Monday, 26 January 2009

Sunday 25th to Saturday 31st January 2009

Saturday 31st January 09
Last exercise post of this week and finished off in style! 16 miles plus (ignore the Training Center screen shot below it ignores the tunnel at the bottom of the trail and it switched itself off all over the place - does my head in). Anyway 15.75 recorded miles in just over 3 hours is okay for now. I've got a tactic of walking up the real steep bits to conserve energy and then running the moderate inclines and flat bits - it means pace drops to 11:30 but that's okay probably means 5hrs plus but I will get a bit fitter by time of marathon.

Friday 30th January
Not much sleep, normal slow five mile run. Not displeased with it. Gym later, broadly happy. Did a good session in Gym went on treadmill twice after haven't to abandon first run with cramp threatening right hamstring area - not pleased about that but still did the full 24 minute hilly, have notched it up to level four now - might have a shot at level five next week - anyway four out of five days went to gym which is good.

Thursday 29th Janaury
Had no baking duties at all last night so went to be early and got up late. Consequently only had time to whizz up town on mountain bike to pick up papers which is not a lot of exercise value reallty. Didn't get to the gym yesterday as was busy as anything and didn't get out of a long meeting til late. Will be back in gym later although am now supplementing the gym sessions with core strength work at home - squats, lunges etc.etc. so all is not lost! Surprising how fed up I get when exercise level drops - that's a good thing I reckon...

Wednesday 28th January 2009
Did five loaves overnight - must be insane. Tired this morning and as it was raining I thought I'd just do four miles on the heavy bike up town and back fetching papers. Gym later to make things right.

Tuesday 27th January 2009
Hoping for better things this morning after the rubbishness of yesterday's early morning effort.
Did a solid five mile run on the usual route up Ashbourne and back, very foggy and dark when I set off - nearly got wiped out by a cyclist with no lights on! got into Gym at lunchtime - 24 mins on hilly treadmill and similiar on bike, program 6 with a decent amount of load.

Monday 26th January 2009
No go in my legs this morning so just walked three and half miles. Rubbish - gym later where I'll make up for it.

Did a solid 50 minutes in the gym - treadmill and bike. Am getting into the bike as it's giving me a chance to do a bit of reading - been looking at an old copy of Modern Runner for tips and stuff. As a result of which am now doing exercises to build core strength on top of the press-ups and what have - lunges and squats to start with.

Sunday 25th Jan 09
Bit tired following Saturday's exertions but played grand at golf - we beat another pair by 5 and 3 shaking hands on the fifteenth - amongst the good stuff were parring the hardest hole on the course the 12th and the tenth hitting drivers to the greens in both cases! So that was okay.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

London Marathon 2009 Fundraising

Thus far the amount raised stands a little over £300 which is over 30% of the amount I'm aiming to raise. I'm raising money for SMILES which is Slimming World's charity which this year is giving towards the NSPCC again. I've been okayed to setup a justgiving page which is something I've been asking for for a while.

The page is at

Justgiving is a clever thing as it gets money back from the government if the person making the donation is a U.K. tax-payer! Ace eh!

Have got some more ideas to get the fund-raising moving again - watch this space!!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sunday 18th to Saturday 24th

Saturday 24th Jan 2009
Funny sort of a day yesterday - did tons at work, so much that I never got as far as the gym but such is life. Broke my alcohol fast as I went to the pub to watch Derby get a lucky draw against Forest (19 days, not bad). Poor old Nigel Clough must be regretting his decision!

Anyway Friday turned into a rest day which is probably just as well as today had a 14 mile run up to Tissington via Mappleton and Thorpe and then down the trail to Ashbourne and back through Mappleton. Took me 2hrs 30mins which is okay, it's not as fast as I was a few months back BUT no knee trouble and no feeling ill like last week which is an improvement for sure.

Friday 23rd Jan 2009
Bl**dy rain again. Do I hate U.K. weather, dear old Blighty my a**e! Set off running then realised I'd forgotten my rucksack (to carry newspaperrs) so had to return home which meant hadn't enough time so got mountain bike out and did four more miles wet through on the slow, heavy old mountain bike. Gym later. Am getting into the swing now.

