Monday, July 28, 2008

Shin Sprints...

And a fabulously warm and fruity good morning to you all.

Okay. first things first. Who loves this weather? Everything seems so ridiculously enjoyable and easy in this kind of climate, doesn't it? From shopping, to training, to being with the kids... it's all so damned comfortable. If only we could bank on this weather for a guaranteed two to three months of the year...


Anyway, what do I have to share with you this week? Well, firstly I've had a meeting with Coach K and a debrief on Ironman Austria. We agreed that all went well this year and I've asked him to work with me through the winter prior to beginning Ironman training in January. I was so knackered after Ironman last year that I didn't train for a couple of months then, when I did get back to it, I picked up injuries that kept me away from quality work until xmas. This year I'm determined to begin Ironman training from a stronger base. Especially as...

... I've set my target for next year. What are they, do I hear you say? (I know I hear you saying that). Well, thanks for asking. I'll tell you. Next year I'm aiming to finish Ironman Germany in 10 hours 15 minutes or less. That will mark a significant improvement on this year and will require a serious raising of the bar in both training and performance. But I reckon I'm the man for the job and it will keep me honest.

I've been amazed by my recovery and ability to train since Austria. This week I've been training every day, getting back to some serious work with a 1 hour swim session on monday, 1 hour bike on Tuesday, 10k run Wednesday, 10 mile Time Trial on the bike on Thursday, 5k speed run on Friday, 2km swim followed by a 50 mile bike on Saturday and yesterday... my first sprint triathlon.

Well, I tell a lie. It's actually my second sprint triathlon. My first marked my introduction to triathlon a couple of years ago but it went by in such a blur and I've been focussed on the long stuff ever since that I don't really count it. But I digress.

As part of my desire to keep fit during the Ironman off season, I'm not only committed to training but also to doing more events. So I figured I could use a little sharpener on Sunday and signed up for the Bedford Weekender triathlon. An open water swim of 750m, a bike of around 22km (to be confirmed) and a tough 5k off road run. Fiona was a little disheartened by my rising at 4.50 am (by 'rising' I, of course, mean getting out of bed) but I sneaked out and my mate and fellow triathlete Colin Bradley picked me up for the short hop to Bedford.

We racked and raced and enjoyed it. I placed 10th overall out of 116 and 2nd in my age group with splits being - 12.50 for the swim, 1'02 for T1, 41'10 for the bike (including T2) and 19'48" for the run, for a grand time of 1:14:50 finishing in the top 6.9%, comfortably my top finish position in any race. I placed 5th fastest on the bike and was really pleased with the strength in my legs not only so close to Ironman but after the 50 mile bike the previous day. I placed 11th fastest on the run and 17th fastest in the swim which was slowed down by a poor T1.

Afterwards we went country walking (Erin, Alice, Nicky and Mike our Canadian cousins staying with us) and Mike and I went swimming with Alice which I used as a bit of a recovery session. Following that I kicked back - nursed my sore knee (see picture) and enjoyed rather too many beers. A splendid weekend's recreation.

Last week's film quote came from (the over-rated, I think) The Shawshank Redemption, where RED, played by Morgan Freeman, said:

"Let me tell you something my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane."

Try this on for size. It's a quote I've held dear to my heart since reading it in the novel of the same name as the film from which I now take it.

"Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

Who said this? In what film?

Toodle pip to you all...

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