Saturday, 31 October 2009

Life/work/training balance...

It's just amazing how much more I can get done now that I'm not putting in 20+ hrs of training. I'm still swimming 18km a week and after tomorrow's run will have done a solid 55miles of running this week, the bike... well I haven't had time to fit one of those in. But I've had a good week at work and still got to bed at 9pm every night this week and had a leg rest day!!

At run club on Tuesday night I was chatting with my friend Alison who is living her Ironman dream right now and loving it. I told her that I actually felt relieved not to be IM training anymore. I'm hoping this is a sign that I'm happy to move onto pastures shorter, faster and newer (if that's a word).

Tom's signed himself up for Lanza and the new UK Ironman distance event The Outlaw and I've signed up for The Brass Monkey Half Marathon and the London Marathon. I'm liking the change...and the fact that I don't have to get out in the cold, wet, Winter rain to HTFU for hours on end. Somehow I feel like it's easier to do the whole work/training thing too. I often used to get booked for work and try and wangle it so it fitted in with my training. Now I know I can always do a run more-or-less anywhere I am and at more-or-less any time of day, but also if I don't get to run, it doesn't matter and so training is no longer a burdon on my work commitment and vice versa... everyone's a winner. Work has just gone from strength to strength now that I'm concentrating on it a lot more and I've got some exciting shoots lined up in the next few weeks.

One think that can slip by without noticing though is the life/life balance. One thing we have to make sure we schedule into our life is quality time. It's just so easy to let training, eating, sleeping, working all become part of every day life. We train together, we eat our meals together, we go to races together but everything doesn't revolve around triathlon or running and so time aside from training is something that we've worked really hard to achieve. Sometimes I think people think we're maybe a bit too focused or serious about our training but actually we aren't. Of course we want to do well and yes we train hard, but we'd both give it up at the drop of a hat if either one of us wasn't happy or if it was detrimental to our lives together. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to share this kind of selfish lifestyle with Tom, not many people have that.

So, tomorrow I'm doing the Guy Fawkes 10, a hilly (very hilly I hear) run race in Ripley, North Yorkshire. I've saved up this week's HTFU for the weather which is due to be awful for it!! Hope my legs serve me well, they've worked hard already this week.

Today we marshalled at Leeds parkrun and then helped with our mates Red Welly Relay Challenge which saw the girls team thrash the boys!! Well done girls :)

And a happy IM training all you hardcore lot out there, braving the elements to turn those bike Winter miles into IM Summer smiles :) I'll be holding the coats...

H x

Daily pix still here and here...

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Writer's block...

It's not often that I'm stuck for words but sitting here staring at today's photo I'm suffering from a severe case of writer's block. I'm therefore going to delegate this week's task of providing blog content to one of my all-time athletic heroes and 2007 World Ironman champion Chris McCormack! Apologies to those of you who have already read Macca's race report from Kona but it really does capture so many of the things that I try and get across in my weekly ramblings. Whether or not you're a triathlete there is so much to be learned from the great man's reflections on something not quite going to plan, (remember last week's process v outcome thoughts)... check out his brilliant blog entry.... HERE

Before I disappear.... swimming's going great, running's going OK and cycling's just going... BUT it's good to be back and I'm certainly moving in the right direction (as testified by the fact I managed to squeeze into my wedding suit trousers last night, which was by no means a foregone conclusion!).

Also, thanks for the great comments on last weeks entry. I finally got round to replying yesterday afternoon and almost wrote a whole blog entry in the process!

Right then, the sun's showing its face over the clouds and I'm off out on my bike with my wife.



An ordinary week...

