Thursday, 28 January 2010

Scaling the heights

It's now just under a month until I jet off. This week hasn't been the best in terms of training for a variety of reasons with only 3 instances of exercise possible, but next week promises to be much better. I suppose you can have too much of a good thing.

I did go climbing this week. The vertical sort of climbing, albeit indoors. I've tried it once before and really enjoyed it and it seems it doesn't take much to get hooked. I had one of the best nights, climbed my first overhang and got scuffed knees to show for it. I only did up to level 5 routes but was happy enough with that. Can't wait for an excuse to go back. Quite fancy doing the beginners course but I really should try and wait until I get back from The Mountain. It'll get added to the List of Things I Enjoy Scaring Mum With.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Fueled by Audio

Some time ago The Times did an offer where by you could download two music tracks from a company called AudioFuel for free. These tracks are designed to help you in your running, whether outside or on the treadmill in the gym. They come in two main flavours, pure - just music, and coaching - with some added spoken instructions to help you find the pace and to motivate you. I think the free ones were one of each. I downloaded them and promptly forgot about them.

The other day I got an email from one of the many newsletters I'm signed up to. Can't remember if it was the London Marathon one, Reading Half, or even the AudioFuel one itself. Anyway it mentioned the addition of some new tracks and a survey, which if completed would give me £20 to spend on music. Always keen to take advantage of a useful bargain or freebie I completed the survey and have downloaded my £20 of music. For me this meant one 60min Pure compilation and one 40min Coaching compilation. I've listened to both and they are awesome. I used the free tracks in the gym last night and really enjoyed working out to them. The music is original, the coaching subtle and finally I have a solid block of music that's the right tempo.

They have quite a lot of different compilations, in different intensities and lengths and you can make up your own if you like. Yes you could get some gadget to analyse your own music for BPM but I've not found anything that does it well yet. In the mean time this is a great quick fix. I've been listening to the tracks at work which is making me want to go to the gym so much. This might be the motivation I need to get that intensity up. As most people know, music is very important to me.

I've managed to get to the gym every day bar one for the last 8 days. I'm very happy with that. This has had the effect of making me want to eat all the time. Still need to get more outdoor walking miles under my belt but an hour of fast-paced CV every day has got to be good right? Also, doing weights every day has resulted in me getting some of the definition back in my arms. Haven't had that since I did Body Pump!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Keep on keeping on

As Donna, another girl tackling Kili, has mentioned, there's only 45 days to go! The briefing is tonight in London but I can't make it so Donna's kindly going to report back on anything I need to know. We've started talking about what we're going to wear for the gala dinner after the climb. Girly, yes, but exciting too.

Did a couple of hour/two hour walks in the snow on the weekend and so far this week have managed a weights session and two proper gym sessions. The gym is filled with people trying to keep their new years resolutions... very frustrating for those of us who are just trying to keep going. Might have to try going later in the evening to see if it's any quieter. I've still not managed to give my Garmin Forerunner a proper try due to the continuing snow and slush.

I almost incurred injury the other day too. Walking out of my apartment complex I slipped, stacked it and now have several bruises in inconvenient places and a very sore, raw patch on my ankle where I took the skin off. I'm hoping to go for a long walk with Shruti at the weekend so it's on with the compeed to protect the wound.

I'm really looking forward to the walk with Shruti. I'm not bad at self-motivation but this month has been especially tough so far; it's the time when I most need to keep going though. I would still really like a personal trainer to help push me or a training partner to help with motivation. I'm not sure if I am actually any fitter, how much or if I've improved my strength or endurance. I am thinking that when I'm back home properly that I'd like to join the local running club. It's something I enjoy doing (with hiking, biking and swimming) and I've got some events in mind or already booked that it would help me to train for. I'd like to experience the social side of sport and see some improvement. A friend of mine plays football several times a week and always has stories about how they beat this team that they didn't last year or how he's improved; I'd like to experience that and running's pretty accessible. I've signed up for the Sherunsheruns/Sweatshop 10K in Bluewater again this year... want to get a new PB on the course :)

Monday, 4 January 2010

Eight weeks and counting...

It's a new year but the same old challenge. There are 8 weeks left until head off to Tanzania (the Visa arrived so they should let me in) and there's a whole lot of training still to do. My plan of exercising everyday over the Christmas period failed miserably, which was to be expected I suppose, but as of tomorrow I'm going to be back on form. The problem will be trying to get my self motivated again. I could really do with a training partner.

I got a new Garmin 405CX and a purple 16GB iPod nano for Christmas which I'm itching to try out on the go, so I'll need to go running or walking outside very soon. Need to plan some routes around Cardiff! I do need to do aomething every day now, whether it's swimming, gym, walking or pilates. I would love to go for some bike rides but I don't have my bike in Cardiff so that'll have to be limited to the odd weekend at home. Training will give me a good excuse to cut down on the drinking and help shift all those mince pies I ate over Christmas. Actually I had one just now so I've really got my work cut out ;)

I'm really excited now. Last things to do, get Malaria tablets, pack and weigh kit, keep fit and get myself on a plane! Hurrah!