Pride Passion Belief

Three Lions, Four Friends & English football…

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x2 months in… 70.3

Two months into my training and what have I achieved?

December was well…. December. Apart from a couple of large blow outs I largely managed to escape the need to get ferociously drunk at the slightest hint of ‘Christmas drinks’. So although training didn’t exactly get off to a flyer, I did manage a couple of sessions in the pool and was able to pick up the distances on my runs.

Whilst December was all about damage limitation, 2015 started reasonably well – new year, new me and all that. In the first week of Jan I managed a 10 mile run around Ruislip lido that left me hobbling round the office for the next week. Dry January is something that seems to be par for the course nowadays and its a useful mental exercise which helps put you in the right mindset for the year ahead, especially having the commitment to train when its just above zero and pouring with rain.

I have been logging my training sessions on the Garmin Connect website and currently my favorite past-time is opening up the month-to-view calendar and starring aimlessly at the pretty colours which have been filled in as a result of my hard work. It feels good but won’t mean a thing if I don’t complete the event. The good thing about committing to something online is that it is public and very much part of history. Even if I wanted to, there is no way I could back-out in front of my army of 12 WordPress followers.

February Training

My training has stepped up a gear in Feb; I’m swimming 3k instead of 2k at the pool and when the weather warms I am planning to cycle into work more often. I tried out the Olympic pool in Stratford which was awesome. It makes such a massive difference swimming in a 50m pool and it’s almost worth the 3 hour round trip just to admire the lines of Zaha Hadid’s wonderful building.

Olympic Pool

So far so good then, but it’s only four months until July – that’s not very long at all. Had better crack on.

 

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This is Day One

I’m gasping for breath, I’m sweating and I don’t feel well at all… Unfortunately this is not the tail end of a monster training session – I have just walked up three flights of stairs following a fire drill!

I’m not fat but I’m definitely getting a belly because I love eating so much. My body feels weak and lethargic. It’s a challenge to wake up in the morning, especially when it’s dark & cold outside. It’s very difficult to concentrate at work and I need a huge amount caffeine just to keep me awake.

Dodgy Knee

2nd ACL knee reconstruction – big thanks to Dr Houlihan-Burne & the NHS for fixing

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit OTT but it’s definitely about time I pulled my finger out and started to get fit. In defence of my nonathletic state, I have been fairly unlucky with injuries. Until 27 I had never missed a game of football but I have sat out seven out of the eight last [football] seasons with a variety of knocks; x2 ruptured ACLs, a torn medial ligament, torn ankle ligaments, broken toe and torn cartilage. My last operation was in March and last month I could only jog about 2k without my knee swelling up. So…..two weeks ago I got an email about a half-iron man in Marlow and within a few minutes I was all signed-up, paid-up and ready to go:

  • 2km swim
  • 86km bike
  • 21km run (half marathon)

Triathlon has always interested me, ever since those days of Trans-World-Sport on a Saturday morning. I loved that programme, it was one of the only magazine style sports show on terrestrial TV and filled the Saturday morning slot before Gazetta Football Italia and Football Focus. The best part of the show was obviously the world football roundup but I still loved watching the weird and wonderful sports from around the world; beach volleyball, handball, superbikes, kabaddi and of course, the world triathlon series.

The pain starts here – sadly this is only after running about 2k!

Individually I find running, swimming and cycling can bit a bit of a bore… but when you put them together in a race format it all starts to get a bit more exciting. I have completed several sprint triathlons in the past along with various open water swims, half marathons and a full marathon in Barcelona but this should definitely be the toughest challenge yet. July 2015 gives me seven months full training, which isn’t a huge amount of time considering I’m coming from a standing start.

Over the next few months it is my mission to become a sporting nerd – training before work, sticking to a diet plan, discussing various training techniques and equipment at lunch times and logging every last calorie burnt on the Garmin Connect app. Premium strength larger will be replaced with the Evian which I used to put in my iron. From this day forth it will be blood, sweat and gears all the way to the finish line – this is an online commitment which I can’t undo. A half iron man is only half of a dream but for now it’s time to let 70.3 take over.