Posts Tagged ‘Birthday Cake



It has been a week of accidental laziness, if such a thing can be said to exist. Work and life in general have joined forces to rob me of opportunities to get out and run. Last Sunday I set off early in the morning to get some of what I loosely refer to as “Duathlon Training” done. Basically I go for a cycle and go for a run. A few weeks ago I did a cycle/run so this time I thought I’d try a run/cycle so I did 10.7kms run and then straight onto the bike for 25kms. It didn’t feel too bad and certainly not as tough as doing the cycle first and then transitioning, on wobbly legs, to a run. The acid test will be in a couple of weekends time when I try to recreate the duathlon itself by doing run/cycle/run…something tells me the legs will complain.
So since my outing last Sunday there has been no additional running. There has been lots of work related driving and some work related overnight stays in hotels and very little else. Apart from eating. Mostly pizza. And cake. It was my eldests birthday, you see, and owing to us celebrating it as a family with pizza and cake and also him having a sleepover where him and his friends celebrated with pizza and cake and then us living off the pizza and cake leftovers the day after, the dietary intake has mostly been pizza and cake.
So I really felt I should make an effort this weekend and get out and make up for the laziness and gluttony of the previous 6 days. And here is where I had a pleasant surprise. I set off on my run with a vague route in mind but, a few kilometres into the run, felt I should extend it a bit as I was feeling particularly fresh. Another few kms in and I was still feeling good so deviated some more. What I had set out planning to be a 12kms run soon metamorphosised into a 17.5km run and the only reason I stopped at 17.5kms was that a friend was coming over for lunch and I needed to get back home. I felt I could have easily run 21kms, possibly more.
Which is how I came up with the above formula for the title of this blog:
P=pizza, C=cake, R=rest and S=stamina
So copious amounts of pizza and large quantities of cake combined with 6 days of no exercise gave me the stamina to run 17.5kms without feeling weary.
I think I’m onto something here…


guilt free

With City-Pier-City just a very pleasant memory, I thought I’d be feeling a little flat and suffering from post race blues. However, I think that because it was so very enjoyable, it seems to have given me added inspiration. Earlier this week, I found out that I had a place in the London to Brighton Bike again this year. Hauling My Carcass and I will be tackling the ride on our recently built bikes, although we will both be converting them to single speed rather than fixed gear. Last years L2B on my fixie, although enjoyable, was hampered by not being able to freewheel down hill… this year that will not be a problem. Also new this year is our third team member – Hauling My Carcass’s mother who will be joining us on the ride after expressing an interest last year – she was responsible for registration for this year whilst we were in Den Haag running 21.1kms so it is thanks to her that we are in at all.
So, with a renewed vigour I knocked out an 11km run on Wednesday evening after work, a 30ish km bicycle ride on Thursday a 15km run Sunday morning and another 15km this evening. All of this was obviously “The Hague Effect” and nothing to do with me making amends knowing that last weekend was going to be an exercise in indulgence that included, amongst other things, enormous quantities of birthday cake, catching up with old friends and very little sleep.
Although the above frenzy of activity is nothing in comparison to the many, many miles currently being put in by those in Marathon Training. Reading blogs and facebook updates about 20+mile training runs makes me feel like a lightweight and I have great admiration for those who have decided to run a marathon, the commitment, time and physical effort that it takes frightens me just a little.

Soundtrack to this post: Tony Allen – Black Voices


up and up

Midweek, I dug out the VFF’s and set off for a little early morning 5k run. No problem, I hear you mutter but, as I haven’t used the VFF’s for a number of months (too cold/slippery for something so minimal), my calves and right ankle were complaining after a couple of km and I decided to forego Fridays planned 10k evening plod as the calves were still tender. Which left only my Sunday Long Run… and the last big run before the Wokingham Half Marathon.
A few runners I know think it is weird that I have the desire to “run the distance before I run the distance” – but basically I will run an equal distance to that of the upcoming event as a training run a few weeks before I actually attempt the race. I have never seen this in any training regime and it is probably medically and biomechanically foolish but I find it helps boost confidence. In my mind, I know that I can complete the distance and can use that as a stick to beat myself with motivation on race day. Adding insult to injury, I had in my head a route – a route that I had cycled last year with Hauling My Carcass as part of our “preparation” for the London To Brighton Cycle Ride. I remember this portion of the route being approximately 12-15 miles with a couple of hills so I thought it over Saturday evening and decided that I would get up on Sunday and tackle it.
The first few kms were hard but familiar as I followed my normal routes and begun to warm up. At little over 5k, rather than begin the loop back home, I veered off and so began the succession of long, slow hills. And suddenly the footpaths disappeared leaving me to run in the road with cars racing past just inches from my elbows.
The hills went on for so long that they began to feel normal, like it had always been this much of a slog to run. The upside to this was that as soon as the ground levelled out, I felt like it was taking no effort at all to propel myself. Running downhill felt like I was positively flying. The last few kilometres, although flat, were mentally hard and made harder by coming up half a kilometre short of my intended Half Marathon Distance so an annoying little loop was tagged on the end. It wasn’t fast (2:14:13) but there were some impromptu stops to dive out of the way of oncoming traffic or work out where I was in relation to the route I should have been taking and the length of the inclines (some were 2-3kms long) meant that I arrived home tired but reasonably pleased with what I acheived.

Fortunately, that afternoon was SonNumberOnes birthday party so the rest of the day was spent “refuelling” on fruit juice and birthday cake.

