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Training Log Archive: Becks

In the 28 days ending Feb 28, 2011:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running15 11:28:02 72.42(9:30) 116.55(5:54) 1523
  Orienteering3 2:55:40 14.85(11:50) 23.9(7:21) 558
  Strength3 1:44:00
  Cycling1 1:34:47 14.59(6:30) 23.48(4:02)
  Long run1 1:08:46 8.0(8:36) 12.88(5:20) 299
  Core1 53:00
  Stretching1 10:00
  Total22 19:54:15 109.86 176.8 2380
  [1-5]21 19:42:30
averages - sleep:10 rhr:62

» now

Monday Feb 28, 2011 #


I did nothing at Mike's all weekend. The weather was crap and I am exhausted, and a bit phlegmy. Sure a day of travelling back to the North East today will sort me out! Ahem...

Friday Feb 25, 2011 #

Running 54:00 [3] 5.0 mi (10:48 / mi)

Today was the snowshoeing excursion, and while there wasn't really enough snow for such an activity, there was a huge amount of amazingly runnable gorgeous forest. So after ten minutes of trudging along with silly things on my feet, I decided to ditch them and go running instead. No gadget, and not even really any running gear. It's a good job my skinny jeans are stretchy! Did a couple of loops around and finally started to feel okay whilst running. At one point I saw a coyote, which was pretty cool. No idea how far I went, but I'm estimating 10-11 minute miles ish. There wasn't much snow, but it was pretty slippy.

Thursday Feb 24, 2011 #

2 PM

Running 1:14:02 intensity: (48 @1) + (37 @2) + (57:16 @3) + (15:21 @4) 10.93 km (6:47 / km) +365m 5:48 / km
ahr:165 max:177

Today I decided to take an actual break from conferencey things during the break and went for my long run. I still feel like I'm running through treacle up here, and my stomach was cramping up big time. Nevertheless I made it onto the trails, and did some fellrunner's crawl up the hill until it got too icy, went back down again, and then did the same thing up the other trail until it was time to go back. Gorgeous views and a bit breezy - by the time I got back to the town I was running okay. Really fun though, and nice to have some me time.

A couple of really inspiring talks this morning. I'm so glad I came.

Edit: just looked at my trace - I just hit 7800ft!

Wednesday Feb 23, 2011 #

(rest day)

Another great day. Almost all talks excellent, many more interesting people, great food. Today's mid conference activity was a hike up the Rio Grande gorge, some very old petroglyphs, and then a wine tasting at a local Winery. They had an amazing red dessert wine with chocolate in it that I may well order for you guys to try when I get back. I am totally shattered now so have escaped the poster session early for some down time. Am watching the Bill O'Reilly show in comical disbelief.

Tide goes in, Tide goes out. Never a miscommunication.

Tuesday Feb 22, 2011 #

3 PM

Cycling 1:34:47 intensity: (1:29:06 @1) + (5:15 @2) + (26 @3) 23.48 km (4:02 / km)
ahr:117 max:152

An absolutely brilliant day. A morning of excellent talks, then in the break I hired a bike with my new friend Beth and we explored Taos on bike, which was pretty amazing. We also got caught by the police for cycling on an Indian Reservation, apparently driving your pick up to the Indian run Casino is fine, but cycling is disrespectful. Right. Then back for more talks, which were less good, and then a great dinner and a long poster session, but it went really well, and people were very enthusiastic about my work, and as a result I am also feeling very, very good.

Physically cycling felt harder than it should have today. The week is jam packed and the starts are early, so I think I will just try to be active each day and not push the running too much. The food is healthy, the air is clean and I'll be outside for every break day, so I'm not going to be backsliding.

This is the best style of conference I have attended. Fact! If only I could downhill ski...

