club - a small world.

Sunday morning and we let the runners go through breakfast first. Then we went down - to a 'continental' breakfast - ie one that does not need a cook - cold croissants, cereal, juice and coffee from a machine.

We left the hotel at about 9 to make the trek to Mudchute - somewhat concerned to see the odd runner still hanging around at KX having their photos taken! I wonder what time they pull up the start chip timing mat?

Mudchute preparations were well underway when we got there. I was assigned to team 4 with TweetyPie.

With forumites taking pictures of the preparations.

First came the quick people including our very own Liz Yelling.

Then it was time for the main field and lots of folk to look out for.
RichK came through so fast we almost missed him:

Soon to be followed by a very Speedy Hippo.

Lots of other forumites followed, including Sue, who had run Rome a few weeks previously

and eventually Mick'n'Phil who were met with the loudest reception of all!

Then it was time to go home.
Thanks to June for making this a weekend to remember.

Monday, 7 April 2008

prodded into action

So what has been going on?

School holidays are over but they were good while they lasted. I managed to get some exercise and lose a few pounds.

I went to Edinburgh, where I met WAISTer Westie and WestieJunior

and where RunnerBeanz ran a 5k race :

and then we watched some quicker runners:

and some EVEN quicker.

Since then I have been away to Leeds and done a bit more running - including outside yesterday morning in the snow.