Saturday, 31 March 2007


500m in pool.
self-myofascial release (phnnarr)
half hour exercise bike, hills level 10
sit ups, pull ups, dips

Good Heart

Went for a jog when I woke up. I'm definitely not a morning person when it comes to exercise. Since I've got the Garmin I've noticed that my heartrate is always higher for the first half mile before settling down to a steady level. I wonder why that is?

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: mushrooms and bacon with toast.
snack: yogurt
lunch: chicken leg, vegetable rice with diced tomato and mayonnaise followed by banana
snack: apple
dinner: chicken stir fried with brocoli and carrots chinese style
snack apple
booze: none
weight: 13 st 9

Friday, 30 March 2007


Back from an hour or so with Gordon. Intense six minute bike and running sessions interspersed with floor exercises. I wasn't quite vomiting, but I was definitely bringing up something on the phlegm/bile border.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: bubble and squeak with fried egg.
snack: yoghurt
lunch: jerk pork with vegetable rice and sweet chilli sauce
snack: apple
dinner: chicken biriani
snack: grapes
weight: 13 st 10
booze: none

Thursday, 29 March 2007


Did 625m in the pool while Ben had his lesson. I did the last 5 25m lenghths as sprints. This is absolutley shattering and a reminder not to go off too quickly come the event.


5km on the treadmill starting at 9km/h and working up to 11km/h, then stretching.

Yesterday's fuel
breakfast: ham and 2 egg omelette toasted sandwich
snack: pear
lunch: tuna and coleslaw
snack: yoghurt
dinner: cottage pie and courgette
snack: bread 'n dripping
weight: 13 st 11
booze: none

Ale-ing and Failing

Booze : Some
I have decided that mental preparation is just as important as physical preparation when tackling a Triathlon, even a Wednesday afternoon, school sports one.
This, of course, is a complete fallacy. Nevertheless it was with this in mind that I hopped out of the office yesterday, skipped home for a swift powder of the beak and jumped over to the Barn !

I ran to the bar, Steve "The Bike!" popped over ( looking rather fetching in his new Stormtrooper-esque, Darth Vader helmet ) then we drank until our eyes and minds were swimming. Now that is a virtual Triathlon worth completing !
There is such a thin line between clever and stupid

Is my life imitating art Mr Tufnel ?

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Resistance is futile

I decided to alternate my aerobic exercise with some resistance training today.

Thus three heavy sets of 10 each for:

  • leg press
  • bench press
  • deadlift
  • barbell shoulder press
  • pull ups
  • barbell rows
  • incline sit ups

then stretching.

Yesterdays Fuel
breakfast: porridge
lunch: BLT baguette and coffee
snack: fuel up power bar, apple
dinner: cottage pie
snack: apple
weight: 13 st 11
booze: none

Volte Face Post Script

It is such a nice day, it would be such a shame to waste what is left of the sunshine exercising.
Perhaps a refreshing beer outside the pub would be time better spent ?

When did life get so hectic ?

Time refuses to stand still and at the moment events are cropping up all over the shop !
Knuckle down, that is the answer, knuckle down to do some training. Stop being distracted and take the leap of the faithful man.
Gym tonight - No Matter What !
Then again, I am not sure that I rinsed all the soap out of my hair this morning and there is tea to cook and that pile of ironing ! I curse that I have started that new book, a real page turner ! Seems an age since I have been to the pub and there are plans to make for the weekend festivities. Shit, I have also yet to get Jo her pressies for the weekend and tonight could be an opportunity ?
Only time will tell !

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Stronger, Faster, Smarter?

Did 12 km hills on the exercise bike - hills level 9 - then stretched my hamstrings and did three sets each of dips and pull ups.

Newsweek says that this should be making me brainier.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: sausage, fried tomatoes, toast
snack: yoghurt and grapes
lunch: tuna and mixed bean salad in chilli sauce
snack: apple
dinner: Fish and Pineapple Thai red curry and naan bread.
weight: 13 st 12
booze: none

Booze : None...