Monday Feb 21, 2011 #


Back to the snow in Taos. Thanks to the wonderful Taco-A for being my guide to Tucson - a very enjoyable visit. I hope to return at some point.
1 PM

Running 42:56 intensity: (1:22 @1) + (8:23 @2) + (33:11 @3) 6.88 km (6:14 / km) +25m 6:08 / km
ahr:146 max:171

Disjointed recovery jaunt around Taos. First I jogged to the Mountain Shop to ask about running routes, then walked to the cycle shop to get a map that he didn't have, then saw a grocery store and bought my vitamins for the week, what with conferences being notoriously bad for that stuff. I then half jogged half speed walked back with bags full of bananas and apples and things. This place is pretty incredible but unfortunately all the best running is 3+ miles away. There's no taxis, and no buses that will stop there. Boo hiss. Might take one of the day breaks to walk out to the woods and then run and walk back. It'll be a bit of a mission though. It's crazy that somewhere like this should still be so reliant on cars. Give me Norway any day.

Running felt pretty tough. Combination of tired and probably also elevation - I'm now at 6950ft, just below the threshold where your O2 sat starts to rapidly decrease. Taos is an altitude training place, so it might take me a day or so to get used to it.

Sunday Feb 20, 2011 #

12 PM

Orienteering 1:11:48 intensity: (19 @1) + (4 @2) + (19:42 @3) + (51:43 @4) 9.46 km (7:35 / km) +241m 6:44 / km
ahr:173 max:181 shoes: Inov8s

Today was much cooler and as a result I felt way better. Legs were moving, still slow up the hills but mostly able to move. As a consequence I made more mistakes, nothing mega, and route choices good, but I was wobbling around in the circle on 2 or 3 of them. Need to get back into the routine of descriptions and APs properly. Think I was getting the hang of orienteering in this place today, and I had much more fun. A great meet, really glad I came down here!

Route here:

Saturday Feb 19, 2011 #

12 PM

Orienteering 1:07:34 intensity: (22 @1) + (4 @2) + (10:03 @3) + (57:05 @4) 8.14 km (8:18 / km) +225m 7:17 / km
ahr:176 max:184 shoes: Inov8s

Wowzer! This was cool. Good map, interesting course, area like nothing I have run on before. Was only tripped up once by the valleys and corrected quickly, glad to see I can remember how to orienteer (because it has been way, way too long). Unfortunately found the running really tough today, my body was doing it's usual "But this is warm. You don't like warm. Can I hurt now?" act and apparently I was probably feeling the elevation a bit too. So slow, although improving by the end. Really rubbish uphill though. Will need to rectify that before the season starts.

Edit: Quickroute is really very cool. Someone remind me to donate at the start of March. My route is here:

Friday Feb 18, 2011 #

6 PM

Running 41:46 intensity: (56 @1) + (34 @2) + (24:13 @3) + (15:54 @4) + (9 @5) 5.25 mi (7:58 / mi) +42m 7:46 / mi
ahr:167 max:185

Funny story. I got to Tucson and decided that after eating crap all day I was tired but should still try and get my run in. Plus it was WARM and there was NO ICE so it would really have been silly to miss the opportunity. So I ask Taco A where I can run, and she says the bike track round the golf course. I think this is slightly strange, but get to the golf course and there's a group of teenagers without any golf stuff wandering around the outer path, and things are pretty strange here in general, so I go with it. The golfers are very friendly and saying hi and I'm thinking "this is cool.." and then some guy catches up with me on his golf cart and tells me he's been chasing me for a while "you're pretty fast" and that I can't run here but should be on the bike track outside the fence, (which when I see it is massive obvious) and I had to switch on the uber Britishness and he was utterly charmed, and gave me a ride in his golf cart to the nearest exit. Turns out I had crossed the actual bike path around the perimeter of the golf course when it was a cross walk, not noticed it's massive obviousness and run straight over it. Still, the man was very nice, asked me if all British people were this polite (only when they've been caught trespassing) and wished me a good day. The ride in the golf cart was fun.

Did a 12 min marathon pace wind up in the middle and apart from stomach gurgling with all today's crap inside, it felt alright, considering I've been awake since half midnight Tucson time. Pretty much bedtime I think!

