Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Cloudy Day legwarmers, and proper training

In the past two weeks since I wrote last, a few things have happened. They break down quite nicely into categories. And since this is the 'knit and run' blog, I'll start with some knitting and running...

I finished my 'Some Cloudy Days' legwarmers. These absolutely flew off the needles, a very satisfying and quick knit. I've yet to wear them out properly but from the few times I've tried them on indoors they're very cosy indeed.

I had originally planned a shawlette/scarf with the remainder of the alpaca stash, but on the one time I've had to pull on my mittens I discovered the dreaded moths had got to them. Only one hole, but a terminal one. So the rest has been earmarked for some podster gloves (already well under way).

On the running front, I've actually been doing some!! I haven't run properly in months and months, and the last run of any distance was probably the ill-fated Richmond Half from Kew Gardens (lesson learnt - don't run a half marathon you haven't trained for after two days of weddings). My little trot down to the gym ( a downhill 3km) had been alarmingly hard work the first time I'd tried it. Fortunately my legs quickly seem to have remembered what running should feel like, and the next week the downhill jog felt a lot more comfortable.

So with the lovely fiance getting into the business end of his marathon training, we both used Sunday morning for our long runs, before crawling back into bed for an afternoon of lazy film watching. I did a tried and tested route - out to Bushy park and back along the river, a nice 12km. For the first time I tried running to heart rate. Not so much a zone, but just keeping a constant number where I felt comfortable. This kept my attention away from worrying about pace too much. A focused 175bpm and I felt surprisingly good. Yes my legs started to ache, and my trail shoes gave me blisters, and my waistband started to chafe but it was so good to feel like I was back doing some positive training.
I felt part of the Sunday Long Run club that I've been away from for so long. And I loved it.
Also turned out to be a not at all shabby 6:05/km pace.

Triathlon. I'm very much trying to keep an equal focus on all disciplines this year. And in time for my birthday my latest weapon in my training arsenal arrived - a turbo trainer. Bargain from sport pursuit, it's got 5 different magnetic resistance settings. I downloaded some encouragement from Chrissie Wellington and had my first home spin session last week - brilliant. Sweated buckets, destroyed my rear tyre, loved it.
Swimming-wise I've upgraded my swimplan account and have started to get back into regular 'workouts'. I'm still committed to putting a tumble turn at the end of each joined up length. Unfortunately my watch really doesn't have much luck at counting lengths (I hate to think how it would do with strokes or SWOLF stuff) and regularly comes out at least 400m short. But still, it all goes on strava.

I've also done some sewing, but I'm so proud of it I'll save it for another post. Clue - it involves my first encounter with knit fabrics....

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Everything starts somewhere...

As the late great Terry Pratchett wrote, "Everything starts somewhere...". This very much feels like the start of something. I have a need to mark out the start of 2016 as a proper Beginning.

New Years always bring a feeling of renewal, of starting afresh, of new beginnings and better resolutions. But this year is a little bit different. I (and indeed the lovely fiance too!) started a new job on the first Monday of the year. Mine is very different to where I was. From a clinic in central London where appointments with patients would last hours and courses covered weeks, to rooms in offices in Surrey and Slough where appointments are 30 mins including paperwork time. I'm also working by myself. And for rather long days, up to 12hrs at a time.

This is all rather a big step forwards. The long days mean I spend 3 and a half days at work (unfortunately including Saturdays, so parkrun is lost to me). Giving me plenty of balance with my 'life' days - Mondays and Fridays no less! The lack of time and energy over the latter part of last year to do anything creative/fitness related is related in the neglect of this blog. I'm very hopeful that now that I have so much more 'life' time, I'll be able to do a lot more of the things I love.

I'm planning a lot of knitting, sewing, crafting, wedding prep, running, swimming, cycling, workouts. I've already started!
I have big goals for the year. There is another marathon to run. Triathlons I want to enter. Things I want to make.

But I'll save the goals for another post. Today I just wanted to place my finger, and say 'here is where the journey began'. I hope you'll come along for the ride