Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Heart & Guts?

Its been a weird few weeks. In the last 4 weeks I have trained everyday bar six. This period has included my 40th Birthday, Mrs Brightside's Birthday and George's Birthday. Problem is though I have doubts about the quality of the training. I fit it in where I can and it can range from 750 metres in the pool to 2000, from 9 miles on my MTB to 48 on my roadie and from 3 miles running to 13! Most of it is solo, none of it is in competetive Tri conditions and none of the training seems to have all the stuff others refer to such as fartlek (seriously is that a word), hill sprints, and other stuff that goes over my head! Its glaringly obvious from the figures I am nowhere near where I need to be and for all my " I'm gonna do this next week and I'm gonna do that " the fact remains I havent. Excuses are plentiful but ultimately none of them wash with me.
The highs have included a half marathon PB and the lows a 5 mile lunchtime stinker. A 48 mile round trip to work and a 12 mile MTB lunchtime struggle. A steady 2000 in the pool and a energyless 500! If that Snow fella from the telly had me hooked up to his 'swingometer' it would have burnt out by now! The highs and lows can be week to week, day to day, mile to mile or even metre to metre and they're just the training highs and lows. Add to them the off training variances and its a constant superspeed rollercoaster.
Just last week was the Belvoir Half Ironman that I should have been doing as part of my prep had my training gone to plan. Seeing all the fellow soon to be Outlaw Ironfolk completing it and in some damn good times too made me realise how far behind I am. Hearing that @doddi76 may have picked up an Outlaw threatening injury during this event (despite nailing it in 5 hrs!) was gutting. It raises so many questions about prep, pushing, catching up but then highlights the importance of getting to the start fit! Two great bits of advice given to me are 1) Get to the start fit otherwise you cant do it at all (@Ironholgs) and 2) dont try and catch up on missed sessions (@ajh1269). They are both bang on and perhaps the only real positives to be drawn from disrupted/inadequate training are that there is less chance of pre race injury niggles, there's a good chance of getting to the start line fit and I dont know that I can't do it! By that I mean I wont have attempted a half IM to learn that I cant do a full. So if I try and create positives they are that I can get to the start fit and without niggles, I have no previous bad tri experiences to worry about, I've no 100 mile bike arse pain to think about and just under 17 hours of endurance to look forward too. I can fear the unknown but if the unknown is to not know I cant, then there is nothing to fear! You still with me?
@Ironholgs has just made IM Lanzarote his bitch. His blog of the event is testament to heart and guts and taking on, to some extent, the unknown. From that, from the confidence others have in me, from the support, encouragement and advice loads are throwing at me I need to draw the heart and guts I will need on July 1st.
To bring you up to speed (not quite an apt word) on training this is how the first part of my last ride went - first RTA!  ‎24 miles on the bike to work 1:41 on the clock but spent 10 mins discussing the merits of road safety with a Croatian Lorry driver after he hit me and knocked me off the road. Articulated lorry with second trailer attached misjudged when overtaking me and cut in. The second trailer hit my right shoulder at about 30mph. Luckily my 1982 BMX Bandit type skills kicked in and I bunny hopped onto the grass verge and stopped before hitting the ditch, fence and bushes. Lorry driver stopped and said 'sorry boss'! I said " you sir are a cunt! Me and my bike weigh about 80kg and you and your lorry weigh about 3 or 4 tonnes! If you cannot drive properly get the fuck off the road BUT if you insist on driving, when faced next time with a choice of losing your wing mirror or killing a cyclist, choose to lose your wing mirror!" He then told me in good English that he didnt speak English. As I told him to fuck off on his way I think he understood as he scurried back to his cab Manuel style as if ducking a potential clip around the ear! Close call only 5 miles in. Note to self must grow eyes in back of head and become a mind reader in advance of peoples thoughts!
My last swim was 2000 metres (80 lengths) in the pool. First 40 slow and laboured but then someone else faster than me joined the lane. I let him go ahead of me and in sections of 10 lengths my target was for him to not catch me. 3 sets of 10 later and he hadn't! This had focused my swimming and gave me confidence to swim faster. I felt I had more in the tank and I need to have as the time for 2000 was 1:05. Thats just too close to call for the Outlaw cut off!
My last run was a stinker (the catalyst for my last and very negative post). I'm only going to do 1 or 2 runs a week from now on as I know the continued strengthening from swimming and cycling will see my marathon legs ok on the day (and if I have to I will crawl the mara!).
I will be feeding off the support so keep it coming. I hope @doddi76 gets to the start of Outlaw fit and raring to go as I hope all the other soon to be Outlaws do.
So, where am I now? Positive or negative? On a high or a low? All of the above all of the time. For me Outlaw won't be a race against the clock it will be a test of heart and guts! Do I have enough? Of course I do. It would be rude not to!


  1. You will do fine you are really gutsy. I couldnt find a half ironma. So Im not doing one either. Just concentrate on your bike and try to always put a little brick run after. Have you swum in open water yet. Make that a priority. It is very different to pool swimming. Apart from that just keep going Sid Im right behind you x

  2. Amazing attitude as always my friend.
    Sorry a bit late to read this but as always - impressed with your dedication and single mindedness. You and I both know its gonna hurt and its gonna be tough, but you do have that element of 'surprise' as you so eloquently said (I think, that's what you implied! LOL!)
    I am positive that you'll complete, and complete well.
    Best wishes for this weeks training ahead Pal.