(In a side note, the bit of Tucson around the university is really cool. And I am very excited by the crazy birds and plants. Surprisingly enough Rosie doesn't like me much, but despite insane tiredness, first impressions of this place are super cool).

Thursday Feb 17, 2011 #


Anyone ever get the CT Limo from Phelps Gate? Their instructions say this:

I-95 North (Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford area)
Take I-95 northbound and merge onto CT-34 via left Exit 47 towards downtown New Haven. Get off first exit for downtown New Haven. Take a right at the second traffic light onto Church Street. At the third traffic light, take a left onto Chapel Street. At the next light take a right onto College Street. Phelps Gate will be on the right hand side.

I-95 South (From over the Q-Bridge, East Haven, Guilford area)
Take I-95 southbound and merge onto CT-34 West via Exit 47 towards Downtown New Haven. Take a right at the second traffic light onto Church Street. At the third traffic light take a left onto Chapel Street. At the next traffic light take another left onto College Street. Phelps Gate will be on the left hand side.

Which is the same route essentially, yet apparently opposite sides of the road. Just wondering what side it might actually be? Don't want to miss this limo as then I am screwed.

(rest day)

Shifting my rest day, slept dreadfully and am scratchy throated and tired today. With a 3.30am start tomorrow, tiring myself out more doesn't seem like a good idea. Hopefully go for an easy session when I hit Tucson. Orienteering for two whole days at the weekend! Amazing! So excited!

Wednesday Feb 16, 2011 #

7 PM

Running 37:32 intensity: (5:51 @1) + (19:05 @2) + (12:36 @3) 6.5 km (5:46 / km) +38m 5:36 / km
ahr:145 max:163

Paper proof done and resubmitted - check! Protocols written for while I'm away - check! Cloning project finished in record time - check! Lab book written up - check! Poster ready to print - check!

What a day! I have pulled it together this week and everything is ready a day early. Stayed late to get it all done and then took a really easy jog back. Very relaxing, and not too cold out. Tomorrow I can have an easyish day workwise in preparation for my stupidly early start on Friday. I can't wait to go away!

It struck me today whilst writing "things that must be done while Becky is away that are vital for this grant" that without me the lab would be totally screwed. In both the last two grant proposals I have designed simple, quick experiments that move towards causation in a sufficient way to hopefully secure more funding. Advisor's answer to everything is "let's get a mice with x, y, z knocked out, then forget about it and get another mouse, then forget about that one, and if I ever remember we'll do another observation study which tells us very little". Mouse work takes forever and is very complex, and definitely not a short term solution to anything, it's a long term investment. I am hoping these steps mean I can rectify the poor publication record of the lab (I can feel three in the pipeline already), get them out there over the next six months and start applying for baby grants of my own. A bit more independence would be excellent. I want to head back towards schizophrenia, aging is less inspiring. I'm of the opinion that there's only ever going to be so long you can put off the inevitable decline, and that lifestyle factors are probably a way bigger contributor to healthy cognitive aging than any drug we could come up with. Finding better drugs for schizophrenia means a better lifetime for 1% of people worldwide. I know more about it, and it's way more inspiring. I am also hoping to help out with recruiting a new Post Doc when Kelly goes, so we can get someone really good. And I'm finally getting a summer student to supervise. Excellent. I am working hard and it's still not much fun, but I can see real goals building and an exit route. Which I guess is a good thing.

Tuesday Feb 15, 2011 #


I hate Tuesdays. Wake up to a full inbox of "you know that thing we said we'd finish for you in December, well it's still not finished in time for your conference," and "That experiment that I took out of your hands to try and rush through failed entirely so you need to start again at the beginning and now you're three days behind where you could have been" and "congratulations, here is the proof of your article but your graphs aren't good enough despite your following our precise instructions so please correct and resubmit in 24 hours (Australia time of course, sent in the middle of the night)" and "here is the graph for your poster which is not the graph you asked for."

