Posted by: Sai | April 18, 2012

21 Days

3 weeks to go and I haven’t been to the track since my last post. It’s not as if I don’t want to, but I just don’t seem to have the time. Poor excuse I know. As always, basketball has taken priority over training for this race, and with the end of the season approaching I’ve actually been pretty busy. I attended the first BWB Women’s Basketball Development Camp which spanned 2 days last week. It was really great but left me feeling a tad sore for a few days afterwards! I’ve had games and training sessions, and have 2 more tournament days in the next 2 weeks. What with work on top of that, finding the time for the track, or even the gym for that matter, has been tough. Today I’d put some time aside to get the racer out but it’s pouring down outside and I have no desire to get soaked and spend the afternoon slipping off the pushrims. Instead, I’ll get to the gym (for the first time in a month) and hopefully get to the track at the weekend.

I still intend to do this race, though I must admit that motivation is lacking…

Posted by: Sai | March 28, 2012

42 days

Today I finally went to the track. The sun was shining and I had the morning off work, no excuse really. I asked Ally to write me a short programme to get back into the swing of things, which probably gave me about 5k at various speeds. I’m wondering if I’ll ache tomorrow, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, from such a long time out of the chair. It’s not as if I haven’t exercised at all, but it’s certainly different to anything else I do.

Yesterday I received my confirmation letter from the 10k race organisers, so it’s all official now. I’m going to be number 211, which I collect on the night along with my chip. I’m glad it’s chip timed, as I’m not using any GPS or bike computer on the chair. I’m not fussed what my time is, but I would like to know. Worryingly, the wheelchair race starts only 5 minutes before the runners. I assume we’re on the same course, and I’m a little concerned that I’m going to get in the way of the faster runners.

I still haven’t tried pushing on a road, or the park. My feet hang quite low, so I need to make sure that they’re not going to hit anything if I go up/downhill or on uneven ground. I also need to figure out what I’m going to wear and buy a helmet.

Posted by: Sai | March 20, 2012

50 Days

It’s 50 days until the Silverstone 10k, and I still haven’t been in the racer. I was going to go to the track on Wednesday evening but bottled it, partly telling myself it was because of the cold, but I think it’s because I’d rather just push on my own the first time back in the chair. Basketball season will be coming to a close soon, which means I should be able to switch my motivations towards racing, I just need to pump up the tyres and actually do a first session to get back into the swing of things.

Posted by: Sai | March 4, 2012

The 10k

I’d decided on a 10k race fairly early on – the Silverstone 10k organised by Silson Joggers – and was just waiting for them to start accepting entries. When it finally opened a few weeks ago I was suddenly hesitant. I haven’t been in the racing chair since October, nearly 5 months ago, my motivation has been…shaky, and ongoing problems with my diagnosis is making me wonder exactly where I sit with regards to disability. Every time I had decided I was going to apply, I would put off actually doing it. Well yesterday I finally bit the bullet and posted off my application for a place.

I think in the end I talked myself into it. The big factors being a) the need for more cardio exercise, and b) that I would still like to do a marathon one day. The negatives are really small in comparison, such as the chair being such a poor fit for me, not being in shape in time, looking silly in front of the Real Racers etc… I suppose if it came down to it, it’s easier to apply and not turn up, than to want to race and it being too late to apply.

I now have 66 days to get myself ready! I suppose I should put some work into this blog as well eh? :-)

Posted by: Sai | February 3, 2012


Long time no update, but that’s pretty much just because I have nothing to say. As I mentioned in my last post I managed to injure my thumb in December and it’s taking a frustratingly long time to heal. I went swimming on New Year’s Day and found that, apart from some aching, my thumb could manage it. On the 6th I tried some resistance work at the gym and failed miserably – it was far too early for that. Lots of rest, a bit more time in the pool, and the occassional attempt in the gym, and I decided to get back in the basketball chair on the 19th. I mostly just pottered around during the kids session and had to sit out of most of the Elite (basketball training is split into 3 sessions one after each other – Skills, Drills, and Elite). All in all, I was desperate to do some sort of exercise but was also wary of pushing it and damaging my thumb again. I pulled out of 2 games last weekend, I’m still having problems with it, and guess it’s going to take a good while longer before it’s up to scratch. Unfortunately it’s Women’s League basketball on Sunday, which I jumped through hoops at work to get time off for, and have already said I’d attend. The coach knows that I might struggle, but I’m determined to give it a go. So January’s rest day tally was 58%, at least an improvement on December.

It feels like years since I’ve been in the Fatboy, though it was only October. I feel bad that I haven’t given it the commitment I think it probably deserves. I would like to give another go of it (otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this blog) and I’m determined to enter the 10k I always said I would in May. My biggest problem at the moment is training outside in the cold, which was part of the reason I stopped last year – my feet really suffer in the cold. Driving home from work last night it was -5C, and we’re probably in for snow over the weekend. I think I need to give it a maximum of one month, and then get back in the chair regardless, I’m going to need those 2 months just to get ready for the race.

