Sunday, 20 November 2011

How to lose four weeks of your life in one easy step

How to lose four weeks of your life in one easy step and my first conference presentation

I won’t make you hold on to the end, the answer is very simply, to drop your month old laptop from about two and a half feet onto a wooden floor.  Strangely it carried on working for a day after that, but then when I tried to restart it, no go, dead as a dodo, or a Norwegian Blue.  It was an ex-laptop. 

Luckily it wasn’t mine, it was my work laptop, and luckily I had a backup of data from just before I got it.  What I didn’t have though was the work and data generated of the four intervening weeks which in work terms were probably four of the busier weeks I’ve had recently, so I lost a lot of stuff.  One of the more critical things I lost on Monday morning was the finished draft of a presentation I was supposed to be giving on Thursday to a conference being held by Oil and Gas UK, an industry body for the UK upstream oil and gas industry. 

Luckily I had a few critical documents and e-mails still in the system and on thumb drives, and even luckier, that included the first draft of my presentation.  I managed to resurrect that relatively quickly and get that to the conference people in time.   

Until it happens to you, you really cannot have any concept of the impact of killing a laptop.  I was lucky in the relatively short space of time since my last backup, but there are still some critical documents I cannot recover.  The thing you really cannot account for though is the time impact.  I’d planned a full weeks work including the conference, but as it was ended up losing probably a day and a half to sorting out getting a temporary replacement laptop, getting mine couriered to London and then getting it couriered back on Friday with a new hard drive installed, and then there was the e-mailing clients to ask for them to send things to me again.  Add in about half a dozen conference calls, trying to deal with a visa problem and there goes the week. And in my time, I’ve also had the last four weeks worth of exercise data to type back into my spreadsheet log.

I think, from now on, my back-up regime will be a little more rigorous, allied to my policy of keeping stuff in at least three different places.

So, this week’s training?  Pretty mixed really I’ve managed three runs, one yoga class, a turbo trainer session and some rowing, all going pretty well except one of the runs where I really didn’t manage to stick to the HR cap very well at all.  With the rowing I had no intention of sticking to the HR cap as I was doing this with this months challenge being 4x200m sprints with 1 min rest between each.  It’s all a bit of fun, just a virtual team challenge.  I’m currently in our fourth boat (The Ref), but not expecting to be there at the end of the month as we have some very good lightweight rowers in the team.

This was my second attempt, the first being on a nasty scruffy hotel rower, this one being on my nice, well maintained machine at home in my garage.  That doesn’t make erg sprinting hurt any less though.

It went a bit like this
Warm up 2500 / 10:23.4 / 2:04.7 pace per 500m / 24 strokes per minute
1) 37.2s / 1:33.0 / 40 / AHR 145 / MHR 165
2) 37.7s / 1:34.2 / 40 / AHR 160 / MHR 169
3) 38.2s / 1:35.5 / 41 / AHR 164 / MHR 171
4) 38.5s / 1:36.2 / 41 / AHR 165 / MHR 171 
cd 2000 / 9:13.2 / 2:18.3 / 22

That was a total of 2:35.9 for the fast stuff, at an average pace of 1:34.7 and average power of 412W, beating my previous attempt by 4.4 secs.  Not a bad improvement, but you can see the lack of coherence in the attempt.  I was tying up badly with lactic legs in the last one.

Runs have all been with the intent of sticking to the Maffetone HR cap of 148, but succeeding better in some than others.  One of the things that I find difficult with this is running into the wind, where the perceived increase in effort obviously lags the biofeedback from the HR.  It’s also difficult in some cases to respond quickly enough to the HR hitting the alarm limit as sometimes it keeps going up with a bit of a lag. I guess that just means I need to set the alarm a few BPM lower.

Sunday (13th)  6.62 miles / 57:31 / 8:42 pace / AHR 145 / MHR 153

Thursday 4.78 miles / 39:08 / 8:11 pace/ AHR 145 / MHR 160 (@0.56mi/ strap adjust)
In reality the MHR was about 155, which was still too high.  I was running late that morning and may have been subconsciously hurrying.

Friday 6.38 miles / 54:45 / 8:35 pace / AHR 145 / MHR 154 – that max was into the wind, I need to learn to slow down a bit quicker.

Yesterday – Turbo trainer, 1hr, average 206W / Max 236 / AHR 145 / MHR 153

And the presentation I made on Thursday?   That went very well indeed with some great feedback from the organiser, from the UK’s offshore regulator for the environment and from a couple of my existing clients who were in the audience.  Hopefully I’ve made an impact with a few potential new clients as well.  It’s the first time I’ve spoken in front of an audience that big, but I had a surprisingly low level of nervousness.

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