So I did it... I got back on the bike last Sunday and went on a 50miler with my mate Emma. The route was perfect, the weather was perfect, the company was perfect. However my legs weren't perfect... For the first hour they were as happy as Larry, although a little in shock at what I was asking them to do. By the second hour my legs started telling me they hadn't been on a bike enough recently to ride at the same pace as Emma nor were they going to do so and so by the third hour they'd given up the ghost as I forced them to pedal back to a much needed large helping of Emma's roast veg. We had a great gossip in those three hours as Emma plugged out a constant even pace while I desperately tried to hold on and chat at the same time, often resulting in me dissappearing off the back. A session that taught me a lot. Firstly leg strength like fitness buggers off as soon as you don't use it. Secondly I never ride at an even enough pace when I'm out on my own and thirdly... cycling's not all that bad. I do however, have to look at what I want to achieve in the cycling world. With my focus going to running for the Winter and Spring season and adding in my 3-4 swim sessions a week, it's going to leave me little space for any real bike time. I can't have everything though and so something's got to give. I'm going to try and just maintain on the bike with one turbo session a week and one outdoor ride a week and I think that's going to suit me fine. In fact after writing this post I shall be donning my cycling attire and having a ride out to Burnsall with Tom it should be just over 50 miles, lovely.

I've had a great training week. I've managed 18km in the pool with some very strong 5km swim sessions which I'm really pleased about. I'm having regular physio again with friend and great physio Ove Indergaard and it's making a real difference, thanks Ove. I'm running consistently too which is great. I just need to get a few more speed sessions in and I reckon that sub 20min parkrun will be mine. I ran really well this weekend. No pb this week with my 20:43 but I ran hard from gun to tape, my heart rate average 175 and my max at 181. I just need to get more of those short sharp sessions in, a little more time and with a sprinkle of good luck and the wind on my side I reckon I'll crack it.

Friday evening saw the first dip into the sweetie bag for five weeks and I saved myself for Tom's heavenly chocolate pots. Loved it while I scoffed it (although it was probably a tad too big and a eaten a little too close to bed) but then paid the price for the 70% choc sugar hit and didn't sleep a wink after 3:15am, just too full of sugar, I felt hideous. So with a new reviewed version of one treat a week I think I'll just stick to a bar of the stuff after dinner or a restaurant dessert if we go out for a meal, then we can't go overboard. If I JUST ate the dessert I'm sure it would have been fine, but someone's got to clean the bowl out while it's being made and when you haven't had chocolate in a while that bowl tastes like it was sent from heaven... mistake! Lesson learned, no hard core desserts close to bed and no eating of the mixed ingredients before either!!

The disaster of the week has only just occurred... the washing machine has finally given in and washed itself to death. I don't blame it, it trains harder than we do and must be on at least three times a day when we're both training twice a day. I have an ongoing battle with our washing basket. My mission to get it absolutely completely empty is futile but constant and I'm already stressing about what I'm going to do between today and tomorrow when I go out and try and get a new one. I tell you a "woman's work..."

Daily pix here and here...

(The pic at the top was taken in Dunstan Steads nr Alnwick while I was shooting for a new ITV drama).

H x

Monday, 19 October 2009

A clear lack of goals...

(Note: Sorry for the slight delay this week, I got caught up in a rather excting new writing project (all will be revealed soon) and had to put things on hold for a few hours. Still, better late than never...)

Well, maybe not a lack of goals... just a complete change in thinking as to what they are. Let me explain...

