Friday, May 25, 2012

Mini-break in Training

After an unplanned four day break in training I'm about to start into a weekend of night-shifts.

The weather is truly gorgeous for Northern Ireland in typical May style.
Ie. This is our 2 week summer happening here and now, what comes after will consist of rain, wind and dreary skies over all of June, July and August! There I said it...may the Gods defy me and prove me wrong. :-)

Why the unplanned break? Well, I've worked-out consistently for the past four weeks since deciding I was re-entering the land of multisport and I've also been doing 12hour shifts at work which have me alternating between day-duty and night-duty. This has taken its toll on my energy levels.
These shifts are different from those I did several years ago. Back then we did not alternate so much between night and day. We did either three/four night shifts in a row and then got back into routine again. Now it feels like my routine is "all over the shop!" (Northern Ireland colloquialism that translates as - my life is somewhat haphazard and disorgansied.")

Hence, I've listened to my body and heeded to it's natural fatigue and allowed myself to recuperate. Will it affect my performance overall? Only time will tell, but I'm not in the least bit worried about it. Today I plan to go for a nice swim before night duty. I will likely incorporate some cycling into the weekend by commuting to work in the lovely weather, and will go for a jog tomorrow morning before I go to bed. I also hope to go for a reasonably long cycle on Sun morning post-night shift and then swim again on monday followed by a weights session. All will be fine!!

I feel slightly guilty and weirdly feel a bit fatter after four days off which, realistically I know, is probably all in my head. If I look back over the past four weeks I definitely have toned up and look more athletic so all the work has not been in vain.

Anyways, sorry for the hiatus in updates on my progress. Wish me luck in the next fortnight in the build-up to the first triathlon I've done in wee while.

Thanks for tuning in.

Monday, May 07, 2012

"Life got in the way..."

Ah-hah! You thought I had disappeared again, didn’t you?

Another blogger who succumbed to the pressures of every day life and forgot about her grand plans for adventures within endurance sport. She’s fallen again.

Well, actually, I haven’t fallen at all. I’ve merely been busy with work, life and training.

Yes, I said training.

Yes I will admit that I am a world apart from that young person who wrote about her hopes and aspirations back in 2005 when she first fell in love with everything multisport.
Hell, I can’t even write as good as that wee girl did back then.
But I’m writing from a new perspective now. Someone who has lived a bit longer, experienced a bit more and quite frankly has been very successful with life so far.

The title “Life got in the way…” is not one I intended in the negative sense. Perhaps it should have read – “Life had to get in the way first….” but it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like the original.

Anyway, without boring you with the details and getting sidetracked with the inane I just wanted to say – I am most definitely back – watch this space.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Masters Swimming

I normally do a lot of my training solo and have done for the last few years.

There is something to be said, however, for getting into group training. Whether it's Masters swimming or even joining a running club or cycling club, having other people to push you and motivate you can really help in terms of performance.

My schedule doesn't allow me to regularly commit to such sessions so I have to find groups who are happy to have someone with them who is a frequent non-attender. Thankfully, there are many such groups in and around where I live.

I've begun attending a new masters swimming group at my local gym and managed to get down to it last night, albeit it 30 minutes late - I ran over at work. On arriving, the coach there was more than happy to see me and told me to get in for the last 45 minutes of the session. Eager to obey the rules of pool etiquette I joined in at the back of the lane behind two lovely female athletes and another three men who were taking out the lead. After the first few lengths I began to chat with these new people during rest periods at the end of the pool. After about 15 minutes I had progressed to swimming behind the men (chasing their feet) and was having full-blown conversations about triathlon, adventure racing and swimathons between sets. In fact, I was chatting so much that at times I had no notion what we were swimming next and had to be told by one of the girls just before I pushed off. I hope I wasn't torturing them too much but they were more than happy to talk to me.

This is the problem with training solo, when you get into a group of like-minded people you make up for all the times you train in solitude - in my case by becoming a motor-mouth/chatterbox. I was also beat after 45 minutes - mainly because I was trying to compete with the men - but I felt like I got a fantastic work-out and I will definitely be back next week, work permitting. One of the guys there actually suggested I get out on the bike with his triathlon club so I might take him up on that offer.

"No man/woman is an island" - very appropriate in terms of training for triathlon!!!

Later, J.

I've moved on and I'm not sure did I do the right thing!!!

