Thursday, February 23, 2006

Working and living balance

Just lately the balance has been tipped firmly in favour of work in the work / life balance. It really shouldn't be as I am leaving my current job shortly, it is a truly weird sensation to be feeling loyalty to the work rather than the person/s you are working for... but then is this the trap? Gentle little reminders here and there "a lot of work went into that", "that cost thousands", "we can't let collaborators down"... it all makes me wonder if that bullshit is the modern control mechanism? Maybe its always been the control mechanism for some employers, guilt the good, nice employee into doing their bidding, even when the bidding is flawed...

...anyway, I have for whatever reason been suckered into too much random working (hours that is, well actually the work is pretty random too). This is all leading to not enough time with my lovely partner, not enough time blogging (with sport type content), and not enough time enjoying myself. Too much work makes Andy a very dull, tired, grumpy animal :o(

My new job (as with all I guess) offers the opportunity to redress the balance and create new good habits. I truly hope I pull it off. I will get back to tales of sporting do very soon blog, honest.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Catch up blog....

I really have had one of those landmark weeks, that sadly had no time for blogging. It was landmark for reasons other than training and personal fitness progress. That had an awful lot to do with professional and workplace stress...

[finally sat listening to Air - All I need (from the album Moon Safari), on a more relaxed Sunday morning, catching up some blogging]

anyway although there wasn't time to blog it there was training in the week...

Monday - gym session - my first serious attempt at weights training, saw me learning an awful lot from an experienced international decathlete - absolutely great.
I felt great the next morning, no aches, it was a really good session using all muscles and left me feeling tired in a balanced way. No one muscle group was screaming.

Tuesday - valentines night - therefore a day off from training. Did receive my "Go faster with Foster" training DVD from the ARA, have to find the time to watch it now ;o)

Wednesday - again weights, though this time on my own, a very different experience from Monday. The lack of guidance meant that the next day some muscles were complaining badly from misuse. Need to get more experience under my belt with the weights technique.

Thursday - River - in the dark with head of the river crew, started out heavy then I forced myself to relax / 'go blank' and my rowing was pretty sweet. Everyone finished the session having enjoyed a good pacey, light feeling row.

Friday - night off from training.

Saturday - very heavy pair of river sessions - by this point there was no ignoring the effects of a tiring and emotional week - I felt like lead rowing - the sessions were condemned as "our worse yet". Hope to bounce back, in coming sessions.

Sunday - day off from training at least, my shoulder is feeling pretty sore again, I think from angering it during the Wednesday weights. I hope the day off will sort it.

[Off to enter all this in my training table, and then to look up races for the year ahead... want to do 10 10km road races this year, if I can find them in the area and not clashing with regattas ;o) ].

Will also go check out Amber Mac blog and the commandN podcast for any good computing tips ;o)

Although the link still works [as of Feb'2011] the Ameuter Rowing Association (ARA) is know know as British Rowing. The other links in this post were also updated.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Personal bests

Had my first attempt at a 2k piece on the ergo today, and so set a personal best, heheh. I managed 7m18.8s for the 2k, which was roughly what I thought that I could do, perhaps a little better I thought 7m30s was about what I might do.

We had quite a session on the river, in the Taff Head formation in the four... I am perhaps the weakest rower in that formation (technically and physically). I struggled most with timing the catch and drive, and it is rooted in problem consistently squaring the blade properly. Some of the issue is confidence in the balance, I seem to want to take care of the boat single handed, which of course is just plain daft.

Still it will come together I hope. Training and time in the boat will be the key I think.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Love run time

Typical as soon as I finish a blog entry the result appeared on the Love Run PPUK website... I ran 58min 48sec!!!! Sweet!!!

My personal best was Swansea last year of 57min 2sec... so I am absolutely chuffed with today and hope that I can push the personal best down this year :o)

Since this post PPUK has changed, the following description is taken from their facebook page  "Action Duchenne (formerly PPUK) is a national charity that aims to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a severe genetic muscle wasting disease which mainly affects boys and in rare cases girls." [links updated Feb'2011]

Cardiff Love Run - first race of the year

Saturday at eleven after having rowed for two hours and having jogged to the start line I set off for my first run of the year... sadly literally... I hoped that all the rowing training would be favourable cross-training.....

...and so it proved to be, I competed in relative comfort (with no watch for pacing) in around 59 min, I am waiting for the official time to appear on the Runners World website as the event was using chip timing.

