This morning I sent in the withdrawal form for 70.3UK. I am heartbroken and my heart appears to be broken.

I’ve said a few times in recent entries that training hasn’t been going well, and I mentioned why in the last one – chest pains, palpitations, trembling. I brushed over it a bit, but I had been worrying for a while. I also admitted that I’d been putting off seeing a doctor because I didn’t want them to say I couldn’t race, or couldn’t train, or couldn’t go to Paris (and honestly, there will  be a far cheerier entry about the trip as a whole, especially since I legitimately will be sitting around a lot more). Continue reading “Heartbeat”

One brain-melt with a side order of crushed optimism

Sometimes there’s so much to do, or one thing to get done is so massive and overwhelming, that I freeze up and don’t get anything done at all. This never happens at work, but it does happen at home, and it happened with this blog last week.  I had a dozen ideas of things to write about, freaked out about not being able to do all of them and ended up not writing a thing. Really, the way to handle it would have been to do a few different entries over the course of the week. But God forbid I should break my arbitrary one-entry-a-week rule by writing too much instead of too little. Continue reading “One brain-melt with a side order of crushed optimism”

Lost in Sofia

We’ve just returned from a Sofia Coppola (or Giovanni Ribisi, depending on your poison) double bill at the Prince Charles. The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. I wasn’t sure whether to go or not, because I’m a bit low and watching those films could, I figured, push me either way. I’ve never seen The Virgin Suicides on a big screen before – I bought the music before I ever saw the film (by Air – check it out), love the book, love the film. I had forgotten or blocked out the more upsetting bits.

Continue reading “Lost in Sofia”


It’s becoming a tradition to try and get these entries in on Restday Monday. Restday Monday is pretty much the high point of my week . As far as I can tell from my 70.3 training schedule (and I haven’t checked the whole thing because looking that far ahead will freak me out, so don’t quote me on this), Monday is the only day for the next four and a half months that I’m not supposed to be doing some form of fairly gruelling activity. Okay, that’s unfair – there are ‘easy’ sessions, but they’re at the end of the week when I’m already exhausted from intervals and drills, so they still aren’t that easy. Continue reading “Restlist”

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse*

It has been an exhausting week, which is why this entry is being written on a Monday instead of over the weekend. It started out well-ish, with work and training and a vague semblance of a social life all fitting together ok. I was a bit smug about how well my planning was working out, actually.

On the training front I was feeling pretty good – all ‘Yeah, another five months like this and I’m well away!” But then Thursday onwards was just a slow deterioration of training ability and by Sunday I accepted that I needed sleep, lots of sleep, and no training run. I made an apple pie instead, and we cooked Sunday dinner for our current house guest (an unexpected, but welcome, arrival who is a friend of a friend) and a friend who lives nearby and is also in training for a marathon.

It’s been an education, trying to fit together training, work, a social life and just the everyday basics of things like cooking dinner and doing the washing up. I think for the past few weeks I’ve been pretty good at balancing everything, but something will have to give – or I need to go to bed earlier more often (she says, tapping away at the keyboard at 10 p.m. and mentally listing what I need to pack for a 6 a.m. start while this entry starts to go round and round in circles).

It was easier (though the guilt levels were higher) when Coffee Monster wasn’t also in training and I selfishly let him pick up much of the slack, as he’s also done during my lower points. And, you know, generally, because I’m a messy person. Now we’re both training, and trying to fit everything round it. It can be very tiring. I look forward to times where all the exercise makes me energetic and perky, and all the effort is a pleasure rather than just pain. I am also pleased that CM is training as well. One of the first articles I ever read on triathlon was a not-so-tongue-in-cheek article that talked about the time commitment and mentioned that triathletes have a fairly high divorce rate because they get sucked into the sport (no, really?) and their relationships suffer. I’m lucky in that CM is getting more active himself, and also in that his view of what I do with my time was summed up this weekend: “I think you’re mad for doing this, but I’m proud of you for being so mad.” (Not spot on – I have a bad memory for quotes – but that was basically it).