For quite a while now I've wondered about the possibility that I somehow manage to limit my performances through my goals. At first glance running a 2:58 marathon when your target is three hours or doing a 9:28 Ironman when the aim is to break 9:30 can seem like a success (especially when like me you used to be a lazy, overweight, binge drinking Brit), and for several years now I've enjoyed pb after pb. But, and this year convinced me, it can become all too easy to do just enough to hit your target yet fall short of your true potential. What this year has also taught me is that no matter what time I do in a particular event, I'm only truly happy when I feel I've given my absolute best. When I say 'best' I mean from the start of training to crossing the finish line and to be brutally honest I don't feel I managed that for any of my 2009 events. Before I get buried under an avalanche of 'people like you will never be completely happy with your performances' let me provide you with a few examples where I've walked away elated knowing that I'd just given my best...
  • My first ever marathon - in 1999 as a somewhat overweight student I gave up the booze in January and gave everything I could for 15 weeks before perfectly pacing a 3:53 marathon (1:57/1:56) and crossing the line totally spent.
  • My first crack at breaking three hours for the 26.2 - several years later I lined up on the start line of the Lausanne marathon having run more training miles than ever before (or since), went through half in 1:30 and then promptly exploded at around the 20 mile mark. It took everything to hang on to some kind of speed and falling (literally) over the line in 3:10 I lost all use of my legs (literally) for several hours.
  • Ironman Germany 2008 - Despite blowing up well before the end of the bike and missing my overall time goal by over 30 minutes, as well as maybe making a few mistakes in training such as neglecting my cycling in favour of running. I honestly absolutely gave everything through every week of training and gave more to that nine hours and 59 minutes of racing than any race ever before (or since).
I could go on, but for me those three events are prime examples of focusing 100% on the process from start to finish (training & the race). The second two are probably my proudest achievments in sport, note that I missed my desired outcome in both, and great examples of true happiness coming from the process rather than the outcome. Yes, I missed my target but I went for it 100% and walked away knowing that I had given my all. I'm much happier about my 9.59 at Germany than my 9.28 in Switzlerand!

This year I went into both my Ironman events a good few kilos heavier than I would like to have been, I knew that having not taken part in a running race since January I was well short of my 2008 run form and set my race gear up somewhat conservatively... all of this 'knowing' that it would be 'enough' to hit my pre-race goals. In Lanzarote that complacency dropped me right in it when the run got tasty and in Switzerland I was the victim of measuring my efforts (training more than racing) against what I thought others would achieve. At the beginning of the season I wrote on here about getting back to really hurting in races and truly giving it my all, I maybe got close to that in terms of painful races but at the same time constant analysis of my training and racing performances, although accurate lead me to fall somewhat short of what on reflection I know I can achieve.

This next 12 months is likely to be my final Iron year, and I know (absolutely) that I can go a lot faster than ever before if I can just stop focusing on the outcome and concentrate on the process. To put that in context, I would have thought that to qualify for Hawaii would take just under ten hours in Lanzarote, to break ten hours in Lanza would be a dream come true regardless and having gone 10:20 this year it would be a big step forwards... a success? Maybe not... the problem is that by concentrating on the outcome, I'm forgetting what it is that will see me sign off from mdot a happy man... the feeling of having given everything (truly) to the process... regardless of the outcome. The truth is you see that I'd rather give everything and go 10:30 (missing Kona) than just do 'enough', break ten and book my place at the Big Dance. The danger of setting the sub-10 target is that the second I feel I'm in shape to do just that I'll back it off and cruise to the start line.

A great example of this happened last week when I did my first timed mile for ages. My previous pb was 23:38 and I was over the moon to stop the clock in 23:52... the problem is that almost instantly I felt myself feeling complacent about my swim ability and losing the drive to spend a long winter flogging myself in the pool. Why bother, afterall I'm ahead of this time last year and should easily do 'enough' to swim my target time?

So this year is going to be completely devoid of time related goals, there will be NO TARGET TIMES... yes I'll measure what I do but that will only serve to confirm forward motion. I intend to push as hard as I can from now through till Lanzarote and beyond, be as dedicated as possible, as strong as possible, as light as possible, as fast as possible and race as hard as possible. Whatever the outcome of that process is then that will be the outcome... nothing more. But I will walk away from Ironman happy that for once in my life I've put everything on the line and given my absolute best.

Today's image is current World Ironman Champion Craig Alexander who summed it up perfectly in the post-race press conference in Kona, note there is no mention of time or position (outcome), it's all about a 'good performance' (process)...

“There were a lot of bad patches today. Last year to win was exciting but this year is more rewarding because it was a different race. It was a harder race. This year I had to work at it and chip away for every mile on the bike and the run.”

