Monday, March 09, 2009

Say Hello to 'Arps and Arnold...

This is my best mate Keith. Actually, only I call him Keith. And his clients. To everyone else he's known on as 'Arper or variants thereof. So let's call him 'Arps.

We've known each other since we were eleven and have many things to thank each other for but more recently it was 'Arps that started me on my second life in sport. Following a relatively sedentary decade after rugby, I was looking for a new challenge when 'Arps announced he was going to run a marathon. The lure was too great for me and I signed up for the Shakespeare marathon in Stratford upon Avon. It would have been 2004 or 2005... to be honest, I don't really remember. All I do know is that since then we've kept each other up to speed on our pursuits, 'Arps following his running career and I moving into triathlon via Ironman. When we go to see the 'Arps family or the 'Arps family come to see us, we usually run together. When our families holiday together, we take our running shoes.

So it's not been great to witness the injuries that have been plaguing the poor fellah. Planto this and strained that. The lord only knows, it's enough to drive a man to taking the weight of his feet. And, this week, that's exactly what he did. After having me blather on about cycling for the past few years, your friend and mine went out and purchased a shiny new steed - a Ridley to be exact (which is a Belgian variety of two wheeled travel) - with lovely Shimano 105 components and lots of nice carbon bits. He's up and running. Or, more accurately, up and cycling, already. Good luck mate and I can't wait for our first ride together.

The bike, needless to say, is Arnold.

Strangely enough it seems as if the world and his mum are turning to triathlon. Many of my friends in the village are about to dip their toe in the proverbial (and literal) water. Some are doing a relay event at Dorney Lake, another is doing a sprint, another is undertaking a London to Paris bike ride. It's a hotbed of new sporting activity in the sleepy village of Edlesborough - and, if 'Arps is anything to go by, villages and towns all around the country. Long may it continue.

My leg continues with its remarkable recovery. Stiff and sore but no more than that. The scars are pretty much healed and the bruising on the leg has all but disappeared. If you'd have told me that two weeks after a general anaesthetic operation on my right leg I'd have been on a 60 mile, 3000 feet of climb, ride, followed by a two mile run off of the bike, I would have called you a 'flipping fibber' or something very similar.

But you weren't fibbing and I was on that ride. Amongst other things which looked like this:

Monday 70 mins easy 2.8km endurance swim, 30 mins, 3.6 mile easy run (soft ground)
Tuesday 50 mins 14 mile bike including my first Bison Hill this year
Wednesday 3 hrs 45 mins 61.25 mile bike ride, 2 mile run off the bike
Thursday 30 mins easy running, 1 hour Team MK swim set
Friday 1 hour swim drills, 30 mins easy run
Saturday 2 hours 50 mins 50 mile solo bike ride at 18.3 mph avg, 3.16 mile run off the bike at 7:40 miles
Sunday 5.62 mile run (concrete) at 7:30 min miles, 20 mins core and weight training

Total training time this week: 13.72 hours

Swim 6.6 km
Bike 125 miles
Run 21 miles

I'm away on business this week so have some time to regain my running mojo which is returning slowly. I'll need to work on the musculature of my lower right leg but - touch wood - everything seems to be in good shape.

Gabriel - if you're reading this, I have some tightness in what appears to be the tendon on the medial ligament running from groin to knee. I'm assuming this is just a reaction to the disappearance of the vein? Icing and Brufen seem to help. Let me know via the comments if possible.

The rest of you - please forgive the above paragraph... I'm a bit of a tart when it comes to recovery advice.

So... to what else this week? Well, family things first. Erin has chosen her options and will be taking GCSEs in English Language, English Literature, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, French, Drama, History, Business Studies and PSHE (for all you like me out there, that last one is the compulsory Personal, Social and Health Education). We had a great chat with her, reminding her that anything is possible in life, that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to and that there is no pressure right now to decide on what the rest of her life holds. I've always embraced the fact that my chilren grow older. It's pointless doing anything else. Get over the fact that they won't be sitting on your knee forever and help them develop and enjoy their lives as best you can as they move through it. That's my (our) mantra anyway.

Congratulations also to my dad, Michael - a long standing supporter of my Ironman activities and support crew on both so far as well as the upcoming Ironman Germany. He sings with Bolton's Cotton Town Barbershop Chorus; current UK champions and who, at the weekend in Amsterdam, added a European Silver Medal to their haul.

Big up to my training buddy Graham who PB'd his half marathon at the weekend. 96 mins is a great place to be Graham... five minutes faster than last year is some going.

Well done to Tom and H for sailing through another epic trip to Lanzarote and hammering the bike. Looking forward to having you down here for a training day when we can fix it up, guys.

A recommend from this week's movies is JUNO which is a treat - warm, witty and touching with a light touch that leaves you wanting more. Hong Kong's MAD DETECTIVE was disappointing and SHOOTER, with the below mentioned Mark Whalberg, was passable Hollywood fayre.

Speaking of Gabriel (which I was, a couple of paragraphs previously), the languid one correctly identified last week's film quote as being spoken by MARK WAHLBERG as DIRK DIGGLER in BOOGIE KNIGHTS. The link was that both that movie and the previous week's (MAGNOLIA) were directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

What about this?

"Now you listen, Ed. Damn it, we can get out of this thing, without any questions asked. We get connected up with that body, and the law, this thing's gonna be hangin' over us the rest of our lives. We've gotta get rid of that guy."

One thing I can tell you... 'Arps won't get it...


Anonymous said...

'Orrible 'Arper - a vision in lycra! I've emailed mr & mrs 'arps to find out where Arnold's female friend (Arnoldus?) is aka Mrs 'Arps shiny set of new wheels??????

Colin Bradley said...

What's the link between 'Arps and Arnold?

Congrats to O'Neill Senior.

H said...

Hope your marra enjoys learning the highs and lows of cycling, you're dead right triathlon appears to be drawing folk in like zombies :) :)
So pleased the leg hasn't held you back, your training is going great guns.
Tom and I plan to sort out when would be viable to come and play in your neck of the woods, so we'll be in touch soon with some dates, can't wait.
Huge congrats to your pa, it appears the lure of shiny bling runs in your family. And what an exciting time for Erin, the whole world at her feet and incredibly stable and wonderful parents showing her the way :) :) :) xx

'Arps said...

Hi Colin - the missing link is that stalwart of 'Dad's Army', Arnold Ridley, who played Private Godfrey. Jevon and I named him in a 'great minds think alike moment' Strange minds might be more accurate - Jev used to have a car he called 'Maurice' Perhaps you can guess what make it was?