Monday, May 07, 2012

Blogging... why do it? whats it about?

I think its safe to say that given my absence over the few years that I've lost the drive and motivations that made me blog in the past.  Past motivations include: work, charity cycles and the training to be able to complete them, technology as a whole and a general want to better certain aspects of my life. 

Whats changed?

Not a lot to be honest, I haven't changed much over the years; my priorities have; work pressures changed; my family life has changed a lot - given I have a family of my own now as opposed to just a close bunch of very good friends in the past. 

Why blog?

I think in the past my drive/motivation was spurred on by both friends to help build the drive, and by blogging about it to maintain it during the downtime between chatting with friends.  Health got in the way of the cycling unfortunately and especially earlier this year when it hospitalised me again. 

Technology used to motivate my curiosity but recently with working up to 70 hours a week that's taken its toll and meant that I don't like sitting with a laptop or PC working on my own projects - hoping that will change soon though.

I also passed my big boy motorbike test last year and spent a fair bit of time working on the "new" used bike to get it roadworthy and usable - its 17yrs old and like me has its fair share of issues but my stubbornness about not letting things lie has led me to fix all but the last issue with it, I'll work on that over the coming weeks so I can then get it on the road and bum around for a while.

Life though has had the biggest changes, thanks to very good friends, lets call them Messrs F, H, R, C, and M along with Mme MMM, I managed over the years to come out of my shell and become more confident about who I was and my life, including the hell that is caused by my bowel.  I can honestly say that without their help, comedic timing and general overall acceptance that I was a computer nerd that I wouldn't be where I am today.

More recently a chat with a friend over pizzas at the weekend drove home a lot of thoughts that I'd already been thinking.  I really hope that all the stresses over the past year or two will dissipate over the next few months - no one can really tell if that is the case or not but I hope so.


Am I going to blog more regularly?

Who knows? at the moment I'm suffering from a bit of brain drain - I think the above has all taken its toll - but given a little time (including down time) I should manage to get back to my old self.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A day in the life...

Some people find it hard to lose weight, some people find it hard to gain, some are easily motivated and others are difficult to movitate. I've found the key to both, is having a routine, but not mindnumbingly so.

What I mean is to have a routine of doing things but not necessarily doing the same things over and over. Exercising , through various happenings this past year, is medically important to me, but doing the same thing day in day out would drive me insane - more so than I already am - so I have to mix it up a bit but at the same time I have to keep a routine of always exercising at the same time. Its easier to actually get started if you set aside the same time every day for a particular function.

At the moment, my life consists of eating, work and working out. My day starts at 5:30am follows the same pattern every day, but certain key features vary to ensure that I dont stagnate or go mental. For example, even though I do the same amount of pressups and situps every day I dont always do them in the same order.

One night I will lift weights, another I will box, the next I may work my legs or only do a basic workout (120 pressups and 100 situps). But I will always work out at the same time. Your body becomes accustomed to the energy expenditure and will begin to expect it making it easier to get started.

I dont use a gym, machines are the wrong size for me, and I hate using earphones as the cable often gets in the way of weights, so I work out at home. The benefit is that I can still watch tv whilst doing crunches, or pressups or weights which helps pass the time a bit more quickly.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Theme Tune

As I said the other day, I am going to not only cycle a 400 mile cycle in august but a week later I will be running in a half marathon. That means an insane training schedule as I have to admit at being one of the worlds worst runners. When I was 16 I used to run an 11 minute mile, but that was it, I wouldnt be able to go any further. To be able to complete the half marathon I not only need to complete each mile in 8 minutes or less.

Now, taking 3 minutes a mile off your time is hard enough, adding another 12 miles to your total is even harder. Mix that with trying to build mass and stamina for a 400 mile cycle and you have a totally insane ambition.

Its these insane ambitions that get me through life so I've selected myself a new theme tune:

How am I going to manage the training?