..Well, come on, it is 9 O'clock in the morning !!!
I actually trained on Friday but my exertions were hampered by the belly full of booze I was carrying from Thursday night !
Saturday and Sunday were 'rest days' which left me hungry for exercise on Monday morning.
After dropping Jazzy B to nursery I dived over to the Cardiff Esporta and attacked the equipment with very little in the way of vigor. The thought of Nick getting stronger whilst squatting in the gym eventually spurred me on.
Ended up completing 4Km on the treadmill, 20 minutes on the Cross Trainer, 10 mins reading the paper whilst tuning my core stability by sitting on a gym ball all the while. This was followed by pull ups and dips ( just tipping the hat to Nick for those ) then a little cycle work which set the scene for a steam and a soak.
No Swim but by that stage I was shattered and it was time to collect Jazz in any event.
I wonder what lays in store for me today ?

Monday, 26 March 2007


Did a crafty 500m in the pool lunch time, even though I'd been out pounding the streets this morning.

Looking at my heartrate profile for this morning's run - see the pie chart above. It seems to me that, although I was taking it easy, I was at pretty much the ideal effort level for a man of my age.

It was early in the morning ...

I finally managed an early morning 3 mile jog, which is remarkable when you consider that the clocks went forward this weekend so it was really an hour earlier than my alarm clock said.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: sausages, roast tomatoes, toast
lunch: spicy lamb and vegetable fried rice
snack: yoghurt and banana
tea: jerk pork and coleslaw
snack: apple
dinner: tuna, courgette, tomato frittata
weight: 13 st 11
booze: none

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Real Life Intrudes

Did 12 miles on the pushbike this morning. Noticed that the front brakes are kaput and that I've mislaid U-Lock key.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: sausages and roast tomatoes
lunch: jerk pork chop and coleslaw
snack: crisps
tea: spaghetti bolognaise
dinner: scotch egg, frittata, apple
booze: none
weight: 13 st 12

Saturday, 24 March 2007

I know where you live

Went for a gentle jog this morning. Playing with the GPS watch as much as training, but I do find it interesting to look at the results. In the unlikely even that it interests you, click on the map below.

Map of Gentle Jog

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: weetabix and semi skimmed milk
snack: yoghurt
lunch: chicken salad
snack: banana
dinner: steak with carrots, peas, sweetcorn and green beans
snack: scotch egg
booze: none
weight: 13 st 10

Friday, 23 March 2007

Dry Hard

Back from a taxing hour with G. Twelve minute warm up at 11 km/h on the treadmill then stretching, followed by intense push up and sit up variations.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: honey and nut wheatabix with milk
snack: yoghurt
lunch: chicken salad then grapes
dinner: dry mushroom and chicken curry with brown basmati rice and mango chutney
booze: none
weight: 13 st 13

Thursday, 22 March 2007


500m in the pool while Ben had his lesson.

No booze today as this is the beginning of my dry month run up to the Challenge, but ....

Yesterday's Fuel:
breakfast: mushrooms on toast
lunch: chicken and sweetcorn followed by yoghurt.
snack: pear
dinner: mixed starters then Lamb Tagine with couscous
booze: four pints of strong continental lager and a bottle of red wine
weight: 14 st 1

Post Script

Gym after work today.
Go to Gym, Go directly to gym, Do not pass Home, do not collect £200.

In the words of Roy Castle..

Once set on the road to recovery I thought that I would be unwavering in my determination, how poorly I know myself !
Yesterdays plan
Meeting in the St Mellons Country Club followed by a trip to the gym in Cardiff and a light lunch. An afternoon of hard and honest graft then an evening of indulging and spoiling Mia and Jasmine who would retire early allowing me time for a short but invigorating run followed by a late but light supper and an early night.
Looked achievable in my minds eye !
Turn of events
En route to 4 hour meeting stopped for some deep filled bacon and egg sarnies which were ideal for building an appetite for a little Hamlet 'wake and bake moment'. Coffee galore to get through the meet then massive overindulgence in the buffet provided. Trip to see Jasmine who had been picked up from nursery by that stage. The visit included coffee and a rather heavy snack which left me drowsy for the nicotine fuelled trip to the Cardiff office. Work was punctuated with interruptions and discussions some of which were welcome, others tiresome and yet others downright annoying. The recommended solution was an early exit and a trip to the snug bar of the Traders Tavern to take a few liveners on board. Then, back on track with the plan, I indulged M&J but overindulged them in time awake and playing. All the time I was sniping and sweeping from the fridges ( food and booze ). They eventually alighted to their respective beds allowing me time for a huge meal before settling down in front of dreadful TV with too much ice-cream and Stella. I did not end up going for my predicted run !
Dedication! That's what you need.
If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat the rest.
Dedication's what you need...

