"} Get a life, Get active! By Fit Lesley: October 2012

Monday, 29 October 2012

A brick ... delayed!

I have done no exercise this weekend - unless you can count shopping and walking between pubs as exercise....? No I guess not! We went to Manchester on Saturday with another couple to see Micheal McIntyre at the MEN.  He was very funny and I would definitely recommend going to see him if you get the opportunity! My only complaint was I had a stupid woman sitting behind me with the most annoying over the top laugh, and boy did she laugh ... at absolutely everything, funny or not!  I wanted to turn around and tell her to shut the fu** up, but I'm much too polite! 

Beforehand we had dinner at The Hard Rock Cafe, it's a good job we had booked a table as it was packed! Along with dinner we tried a couple of cocktails, which were delicious - I would have liked to stay longer and sample the lot but Micheal was calling us! 

Afterwards we had a slot booked at the cocktail skybar Cloud 23.  Timing was perfect, although we did have to do a bit of speed walking to get from the MEN to Cloud for our 10.45 pm booking! When we got there there was a huge queue, I felt like a celebrity waltzing to the front and being allowed straight in! However, it was down hill from there!  We have been to cloud before and had a great experience, but the same can't be said this time! It had been refurbished and Saturday was the reopening night.  They should have left well alone, it had gone from a warm cozy feeling place to a sparse cold un-atmospheric place and the service was appalling! We ordered our first cocktails as soon as we sat down and it took over 45 minutes for them to be served!  

We were sat by the window which was lovely for the view but with the lack of alcohol and management obviously saving on heating we were cold. We kindly asked the young waitress if we could move to a vacant table away from the window,  her reply was "I will have to ask", nothing like using her initiative!  Anyhow, that was the last we saw of her, so we collared someone else who give us the thumbs up to move -  just in time before hypothermia set in! Our second cocktail took even longer than the first!  We complained about the poor service and eventually it arrived!  Better late than never I suppose, and the girl apologised for the delay and added on leaving  "I will see what I can do for you!" We interpreted this as "a free drink" or "discount off the bill", but when the bill arrived we were sadly disappointed!  :-( I won't be wasting my money going there again! Luckily we were staying at the Hilton so we didn't have far to go to warm up! I would say if you get the opportunity to go to Cloud 23 - don't bother, save your money and go to Hard Rock Cafe! Cheaper, friendlier and warmer! 

So after over-indulging and doing no exercise at the weekend today I decided to make up for it! 

This morning I was delighted to wake up to a bright although frosty morning. I studied the weather forecast and was thrilled to see a sunny icon all day! Using this information I planned my day! I decided to run in the morning when it was still chilly and hoped by the afternoon it would have warmed up and therefore not be quite as cold on the bike!  I went on a fairly hilly route and my pace was slow, but then again after the alcohol and rubbish consumed I didn't really expect anything different! I managed 8.27 miles at an average pace of 9.35 min/miles, the route can be viewed here!

I had a shower and did a bit of housework, but I was dismayed 
when I looked out the window to see that it was raining! Sack the 
meteorologists for getting it so wrong and ruining my plans! I would have cycled this morning in the sun, and ran in the rain! I don't do cycling in the rain - it scares me!  By the time I did a bit more housework and then had some lunch and relaxed a little i noticed the rain had stopped.  I seized the opportunity to go out, so after dashing upstairs to change into my padded leggings I was off!

I decided to cycle the route the Kendal triathlon takes to see how long it would take me! It was a lovely ride except for the huge puddles in the roads and wet autumn leaves causing a potential hazard for a not so confident cyclist like me!  I thought I had worked out the route after studying the map but it appears I was half a mile short -  hey ho never mind! I managed 13.22 miles at a slow 12.5 MPH!

I have set a goal of doing the cycling part of the triathlon in April in 45 minutes, today I did the route (less half a mile) in 50 minutes 20 seconds, not too much slower, but then again I hadn't just swam 500 metres! You can view my ride here!

You could say I have done a brick session today, albeit with a 4 hour rest in between!  I don't think it counts! 

Once I got home I took the dog for a short 1.28 mile walk (you can view it here) before collapsing in a nice relaxing bath!  This triathlon training isn't going to do our water bills any favours - perhaps I need to do proper brick sessions to save showering in between and save water! 

I am going to have another lazy few days with no exercise as I am off on holiday to Dublin tomorrow until Thursday!

Then its another new month, November will be upon us - bring it on!  Not long left of 2012!

Friday, 26 October 2012


Whoops I don't know where the time has gone!  I have just realised I have been neglecting all you bloggers!

So what have I been up to?

Well, On Sunday I walked 8 miles doing 4 wainwright fells - I haven't updated that blog either but I will sometime soon! Tut tut I know!

