How much is too much?

I guess the answer comes with the adage, how much can you do?

Today, I managed my best day of exercise for the year.  I roped myself into a research test for a friend, which simply involves running 3km one day while listening to music, and running 3km a different day, around the same route, without listening to music.  HR is taken at the end as well.  So I got up late today, after not sleeping at all well last night, and had to bust my butt cycling into uni, into a strong headwind, without any toast or anything.  As soon as I got in, I changed quickly, and then went to do my first 3km “test”.  Nothing hard, just jog 3k which we know I can do by now! haha  I did it without music, but felt the wind at the start really made me work as I ran up the slight hill.  Anyway, it was a two lap run, and I really didn’t feel like I was trying hard….an RPE of maybe 14, which is high level of easy.  And the only reason it felt that high was because of the wind.  Imagine my shock when I finished, and my HR was 172!  I put it down to being late up and not eating, as well as rushing to get in.  Anyway, I went about my day, went to a new class (Prosthetics and Orthotics, which looks interesting, but might take up a bit too much time for my liking) before sitting down and starting to collate my Research Dissertation.

I left uni with a friend at just after 6pm, and the wind was predominantly behind us, which was lovely!  I ended up recording some pretty decent times on my Strave route, moving me right up the leaderboards….that was a nice bonus.

I then picked up my bike tool kit that I lent to a friend round the corner, before coming in, changing, and heading around my 3mile loop.  21minutes.  For my 4th exercise of the day, I was hap-hap-happy.  I do feel a little tired just now, hence about to head to bed, and it’s only just turning 9pm.  But sleep is necessary for the body to recover adequately, and I didn’t sleep well last night.

Tomorrow I have more of the same…cycle to uni, research 3km “test” this time with music, cycle home, and hopefully another 3mile in the evening.  I also have another new class to attend, and also go look at a possible venue for our Uni Dept Graduation Dinner/Dance.  Busy day, along with my dissertation collation, so I will be up sharp to head in for some initial work.

Exercise rules! As Does Sleep!! 😀 x


Running along nicely.

The last few days have been fairly busy for me…I finished my essay 12hours past the hand-in time.  It’s ok though, as that’s just a 5% deduction, so everything will work out fine.  I then had a meeting about my dissertation, so have some stuff to organise for that, but it’s going ok.  I also ended up doing a cycle with the Uni guys on Friday…it was lovely and sunny, albeit it cold.  I think this is the only region in the UK not to get snow at the moment….it has flirted with it, but not actually come to anything.  It makes me sad, because I love the snow, and especially love running in it.

The cycle worked in at 36miles, plus the 5miles I had cycled to Uni in the morning, so that was a 41mile day on the bike, and after not cycling that length for a lil while, I decided to let the legs have a day off running.

On Saturday, I decided to stretch out a little bit more, letting the body work just that little bit harder.  I ended up going sub 20mins for the first time since I started back, running 19:43.  I had thought, after feeling pretty easy running 20:00-20:30, that I would maybe run a bit quicker, but if I’m honest, I felt tired before even going out.  So it’s another good step anyway….there is still signs of progression, which is always good.

I decided to take a day off exercise today, as I hadn’t had a day of nothing since the 30th of December, so felt my body deserved a relaxing day.

I’m just watching the Snooker just now, and will be in bed sharp, ready for a good week where classes start back at uni, and I exercise some more while doing more work for reports and such.

Hope blog world is well, and everyone is fit and health, and keeping their bodies moving. 🙂

What one person does, is not what all do!

I will leave a blog about myself till tomorrow, tonight I’m going to write about what everyone has been discussing in sport the last few days…..the interview….and give my take on things.

I learnt, when I was a child, that what my friend did, did not mean that I should do it, or even that what he did, meant that my other friends also did it.  Often I would hear the phrase “so if he jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?!”

