Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Well who's crap at Snowboarding! Me!

I am wholly and utterly not up to it.  In any sense of the word.  I had a panic attack when I got to the tow thing that takes you up the 'slope'.  My heart was hammering and I was about to either cry or run away. I was ready to go home, then one of the employees saw me freaking myself out and managed to talk me down a little, god bless her. I managed 4 going downs of the slope at Garth Dee, and one turn by accident.  I have no idea why I sh!t myself.

In other more purpose built blog use I conquered the NEMISIS and nearly killed the Giddy Blonde in the process.  We got to the cut through (massive hill between miles 19-21) and he did not look well.  He had to stop 4 times going up that hill, even on the flat he was struggling though. When we did it during the snow he said he didn't find it as bad, but he wasn't feeling well on Friday, but even so, sometimes you just have a bad day.

I wore my heart monitor watch and the figures break down as such:

Max: 193
Average: 144
Time:3hrs 44 mins
Distance: 41.7 miles - which is interesting because it says it's 42.254 on Gpeds.  Someone is telling me fibs!
Max Speed: (and I'm really chuffed with this one!) 37.3mph.
Ave: 11.1 (which I'm not pleased with at all.  I'm wanting to be hitting 13mph right now!)

My heart rate seemed to hang around the high 180s for the most part - which was comfortable.  And I'm still on the old bike so... hrm... time to crack out the Swift?  Possibly? *rubs slightly fuzzy ladee beard*.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

A knock of confidence or just plain windy?

Went out yesterday and did 28 miles.  It's basically the reverse of the Warren Wood one:

Aberdeen, via Warren Wood, and Portlethen

It was tough.  Certainly up to Warren Wood (where incidentally I had to get off and walk for 20 yards up that bloody hill) I constantly thought about turning around and going home.  I came along the Deeside railway line (where incidentally there seemed to be a better quality of people - one couple whom I was passing stood either side of the line and shouted 'Go!' as if to start my race for me, as I went past!) which had turned into some evil wind tunnel.  Just checking the previous days forecasts it was pretty windy.  Checking on the graphs - the time I was out it was about 35mph!  I was seriously struggling.  I can't decide if it's because I didn't have enough to eat (4 biscuits and a medium banana), or if I didn't have the legs, or the wind was really that bad on the railway line.  I've been quite lazy this week and only had two gym sessions, but really didn't think there was that much of a change.  I managed to propel myself forward enough to get to Lairhillock Inn.  The head waiter (I assume he was the head waiter, he poured cola with panache) invited me to sit in the restaurant in front of the fire,   I was initially going to go in just for a wee and a cola but they had some soup on.  Cullen Skink is truly the food of champions, because after a bowl of that I felt far more restored.

Heading back out the last half was much easier.  I think because I now had the wind slightly to my back, though there were a few times when it came hitting across me and nearly knocked me off the bike.  I took a slightly longer route back - though it seems like it wasn't that much longer, perhaps adding another 3 miles or so.

Things I think I need to do:

I really need to get this eating thing down. I'm struggling to eat something decent before I go out.  I'm not really a breakfast person, but I think one of the protein milkshakes might help, at least enough to give me something to work off.  And perhaps if I'm going further than 20 miles some extra carbohydrate powder in my camel pack.  Just to keep me topped up.

Start hill training.  It's getting lighter in the evening so I should begin to head out one evening a week, or even early on a Saturday for an hour or so.

Heart rate watch.  Am I actually working out properly on the road?  Am I pushing myself on the road?  I'm not comfortable pushing myself as much as I should on the road as I always think other factors are more important (for example yesterday I didn't hear a car coming up behind me- due to the sound of the wind - on one of the narrow country roads,  the guy had to toot so I could take to the edge in order that he be able to drive past), and I don't like distracting myself,  what happens if a car doesn't see me, I don't see a ditch, I have misjudged the corner, and my reaction times are slow?  But could I push myself further than I do?  Am I playing it a bit too safe?

The first half I second guessed myself on my decision to go out, especially up to the first 10, so I am glad I did go out, did that wee bit extra and finished.  It was a beautiful day yesterday.  The country side was bright with sunshine and the sky so blue you saw it reflected in crows wings.  I saw a group of ponies snoozing in the sunshine, three standing with their bums towards the sun.  I almost joined them.


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Not out this weekend.  Snowing in the 'deen means I was a little worried about a repeat of two weeks ago.  Will definately be out next week, if we do (my Nemesis) and actually go down to Stonehaven we should hit somewhere near 50 miles.

