Tuesday, 23 April 2013

It seems like an age.......

......since I last wrote.....so maybe a little update of where things are at are in order! It's been a tough month, Lloydy's birthday has just passed and I find the build up and the days after quite difficult to deal with. Again it makes it hit home that time doesn't make things any easier, time just allows you to deal with it better. I know that latter part is true, because on a daily basis I do think about him, but generally now with a smile and a laugh, well after I've finished my normal morning ritual of listening to 'Brothers in Arms' and 'Don't Stop me Now'. I don't do that for morbid reasons, I do it, because it gives me focus, it helps me put the daily grind into perspective, it also enables me to have some time just purely dedicated to him, to think and to help remind me of the person I am, the person my brother believed in. I'm not sure if that sounds pretentious, it's not meant to, but to me, not many things are more important than trying to use my brothers last words to me as the basis of being the best man I can be.  

Training has been hit and miss and as daft as it sounds when it comes to training, the days pass slowly, but the weeks whizz by! I know that's all kinds of illogical, but I guess those that are training for a challenge (or have) will (hopefully) understand what I mean. 5 weeks ago, I sat down over the course of few lunchtimes and wrote out a complete training and nutrition plan to take me up to 'The Fan Dance' on 20th July, which encompassed other events along the way as part of the build up. 'The Fan Dance' is what it's all about for me this year in terms of events, and as it was for the Winter version, that for me didn't happen, my focus is completely on being fit enough to do myself justice and not just struggle round. The first 8 weeks is founded on smashing cardio session after cardio session with body conditioning thrown in. The cardio is a mix of 30min fast pace runs, 45min standard runs, 1hr15min easy runs and interval and fartlek sessions, with some swimming and cycling thrown in. The second 8 weeks of the programme is all about desire and heart, because that's when it gets serious, that's when the boots and bergen go back on, and the weekends are spent up hills, conditioning the legs and the mind for task ahead. The cardio still flows on a daily basis and the conditioning is stepped up. The trouble with being 5'-8" tall and weighing in at 95kg is that, when you throw another 20kg on the back the toughness goes up a notch and the heart has to dig in some more. I'm not adverse to the digging in, to be fair I quite enjoy it, but now as the challenges become more serious I want to not just take part in them, I want to give it my best, to better myself each time I tie those boots up and strap that bergen on. I said that after Aldershot, now that I've completed all three Paras'10's the aim has got to be getting the 1:50 in them all, and then once that's done, to break 1:30, it's a tall fricking order, but hey we've got to have goals. My trouble at the moment, is not so much the motivation, because I have that, but company. I miss having people to train with, I miss the banter, the competition if you will, knowing you have to beast yourself because you know your mate is beasting themselves, it gets lonely out there at times. I need to shift some timber too and I know that once I'm hitting it hard the weight will come off, and I'll be back at a decent fighting weight once more, but at the moment, no matter how much I seem to train, or eat well, I seem to be plateauing, and it's a little demoralising. I need that kick up the arse, that only certain people are capable of giving me, but it'll come. For me, this isn't just a transient journey, it's not a flash in the pan, there's a big picture I'm determined to see through. I've made a lifestyle choice to get back to the man I was pre-30's, except for the obvious aches and pains the 40's bring. So obviously the big picture in part consists of year on year embarking on these events to test everything I have, until I can't physically run any more and I have to start using my eyelids to crawl round! It's important that I use this time time fully, there's a lot of work to do and a lot of years to roll back. I've spent the last two weekends using the hills at Ivinghoe Beacon, which in the next phase of training will form the basis of all my hill work with the bergen on, there's some pretty horrible climbs there that will get the heart pumping and the legs burning. I think at this stage I'm likely to not be ready for 'Old Faithful' which is a disappointment, but as I noted earlier, I have to be realistic, it's not about just getting round, which I know I'm capable of doing, I want to get to the finish and know I gave it all, and not have to crawl across the line. I'm also still slightly gutted I missed out on the ballot for the marathon, because to be honest, had I secured a place, I know I'd be so much further on down the line in terms of fitness, so maybe when the ballot opens on 29th April, we might just be trying again....

....but there's another reason, an even greater event that I need to get back in to decent shape for. Little Rushy arrives soon. It's our 20 week scan tomorrow so in 20 weeks or so when little Rushy arrives I need to be ready, so that Little Rushy can hitch a ride in Daddy's bergen when I go for a run! Ultimately, I guess that's the kick up the arse I need right there. Little Rushy doesn't want a dad that's not able to keep up! So I guess it really is time to stop wasting time and time to man up, dig in and crack on!