Well I missed two complete weeks of training, and one of them I was off work as my chest infection really knocked me for six. It was so frustrating as things were starting to go well but I think I approached the ‘enforced rest’ with a new level of maturity, I kept thinking about long-term goals over short-term gratification. Triathletes can be their own worst enemy sometimes, and I have been more guilty of this than most, we constantly push ourselves, even when we are broken. Why? Do our lives depend on that 45 minute run? Will our family not eat this week if I don’t go out for an hour on the bike? I guess we love that feeling of “being out on the road”, we crave it, we savour it and when we can’t do it we want it SO MUCH MORE!! But half the time that niggle, or that cough escalates because we pushed further and faster when really we should have been taking it easy or resting. Niggles become injuries, coughs become hospital visits, we have to listen to our bodies, know when we should hold back and when we should seek help. In the past when I haven’t trained due to injury I get quite difficult to be around, snappy, irritable, miserable etc….didn’t happen this time. Not once did Em and I clash because of my lack of endorphins, I was calm and I was focussed. What’s 2 weeks gone, early in the plan when I now have 20 weeks to go? Stress wasn’t going to help my chest, relaxing would.
All that said it felt great last week to finally get out training and you know what I didn’t jump in with both feet, I took it easy. A couple of turbo sessions, a coached swim session ( fine with the endurance stuff, died quickly with the 25m sprints ) and 4 runs of no more than 3 miles all at what felt a comfortable pace of 8.20-8.30 minute miling. Again the panic button wasn’t pressed, too much too soon would have hindered me rather than helped me. I am however picking things back up this week and getting back on my structured plan, I feel strong in myself but I imagine I will only be firing at about 75% whilst my body readies itself to become an endurance vessel again.
I topped off a good week with a great weekend at the Bike and Triathlon show in Manchester. I’d been invited along to come and give a talk about my Ironman journey. I jumped at the chance because the thing that I love the most about being an author is having the opportunity to speak about my love of triathlon and ironman, and hopefully pass on some of my enthusiasm to those listening. So I’m always quite happy to go and give talks for clubs, organisations etc…
The other good thing about it is that it allows me to meet and talk to so many wonderful people, each with their own fascinating story, some just starting and it’s “All your fault Holgs” and some that have more experience than I’ll ever gain.
I was helped out by two COLT colleagues Chris Lawson and Chris Wild, two brilliant blokes who have played a big role in my Ironman journey, and they too had great fun chatting to people on the stall that I’d been given. I must have signed nearly 150 books over the weekend, and I was so busy chatting on Saturday that I didn’t manage to grab a sandwich until late afternoon. It was manic, very tiring but so much fun.
The talks on both days seemed to go well, I wasn’t jeered off by the crowd and the theatre was packed with the 100 seats taken and plenty of people stood at the back and sides. I’ll admit to being a little nervous stood there waiting to start, staring at all those expectant faces all waiting for me, I looked at my feet quiet a lot in those moments. I could have been in a wetsuit on the side of a lake about to start a 140.6 mile race….it was that sort of feeling.
But once I started, I relaxed, got into the flow of things and told stories of alligators, broken saddles, lanza, falling off my bike and just how far in Ironman is in ‘real world’ terms ( that always goes down well ) . Basically I just waffled on, a live blog so to speak. So if you did listen, THANKS SO MUCH, I really appreciate it.
So there you have it, I’m available for after dinner speaking, or as a cure for insomnia……waffle waffle.