2Week 1
3cycle trainingCycle 15 milesCycle 15 milesCycle 30 milesCycle 50 miles
4restrun for 20 minsrestFartlek: 4x6 mins quick pace with 3 mins slow jog/walk between eachrest20 mins easy runrest
5Week 2
6cycle trainingCycle 15 milesCycle 15 milesCycle 50 miles
730 mins slow runrest15 mins quick runrestFartlek: 4x6 mins quick pace with 2 mins slow jog/walk between eachrest20 mins medium pace run
8Week 3
9cycle trainingCycle 15 milesCycle 15 milescycle 40 milescycle 50 miles
10rest30 mins medium pacerest4x200m hill runs (medium gradient hill), walk/jog back, runs to be done fastrest30 mins easy runrest
11Week 4
12cycle trainingcycle 15 milescycle 15 milesCycle 50 miles
1340 mins easy runrest6x5 mins quick pace efforts with 3 mins jog between eachrest30 mins easy runrestrest
14Week 5
15cycle trainingCycle 15 milescycle 15 milescycle 30 milesCycle 50 miles
1645 mins easy runrest30 mins easy runrest30 mins easy runrest45 mins easy run
17Week 6
18cycle trainingCycle 15 milesCycle 15 milesCycle 50 miles
19rest6x5 mins quick pace runs with 2 mins jog between eachrest45 mins medium pace runrest4x200m hill runs, walk/jog back, fast paced runs30 mins easy run
20Week 7
21cycle trainingcycle 15 milesCycle 15 milescycle 50 miles
22rest50 mins easy runrest20 mins fast runrest4x200m hill runs, walk back, fast paced runsrest
23Week 8
24cycle trainingCycle 15 milesCycle 15 milesCycle 15 miles
2540 mins quick runrest50 mins easy runrest45 mins medium paced runrest60 mins easy run
26Week 9
27cycle training
28rest4x6 mins medium paced runs, 3 mins jog between eachrestcycle 60 milescycle 60 milescycle 60 milescycle 60 miles
29Week 10
30cycle 60 milescycle 60 milesfall down drunkfall down drunkfly home from berlin100 mins easy runrest
31Week 11
32restrest30 mins easy runrest30 mins easy runresthalf marathon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Welcome back!

Its been a while since I posted anything, partly cos I've been boring and living the work-sleep cycle instead of doing anything exciting.

It's all changed this week. Saturday and Sunday saw an epic 100 mile cycle over 2 days from Dunoon to Inverary. Monday saw me have to bargain the hell out of my doc to not hospitalise me from problems due to Crohns - more details to follow later this week. Tuesday night saw me signed up for a half marathon in Glasgow...a week after the big cycle in August. If I learn to swim, this time next year I should be ready for the Ironman in Hawaii!

Right about now I am considering psychiatric treatment, if thats not forthcoming I think I may have to start training this week!

Feel free to leave a comment!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Two posts in one day?

As with any exercise, diet is important; It's doubly important when you suffer from digestive issues like I do. You need to make sure you eat the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. You can't do that with ready meals. No way. No how!

Friends are constantly amazed that I don't own a microwave. It's not that I am living in the dark ages. I used to have one but used it so little that I decided not to bring it with me when I moved. Why not?

We'll mainly because I can cook as quickly using traditional methods as most people can using the microwave.

For example, take dinner on a training night; normally lots of boiled rice and turkey in sweet chilli sauce. How long does it take to cook rice in a microwave? about the same amount of time as a pot, and whilst thats being done I chop up the turkey, and griddle it in a hot dry pan. The heat ensures that the turkey is sealed on the outside leaving all the protein, and fats sealed within it. lastly, chuck some vegetables in a pot of boiled water and leave them there for 2 mins. Drain them and dunk them in cold water. Add the vegetabled to the turkey and cover in sweet chilli sauce, shave some ginger on to it. Drain the rice and serve...sorted. Total time: 18 mins.