I am absolutely happy with my performance, it was a lovely day for a run on a really nice flat route, the lack of water at the finish was a problem, but the organisation was a definite improvement on last year. All in all a great first race of 2006... it has left me with the idea of doing 10x 10k runs this year instead of training for the marathon. I feel that 10k training may fit better with all of the other demands on my time. I will think on it as it would change my outlook for the year and would mean a tweaking of my blog premise ;o)

Busy week

Had a pretty busy week, hence the dip in blogging output ;o) An awful lot of work, one of the highlights was my new bike [Dawes Cycles], one of the low lights was accidently injecting myself with ammonia in work.

Rowing went pretty well, a session in the dark was an experience, we had balance issues in the dark.

Generally, fitness wise the week was much better than previous ones thanks to the cold being banished and getting back to bike riding and such [I won't go banging on about how bad the whole train experience was!!! grrrr].

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dawes Dawn

I pinched the picture from Dawes (

Over the weekend I received my birthday pressie... a lovely lovely new Dawes Element mountain bike... I was well chuffed and really can't wait to try it out in anger... hopefully tomorrow now I've shifted the cold and infection ;o)

What a weekend

It seems I lost a blog entry from over the weekend, boasting about my new bike [see next post for that then].

Over the weekend I rowed twice, over an hour and a half for each session... we even got to put in a bit of full pressure work on the end of Sundays. A week laid off with my ear infection and cold meant that it all took quite a bit out of me, but it was so nice to get the buzz of doing something again.

All in all a good weekend returning to activity, next weekend is the Cardiff Love Run which will prove interesting as I have only cross-trained and not specific trained for it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


I the course of trying to play with the couple of pages linked to my blog, something was noticed in my weight loss trend over the years [link on the right blog nav bar]. I take more measurements at the start of the year than the end, looking back I began most of the last several years making new years resolutions and planning to run various spring time events.

What it shows are the effects of the seasons and motivations, later in the year I either forget the resolution or simply am enjoying the long days and activity so much that I neglect the targets. It is really very nice to have plotted out all the readings as I did allowing me to spot such a reproducible trend in my habits.

I would recommend keeping a diary, chart, or even blog to track what you are doing or losing over a long time frame. So that the things that are beneficial or detrimental will become self-apparent, and mean you can utilise or correct those little things you do.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sculpting ?!?!?

I am not sure that I have lost a deal of weight of late, but it does seem that yet again there are some subtle changes in the Andy body distribution.... a few days ago my Tanita scales told me I had dropped 2% of body fat, and then this morning I went and pulled the belt an extra notch tighter on my trousers.

Definite signs of progress ;o) I have said it before and I'll say it again "scales are only one of many measures of fitness / weight-loss progress"...

...I don't wanna boast but I've even noticed there is hardly any fat on my legs, with all the cycling and rowing... I do however have a little battle to try and win against male pattern midriff fat chunky bits around my lower back and kidneys ;o)

Not task avoiding ;o) Mac stuff...

I haven't had task avoiding time lately...much!!! I have been in work at odd hours running an antique bit of science kit!?!?!?! Through that I have had the odd ten minutes here and there... I found a few treats...

Ambermac Amber MacArthur's site. A tech web-blog for Macs predominantly, based around a Canadian computing show thing, the blog is all things swish (photo blogs, video blogs, links, merchandise, google ads) - its all very sleek and has provided links like the following...

43folders Merlin Mann’s site about personal productivity, life hacks, and simple ways to make your life a little better.

EgoSurf A tool to see just what (if any) presence you have within the www [not saying what I got :o( hahaha].

[Ps. as of Feb'2011 the above links still valid ;o)]

Tiredness, Antibiotics and a plan

I have been a bit rubbish at the blogging of late, but then again I have been feeling a bit rubbish of late. I have not exercised since Saturday morning and have been fighting a cold / ear infection.

The worst is that I have been reduced to taking the train to work... oh don't even get me started on the short comings of Arriva Trains Wales (which reminds me I have to look up their customer complaints department!!!!!). After a trip to the doctors last night and receiving antibiotics, I hope to get sorted and back on the bike real soon :o)

Had a meeting with the crew last night about the coming regatta season and training... it was great to see the ambition and to talk through the work ahead. I am really looking forward to a busy and fun summer. It looks like from next week I get only a couple of days off a week ;o)