Category Archives: Pointless Ramblings

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Something changed

Well if you’ve been looking at this site for a few months without any updates, then yes somethings changed.

So before changes, let talk triathlons. I did manage to complete both I set out to do – both were quite tiring, but enjoyable – If I can I might try another this year. If not there’s more next year.

Other than that I’m happy with the outcome of the training.

So what’s changed, well it’s a little thing – but my love for my bank is waning. I know you can’t actually love a bank, so maybe it’s the goodwill, possibly the hope that they might have had my interests at heart.

The trigger was Apple Pay – I hoped that Barclays might have been a launch partner for it, but no – they are quite happy to continue to innovate with things like paying cheques (an outdated and possibly going away soon payment process) via the banking app (yes I have used it – and possibly will use it next week!) and a top up payment system called bpay (which I think is a Barclaycard thing).

It’s my fault for being an Apple whore I guess, however I have these gadgets so I’d like to use them. Looking for an alternative bank was easy – I did initially sign up to First Direct, but they annoyed me by not calling me back about something, so I closed this account within a few days. During this close down I opened a Santander account, which was simple and easy (as was First Direct).

The Visa Debit card arrived quite fast and once in my possession I was able to transfer money to my account, withdraw a tenner and then sign up for Apple Pay (seems to be a condition that the account has to be used for it to work). Work it certainly does, I’m not going to bang on about Apple Pay – but it’s quick and simple to use with my watch for small purchases.

Seems Yardley hasn’t seen much Apple Pay action judging by the double take you get when you use it. The reaction of others isn’t why I’ve got it. But it’s interesting to see people who aren’t tech orientated discovering it.

Moving on from Apple Pay – a different bank account should be much the same as what I had before, right? Well, it seems not – just little things like a weekly email of my transactions and I can set an alert based on balance. These small things make a difference. The transition from Barclays is well under way now. I have a Barclaycard (yes, entirely my fault) with a balance. Should say had one, as I transferred the balance to Mr Beardy Branson’s Money organisation – with a 3 year 0%

Barclaycard bless them, told me I was a valuable customer and have been for a decade and a half. They could have offered me 0% for a year (which might have been nice) and after the balance transfer offered me a credit for, now wait for it………£50 to keep the card. I didn’t

So one account down, possibly a few more to go. I’m slowly moving my current account to Santander after being with Barclays for 27 years. I could use the switch guarantee service, but I have an odd 2nd account which I’m one Direct Debit away from sorting. Once this is done then I’ll use the switch service to close the accounts.

Next move?, well I have a couple of other accounts plus the joint account and Mortgage – a bit extreme because of Apple Pay – might be, but people don’t move banks do they? – I’ve started and the process seems relatively simple.

Training Update 4

Training I’m sure if done right is all about routine – well for me I have a sort of training routine with regards to days:

Currently on Monday, Wednesday and Friday – I try to do around 50/60 minutes of swimming.

Tuesday and Thursdays are my running days.

(Monday to Friday I cycle to work as well)

Currently the swimming is going well. I still try to do 64 lengths, but I’m starting to work on line and pace.

The run was always a tricky one to get motivated by – not sure why as I enjoy it, for some reason on the run days I woke up worn out. So I decided to change things a little. On these days I get up and out of the house early and try to get to the office for around 07:00 – then I’ll start my run. Initially it was to Edgbaston Reservoir, do one circuit then come back (6.1k) – now this is a longer distance than previously attempted, but recent weekend runs gave me the confidence to do it.

So after a few sessions of 6.1k I decided to step it up a little – on the weekend just gone I thought i’d push to around 7-8k, turns out I did 9km – which was quite tiring, but nice to complete. I have now altered my weekday runs, I’m still at the reservoir, but I’ll do two laps instead – the pace isn’t great – but it’s a nice distance to build on (8.8km)

Training Update 3

Just keep things going, thought I’d update the training info.

Cycling as normal is the usual trip to work and back – nothing special here – though it’s one area that needs work with regards to pace and distance.

Swimming – regularly swimming 64 lengths non stop now – as with cycling I need to work on pace and technique.

Running – well finally hit a mile stone of 6km on Friday lunchtime – not a great pace (around 40 minutes), but it’s the furthest I’ve run before and my legs are still suffering a bit!

Although it’s not strictly part of my training, diet is something i’m looking at improving – It’s still pretty bad, but I’ve attempted to cut down on the junk during the working week and as of Friday it looks to be paying off (compared to the previous Friday’s weigh in). I’m starting to eat fruit and less chocolate/biscuits and hope to see how it all works out.

Training Update 2

Quite an interesting week just gone and a sneak peek into this week.

Cycling: 10 journeys to/from work 14 miles per day
Running: Managed to do around 3.2km once during the week – slight issues with motivation and waking up for a run!
Swimming: Initially maintained my 16-32-8 sessions, but progressed to swimming the final leg without the pull buoy.
The final leg increased initially to 16, then on a weekend session managed 20 then 8.

Today’s (Monday) session was another good one – started with 16 with the float, moved on to 32 without it and then a further 16 without the float. So 64 lengths completed. Maybe +/- a couple of lengths as I usually loose count!

So it looks as if the swimming is almost there, just need to work on pace. Now time to start on the running.

Also the diet could do with a bit of work!!!

New Target Smashed!!!!!

Not a lot to say other than remember that 16 length target? Well you can consider that well smashed!

Today I managed 20 lengths unaided – the pool at Fox Hollies is apparently 25 metres, though it doesn’t feel like it is. That might be due to the shallow depth.

So quite happy today – celebrated with a couple of sausage rolls and a rock cake from Greggs! Not exactly an athlete training diet, but it’s Saturday so I tend to let myself go a bit.

Just hoping the temperature starts to rise a little as I can start to work on my running training.