I should have gone running before I checked my e mail this morning.
6 PM

Running 51:12 intensity: (1:10 @1) + (12:27 @2) + (27:46 @3) + (9:49 @4) 9.24 km (5:32 / km) +82m 5:18 / km
ahr:156 max:183

Yey for me for making it out! Strapped on my rucksac and ran home from the lab. It felt great, legs happy to be moving, shoulders slowly relaxing despite bag, and brain calming (also helped that I nailed everything I had to do today, thanks go to sidekicks Rob and Kelly). Did 2 x 5 mins what I think was marathon pace, too dark to see HR but felt about right, easy job all the rest. So glad I got out.

Monday Feb 14, 2011 #

7 AM

Orienteering 36:18 intensity: (43 @0) + (4:28 @1) + (10:02 @2) + (20:57 @3) + (8 @4) 6.29 km (5:46 / km) +92m 5:22 / km
ahr:151 max:173

Morning jog round campus on Csaba's map, with a course drawn focusing on crossing gaps which I didn't know actually existed. Most of them did, which was exciting, and I found lots of extra ones too. Really good fun, but the map needs a lot of work. Had better get cracking!

Strength 35:19 intensity: (1:02 @0) + (26:00 @1) + (5:06 @2) + (3:11 @3) 0.0 km
ahr:130 max:166

Exactly the same as the last Friday session I did. The gym was hipster central this morning. I hate men that wear silly vests showing all their chest hair, that do the orgasm grunt even when they're squatting the same as me and more to the point, squat really badly.

Running 5:47 intensity: (26 @1) + (1:37 @2) + (3:44 @3) 1.03 km (5:37 / km)
ahr:150 max:161

Jog back home for shower time and work!

Sunday Feb 13, 2011 #

9 AM

Long run 1:08:46 intensity: (42 @1) + (3:55 @2) + (34:03 @3) + (30:06 @4) 8.0 mi (8:36 / mi) +299m 7:42 / mi
ahr:166 max:182 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

Yey! Decided that after yesterday's mega work one day behind on the Western blots wouldn't really kill all prospects of achieving this grant, and that I would take a few hours of me time. Got to go back in this evening but only for an hour or so. So walked in to the lab to separate the mice, then ran home the long way. So good to get out there. Lovely still morning, high clouds, most surfaces now clear and the place looked beautiful - very serene. Felt great running, thought I could have continued a lot longer at that pace but decided to be good and stick to the plan. Only slow bit was descending from the top of East Rock - had to cut the corner or the walk home would have been mega, but it was really icy on the zigzag trail,and thus very slow.

Really, really glad I made the decision to take the morning off. That was fun!

Saturday Feb 12, 2011 #


10 hours on my feet today in the lab with ten minutes to eat. I did loads of stuff but I am wrecked. Tomorrow, I hope I will start running again, as the nausea was gone today. Fingers crossed! Still a lot of lab time tomorrow but hopefully a bit less than today.

Friday Feb 11, 2011 #

(sick) (rest day)

Much less tired today, but still feeling nauseous. It is really not like me to have no appetite. Bah. Bored now!

Thursday Feb 10, 2011 #

rhr:62 (rest day)

RHR up today and still feeling nauseous. Managed to force down some porridge and blueberries last night but that's pretty much it. An unwanted rest day I think.


Wow...everything at work has gone wrong over the last 24 hours. Many mysteries to solve and a lot of time to make up. I wanted another early night, but I think I will be out of luck.

Wednesday Feb 9, 2011 #


Can anyone do anything about the FVO mailing list?! It's resending e mails from 2007, I've received about 30 already!
9 AM

Running 42:02 intensity: (39 @1) + (2:09 @2) + (28:19 @3) + (10:55 @4) 7.88 km (5:20 / km) +108m 5:00 / km
ahr:161 max:182 slept:10.0 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

Hmmm...not really feeling it today. Was tired this morning despite lots of sleep so had an extra hour in bed as I have an OISS appointment at 10.30. Thought running might wake me up but had that weird detached feeling. A bit like running when drunk, except that feels detached and amazing and this felt pretty poor. Did the tempo bits and speed not really down but didn't feel I could have pushed any harder, despite HR being well away from max. Then in the recovery home started to feel way better. Maybe just a light bug or something? Will sack core for today and sleep for a long time tonight, hopefully be sorted for the last session of the base building block tomorrow!