Ok so if you used the microwave you have to throw a tiny plastic pot in the bin whereas with my method you have to do some washing up, but I know exactly what I am eating and I control my portions; so I can increase the protein/carbs as needed.

Secondly, cooking gives you time to relax, you can work out some stress whilst you are battering out the turkey; you can deep breathe whilst stirring the rice...its almost catharcic

Feel free to leave a comment!

Motivation...or lack of

This weeks been pretty bad for me mentally, I've not been able to get myself motivated at all. Even though I cycled to/from work once this week and was on a little high, I've since found it really hard to get myself into a state of mind that will help me train.

I think the mental effort of work (I do a job where I am constantly having to think about ways to get around very strict and limiting rules of the products we use), the stress of my inability to manage my personal time properly and the lack of energy caused by a particularly bad week (healthwise) for me has taken its toll.

I know I SHOULD do some housework; I should be doing that extra bit of work documentation; I should meet friends and family and be a little more social. Instead, all I can be bothered doing is sitting with my feet up doing as little as possible yet getting annoyed with myself.

The strange thing is, as soon as I start ANY of the chores I need to do I get so engrossed by it time seems to fly past.

And thats the same for anything, everyone thinks "I can't be bothered" with the Gym; but I bet you that if you get up off your butt and actually go, five minutes into your workout you will be glad you did go; 20 mins later you will be thinking I cant believe I didn't want to come; and an hour later you will be feeling a lot better about everything.

Its a pity we cant get that feeling BEFORE going to the gym. The thing is you can; if you stick to a good routine (and by that I mean getting to the gym not the same exercise at the gym) your body and mind will adapt and actually cause you to look forward to getting there. So much so that you may well find that you are feeling better about going before you even get there.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Never do things half-heartedly...

Tomorrow is the first cycle since I got back last year. I've done a few km here and there on the bikes in the gym but I hate those bikes. The seats are too wide. The pedals aren't under the seat (they are slightly forward to make it easier to pedal) and the handlebars are too wide and high. Basically, I HATE the gym bikes. So much so I can only use them for a 3km cycle before I am a: bored and b: sore in the bum.

Exercise should never be unenjoyable. If you don't have fun then you shouldn't be doing it. Whats the point? Sure, I lift weights and I get pain and muscle burn. BUT...I enjoy the feeling I get from it after lifting the weights. The endorphins that are released plus all the extra oxygen going to your brain only help to make my mood feel better.

As I don't like the bikes in the gym, and my weekends are pretty packed that leaves me three options

1. Cycle in the morning before work
2. Cycle at night after I get home
3. Cycle to/from work

well...number 1 is discounted for two reasons, first I'd have to get up at the crack of dark to be able to get out and cycle a decent distance, then get home shower and get my butt to work; second, its still pitch black outside at 6am and pretty dangerous to cycle without a bright "nerd" jacket on.

number 2...well I get home and go to the gym 3 nights a week so those are ruled out, the others I normally spend an hour in traffic coming home and by then my brain is fried.

number 3... I leave at 7am when its light, and get to work just before 8 (15 minutes longer than if I drove). At night, because I have to drive through Glasgow, the hour it will take me to cycle is actually quicker than the drive home...and as I leave work at 5.15 its still light enough to see.

So yeah, I do 28 miles my first day of training but hey, there's no incentive like having to get to work on time or getting home to keep you motivated. So yeah, I may not have cycled in a while but tomorrow I'll be right back where I was a few months ago and to be honest...I'm looking forward to it.

Feel free to leave a comment!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

you what?!?!!!!

Not content with cycling from Prague to Berlin in august, I am seriously thinking about doing the Artemis 100. Now, there would be no point at all in doing the shorter distances. I'm in it for the challenge, and why do anything by half its the full 132.5km for me!

I should be reasonably fit by then, the cycle is 2 weeks after the ride from Prague to Berlin and as we are going through Bavarian Alps I should be able to cope with the highlands!

Wish me luck, or send me a straight jacket...