Thursday 22nd Jan 2009
Fed up with UK weather. Set out on clunky heavy bike for a change but after four miles was soaked to skin and well fed up so got papers and come home. Did another excellent (in my view) gym session, yesterday - 27 minutes on hill program on treadmill and 21 minutes of cycling on a hilly program with resistance up an extra notch from normal. Today am going back again and intend to have a crack at 48 minutes at 10km/h on treadmill which will be two lots of the 24 minute program.

Wednesday 21st Jan 2009
Did a mega gym session yesterday (for me anyway) 24 minute on treadmill on hilly program (10km/h no.2 incline setting) then 21 minutes on rower. Loads of calories burnt and thoroughly knackered at end of it!

First thing Wednesday morning have been out and done a five mile run but like yesterday the conditions are rubbish. Like dancing on ice in places but without the fancy costume - not impressed.

Tuesday 20th Jan 2009
Icy as anything this morning. Had set out for a run last night but after nearly ending on my butt after three hundred yards I thought it best to give it a miss and headed back home. This morning I had to get out run as a gym session isn't enough so I put five miles worth in up Ashbourne and back. Slippy as anything and the Edge was playing up so happy with 52 odd minutes.

Monday 19th Jan 09
Well, apparently today is supposed to be the most depressing day of the year I've been told at work. If the weather's anything to go by, I'm inclined to agree. Stepped outside at six o'clock only to step back in, pretty smartish. Absolutely bucketing it down so have done nothing so far which is a bit disappointing. Still am going to do a killer session in the gym later.

Did 40+ minutes in the gym - 16 mins on bike 18 minutes running, both on hill programs, then a ton of weights - pleased.

Sunday 18th Jan 09
Good enough start we managed to snatch a draw at golf today, two up on 17th tee and lost that hole and eighteenth to birdies, we did the same a week or two before Christmas. Hey ho.

Then in afternoon rode 23.4 miles to Alfreton. Pretty slow but I was a bit tired.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

The Week - Sunday 11th Jan to Satursday 17th Jan 09

Saturday 17th Jan 09
Am more than a bit p**ed off this morning. Got everything ready last night to go do a big run this morning and it's hammering it down. I'll do the marathon in the rain because they're not going to delay it due to poor weather but am not going out for two and half hours in the pouring rain in the dark. Will see what it's like later. On a more positive note I did a solid four gym sessions last week after missing all of December and a good chunk of January. Have settled into a regular gym pattern of 12-16 minutes sessions on rower, bike and the treadmill. Have got the treadmill and bike running on hill programs to add a bit of grind to it and always finish with 16 minutes of level ten rowing. The weights seem to be getting a miss at the moment but cardio has to be king when am trying to get my weight down again.

Blooming typical it's now getting on for lunchtime and the weather is beautiful, unfortunately I've got the kids while boss-kat's gone shopping in Burton-on-Trent. Brilliant. Did four miles on the slow but comfy bike this morning to fetch the papers and spend two hours typing up notes from a four hour meeting the other day. Great.

Evening update - went out at 3:40ish when missus got back from shopping, ran first three and a half miles sort of okay then started a coughing thing that I couldn't get rid of, all sorts of rubbish coming up (enough information, I know). So ended up doing running as much as poss then having to walk a bit. Not very pleased with it all, it all sort of felt a bit old man, a bit like when I used to smoke. Not good, not happy, will get over it though!

Friday 16th Jan 09
Well, the super good news is that I've got me edge back! The Garmin Edge 205 was my constant companion for exercise last year and when I lost it in November I was damned irritated, I can tell you. Have found it hidden away in the car boot yesterday so all is well again, apart from it does still have an irritating habit of switching itself off as you can see from the image below. Anyway should be able to get my mileage tomorrow (big run is being brought forward to Saturday this week as Missus wants to go big shopping on Saturday so golf being rearranged to sunday. It also means setting out at 6:30 to be back in time for Janette to go shopping at 9am so am going to be on a strict timeline tomorrow morning again.

