I’ve had a really good training week, probably the best for almost a year. I guess not in terms of numbers: time or distance, but just in how I’ve felt. I seem to have a positive glow about me at the moment when I lace up my running shoes or buckle on my bike helmet. I feel like I’m back on the road to Ironman, it will be a long and hard journey until the Summer of 2012 but it is now one that I’m determined to enjoy.
Saturday saw me join Team Thurnham Cycles for a bike ride. Team Thurnham Cycles is the name for Andy Holme and sons, on this occasion Andrew and Gareth. We ended up battling the wind and I completed 35 miles in just over 2 hours. I was hanging on for the last few miles as the brothers hit the front and let their competitive nature took hold as the mph rocketed. I was pleased to have gotten a decent distance into my legs as it was my first time out on the bike this year. I’m joining Andy H for the Jodrell Bank Sportive this Saturday, we’ve entered the 80 mile but given my lack of bike miles and his return from injury I think there will be no shame if end up doing the 50 mile option. Tune in next week to find out how it went.
I also found my way back to the pool for the first time this year. Now I’ve never been a big lover of swimming but I really enjoyed this session. I ended up doing a mile in 40 minutes, nothing fast, nothing clever, just swimming. No pressure. I was just pleased I could remember what to do.
Running wise it’s been going well with distances of 8.5 and 9 miles this week.
Last night’s session ( 9 miles ) with Team COLT was particularly tough, 3 x 0.8 mile efforts off 1 minute recovery. You think I’d learn as it’s me that sets the session. I get home and Em says “How was your run?” to which I reply breathlessly, “Bloody hard work.” She just laughs and says “Idiot! Don’t you decide what you are all doing?” Can’t really respond to that, shrug of the shoulders, a wry smile and a limp to the shower.
I haven’t quite decided yet if my run after work tonight will be a shorter one with racing on Saturday or if it will be a longer slow affair. Will play it by ear and turn right if I feel good and left if I don’t.
Regular readers of my blog, or those that have read my book will know that I’ve always struggled with my weight. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m always going to be a bulldog and not a greyhound. In the past year my weight has crept back up despite training for The Outlaw. Medical tests showed that my thyroid functionality had gone haywire again. The last time it went that bad was over 10 years ago and it was a nightmare. This time I got to see an endocrinologist at the hospital who didn’t just dismiss me as fat and lazy and instead worked out a treatment plan. I’d been taking thyroxine for years and now I’m also taking T3 which seems to be giving me the renewed energy I’ve found of late. It will take a while to get my doses correct, maybe over a year, but so far I’m pleased with the effect it’s having on me.
The weight is starting to drop, I’m still a “Comfy Fat Lad” as one of my much faster and leaner companions told me this week, but I’m working really hard at trying to change that. When I finished the Outlaw in August in 14:17:38, despite a broken bike chain and pain in my back, I weighed 17 stones again. I don’t think I’ve ever written that down as I’m ashamed of that. After the race I agreed to the medical tests and that helped with the embarrassment because it showed that there was a medical reason for the weight gain. BUT think about that race? I still completed an Ironman race in 14:17:38 despite being 17 stones. Not a bad achievement for a “Comfy Fat Lad” ( which coming from who it came from – an international ultra runner and duathlete – I took as a compliment ). SO I am determined that by the time I swim next summer at the start of a very long day, I’ll be race fit and a lot lighter. If I can do that sort of time at that weight, what am I capable of at a decent racing weight? That same athlete also said one word to me this week that I haven’t stopped thinking about : Believe
I believe now, I will go sub 12 next year and nothing is going to stop me.