Monday, May 25, 2009


My name is Jevon O'Neill and I am a Quitter...

Never thought I'd say those words but I'm glad I've had cause to.

Puzzled? Don't be. I'll explain.

I've always led my life by Churchill's famous phrase (seen in today's pic). I may not be the fastest or the most talented at whatever I choose to do but I'll always pursue it relentlessly until I achieve any goal that I might have set myself. The knowledge that, along the way, one can quit just doesn't stack up for me... I need to know that whatever is coming I have to go through with it otherwise I might end up well, quitting.

I'd had a decent week's training last week with a long wednesday ride and run with Graham. It was a really good session from Coach K - a 51 mile bike ride that included 15 miles high cadence work and another 3 x 5 miles at 10 mile TT (ie flat out) pace. Following the ride, we ran three miles off the bike.

And my back was knackered.

Frankly I was gutted. I'd hoped it was healing and there I was in pain, running three miles. Imagine what it would be like trying to do an Ironman in less than six weeks!!

I needed a plan. And fast.

So I got straight onto my Ironman mate and sports masseur and injury specialist Dave Harvey. He came round on Thursday and worked my glutes and back really hard. But it was pretty obvious that I couldn't fulfil my only pre Ironman race of the season - The Beaver Half Ironman distance race - that I was scheduled to do that Saturday. After consulting Coach K and Boothy I decided to complete the swim, bike and 15 minutes of the run. Boothy warned me that quitting would be difficult in the race and to make sure that no matter how good I felt I was to stop otherwise I risked injuring my back further.

From Thursday I worked religiously to free up the back using stretches, ice, heat and the ultimate in self inflicted pain - rolling around on a tennis ball which digs into your glute and back muscles as you move - try it, you'll see what I mean.

Come saturday I was feeling better and had half a mind to see how I went in the run, possibly doing the whole event. Especially when I swam strong, and biked hard becoming the first from my wave (over 40's and females) into T2. But I'd set out my stall and, sure enough, after 15 minutes of the run, much to the amazement of my fellow competitors at that point, I simply turned around and jogged back to Transition, picked up my bike and headed home.

I immediately knew it had been the right decision. There are no prizes (in my book) for a good Half Ironman race when my only focus is on July 5th. I'd had a terrific morning's training including a competition swim, T1, 52 mile bike, T2 followed by a couple of miles running and my back was feeling pretty good.

The last couple of days have seen further improvements with me getting back to running proper (a little ring rusty am I in that respect, not having run freely for a few weeks now) and I now intend to build the distancess up again.

So... I'm proud - in this instance - to say that I'm a quitter.

From now on I'm getting up half an hour earlier than normal and I'll be doing my stretching and ball work to improve my back. I'm also including core work as the back heals. Even on its own this will represent two and a half hours a week at least of extra flexibility and core work. I'm convinced it will have a beneficial effect.

Training last week was:

Monday 1 hour bike recovery, 45 mins pool swim drills
Tuesday 2km open water swim, 10 mins jog after swim
Weds 51 mile bike ride, Back2back 3 mile run
Thursday Rest day
Friday Easy 60 min bike
Saturday 34 min swim, 2 hrs 33 bike, 15 mins run
Sunday 50 min recovery bike, 25 min easy run

Total training time 12.11 hours


Stretching, treatments, muscle work - 2 hours

So... news this week - well, it's dominated by Ironman Lanzarote. Congratulations to Tom, Helen, Iain, Gabriel, Ben G, Sam and Paul who all had great races in this toughest of Ironman events.

Congratulations to Colin who put another solid performance in at the Big Cow sprint on Sunday (alongside a fantastic piece of bike marshaling from myself)

Congratulations also to my Dad who once again won the National Barbershop Singing Championships with his Cottontown Chorus from Bolton.

Congratulations also, to both my girls who continue to revise for upcoming exams and have learned from their Dad never ever to quit (don't tell them about this week).

Congratulations, finally, to Fiona who, as I was rolling around on my tennis ball telling her I'd discovered a type of pain that she couldn't possibly understand, produced the one-word put down of the week by looking me squarely in the eye and saying:


Have a great week. Train hard and smart.


Colin Bradley said...

Great retort, Fiona!

Well done on quitting on the run - you know it makes sense.


H said...

You're definitely training smart Sir Jev, well done for having the discipline to run 15mins off the bike in the race :) Muchos respectos. Hope the back is on the mend, we're handing the Ironman baton over to you now, time for you to take the stand (even if we do race on the same day) we'll still be with you every step, I'll be trying to stay in control of my bodily functions (have you got a cure for that per chance?!) and remembering how strong you were running in Austria last year. Love to the girls and Fiona... xxx

Tom said...

Hi mate,

Don't even think that what you did was quitting... as far as I am aware your goal is IMDE09 and as far as I can see you are still on the start list. Last year in the build up to Germany I did a sprint tri at Ironman heart rate... but would certainly consider that as 'giving it everything' as my goal was two give it everything two weeks later and in order to do that I had to hold back in the sprint.

Secondly, thanks for all your support this year... hopefully we might hook up for one more ling ride before racing to glory on the 12th?



Tom said...

I meant 'long' ;)