I watched the Lance Armstrong “interview” today, all the way, both episodes.  I guess I was never truly convinced he was clean, having heard stories about cycling in the 90s and such, but I was also never convinced he was dirty either….I was happy being in limbo, just like ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’, saying “hey, he’s just awesome at what he does.  If everyone does drugs, then he is simply the best person who does drugs in cycling, and competes”.  

There is no doubt in my mind, that the hours and hours AND HOURS of training that the machine who is L.A. did, made him the winner he was, not just the drugs.  In fact, how do we know how much benefit the drugs actually did for him?  This is something we will never know.  I know there are research papers out there (having done a lot of reading articles and journals recently) that will be able to state how much benefit people have doing drugs in sport, but every man/woman is different, and each body will react differently to what is put in them.

The fact that he was a bully, an intimidator, and as the program described “a jerk”, only made me sad.  This is a fellow human who felt the need to attack others in order to defend himself.  I pity him, and I pity those close to him who had to deal with that animal during his heyday, and who couldn’t stand up to him, and say NO.  I know there were some who tried, but if people constantly tried from close in, more could have been found out at an earlier date.  

What  also came to my mind was that he was so insecure in himself, that he felt his only way to succeed was to take drugs.  How often have I trained and competed, and felt sooooo bad, that I wondered what I was actually doing?  Did I have a right to be on the same piece of tarmac, grass or track as these other athletes?  Was I wasting my time? Was I a joke?  Should I just pack it all in?  I can safely say, not once have I been in the position, or state of mind, where I felt my way out was to take drugs. I had a “friend”, more like an acquaintance, who I did some training with while I stayed in America, who was done for drugs last year.  It blew my mind.  Here was a guy I was friendly with, and chatted to, and ran with, and now he’s a cheat!  The problem that was documented with him was that he had been injured, and wasn’t getting any races, meaning his income was low, and he just needed to get fit as quick as he could to be able to survive…. I knew he had been depressed about his running, because he hadn’t been as fit as he wanted after some horrific injuries, and he had considered quitting because he just didn’t enjoy it anymore.  But when running is your life, and it’s how you make a living, I guess anything in your mind can be made to look like a viable option.  But the fact that I was friendly with this person, did runs with him, did a couple of sessions with him, does this mean that I too do drugs??  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

Anyway, the point I’m putting across is, yes, L.A. did drugs, and yes, he acted like a complete jerk these last years while denying everything that people said about him, but he is one man.  I have read articles from the likes of Mark Cavendish, saying how damaging this is for cycling, and that everyone should not be tarred with the same brush.  The funny thing is, I don’t – and any athletes out there will say the same thing.  I believe that all athletes are different, and because one does something, it doesn’t constitute my right to say “everyone does that”.  The analogy I will use is ‘meet John, he’s my best mate, and we do everything together.  He smokes by the way’.  Do you now think that I smoke too, because smoking is a contagious thing, and peer pressure is what usually starts people on that road.  I don’t, and it’s because I choose not to, and I know it’s a bad thing.

This is what you need to believe with athletes, we are not all “win at all costs”, and therefore because someone does drugs does not mean that everyone does.  If you are in doubt about cycling, don’t be.  All sports are cleaner than they have ever been, and the cheaters are slowly getting weeded out.  It’s the same with running – the cheats are, and will be, getting caught.  

But the same goes for the Cavendishs out there – the athletes who fear nobody will believe they are clean – not everybody thinks that sport is “all” drugs, so don’t tar them with the same brush either.  

There are millions of people out there who love sport for what it is; a spectacle, to take our minds away from a mundane life, and give us that bit of excitement to watch, letting us marvel at how great the human body can be when it is trained to exceptional levels.  So don’t fret about what has been done by others, concentrate on only what you can do, and win clean.

Time is a great healer, and it takes time to come back.



Sorry for being posted AWOL for the last few days, I’ve been busy, and tired, and forgetful at times!

