Monday, August 29, 2011

New kit - Garmin GPS-Heart rate monitor watch

I'm so excited !  Check out my new GPS / Heart-rate monitor watch thingy below. Why did I buy this, and more importantly, do I need it ? Well, lucky me, it was a gift from my BB to help me in my marathon training.  BB is very supportive, not just in my coaching, but making sure I get out there when maybe I don't feel like training, making sure I do the things that sometimes we forget like nutrition and stretching, which are both pretty important concepts if you are thinking of running a marathon.

As part of my marathon training  I had to run 13 miles on Sunday- yesterday. Whilst I had a rough idea of my route, I could not be exactly sure of the distance, but I could with my new watch ! It worked perfectly, I was a little worried that my routes through the woods would make me lose the GPS signal, but I didn't. The signal held strong all the way. The watch also gave me the 'time per km'  (e.g. it showed 6:02 or 5:57) meaning I was running 1km in 6:02 or 5:57 (depending on whether I was going uphill or not, I guess) Great ! I didn't use the heart rate monitor yesterday, but I will next time. When you stop the timer you can then save all of the data to the watch.

When I got home I plugged the watch in and went to the Garmin Communicator plugin website, and created my account and downloaded my data. There I had a nice graphical view of my km split times. It also showed the height of the hills I had run (750ft or so) and I was able to save and name my map. Not bad eh?

It's definitely too early to write a full review of the product, but so far, so good. Tomorrow I have a 5 mile training run, so I will definitely be using it again tomorrow - this time with the heart rate monitor.

Check out the Amazon link below, which is where this was bought. We chose the 'Next Day Delivery' option, or should I say BB did, and Bingo ! It turned up on time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Moody Moo-ey

Sometimes I'm described as  moody, I prefer the term serious. Ha! I guess I don't mean to be moody and mostly I don't know I'm doing it. Mainly it's because I forgot to eat, and then I'll realise that I'm irritable because I'm hungry. This is a bit of a standing joke at home because even CC will say 'Mom, when did you last eat?' if she notices I'm a little short. Of course, this is met with even shorter shrift, when I reply 'No, I'm not hungry! Do your homework/piano practise/room/guinea pigs* (* Delete as appropriate). Other times it's because I've been up since 5.15am, had no down time all day and I'm just plain tired, and I expect myself to be able to keep going non-stop.

So, I thought I'd write a little whinge list of reasons to be merry and reasons to be a moody-mooey and we can see how we get on ...


1) Work - Being an entrepeneurial, creative soul it sucks if at work this creativity is stifled. I am also enthusiastic about stuff and a do-er, and whilst I know all this has to be managed when it is my creativity or enthusiasm being managed, well you might as well sit me in an empty, dark room because that is how it leaves me... Dead and dull, boring, doldrums.. not good.

2) Did an 8-mile tun tonight, on concrete. Not a fun route and has made me tired, and my knees ache.

3) The double glazing project started today. Yes, the whole house is upside down and covered in dust, and yes I still went to work today, and yes, I'm still going to work tomorrow and the next day. Enough said.

4) My dodgy guts. I've given up wheat. Today is day 3, I don't miss wheat at all. Trouble is, my guts haven't improved either.. How long do I give it? Another week, a month ?? What do I eliminate next ? A gut problem expert I am not !

5) Too much Brie and red wine on holiday has made the scale swing out of my favour just a little too far this time.

6. CC's 11+ training is still hanging around... only 4 weeks til the exams. I can't wait for it to be over, she has worked so hard. Seriously worried about what happens next with that.. probably too much so... but then that's what moms do, no ?

7) Despite rejoining the gym it is highly unlikely that I will get there any time before September..

8) You guessed it, I didn't eat yet.


1. The new windows are  beautiful, and the company doing them are fantastic. Highly recommended. Only 2-3 more days and they will all be finished - and then we can move house.

2. The veggies and rice and no alcohol means the scales are going down already. Yippee!

3. All of this running is making me feel very fit and I can see quite a difference in the toned-ness (is that a word?) of my upper arms and thighs - still a little jelly-like though...

4) At least I did re-join the gym at work - finally.

5) A three day weekend is coming up.