“There are some great bike riders in our group. I felt the pace was slid early. I got dropped two or three times on the way up to Hawi. The thing is, my main focus was just to give a good title defense and put in a performance I could be proud of.”

“I didn’t attack [Lieto] I just found a rhythm. But I didn’t feel that fluid motion I felt last year. Today I felt like I had to work for every second.”

“I think a lot about my family out there. They sacrifice a lot for me; we travel a lot. I certainly feel, not a pressure or obligation, but a duty to the people who make my career possible. I don’t want to let them down. It’s nice to give something back with a good performance.”

(Quote borrowed from Simon Whitfield HERE)

Hold on to your hats,


Saturday, 17 October 2009

I have bike amnesia...

I'm trying to keep ahead of the game and get the blog done today (Saturday) before the business that is Sunday means another late night at the computer. I'm an organised girl these days and loving it!

I'm really enjoying my training at the minute. I'm even enjoying the 'no particular' focus of it, which is generally very unlike me. I'm swimming as much as I was and managed 17km in the pool this week. I think I'll have to drop one of those sessions once my run focus becomes more scheduled but I'm loathed to drop much more of my swimming as A) I enjoy it and B) I think swimming is a great non weight bearing session that can benefit both endurance and strength. My running is ticking along at a great pace. I'm starting to get a feel for the road again and am just beginning to shake off the Ironman shuffle that I had perfected. It did me well for four years and actually suits my natural running style. I have the knee lift of a 90yr old and barely raise my feet off the ground, in fact Tom often wondered if I was speedwalking but no that's me and my Oompa Lumpa running style.

Getting running fit I think I'm going to really enjoy. Mainly because it's a great change to what I've been doing for the last four years and also I can set myself completely new goals, ones I didn't even have when I used to just run. I also think I'm benefiting hugely from the volume of Ironman training that I've put my body through. I just have to find some of those 'fast twitch' muscles I hear talk of, as my legs ignore me when I ask them to switch on!

However, the speed is coming slowly and I'm enjoying the short, sharp sessions. Well, I have been used to 8-10hr training sessions so a 50min speed session mentally seems like a walk in the park...until my brain realises that it's now got to forget 'going long' and instead learn how to go short and painful. The perfect test of my speed has become Leeds parkrun and having pb'd again this morning by 34 seconds I'm really enjoying that lighter, faster feel that comes with actually picking my feet off the ground. So with a 20min 31second 5km under my belt I can feel the lure of the lower numbers drawing me in, can I get under 20mins? I have done a 20:10 but that was on an uber fast course one Summer when I was only running and getting plenty of miles in. So with that in mind and being generally fitter and stronger I'm sure with more hard work that elusive sub 20 should start getting closer. How close to Tom can I get???

As for the bike :( :( :(

I've been a little naughty and kind of neglected it. I've done two turbo sessions a week but haven't actually been outside on it since The Vitruvian which was about 8weeks ago!! I've lost my bike mojo to be honest, I'm just not interested in getting out on it! However, my mate and fellow Ironman Emma Rand has seen my naughtiness and in a bid to stop it any longer has asked me to go out for a ride with her. I hope I find my mojo whilst on tomorrows ride in York... maybe it's fallen under a bramble bush. I couldn't really tell you why. I think the bike has always been something I've had to force myself to enjoy because IM training has such huge bike volume in it. I actually do enjoy racing my bike, just not training on it. Anyway, I can't thank Emma enough for forcing me out tomorrow I just hope my legs don't fall off in the process down to the fact that they don't know what riding is anymore...or hills for that matter... hmmmm hoping Emma's planning a flat ride!! So tomorrow I shall know whether my destiny lies in staring at the back of the garage door for short sharp sessions or whether I'll actually bother my big beeee-hind to get out again.