In my last post, I had taken my day off from running following a 10day roll of running every day.  I recommenced my routine on Friday, and having been at the physio the day before, my body felt great!  I went out, and managed to run my 3mile loop in the fastest time since my come-back….a whacking 20:13.  I wasn’t even pushing to run fast, but I could feel the legs feeling nice and loose, and actually functioning like a runner wants them to function.  

It was a great boost, and suddenly made me confident that what I am doing is actually a good thing, and that I just have to be patient while the training effects work throughout the body.  It’s not a case of everything going to be like they used to, where I can run at 6minutes per mile pace for a 20mile run, just because I want to; but a case of I am a new athlete…..what went before is history.  I am starting from scratch, and not getting myself involved with training groups, and the thought of others scrutinizing my every single step.  In the past I have let what others think affect what I do…..I’ve toed the line, knowing that others are looking at my performance; feeling myself straining to achieve what I’m “meant” to achieve, instead of relaxing, and embracing the fun of being able to do what lots of people could only dream of doing.

I hope, when the time is right, that I can take this mentality into races, and not get caught up trying to impress certain people.  I will strive to impress myself.  Impress myself with the fact that I CAN run.  Impress myself that I can achieve what I want to, through sheer commitment, and belief, and that if I want to do something, then I should do it no matter what others think.  

Get rid of the haters, and be happy with myself because I am the person I am.

So the last few days I’ve continued to do the 3mile loop, running late 21minutes for Saturday and Sunday, and then the last two days I’ve run around 20:20 or so.  It has been getting icy the last couple of days too, so it really is a time to watch your footing out there, and be cautious going around bends.  It doesn’t matter whether you’re a 5minute mile runner, of a 10minute mile runner, if you hit ice while going round a corner, there’s a chance you’re hitting the deck…..and nobody wants that!  So be careful out there folks.

Uni has been ok this week.  I have an assignment due on Thursday which investigates Leadership in Total Quality Management in Businesses…..sounds a hoot eh?!  I have 17papers to reference during a 3000word essay. Blaaaahhhhh.  So far I have 0 words on paper, but I have written an abstract……which was along the wrong lines, so needs altered. It will be a busy 36hours for me I guess, so if you don’t hear from me tomorrow night, you’ll know why! :-p

One great thing I did today was to install a new shower screen in the bathroom for my Mum.  When we moved into the flat a few years ago, we had the bath replaced with a double shower cabinet for my dad, because he was too poorly to get in and out of a bath.  After his passing last year, and the shower tray having a crack in it, we decided to get a bath re-installed (I’ve missed having somewhere to have a soak actually!).  The plumber came on Friday and fitted it for us, but it was up to us to do the screen.

NO PROBLEMO!  I’m quite handy to be honest, and don’t mind giving things a go, and it was really straightforward to be honest.  Anyway, within 3hours (time taken out while mum went for another tile drill bit, and masking tape) I had it up, and even put the silicone sealant around the back edges.  It looks great!  🙂

So here I am, 9:15pm, and all set for going to bed.  I will get up super-early tomorrow to get my run in, then make sure I’m working on my essay by 8:30-9am latest.  Then I have signed myself up for the University’s slot at the Velodrome from 4-5pm.  We’re going to have a points race, a scratch race, and an elimination race, so it will be a tough workout, but I can’t wait to go and blow the cobwebs away, and get the heart rate up to its max! 🙂

PS.  The picture at the top is me and my friend doing a session a couple of years back…..I saw this quote, and thought it would make a great background for it.  I added to the end of the quote, because I believe this has true meaning to me.  I’m actually thinking about printing it out, and framing it for my room, as a reminder that it’s yourself that notices your differences first, so always ask yourself “am I happy with what I’m doing?”  If not…….make a change – it’s all about you. 🙂

Night y’all.

Early Morning Assault…..that’s what the pavement got, not me!

WAKE UUUUPPPPPP!!!!  That’s what I did this morning!  I set my alarm for 6:15, and rolled out of bed not long after 6:30 and headed for my 3mile run (which is not 3miles, as I added a lap round my cul-de-sac which brought the run up from 2.8miles).