So was in the gym instead.  Was on the spin bikes and upped the tention on the bike keeping it under 140rpms.  Was speaking to one of the guys in work and he was saying he managed 14 miles in the half hour that he did, where as I manage about 10 on a good day.  Asked about and it would seem it's not really a best comparison as he's on different bikes to me, don't really know what gear he's doing it in and if he's on a free wheel or not.

I've been clearing 150rpm on sprints, and hitting 170rpm lately so I've put up the resistance today and managed 12.3miles in 44 minutes - keeping my resistance under 130rpms.  I'll probably end up with massive legs but then that's the aim!

Also did some core work and some arm work - I was at a spin class early on Thursday and the guy ran me ragged!  Really felt it in the lower back and not in the legs so it's shown me that there's a massive gap in my training, and need to work on that side of my core more.  I normally just stick with crunches which I get sick of doing now as I can do a couple of hundred, but I don't really work with my back so we did some power plate stuff after and I have a new exercise I hate with one of those blow up ball things.

Tuesday I'm skipping spin class and going Snowboarding in the evening.  I have my birthday on Wednesday so have taken that and the last two days off.  I'm aiming to get out at least twice (aiming for 60 miles) before I head back to work on Monday (obviously factoring some time to lie in my bed).


Sunday, 19 February 2012

For those of you unaware, BBC Radio 4 is a quintessentially British institution.  Working in an Engineering Sweatshop (think Alice from Dilbert, though not as engineery) my digital radio is a constant companion in the avant garde against office boredom, my preferable station is BBC 4.  It has various long standing programmes such as 'The Archers' (longest running soap in the world, has people who say things like 'Gosh well, we'll just have to accept that', and 'What's the matter Tarquin, too much coriander on the organic chicken?', and where their posh Yoof go off to Agricultural college and study grass and shit (litteraly, they study cow shit), and ‘Desert Island Discs’ where the ‘thinking man’s’ celebrities goes on and justifies why they’ve chosen the Cheeky Girls hit, ‘We’re Cheeky Girls’ to take on a desert island with him.

It also has another programme called 'Woman’s Hour', and has been running since before I was born (the years nineteen hundred and Cough!).  It discusses pretty much woman’s issues in a 'magazine' format, and for a profusely feminist programme it’s pretty mainstream.  Their presenters are normally quite clever, funny and intelligent, and their features original well thought through and I always feel a bit more informed than before.

However, last week I lost my top to the point I switched over and started listening to BBC 5 Live. And since BBC 4 hasn't even noticed, nor called me up to ask me why I'm venting my spleen here.

They had a woman who'd written into the programme that wanted to lose some weight. She'd struggled with her weight all her life, and ultimately yo-yo dieted her way to a size 20 (or 20 stone I'm not sure which).  She'd written into the programme for help, explaining her situation, busy mum with 4 kids, and asking if there was an alternative to the “everything” that she had tried.

They had three experts on the programme, one had written a book, the other a psychologist, and then a dietician.  The dietician suggested she join something like weight watchers (the lady said no, she'd done that, and then the weight went back on again) the book man had said low carb diet (lady said no, she hadn't the money for the cost of the extra meat she'd have to eat), and the psychologist suggested she look at her attitude to food, and why she was over eating (can you guess what she said?  Yeh, she said no, that made her sound like she was a greedy chopped mental – I paraphrase).  

There are many things one could say about her attitude to the suggestions of the so-called experts (considering that two did not mention exercise and one dismissed it outright).  I am not here to pass judgement on her.  The thing that struck me exactly about the interview with her was the use of the word ‘Success’.  She said Success would be losing weight and keeping it off but to what end?  To the end she wouldn’t have to think of herself as the ‘fat girl’ anymore?  To the end that in looking at her others would not assume that she was monstrously greedy and lazy?  To the end that she would no longer be shouted at in the street by strangers so desperately hating themselves that pointing out a socially accepted detractor in another made them feel better?

This was not picked up by the interviewer.  Granted they’d spent most of the 10-15 minutes of the feature talking through her options by the idiots they’d brought in, but then they also managed 10 minutes on female circumcision carried out in Egypt, so as a programme they can raise some pretty serious issues and discuss them with sensitivity and intelligence in a short time.  The programme was abominably stereotypical in the automatic convention that ‘fat people (particularly women) should lose weight’.  By not taking a more measured approach, using the woman’s predicament as a platform for discussion it reinforced the social prejudice that says being fat means that one must and should automatically lose weight, that the prejudice is deserved and society is correct in the treatment of in this case a mother of 4.  By being fat, and everyone would ‘hate’ to be ‘fat’ one does not value themselves, lack an inordinate amount of self control and are an inordinately stupid failure that damages society because society is biologically wired to hate anything that looks different and society shouldn’t have to curb that because being thin(ner) society is better than ‘the fat people’.  Further to that ‘Society shouldn’t have to change it’s view because it’s backed by an overwhelming amount of social prejudice(read people who shout in the street, magazines full of ‘curvy’ size 10s, papers and news shows telling us that ‘overweight people cost us x without saying that smokers, drinkers, and driving, yes! Car accidents, cost us a lot more than fat people! Fashion shops that don’t sell over a size 14 and health experts that tell me to use BMI charts that tell me that despite having a body fat percentage of 27%, a resting heart rate of 60bpm I’m borderline obese!)  and it would be easier for fat people weight rather than ‘Us’ examine ‘our’ motivations in singling them out as an object of hate that should be dumped from the human herd.’

