Monthly Archives: February 2014

Love Fridays

As I got in the car tonight to drive home from work I had a smile to myself. At the moment I really love Fridays.

And it’s not for that “weekend” feeling that most people have. I actually enjoy working and often spend some of the weekend working too – although not every weekend and I do have many great weekends off too. No, the reason I love Friday is that at the moment it’s just a great day for me.

It starts with a swim – this morning I did 2.125kms which is a strange distance I know. I did 2 x 1km, then wanted a little cool down. However they are reflooring the side of the pool at the shallow end, so I had to swim an “odd” length to get out.

After the swim I drive to the office to work on VisuallySocial. I split my working week between Joshua PR and VisuallySocial and although Joshua PR takes the vast majority of my time I try to devote every Friday to VisuallySocial. We are trying to establish the business and it’s a really interesting challenge to face and quite different from the Joshua PR stuff.

Not only do I enjoy the work on a Friday, but I get to work with one of my favourite people too. As I said, we’re trying to build the business so it’s important that we sit and chat and work through thoughts and ideas and occasionally issues. But it’s great to work with Lucy and we complement each other very well (we sometimes compliment each other too!).

I may sound a bit sad (and clearly make me sound old), but as I get into the car I then listen to Simon Mayo on Radio 2. There’s something about his Friday request show that is genuinely heart-warming. To top it off, this evening as I was driving home I could feel it getting lighter in the evenings and I could imagine nice, warm summer evenings.

Finally, Fridays are my darts nights. There’s a group of blokes which I managed to join that plays darts every Friday in a local pub. It’s nothing serious and not necessarily a great standard of darts, but it’s good fun and they are nice blokes. I’ve only been playing since just before Xmas and they’re all a bit older than me (and been a group for years), but they’re really welcoming and friendly and I really enjoy my Friday night darts.

So that’s my Friday – and I love it.

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Filed under Thoughts, Work

100 #LETJOG14 kilometres this month

It’s only the 20th of the month and I’ve already hit the 100km mark for the month. To be honest I’m pretty damn pleased with that.

For those of you not of a mathematics persuasion, that’s 5kms per day on average.

Of course for me, much of it has been swum rather than run, the breakdown is:

– Swimming – 24.4kms
– Running – 12.94kms
– Cycling – 68.09kms
– Total (according to my algorithm) – 103.16

I’m just 13.5kms away from hitting the total required for the month – and I should do most of that during my swim tomorrow morning. If I keep going at this pace I could catch up everything I missed in January and be just ahead of the target required to complete the challenge in the year. That said, there’s a danger that I might be in Barcelona for the whole of next week with work (I was just planning to be out there for two days), so that might scupper the plans a little. Even so, I’m pleased with where I’m at right now.

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Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

Working from home

I tend to work from one or two days a week. I like it – it took a while to get used to, but I’ve been doing it for six years now, so I think I’m used to it. I find I can be more productive at home, but also it means I can be more flexible (which helps with the occasional lunch time swim) – which in itself leads to more productivity.

However, on days like today, I love it.

Not only am I working from home, but it’s the school holidays. So instead of commuting to an office I got to spend that time sleeping a bit more and having a leisurely breakfast with my family. I then had a quick walk and got to the [home] office at the normal time, ready to start. Lovely.

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#Febathon week 2

Half way through the week I almost failed. I nearly ignored Febathon after a tough day in London, but, as this post proves, I sucked it up and embraced the spirit of Febathon.

Slightly ironic then that the very next day (Wednesday) I genuinely forgot and therefore did nothing! I should have planked and done some press ups in my hotel room in London that morning, but clearly not learning from the night before’s almost failure I didn’t and planned to do it that evening. It wasn’t until the following morning that I realised that I’d forgotten. But that aberration then gave me the licence to have another blank day on Thursday.

So two blank days, but here are the full weekly stats (Mon 10th – Sun 16th):

– Planked – 60 seconds
– Press ups – 30
– Swimming – 9.85kms
– Running – 2.81kms
– Cycling – 16.65kms
– #LETJOG14 total – 36.52kms

I’m now 13.6kms ahead of February’s #LETJOG14 total – although still behind in total after falling behind in January.

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Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

The power of #Febathon

So far I’ve done *some* exercise every day in February – that’s my Febathon pledge to myself. I nearly broke it yesterday though.

