Monday, November 24, 2008
No Pain No Gain...
A few things have happened this week that have re-confirmed the belief I have in this oft-quoted mantra. To be honest, it's been a part of my life since I've been young. I've always known that to go the extra yard, to get one up on the opposition, to get what you want in life... well, that stuff doesn't come free does it.
It takes effort and sweat and toil and tears.
Sometimes physical, sometimes metaphorical but always pain.
I was most minded of it on Saturday when I left Twickenham having seen a ruthlessly efficient South Africa dismantle a, frankly, extremely poor England side. I remembered not so many years ago going to the same stadium and seeing England beat South Africa by fifty points. Now the tables were turned. I remembered that the England side which won the world cup had to go through years of building, enduring numerous setbacks along the way, losing several Grand Slam deciders to weaker teams and more than once being accused of 'choking'. They took their medicine, suffered their pain and emerged from the furnace (if you'll allow me to mix my metaphors) forged into world champions.
No pain no gain.
Colin - my good mate and tri buddy - had a bit of good news recently. His son Adam passed his eleven plus. Big moment for the boy. But I happen to know that it didn't come easy for Adam. It wasn't just show up and collect the cash. He had to work hard. He practiced and practiced and practiced until answering those questions was second nature. And you know what... come the day of the examination, he wasn't found wanting.
No pain no gain.
The sudden downturn in the weather and our speedy slide into winter has reminded me of my mate Tom's saying that 'Ironmen are made in Winter'. I took those words to heart last year and those freezing cold mornings on the bike, literally crying in pain as the biting wind attacked my fingers and toes, were all worth it come July when I sailed to a PB by over half an hour in the Ironman bike leg. This year I'll be doing much the same and, in a strange way, because the notion of embracing pain and/or difficulty has been something that's been with me for as long as I can remember... I'm kind of looking forward to it.
No pain no gain.
That said, I've signed up for the Team MK warm weather training camp in Rimini, Italy for a week at the end of April. The guys at the club swear by it as fantastic preparation for the Ironman season and I hope that this year it will give my training an extra boost.
What's been occurring this week? Well, the weekend was dented by Twickers but I put in a solid week prior to that...
Monday 17 miles long run at 2 hrs 9 mins (just over 7'30" per mile)
Tuesday Deep sports massage by Dave
Weds 2 hour fixed wheel ride with Graham Mackie from Team MK
Thursday 10k easy run, 1 hour 15 mins swim session with Team MK
Friday 1 hour 15 mins easy 8 mile x country run
Saturday Too much ale
Sunday 45 mins swim drills with paddles and floats
The Luton marathon is in less than two weeks. I'm not quite sure how I'll taper, only that my distances have to come down. I'm approaching it as a training run that has been in the diary purely to 'keep me honest' and know enough about my training and the course to tell you that the weather and my standard of long distance fitness would make anywhere between 3:30 and 3:40 an extremely good race. Still, it's had the effect of giving me a focus for the latter part of the 'off season' and keeping my weight at or just below 14st 7lb (I think that's around 92kg).
Last week's film quote was pretty tricky. It was spoken by WALTER 'THE PAINLESS POLE' WALDOWSKI (played by JOHN SCHUCK) in the movie M*A*S*H and it was notable as being the first time that the word 'fuck' had been uttered in a Hollywood studio picture. Robert Altman was a revolutionary director and this movie also marked the first time that any degree of overlapping dialogue had been used in a movie. Strange to imagine now but audiences were bewildered by the complexity of hearing people speaking at the same time, whereas now we buy into that completely and call it 'realism'.
Speaking of pain... here's this week's:
"Somebody's shoved a red-hot poker up our ass, and I want to know whose name is on the handle!"
Go on... rack your brains. You've seen this movie. And if you haven't... well, you should have.
Have a painful week my friends...