It's weird. I started a new blog a few months ago on an alternative blogging site and, having read through my old posts from 2005 today, I'm not sure I did the right thing.
I had loads of lovely people commenting on my life back then and my posts were actually entertaining. They were not of the sort where I was consistently complaining about my lack of exercise and injuries and how work kept me back all the time. I loved life in 2005!! Although I was seven years younger...I'm now the ripe old age of thirty and very cynical. Work does that to you!! (Argh I'm doing it again). Anyways.
I would hate to lose this blog so...perhaps I might lead a double life for a while and see what happens.
What disappointed me about blogger was that I randomly updated the appearance one day and lost all my sidebars and quotes etc. I was so raging that I threw up the head and picked up sticks and left! ;-)
Anyways I'll post todays post from "" and see what happens. Thanks to all those people back in the day who were so encouraging about my sporting endeavours. I didn't realise how lucky I was to have people read my posts and post genuine comments on my blog. (Spam-bots not included!)


Monday, January 23, 2012

Starting afresh...

Can't believe I've owned a blog for nearly six years and my post publishing is as sporadic as my exercise habits!
Anyways I'm starting anew as you can see with the new dynamic design that I'm playing around with.
I've spent so long today messing about online that I don't have time to write anything of any substance really.
Will see if I can tune in again tomorrow to let you know what I've been up to in the last ten months...that is...if you're interested.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Yes, you heard me right. Polercise.

Went to a introductory class yesterday as part of a charity fund-raiser(Ulster Yompers) and was incredibly impressed.

Before I went to said exercise class I did a bit of background research via Youtube. I very quickly realised exactly what pole-dancing involved and it was not just a matter of dancing around a pole in a sexy manner (I was doomed to be a failure if it was just that, dancing and being sexy not my forte).

These girls have amazing strength and stamina and I could only gasp in awe as I watched one lady lift herself away from the pole and hold posture with one hand….surely that is impossible!

Therefore I approached the class with a little bit of respectful trepidation. Needless to say, my fears of being publicly shamed by my extreme lack of co-ordination and severe lack of body strength (despite apperances) were unfounded.

Our instructor was lovely, took us through some simple manoeuvres and was incredibly encouraging throughout. After an hour of attempting the Kate Moss, Fireman, windmill - to name a few – our instructor and our fellow charity fundraiser showed us some advanced poses. Much ooohhing and ahhhhing followed, they were amazing.

I left feeling I had achieved something and definitely feel that I would like to try it some more, if anything to improve my core strength and upper body strength.

I also left feeling that polercise and pole-dancers deserve recognition for what is a very intense and highly skill based sport that requires strength and endurance on top of which looking good whilst doing it is a necessity (not like you’re about to bust a gut – I’m glad I couldn’t see my face whilst attempting some of the manoeuvres.)

Check the Belfast studio out at Polercise ltd. They do introductory classes for groups at a reasonable price per head. That can follow on with 8 week courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced polercisers!

Don’t knock it till you try it.


Friday, June 18, 2010

So what keeps going wrong?

One half-marathon later with new bilateral knee effusions. Yes, you heard me, bilateral means both knees.

So why do I keep getting injured when I step up my game? I have asked myself this constantly over the past four years but have never listened or even waited for an answer.

Today, whilst I sit with big boggy knees lamenting at my stupid idiocy at doing a half-marathon without proper training, I have forced myself to come up with an answer.

Age 7 – 23 I trained at competitive swimming consistently year in and year out (with a few blips in the later years) with proper coaching, periodisation and strength training. When I started working as a junior doctor I gave all that up and became a self-coached triathlete.

It took a while for the cracks to begin to show. In my first triathlon season I was consistent, I still had a very strong core and good base fitness from swimming. As the years passed and responsibilities in work grew my consistency fell to the wayside. I was training sporadically but to a high enough level.

Cardiovascularly speaking I remain very fit but biomechanically I’m a complete and utter mess. 

So what do do?

Start at the beginning, be prepared for a very slow but progressive improvement and treat my body with respect.

I’m not old, I’m just tri-ing to find my feet again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Three down…

So I combined day 2 and 3 runs with a run to night shift and a run home from night shift. It was tough enough on the way home, didn’t get much sleep the past 48 hours but I did feel good afterwards. Nearly halfway through…