Over and Over

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Even with eight hours last night, I’m still tired. Clearly this weightlifting shit is working. Once I’ve sorted out the skeleton of the week, it’ll be back to the Gym for a cardio session, because arm muscles need a day off. I can’t do this 24/7 any more but there does need to be something, daily, to keep me keen. Having come to a couple of new, interesting conclusions over the weekend, it is probably the right moment to start working towards one attainable goal at a time. We’ll start with weight. After that, endurance, and after that, participation.

One step at a time.


Eventually, in all our lives, something we once loved becomes the thing we hate. If you don’t possess such extremes in emotion, of course, none of this will make any sense. Everything’s just okay. This is not a World I’d ever want to inhabit, where everything is the same, thinly drawn line of comfort. Pushing out of the Zone used to scare the crap out of me, I won’t lie. Now, however, not so much. It also helps when you get a much needed reality check from time to time.

Mine today came from someone who has no idea who I am, my history or my relationship with people who have proven historically to be toxic and frankly rude. When you don’t take the time to know the World around you and pronounce judgement in a manner which suggests you are the only important part of a conversation, I’m already walking away. It’s a shame really, but no surprise. On reflection, this is pretty much the response I thought I’d get.

If you’re that transparent, you’re doing it wrong.


Really looking forward to the weekend, where there will be running and photography. Who knew those two would go together a decade ago?

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Personal circumstances, once upon a time, would have been ignored in an attempt to simply plough on through progress unaffected. That can’t happen any more. My mum’s due to go in for surgery next week and as she is in her 70’s, it is not wise to commit myself to anything at all with previous knowledge of how my family deal with this sort of stuff. As a result, everything needs a re-arrange. It’s not the end of the world.

I got on the scales this morning, expecting a weight gain, and was not disappointed. However, this is the most satisfactory period of energy and recovery post blood donation since I started, so lessons have been learnt. Therefore, as we have a nice, long period before Christmas, it is time to see if all this stuff that’s been learnt about metabolism and exercise has stuck or whether it is all just a fallacy.

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As a result, I need to be in the Gym this morning, and then I need to be back here rearranging the October planning. So, if you’ll excuse me…

Valley of the Dolls

Everything has gone out of the window since Monday, not even the Planner has been completed properly, and the reason is quite simple. There’s no need. If I’m going to undertake a month’s worth of major content, this week needed to be fallow. I have got my 5k submission sorted (just needs a light trim) and tomorrow we’ll get a month’s worth of the episodic short story back on the table. After THAT? It is three days of prep for Symphony which starts on Monday. It’ll all be on the IOW Website. You can look interested over there.

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Also, as a result of extensive studies, Twitter is no longer here to be a measure of anything except those people decent enough to hold a conversation without expecting summat in return. I’ve had enough of the clamour. Time to just interact with those people who actually care. That will undoubtedly see me haemorrhaging more followers but honestly, it’s been like that for six months now, and yet the figures are awesome.

It transpires you don’t need to have people following you to be successful, WHO KNEW?

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P.S.: After today’s Gym session? Weights are going up starting next week. Strength is undoubtedly improving. It’s ALL GOOD.

Look Up

Sleep is not for the Weak, but for Winners.

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Once upon a time, there was a scepticism about knowing too much about my body. After all, the more details possessed, the easier it becomes to obsess (see: weighing myself daily) and that’s never going to end well. However, there are undoubted benefits to understanding what is normal and what isn’t. I’m also beginning to reconnect with the whole of myself: this began after the Mindfulness course, and has now extended to bodily control itself. Believe it or not, this is something that is struggled with, especially when tired.

My sleep patterns have undoubtedly suffered in the last twelve months from a combination of menopause, mental stress and physical exertion: that situation is slowly improving. The immediate and obvious consequence is an increase not in productivity, but physical co-ordination, and to capitalise on this I’ve been doing rehab therapy on my left hand side which (at various points this year) has suffered as a result of that clumsiness. The benefits are considerable, and add that to my physical training for the Ride London 46, and there’s an awful lot to be happy about.

