I've just returned from a wee summer school in St Andrews on *drum roll* Solar Plasma Physics.
Lots of physics-y maths-y types talking about the sun and magnetospheres and things for a week. Awesome! St Andrews has also got to be the most weird city I've visited, being seemingly made up of transient populations of students and American golfing tourists wearing some truly awful clothes. And not awful in a good way. Awful in an awful way.
|Awful in a good way. Photo credit|
|Casually wearing a 3 wolves 1 moon t shirt. All casual like.|
|Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....????? I swear the guy's trousers three from the left were curtains in a previous life and the guy two from the left is just wearing his wife's pyjama bottoms :D Photo credit|
Yeah. Odd place! Anyway, thought I'd share this quite cool video of the sun's outer corona, where you can see flares and mass ejections going off. The dots of light with bright lines streaming out from either side are the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus and NOT UFOs as the guy who posted the video seemed to think :-) (The sun itself has been blocked out as otherwise it just drowns out the image from the corona).
In other news I've also spent a bit of time in the Peak District again, learning the meaning of the word suffering again.
When I bought my bike about a year ago (from eBay yaaaaaaaaay eBay) I was informed by the nice man I bought it off that he was selling it because he lived at the bottom of a steep hill and it didn't have any "granny gears" on it. I cheerfully ignored this and all was well as I cycled round the bloody dead flat roads of Cambridgeshire. It was only when I repeatedly found myself at the bottom of 20% climbs that I began to appreciate what he meant!
|I came, I saw and I manned-the-fuck-up|
Don't get me wrong though, I'm certainly not blaming my lack of low gears or even my being unaccustomed to hills to my being shit at hills. It's fairly clear to me that my being shit at hills in entirely due to my being a fat bastard. Simple as.
Weight can often be a bit of a sensitive topic, especially among women, athletes and female athletes. However, I like to call a spade a spade and in this case I freely admit that I am too heavy and need to lose some fat.
Rowing has done me a lot of good in general, but I think it's fair to say it has ruined my relationship with food. Everything was fine and dandy until things started to go a bit wrong in the lead up the the U23s last year.
I got up everyday at 6am, trained fucking hard, tried to not screw up my degree and went to bed religiously at 9pm. I was teetotal, single, barely went out and hardly ever went home to see my family (due to the lack of river there). When university ended for the year, I had a shitty job cleaning. All of this was fine and I could cope with while training went well. However, when the dream of U23 World Champs started slipping away my outlet became food. Essentially instead of hitting the bottle, I hit cake, chocolate and Ben & Jerry's really fucking hard.
I largely got away with it while training twice a day, but when I packed it all in in November last year I unsurprisingly couldn't really get away with eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry's and a bag of cookies for dinner anymore. I think my worst moment was eating an entire 1kg of Dairy Milk in one go. I have no idea how I didn't vomit after that. Bad fucking times indeed. Binge eating sure does have one hell of a feedback loop.
I now graze 80kg when at my peak I weighed 73kg. I am not fucking proud, but I knew what I was doing and I knew that it would have repercussions. However, the first step of sorting out a problem is admitting you have one and I've now reached the point where I've realised I really do want to change (the catalyst being how awful it was getting up hills!). My training volume has being going up steadily all summer (and the one great thing about starting off relatively unfit is that your rate of improvement is huge!) and with that my cravings for shit food has decreased.
Therefore the time has now come for a diet overhaul, some self discipline*, a tonne of mileage (mmmmmm mileage) and being an athlete again. I also have a Boat Race to win. Bring it fucking on!
*You are allowed to hit me over the head with a Toblerone if you ever catch me in the confectionery aisle of Sainsbury's....