On Monday I decided to go swimming again mainly to try out a new toy I bought!  I know its supposed to be boys and their toys but I must admit to being a gadget girl! So what is the new gadget?  Its called pool mate and counts how many laps you do, the time and speed you do it in and lots more complicated stuff I don't understand as yet! It also downloads the information to the computer and gives me pretty graphs etc to obsess over! I ordered it via the internet on Friday evening after a glass or 2 of wine  - a lethal combination wine and internet shopping! I thought to myself if I order it now it will take 3 or 4 days to deliver meaning my other half would be at work and I could stow it away and he wouldn't be any the wiser.  Months down the line when he did notice it I could say "Oh that old thing I've had it ages!".
However, my plan didn't work out quite like that due to the super efficient delivery from the company sweatband!  At 1 pm on Saturday afternoon the doorbell rang and Mr Postman was stood with a parcel that my hubby just happened to sign for! *gulp*. I had to come clean and used my well practiced puppy dog eyes on him and got away with it!  I even volunteered to return it unopened, but he knew life wouldn't be worth living if he agreed to this option! 

Anyhow, to prove I would get my use out of it I went swimming on Monday. Over the weekend I had been very geeky and had read 100's of internet articles about becoming a better swimmer etc.  The top tip seemed to be to get your breathing sorted and the rest would follow! I was amazed to learn that whilst your head is in the water you should be exhaling then when your head comes up you just need to inhale and go down again! News to me!  I was trying to exhale and then inhale all in the space of an arm stroke! 

So off I went with my watch securely fastened to my wrist to practice my breathing! One article had recommended learning to sink before you can swim!  Basically to go in the deep end of the pool and exhale under the water until you sink to the bottom!  It said until you could sink by exhaling you wouldn't succeed with the  "proper" breathing involved in front crawl!   

I was amazed how easily I could exhale and sink! Its a pity a Tri doesn't involve sinking instead of swimming! Full of confidence off I went trying to put exhaling under the water whilst swimming front crawl into practice!    I was intrigued by my watch and kept checking it repeatedly to make sure it was still recording correctly. Perhaps this is why I was useless and I felt exhausted very quickly!  To recover between laps I did an awful lot of people watching studying other people strokes to try and get tips!  I only managed 34 laps in the hour! Perhaps I need to rethink attempting a Tri!

On Tuesday I went for a run and planned to do some hill sprints in the middle of my normal run.  Last week I had seen a young girl doing hill sprints on a path leading up to Kendal Castle and thought I would use this hill as an alternative to the usual hospital hill!  However, the hill was too short and it was unlit, so after about 5 reps it was too dark to continue so I just finished off the session with one of my a "normal" routes! I felt as if I was running like the wind and was dismayed to see from my Garmin that in fact I had done a very slow run at an average 10.14 min/mile  pace! Either the marathon has totally knackered my legs or my Garmin is knackered! You can view this run here! 

By Wednesday I was desperate to try my "lack of breathing" technique out again and headed to the pool!  Its a good job it wasn't April Fool's day as I was informed on buying my ticket that the men's and ladies changing facilities had been swapped due to male workmen working in the ladies!  

I headed into the men's with trepidation, praying I wasn't going to be met by an embarrassing sight!  When I walked in the first thing that struck me was the size! Not a man in sight but the changing rooms were huge compared with the ladies!! What's the sense in this when the majority of women who go swimming tend to have several kids in tow whilst men generally get to go alone!  I can only assume the architect who planned the building was in fact male!

Once over my amazement of the size I got changed and was ready to go! After a couple lengths I finally felt like I was improving on the breathing front and got into quite a good rhythm of breathing every 3 strokes!  Its amazing how much easier and less tiring it is to  swim front crawl breathing properly!  I still feel my legs are wrong - I'm conscious of kicking like hell, but can't seem to get them to slow down just yet!

I need to get more comfortable with the breathing and arm techniques and then I will concentrate on my legs! I was quite chuffed to have managed 49 lengths in the hour - quite an improvement on Monday's session but still involved too much people watching!! 

Thursday was an awful day and although I knew I was going to Pilates at 6 pm I just HAD to run to get rid of some pent up emotion!  I was only wanting a quickie so I did a session with ROD! (don't get over-excited Rod is my Treadmill). I did a 2 mile speed interval session and felt so much better afterwards! It was also good to have a stretch afterwards at Pilates!

I somehow made it through today! Its the weekend at last - the end of a long half term and even longer week! 

To de-stress before the weekend I went for a run with my running buddy Gina.  Its been a while since we have hit the streets together due to holidays, injuries, ailments and marathons getting in the way! Tonight the gruesome twosome were back in town! I found it hard work!  My legs just refuse to go as fast as they used to go!!  I think they are rebelling because I made them go 26.2 miles!  Hey Ho I will persevere and one day they might conform.  View tonight's run here!