Posted by: Sai | December 29, 2011

December Exercise Disaster

November’s final tally for rest days was 40%. I’d made a concerted effort and this seems to be the best I’m going to manage without drastically changing my lifestyle. December I knew was going to be slightly different because of visiting family and Christmas preparations. By the 15th December I’d managed 4 basketball training sessions and one resistance session at the gym. That night at basketball I attempted to intercept a pass between members of the opposing team and misjudged it, resulting in the ball catching my thumb, not my palm, and pulling it back at a rather inconvenient angle. Luckily this was right at the end of the session so I spent the last 5 minutes sitting out, attempting to find some ice. Ally had to drive me to the hospital, where we spent 4 hours waiting for an x-ray and a hand splint. They told me I’d broken it, but going back to see a specialist 4 days later (they can’t possibly open at the weekend!!) I was told it was a sprain. It was a week before I could attempt to use my crutches again, and 10 days before the splint came off. I’m going back to the hospital tomorrow to make sure there wasn’t any further damage. Either way, it’s put quite a dampener on exercise this month. Hopefully I’ll be able to swim in a few days and we’ll see how it holds up doing that before trying anything more exciting.

Posted by: Sai | November 29, 2011

Feeling the Cold

Firstly, sorry for the massive gap between posts. I’m sure I’ll hit my stride some time soon! Secondly, I have a confession – I haven’t been to the track in a month. This is partly because of work and partly because of the cold. I take my shoes off to get in the racer and, despite wearing hill walking socks over my regular socks, my feet throb from the cold. It’s been putting me off even trying in the day, and I really need to get back into a routine. I bought some new socks, which claim to be the best at keeping in heat. If that fails, I’ll get some hand warmers and put them on my feet :-)

Other than that I’ve actually been quite good at keeping up at the gym, and the odd weekend of basketball has been keeping me in training. It’s looking like my end of month scores are going to be fair – hopefully under 40% anyway. I’ve re-started the 100 Pushups Challenge, something I tried twice before but have had to stop due to a recurring problem with my left shoulder, possibly the rotator cuff. This time I’m going to throw in some rotator cuff exercises in an attempt to hold off any injuries, and repeat the week’s programme instead of pushing to get it done too quickly.

When I started to look into the possibility of racing I borrowed a book from Ally called Wheelchair Sport by Vicky Goosey-Tolfrey. It’s fairly new and therefore reasonably up to date with our understanding of the human body as well as the technology of various sports chairs. I’ve only just finished reading it and thought it was worth a mention as it’s really quite an interesting read. It covers racing, basketball, tennis, hand cycling and rugby, but with a large section on general exercise and training for people with disabilities.

Last but not least, I thought I’d just post a link to an article on the England Athletics website about our Wednesday night track meets. Despite me not making many of them, I still feel part of it, and I think it’s great that it’s turning into a real little club! From Percolators to Propulsion.

Posted by: Sai | November 7, 2011

More Slacking

I suppose it’s time for an update, though this is really to shame myself into trying a bit harder. I haven’t been to the track since my last post…in fact it’s been a week and a half, and I know I won’t be going this Wednesday either due to work. Missing last Wednesday was due to work as well, though I also managed to pick up a cold, which means that 6 days were just written off. I’m still feeling it, but played in a women’s league basketball tournament yesterday and really didn’t want to miss it. Tomorrow I’ll be back at the gym.

To add insult to injury, my ‘rest day’ percentage from last month was 44%, which means it’s increasing every month since I started keeping track. I’m wondering if my plan to motivate myself by keeping a record of it is actually still working. This month I’m determined to make sure my rest days are under 40%.

Still no date for the 10k I’m planning on entering next year, but it’s still early. I like to have a date to count down to, something I discovered when I was running road races, as it helps me motivate myself a bit more. In the mean time, more time at the gym, and try to get to the local track on my own.

Posted by: Sai | October 28, 2011


A few things on the agenda today. First and foremost is that I actually went to the track on Wednesday! It rained a little on the drive there but was thankfully dry at the track. Over the course of the session the temperature went from a balmy 10 degrees C down to 6 degrees. My asthma was fine, but (despite 2 pairs of socks) I lost feeling in my feet pretty early on and managed to get my ankle into a rather strange position. To be honest though, they’d started to go numb in the car, even with the heater on, so it was no shocker.

To keep warm on the track I pretty much just kept going, throwing in as many slow laps between the organised reps as I could. I probably did about 17 or so laps in the 100 minutes or so we were there. Works out at 6.8km, though bear in mind a lot of the time I was in lane 3 or 4, so possibly a little more. It doesn’t really sound like much, but some of them were sprints and others were very slow.

I’m feeling good about it, and motivated to put some more work in on the track. I’m still aiming to do the Silverstone 10k next spring, which is going to take a little bit of work, even if it’s just maintenance work, over the winter. This is great because yesterday was the 2nd ‘anniversary’ of my last run. As my condition creeped in very gradually I don’t really have a date that it started. I kept running right up the last moment, even though I probably should have stopped when I started having problems in the June. Instead my last run was on 27/10/09. In leiu of a date my condition started, I have this one, which is only 24 months ago but feels like a lifetime. I hope I can run again some day, but until then I have basketball and that ever ellusive marathon.

Posted by: Sai | October 19, 2011


Getting back into a routine after my holiday has been harder than expected. I was in a bit of a downer for a while, probably due to the post-holiday blues, not getting a job that I interviewed for, colder and shorter days, and a myriad other things. The basketball season hasn’t started out quite as I’d hoped, and I haven’t been in the racing chair for over a month.

Last week was the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to train and decided against it. It’s cold, dark, wet, and a 40 minute drive each way. I’ve never had a great fondness for track work but it’s pretty much all I can do at the moment, seeing as I’m not quite strong enough to do any great distance, and not confident enough to tackle a raod or path.

I’m realising that wheelchair racing is not the alternative to running that I thought it might be. Running gave me the freedom to go anywhere at any time. Racing is limiting – the surface, the equipment, safety aspects… I’m worried that I’m going to lose my motivation before I’ve even completed a 10k.

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