Tuesday Feb 8, 2011 #

3 PM

Running 42:45 intensity: (41 @1) + (7:17 @2) + (34:14 @3) + (33 @4) 8.05 km (5:18 / km) +106m 4:59 / km
ahr:155 max:173 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

Afternoon run to blow away the cobwebs from a slightly frustrating day in the lab trying multiple means to get PCRs to work, and failing. Gorgeous and sunny but very windy, was battling in a couple of places, almost felt like being back in the Burgh! Very few icy patches and not so many drifts to clamber over now. Even some very soggy/sorry looking grass edges appearing. No DOMS from yesterday so I think I got the light weights about right. Single hamstring twinge at the very start then fine. Yey! It was nice to move a bit more today.

Monday Feb 7, 2011 #


My throat is scratchy, so I ate lots of nice tea with Kat and then came back and ate Froyo. Mmm...Froyo.
7 AM

Running 43:47 intensity: (3:38 @1) + (18:12 @2) + (21:57 @3) 6.85 km (6:23 / km) +105m 5:56 / km
ahr:150 max:168

Very easy morning jog to loosen off after yesterday. Felt nice, bit tougher than I had wanted through the woods. Signs of a thaw, which is a shame because while I was in the gym the radio said it would snow again tonight. Ho hum.

Strength 28:41 intensity: (20:02 @1) + (5:01 @2) + (3:38 @3) 0.0 km
ahr:134 max:161

Strength session. Warm up then:

Hang shrug with OH squat 25lb 4 x 10
OH Press 25 lb 4 x 10
Leg raises first set 1 x 5 hanging, 3 more sets on stand x 10

Super sets continuous of 10 x DB OH Press and 10 x DW Row - 4 sets, 10lb

Nice morning session! Was warm outside again when I left. Boo more snow!

Sunday Feb 6, 2011 #

Stretching 10:00 [0]

The perfect ten.
12 PM

Running 1:03:23 intensity: (29 @1) + (47 @2) + (25:44 @3) + (36:23 @4) 6.05 mi (10:29 / mi) +263m 9:14 / mi
ahr:170 max:182 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

Wowzer. A bit more of an epic than I intended. Beautiful sunny day, after yesterday's major thaw starting drizzle, and headed out determined to complete some kind of loop of East Rock. Pavements still alternating fine and precarious, and I should have changed my plan when I got to the East Rock base path and it was uber slippy with melty crunchy stuff. Still, tried to go up the road from the south and it was tough going. Soft snow again, with the ice melted in the bits the sun had reached, but in the shady patches it was still proper ice. I ended up on my bum 3 or 4 times, but when your legs are sunk up to mid thigh that's not actually so much of a fall. The trail got harder and harder, until I realised that when it went round the back again it was going to be really grim. But then I was at the bottom of the Giant Steps, and people had been up it, so I decided to join them. An excellent bit of scrambling mid run, bracing myself on the handrails so as not to slip. Pretty stupid and dangerous, but fun. Finally got to the top and climbed over the crash barrier to the road with some difficult to see ploughed road! From then on, as you can see from the trace, things went much more smoothly, aside from my right big tow which had clearly lost all feeling, only for it to painfully return on the road descent. Legs were a bit DOMSy on the way down but hamstring had actually no pain at all throughout. I think bracing my core and pulling everything together with the weights and fusion really helps.

A few moments of swearing and a few second of sitting in the snow thinking "what the F**k am I doing here?" but now I'm back home in the warm, I think that was really fun. Triumph!

Edit: it's really funny looking at the trace and seeing the exact moment I jumped over the crash barrier onto clear road!

Saturday Feb 5, 2011 #

(rest day)

Rest day. Bor-ring!

