Highs and Lows

Posted on March 25, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Two training blocks of 100% compliance builds a huge amount of confidence and momentum.  Then, overnight, a stark reminder that training confidence is brittle and when it shatters it is an absolute ball ache to pick up the tiny pieces and reconstruct the ironman that you were.


And at 14 weeks out from Ironman Austria, be assured I am picking the pieces up.  ’til the roof comes off, til the lights go out, til my legs give out, ‘TIL THEN I WILL BE ON IT.



So, some GOOD times first…….


BIKE [bicycle geekery klaxon from second paragraph]

Sometimes you have to be a forensic analyst that specialises in finding DNA on microscopic toast crumbs to find a silver lining but, I am that man.  How could an ride aborted at 70k because of a broken spoke be a positive?  Well it can, it’s simple:

Simple reason #1.  It was the first RIDE ever where I finally got it.  It’s maybe to do with power, maybe leg strength, maybe weight and maybe even marginally less lard ass.  But I actually got it.  Normally I go out and grind the gears at 80rpm with my heart rate barely breaking above comatose except on a climb.  I KNOW about higher cadence riding, I do cadence drills on the turbo but as soon as I get out on the road I ride the bike like a CAVEMAN.  That was until last Thursday when I cruised for two hours at 90rpm with my heart rate sitting in a tight little pocket around 75% of maximum.  Who knew I had it in me?

Simple reason #2. I was riding my “glamour route”, I was cruising the hairy, sweaty armpits of southern Scotland dressed in Rapha, like the baroudeur Laird of East Fife.  And I knew that if I stopped the natives would have eaten me alive without removing the lycra or inserting their teeth.  And then “POP”.  For the fourth ride in a row, the ride was cut short by a mechanical – this time a spoke snapped. However, the silver lining was that I was ready and on the road again quickly.  The reason?  I knew I had to learn and last summer I spent a day with Dave Seaman, the bicycle guru and general good guy and learnt ALL (not remotely all) the bike stuff.  Now I am unflappable on the road when something breaks and actually quite enjoy the challenge of getting me and the bike home in one piece.

So far, so biketastic.



SWIM [immediate swim geekery klaxon]

The swim mojo goes from strength to strength.  Witchcraft  is happening.

I am now swimming with 3 stroke bilateral breathing with a nice hip roll; something I have steadfastly resisted for 42 years.  And I am also repeating 10x100m sets on 1:35 with 10 second rest intervals.  Bearing in mind that Project One Hour swim needs a 1:34 pace, we are moving towards a happy place.

Such a happy place, in fact, that I am voluntarily swimming 10k per week.  At this time of the year at my pool, in my lane, something magical happens.  About the time I go swimming a shaft of sunlight pours into the pool at the far end.  When I tumble at that end I often find myself lying on my back, 6 inches under the water, toes on the wall, knees bent poised to push off, eyes closed, just letting the sun soak into my bones for a few moments longer than is truly efficient.  It is a pleasant and timely reminder that the open water season is just round the corner.


All very positive, but in the last few days after two months of brilliant consistency the train has come off the tracks spectacularly.

To cut a long story short, wee Roar woke me up at 1am on Thursday with the projectile voms and since then I have basically been on clingy sick boy watch.  It turns out he has Scarlet Fever.  Whether psychosomatic or not I’ve had a lingering feeling that something unpleasant has been chewing away at my ass and as a consequence I have trained neither long or hard for 5 days while I have eaten and slept badly.  Bizarrely, swimming has been the only thing that I have actually maintained consistency with.  Ironladdy goes back to nursery tomorrow and hopefully a shaken confidence steadies and clicks back into place.  I am not ready, BUT I AM READY.

And that is all I have to say today.


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