I'm on half Term now - Bring it on!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

This swimming lark is hard work ...

I have somehow committed myself to doing a Triathlon in 2013.  I have my eye on the Kendal Sprint triathlon in April. Mainly because it's one of the few triathlons that has a pool based swim.  There's no way I'm braving a lake, river or the sea at this point in time! It involves a 500m (20 lengths) pool swim, 18km (11.18 miles) bike and 5km (3.10 miles) run.  

It can't be that hard - surely - was my first thought, after all I've ran a marathon!  Ohhhhh I think I have got that one so wrong!

A friend of mine who is very involved with the swimming club volunteered to give me some swimming technique lessons to see if I could improve my speed substantially (which needs to happen before I enter any race!).

So Wednesday at 7pm was our first date! Sharon watched me swim a length front crawl then told me all the things I was doing wrong! The main problem was my arms windmilling rather than being bent. This was easily solved by her making me feel very silly swimming another length whilst doing "hips, shoulder, head" with my arms to get them to bend correctly. After doing this I managed another length with correct arms.  Next problem area to tackle was my kick, apparently I'm kicking too frantically as if a shark is after me, with very short fast kicks. I need to go slower and deeper!  To help me concentrate on my legs Sharon asked a life guard for a float.  Just as I set off down the pool holding a float one of the little darlings from school appeared laughing "Mrs Wallace is learning to swim!". GGGrrrrrr  There's no privacy in the world!  I found the legs more difficult to change! My head was too busy telling me to go fast kick like hell! The funny thing is when I did manage to go slower with my legs I did actually go faster!  

Practice, practice, practice! My new mantra!

Another issue is my breathing - however we are leaving that one to another day! As you have probably gathered I wasn't doing very much right hence why I'm a slow, crap swimmer!  After spending just over an hour trying to change all my bad habits we decided to bring the lesson to a close!

On Thursday I decided to run the 5K tri route to see how I got on compared with the timings from the 2012 tri results. Probably not a good idea! I ran 1 and a half miles before I got to the "start" then set a new "lap" to start on my Garmin and ran! My legs didn't want to go fast - I tried - I think I have spent so long whilst marathon training telling them slow and steady wins the race that now they won't do anything else! Anyhow, after doing the 5K route I set another new "lap" to start so I could see exactly how fast I had run that section!  Then ran the remaining mile home!  All in all I did 5.30 miles which can be viewed here! 

How did I compare? I have a lot of work to do before April! I did the 5K route in a slow time of 28:23, averaging 9.12 minute miles.
The slowest time in the triathlon for the run section was about 38 minutes but bearing in mind this is after swimming and cycling! I haven't braved cycling the bike route yet, so I can't compare! Kendal sprint triathlon results 2012 

After getting home from my run I decided to go for a swim and put into practice what I had learned before I forgot! Quick shower and change and I was off. 

I decided to time my first length so I could see the improvement over the coming months! I did a slow 45 second length front crawl.
A long way to go, but hey I can only improve!  I was so busy concentrating on my technique I lost count of how many lengths I actually did!  I'm guesstimating I did about 40 lengths in the hour I was in the pool.  I also did a lot of watching the fast lane female swimmers trying to pick up tips! I had my goggles on so I even watched them under the water to see the leg and arm action etc.  My husband said if I was a man I would have been evicted for being a pervert!

I was far more exhausted after my hours swim then I am after running for an hour!  

I thought I was fairly fit - but evidently not! I need to do more training! 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Unwilling legs!

I have had a severe case of CBA-itis since I ran Chester Marathon 9 days ago!  Tonight I decided I best make an effort to run and hit the streets. It was a fine, dry but very cold evening. I decided to be a wuss and dug out my winter running gear - long fleecy lined leggings and long sleeved top! I'm glad I did as it was freezing but it felt strange running with so many clothes on!

I managed 6.31 miles but my legs were very uncooperative and I felt like I was dragging 2 reluctant children behind me!  I'm not sure whether its the fact I have stuffed my face with cake and chocolate in the last 8 days or whether giving a pint of my very precious blood last night has wiped me out!

I decided I was suffering from post marathon blues and needed something to train towards so I booked my final 2 races for 2012 - a 10 miler and a 10K! 

The first one is in 5 weeks time so need to get back into things fairly quickly!

You can view tonight's pathetic effort here!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A memento!

Look what I got just in case I forget I have run a marathon!

Its a beautifully engraved charm for my Thomas Sabo Bracelet!

Maybe I should run another one if I get prezzies like this!! ;-)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sorted it (I think!)

I think I have sorted my problem!  When I do another challenge I can write the race report in the normal blog post part and then add the page link to the side bar.  Hope it works!


