It’s been somewhat of a whirlwind week, not entirely in terms of training, more in terms of my forthcoming book.
On Wednesday it went to the No.1 spot in the UK pre-order chart for Sports Biographies. I was the only non professional sportsperson in the top 100. How surreal is that? Little old me, a normal working bloke from a small town in a small corner of Northern England, whose English skills leave a lot to be desired was outselling global superstars. Fernando Torres, Kenny Dalgleish, Rafa Nadal, and many many more. It’s amazing that people want to read my story when there are so many great sportspeople out there. Maybe it’s the fact that it is about a down to earth person, and its actually been written by me and not a ghost writer, as so many of these biographies are. I can safely say that I’ve put as much time and effort into writing as I ever have training….so hopefully when people read it they’ll appreciate that. I guess books like a good album are very subjective, you’ll either hate it or love it. In the pub on Friday night my mate Richard warned me to be prepared for the first negative review along the lines of “Can’t Swim,Can’t Ride, Can’t Run, Can’t write.” If that happens it happens, my attitude is : I’ve written the most honest story I’ve got in me, some of the things I talk about still make me cringe,and will shock a lot of people BUT I’ve been honest, writing as me, and if people think it’s crap then fair to play to them. I just look forward to reading their efforts and comparing them.
Sales of the book were also helped by my new blog for TRIATHLETE EUROPE magazine. I was contacted by their editor who liked some of the stuff I was saying on Twitter and invited me to start writing regularly for Europe’s best selling triathlon publication. I almost fell off my chair when I got that email, my world was kind of spiralling. I mean come on, if a fortune teller had told me this time last year that I’d have a best selling book and a gig writing for a top magazine I’d have thought they were nuts !!
Anyways my first piece for Triathlete Europe can be found here.
Andy Holgate : From Common Man to Ironman
It’s an introductory piece, hope you enjoy it. My next one should be live tomorrow, the 20th April.
So amongst all the chaos I did manage to find time for some training, most notably a 35 mile bike ride and a 15 mile run. The run was particularly pleasing because it was done at bang on 8 min /mile pace, which is faster than I intend to run this week at London. It was also a massive improvement on my long run the week before where poor Lesley thought she might have to either carry me home or ring an ambulance. I was suffering with a virus making my heart rate abnormally high, thankfully after rehydrating properly I felt fine.
So with less than a week to go until London how do I feel ? The short answer is fine and relaxed. I’m more worried about getting there and getting registered than I am about actually racing. I’m under no pressure, I have no expectations, yeah I want to go under 4 hours but as long as I finish and get that medal I’ll be happy. And then I can officially retire from marathon running….can’t wait.
It could actually be quieter in London if this ash cloud that is covering the country doesn’t clear. None of the race favourites, and plenty of normal runners, will be unable to fly into the country. Maybe we’ll get a European winner in the mens race for the first time in 10 years? I’m really hoping its cleared though before then as I’m due to fly to Germany the monday after the race for 5 days of recovery.
And spare a thought for my clubmate John Towse, who should be competing next Sunday in Ironman South Africa. He’s had two flights cancelled this week and if all goes well he’ll be on a flight that gets him to Port Elizabeth late the night before his first ever Ironman. He’s emailed the organisers to see if they’ll keep bike racking and registration open later for him. Lets hope they do, and lets hope he makes it. Not ideal preparation for your first attempt at the big race. Good luck JOHN.
And good luck to everyone racing at London this weekend. My brother Craig in his attempt to go under 2:35, my cousin Mike in his attempt to go under 3:00 and Lesley in her attempt to beat 4 hours, something I’m sure they’ll all do easily. To my fellow COLTs and Pirates, and the members of a certain hotel tri club have a blast.
Oh yeah wish me luck.