Thursday 15th Jan 09
Raining and I had an 8:30 meeting (which went on til 1pm, blinking flip) so only did four miles on the bike. Anyway got to the gym and did a solid 12 minutes on a hill program on the tread mill followed by 12 minutes on the exercise doing a hill program followed by 16 minutes on the rower which added up to blooomin load of cals which helps. Official weight record is 15st 10.5lbs which is not good enough but 3lbs lighter than a week ago so that's somethin.

Wednesday 14th Jan 09
Last night I got on scales before leaving work and down to 15st 10.5lbs which is a loss of 3lbs over previous monday so was a little bit happier with things. Moral is to leave the scales alone a bit!

Set off on bike this morning but it was so damn cold I turned back after a couple of miles, went back home, got changed and ran three miles up town to fetch papers. Still, made for a bit of variety, so it did. Am going to make an effort to get into the gym again today as I felt a whole lot better for giving a solid hour's worth down there.

Tuesday 13th Jan 09
Did a steady five mile run this morning. Not overly fast but about ten min miles which will do for now. Am confused that have had absolutely no weight loss this week but am going back to group proper on Friday. Good thing is am on zero alcohol again for nine odd days.

Monday 12th Jan 09
Absolutely Knackered! Did four mile on heavy mountain bike in the crappy rain then back home. 4 loaves done overnight as well. All jolly good stuff.

Sunday 11th Jan 09
Woke up at 5:30 as usual thought it's Sunday, bugger it, I'll have another half hour. Woke up 7:40 and had to go straight out onto road, late already. Had a two hour/12 mile run to do so went out on a big windy route up to Tissington on roads and then back down into Ashbourne following the Tissington Trail. It added up to 11.6miles but seeing as it was a damn site more hilly than the London Marathon will be I'll take it as being sufficient at this stage in the proceedings. My legs are knackered so it must have been a good run.

Got back for 10:05 and took Lucy to Rugby. They'd got a home match against Ashby who are mighty serious but still got beat by Ashbourne who just have some cracking young talent even if they are only eight years old!!!

Above - get them big hills eh! That's running for ya.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Bread Machine White Loaf Recipe with Fresh Yeast

Bread Machine White Loaf using Fresh Yeast
Can't find anything conclusive on the Internet as to using Fresh Yeast (as opposed to dried/fast yeast) in a Breadmachine so this is what I've done with my Morphy Richards (as good a bread maker as you'll ever need says I) bread machine. Ignore the fact that it looks like a bit of a bum-faced effort - that's because this particular machine uses twin kneading blades so sometimes at the end of the mixing process you get two lumps of dough rather than one great big lump of dough which gradually merge together as it rises.

Anyway here's the recipe for a basic white load using fresh yeast.

  • Get 350ml of luke warm water (I use 100ml boiling water and add 250ml of cold to it).
  • Put 3 teaspoons of white caster sugar into it.
  • Get 3 teaspoons worth of fresh yeast and put it into the water stirring it until it's a milky white yeast solutiion (takes less than a minute).
  • Pour the yeast solution into the bread pan.
  • Get 550g of white bread flour and put into the bread pan.
  • Put a table spoon of dried skimmed milk powder into the bread pan.
  • Sprinkle about half a teaspoon of salt on top of the flour.
  • Add two tablespoons of sunflower oil
  • Put on the quick bake setting and come back in a couple of hours!!

Monday, 5 January 2009

Sunday 4th Jan to Saturday 10th Jan

Saturday 10th
Wahey! New running shoes come yesterday. Saucony Grid Omni 6 make they are and very nice too. I think they have a little bit more cushioning than the Asics which are a great shoe too. So ran up town and back this morning to test em out and they were okay. When got back had to get changed and then go golfing which went grand - we won! First winter league of this year which is mainly my fault as I've been playing rubbish of late - don't know why? Hey ho. Am fixing the puncture on mountain bike at minute with Planet Rock in the background on the Freecom Musicpal Internet radio - it's grand. Yes are on at the minute - never realised how much to the fore Chris Squires' Rickenbacker bass was - awesome.

