Category Archives: DIY

Do it yourself – fixing, mending, building things around the house

The pool – at last in use

The poolhouseThe PoolThe pool

The newly re-built pool – at last in use :o)

The Fruits of my Labour – the newly built pergola


For those that have been following my garden projects, here’s a pic of the newly built pergola.

Bloody technology!

Well here we are again.  After a busy day at work and working in the pool house once I got home until gone 20.00 hours, when I was called in for dinner.  After which, Leigh and I decided to watch two episodes of Torchwood, I find technology against me.  Whilst watching Torchwood a very good friend, Fraser (of Fraser and Sharon [aka The lovely Sharon or TLS]) phoned to ask if we had seen his post on my blog.  Leigh had a look only to find for some reason it hadn’t come through.  So Fraser was going to re-enter it and now, at past bedtime ,we are having a quick look only to find that it still hasn’t come through, but I thought I would do a post for today before retiring upstairs.  Think again!  After several attempts to log-in had failed and I was screaming at the PC in my usual derrogatory manner, Leigh realised she had changed the password and once the new password was entered it all went swimmingly.  Dare I take back the frustration of being foiled by technology?  No, as more often than not it is the PC ,or the web, or the keyboard, or in fact any/all of the damn stuff that is sent to plague me.  But now i’m in, what went on today.

The lunch time run was a steady warm up leading to five, two minute hill intervals and a steady run back to the office.  Nathan joined me on the run out and back and whilst I was doing the intervals he did a lap of the lake.  However, Zac, another work colleague and fellow runner, who I have nagged in to competing in the Austria Ironman triathlon competition in July with me, was back from his family skiing trip and joined me on the hill reps.  We both found it tough and the Christmas excesses and lay off training really is telling.  Still, a good session in the bag and over the weekend there is nothing too strenuos for me.  Saturday is a 90 minute run at a steady pace with Sunday being a 90 to 120 minute bike ride (also steady).  Zac found it highly amusing when I told him I had a blog and that anyone could comment on it and I suspect there will be a few rogue comment s posted by him.  Still, all in fun and that’s what it should all be about.

I also have a few bits to do in the garden and on the pool house but I had a result tonight as I managed to install all of the ceiling lighting ready for the big reinstall next week.  The pool man is coming to connect the gas and electricity and fit the new pump, filter and chlorination unit mid week and so I hope to have the pool up and running within the next two weeks.  Off to bed now for a quick read before I drop off with book in hand and maybe get a bit of a lie in tomorrow.

Straw coloured urine?

So, first how did yesterday’s turbo session go?  As it happens I decided to do a 45 minute session which was OK.  The bum bones knew about it and the “front parts” definitely felt it, but I expected that as I haven’t ridden for 3 weeks and haven’t been on the turbo for months.  The turbo always has the same effect on my anatomy but it has to be done.  I also downed one and a quarter litres of water whilst on it and that was on top of the half litre on the way home.  The result?  Three trips to the loo through the night!  I must have a bladder the size of a walnut.

Today before work I had a really steady 7 miles run with Nathan and gave my camelbak a second outing.  So I started the day by drinking 1.4 litres of the clear stuff and then slowed through the day only consuming another 750ml but did have several trips to the loo!  During our run, Nathan and I were discussing the “are you hydrated enough” test, check out the colour of your urine and you have an instant gauge as to if you need to drink more (water that is not the hard stuff).  For those that don’t know, it should be clear to straw colour.  Any darker and you need to take in water.

Lunch time had me off to the plumbers to buy the bits to fix my loo and as expected it wasn’t straight forward but the chap in the shop was helpful and gave me all the bits I might need and a few extras and said to go back when I have done the job with the spares and then we can sort the money bit out.  At least this way I won’t have to go back and forwards several times when I discover I have the wrong bits.

On the pool front, there is good and bad news.  The good is that they are now contacting me and maybe even coming a day earlier than expected next week.  However, the real reason for the call was to let me know that it would cost more than they expected as I needed another couple of bits fitted.  I am miffed but just want the thing done and ready to train in and to argue or find someone else isn’t really an option.

I phoned my mum today to arrange a visit this weekend and it is planned around two lots of training and outing to a fun filled family show with some friends at their local village hall.  I need to get to see my mum as she is not very well and I’m not sure how much longer she will be around.  Tomorrow’s (Friday) training session is a hills reps session close to where I work so will be done at lunch time and both Kevin and Nathan are likely to accompany me.  I really enjoy these sessions but at the time they are hard work but in order to improve it is essential to push oneself.  I must also remember though, that rest is as important as effort and without sufficient rest you will go backwards in performance.

