Reset: The October Stoke…

20 10 2012

I would opine I didn’t have a very good season. I had a couple of good results in sprints along the way, but UK70.3 kicked my ass, and the attempt at riding London to Paris <24 hours took over 25 hours. I could blame the weather, in different ways, for both of these but also my heart and my head have not really been in it this season. Read the rest of this entry »


Buying the ticket…

24 03 2012

A friend of mine is a much better cyclist than I am. To be fair, he doesn’t distract himself with things like swimming and running, but his capacity on a bicycle is very, very impressive.

At times I wonder what does he have, that I don’t? What is it that he’s done that’s made the difference? I’ve put it down to many things along the way. He’s lighter than I am. He’s been cycling for longer. He has a nicer bike.

Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Brain…

7 12 2011

Dear Brain,

Please stop being weird.



Or, in more detail…

So after a couple of weeks of feeling pretty miserable about everything I concluded it was time to buck up my ideas. Do something proactive about next year and have some goals; after a conversation with my Mother (hello Mum!) and some consideration I decided to enter IronMan UK 70.3, a half-iron distance race at a place called Wimbleball. I’ve done it three times taking 6:55 (’08), 6:22 (’09) and 5:48 (’10). Last year I took the year off, and I missed the event.

After entering the change in motivation was almost instant! I finally had a goal again, and I got on the training like a tramp on chips. 

Honestly, this is fun - Wimbleball 2010

And this was followed by another slump. I’m not sure what brought this one on, conversation with my coach was that it was just “another one of those weeks” I was very mildly ill, not even worthy of the term Man Flu, but skipped sessions as a result. I have the remainder of this week and next week with some pretty light training, enough to keep me sane and to keep my body moving, then I’ve got two weeks away where I’ll be active every day with skiing and the like, but won’t be training specifically. I’m looking forward to this break, the only focus during this time will be to keep up with the exercises the physio has given me, and see what, if anything, else I fancy doing. 

I’m finally feeling optimistic about next year again, I’m starting to think that training isn’t such a bad thing, I just need to get my body fixed up and go from there. 

Oh yeah, the weird brain thing…

Apart from this up and down changes in feelings about the task ahead, there’s also the dreams! I had an incredibly vivid dream the other morning that I was in the Transition area for IronMan UK, but suddenly I noticed it was all a bit quiet around me. Everyone was already swimming. I got to the water, with my wetsuit on, and I was an hour late for the swim; the commentator looked at me and said “Well, give it a go, jump on in, but I’m not sure I like your chances” and as my face went under the water I woke up. Cut off time’s 2 hours 20 minutes and I swam 1:07 there, so I’d like to think I would have made it. But where did this come from?!? There was a similar story (though only about 10 minutes late) on The Age Grouper Podcast recently, that might be it.

So come on brain; stick with the optimistic outlook on the training, stop having weird dreams, and maybe we can improve on 2010’s 33rd in Age Group next year…

 (Oh, and don’t let me catch you looking at the Ultra trail du Mont Blanc website again, you silly brain!)

I feel lost

21 11 2011
I wrote this a few weeks ago, I was feeling really down about the whole training thing… but it’s improving. I wasn’t going to post this, but felt that I should as the main point of this is a log of what I’ve done, how I’ve felt and all that jazz… I hope to occasionally be helpfull, and so hopefully this will help someone. This loss of training momentum has also been the reason for the loss of postings on here.

I don’t know what to do anymore. I should be training, but I don’t have the motivation and the desire to do it at the moment.

I’m also injured; I have “Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome” which is what I always referred to as Shin Splints in the past.

The following is ridiculously self pitying, but I think to write it down will be quite cathartic. With that in mind, you might not want to bother reading it, and perhaps go to a website dedicated to Halloween costumes for dogs, they’re worrying and amusing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Check this guy out…

20 05 2011

I posted a while ago On Exercise, Illness and Inspiration. I’ve been continuing to check out, a blind runner called Simon who’s going to be running a 100 mile Ultra this summer.

I heartily recommend you bookmark, it’s well worth a regular look; and if you can afford to there’s now the opportunity to support Simon’s attempts to raise money for SightSavers on his Just Giving site.

All the best,


On Exercise, Illness and Inspiration

7 03 2011

Last Thursday I went for my first run in a while; I’d taken some time off as I had been ill, and had concluded it must have been The Plague.

This may seem a bit extreme, but there was logic behind it; I felt really bad, so bad that the first illnesses that came to mind were Ebola, The Black Death, Plague and Man-flu. I quickly discounted Ebola; having not been to Africa and since I wasn’t haemorrhaging, it seemed unlikely. I then remembered that The Black Death and Plague are believed to have both been caused by Yersinia pestis so of the potential illnesses I had 2/3 were caused by Y. pestis and the other was man-flu; this means Plague had a higher probability than man-flu; but you’ll be pleased to know I made it through, what can I say? I’m a survivor!

So following my brief brush with a historically unpleasant illness I was feeling sorry for myself. After a couple of days off training and one bad session, I’d decided not to go for an evening run, then stumbled across this guy’s website.  

Simon is a blind runner, and his page talks of how his guide runner moved away to go to university and how he now runs on a 3 mile stretch aided by an app on his i-Phone. He’s training to run in the Cotswolds 100, a 100 mile road race… and there I was feeling a bit portly and under the weather. 

Did I really have plague? No, I had a cold and was well on the mend; what I needed to do was exercise, because the fresh air… who am I kidding, I live in South East London, it’s not fresh… I needed to do some exercise because the air would clear out my chest and I’d get those endorphins I’d been missing for 4 days now, which was part of why I was grumpy, sitting on the sofa, and had been spectacularly useless & miserable at work. 

I got ready for my run and as I came out from my street and turned right, there was a couple, about 18, shouting at each other; I couldn’t hear what about as I was listening to music, but could hear that it was loud. When I was coming in from my run, 35 minutes and 4.5 miles later, they were still going! Slightly down the road from where they had been when I’d set out but still yelling at each other. The energy involved in their keeping going impressed me, combined with that they’d felt strongly enough about their respective points to keep going for over 35 minutes now. I suspect that while arguing may be hard work, it wouldn’t have had quite the same relaxing effect as a run! I also wondered if they’d been planning what their recovery meal would be; I had planned bean chilli fajita, perhaps this is why they were moving in the direction of Brother’s Kebabs. 

Keeping the motivation going is going to be tough over the next 6.5 months, there’s going to be a lot of training along the way, some good sessions and some bad ones, but I do need to keep focussed on why I’m training, the benefits in how it makes me feel. No matter how tough a session may seem I’m not exercising by shouting, and I’m not running blind, and should always focus on what’s important; after all, we become what we do.


Take care,