Morning runs are the bain/bane of my life (again, I’m not sure which spelling is correct, so I have given both!) as I just never feel awake enough.  It’s not a problem when you’re fit, because you just get on with it, but when you’re not, you just wanna walk home after half a mile, because your body wants to sleep.  But I got round the run in just under 22mins (morning runs are always a bit slower if you’ve only just rolled out of bed, so I don’t worry what speed they are….it would be a different story if I’d been up for an hour or two, and had some coffee and toast though).

Next up, shower and change, plus some juice, before getting on the bike and cycling to uni. Today was hand-in day for CAED systems, and I still had to print my individual stuff, plus finish my part of the group work and help put it together.  

One bonus…the uni has a starbucks the cafe right across from our building, so I got myself a Latte and an Oats-So-Simple porridge, and that fuelled me till lunch time.

We got everything done, and it was all handed in in time, so that’s one thing checked off my to do list, only two more for this week, and then it’s big work on my individual design project for the hand in on the 30th of January……arrrggghhhhh

So, that’s me off to bed again…another early day tomorrow is on the cards, so sleep is crucial until my body gets used to it’s routine.

Tune intomorrow to find out how riveting it will be…..same bat-time…..same bat-channel. 😉

Running Late….Could Go A Latte Too!

Very quiet and uneventful day today.  I did my run late on, like 9:15pm, and decided to run easy down the first mile, and see if i could maintain the pace coming back up. Note: I don’t clock watch when running unless I’m doing efforts.  Right now, I’m using STRAVA on my phone, which is a running and cycling app which plots where you run, and compares your times over certain sections compared to other people using the STRAVA system (you can also upload from your Garmin onto it too).  So I put my phone on, put it in my pocket, and just run.  It’s good because you truly just run how you feel. 🙂

So I managed to go round the loop in 15:05, running the first mile in 7:00, and the second back up in 7:04.  Happy enough with that, and also happy that I’m starting to have no aches in the quads anymore.  Whenever I start running after a bit of time off, I always get sore quads from the impact.  Thankfully I noticed today that I had no aches, so during the next few days, I’ll start to do a few 3mile runs, and hope that the aches stay away. 🙂

Ps: That’s seven days in a row of running!  Before I know it I’ll be in double figures. 🙂

See ya tomorrow!

Failing seems to be catching on!

Well yes… my title sounds, I failed before today even started. 😦

I went to bed, stuck my radio alarm on so it would wake me at 8:15am, giving me plenty of time to drag myself out of bed and do my couple of miles prior to my Physio appointment.

Commence, operation snooze……this was completed on an epic level – the best snooze I’ve had since I got the cold on Christmas day.  Anyway, the next recollection was hearing the postman delivering the mail at 11:24am!!  GUTTED!  I looked at my phone to see a message from the Physio asking how I was.  I apologized sincerely (still not knowing how on earth I didn’t hear my alarm, as I double checked it and it was still set to the right times, and the volume was up), and proceeded to drag myself out of bed, get changed, and go and meander around my run.  Another 2.1miles in the bag, and the achilles and hamstring holding up well, meant that exercising was complete – well not really complete, but I did my run.

I showered, changed, and then had some noodles for lunch before getting onto my bike, and cycling the 5miles to Uni (extra exercise with no impact is always good when you’re battling the bulge…..a bit of cross training on the bike or in the pool means that the muscles don’t get the impact fatigue that running gives them, yet you can still work up a sweat and burn some extra calories to help lose those unwanted pounds).

So I saw year group friends, bid a happy new year to them all, and got on with some work (I won’t bore you with the details), before cycling home again at dinner time.

Tonight has been fairly productive…..doing some uni work on my laptop while watching bits of tv (gotta give myself a reason to procrastinate somehow! ha!).

About to wrap up, and head to my bed, as I will have a lot of work to do over the weekend…hopefully my alarm works properly tomorrow, but just in case, I will set my phone alarms too to help me battle the sandman!