As women, we don’t look at celebrities who say they’ve got fat thighs and think ‘oh she’s just like me’, we look at them and go ‘shit, hers are smaller than mine, and since she hates hers I should really revile mine.’ Anyone listening to that programme, who identified with the fat girl, had another outlet telling them they should change their physical appearance to be ‘successful’, accepted, happy, to not be a failure, to not be shouted at in the street.   

It makes me so angry, that we do this to ourselves and others.  Fat is turning out to be the last prejudice of society, and it’s so ingrained and buried under so much of society’s subconscious that, like all prejudice, our actions are unquestioned and the prejudice institutionalised and so ingrained we don’t even know we do it. 

And what are we doing?  We’re having a go at someone who has that extra bit of cake.  Who doesn’t burn as much as they eat.  In doing so are they depriving someone else?  Are they contributing to human trafficking, or depriving someone of the ability to read?  The fact that I enjoy and can consume copious amounts of food does not mean I’m contributing to world hunger.  It just means that I enjoy eating.  I have mates who enjoy eating.  I have mates who enjoy eating, but because you’ve ‘got to be’ and are ‘supposed to be’ thin eat nothing but a biscuit and drink tea all day.  I have one who is permanently on diet shakes! Twice a day!  Of course she’d rather have a sandwich, but being fat is ‘worse’ than eating something and deciding ‘I’m not going to feel guilty for that’.

The Giddy Blonde says I’m over reacting.  He’s saying that I’m letting out my inner ‘angry Weegie’.  To an extent I suppose I am, but then it’s a lot better than having a laugh at someone elses expense then wondering why they can’t take the joke.

Fat Angry Weegie

P.S. Whilst this is my take on the philosophy, I didn’t come up with it myself.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Am not going to the gym today.  It's my attempt at 'listening to my body.'  Been feeling a bit crap this week again, and had an upset stomach yesterday, this coupled with constantly feeling like I'm on the verge of a cold and general ickyness I figure that powering through it last week didn't do me any favours.

I am planning to do some road training on Sunday.  Do the Slug Road 40 as the weather is much 'milder' than before.  I still have a spin class tomorrow at 6.30 with vibrating plate class straight after so there is that. 

In other news I've bought myself a Snowboard and some bindings!  They arrived today! I had ordered the board on Saturday morning, then the Bindings Monday, so go Wheelbase.co.uk and Absolute-Snow.co.uk!  Pretty sharp work all in all.

The bindings (from Absolute-Snow) do have a small defect/superficial damage on the actual binding bit.  It's difficult to describe where but – and I'll check with the blokie – I don't think it will affect the overall performance of the binding and you won't see it once the binding is on.  If it does I shall be informing Absolute-Snow and you shall hear all about it here (because, yeh! I Am That Kind of Person). 

The plus point of the super quick delivery is that I'll be able to get some snowboarding practice in before the hols.  
The negative is that in booking the holiday the Giddy Blonde didn't actually book any snowboard carriage and in trying to do it later was told that there won't be any space for it.  Which is rather sad really. 

Poor snowboard, all dressed up and no where to snow.  Feel rather sorry for it.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

I've taken an executive decision...

with a little help with the Giddy Blonde.  We had no training ride today.

The decision was taken last night after Michael (the Giddy Blonde's Bro), being the generous individual that he is, gave us all the cold in varying degrees.  Mines is fine right now.  Not in the chest, but in my nose (and not 'in (my) head' as Giddy Blonde says).

So we've had a day of Rugby (we actually did quite respectably today, still lost mind but we scored a try, the first time in 5 games, wee Laidlaw's turning into quite the man!), tea drinking, and cake baking.

Cake baking didn't go quite to plan.  We had the oven up too high though it looked fine on the dial, half managed to come out cooked the other half had to go back in for five minutes, both had to have their burnt bits cut off from the edge.

I've done some Origami and we went to the Giddy Blonde's folks for some lovely tea.

