Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Merry Christmas

Christmas morning and it is quiet , I am waiting for the family to wake up.

Again I am finding life is too exciting for sleep either that or I just don't have a decent off switch. I woke at 4.08am with an annoying word in my head, it is Puha (not sure of the spelling) it is a plant, looks like weed and it is growing in the garden. Apparently it is edible and Maori like to boil it up with other vegetables and meat. Emily's class at school did the 12 days of Christmas (Kiwi style) in the final school assembly of the year and she and 5 classmates had to hold up 6 Puha for the sixth day of Christmas.

Christmas eve was nice and quiet. We swapped pleasentries with the noisy people next door and they made reference to their noise from last Christmas, Rob said he would show me how to unplug his music centre and I replied I had my axe ready. But seriously they are okay most of the time but they drink heavily and get carried away (I could never be more than neighbourly with them).

Emily had left out a mince pie and a glass of Baileys for Santa and not long after santa had polished these off plus munched through Rudolph's carrot, Emily wandered in needing to go the toilet. Teresa made excuses about knocking it all over while I replenished supplies. After I had just finished eating and drinking again Teresa pointed out I could have just put the mince pie back in the cupboard.

We had fun making the mince pies see photos.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Strawberry picking

Just a quick one for Christmas Eve. I'm supposed to be doing a few quick jobs for clients before going to scrub the bathroom. Christmas eve is busy after the bathroom I am going for a swim coming back to clean the toilet and then after lunch the children and I will make mince pies.

Yesterday we took part in what could be classed as a Hawkes Bay tradition - picking our own strawberries at one of the local strawberry farms. These places get really busy in the run up to Christmas and best avoided on Christmas Eve. Even so yesterday I was on my bike for 6.30am so we could get there for opening time 9am. We got there at 8.45 and it was already very busy. Then we went and bought some boysenberries from a friends boyensberry farm, we could only have a brief chat because he was really busy. Hopefully I will catch up with them at swimming in the new year.

In the UK Christmas day would mean Christmas pudding, here in New Zealand we have small meringue cases with the strawberries and strawberry and cream ice cream.

I was out at 5am doing my 6miler and it was good and very satisfying.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

The garden is doing well

I like to walk around the garden admiring our efforts on veg garden and fruit trees. I'm a big fan of Jamie Oliver, the food he cooks, how he cooks, attitude to food and his latest tv programme 'Jamie at home' he has a fantastic kitchen garden (and gardener). Unfortunately his programme is on at 8pm on Friday , I usually get in from swimming at 8.10 so I get to see some of it.
I took some photos of the things in the garden:
Bird on bird feeder
Bird on bird feeder

Some big tomatoes
Some big tomatoes
A ripening yellow cherry tomato. Next year I want to have lots of different tomato types there are so many that you don't see in the supermarkets.
A ripening yellow cherry tomato

Veg garden: beans are growing up tripods, parsnips, carrot , beetroot, peas and just planted potatoes.
Veg garden

Apple tree
Apple tree

Pear tree
Pear tree

The soft fruit trees are not faring so well, they tend to suffer from a curly leave problem but the solution seems to have been spraying them with a homemade garlic spray solution (you do not want to get caught down wind of this spray as you will become an outcast from society).

Monday, 17 December 2007

Another cold...but look on the positive side

Why is it my last 3 training sessions (swim Wednesday and run and bike Thursday) were great, I felt great and enjoyable and yet Friday I knew I was sick? I also had very sore muscles from biking Thursday night but that was ok because I knew what I had done to cause it.

So I wasn't able to race at the weekend and it kind of made my mind up not to race this season. I want to get my swimming going better and race in races where nobody knows me so I don't feel local pressure. I told Teresa I would only start travelling away to race next season when Cameron will be nearly 4. We plan to make them family trips away camping and seeing different parts of the country.

Normally when I can't train (when swimmming, biking, running - I stretch every day and do core exercises) I have time on my hands and I am really grumpy. But not this time, in the approach to Christmas we wanted to buy Cameron a toy box. We couldn't find one we wanted at a price we were willing to pay so I bought the wood and am making one. And in true Boyle tradition it is turning out larger than planned and is becoming more of a toy cupboard than a box.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Ankle injury rears its ugly head... Have I caught another cold?

Really enjoying training again, atrocious weather at the weekend saw me on the trainer doing really hard stuff. I thought this may be better preparation for the race on the 16th. I always need to remind myself that racing is harder than training a bit and does involve a bit of mild discomfort or PAIN!!!

Iran yesterday (Tuesday 7miles) and finally felt really comfortable with the distance so decided to push up to 8 next run on Thursday (only 2 runs this week because of the race). Except for after the run my old sore ankle flared up again and I had to take an anti-inflammatory. It seems fine this morning, oldy enough I think I aggravated it by doing ankle stretches. I made my right hip go funny at swimming the other day by kicking with my leg at a slightly funny angle. Historically my kick has been none existent but with TI I am now a lethal (to myself) weapon.

The race - I have really been wrestling with taking part or not because of my swimmimg (which is going really well in the pool). I am going to take part do my best on the swim and try and see how many people I can blast by on the bike and run.

Having said all that, fate may play its hand. Cameron has a cold and being nearly 3 tends to sneeze all over me and I woke up this morning with a scratchy throat... so I may not be able to race. I'll have to see how I feel , I don't want to bomb like I did at the first race of the season.

Friday, 7 December 2007

21 miles running

I achieved 3x7miles making this my biggest run week since 2003. I have gone back to just get the miles done comfortably and be pleased with having done them. This is how I used to run up to 1995 and seemed to work, especially for the Ironman in '94. I do believe putting in a few years of just solid running before doing any intervals. The only time I did intervals was '96 and set a triathlon 10k pb of 34min but this was on the back of consistent miles in the the previous 2 years.

Reading a lot of triathlon stuff and read of people running (not triathlon) 1hr 40 half marathons with speed training. I think it is an age when people want results yesterday and everybody has a coach. Most people seem to skip the beginner stage of just concentrating on getting into shape aerobically. The vast majority of people would improve just be doing aerobic training week in week out.

I learnt over the years : consistency, balance, patience, recovery are the keywords speed work is the cherry on top of the icing - you do it when you really have to.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Feeling great again

Sickness is behind me. I had another great week of training last week, biked new roads (Tuki Tuki Valley), up new climbs still in my 53 chainring which is very confidence boosting. Swimming my TI drills with no fins and the fistgloves and it is fantastic. In the prescribed two beat kick I feel so powerful like I'm wearing fins but not. I have never been a good kicker without fins. But with TI I felt I was getting too reliant on them but the main reason is I felt they were spoiling my swimming and I was right. Fitting in the breathing is still a work in progress but I know with time I'll figure it out. When I do overswitch (without working on the breathing ) I can do 12 sometimes 11 strokes in the 25m pool, that is with fist gloves and only 12 kicks. I am really getting better but I know the major problem is open water and rubbish wetsuit. I was contemplating skipping racing until next season when I will have had more time to improve my swim and get my new wetsuit. But I would miss it and I need that purpose to help me train. I'll just have to put up with swimming really slow and pass a lot a people on the bike and run.

Speaking of running , I will run my third 7miler tomorrow , biggest run week since September 2003. I have noticed a difference in my pace from running 6miles to running the 7, don't know why.