I could probably add to both of these lists all night, but the veggie stir fry is calling - yum! :o)

By the way, if you fancy a laugh read Warren Caterson's blog His latest post really made me laugh tonight - and that has to be a good thing !

Monday, August 22, 2011

We're Back - on with the Marathon Training

We arrived home last night after a (thankfully) uneventful very long journey home. By the way, if anyone is debating whether to put their car on the Eurotunnel for the Dover-Calais crossing, rather than take the ferrry then I would very highly recommend it. Having taken the ferry for the last five years, after experiencing Eurotunnel, it will be the Eurotunnel for me from now on. For sure speed alone, there is no hanging around like you have to boarding and disembarking from the ferry. If you time it right, you can roll up to the train and cross the channel and be in Calais within an hour. The last time we took the ferry, admittedly we timed it badly, but it took us about six hours (no joke!) to do the crossing with all the flaffing around and delays and arriving too early for the crossing. It was hideous. You have been warned!

On Saturday, continuing with my marathon training, I went for a 13 miile run. In the hills of Limoux this means you're running up mountains-twisting, winding, steep mountain roads. It was hard. I left in the relative cool of 0830 in the morning, and took with me in my hydration pack 2l of orange juice and water mix (a personal hydration favourite) and a gel. It was a SIS (Science in Sport) gel with added caffeine. My current favourite, and, at the moment, my gel of choice for my marathon. Believe me I needed it.

Biscuit Boy and Cupcake came looking for me after I had been goine for 3 hours. Bless them. I saw the car approaching just as I was turning my last corner and about 400m from the house. They had with them cold water, which I drank although I was only 400m from the house. I can run a flat half marathon in about 2 hours ( Gosport half marathon last year, as I recall) so taking 3 hours give you some idea of the effect on the body of the heat and the hills. I had drank all 2l of my fluids and had my gel and yet I still didn't need to pass water, which gives you an idea of the level of dehydration. By the time I got back at 11.30 it was really hot and the sun was beating down. The cold water, followed by a cold shower went down well. Amazingly by the end of the afternoon my legs did not ache at all and I felt absolutely fine. Like I hadn't run, even.

Today, BB and I ran in Hyde Park. Our lunch time 4 miler, it felt quite fast and went well. Tomorrow is a rest day and Wednesday I will run 8 miles and then 13 on Saturday or Sunday. I need to find a half marathon race, but BB tells me there aren't any so I guess I will race myself, which is fine.

I must quickly mention that on the way home in the car yesterday I ran Dean Karnazes book Ultra Marathon Man - Confessions of an all-night runner.

Check out his web site here: It makes my marathon quite literally look like a walk in the park. The book has given me the inspiration I needed, to know that I can have a good race, if I train well and, well, if I really want it enough.

So, bring on the training ! I LOVE it.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Basking in the sun

We finally escaped to Labour of Love and the lovely Limoux. The sun is shining to the extent that it's 30 degrees and over and that's in the shade. We don't have an internet connection in the village, so CC and I are in Limoux McDonalds taking advantage of their wi-fi connection while BB is back at the house tiling CC's little shower room. Good progress is being made.

I so haven't had chance to blog lately. Whilst BB has been busy working on the house, CC and I have been cramming for her 11+. Cramming is the wrong word though, because if you don't know the formula you will not pass. It's been plenty of practising of verbal reasoning, maths and comprehension. And you thought I was on holiday? Ha.

What about me ? I've put a few coats of paint on the skirting in our bedroom, and a few of the door frames, I've been supervising the work CC has been doing, correcting and going over mistakes, cooking and oh ,yes, running !

I am following a marathon training plan which in this heat is not so easy.There are many hills around here, which I guess is great for the training. One night last week I ran to one village 4.5km away, and ran back and then ran to a village in the opposite direction 4.5km away, and ran back. 18km in total, by the time I got back BB and CC had practically sent out a search party I had been gone that long. Funny. Tonight I have to do one minute 'sprints' (sprint for a minute - hello ??) with a 2 mile warm and 6x 1 minute sprints with 2 minutes recovery. In 30 degree heat. Nice.

When I get chance I will put the full training plan on here. In the meantime, CC is practically dragging me out of McDo's so wherever you are I hope you are having a fun summer. Happy August ! :o)