Was always gonna happen. Quite surprised it took 3 weeks to kick in and kick it in has. I have stuff lined up which should keep me focused. I have Bournemouth Marathon in October which is gonna be brilliant as there is a team of about 13 of us running it for Poppyfields. There are some running the 10k on the Saturday then the rest of us running the marathon on the Sunday. A good get together as well the weekend will be brilliant.....so why can't I focus?
I have a marathon target to one day go sub 4hrs (PB currently 4:42) so I have work to do. Training therefore should be keeping me on the up but its not. I have run 4 times since Outlaw (max 7 miles) and I have ridden twice (max 20 miles). Cycling feels OK but legs are very lead like when running. I seem to be getting slower! If it wasn't for Mrs Brightside this morning I wouldn't have got up and run 6 miles. I love running with her, even when I don't want to run. This morning she blitzed me. She left me for dead on the Hedging Lane climb and then again on the canal run in! I only went ahead of her once and that was because I ran out in front of a car whereas she sensibly took the decision to stop and let the car pass!
Post run and with a Monday morning at work on the horizon I made the mistake of weighing myself and taking a pic of my gut. Neither a pleasant experience!
It looks like after 7 months Outlaw training my gut has got bigger! No wonder it takes me nearly 17 hours to do Outlaw! That gets me to wondering did I do the best I could? It's easy to say I did, particularly considering the heat and the Morphsuit, but then did I? I could have run more, I could have fuelled better, I could have transitioned quicker. Did I run myself into the ground? You know - I don't think I did. This has really pissed me off!
I won't be able to put this right until 2015 due to having 2014 off Iron distance so I have been thinking of challenges for 2014. Maybe a marathon a month (is that hard enough?), coupled with 2014 running miles in 2014 (I pinched these off Lena who is doing this for 2013), maybe add in an Ultra or two to see if I will ever have the ability and sheer bloody mindedness to tackle WHW one day? It would be a big challenge for me because I'm not a very good runner, I have too many slack days and I don't like running that much! Would it capture peoples attention enough to part with their cash again and/or follow the story. Have I peaked at a potentially poor Morphing of Outlaw (albeit still a Morphing of Outlaw)? I had a conversation at the weekend when someone asked me what I had planned. I mentioned running Bournemouth in civvies and going for a good PB. The look of disappointment on their face was a surprise - it seems it isn't enough of a challenge. The mention of potential running exploits for 2014 produced feedback along the lines that I wasn't thinking outside the box!
One event possibility for 2014 is the 24hr Thunder Run. Poppyfields will almost certainly enter a team. I popped down Saturday afternoon to support Team Crazy aka Martin Hookway, Mike Wells, Tracey, Natalie, Catherine, Susie and then rode down in the Outlaw Morph to cheer them on at 6am on Sunday!
I figured after a night of thunderous downpours a supporting Morph on course might raise a smile from the runners. It seemed to. They were trudging through ankle deep mud that had been a solid grass pathway just 12 hrs before. Team Crazy were outstanding. Spirits high despite an awful night of rain, leaking tents, mud, sludge and lots of running. Nice to meet them all some of whom I had 'known' in the cybersphere for some time. I got to say hello to Runner Ryan the running machine son of the marathon man John Ogden and to a couple of Outlaws sporting their finisher t shirts. I gave a shout to Pirate Rob Bateman tackling it Solo who didn't seem to be enjoying himself at all. Unfortunately I missed on course Ultrasillyrunner and Liz Tunna (both solo) and Louise Clements who had been withdrawn on medical grounds suffering both dehydration and hypothermia!! I know how good it feels to get a shout from supporters so I did my best to encourage all of them. I would be lying if I said I didn't give a bit extra for the Solo's. Attempting to run for 24hrs is a huge challenge. The vacant expression in their eyes unable to hide the pain they were enduring and the battle they were having. It is this expression that Mrs Brightside has seen in Outlaws when supporting me in 2012 & 2013. It is this expression she has seen etched in my eyes. It was quite humbling to witness!
I should have come away from TR24 buzzing with anticipation, a new drive to crack on. Martin and the team had done incredibly well and it was great to witness but it didn't provide the kick start I needed. That is my fault. I could do TR24 solo next year alongside Team Poppyfields but is that pushing it too far? Can it be pushed too far?
I am definitely on an Outlaw come down. I am glad I have stayed away from event registrations online and have yet to formulate a plan for 2014 as I would sign up to almost anything right now to try and pick myself up.
I need to give myself a good kicking! Get focused and stop being such a whinging scrote. It should be easy for me to put things into perspective - that is what I will do!