So that's it for me this week. I'm off to find my bike memory...let me know if you see could be in Starbucks feeding itself on cake and coffee!! Oh and my month of no caffeine, biscuits, choc etc is up on Monday, yeahhhh... but, I'm going back to one treat a week and I'm enjoying my new found discipline... well I never said there was a size limit on the size of that one treat did I ;)

Daily pix still here and here...

Chow for now.

Hels x

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Courage, passion and conviction...

Here we are, once again celebrating the athletic genius/perfection/awesomeness of GREAT British athlete Chrissie Wellington. I've lost track of how many Ironman victories that is, but to makes things easy for us 'stattos' let just say she's never lost, for in the world of Wellington it's significantly quicker to count defeats over victories.You know when someone is truly special at what they do when you still get great enjoyment from their performance despite the outcome being decided practically before the start gun's finished smoking. In a similar way to Tiger Woods or Roger Federer she's simply a joy to watch, the opposition merely there to add some decoration to the occasion. On what was clearly not a fast day she snuck under the 17 year old course record and won by 19 minutes and 57 seconds, to put that in perspective there was only 18 minutes between the first and 15th (yes, that's 15th) male athletes. It's rare that I enjoy such sporting domination, she certainly doesn't possess what one could accurately describe as a rival and even the term 'under-dog' suggests a sporting chance which clearly no female athlete (and few male for that matter) has the luxury of having! What really is scary though is the fact that she clearly has more to give, I think we'd be naive to think she didn't push herself very very hard this weekend but there's certainly more in the tank. She probably rode that bike course more 'solo' than any other athlete... imagine if she could find a couple more minutes in the swim and get out on the bike with the main group of male pros? The first female swimmer hit T1 with Craig Alexander... perhaps CW could stay with him!

Talking of Craig Alexander, you'd do well to find a more measured performance anywhere in elite sport and I got the feeling that he knew exactly where every other athlete was during every single minute of his 8:20:21 effort. It's almost like he has some kind of in-built radar system that tracks everything around him and allows him to execute the perfect race performance based on the situation at any given time. Although not quite as dominant as Chrissie you also feel with Alexander that there is plenty plenty more. I'd hoped this year that someone would step up to the challenge and force something special but with 'only' a 2:48 run needed it's back to the drawing board for all his rivals... although I'm not sure they actually are ;)

As for my third prediction... exiting the water in 4th and clear of the main contenders it was game on for Phil Graves from the start and by the early stages of the bike he'd ridden into the lead and set about making his mark on this great race. For nearly 50 miles Phil had us all screaming full volume at the video feed, a display of courage, passion and conviction of which we should all be extremely proud. Racing isn't about about making up the numbers, it's about putting yourself on the line without fear of failure and letting the cards fall where they may... at 20 years of age (that's 17 years younger than the current champion) he did just that and with the world at his feet the next decade or two promise to be quite a ride.

Last of all, but certainly not least of all, a MASSIVE WELL DONE to all our amazing fellow age-group athletes for taking on the 140.6 miles of 100 degree Hawaiian challenge. Some surpassed their goals, some hit them and some missed them but YOU ARE ALL CHAMPIONS.

Recover well and thanks for the inspiration,


The road ahead...

So, the Ironman season is officially over. Hawaii is already winging it's way into yesterday and as Kona comes to a close and the brilliant competing athletes rest their weary bodies I bet they're already thinking about the next one, the next step, the next Kona.

Did I want to be there? Yes, absolutely. Do I want to go there? Yes absolutely. Do I want to race there? If you'd asked me that last year I'd have said YES. Ask me that today and I'm happy to say no. I loved it as a spectator last night/this morning, even if it was from the luxury of our sitting room and not in the surroundings of palm trees and white sand. I'll always have a special spot for Ironman, it's taught me way too much about myself to ever turn my back on the incredible journey that I traveled while I was doing it. But I'm not hungry enough for that feeling to want to do another year. Don't get me wrong, I'm not utterly convinced that I'll find it easy to have hung up my Ironman shoes once Winter's out of the way and Tom's gearing up for Lanza, but the truth will out me when that time comes.