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Triage !

Determined to improve upon my recent performances and in order to take back some ground lost in recent excesses I entered the Gym last night with a grimace of steely resolve and a new pair of socks. I had forgotten to bring along a sensibly supportive pair of underpants which turned my grimace from one of resolve to one of panic for a fleeting moment.
I mounted the bike ( This in no way facilitated by my lack of undergarment I hasten to add ! ) and pushed out a quick 9Km ( Hills level 12 ). I hopped onto the Mill and slogged through 3Km at 10KmH and the 4th Km at 14Kmh. I then donned the Trunks and gingerly entered the pool. I managed to crawl the 500m though this was in sections of 50m with a break to de-mist my cheap goggles.
Hoorah ! VirtuTri #1 completed.
By way of celebration I cheekily knocked out another 10 lengths Breaststroke, which is my fallback provision for the big day !
Returning triumphant to the homestead even though a celebration was certainly justified I managed to get through the evening on Water alone as a thirst quencher !
The weekend cannot come soon enough for me - then the prohibition will be lifted.

That reminds me of another W. C. Fields quote :
Once during prohibition I had to survive on bread and water alone !

Something like that in any event !

Lunch on the run

6km run on treadmill at 10km/h, followed by sit ups and stretching.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: rice pudding
snack: oat cakes with cheese
lunch: fish in ragu sauce with olives and parsnips
dinner: chicken and sweetcorn
snack: bread and dripping
booze: 8 cans of stella
weight: 13 st 13

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

If at first you don't succeed...

....Tri, Tri again !
I generally defer to W. C. Fields version of the quotation but for today I have decided to try the Virtual once more and this time to complete the swim or to drown !

Woke Up this Morning

I was resolved to go for a run at 6 o'clock this morning, but then I more sort of didn't.

Did 12 km hills level 9 on the exercise bike lunchtime, followed by pull ups, dips, and stretching.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: bacon and fried egg sandwich
snack: yoghurt
lunch: baked potato with chilli con carne and salad
dinner: fish baked in ragu sauce with olives and brown rice
booze: none
weight: 13 st 12

Virtual Tri, Real Fail

Tried a virtual last night in order to assess the impact of my most recent excesses. Bike, no problem. Run, few wobbles to begin with. Swim, waterlogged chest stopped me like hitting a brick wall ! Only managed 350m.
Bugger !
Time to rebuild myself in a Steve Austin fashion !
I have been wicked so there will be no rest for me.

Food for thought : yesterday.
Breakfast : None
Lunch :Ham and cheddar Baguette and noodles
Apres Gym : an apple and a tuna sandwich
Dinner : Chicken and leek with a cream gravy, mash and peas ( in far too generous a portion ! )

Not so bad ?

Monday, 19 March 2007

Rest Day

I am on an enforced rest day 'cause Gordon thinks I'm running on empty, but I still - in my obsessive complusive manner - went to Virgin Active at lunchtime and chilled out in the spa. I'm not sure if you can strictly chill out in a steam room, but you get the idea. I was struck as I chilled by how fortunate I am to live and work so close to the gym to be able to get my workouts in the time that most of my peers spend commuting.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: garlic bread
lunch: spicy lamb with vegetable fried rice
dinner: cheese sandwiches
booze: Everton v Arsenal worth of Stella
weight 13 st 13

See What I Mean ?

In a Nick Stylee !
Yesterdays Fuel
Breakfast : Special Curry, Special fried rice, Fortune House Noodles & Chicken Black Bean.
Lunch : Mothers Day Roast Dinner. Pork & Beef and all the trimmings sandwiched between Pate on toast and a selection of desserts and cheeses.
Supper : Toasted sandwiches ( Guess what ? - with pork & beef & cheese )
Booze : 16 Cans Guinness, Bottle or so of Red, Several Peroni's and roughly the same of 1664 !
Cigars : Do not ask ! Suffice it to say I need to cut down and out !

Dear Lord, That is a record to be ashamed of, I am undecided whether the discipline of noting consumption is a good or a bad Idea !