Soundtrack to this post: The Jim Jones Revue – Elemental


stormy weather

Love Thy Neighbour – Ignorance Is Bliss – All Caked Out

Today was my Mum’s birthday. She was having a family get together so todays Juneathon was always going to be a tricky one to fit in as we had to cram all of our regular Saturday activities into the morning, leaving the afternoon free for the birthday extravaganza. I wasn’t sure whether I’d try and Juneathon this afternoon before we went out or after we returned this evening.
Things started to go wrong about an hour and a half before we were due to leave for my Mum’s – I was just toying with the idea of a quick 4-5 mile run when my next door neighbour knocked and asked if I could do him a favour. Could I give him and his son and his son’s mountain bike a lift to the bike shop town as they were trying to replace the headset and it was seized in the frame. The bike wouldn’t fit in their car but would fit in The Mystery Machine. I hesitated but he gave me a little speech about he knew it was inconvenient but he would do the same for me and if I ever needed anything…
So we heave the bike into the back of The Mystery Machine but it doesn’t quite fit so I move the back seats forward and it still doesn’t quite fit, so we take the front wheel off the bike and it just fits. Then my next door neighbours son sits in the front with me and my next door neighbour kneels in the back because the seat is so far forward that there is no space between the rear seat and the front seat and we drive to the bike shop and we heave the bike out of the back of The Mystery Machine and put the front wheel back on and whilst they are in the shop, I move the rear seat back so my neighbour can actually sit down on the way home and I sit in the car and wait for them. Then they come back out of the bike shop, WITH the bike and tell me that the man in the bike shop can’t do anything with it for 2 weeks and would I mind taking them to the next town where there is another bike shop.

Rear seat forward again, front wheel off bike again, bike in Mystery Machine, neighbour kneeling in back again. And off to the next town where we successfully offload the bike to the man in the bike shop (it’ll be done in 3-4 days), rearrange seating, deliver neighbours safely home and then realise I’m late to get to my Mum’s.

Fortunately Mrs eatingtrees had prepared everyone so it was just a case of all jumping in The Mystery Machine and driving to my Mum’s.

There were about 12 of us at my Mum’s when the storm started. Unfortunately, my Step-Father and I were trying to manhandle my Nan (who is virtually deaf and mostly blind and has trouble walking unaided) from the car when it really broke. We manouvered Nan back in the car when the rain bloody tipped down. And the bloody hail. Hailstones as big as bloody cherries ricocheting off the car bodywork. Then the bloody lightning. And the bloody thunder. We hastilly bundled my Nan back in the car and stand sheltering under the opened hatchback, whilst my Nan sits in the car looking confused as she is unaware of the thunderstorm and can’t hear us shouting into the back of the car trying to explain that it was an almighty thunderstorm and we’d get her indoors as soon as it stopped bloody raining.

And all of this goes some way to explaining why I am full to the brim with Birthday cake and struggling to even do only press-ups and crunches for todays Juneathon.

Juneathon Stats: 3 sets of press ups – 60 / 50 / 50 (160 total for day), 3 sets of stomach crunches – 100 / 100 / 100 (300 total for day)

Soundtrack to this post: Dub Fire – Aswad


bring on the cake

Testosterone Poisoning – Let The Punishment Fit The Crime – Happy Birthday To Me – Like Father Like Son

No matter how much I think of Fleet as a warm up for Prague at the end of the month, I still can’t help feeling competitive about it. It must be what a female friend of mine refers to as “Testosterone Poisoning” – becoming unnecessarily competitive about something that really doesn’t matter much. But it does matter, to me at least, because 6 weeks ago I was still struggling with running more than a couple of miles without my Iliotibial Band giving me problems and making any training and using stairs a very tricky proposition indeed. I know that I’ve pushed the training a bit faster than I should have and there was a time when I thought I was going to have to call off taking part in Fleet entirely… But I’ve completed my “taper”, the last pre-race run has been done (6.54 miles) and all that remains is to carb up (it’s my birthday on Saturday so I should be full to the brim with cake come Sunday morning) and try not to injure myself in some ridiculous domestic accident.

My pre-race prep is almost complete except for one thing – music. I may have to run with my older, larger mp3 player. The beautiful new player that I ordered a few weeks back and have been so eagerly awaiting has been “lost in the post”. Now, there are some countries where hunting down the culprit and chopping off their hand would be legal, and in this case, I believe it would be acceptable as I now face having to do the Half Marathon on Sunday with an mp3 player the size and weight of the Oxford English Dictionary strapped to my arm. And think how much faster and more graceful I’d be with a brand new player filled with music chosen especially for the occasion. So I shall have to get creative with a new playlist instead… unless the replacement gets here double quick. Fingers crossed, eh…

For a while, my eldest son (aged 7) has been very curious about my running habit, why I do it, how far I run, do I win any races (bless!). He has even gone so far as to ask if he can race with me. And, as much as I’d love to cross a finishing line side by side with him, I’ve not been able to find a suitable race.

Until now… for tonight we filled out the application form for a 2k race taking place locally in May. It ticks all the boxes in that there is a 2k in which my eldest and I can run together. Then there is a fete with bouncy castle etc. for Mrs eatingtrees and both kids to enjoy whilst Dad runs the subsequent 10k. My son is very excited by the prospect of “racing with Dad” and has already asked if we can go out training for the 2k together.

Soundtrack to this post: Plug Me In – Add N to X

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