Happy sleepy times out there. 🙂

A wasted day, turned useful

So I went to bed last night, setting the alarm for 7am, fully expecting to rise from my pit, do my run, shower and have breakfast, before cycling to Uni to do work (today is the first day the uni has been officially opened since Christmas).

Wellllll – I awoke at 8:45 to a dull buzz and talking in the background.  Turns out I hadn’t turned up the volume on my alarm, meaning that there was no way it would wake me.  Ooops!  So I watched some tv, before dragging my butt out the door and trundling around my 2.1mile loop.  Today I decided to go backwards around it – don’t be daft, not running backwards physically, just in the opposite direction from normal.  It’s good to do this sometimes, as it breaks up the monotony of doing the same loop over and over and over again.  Once I get my runs up to a longer distance, I have multiple loops i can do, but for the mere 2miles, I only have one route that I am comfortable using, as it involves crossing only minor roads, and is pretty much down for one mile, and back up for the second, no matter which direction I run it. (ps. I was under 15minutes again today, I was gagging on catarrh from my recent cold while running, and was waaayyyy over-dressed as it was actually very humid out, and I had tights, jacket and a hat on….so all-in-all I was happy enough with this run….that’s 4 days in a row! 🙂 )

Once I got home, I did my stretching exercises for my leg, and got myself ready to shower……yes, I got ready to shower… thing I knew, I was lying in bed again because I was zonked!  It’s the Christmas Laziness Syndrome.  Trying to get into a routine after Christmas is a nightmare!!  So I fell asleep, again, and that was me till 2:30pm!  Oops number two for the day!

So that was me in the potter about mode now – playing games, and generally avoiding doing anything that resembled work…BAD ME!

After dinner, I managed to drag out the laptop (I had played on my iPad all day) and commenced attempted work.

BOOM – realisation has set in.  I have a hand-in due on the 7th, scrap that, I have TWO hand ins due on the 7th, one individual and one group.  I have done most of the individual work, but still have an essay to write, and finish off a couple of design drawings – and I’m due in Uni tomorrow to meet a group member, to try finish off the team element….I still have to write up about 750-1000words I think. 😦

I also have another hand-in due on the 10th, of which I still need to meet the lecturer….note now, email him as soon as I finish this!  On that same day I have a Dissertation presentation to do….no big deal really, I know my subject, so should get through it, but I still have to devise what I’m saying, and make some slides…..the clock is ticking!!

I can’t rest on my laurels there though (is that the correct spelling of laurels?? I’m sure that’s for Laurel and Hardy, but no time to procrastinate and research it! haha) I have a big hand in for my individual design project on the 30th of January, and an ongoing Group design project to work on, so it’s go go go for me heading through January.

One good thing I have done today though, is I have sent my CV/Resume (CV for UK, and Resume for America) and cover letter to two companies to try and secure some graduate work/internship work following the conclusion of my degree in May….I have been offered work at a summer school for the summer which I really want to do because a) the people there are amazing b) teaching kids sport is so much fun and c) the money is EPIC!

So to sum it all up, today, on an exercise front, was a success…..I did my run. 🙂 on a Uni work front it was a fail. On a future opportunities front it was a success.  So 2 out of 3 is not too bad.  Roll on tomorrow!

ps. I have my physio tomorrow morning too, and she’s really nice, so it’s always a pleasure seeing her,even if it’s not a pleasure handing over money, and definitely not a pleasure when she does the nerve stretches!! But I will let her off, cause it’s letting me run pain free again, for the first time in as long as I can remember properly – of course I remember running PB/PRs, and everything seemed effortless, but your mind always remembers the good, and buries away the bad…sadly, my mind holds onto the bad, because my right hamstring has been tight/sore for a good 3years or more, and the good times are almost a distant memory, but I can still find them when I need them – helping me smile, and remember that for every hard run I do now, in six months they will feel easy again, and the body will remember that floating sensation.