Nobody told me when I was setting up my blogs that it would only allow 20 separate tab pages!  Now I have to find a way to combine all my "Challenges" pages without losing all the information and the organised layout OR....

 NO more challenges!  


Suggestions on how to get round this most welcome!!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

First post marathon run!

I find it really difficult to sit around and not do something active so tonight I decided after 2 nights rest I would try a short run to test the old legs! I managed 3.5 miles at a slow pace.

I felt fine although my legs did feel heavy and uncooperative - a bit like in the last 3 miles of the marathon but without the pain factor!!

You can view this run here!


WHOOOO HOOOOOO On Sunday I ran my first full marathon in Chester! I am chuffed to bits with my achievements and you can read about it here!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Made me smile!

Whilst undertaking what has become my daily obsession - Googling about tips for marathon running - I stumbled across a website that made me smile!  I started running later in life, when I was 44 and I have often wondered what times I would have run in my younger days! Several people I know (including my husband) have great pleasure in boasting about fast half marathon times they ran when they were 16 ... 18 ... 21 and I often think run one now and see what you can do!  

Anyhow, I came across a conversion chart that takes your current half marathon time, age and weight and statistically somehow calculates your race time as IF you were 25 (I wish it would take me back to 18!).  This made me smile!  According to this website IF I was 20 years younger I would be able to run a half marathon in 1:38:43, and a 10K in 45:07! So next time someone brags about there PB from 25+ years ago I am going to use these times as a comparison!  Age really does matters!

I think perhaps I have gone too far with my visualisation techniques! I read an article that said to take the fear away from a marathon visualise yourself running the race, visualise how you feel at certain mileage points and visualise finishing in your goal time! I have been doing this all week just before going to sleep. I woke up this morning and my first thoughts were "Oh I don't feel stiff at all considering I've just run a marathon!" - then the penny dropped - I haven't run it yet! 

This time tomorrow I will be on my way!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Why I blog!

It is nice when other people read my ramblings, enjoy them and then comment but this not the main reason I blog. The main reason I blog is to motivate myself, and if I manage to motivate other people in the process all well and good!

I started blogging 18 months ago around about the time I took up running.  It has been a great tool for me to share my experiences, successes and low points.  When I am feeling down and unmotivated I often read back over past blog posts and find that actually acknowledging how far I have come on this fitness journey never fails to inspire me to keep going!

I don't force people to read my blog - that is entirely a personal decision for the internet user to make.  If no one ever read my blog I would still continue writing for my own personal gains and to have somewhere to state my goals and future intentions. I see it as a web-based personal diary in which I can publish my thoughts and opinions, which I am willing to share with any interested like-minded individuals. However, it is primarily there for ME to write about what's important to ME and to keep a record for the future.

So, what is the point of this post today?

When I get an email relating to my blog I always feel a little shiver of satisfaction that people have taken the time to either comment on a post or email me direct to pass comment.

Today, I got an e-mail stating the sender had a few questions to ask about my blog, and could I get in touch.  I thought it was a very strange request as if someone wanted to ask a question why didn't they just ask it in the e-mail. Suspicious of the senders intentions I Googled the senders name "Emily Coleman".  This name meant nothing to me but on entering it in the google search bar I was soon enlightened.  Emily Coleman is deceased and was a compulsive diary keeper. Read about her here!

This has really irritated and annoyed me.

The person sending the email obviously finds it amusing that someone should take the time to blog and share personal experiences with the world and is basically trying to take the P***!

Hence why I said earlier it is an individuals choice to read or not to read what I put!  The small minded person who thinks this is an amusing scam needs to look at their own life before judging others.  I actually feel pity for the person behind this as they obviously have a very sad and empty life and are trying to find fulfillment by belittling others. Have any other bloggers had a similar experience?

I am not replying to the individual email and all I can say to whoever is responsible for this is:

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Its getting closer!

I'm not quite sure whether I am feeling excited or nervous - but now it's nearly here and with just 3 days to go I am desperate to get on with it!  I feel as ready as I can be! I have lived by my training plan for the past 18 weeks, following it religiously albeit with a 2 week break at week 11.  Although I had a 2 week break due to holiday commitments I didn't miss any of my training runs as I started the 18 week plan with 20 weeks to go to factor in this break!

During my marathon training I have participated in a 10K race and 3 half marathons to get accustomed to race day nerves and to practice running alongside others whilst maintaining my own pace!

I couldn't have trained any more without risking an injury or total burnout and hope that all my hard work pays off on Sunday!

This week has been hard tapering. The weather has been horrendous so I have felt relieved to be doing short easy runs in the wind and rain but I feel like I should be doing more!

What will be will be!  I really don't know what to expect!

View my tapering runs here!