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All about steveymac

Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Location: South coast
Interests: Mountain loving and riding bandito...with a recent taste for lycra and endurance

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new house, new job, new weather and lots of sea swimming!
white bits getting close !
The suns came out!!
Training for 3 events and the possibility of moving abroad !
Here we go........

Total topics: 5
Total posts: 20
 From serving in the sand to running in it. 
new house, new job, new weather and lots of sea swimming!
Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:56 pm steveymac
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Have been meaning to pop on over the last few weeks but its all been a bit hectic and then only got broadband up and running end of last week so anytime I've had on the laptop has been to take care of more mundane things and admin.

Well I'm now over in Cyprus which will actually be 3 weeks today since I came across. Rachel flew over the next day with the dog with the thinking being that it would be less stress that way and I could go down and pick them up at the airport.....kind of worked but one thing I realised very quickly is that Cypriots are never in a rush to get anything done so after getting given a bit of a run around we managed to hook up with Bramble a few miles away at an old airfield after going through the freight and customs people!!

The house we have has exceeded what we thought we would get, big rooms, massive garden front and back and a permanent stone built bbq which we've not managed to use yet unfortunately but hopefully in the next few days we will. The people we've met have all been real nice and cant do enough for you so its made it pretty easy to settle. We were worried how the dog would react and its been mid 30's most days but after he got used to the heat in a few days he's back to his old self so its great he's settled in just as quickly as we have, although he saw his first snake two days ago! Walks for him are early in the morning or late in the evening but as it starts to cool down there'll be a bit more flexibility for him.

I'm a 1 min drive or 5 min walk from a really nice 25m pool which is not only really nice but is the quietest pool I've ever been in, you either have it to yourself or maybe there will be another 3/4 people in max!. There are 3 lane swims a day aswell so should be always able to find time to go even with the funny shifts I'm working. We're ten mins drive from the nearest beach and within 30 mins there is a choice of several which we've already started to explore. Aswell as having roughly 3 pool swims a week I've also been having 3 sea swims aswell which I'm loving. There's sometimes a little bit of a swell but the water is crystal clear and it feels amazing to be out in it, really lucky to be able to do it for almost all year round here. Had a few runs around the area where we stay which is mainly 'bondu' (basically dusty stony trails, fields and land) and our shipping container arrives on the island tomorrow so hopefully not have to wait too long to get it delivered and get my bikes........I'm going to be torn between going out on my mountain or road one first though, will be a very tough decision! Laughing

Anyway Im intending popping back on very soon to have a read of other peoples blogs and see what everyone has been up to , also I've found a few races/events that will be in my goals for next year so will give my thoughts on them and a coached program that I'll be starting on soon.

Hope the UK isnt to bad just now.....when I was putting some salt on a steak earlier it made me think of the gritters that are apparently out in force back home? Very Happy

take care y'all

white bits getting close !
Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:38 pm steveymac
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Well its been just over a month since I posted my last blog and things have been pretty busy! It will be 2 weeks yesterday until I'm on the flight out of the UK for sunnier climates for a couple of years! I'm now at the stage that everything's pretty much sorted and arranged but its only now that it's starting to sink in that we're going....scary but exciting!

As the couple of tri's that I'd entered upon my return from Afghan were in September I've had to contact the organisers to say that I'm unable to take part now. Slightly annoying as that's 100 wasted and they couldn't give refunds, not the end of the world but as they both were full and have waiting lists its not like they would loose out, they could of atleast given the money to charity!

Over the last few months training when there were goals made such a difference with motivation and enjoyment and I must admit I was in a great routine. I've been looking into various events to do in Cyprus so at the moment I'm aiming for a half marathon in Nov/Dec time which as soon as I get out there and find out my work routine I'll be able to commit to hopefully. Looking towards next year there are several events that look exciting including a big open water swim, regular tri's/runs, cycling events and a half ironman later in the year also aswell as other interesting endurance type events. Looking at probable dates etc I should be able to get a nice program and plan together building up and culminating in the half ironman in October. I'm also taking one of my mountain bikes across as Trodoos and that area of the island looks like it will have some amazing trails to ride. 6 inches front and back should be just the thing for out there to be able to get out and about with the emphasis on the gravity side of things!.......... and there seems to be a small downhill scene out there so it would be rude not to !!! Very Happy

So when I knew I wasnt going to be able to do these tri's I decided to concentrate on getting some longer base type runs in and the funny thing is is that I'm now enjoying running again! Just steady 45-60 min runs , 2/3 times a week with a quicker cadence of around 90 and I'm now feeling quite light on the feet. Cycle-wise I've not been out much what with a mixture of the weather and just being so busy but still been swimming roughly 4 times a weeks and a couple of strength/gym sessions aswell. I've been on leave for last 3 weeks so been back up in Cumbria so joined a local gym up there that has a pool so been able to keep on concentrating on getting a better stroke. In the space of 3 months I've went from being able to do a standalone 100m freestyle in 2 min ( followed by hanging out my ass afterwards ) to doing 1.35 reps so its moving in the right direction.