Panic Stations

My regime of running, cycling and learning to swim started so well ! Commitment and dedication were my watchwords, I even started to eat healthily and watch my booze intake ! I was set to breeze through the Triathlon which was, at that stage, months away.
The training then underwent a few hiccups but I was always there or there abouts and the odd missed day, the odd binge didn't seem to have the potential to knock me off target.
What the hell happened ?
I am now miles behind and slipping further away from fitness and ability.
The Tri is only a month away and the panic reflex is starting to kick in. Time for me to sit down with myself and have a few words. In order to finish the Tri with a smile on my face I must set about training with more of a steely grimace of determination.
Got to hit the road and the pool and hit them hard.
When Nick first had an incling to attempt the tri he hit the gym and completed a 'Virtual' straight away ! I have not yet been able to achieve that, things are about to change !

Sunday, 18 March 2007

A Hard Day's Night

Did an hour with Gordon this morning. He is starting to beast me now that the event is looming, thus I got grief over the beer and pizza I consumed watching yesterday's rugby, and was driven in exercises to the point that I felt that he only took his foot of the accelerator when I'd done so many reps I was close to vomiting. "We're working on stamina, " he announced reduntantly.

At the end of the session he told me that I was tired and needed a day or so's rest from training.

A fact that I don't want to face is that I've been training practically every day for ages, and that getting the right rest and nutrition will be, if anything, more important than putting the miles in over the next few weeks.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: bacon and eggs
lunch: tuna pasta
dinner: pizza
booze: evening's worth of wine and lager
weight: 14st 2 again.

Saturday, 17 March 2007


A quick 500m in the pool early doors before a busy day.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast:sardines in Louisiana sauce on toast
lunch: chicken and grapes
dinner: soya keema peas with naan
booze: 2 glasses red wine and 2 Stellas
weight: 13 st 13

Friday, 16 March 2007


12 km hills on the exercise bike level 9, then stretching and sit ups.

Yesterday's Fuel:
breakfast: bacon and eggs
lunch: chicken biriani
dinner: soya keema peas with brown basmati rice
booze: 6 stellas
weight: 14 st 1

I noticed that Fight Club's on TV tonight. A rich source of testosterone drenched quotes just like Rocky and Apocalypse Now:

I ran. I ran until my muscles burned and my veins pumped battery acid.
Then I ran some more.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Not Drowning, But Waving

Did 500m while Ben had his lesson and felt well on it despite nearly a fortnight out of the pool. I'm still not fast but no longer embarrassing.

Yesterday's fuel
breakfast: bacon and beans
lunch: tuna and cheese baguette
dinner: Mediterranean vegetable Calzone at Rehab (recommended)
booze: half a bottle of wine and four lagers
weight: 14 st 2

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Skewen... shit; I'm still only in Skewen.

Every time I think I'm gonna wake up back in the gymnasium. When I was home after my first tri, it was worse. I'd wake up and there'd be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said "yes" to a divorce. When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the Gym. I'm here a week now... waiting for a training session... getting softer; every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Nick squats in the Virgin Active, he gets stronger. Each time I look around, the walls moved in a little tighter.

Training tomorrow ! Without a shadow of a doubt !

Lunchtime Session

half hour run, stretching, pull ups, dips

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: scambled egg and beans
lunch: chicken biriani
dinner: chicken and chips
booze: 4 stellas
weight: 14 st 1

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Not waving, drowning !

Lunch at the pool means quite a different thing when one is on holiday; Perhaps suggestive of long Island Iced Teas, Pina Colada's decorated with cocktail umbrella's, the scent of sun tan lotion and the anticipation of a freshly prepared gastronomic treat. Actually I have never been on such a holiday but the idea is always with me when I thumb a brochure.
I am not on holiday! I went to the pool today to get on with my own swimming lessons. All I had to drink was heavily chlorinated water which went straight to my lungs and stopped me dead and retching in my tracks. I didn't eat at all but there are some biscuits here in the office which i will sneak away if the opportunity arises.
Could only manage 400m and that was achieved only through prolonged rest periods.
Oh Dear !!

Return of the Clydesdale

Back from training with Gordon who worked me very hard as I ate like a pig and neglected to stretch for my entire week skiing.