Friday Feb 4, 2011 #

Strength 40:00 [3]
ahr:114 max:156

Weights session! I have been missing my getting buff sessions, and with all this time on my hands I thought why not? Headed to the gym after work and after a good warm up did

Back squats 4 x 5 95lb
Lunge with OH press (yeouch, but really good for the core/hips/pelvis I think) 4 x 8 35lb
Bent over row 4 x 5 65lb
BB Roll outs 3 x 10
One armed land mines 3 x 10

Really enjoyed it!
7 AM

Running 44:09 intensity: (41 @1) + (2:25 @2) + (41:03 @3) 7.89 km (5:36 / km) +82m 5:19 / km
ahr:159 max:171 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

Early morning run pre lab meeting. Body feeling pretty tired but luckily the whole place looked beautiful - all the trees looked like they were made of crystal. Unfortunately so did the pavements, so this was still slow in places.

Thursday Feb 3, 2011 #

2 PM

Running 47:08 intensity: (1:12 @1) + (1:31 @2) + (33:51 @3) + (10:30 @4) + (4 @5) 9.07 km (5:12 / km) +116m 4:53 / km
ahr:164 max:185 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

A bit of a silly session today. Got out mid afternoon to clear the head and tried to do the suggested tempo session of warm up, 4 mins marathon HR, 4 mins easy, 4 mins marathon HR, warm down. Pressed lap on the first one and immediately hit really slippy sheet ice, so stopped again, ran round the corner thinking "they're have cleared it by the school." And I was correct, but it was also school throwing out time so the pavement was thronged. I eventually did some kind of death sprint between all the cars waiting for kids, amazingly didn't die, and escaped. For the second one I found a great clear and traffic free loop around the Divinity School, which actually felt like a proper rep. Then back via a quick explore of Kline tower because I needed the loo. So a bit of a silly one, but good to get out.

Wednesday Feb 2, 2011 #

10 AM

Running 50:27 intensity: (1:40 @1) + (1:54 @2) + (43:04 @3) + (3:49 @4) 7.98 km (6:19 / km) +119m 5:53 / km
ahr:158 max:179

After a quick SMS convo with Marie realised that trainers wasn't a good plan for today, and so made attempt number two with stabilisers. With the addition of an over the foot tie (Kelly's suggestion) and smaller shoes (mine), they were loads better - only had to adjust twice and lots and lots of comfortable grip on the ice. Wish I had taken my camera as the woods and river at the base of East Rock looked gorgeous with all the ice on the branches. Baffled many people by running past them on sidewalks they were unable to move on! Fear that part of that was the speed and therefore force of hitting the ground in running - may have the same problem myself walking into work in an hour or so!


Tuesday Feb 1, 2011 #


So, run into work and have to carry bag (not fun), or walk in with all my anti ice storm gear and then go for a run once six hour experiment is running? My worry is I won't want to go outside again once I get there!

Core 53:00 [1]
ahr:71 max:99

The whole of body sculpt. I'm pretty amazed that something that never takes my heart rate above 100 can hurt quite so much! I am going to struggle with laughing and anything involving thighs tomorrow!
9 AM

Running 47:06 intensity: (1:39 @1) + (15:32 @2) + (29:55 @3) 4.99 mi (9:27 / mi) +72m 9:03 / mi
ahr:153 max:170 shoes: 09 Saucony Grid

That was definitely the right decision. Walked into work with my gear, set up my six hour experiments, and then went running. Took it easy again, which seemed to be the optimum least slip speed and was therefore good for the hamstring. This time the pavements were far more clear than the roads, with the inch of fresh snow being more grippy than the piles of slush. I had my first brush with the New Haven Police when I stopped at an intersection on Edgehill and waved him down the hill. He wasn't in a cop car, but then wound down his window and told me I shouldn't be directing traffic. I would definiteyt rather stop and let a car continue down a slippy slope with him knowing I definitely wasn't going to run in front of him than anything else! But I obviously just said "Yes Officer," and then ran on when he'd gone. He also said it was too dangerous to be out running but really, the weather currently is far from the worst we've seen. I'll withhold judgement for this afternoon though. Glad I got out there, feeling looser now.

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