That about sums it up really.  It's been nice but odd.  A lot like a Saturday.  I think I've missed getting out on the bike, even for a short while, but I wouldn't do this Sunday and go out on the bike.  Definitely going out next weekend, and wondering if I could squeeze into some touring (only would have to do 30 miles - I've found out you can wild camp in Scotland), out Saturday, back Sunday sort of thing.

I'm back gyming it this week again.  I've got three spin classes ear-marked so far with an additional power plate class on Wednesday so we'll see how that goes.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

Attack of the Lazyites

Stuggling a bit this week.  I think it's probably a result of having a full on time of it.  Made Spin Class Monday and Tuesday.  Had to get up at 6.15 for a 7am spin class - the class is full but the survey says only 6 people turn up - on Wednesday, and this after a birthday dinner with friends on Tuesday night. 

It wasn't too bad but a mixture of that with not sleeping properly is catching up on me.  One more gym visit and then 2 days off. And if I manage all my gyming next week (Spin classes are booked up AGAIN), I've promised myself a few days off and out on the bike the week after (I have a few days off for my Birthday).

I am seeing progress with this regime.  Being from a thick limbed peoples generaly means I put on muscle rather than loose weight, but I appear to have lost some inches round my waist and put them on my thighs.  I've also slept fine more often than not.

No spin tonight - 12 bike spin class is full so I wonder how many people that actually means 5, 6 students? - So will be rowing it.  I managed 2000m last week with a time of 9mins 44 secs.  We'll probably attempt the Stonehaven 40 on Sunday again (myself and the dizzy blonde).  The spin classes for next week are already all booked up on my chosen days.  Since I'm feeling a bit poo I might mix it up a wee bit and do one at the weekend or something.


Post Post:  11/02/12 - Actually made the Thursday Spin Class, basically by hanging onto the Spin Class listings - someone cancelled at 5.15 for the 6pm class. Glad I went, enjoyed it once I was there.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Can't sleep....

....I know I've done the miles.  Well, most of them.

Sunday we did 30 miles to Stonehaven.  It would have been forty but the roads were treacherous.  They were all right right up until we got past Lairhillock and then we split from some friends going a slightly longer route which looked like sheet ice.  Which it was. For 7 miles.  On road bikes.

This is the way we should have gone.


basically from Mile 12 until 19 it was sheet ice.  After that until just past 20 (you can see it on the elevation) it was sheet ice with about 4 inches of snow.  It lay so thick that my mud guards were shaving snow off my tires going up that bloody hill.  If you stood on your bike and tried to jig your way to the top the bike slid from under you and you landed on your face.  It took us 1hr 20 mins to do the 12-19 miles.  It took us 30 minutes to climb that bloody hill.  Thing is, I've done Braemar to Aberdeen -3 in a sodding snow blizzard and it wasn't anywhere near that difficult.

At Mile 25 where we come off the main road we were going to cut across for the return journey back to Aberdeen, but we decided with that being a fairly unused road, more sheet ice would ensue so we decided that going through Stonehaven and up the Number 1 Cycle Route would be easier but longer.

So we're cycling past the last mini round about in the town and I heard the mystical sound of large glasses of Hoegaarden being poured all the way from the Marine Hotel, situated most picturesque in Stonehaven Harbour.  So we stashed our bikes round a mates house (Cassa Sergio) and followed the call.

 Our intention was purely refreshment, but just as we were about to leave to catch the train (honestly, I'm not making this one up now) Who rocks up to the Pub but Don Sergio his Bella Donna and Bambino* to watch Ireland getting Gubbed (Rugby technical term) by Wales.

We left Aberdeen at 9.15am.  Didn't get back until about 8pm and 7 hours of that was sitting in the pub.  Was in bed for half nine which is probably why I can't sleep now.

It was worth it.

And here's the route we actually done:



* apologies to Italian speakers everywhere.  I'm fairly sure one of those words (if not all) is not Italian. 

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Spin Class Squared and other Magic Numbers

And I was stupid enough not to see how many Miles I've done.   It was good though, first class was hard, second class was easier but my legs gave way before my lungs did.

I also had a health check and apparently I'm not eating enough - I have a daily goal of 2,179 (not 2,178 or 2,180 why?) cals for the exercise I do according to myfitnesspal.com I've had 1,480 calories.  I also have 28% body fat and 52% water (I asked the guy if this was high 'cos I wobble and swell like the sea  but no, it's actually quite good for someone who's just done 2 spin classes so get me!) and I'm 68% muscle and internal organs.  I know none of this actually adds up to 100% but bones aren't counted either.  I'm not really interested in loosing weight (which is lucky since I'm not really loosing any - infact I've put about 4 kilos on) more on increasing my muscle to fat ratio which is the important part.  


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