Last week I entered the Barcelona Ironman and started this blog. I was all-guns blazing, ready to take on the challenge of training for the event of a lifetime. By the middle of the week, I was grinding to a halt, as a change of season cold got the better of me, by Saturday I felt awful. As reported I did the cross country and ran a very slow race, but I did it, and by Sunday the cold was leaving me and I managed an easy eight-mile run around Ealing, close to my sister’s house.
One of the things I love about running is that you will always learn something new about your surroundings by simply putting on a pair of trainers. On Sunday I ran to Elthorne Park and along the canal near my sister’s house in Ealing, West London. I love the fact that London has pockets of greenery and water everywhere. I ran past Hanwell asylum – a great location, but I can’t imagine it was much fun being locked away behind it’s solid Victorian walls.
A new week kicked off with the Monday evening session at Brighton Arena 80, 7 x 900M with , my kind of session. Having not done a weekend long run (for the first time in five weeks) and not really pushed too hard at the weekend, and finally free of that ill feeling, I felt good. The session was planned so each 300M got progressively faster. As someone who starts every race and speed session like a hare out of a trap, it was good to practice pacing. I did the first couple of reps a little quick (3.45), then for the next three reps I tried to hang on with my group (around 3.50), after five, I held back and joined a runner in the group just behind.
I’ve also put together a 12-week plan for the first quarter of IM training. Doing this reminds me how quickly the time is going to go! It takes me up to the end of the first week of January.
I love writing plans (and have spent most of the last 20 years planning a schedule for me, or for someone else). I’ve still got some plans to do, such as training holidays! But for now the plans are written, the goals have been set and it’s a case of just doing it. All the excitement, the thoughts of travelling to Spain, and getting the ironman tattoo help to give the thing momementum.
Then comes the doing. The doing can be a bit boring at times – and can often I’m left questioning the why? It takes discipline to get out of bed an hour earlier on a winter’s day to run in the rain, to leave a warm cosy house at 730pm for swimming drills, to head up to the Downs on a Sunday morning to run in the wind and cold for three hours, or to try to work out a good course for a long bike ride. This is when I have to stop my over-active mind, don’t question it, and don’t ask myself why and I have to simply just do it!