Monday, March 16, 2009
That was the week that was...
Frankly, weeks like this don't come along that often. I'm referring to sport as it was a remarkably unremarkable week in all other respects.
On Tuesday I took my dad to Anfield to see my Mighty Reds play Real Madrid, the most successful club in European history and - along with Manchester United - one of the two 'biggest' clubs in the world. Liverpool were fantastic, going at them from the first whistle and - ninety breathless minutes later - emerged 4-0 winners. Anfield was at its raucous and intimidating best and we both had a night to remember.
So, I wasn't holding out much hope when Liverpool played Man Utd at Old Trafford on Saturday. But, once again, we came up trumps, thrashing the phoney reds by four glorious goals to one. Needless to say, I've been inundated with mails from all my Man U supporting friends... NOT !!! I know several of you 'lurk' and read the blog (Mick in China, Roger in Kuala Lumpur...) so allow me at least a moment of triumph.
There, that's it... moment gone.
I figure lightning wouldn't strike three times when England played France on Sunday but ... bloody hell... come half time, we were 29 - 0 up and the game was won. A much improved England performance too, boding well for my trip to Twickenham on Saturday to see the England v Scotland game. I'll report back on that one.
Another revelation this week on the training front. I think I might be human after all. The weekend saw me... wait for it... tired and heavy legged. I think, simply put, that my efforts to overcome the effects of my recent operation have finally caught up with me. I rode a 55 mile bike on Saturday and felt like I was carrying a sack of coal on my back. Sunday's 30 miler wasn't much better. But I rested well and listened to my coach this morning and today's 30 mile bike ride was much better, just spinning in the small ring for an 18.3 mph average and very low heart rate. Top man, Coach K... maybe I should listen to him more often!
The week saw me working away in Manchester, producing a set of commercials for Unibond. My training is done on the fly with me running from wherever I'm staying and swimming wherever I can find a pool. On one evening I stayed with my parents and used their local village pool, a small 20 metre swimming facility full of gently breast stroking ladies (you know what I mean). Needless to say I was soon crashing up and down in full Ironman mode, swim hat and goggles giving me welcome anonymity as I knocked out my 120 lengths.
I was also coming back to running this week so was intent on running gently and getting back into some kind of rhythm.
So, training this week was as follows:
Mon 75 minutes 3.3km endurance swim sets
Tues 45 minutes recovery run, 45 minutes 1.6km swim drills
Weds 40 minutes easy run, 1 hour swim 5 x 400 m sets
Thurs 1 hour 6 x 400 m swim sets
Fri 45 mins easy 10k run
Sat 3 hrs 10 mins, 55 miles bike below 80% heart rate. 17.6mph average and 74% of Max HR average. 20 minute run off the bike at 7:54 min miles
Sun 1 hr 39 mins, 30 miles bike at below 80% of HR. 18mph average and 70% of Max HR. 25 minute run at 7:54 min miling and 78% of HR.
Total training time this week: 12 hours
Swim: 9.3 km
Bike: 85 miles
Run: 23 miles
All in all a good week training considering business took me away. I'm pleased with the 'feel' of my swimming so far although the proof of the pudding will be when I'm in a lake in the wetsuit. My running feels smooth and easy again which is terrific after the operation. The only think slightly down this week is cycling but I can live with that as I've made mucho progresso this year.
Last week's quote was tricky for you. It was uttered by BURT REYNOLDS as LEWIS in DELIVERANCE - a fantastic movie from 1972, directed by John Boorman (father of Charlie, the heir apparent to Michael Palin's 'globetrotting TV nice-guy' crown). The connection was that Reynolds starred in both Boogie Nights, from the previous week, and Deliverance.
So, here's one:
"Do you know why the number two hundred is so vitally descriptive to both you and me? It's your weight and my I.Q."
Come on... you have to get that one.
Any congratulations this week?
Well, to Liverpool, of course. And to me, maybe, for winning a Best Improved Ironman Time award at the annual Team MK awards.
Modesty almost stopped me from mentioning it.