Monday, 23 May 2016

Tri-Mara

I'm running! And winning!!
I had my first real training today as sanctioned and advised by the physiotherapist. I saw her on Friday and once she had the lay of the land (or the aches and pains of me), she advised me to take it easy, especially in the beginning. 

She told me that for the first two to three weeks I should do most of my training indoors, ie at the gym and then we would evaluate and see how I should continue. I try to cycle to work every day, and that was good, but a big event coming up in a few weeks was a decided NO! from her. Mind you, it is about 70 km (I think you can do half as well), but that would still be over ten times what I do now. So, no. 

Apart from the gym however, I am supposed to go outside at least once a week and do a proper walk. Like the one we did last week to Mount Hodna. There is a big nature area quite close by and there are plenty of walks I could be doing there. I have done several of them before, but they are always nice to do again. Especially if my condition is on the up.

The physio did suggest to me to keep a log of what I did at the gym. Also, so she could keep tabs on me. So as not to bore the living daylights out of any of my faithful readers, I started a new blog. Called Tri-Mara. A blog where I tell exactly what's what. The whats, wheres, hows and how longs. Oh, and the how much, once a week. It should be going down. I hope. 

If you are interested, the only thing you need to do is to click on the little link all the way at the top at the right. The one that says Tri-Mara. And you will come to an absolute boring blog. Well, it is now, but it should be getting a bit more interesting after a while. 

I will of course still be telling you about my achievements along the way, but at least the boring "I did 769 meters on a rowing machine today" will not be happening here!

Saturday, 21 May 2016

The ever present H

I have been rather quiet lately about the dreaded H. Or Headache for the uninitiated. I have been quiet about it before as well of course. Not because I didn't have one, but because I didn't want to go on and on about it all the time. 

The last news on the H-front was that I was going to see a physiotherapist about it. At least that's what the gp told me. But since then: nothing. I never heard from the physio and I sort of forgot about it as well. I went to stay with my parents over Easter and had several days of H and once I got back I was due to phone the gp. However, in the weeks following, it didn't seem that important anymore. Because the ever present H is no more. Ever present that is. 

So, what was it that caused H to return time and time again? Was it the chocolate? Or the cheese? Well...

Neither really. I still shouldn't eat a lot of chocolate at once, but it turns out it has nothing to do with the often recurring H. In the end it was much simpler. Something that I could have figured out over 17 years ago, even if the problems had only gotten worse during the last few years. 

WHAT WAS IT??? I can hear you scream right now. Well, it was the armrests. Told you it was simple. The armrests on the driver's seat in the bus. They made it nice and fine for my arms to rest on, they also made my shoulder and neck muscles tighten up. And that caused the H. After Easter I stopped using them and bar two tiny attacks that were easily dealt with, I haven't had a problem since then. The last one I had was on April 28th, which is over three weeks ago now. 

Of course, I shouldn't count my chickens and such, but I think I am on the right track here. Let's just hope it continues...

Friday, 20 May 2016

It was COLD!!!

Now, for some reason or other, I thought it might be a good idea to get fit. I have noticed that when I cycle to work now, I don't just stick in the lowest gears anymore, but other than that, I am not quite there yet.

One part of this whole endeavour will be swimming. And because we will be going out in not that warm water, I had to get a wetsuit. Which aren't cheap. Fortunately there is a company in the area that, because of this project, has decided to lend us the suits. And if we want them afterwards: we pay half price. 

So, the other day I got one. The largest one. For men! Not really what I had in mind, but there you have it. The day I got the suit, there was also the kick-off. Nothing to do with balls or kicking even, but everything to do with getting the suit on for real and going out into the water. 

Changing amongst the trees, trying to get this suit on, walking barefoot over pebbles and grass and little sticks and goodness knows what else, I made it to the water's edge. And yes, I did walk in. And yes, I did swim. Not long mind, but I got wet! 

