Thursday, 9 December 2010

Cold as Ice (Willing to Sacrifice)

The Meter-Long Icicle Clock

What can be said for this week?  Temperatures have hit as low as minus 18 out here, the snow is going nowhere, motorways closed, politicians losing jobs, Assange getting jailed, Nobel prize protests, student fee discord... and I have spent hours resolutely poised on the turbo watching icicles slowly creep down into my field of vision, contemplating it all whilst plugged into BBC iPlayer which is my new best friend now that I've procured some good headphones.

I'm getting used to the turbo a bit more and building up the time slowly and introducing some higher intesity intervals, but don't want to get too complacent about just going through the motions... Hallucinating for sunny spring days? Absolutely. in the current conditions there's just no chance of getting out to get the miles in and this could last weeks longer.

To this end I've made quite a large purchase of a Garmin Edge GPS/Computer 2nd hand and resolved to put it to good use.  Even second hand it's quite a massive outlay for me but in doing my research it seems to stand above the rest in terms of its range of features and I like the idea of being able to record all of my training data to get a concrete idea of how I'm improving (or not).

I've only had it a couple of days so I'm still getting to grips with the functionality so I'll reserve absolute judgement for the moment, but initial impressions are good and it seems straightforward enough with the help of Frank Kinlan's blog guide which is very helpful for the new initiate and seems to cover just about everything you can imagine.  For the turbo it will be very useful in determining my maximum and optimum heartrates which will in turn help make these turbo sessions more effective.  I'm also awaiting delivery of a cadence sensor, which with this weather might take a while, but will add another dimension to the turbo sessions in giving me my rpms/speed and make the data more accurate than just going on my heartrate.

So, that's today's job and I'm looking forward to it.  On other fronts, my diet has been much improved and alcohol since Sunday is zero.  Even with last week's slip-ups on the booze scale and being largely confined to the house I've lost a few pounds which is reassuring, the sugar cravings which are starting to come are being dealt with by consuming crunchy red apples (the fruit-world's equivalent of methadone imhop), or kiwi-yoghurt with chopped hazelnuts mixed in which keep me feeling full.  If they are really bad I've had a slice of brown toast with honey but I've only done that a couple of times.  With Christmas en-route there's a bit of trepidation as to how long this discipline will last though...

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