How I’ve found being Vegan…

2 02 2012

So today officially marks the final day of Vegan Month, and it’s bean OK (pun intended). A big congratulations to my brother who’s done much better than I have (apart from a Quaver incident!) but I’ve not been the strictest of Vegans, there have been failures along the way. Read the rest of this entry »


The IronMan Cometh…

28 07 2011

I’ve not written on here for a while; I’ve been trying not to think too much about the IronMan, I’ve been trying not to be whelmed by it. I’ve succeeded some times, I’ve failed at others; I’ve had weird dreams where I’ve missed swim starts and others I’ve woken up falling off my bike.

It’s been a long journey, but the time is coming; soon I will take part in my first IronMan.

In early 2007 Triathlon had been in the back of my mind for a little while, when a girl in a queue for a nightclub seemed impressed that I “did” triathlon it wasn’t long before I entered my first sprint and was in awe of even the idea of an IronMan. Each part of it seems like a pretty big undertaking:

  • 2.4 mile swim (equal to 152 lengths of a pool, but in a lake, with about 1,800 other people)
  • 112 mile bike ride
  • 26.2 mile run

No breaks, just change of footwear/headwear and from one to the next.

 The world record stands at 7:41. The cut off time is 17 hours. I intend to be somewhere between them.

My Argon-18 E-114 with some borrowed wheels, which I sadly won't be using because they don't fit 😦

 The plan is to paddle, pedal and plod. Enjoy the good bits, and remember in the bad bits that “this too will pass”.

 How do I feel?

I’ve missed most of the last week and a half’s training, I’ve had a cold, Man-Flu some would call it, but feeling really light headed and nauseous in any significant efforts – climbing the stairs has been about my limit. So I would summarise how I feel with:

  • Fat
  • Tired
  • Snotty
  • Underprepared

But I’ve read several times that it’s better to turn up for a race under trained than over-trained, and I certainly don’t feel over-trained!

How should the day pan out?

The perfect day would be a 1:10 swim, a 6:59 bike and a 3:49 run, just sneaking under the 12 hour mark. First time out I think I’d be pretty pleased with just completing it… though I know I expect more from myself than just completing it.

On Exercise, Illness and Inspiration

7 03 2011

Last Thursday I went for my first run in a while; I’d taken some time off as I had been ill, and had concluded it must have been The Plague.

This may seem a bit extreme, but there was logic behind it; I felt really bad, so bad that the first illnesses that came to mind were Ebola, The Black Death, Plague and Man-flu. I quickly discounted Ebola; having not been to Africa and since I wasn’t haemorrhaging, it seemed unlikely. I then remembered that The Black Death and Plague are believed to have both been caused by Yersinia pestis so of the potential illnesses I had 2/3 were caused by Y. pestis and the other was man-flu; this means Plague had a higher probability than man-flu; but you’ll be pleased to know I made it through, what can I say? I’m a survivor!

So following my brief brush with a historically unpleasant illness I was feeling sorry for myself. After a couple of days off training and one bad session, I’d decided not to go for an evening run, then stumbled across this guy’s website.  

Simon is a blind runner, and his page talks of how his guide runner moved away to go to university and how he now runs on a 3 mile stretch aided by an app on his i-Phone. He’s training to run in the Cotswolds 100, a 100 mile road race… and there I was feeling a bit portly and under the weather. 

Did I really have plague? No, I had a cold and was well on the mend; what I needed to do was exercise, because the fresh air… who am I kidding, I live in South East London, it’s not fresh… I needed to do some exercise because the air would clear out my chest and I’d get those endorphins I’d been missing for 4 days now, which was part of why I was grumpy, sitting on the sofa, and had been spectacularly useless & miserable at work. 

I got ready for my run and as I came out from my street and turned right, there was a couple, about 18, shouting at each other; I couldn’t hear what about as I was listening to music, but could hear that it was loud. When I was coming in from my run, 35 minutes and 4.5 miles later, they were still going! Slightly down the road from where they had been when I’d set out but still yelling at each other. The energy involved in their keeping going impressed me, combined with that they’d felt strongly enough about their respective points to keep going for over 35 minutes now. I suspect that while arguing may be hard work, it wouldn’t have had quite the same relaxing effect as a run! I also wondered if they’d been planning what their recovery meal would be; I had planned bean chilli fajita, perhaps this is why they were moving in the direction of Brother’s Kebabs. 

Keeping the motivation going is going to be tough over the next 6.5 months, there’s going to be a lot of training along the way, some good sessions and some bad ones, but I do need to keep focussed on why I’m training, the benefits in how it makes me feel. No matter how tough a session may seem I’m not exercising by shouting, and I’m not running blind, and should always focus on what’s important; after all, we become what we do.


Take care,