Soon after there was a group photo, then I went in for a second time and then I got changed. Under the trees and in the pouring rain. After which I went home to a hot shower and some hot food. 

And just for those who are wondering: air temperature was about 10 degrees, water temperature was about 13 degrees. In other words: it wasn't tropical by any stretch of the imagination!!

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Party

Now, with all this running and cycling and rowing and walking and other physical stuff I am doing at the moment, I almost forgot the biggest party in the world. The Eurovision Song Contest of course! And this year it was not only broadcast in Europe, but also in Australia (which takes part now, don't ask), China and yes, even the United States.

I found my favourite in the first semi-final: Austria with a beautiful song in French (again, don't ask). Mind you, I think more than half of my points went to her dress as well, because it was just gorgeous! My other favourite was Douwe Bob from the Netherlands, who sang a country song, the only one in the whole competition.

There were a few weird things, like the astronaut, a hoop with two people in it which didn't make any sense and a song that just a lot of 'ponk' noises. But overall, it was quite a muted affair. 

In the end, one of my 'right below the favourites' songs won. Ukraine with 1944 which tells the story about how in 1944 the Russians came to the singer's family's home, took them away and put them in one of those horrid camps. They were gypsies as far as I could tell. It was quite a dark song, but she sang it beautifully, both in Ukranian and English. 

Numbers two and three were Australia and Russia, both with really good songs. There were some songs though that climbed up the ladder that I just didn't get. Armenia had an awful song (in my ears anyway), but they did quite well by getting to seventh place. Spain decided to go back to the roots of Eurovision and had a lot of lalalalas, it landed them in 22nd place. France sang in English this year and had a really good song, they finished sixth. 

And my favourites?? Well, Austria came 13th and the Netherlands came 11th. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

06.32

It's always difficult getting in and out of the boat. 
I had to get up early this morning, because it's May 17th today. Which is the National holiday in Norway where they celebrate their independence really. At least that's what I understand. One of the traditions I have been in since my very first year here is the rowing race.

We should have started training right after Easter, but birthdays, work, moving and lots more came in the way. So, we finally started training last week. Even then it wasn't easy and we totalled three training sessions. This year we didn't have enough female rowers, so I had to row, while one of the men took over as captain (we didn't qualify as a mixed team otherwise).

I am the third one from the left. Without hat this year!!
Our aim was to beat our best ever time of 6 minutes and 2 seconds, but alas, we didn't. We did however beat last year's time of 06.44 and we beat our direct (mixed team) opponent. Which was good. At least we can bring the cup home again!!

The rest of the day will be a departure from other years, since I will have to work. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Hodna Mountain

I got a text message yesterday. Whether I would like to come on a tour. By now I know what to expect when asked to go on a tour: good hiking boots, good clothes, hiking poles, food, drink and of course a camera. 

'Neeh, just some weirdos who don't eat grass'
When we got to the site from where we would walk, all I could see was this massive block of rock. We had to go up there? For real?? For real! So, I took a deep breath and started. And stopped after only 100 meters or so. Out of breath and panting like I had just completed a triathlon. Which for the record, I won't do until August 28th. After getting my breath back, on we went. Until... Basically, the 350 meter high mountain was up all the way. And up and up and up and up. It was tiring and they had to wait for me a lot! Besides that, I had to take photos as well...

The time given to get up said mountain (called Hodna Mountain by the way, hence the title) was given as one hour. I knew that one hour normal time, meant two hours Mara time. But, I surprised myself and my two companions. It only took an hour and fifteen minutes! And from the top, we had a great view across a valley. 

Because there was quite a cold wind and since the temperature had not gotten into double figures just yet, we had to find a nice secluded spot to have a bit of lunch. After which we made our way down again. And before you say that that should be easier, it was. Quicker as well, since we managed to do it in about 50 minutes. Including photos!

The order I had gotten this week was: one one hour walk, one one hour cycle thing and one half hour jog (or trying to anyway). I think today counted as a one hour walk. Easy! 