Off to fix the loo now and I’ll update you tomorrow on if I am “flushed” with success.

An hour on the Turbo Trainer

Today’s blog entry is being written halfway through the working day as I am unlikely to have time later.  It was still dark when I rose this morning, something which I hate, but at least we are the right side of the solstice now and it can only get better.

At lunchtime today I walked 2 laps of the lake just outside our offices (2 miles in total) with a good friend and colleague (Kevin, you will undoubtedly hear much more about Kevin in future blogs) and we put the world right yet again.  Sure as eggs are eggs and despite all our efforts the world will be back to square one again tomorrow. 

Tonight has me doing an hour on the turbo trainer and then finishing off the preparation of the en-suite toilet.  The loo won’t flush properly and needs new internals which I have yet to buy and fit.  A DIYer’s life is full of joy and plenty of jobs!

The turbo trainer I can only do if I have a distraction so the TV will be in front of me and I try to catch up with world news whilst doing a few miles.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I am meeting a work colleague (Nathan) before work and we are doing a steady 60 minute run.  Nathan is relatively new to running having taken it up originally to lose some weight and help with his golf.  He plays off 5 (for those that don’t know that’s very good) but thought that he could improve his competition results when a whole day’s golf was being played if he was less fatigued.  However, he has now been caught by the running bug and is thinking of having some time away from golf to concentrate on his running.  I am finding it useful running with Nathan as I am in the middle of writing a manual on “How to run your first marathon, even if you’ve never run a step in your life” and I am able to help him with my experiences of going through exactly what he is now going through.  He seems to enjoy my company and is getting me up to speed with the wonders of ipod technology and its uses.  I’ll give you an update on today’s turbo session and tomorrow’s run as soon as I can. 

What else is happening in my life?  Well today I got a date out of the pool man for when the new equipment is to be delivered and when he is to come and fit it and get the pool back up and running.  Next Thursday will see if he is true to his word.  Unfortunately I am not around that day as I am away in
Germany with work.  The upside of this is that I will have a few beers in the local breweries with some friends from work.  The down side to all of these trips is that it seriously cuts in to my ability to find time to train as the flights are often early and the days are normally packed with events/meetings/ seminars etc.  Even the beer with friends is considered an essential part of work and it is not looked on very well if it is missed.  Nevertheless I have sussed out the hotel and it has a pool and a gym and failing being able to use either of these I can pound the streets of
Germany (not the first time a Brit has done that! Don’t mention the war).  I’ll have to sign off now as work beckons.

Back to Work

The New Year at work began with the news that my boss is moving on and I now face the task of training up a new one in the way I work.  I had only just got this one up to speed!  Anyway, how about an update on my training?  Yesterday’s really steady 6 miler was easier than I thought it would be after the festive lay off.  I think there were a couple of reasons for this; firstly, I was trying out one of my Christmas prezzies, a Camelbak waist pack which I will use on my longer runs.  It’s a good bit of kit but I need to make a few small adjustments.  The other distraction was planning the swimming pool boiler cover.  I said in yesterday’s blog that I would expand on the swimming pool fiasco and it is a really long and involved piece of work.  However, the summary is that we had commissioned a company to carry out a “turn key” build of on an Endless pool in our garden in a bespoke built pool house.  After months of lost sleep and much hassle we have had to have what they had thrown up, knocked down and rebuilt.  This involved me doing some of the work to save money but ultimately Leigh and I being out of pocket.  The rebuild is a great job but it has taken longer than expected and in true builder’s style we have had a few hiccups and I am struggling to get all of the pumps, heater and filtration refitted.  But fingers crossed in a couple of weeks I will be training in the pool.

Back to yesterday’s run.  The run went well and afterwards I sat down to a family New Year’s dinner and had one last larger than normal sized meal.  It must of course be considered that I didn’t have any breakfast, just a coffee and tea was a slice (or two) of Panatone but no savoury.  So, all in all not too bad from a day’s calorie intake point of view.

Today the 2nd January I ran with a work colleague at lunch time.  We did a 5 mile run at a moderate pace (total run time 38 mins) and both felt it.  Why did it hurt?  Because it was blowing a gale and running in to the teeth of a strong wind is quite hard.  We both felt good afterwards though.

This evening I need to strip the en-suite toilet as the siphon element is faulty and to get it to flush requires a considerable amount of pumping of the handle, not a good thing when my new hydration plan got me out of bed twice in the early hours and I don’t want to wake the rest of the house.

Tomorrow’s training session is an hour on the bike turbo trainer.  For those not sure what one of these is, you’ll have to read tomorrow’s blog entry.