Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What a difference...


...new goggles make. Barely knew they were there. So refreshing not to be emptying them every 4 lengths, or have them digging into my face.

I was so happy, I did a mile! Except I didn't. My counting skills failed me and I did 62 lengths. I was hitting the lap button on my watch after each 100m, but either I got super-fast around 500m or I only did 50m that time. D'oh. Multiplied up I would have done the mile in about 38:15, or just under 36s per length. There was a pretty straight fade from 32s/25m to 37s/25m over the session. Anyway, it's not pretty, but it's a baseline.

Right, I'm off to watch Sesame Street now and practice my counting for next time.

Photo: skydiving by dollie_mixtures, on Flickr

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Take aim...


Pondering is done. I have a monster in my sights. This one. So, a middle distance/half ironman it is - let's see if I can NOT get a puncture, and beat 7hrs this time. The course is flat, so no hills to slow me down, but on a windy day cycling in the Fens will be a b*gger... but the swim is downstream at least!

I've also signed up to Norwich Tri (aiming again for sub 3hrs, this time I'll remember to refuel on the bike). The 20-week plans I am looking at have an Olympic distance tri at 16 weeks - this one's a bit early but there is wiggle room as I'm starting early. R(ace) minus 20 weeks makes April 2nd for the start of The Plan, or 12th March if I want to hit the oly at 16w and have an extra 3w between then and the full (half) monty, which sounds better.

I've got 6 weeks between now and 12th March to get myself running, swimming and biking to a level that's ready to go. Sounds good. Bring it on.

Hanako! by sally_monster, on Flickr

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New year...

Happy New Year 2012!

OK, so last year kind of went out with a feeble whimper, as evidenced by this blog. Some issues turned up and squashed a lot of things (like enthusiasm and motivation for a start), and winter has been cold and dark so far in more ways than one. What I have learned, though, is that these things do not magically resolve themselves, and happy endings don't just appear because you think you don't deserve any more crap. At some point you have to lend a helping hand to make good things happen - like going looking for them.

If I hesitate to make full-on resolutions, I can at least take stock. 2011 was a mixed year, some good times, but overshadowed in the end by things outside my control - including work trips, neverending colds, back pain, and finally a badly sprained ankle which has me laid off running for a week or two yet, to be followed by a slow comeback. Taking a long, hard look at what I did with the year, I could certainly have done better - both Waveneys were lacklustre, to say the least, and while my 5k time got better within the year, I'm a way off my best. The adventure race weekend was the real shining highlight, though, and if nothing else I am glad I did that. But compared to a year ago I'm less fit, more fat, and I sure as hell don't want to be sitting here next year thinking "could have done better" all over again. I need to train - even if I don't make the start line for whatever reason, time spent training is never wasted, right?

So I'm looking for a race to focus on. Nothing too big, but just the right amount of pressure to keep me motivated. No big trip abroad (i.e. flying) tied up with it, and nothing any longer than I've done before. Ironman 70.3 Ireland (Galway) is a contender, but I'm still checking out options closer to home like the Ely Monster middle distance. Another adventure race is massively tempting, although the only Questar weekenders are Exmoor or the South Downs - not quite as handy as one on my back doorstep in Thetford. A side adventure that's looking good is the ~120 mile overnight Dunwich Dynamo, and I hope I'll be up to running a selection of local races just for fun, but for my main focus I really want something multisport. I'll find out what my buddies are doing, but my main goal will be for me.

Hmm... time to sit down with a cuppa, a laptop, and the training bible, and have a good old think...

Happy New Year 2012! by Creativity103, on Flickr