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-18

In order to build team spirit among work colleagues, I had signed up for a 5k run together with some other colleagues. Of course running for 5 kilometers was out of the question, but we were told that we could walk as well.

So, last Thursday we made our way to a local factory and started our 5k around said factory. It took me 62 minutes and 19 seconds to cross the finish line. 

What's the expression again: the only way is up??

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Marbles

These three swimsuits I had already
Has anybody out there found some marbles? If so, could you please mail them to me? Because I think I lost them. Fully and completely!

No, I haven't bought a house. No, I haven't gotten married on the sly. No, I haven't gotten pierced in places where no human being should ever get pierced. Instead, I have signed up to get fit. 

Nice new pink running shoes
I hear you think right now: that is not a bad idea, getting fit. In fact, it is a very good idea. And I do agree with you there. And when I first heard about it, I thought, sounds good. And then I thought: madness. And then I started to wonder...

Let me start at the beginning. A few weeks ago there was the annual health test at work. Two lovely young ladies come in to take blood pressure, measure our blood sugar levels and cholesterol and to weigh us. As usual I was fine with everything except the weight (big surprise), coming in at a BMI of over 36. Which is not good. 

Animal print, wow!
The next day there was a notice on our notice board. The health people were looking for a man, a woman and a team to get fit. Follow the link. Which I did, because I want to get fit. They not only talked about getting fit, they talked about getting fit to do a triathlon at the end of the summer. 

A TRIATHLON!!

That is swimming, cycling and running. The last time I swam must be last century. I only ever cycled at a sedate pace and the last time I ran was when I needed the loo. Badly. 

Yep, it's a new bike!
At first I thought madness, but I kept thinking about it. And then I thought, if they think I can get fit enough before the end of August: show me! I will do my best as well. So I signed up. 

Signing up wasn't the only thing needed however, I needed to write a little something about myself and then I had to picked out of a long list of women wanting to get fit, including one of my own colleagues. 

But I got the call last week saying I got in. I was picked out of 20 women. I will get a talk with a physiotherapist to decide what sort of training plan would work best for me and my body. I will have one swimming session a week, one running session and one cycling session. Plus a lot more besides. 

Oswin agrees: safety first!
I will be doing the full triathlon, which will be 750 meters swimming in a lake, 20 kilometers cycling and then 5 kilometers running. If I have to come in crawling so be it, but I will be coming in!! 

Marbles, please??

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Gently down the stream....

Our first year, we came 2nd out of three
I am the one with the hat
That's how the song goes, doesn't it? In our case though, the gentle part is replaced by the forceful part. What am I talking about now, you wonder? The annual rowing race of course! Isn't that obvious??

Well, it mightn't be to everyone, but every year some of my colleagues and me take part in the rowing race organised on May 17th. Which is Norway's national day, to celebrate their first constitution and their independence and such. 

Year 2, we came 1st out of 2
Out of the three times our company has taken part, I have been part of the team three times as well. As a cox or the steering/yelling lady who makes sure everybody does what they are supposed to do. We always row in the mixed league and that means at least two people of the opposite gender have to row. Ie, two men in boat full of women or two women in a boat full of men. The cox can be either. 

This year though, one of our ladies became ill and the other has shoulder problems. Which means neither could row. Only one rowing lady left and me as the cox. Which in turn meant that I had to give up my seat at the helm and take over the rowing from the lady with the shoulder problems who can steer.

Year 3, we came 2nd out of 2
Last night was our first training. And miraculously, it went well! I kept time with the others, even managed to talk. Wasn't sure about how I would feel today, but so far, so good. Yes, I have blisters on both hands (they will be taped up, before I don my gloves) and I can feel my back a bit, but otherwise I am fine! 

There will be more training sessions this week, although I am quite busy from tonight onwards and then next week: ROW, ROW, ROW, ROW, ROW...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-17


Well, as long as they are here and very much in the way, you might as well use them for something good!

Up on the table, up on the little cabinet and then up on the box.