There are loads! Sometimes they vary from one day to another, sometimes form one hour to the next and sometimes the rollercoaster can be all over the place in the space of minutes! This last week has been wierd. Thursday and Friday I was getting some ankle jip! It felt like I had gone over on it but I hadn't. This put me off running on Thursday and cycling on Friday. I needed to be out and so Saturday instead of a scheduled run I went out on the bike. I did a 21 mile route at a normal pace for me (about 15mph). The ride however was plagued with dark thoughts and self doubt. All the usual such as 'how the fuck am I gonna swim 3800 odd metres?', 'can I actually cycle for 112 miles and somehow find it in myself to run a marathon afterwards?', 'what if I get injured in training?', 'my running miles are too low for VLM in 7 weeks time', 'why am I doing VLM 10 weeks before Outlaw?', 'how can I get £2000 of sponsorship together for BCH for running VLM for them?', 'does my bum look big in this?', 'why doesnt my mom have a grave for me to visit?', 'what if the experts are wrong and the BCC on my face can/has spread?', 'how can they know?', 'Ive survived my mom by nearly 2 years now but am I just pushing my luck?', 'how the fuck do people cope with shit?', 'what happens if I get killed by a hit and run driver?', 'how am I so lucky to have such a fantastic wife and two tremendous kids?', 'I hope they dont put mortgage rates up', 'I want to be a better man', 'I really should have listened to the back specialist when he warned me to stop playing rugby in my teens or face a lifetime of back problems!' etc etc...
The route took me past my childhood home and I circled the park in Little Aston stopping for a moment where Mrs Brightside had a tree planted in memory of my mom. There are times I think when I need a good slap in the face, or as it was on occasions when I was a kid and had been particularly naughty (such as hitting my brother with a snooker cue) a slipper on the harris! I cracked on and whilst it was a mixed bag while on the ride it is of course always satisfying to have done it once I have finished.
I followed this up with a mile swim which went ok other than more than the usual amount of doubt. Looking back I think I just need to crack the 3800m in the pool so i know I can do the distance and crack 112 miles on the bike for the same reason. Rather frustratingly in the pool were the ' I will swim a gentle backstroke ' lady trying to talk to the ' whilst I will do a gentle breast stroke ' woman, both having a good natter and float about in the lane marked 'FAST LANE'. There are also GENERAL SWIM areas (ideal for their purposes) a MEDIUM lane and a SLOW lane. What do you do in these situiations? Every couple of lengths I had to overtake them or wait until they were far enough ahead for me to get 2 lengths in without catching them up. Do I politely highlight that whilst I fully appreciate their desire and effort to get out and do something to remove themselves from Tamworths ever growing obese population and whilst I am fully supportive of this as I am trying to do it myself - a brief lesson in reading might have been a more positive first step so they could avoid the lane marked FAST LANE! Anyway I did a little over a mile in my hour - at times I felt like the man from Atlantis and at other times I felt like Robert Maxwell!
Sunday all could get back on track with a good ride. Maybe 50 miles. I was riding with Carl so i knew it would be faster than me riding on my own. Unfortunately to get 50 in I needed to get up an hour and a half earlier and do 20 miles before meeting Carl at 7am! I didnt! I did meet Carl and it was lashing down. I wore my 2009 London Marathon reject waterproof coat (mistake), my gloves turned out to not be waterproof (cold), and I didnt fuel up properly (arse!). We did a 28 mile nice route. It started well with me smashing Hints hill (by my standards anyway) as I stayed on the big cog at the front! After that the rain and the wind probably got the better of me. Cold set in by being so wet, ringing my gloves out as I rode was annoying and nothing seemed to click. Still 28 miles is another 28 miles and as i often remind myself you cant pick your training conditions because on race day you cant pick your race conditions.
Monday is my rest day (although that may soon change) and then Tuesday I ran a lunchtime 4.5 miles. Sub 9mins/mile and comfortable. I didnt push it at all. All felt fine until in the middle of the night I tried to walk on my ankle and it was very painful. My back was hurting from the rides. My thigh felt like it had been torn and ridiculously it feels like I have strained a ligament in my finger! My face is burning and oozing. By the time I got up this morning (and didnt go for the planned 16 mile ride) I felt like my body had broken! I have a 1 hour swim scheduled for tonight. The oozing face should be ok and protected by a vaseline smearing (although this doesnt stop the throbbing while running) and I may then look at re-evaluating my training schedule. I have got to get distance runs in asap or I wont get around VLM but my ankle wont let me. I have got to get distance in on the bike but my ankle and back wont let me. I can swim however as much as i like. Can I get marathon fit by swimming alone? Currently its the only option.
I am not gonna panic....yet! VLM can be a training jog and nothing more. I dont have to race it! I can still raise money for BCH I wont let them down. I can swim myself fit and then nail the bike with some distance and the little run at the end is just about putting one leg infront of the other. Time and time and time again.
In other news I am overwhelmed by the support in getting Poppy's video clip seen by the world. Her op is likely to be at the beginning of April. In preparation for her losing her hair she had 10" cut off and donated it to make wigs for children losing their hair through illness/treatment! Thankyou all for sharing the clip all 100+ of you. Forgive me for not thanking you all individually but it would take forwever. Needless to say I am very grateful! In 4 days more than 3200 people have watched it. Thank you!