Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Plot Point...

I’ve started up a film society at home. On an occasional basis I’ll get together with a group of mates and we’ll watch a movie in the cinema, discussing it afterwards – all washed down by a few ales and buckets of popcorn, of course. Sounds most un-Ironman like I know, but there were five of us present on Friday night and we had eight Ironmen between us – so I guess we’re allowed a night off once in a while!

Anyway, our film on Friday was ‘CIDADE DE DEUS’ (CITY OF GOD), the brilliant Brazilian gangster movie. It’s labyrinthine script gave rise to my explaining to the boys that every film is made up of three acts, essentially a beginning, a middle and an end and that to change acts, a ‘plot point’ must occur.

What is a plot point, do I hear you say? Well, put simply, a plot point is an action or event which turns the current action on its head and propels the action into the next phase.

Here’s an example. A kld called Peter Parker is a bit of a nerd. Picked on at school etc. We see all of this – him being bullied, him being shy, him going un-noticed by girls etc. Then… whaddya know… Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider. Wham. Plot point one. And, Act One of Peter Parker becomes Act Two of Spiderman.

Interesting, huh?

Anyway, this week I had a BIG DAY. Many of you will have followed the link on the right of this page - or just click here - to Tom and Helen's Ironman Blog (and if you haven’t you should). T and H are going at it big time in an event to qualify for the Ironman world champs in Hawaii at the end of the year. This necessitates being a serious athlete and these guys don’t disappoint. Tom did sub 10 hours at Switzerland Ironman last year and is looking to go sub 9:30 at Germany this year, whilst Helen is looking to go sub 10:30 at the same event. We’ve kept in touch since meeting at Ironman Austria last year and they invited me up to their home in Leeds for a training day.

As it happens we didn’t stay at home for any length of time!

The day began with me rising at 4.30 am and driving up to Leeds, meeting T and H at their gym before 0800. We swam 5.35 km (214 lenghts of the 25m pool) at a steady pace in 1 hour 45 minutes. From there we drove back home and got onto the bikes where we cycled into the hilly Yorkshire Dales for a 48 mile ride, stopping off at Betty’s Tearooms in Ilkley for a legendary Fat Rascal scone.

Once back at the house (or rather the garage which had been converted to Transition) we slipped on our running shoes and took off to run the Leeds half marathon route, coming home in 1 hour 50 mins – a strong pace considering what we’d already done and the heat of the day. A brief respite for some much needed food and we packed the bikes into the cars and drove to the Pool 20km bike Time Trial where – amazingly there was a little something left in the legs.

Bed at 2200 and the next thing I know the alarm is going off at 0500. We’re in the pool by 0600 doing a series of swimming sprints for an hour, followed by a weights session for another hour. They left me bloodied and beaten in the café (this week’s photo), wandering off and talking of doing a 100 mile bike ride the next day…

In all seriousness it was a fantastic 24 hours, part of my plan to occasionally surround myself with better athletes to take myself out of any comfort zone I may be slipping into. I felt I turned a corner with Tom and Helen and, in some small way, may well look back at that day as one of my own personal ‘plot points’ that has taken my training to a new stage.

Thanks for a great time and wonderful hospitality guys. I’m looking forward to hosting you here in the summer and I’ve NO DOUBTS that you’re going to go large in Germany.

So, without further ado… let’s begin Act Three of this blog – the summary:

Monday – 53 mile bike ride at 18.8 mph average including Dunstable Downs and Bison Hills. 2 hrs 45 mins.

Tuesday – 55 minutes swimming

Wednesday – 1 hr 45 mins, 5.35km swim, 48 mile bike easy bike ride, 3 hrs 20 mins, 13.1 mile run, 1 hour 50 mins, 20km Bike Time Trial, 40 mins including warm ups and downs.

Thursday – 60 minutes swim sprint set. 60 minutes weights session.

Friday – 60 minutes recovery bike

Saturday – 45 minutes tempo 5.6 mile run

Sunday – Complete Rest Day

Total training this week 15 hours.

Last week’s film quote was:

"Dozens of people spontaneously combust each year. It's just not really widely reported."

And was spoken by David St Hubbins from Rob Reiner’s THIS IS SPINAL TAP.

Answers in the comments box to this (easy) one please:

“They're not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they're destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? - - Carpe - - hear it? - - Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.”

And finally – a word for my coach, Mark Kleanthous, who gave me a mild bollocking following my 24 hour training frenzy in Leeds. Mark, you’re playing a blinder this year. I feel terrific and it’s down to your sessions. I’m looking forward to this next month of key sessions you’ve given me.

For anyone who hasn’t visited Mark’s site, do so… NOW…. Just click here.

Enjoy the sunshine, everyone.

1 comment:

Tom said...


It was great to spend the day training with you... as we wound our way through the beautiful Yorskhire Dales under the red hot sun I was reminded why we do what we do.

As Ironman athletes we achieve great things on an almost daily basis, the actual race is just the finishing touch. To be able to spend so much time in a single day in such amazing surroundings whilst sharing that achievment with others I consider myself truly blessed!

Speak soon,