Speaking of swimming, alot of the time in the pool my wife has been there also (we'll then go for a chill in the sauna / jacuzzi - I have been on holiday after all ! Smile ). She usually just swims lengths and potters about but the other day she decided she was going to swim 10 x 200m and proceeded to do them all in less than 3 mins with a 30 sec recovery. By this point I had finished doing the drills that I'd planned for the day so although she wasn't timing herself apart from the 30 secs recovery I was checking the clock. I joined in and was able to 'draft' the first 100/120m with her then would wait until she started the next rep! Now the thing is is that she does very little exercise ( apart from walks with the dog, wine glass lift repeats, single arm phone lifts with thumb presses and a few leisurely lengths in the pool every now and again ) and she has only recently stopped smoking ( as I did in Afghan) but its amazing that someone (albeit one who swan competitively when younger ) can just go out and do something like that. The funny thing was is I'm quite a competitive person but the fact that she did/could/would destroy me in anything swimming related didn't bring out any competitive/jealous feelings in me, it was actually a really nice feeling and felt good when we finished. Man, I would love to be able to swim like her and it was actually really cool swimming together like that. She said afterwards that she's really enjoying swimming again and that she'd love to do some open water events in the future so it would be amazing to be able to do something together.

Well I'm not sure if I'll be able to post again before going ( or have anything of interest to write..........not that this is anything more than me whittering away ! Laughing ) So next time I'll be writing from sunnier climates!

Good luck for any events you're doing and take it easy y'all Very Happy

The suns came out!!
Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:02 pm steveymac
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The suns came out and I've got to say that it feels good on the skin after the rain of the last few weeks!

I've been really enjoying training recently, swimming almost every day (mon-fri) and the difference is very noticeable, even 20/30 mins a day seems to make the next time I get in the pool more enjoyable purely for the reason that I can see myself developing, getting smoother and stronger. Its a great motivator and also a good feeling afterwards when you can see the improvements. I'm still sticking to getting out the pool when I can feel myself tiring so as not to revert back to bad habits, suppose I'm lucky with the access I have to a pool in that respect but as the goals are long-term the more I can sort out my stroke initially can only be a benefit to me.

Had some good cycles, even when its poured down ten mins after I've set out! I'm doing up to a couple of hours at a time now a few times a week. Deliberately been keeping my HR below 80% max although it does creep above that on any hills but in general these are just easy cycles to get miles in. I've been varying cadence and gearings to see what kind of affect it has on me and just experimenting and trying to be smooth. Its actually kind of like a guilty the past it would only be being out on a bike on gnarly rocky descents, hitting drops or jumps and basically just shredding trails that would put a big grin on my face but now being on a road making me smile. Its funny how things go!!

The runs are still the thing which I don't enjoy as much. I do them but I'm finding them hard I must admit. Its probably to do with the fact the at the other 2 disciplines I'm learning and improving all the time whereas with the run it just seems like a chore! Feels like I have no spring in my step, it could be partly down to the fact that for most of the last year prior to and being in Afghan I was in the gym alot doing pretty much purely weights so still have a fair bit of bulk from that which is adding to the 'heaviness' Im feeling when I run. Don't get me wrong its not that I cant run, I could go outside just now a run a 22 min 5K which is probably better than your average man on the street but Im hoping over the coming weeks and months that a lightness to my step returns Smile

So in my last post I mentioned how the possibility of being based abroad for a couple of years was looking more possible..... well it's now happening for real....infact in about 6 weeks I'll be moving to Cyprus! I got told last week that it was on the cards but until I received it in black and white I was still sceptical ( I've lost count over the last few years with work how many times things 'change' after being told something!). I cant wait and I think its at a great time for me aswell as I'll be able to make the most of the opportunities that it'll give me on every level but also as I'm on my journey towards my tri goals and ambitions.

..........I actually came on my laptop to look into some things regarding the move until I got distracted.....then started writing this post! I'd better crack on......................

Sue - I will.... Wink
KPnut - they did sound super-tempting and now they're super-real Smile

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