Thursday, 17 September 2015

Update

An awful lot has been going on since the last update.

Lets get the boring running stuff out of the way first.

I'm almost (stress 'almost') flying again.  I'm still a good 4-5 lbs off race weight but I'm getting quicker and quicker and the stamina which I've been long striving for is coming back.

Now, I've got something to admit here.  Following the recommendation of Alison and our friends Stacey, Jan, Sammi and Marion, I went to see a lady called Helen who is a Hollistic Therapist, Reflexologist, Accupunturist and Reiki Healer.  The idea was that I went along to see her for a general body MOT to see what could be done for me.  £40 a session so didnt have a lot to lose financially but it may just give me some answers as to why I was feeling lacking in energy.

Helen is a lovely lady.  I turned up for my appointment and she invited me in and I laid on her couch.  She has this chart and a pendulum which spins/moves/rotates based on your varying energy levels.  Basically, she performs a 'measurement' and then treats you accordingly.

Once she'd done her readings, she gave me her prognosis.  Highly stressed (yes, correct - I was having issues selling my flat and work was going mental all at the same time), I wanted everything done yesterday (correct) and my body was knackered (yes, pretty much could agree with all of that!).

So she recommended I took liquid iron as well as magnesium and vitamin c supplements.  This would help my energy levels and improve my sleep.



After only a couple of weeks taking the supplements, my energy levels have gone through the roof and its showing in my running stats.  My sleep quality has improved massively.  I wake up feeling alive and not wanting to go straight back to bed again.  I feel like I sleep a whole lot deeper than I ever have before.  As a result, I've got the spark back that I've felt like I've been so desperately missing for the last 6 months or so.  Long may this continue!

I'm going back to see Helen in about 4-5 weeks time but I've been told to stay on the magnesium and vitamin c but to drop out the liquid iron once the bottle is finished.  I've been very skeptical of alternative therapies but this really seems to be working.

Its well as having a physical effect, its also having a mental effect on me.  I've felt far more emotional than usual.  This is an effect of my levels realigning.  Helen said I had no negative energies so that was really good and she was pleased with my progress.

The proof is in the pudding as they say and my stats are reflecting the improvement.

This week, I seem to be firing on all cylinders.

First up, I ran my fastest 5k of the year and fastest in almost 18 months.  I rarely run the 5k distance and its normally a means to an end where I dont have enough time to get in a longer run before having to go out with Alison or something like that.




25:11 at 8:03 min/mile pace. Considerable improvement compared to the odd 5k I've run on this route in recent months. The weight is settling down but the body chemistry seems to be improving.

Wednesday Night meant a run with Plumstead Runners.  A nice 7 mile loop out and back to Bexley and Sidcup with some torrential rain thrown in for good measure.

Our route from Danson to Bexley takes us up Parkhill Road.  When I first started running with the Plums just under 3 years ago, this hill used to absolutely kill me.




I remember it well from my cycling days as it used to be my main route out to the Kent lanes.  Its not particularly steep but its a horrible little steep/drag combo.  It certainly takes some effort to run up it.

Here's the elevation profile so you can judge for yourself...





As you can see, the segment include the hill and then the drop down the other side to the war memorial at the junction of Hurst Road.

Here's my segment times...



A new PB by 8 seconds.  Considerable improvement.  The fact that I backed off the pace from the top to recover and didnt run hard down the other side tells me I could have run it faster.  However, coming to Plums straight from work without eating properly all day is energy sapping and the main aim of the Plum runs is to get around in relative comfort so its good to hold something back.

Because of the weather, it was a reasonably small turn out in comparison to previous weeks but a good turn out given the circumstances and every one of them Plums deserves huge credit for getting out there in the elements and putting themselves through it.  I actually prefer running in conditions like that, as long as I can avoid my shoes going through deep puddles!

Here's the complete data for the run...



A thoroughly enjoyable run with brilliant company. Cant ask for any more than that.

So that's all the running/fitness stuff done.  There's been a whole lot more been going on.

In brief, my flat has finally sold.  Debts cleared.  A lovely lump sum now sits in the bank.  A very nice position to be in and I'm a lucky man.

I blogged last time that I was heading off to Spain for a week.  We had a great time and I can honestly say that was my favourite holiday ever.  It was the first time I was able to take Izzy away for a sunshine holiday and she loved every minute of it.

You can check out the pictures here.

I treated myself to a Go Pro before we went and we had a real laugh playing with the camera in and out of the water on holiday...





Truly stunning footage at 1080P and 60fps. Proper geekage. Now all I need to do it pick up some different mounts and I can start to use it when I'm out running. Should be some interesting footage.

Anyhow, Izzy has been talking about setting up her own 'Driscoll TV' You Tube channel for some time and while we were off together, we started 'practicing' for what sort of films would work.

Izzy will kill me for making this public but hey, its about time she made her online debut.  Let us know what you think.





All filmed on the iPad. The idea was devised in about 2 mins before she hit the record button and quickly edited and rendered on the iMovie app afterwards. Hey, not bad for a first attempt.  We quickly filmed a few other clips but they've not been put together yet.  Unfortunately, it looks like I'm going to get a starring role but hey, if it makes Izzy happy then I'll make a fool of myself gladly.

Wedding plans are coming on nicely.  Honeymoon is now booked.  Almost 3 weeks on the American West Coast.  Conveniently booked for May so I wont have to defer my VLM place when I get it.  (See what I did there?  Positive thoughts.  I've manifested my place for next year.  Its going to happen.  It really is!)

Talking Weddings, Alison has been her usual brilliant self recently.  Despite having an awful lot to deal with at work, she's always there for me...and Izzy as well.  Alison came to support Izzy at her major Gymnastics competition of the year, the South Eastern Regional Championships, at the Guildford Spectrum last weekend at Izzy's insistence, despite the fact she could have well done with a lay in.  8am registration on a Sunday morning is bordering on the insane.  I'm used to it what with the various races/rides I've done which have meant being up at 4am for preparation and breakfast etc.

Anyhow, Alison has taken to life with a 'step-daughter' like a duck to water.  They both get on brilliantly and I really couldnt ask for more than that.  Alison loves her like she would love one of her own.

As it happens, the Guildford Spectrum was also the venue for the first ever 'Alison-meets-ex-wife...ex-wife-meets-Alison' event.  [EDIT: my thoughts are not for public reading].  All done and dusted now. 

On the bright side, Izzy done brilliantly to finish 5th in her category, her first competition since qualifying for the intermediate level standard.  We are all very proud of her.  Amazing considering she was having a major meltdown about not being able to remember her routine properly 24 hours beforehand.

So there we go.  The running is going better than I could have hoped 4 weeks ago and life is steaming forward.

This weekend is Alison's parents 50th wedding anniversary party which we're all looking forward to. The marquee is already up in our garden and we'll be partying until the early hours again.  No running on Sunday this week, thats for sure.  Will just have to go out on Saturday instead ;)

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