Monthly Archives: December 2015

Cycling to the Gym (clocks go back)

Today was Sunday 24th October 2015 and I am making the most of the clocks going back and the extra hour of daylight at the start of the day…

I am out on my bike and finally tackling the road into Southam. Five miles there, five miles back and possibly with a slightly larger fear factor than any of the other roads near by…except possibly the road over the motorway… as the traffic zips along this twisty bendy country roadt regularly at speeds over the speed limit.

But I made it…I was so proud it made me want to take a photo of my bike to prove I did it but as usual I didn’t have a camera on me.

The other high spot in today’s exercise attempt was that I tried to run. I started following a programme called “my first mile”. The first 3 sessions are manageable but then week 2 takes a leap in ability from week 1. Week 1 asks you to run for a minute and then for 2 minutes… week 2 expects you to then be able to run 500m…

Cycling back I felt at one with the world it was  a perfect autumn day. I was not alone in enjoying the world from my bike several cycling groups had also popped out to make the most of the day. The first group I passed even nodded smiled and waved… the other 2 not so much but hell 1 out of 3 is a start

After such a good start to the day I felt like tackling other stuff so we emptied the garage… that was slightly soul destroying but at least it means there is more room for repairing Candice.

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Back in the Zone 3/11

With some trepidation I return to group cycling – the weekend had been quite good. I had at least dragged myself of the sofa to the gym but not managed to get the bike out due to other commitments like remodelling the kitchen… the oven isn’t working etc

Anyway whilst I was warming up Mr A walked in, Katie was ill it would seem.

But I needn’t have worried he just took us all on a long long indoor bike ride with lots of slow sustained hills and sprinting down… it was a fairly consistent effort but nothing I couldn’t handle and OK possibly having a decent lunch (and a quick ham sandwich 30 minutes earlier may have helped a lot

Anyway I came away this evening feeling well and truly shattered but “good”… maybe those mythical endorphins have finally kicked in ?

The Puncture Repair Fairy

The existence or not of Father Christmas is a matter of great speculation in our house. The Boy I think has possibly reached the age where he doesn’t really believe… but is hedging his bets as he doesn’t want to risk an empty stocking come Christmas Day.

He has been avidly reading the Truth Behind Father Christmas which is a kids science type book aiming to try and explain how he manages to visit every child in one night (I prefer Arthur Christmas).

I suspect that he may be planning an ambush on Christmas Eve… if he was a bit more technologically savvy I would be concerned about a Santa Cam or possibly time lapse photography to try and find out who fills the stockings really.  There is a genuine risk that he might set up his alarm system… it came with a Spy Kit and is a series of blocks of plastic sensors with beams of light. Any breach of the light beam lets out a loud electronic screeching noise. It is horrible and loud.

The Puncture Repair Fairy however does not exist. My tyre has been flat since early November when I last went outside on my bike. Unfortunately a combination of chest infection, bad weather, work stress and the usual hurly burly of the Christmas season has meant that my bike has languished neglected in the garage.

However work usually kicks us out shortly after 12 so with any luck I will have time to fix the flat and get a quick spin round the block in before we are expected at my parents for a pre-christmas drink.

I may even try Strava for the first time now that I have it working on my phone. I also have Run. Zombies. Run working and hope to drag the Boy away from his Xbox over the next week at least once or twice.

So as large parts of the world switch off and head home to celebrate or already are celebrating I wish those who are reading this (all 3 of you)…Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you all.

Hitting the wall/Why rest days are important

They say that exercise is good for reducing stress. There are some people who when they have a stressful day run their stress away or get on a bike and remove the cares off their shoulders just by pedalling away in the countryside.

I don’t think I’m that sort of person…I mean I knew I was in the wrong job when I found myself drafting a witness statement in my head when swimming lengths of the local pool.

I am therefore fortunate that stressful days are few and far between.

Today was a busy day at work. I had to issue proceedings to remove unwanted travellers from work property. I spent all day on the paperwork, almost forgot to eat lunch and hardly had anything to drink… plus I was enduring the monthly joy of being a girl…

Tuesdays are Spin nights…

I knew almost as soon as I got on the bike that something was wrong. It felt as if someone had removed all my batteries… there was just no fuel in the tank. A sensible person would stop here but I pressed on wondering if I had set the bike up properly.