Yesterday's fuel:
breakfast: none
lunch: chilli and rice
teatime: Burger King
dinner: chicken biriani
Booze: 1,000 kcal
Weight: 14st 2 oooops

Blast like the past

Triathlon, triathlon with extreme prejudice

Got to get back on track - it has all been too 'setting the scene in Rocky II' recently but now the Triathlon that is Apollo Creed is in my sights and I will start to focus upon it regardless of shin splints and muscle fatigue.
With renewed focus I returned to the gym last night where I tried out a 5K sports fitness test level 5 on the treadmill before a cheeky 12K level 12 hills. Managed to build up a sweat and would have gone for the third discipline if only time and commitment to the Ironing board allowed.
Still, managed to savour 'Cat on a hot tin roof' as I ironed and I enjoyed it to the extent that I actually applauded at the end. And you thought writing this blog was sad !!!

Monday, 12 March 2007

Back in Harness

Did an hour hills level 9 on the exercise bike this morning as I didn't have to take the NNB to school. I seem to remember that it used 687kcal.

Weighed 13st 13 this morning. I'd really like to get down to 13 stone for the event if I can.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

I'm Back (2 Steps)

Got back from Austria late last night, settled my stomach with a chicken dhansak, sag aloo and pulao rice, then retired - not before noticing that the bathroom scales were showing me back above 14 stone after a week of indulgence.

For my penance I have done 12km hills on the exerise bike and run 6km on the treadmill.

Off to Hampstead for lunch now to undo all the good work.

Friday, 9 March 2007

Arse Backwards !

I am returning to the swing if not the fray itself. On Wednesday I continued my climb up Triathlon mountain with a 5K run and 12K bike ride. Having survived that I resolved to try my first Virtu-Tri on Thursday evening. Things did not go quite to plan.
Meetings in the afternoon, which were arranged at mighty short notice, were rounded off with a few cheeky ones in a local hostelry all washed down with a pleasure that will come to an end on the 2nd April !
Slightly fortified and yet unperturbed I made my way to the gym. A 4K run ( somewhat slower than usual ) was followed by an 8K bike ( again slower than the average snail )! Man, did I sweat the beers and impurities away ! Time did not allow me to attempt the pool but I think that was not unreasonable on Health and Safety grounds alone !!
Returning to the sofa I found myself pooped by the activity - though it may have been an after effect of the afternoon boozing brought to an rather abrupt end !

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

A lifetime away

It seems an age since I have blogged - it was even longer between training sessions. A bit of a worry given that April 22nd refuses to halt or even to slow its relentless progress towards me !
I did actually make a trip to the gym on Monday morning. I expected the worst given the stay in training proceedings. The worst, or thereabouts, is precisely what I got !
Even after a 10 day rest period my swimming had not improved one iota - how very strange ?
I shall go again tonight and once again I will expect the worst !

Friday, 2 March 2007

End of Part One

Just back from an hour training with Gordon alternating hard quick cardio sessions with core stability and strength work.

I'm off skiing for a week first thing tomorrow morning, so this is the end of a chapter:

Listen, I don't like to hear much of what comes out of people's mouths, and I don't like soft talkin' moments.
That's for sure.
But I just wanna tell ya one thing.
That I'm proud of ya.

Yesterday's Fuel
breakfast: other half a Spanish tortilla, made with some peas as well as potato and onion
lunch: Pastrami and Jack cheese with mustard sub roll
dinner: KFC Mexican wrap
booze: plenty
weight: 13 st 9

The very antithesis of exercise

A rest week ! How very appropriate.
It appears that the traditional Monday post turned out to be more of a sham than ever this week. The best of intentions began and ended with intention and commitment rather than action !
Yesterdays exercise consisted of a walk around Swansea Market while waiting for my consignment of heavily sugared Welshcakes to be toasted upon their warm stone. Mark the Butcher had a day off so there was very little in the way of chat to be had in the market other than discussing the pro's and con's of fillet as opposed to sirloin.
House exercise consisted of the construction of a set of drawers whilst working on arm curl reps with weights alternated between red wine, cider and Stella.
Plan for the day is a long and luxurious lunch, an early finish and a jaunt to the boozer to while away the rest of the evening.
I may actually do some gym work tomorrow !

Thursday, 1 March 2007


525m during Ben's lesson

Yesterday's Fuel

breakfast: half a Spanish tortilla, made with some peas as well as potato and onion
lunch: smocked haddock and new potato salad with dill mayonnaise
dinner: none
booze: Blackburn v Arsenal worth of Stella in the pub
weight: 13 st 8