I wish quite desperately that I lived somewhere more rural at the moment, though. Not through any rose-tinted view of Surrey, or whatever – I grew up in the country. I spent a fair amount of time on hills and in fields. We moved when I was eight and had this just down the road from my house:

Once upon a time, this was home sweet home.

I was fairly active until about 13, and then teenaging kicked in, and that was that on the exercise front. I gained weight, ducked PE classes where possible, ate too much, moved not very much. I climbed a bit at university, tried running, it didn’t stick. So the irony is that I didn’t get off the couch until I moved to London. The city got me moving more than all the green space in the world did. Now, though, after a Christmas spent surrounded by hills and quiet roads, what I wouldn’t give for safer roads to cycle on (I remain terrified of cycling on London’s roads), and more easily accessible fields and trails to run on. Probably less easy access to swimming, though, unless we were by the sea. Part of me really wants to move away from here now. It’s been five years. Maybe I’ve had enough, now.

But on the other hand… on the other hand, I love London. On better days than today, I love my job, and I have good friends, and there’s so much to see and do, and I’m not sure I could cope with the isolation of living somewhere smaller. When I’m not irate, I enjoy the crowds and the people-watching and very definitely the anonymity.  This weekend alone (friends, food, neighbourhood snowball fights) makes me want to stay. It’s something to keep thinking about, anyway.

Where would you prefer to live, given the choice?

*The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

Fight or flight

I had a few ideas for this next entry. I’m worrying about Ironman 70.3 UK, for which training is wholeheartedly under way and for which I’m starting to worry about the practicalities, like actually getting to Exmoor. So there was that. And then there’s this ongoing rift in my head between country and city, where I can’t figure out where I’d like to live. So there was that. Weight loss is an issue at the moment. A book review, I have in mind. A movie review. Maybe a mess of the lot.

But then today, on my run, some jerk decided to harass me. He, much as I hate to admit it, actually scared me. In fact it didn’t just scare me; it made me really FUCKING ANGRY. So that’s the subject.

Continue reading “Fight or flight”

Esiotrot, esiotrot

Five days into 2013 and how are your resolutions panning out? Did you make any? Have you stuck to them so far?

People I know have, this year, covered all ranges of Resolution attitude from ‘Didn’t make any/no point/why wait for a particular date to change your life?’ to fairly lengthy lists of things they want to change or achieve. There’s been the usual abundance of ‘How to keep your resolutions’ and ‘Why resolutions fail’ articles bouncing about on the web, as well as lists of the most common resolutions, and of course I’ve read everything I came across.

I’m actually in the ‘I didn’t make any’ camp, but only because come up with new resolutions pretty much every Monday morning, and then fail them by Tuesday evening. The resolution is usually something along the lines of ‘I will stick to my training plan’ or ‘I will eat healthily’ – both things that I really should not be failing to do at this stage, because I face certain death somewhere in the hills of Exmoor in June if I don’t kick my own arse into shape. On the more long-term side of things, I had that 1001-day list. The one that started this blog in the first place, years and years ago. Obviously I failed to hit the number of blog entries I was supposed to write according to that list (52, one a week for a year – should have been easy), but at least I’m still trying, even if I’m slow. That approach is my standard; it works with triathlons as well.

Slow and steady...
The healthy-eating tortoise is my spirit animal. Slow and steady brings you in at about 11th to last, most times.

So, anyway, I started this year with no intention of trying to stick to a list of any kind. However, that my first two purchases of the year were a voucher for IPL and a steam-cleaner for the carpets, and the fact that I’ve spent the first three days back in London doing a mammoth overhaul of my flat (ok, this is more a joint effort), and that I asked for (nay, DEMANDED) a brand spanking new gym bag for Christmas probably say more about the ‘little’ changes I’m definitely not making than my mouth does. And Coffee Monster signed up for the Paris Marathon, so between the two of us this place is going to be a perfect haven of health and fitness for the next few months. Probably. The New Year effect sneaks in even if you don’t want to pay lip service to it.