Tonight’s session was called “Back to the Future”. The idea was you did half the class checked the readings for average speed, distance etc and then reset the computer and in the second half try and beat the readings for the first half… so in effect do the same 20 minutes again

Well I walked out just after the half way stage. I  just upped and left, headed home and collapsed on the sofa. Kate  the instructor was nice to call the next day to check I was ok which I was and as I explained I just had nothing left to give as I’d used it all stressing out over getting the paperwork right.

London, trains and sustainable urban drainage

I love my job. It’s different and varied and infinitely interesting no day is the same.

Often I draft legal agreements for projects we carry out in partnership with other organisations…sometimes the project manager remembers I helped and invites me to come and see what was created.

Today was one of those days

I don’t have photos of the drainage system built by London Underground as I wasn’t sure if I could take photos whilst on their property but I was able to take photos of my walk to work down Whitehall…

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Monty was my breakfast table… take away Eggs Benedict. It was a good day and I felt glad to be alive

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What was not quite so good was the photo I was sent the next day of the project team and me looking like a squat dumpy equilateral triangle next to the 6th foot 10 Iso triangle of my instructing officer.

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Note to self… don’t stand next to tall skinny people if you are likely to have your photo taken…it’s not good for your self esteem!

Also, I may have caught a cold on the underground…

Some days you are the statue

Yesterday was not the best of days. I had to go to Coventry to collect a pair of safety shoes from a colleague…of course I got lost. It is practically the law in Coventry that if you try and go somewhere new you will get lost. Even once you get used to the ring road you will still get lost because periodically they dig it up and change things just for fun !

Getting lost meant it was getting dark and the streetlights were coming on

On collecting the shoes and reaching the city limits it eventually dawned on me that the way in front was not as clear and bright as it should be. OK so the streetlights pretty much finished once you left the city and headed into countryside but most cars are equipped with headlights right ? And mine appeared to be on… so why was it so dark ?

Pulling over I realised that both my front dip headlights were for some reason not working. Fortunately full beam was so I managed to limp home but probably made myself a good many enemies in the traffic coming towards me…woops !

Without headlights though there was no way I would be able to get to BarreFit down in Bodicote… it really was turning into a bit of a horrid day.

Friday didn’t start much better. The weekly weigh in showed a miniscule reduction and I could go to the gym as planned to catch up on missed work outs as I had to sort my headlight situation out.

I was beginning to feel as if the whole world was against me and I should just get back into bed. But I couldn’t take the day off and hide under the duvet as I needed to collect a train ticket from work

Then suddenly everything started falling into place again as though someone had flicked a switch and said “no today its your turn to be the pigeon” and all the little stresses started melting away as quickly as they had built up…

My first bike

Apparently everyone remembers their first car…does everyone remember their first bike?

Not sure. All the people I’ve asked do but then all the people I have asked like bikes…

My first bike was small and white and I think a Peugeot…that would fit I guess since the small island we live on was, at the time, under both French and British control. What I never bothered to think about until now was how my parents got hold of it in the first place. I mean we are talking a very small remote island where the majority of things had to be imported by boat… vegetables came in cans except for locally grown stuff like sweet potato, yams etc

But somehow at some point a small white bike with stabilisers came into my life… and a small possibly blue bike became my brothers pride and joy also with stabilisers and we used to bomb up and down the “road” with careless abandon about traffic…

Fortunately it was not a main road more of a drive/residential road and traffic was few and far between.

Then one fateful day I abandoned the bike on our drive and rushed off to do the sort of things that are important to a 4 year old only for my beautiful bike to be flattened and twisted as my Dad reversed over it   😦

He did what he could to straighten things out but the stabilisers were beyond help…so he did what any parent would and decided it was about time I learned how to ride a bike and whilst he was about it he would teach my brother at the same time…

I don’t remember much about it to be honest. Apparently it was the old tried and true method of running along holding the back and then without telling the child stop holding… it’s the method I used on the Boy… however that is a whole other tale of woe…

When questioned my Dad confirms that I learned much faster than my brother and it took several goes for him to get the hang of it…I hold on to this fact as its possibly the first and last time I did better than my big brother…although sibling rivalry continues to this day to be good motivating factor !