After all the build up with my training and the weather putting paid to my bid to conquer the Fan Dance, I almost slipped into a state of apathy, not deliberately, but because, all of sudden priorities changed. Two weeks before the Fan Dance Caroline and I found out we were pregnant, which for us was a bit of a miracle, we'd been trying for a long time and literally found out the day before we were due to be referred for treatment.
From that moment, everything changed, and if truth be told it was the major pull in the decision not to chance travelling to the Fan in the first place, I couldn't get to Brecon without putting Caroline through unneccesary worry, it wasn't fair. So as much as I wanted to chance it and have a go at the challenge I'd been gearing up for, I had to behave like the husband she needed me to be and deserved. I was hugely gutted as I've already documented, but it was the right thing to do, the moment I saw those two lines crossed on that stick, her welfare and that of our baby, became my No.1 priority. Besides.........the Fan's not going anywhere, and I will conquer it, and July isn't too long to wait!
Then came our Honeymoon, the best part of a fortnight, doing nothing but eating and drinking in the Maldives. On the second morning, I tried some phys. I ran around the island we were on, including to the very tip of the sand bank that stretched for about a mile beyond it. However, for about four days, I was then nursing the worst chaffing I'd ever experienced, my only salvation was a pot of Vaseline 'Aloe Vera' lip balm! It wasn't pleasant, so other than a few early morning circuits on the deck of our water villa, the phys took a back seat.
Once we were home, Caz being pregnant, once again became our focus, for the time we were in the Maldives, we almost forgot she was pregnant, but once we returned, she had the first check up with the midwife and our 12 week scan. Once again training took a back seat, and all the while on the horizon loomed The Paras'10 at Aldershot........it wasn't really until the last week before the event that I managed to get any real solid training in and in truth I knew I was pushing my luck. I can't make excuses, my prep for the event was poor, but maybe just maybe, I had mitigating circumstances.
I always said that I expected 'The Shot' to be the most difficult track of the three and so it proved to be. I wasn't comfortable when I kitted up, I'd put on a few pounds since prep for the Fan Dance, and in the back of my mind I knew I hadn't been committed enough to the training to ensure I was in the best shape I could be, to make the event that little bit easier. It was a day for digging in and not giving up, especially when you looked up at two miles to see the hill ahead of you, luckily digging in is something I'm used to doing and giving up is something I'm not in the habit of accepting. The event seemed to combine everything that was difficult about Colly and horrible about Catterick, creating a very hideous Aldershot. So I'll take a certain amount of pride from it, I know I didn't perform as well as I could have done, had I prepared well enough, but I know damn well, that on a track that will become the measure of the events in the years to come, I left nothing behind on the day. So although I may still not be happy with my time, I achieved the goal of completing it. That's all three done, Catterick in 2:07, Colly in 1:58 and Aldershot in 2:12, my first goal achieved, goals that have been achieved with tremendous help from wonderful friends and new friends I've made along the way, the support of my incredible wife, the knowledge that I'm soon to become a father, and the inspiration I'll always carry with me, my best friend, my brother.
For you little brother. You may be beyond the glimmering sea but my heart walks with you, my inspiration, my hero always xxx