I’d had a long day in London and when I got back to my hotel room all I wanted was a quick shower and to go out and grab some food. Which I did, and I accompanied the food with a beer (although just the one). So it wasn’t until 11;30pm as I was about to get into bed that I remembered Febathon. As I was in London, the plan was always to plank and do some press ups (I rarely carry my running kit when I’m in London, and looking for swimming pools just seems like a bit too much hassle). But still, it was 11:30pm…

“I’ll have a rest day”
“I’ll make up for it and do it twice tomorrow”

Both of those thoughts ran round my head, but in the end I decided that my personal commitment to Febathon was too important to be beaten by laziness (there may be days when I just can’t, but this wasn’t one). So I planked and I did some press ups. It wasn’t much, but it was more than I would have done otherwise… and that to me is the point of the ‘athons.

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It’s working

I went to the gym tonight and did a bit on the bike, then some core strengthening, then the treadmill. After that I went into the pool. I was just planning to do a gentle mile, so off I went.

As I was swimming I realised that it was all coming together nicely and while it wasn’t a blistering pace, I was doing okay. I was certainly quicker than the guy I was passing every 8 lengths or so. So at the end of my mile I thought I’d time my last 200m. I did it in 3:45.

So I pretty much hit my threshold pace for 200m, without going full throttle and after a gym session and a mile of swimming.

Yay me 🙂

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My own personal #Febathon

Unfortunately I was ill in January and so I couldn’t complete Janathon. But I loved the idea of it and the focus and discipline that it brings, so I wanted to try and recreate that on my own. And so #Febathon was born.

As you can tell, I’m not blogging every day, and I certainly don’t have the great support of the Janathon community. But I do have my own determination and the rules of the ‘athon to keep me going. Those rules are quite simple – do some specific and dedicated exercise every day (ie don’t count something you would do anyway). And so far in February I’ve stuck to those rules:

– Sat 1st – we went to watch the world record swim, so it was just planking and press ups
– Sun 2nd – I went for a run, an actual run in the outdoors and everything
– Mon 3rd – a swim session, but I wasn’t feeling great, so just 2.4km
– Tues 4th / Weds 5th – a couple of days in London for work, but I planked and did press ups on both days
– Thurs 6th – a gym session, which includes the bike and the treadmill (as well as a set of core strength exercises)
– Fri 7th – a swim session and this one felt good – 3.4km
– Sat 8th – a quick [stationary] bike session followed by a quick swim

And later today I plan to do a gym session, followed by a quick swim.

The totals so far are:

– Planked – 270 seconds
– Press ups – 120
– Swimming – 7.05kms
– Running – 5.87kms
– Cycling – 23.88kms
– #LETJOG14 total – 32.99kms

I’m currently 0.34kms behind my monthly target (not including the amount I was behind in January), but I should be well ahead of the pace after tonight’s gym session.

Getting there… slowly.

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Filed under Cycling, Motivation, Running, Swimming

I watched a world record

On Saturday my family and I went up to Ponds Forge to watch the attempt to break the 100x100m relay world record. 100 swimmers (many of them Olympians) each swam 100m freestyle in a 25m pool (so four lengths each) in a relay, aiming to beat the record time held by a swim squad in Australia.

We went for two reasons. Firstly it was a good chance for me to go and visit Ponds Forge and have a look around before my own 10km swim at the end of March. I’m really glad we did this, as simple things like knowing where to park will be much easier now I’ve seen the lie of the land (we got lost twice searching for the car park on Saturday). Secondly the record attempt was part of a fundraising effort to raise money for leukaemia research.

As you can probably tell from the title of the post – they did it. They actually smashed it by over eight minutes, setting a new world record of 1 hour 29 minutes and 3 seconds.

The swim started off with Oliver Coleman – the ten year-old brother of the organiser Lewis Coleman. Even as a ten year-old, he still did 100m in about 1:20 (for perspective, I’d be delighted with 1:40 and probably wouldn’t be able to move my arms for a week if I hit 1:30!). Then the Olympians jumped in, with Lewis Coleman bringing us home as swimmer number 100.

All the swimmers having the briefing ahead of the swim - look carefully and you'll see some Olympic medalists.

All the swimmers having the briefing ahead of the swim – look carefully and you’ll see some Olympic medalists.

And here they are poolside for the team photo.

And here they are poolside for the team photo.

We were treated to some synchronised swimming before the main event.

We were treated to some synchronised swimming before the main event.

I was actually really impressed with it - when you see it up close...

I was actually really impressed with it – when you see it up close…

A swimmer diving in to start his leg

A swimmer diving in to start his leg

It's all over and a really lovely moment between Oliver and Lewis Coleman.

It’s all over and a really lovely moment between Oliver and Lewis Coleman.

You can still donate to the fundraising – go here: http://www.swim4leukaemia.com/

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