Monthly Archives: February 2013

Time to Relax

It seems like such a long time since I wrote a post about something inspirational or spiritual. Indeed this year I did not even make and special messages for Christmas and the New Year.

As happens for most of us work becomes busier with greater demands on tasks and activities, a greater need to support those around you and even more essential is the development of the tools that help you deal with this without becoming a bundle of nerves.

So how am I remaining in control, positive and calm (well most of the time at least)? Do I count to ten? Do I ignore things and hope they go away? Or could it be as simple as seeing the positive in all things. The email that makes your blood boil, as an opportunity to go and talk to a colleague that you are likely misunderstanding. The extra work task as an act of trust and confidence from the boss. The unexpected phone call from your support team on the weekend as an opportunity to help someone you work closely with to get the best result outside of working hours.

A number of those I work with are convinced that I have some form of mind altering substances keeping me in my current state. Of course the truth is you don’t need any substances to change how you think about things. Just perseverance and the ability to define how you want to behave. As a result I continue to gently catch the negative patterns of those closest to me and try to replay their thoughts back in a positive way. As I do this day by day those habits change as does the behaviour.

Do I meditate or perform reiki healing every day? No. I do what I can without stressing over what I must do. After all when relaxing itself becomes a stress something is wrong with the mindset above and beyond the practice.

Top tips therefore are to:
– find the best side of everything (this takes practice so start with one thing at a time)
– understand your triggers (know what “makes your blood boil” and try to figure out why)
– enjoy your work (if you don’t find somewhere else you do)
– enjoy your personal time (do what makes you happy and know that this will change from time to time)
– appreciate others (all interactions are a chance to connect with someone, make all interactions the best they can be, whether you were expecting them or not)
– change your reaction (we all have a natural instinct to take a particular response to certain stimuli, do what you can to step back at the time and choose how you act)

Sometimes we slip and our relaxed approach is temporarily suspended. Again this should not be a stress just a reminder that we are all doing the best we can at the time. Remember this when someone is unrelaxed around you. Accept that there are many things affecting them of which you are only one and that they are coping the best they can at that moment in time.

Most importantly find out how you relax and learn to do it on purpose. Happy relaxing.


Cycle Training 2013 – Session 2

OK the working week has passed and it was time to find out if the lessons of last weeks training had been learnt.

Having spent time on the weekday evenings prepping by adding new water bottles & cages to the bike, switching back to the original saddle in the hope of better comfort, replacing the peddles with Shimano SPD Pedals and tightening up the kickstand so it doesn’t rattle against my back wheel.  I was naturally eager to see how performance would be different this week.

Of course the biggest challenge for me was to overcome the hunger wall.  For this I carefully planned my feeds throughout the cycle.  Every 45 minutes may seem overkill but I am not holding a great amount of reserves in my skinny body so to achieve it is important to put the fuel in.  Fortunately it seems to be about the right balance for me to accomplish as being powered by the SIS gels, High 5 electrolytes and a Trek Bar I managed to keep pace and not hit that wall.

We also had one of my work colleagues and Essancekenobi’s sister along for the ride.  Not quite a peloton I know but we had an enjoyable ride. Enjoying more stops along the way but actually taking less cycling time which seems counterintuitive.  I was really pleased to have only paused once on a normal hill climb.  Having made the fundamental mistake of pushing into the hill hard at the start I had to pause a few seconds to get my heart rate back under control.  The the steady pace resumed and I continued up having identified that pace and breathing are the keys to getting a steady ascent.  The obvious exception to this is our mini Ditchling Beacon calls Sleepers Hill in Winchester.  Both Essancekenobi and I cycled it whilst taking a number of pauses.  As we progress over the coming weeks we are looking to pause less and to make our way up this one without stopping.  We have improved because last week we walked it!

Garmin Connect has a great tool that allows us to compare activities side by side and see the difference in the stats.  Our ride was just over a mile less.  This is simple to explain because we didn’t miss turnings and go whizzing down hills we then had to climb again!  We increased average moving speed to 10.2mph and the average pace decreased by 13 seconds per mile.  Average temperature was 3.7 degrees (almost 3 degrees colder than last week) and we had some winds to contend with the manifest either as headwind or crosswind.  So all the stats seem to be going in the right direction so as the song says “Things can only get better”.

I also managed to keep the cadence sensor in alignment for the full duration of the ride and can see the average cadence is down, I think this is because I managed to figure out a better way to work with my gears.  This resulted in another proud moment where I was hitting 22 mph on a flat!

As we progress the gains today may seem small but they are all stepping stones on our way to being prepared to do our best for the charities we are supporting.  Charity Events page is available for anyone that would like to sponsor / donate to those charities.

I learned this week that my saddle needs adjusting up so that I can get the full benefit of using my legs, even more noticeable now I have the SPD Pedals.  Roll on next week which will be back to just the two of us, i’m looking forward to seeing how well I can keep up again.

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