Fat Lad Believes!

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.

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9 responses to “Fat Lad Believes!

  1. He once called me a **** so I wouldn’t say he has sound judgement.

    17 stone is a hell of a lot though, hope you get your thyroid sorted soon. In the meantime I guess it would be rude not to ask how you climb?

    I am currently the owner of a Ford Focus 1.8 (if you get the reference)

  2. It was probably just another term of endearment Argie.

    Climbing -slow and steady.

    Nice engine

    Some of the fast Ironmen in my club ( all sub 10.30 ) quite fancy doing our own race where they wear backpacks taking them up to my weight and seeing how we all get on pound for pound.
    Would be an interesting morning.

  3. I’ve put on weight through a lack of consistent training over the past 12 months or so and I’m struggling to get started again, but I was considering running with a backpack so that as I lose weight I add it to the backpack and still train at the higher weight.

    Not sure that I’ll lose enough to get me under 2 hours at a half marathon in May though.

  4. Sounds a good plan David, because then technically when you take the backpack off you should much lighter and therefore quicker.

    Good luck for the half marathon in May.

  5. He’s not an ironman (branded or non branded) therefore what he says doesn’t count compliment or not 😛
    Only joking… sounds like you are raring to blast into the new season

  6. I’ve struggled with an underactive thyroid for several years now, although luckily medication seems to have it under control at the moment, so I sympathise and I hope it gets sorted and stays sorted sooner rather than later! My favourite comment I’ve received since I started running has been “How can you run so much and still look so (cough) normal?”!

  7. Thanks girlyrunner, I just find it very frustrating because there appears to be no reason or trigger to it all. Glad yours is under control, long may it continue.
    I quite often get “You don’t look like a triathlete!” as they look me up and down.
    Nowt stranger than folk eh?

  8. Good luck with the weight Andy, I know how n and you if there was any justice you’d be the veritable ‘racing snake’, On the other hand I’m just big boned and like my food!

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