Watching our mates out there and our very own incredible Master Graves made me feel enormously proud, but I'm happy to be going into the next season of Ironman as a spectator. I can't wait to be holding the coats for Tom and our mates Sam & Dom. Actually one thing I know I'll miss is the feeling you get when you cross an Ironman line. I don't think any race can ever come close to that feeling of being completely and totally utterly spent, that's what I'll miss. But for now I'm happy to leave my IM journey and move on.

So, to all those who fought in the Ironman fields of various countries to earn those highly sought after Hawaii places, well done, I truly hope you loved every minute of it (except for the painful bits which you'll forget after a few beers and a round of chips). I hope we get to taste the Kona feeling in 2010, for me it'll be by the side of the road but hopefully for Tom it'll be out there on those lava fields.

Here's to a Winter of success. Recover strong you Hawaii Ironmen, you're all legends.

As for little me and training, I'm really enjoying the variation, especially in my running. It's nice to only have a 50min session to do instead of a 7hr and 50min session so I think I'm going to enjoy the new challenges of seeing how fast I can get my little legs to turn over. Running Leeds parkrun this week saw a 41sec improvement from two weeks ago when I ran 21:46 to yesterdays 21:05, the time is on it's way down, I like it.

I'm also just about to enter into week four of giving up caffeine, chocolate, biscuits, crisps and sweets etc and I've found it remarkably easy. I'm looking forward to going back to the 'one treat a week' thing though, a girl can't live without chocolate!! So, I'm just about to pull on the old trainers and skip (actually probably bimble after such a late night) onto the streets of Leeds for a run in the sun.

Have a great week.

Daily pix still here and here.

H. x

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Kona Special...

Only six days to go until the biggest race in the Ironman calendar and I can barely contain my excitement, to the point where H and I have decided that in 2010 qualify or not we're heading to the Big Island to take in the race day atmosphere. Hels and I love hanging out supporting at races as much as we love racing them and with so many friends competing next Saturday it just doesn't seem right that we aren't there. On top of that, in Chrissie Wellington we (GB) have one of the greatest Ironman athletes of all time and in Philip Graves we have one of the most exciting prospects in the sport (and photographer responsible for this week's pic)... this year, as does every year, promises to be very very special and good as it is, watching online is no substitute for the real thing!

So who do I think will take the spoils...

In the men's event it's hard to look past Craig Alexander, as great as the field is he seems to have the quiet confidence of someone who knows what it takes to win, has been there before and is more than capable of upping his game should the situation arise. He claims he can run 2:35, last year won with a 2:45 and with McCormack pulling out during the bike perhaps that was simply 'enough'... if he needs to run faster than six minute miling I have a feeling he will. Talking of Macca, he is without a doubt one of the all-time greats of triathlon (not just the long stuff) and having broken through for the win in 2007 after many years of trying, and in the process emulating one of his main inspirations (Mark Allen) I have a feeling he'll not be happy until he's got a little closer to Allen's total of six titles. Perhaps we'll see a repeat of the famous 1989 'Iron War'? Hot on their heals is a who's who of Ironman rockstars with the likes of Eneko Llanos, Rutger Beke (last year's 2 & 3), Marino Vanhoenacker and Ronnie Schildnecht leading the European charge and Cameron Brown & Andy Potts leading the non-euros.

But what about the young (youngest in the field actually) Mr Graves? He's clearly a phenomenal talent and having had the privilege of working with him in the build up to this race I can assure you that there is a very wise and mature head on those nearly teenage shoulders. I'll predict three things for Phil next Saturday 1) he'll race with courage, passion and above all conviction 2) he will at some point in the day change the shape of the race and 3) we will all be extremely proud. Remind anyone of another young lad from Yorkshire?

And now the girls...

