Monday, June 16, 2008

Egg Cracking...

They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I'm not the most decrepit pooch in town but I've certainly learned a lot this week.

If you know me, you'll acknowledge that I'm not the shy, retiring type. Now, this can be a great benefit in life... fortitude, ploughing on in the face of adversity, a resolute determination to reach one's goals etc, etc. It can also - I acknowledge - be a limitation... I can be stubborn, pig headed and fail to see the advice of others as being in any way anything that might outweigh my own ideas and notions - even though these might be formed with a fraction of the knowledge of the advice given to me by others.

It's this last point which is relevant in this case. My coach Mark K has been trying to hold me back as long as we've been together. Last season - my first in triathlon - he took a large ex-rugby player with dodgy knees and guided him to a 12 hour Ironman. Needless to say, the time would have been sub 12 hours if I'd listened to my coach about transiton speeds and nutrition on the bike.

This year I set him the target of guiding me to a sub 11 time. No easy feat, especially with me taking his coaching plans and regularly going 'off piste'. Oft would be the time I'd crash into an unscheduled long ride or my legendary long training day with Tom and Helen without Mark's knowledge. He'd sigh (I can hear him sighing at his home in Wing, some 12 miles away) and warn me of the dangers of not listening to him.

Well, Mark... I'm listening now. I felt tippety-top at Bala, racing well and finishing with something to spare. Whilst everyone is crashing into their max weeks of training, Mark is holding me back, insisting that I spend no longer than three hours at a time on the bike and that I focus on fitness and quality at the expense of distance. His reasoning: I have the distance in my legs and lungs - it's all been done: now is the time to sharpen up and make every session a focussed piece of training and the best way of doing that is if I'm fresh for every one, rather than being burnt out after a long weekend in the saddle.

I have to say - it's worked well this week. I feel light and refreshed, a week after Bala but was amazed to see I'd completed 15 hours of training.

Monday - Post Bala Rest Day
Tuesday - 45 mins 2km Open Water Swim, 45 mins recovery run, 40 mins recovery bike
Weds - 2 hrs 40 mins easy bike (approx 45 miles) 51 mins run at IM pace
Thurs - 45 mins OWS, 2km
Fri - 75 mins cycling starting with 10 mile Time Trial, 45 mins run at IM pace
Sat - 45 mins 2km OWS, 3 hours bike, 56 miles, 30 mins run at IM pace
Sun - 2 hrs 10 mins 14 mile tough and hilly x country run at steady pace

Total time training this week - 14.85 hours

It's been a good week for learning in other respects too. I've promised to keep you up to date with my writing and it's going well. I'm writing in short bursts, still constructing the bones of the story which, for me, is the hardest part. If I'm blocked, I walk away, or go out training (or visit Tri Talk :)). But whaadyaknow... the story is coming. Evolving. And for a story that is pretty complex I'm pleased with where we're at. Previously I'd be sitting staring at a blank screen but I'm learning that when it comes it comes and when it ain't there... well, it just... ain't... there.

But my greatest new discovery of the week has been the cracked egg. "What the flip ('coz I know you speak like that) is 'the cracked egg'?" - do I hear you mumbling into your early morning lattes?

Well, the cracked egg is a game taught to me by my youngest daughter Alice. It involves sitting on the trampoline and tucking your knees up to your chest, holding onto them with your hands and arms wrapped around. The others bounce on the tramp, sending you into an uncontrollable boinging frenzy which - at some point - results in you having to let go of your legs. At that point, dear reader, your 'egg' is 'cracked'.

Fiona's egg is just about to crack in this pic...

It was the best part of a wonderful Father's Day, proving that the best thing in life really are the simple things.

I, of course, completely forgot to send my own father a card so here's a shameful and belated greeting - Happy Father's Day, Daddy... I love you.

We have a couple of 'well done's' this week but we'll leave them until after the film quote.

Gabriel correctly identified Ferris Bueller as the speaker of these words:

"A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile".

He complained the cryptic clue wasn't cryptic enough. (The Big Wheel Skips School - geddit?)

Let's see how we do with this week's:

"You know we just don't recognize the most significant moments of our lives while they're happening. Back then I thought, well, there'll be other days. I didn't realize that that was the only day".

What film? You want a clue? Okay. Here it is... 'An ambitious crop'

BIG UP'S this week to Tom and Helen (again - this is becoming tiresome :-)). Tom for winning his age group and Helen for coming fourth in hers at the UK Half Ironman (or Ironman 70.3) on Sunday.

To Colin Bradley, my good mate and training companion... who beat me for the first time in a 10 mile TT on Friday with a personal best. Well done mate. Get ready to see much more of my arse in the future :-).

And finally - after a grievous omission last week... great big Kenny Everett sized clapping hands to my mate Jason Bulley. Jason is a Director of Photography with whom I've become great friends. We share a love of endurance sport and yesterday (following a season of marathon running) he completed The Comrades Marathon in South Africa - 55 punishing uphill miles - in 9 hours 52 mins. He's promised a photo so at some point I'll edit the blog and add it in. Well done Jason - great work, great preparation for your Marathon des Sables (though you've got a year more prep to do !!!) and thanks for the photos from Bala - it was great to see you there.

Good luck to Dave and Iain who set off this week for Ironman France.  I'll be following your progress, boys.

Have a good week, lovely people. And if you've got kids... have fun with 'em...


Carl said...

That'll be Field of Dreams then Jev. They're getting easier.

Jevon said...

Quotes or clues? sounds like a challenge either way.

runtilyoudrop said...

I am not sure I like that film. Should I give it another go?

Jevon said...

Well, I would. It's undoubtedly sentimental but I and many others consider it 'a classic'.

H said...

I really enjoyed your post this week J and oddly enough would just love to have a go at "Egg cracking" now that looks like fun, although I'm not sure I wouldn't get a fit of giggles and be completely useless.

I can tell you're in the right place physically & mentally for Austria and good things are going to happen I can feel it in my bones! See you soon, can't wait to meet your clan.

H. x

Jevon said...

Thanks H... I'm gonna make sure Egg Cracking is on the training agenda when you and Tom come down to see us Post IM... I'm thinking of the following format:

Lie in
Light jog
Sunbathe and lunch on the patio
gentle bike
Egg Cracking and assorted garden entertainment
Barbeque, beer, chocolate (take your pick)

Let's fix a date in late July or August.