Friday 9th - If it wasn't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all
Set out at 6am with good intentions. Heavy mountain bike charged up and ready to go, got two mile out and picked up the first puncture of 2009. Front tyre/back tyre? Have a guess, 50/50 chance - no it's always the bleeding back tyre. Anyway I ended up with a two mile bike ride and two and a bit mile push back as thought I could get papers and still walk/push back to clifton before 7am which is what I did so pleased about that.

Thursday 8th : Another five miles on the road
Did a steady five mile run round Mayfield, up the Park and back to Clifton, well pleased. Still can't get over how well Derby played last night. What a difference a week makes. Whole team looked hungry and closed Man U down constantly. Superb goal from Commons what a good signing he was Mr Jewell, I knew you must have done something right.

Weigh-in tomorrow but have sneaked a look while at work. 15st 11lbs tonight so back to a 3st total loss and 2.5lbs down for the week which is an okay start I reckon.

Wednesday 7th : Still focussed
Still on track, no chocolate, booze or general rubbish. Have been on the bike three times in as many days with seven miles last night and ten miles this morning instead of a run. Am going to do another five miler tomorrow and a big run at the weekend. Currently feeling quite optimistic!

Lunchtime update - good reason to be optimistic too! Weight at lunchtime on Wednesday is 15st 12lbs. I reckon to get to where I want quickly it's going to mean a return to the regime I had back when I started in 2007 (still 3st lower than the start point it's worth mentioning!). That means good diet and loads of exercise both of which I'm doing again since Monday 5th Jan. I reckon by time have run the marathon I'll have done another hundred days without alcohol too which won't do the system no harm at all!

Tuesday 6th : The Weight of the Matter
Got on scales before I left work yesterday - 15st 13.5lbs - that's the size of the problem. Was very, very good yesterday, feel like I've slipped neatly back into Food Optimising with no problems yesterday was a 100% day. Have got the Incognito bike shipshape and set up for riding in the dark. Did a few miles to sort out a computer in Mayfield last night. Also got the drums back from work, had everything out of the shed and reorganised it so I can just about get everything back in it. Am off running in five minutes - had a bit of a talking to from Kathryn at work who I think thinks I'm messing about (can't fault her there, not demonstrating enough commitment yet) but I'm looking after the knee a bit too. Am going to cycle every other day I think and see how things go. New shoes should be arriving soon! Wahey!

Update five miles done, I reckon in sub-ten minute miles which was okay and knee is mighty fine. That said am going to do some cycling tomorrow morning now it's fully lit up and ready for darkness.

Monday 5th : Game on
Four mile walk first thing. Have been experimenting with fresh yeast in the breadmaker so was up early to try grating it, adding vitamin C and all sorts to no avail still haven't quite cracked it yet!. Slimming World breakfast - two weetabix, optifit yogurt from Aldi, banana chopped up on top (also had a banana before going walking). Am going to get lighting sorted on the old heavy mountain bike when get home as have got to go and sort out a chap's computer in Church Mayfield tonight so that'll be a bit more exercise.

Did eight holes of golf. Me and John hadn't got anyone to play and it was absolutely freezing so we only did a few holes and instead of going down eight and nine back to the clubhouse we shortcut down 18 after the 7th to get off as quck as poss. Last day of excess Sunday so got through a bit more alcohol and a bit more junk before the big push begins.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

2009 First Quarter Goals

Everything is kind of focussed on surviving the London Marathon at the end of April so for January through to then the aim is to get as fit as possible and down to a reasonable weight so I can get round without killing myself!! So the goals is easy for quarter one:-

  • Lose a stone by mid February
  • Follow marathon running plan
  • Get cycling again - at least twenty miles a week to start off with
  • From January 5th all alcohol consumption to cease until after marathon.
Not too much to think about, all simple, all aimed to a greater goal - complete London Marathon

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