Or should I say girl? I've never been so sure of an outcome in my life, there's very few athletes in the women's field that I would call great. I think a large percentage of the spectacular summer performances are aided by them being in the thick of a large number of age-group men on the bike (something they're not afforded in Kona with the 15 minute start) and unfortunately for the 'good' female pro's they're competing against almost certainly the greatest of all time. Barring mechanicals, injuries or crashes I think we'll see a new course record (perhaps wind dependant) from Chrissie and a very large margin of victory... probably over 20 minutes.

Last but not least, our mates...

Ozzer, once again you're showing me the way, have a fantastic race and stick in a couple of hard miles for me. Russ, Jo and Steve we're loving the almost daily blogs from the big Island, you all have very different goals for the day... race wisely. Nick, like Ian you've been capable of getting there for a long time and it just took everything to click on a summer's day in Bolton, embrace every heartbeat. Mama Simmons, a year ago becoming a full-time mum you never thought this possible, impossible is nothing ;) And also Ben Bigglestone, we don't know you and have never met you, but as best mate to one of our best mates and one time LBT member we'll be shouting loud and proud!

I think that's it?

Swim like there is no bike, ride like there is no run and run like you're in Kona!

What about me?

I'm sat here in bed with a severe case of man flu (that's worse than swine or bird flu and considerably more painful than woman flu) having popped myself over the edge running today's Harewood 10 mile trail race with a head cold. It hurt all the way round but unfortunately not in the 'legs burning athletically' kind of way but more in the 'you really shouldn't be doing this you silly boy' kind of way! Still, it's good to be back racing, H did great and it was nice to hang out with our mates from Virgin Active Road Runners.

See you in seven days, one of which promises to be rather special,


p.s. no idea what happened with the font this week? Normal service will resume shortly I expect.

Sunday morning...

It's Sunday morning and very unlike me to be writing the blog this early but we have a race to go to and family to see and a birthday to celebrate (my cousin Ben's). So here I am full of porridge with an hour to go before we leave for the Harewood 10 mile trail race. Eeeeek not quite sure how I'll fair it just being a run an' all!! I mean what?! No swim or ride to get me warmed up, what's that all about! It really does feel odd just doing single discipline races and I can't have done a lone running race in over a year (discounting the Great North which I walked with my ma of course). The time for me today is completely irrelevant, I'm just looking forward to getting out into the scenery of Yorkshire and getting a great workout with mates.

I'm pleased to inform you that my willpower button has been switched to the 'on' position (finally) and so far I've stuck to my month of no caffeine, chocolate, biscuits, crisps or sweets etc, and I feel so much better for it. I'm enjoying my training sessions and my body is enjoying the healthy fruit and veg that I'm feeding it, ahhh it feels good to be back on track. I'm benefiting from the fact that I shall no longer need to shoe horn myself onto the sofa as the pounds slowly but surely melt away. I find it a bit odd really that nothing at all has changed. If you had asked me did I want to eat healthily and cut out the crap a few weeks ago I would have said yes but clearly I actually didn't want it enough to actually do it, even though I hated eating nothing but junk. I'd love to understand it all a bit more, because here I am over two weeks in and I'm feeling as strong willed as anything. Sainsbury's goody counter still makes my mouth water but with glee I stood next to the free 'taste me' bits as I waited for my bread and didn't even think about popping it in my mouth! What is it that has turned the switch though???! Psychologists get your books out and let me know. All or nothing... please explain, answers on a postcard :)

My week in work has been hectic in terms of time spent editing at my computer, jeez it kills me to be so sedentary, but it's great having work to be editing so it's all good :)

So a short blog from me this week, I'm off to race. And this time next week Kona will have been and gone, god I'm sooooo excited to watch that race (Tom's blogging all about it now). Huge wishes to all out there, taper well and rest strong for there are nothing but mere days to go before the gun goes :)

Daily pix still here and here for all interested.

H x