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However, it isn’t weights or biking that’s affected the physical change, but the Bosu. I will be asking for one of these for Christmas, because the benefit of relaxing on one has become the most surprising part of my entire journey into fitness thus far. Yes, that’s relaxing, because standing on one now is the perfect means by which mind and body connect and stay focused. ‘Getting in the zone’ isn’t just about physical attainment either, it has mental benefits that are only now becoming apparent.

The importance of Mindfulness in reconnecting body and mind is more important than anything else that has happened for some time. The benefits are far-reaching and hugely significant, and only now is that becoming apparent. Every day, I am becoming physically stronger. With that basis, more is possible, and is happening.

The future becomes mine to shape with confidence.

Return to Sender

This week, things return to normal, despite the fact school does not start until a week on Thursday. I need to be back on the creation trail after time away, and there is a lot to do on that front which is already in the planning. More importantly, there will be a slew of poetry rejections next month, and that work will need to be assessed and used in a constructive fashion.

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More importantly, there are lots of projects that need to stop being dreams and become reality as we move into the Autumn.

BRB, re-organising my life.

Day Four :: Rome

As I’m writing this, my son and husband are out exploring Rome after dark. My daughter is still recovering from her dodgy ankle, with me here largely in the background, but tomorrow she should be well enough to go out too.

Today therefore has been writing whilst my husband sorted out patching up the van, and our first group meal in the Villa (apart from breakfast.)

Expect some pictures in the morning

Tour de France

If you zoom in on that snap above, you’ll see the date on my acknowledgement is 2017. The organisers were giving out last year’s certificates at the finish. I think that’s a pretty decent metaphor for my entire experience, on reflection: slightly behind the times, and not really relevant as a result. I’d like to petition to take the word ‘fun’ out of that picture, as that was officially the only time a smile happened all day.

Let’s examine what we learnt.


I have a LONG Way to Go

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My stamina is not nearly what it ought to be. I completely failed at hydrating properly. I can’t feel the last two fingers and side of my left hand and if that’s still the case tomorrow, I will pop in and grab a Physio. There wasn’t enough work beforehand at mentally preparing myself and, as a result, I suffered. REALLY suffered. Miles 35-45 were what Hell would look and feel like for me, where I was forced to go up a series of small, innocuous hills over and again, with no chance to rest. There was also, crucially, absolutely no point at which I was enjoying myself.

A LOT has got Better

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No, REALLY, before you start telling me this is all negativity, the positives were there. The only time I stopped was to drink and eat, which with practice will happen on the bike. No hills had to be walked through, which is a quantum leap forward. My lungs are undoubtedly better, the ability to change gear and push through pain is there, and overall, considering how I feel this morning, this is undoubtedly the fittest I have ever been. Lessons have been learnt too over fuelling and sugar intake, which will go forward to Ride London on Sunday.

Essex is a Fucking Grumpy County Guv’nor AND NO MISTAKE

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BOY I’d not want to ride a bike on an Essex road at ANY time in the future. If there is one thing that has totally and utterly put me off ever doing this ride again it will be the motorists, who at no point seemed to care or be considerate of cyclists. If we aim to get the planet greener, I doubt Essex is going to take part in that, especially if yesterday’s ‘one twat per convertible’ headcount was any indicator. Special snacks have to be given to those who shouted at the organised bike riders to fuck off home, you da real MVP’s ^^

Cycling Elitism is Alive and Well

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There was a distinct gulf yesterday between the ‘turned up in casual clothes and a BMX’ crew and the hardcore, carbon fibre teams. The latter were either groups riding under an organisation’s banner (British Heart Foundation were strongly represented) or doing it for a family member. Needless to say, I didn’t see a single other Mind shirt. It was also abundantly obvious who was doing it for a decent overall time and who was there to do some good. I appreciate the fact there were people prepared to chat, but they were few and far between.


Sitting here this morning, it all feels like it was a bad dream. However, when I look at the stats, it definitely happened:

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I was going to train today, but the sensible thing for everybody is to take a day, do 36 press-ups at some point and go back to the treadmill tomorrow. I won’t massively improve my situation for Sunday in a week, but I can better plan hydration and food to cope with the distance. Having conclusively proved that carb-packing has no appreciable benefit to my system? Time to eat well and remove the sugar again until I’m actually on a bike.

Also, once the Holidays are over, it is time to see a doctor.