Tuesday, February 02, 2010
It's a Long Race...
You have to pace yourself, whatever you do. Finishing strong is everything. But you have to remember... and get this because it's really important... in life, the race never finishes. Madness, you say. The boy is spouting gibberish. But it's true.
The more ambitious you are in life, the more targets you set yourself, the more you are in a 'race'. And, having confirmed to yourself that you are the type of person that sets themselves targets and goals, then once these aims are achieved, then new ones will materialise to replace them.
So it's best to treat your aims in life as races. Plan them, train for them and, when the time is right, make your move and finish them ruthlessly. When they're done and you've achieved what you set out to do, pat yourself on the back and set yourself a new goal. You won't expect praise or plaudits because, to you, setting goals is as straightforward a thing as is watching afternoon TV for those who have no ambitions or dreams (or those who are too terrified to try and achieve them).
Remember this too. The race is never against other people. Never ever. It's against yourself. When you set yourself a goal you challenge yourself and nobody else. Too often we hide behind, "I quit because I wasn't first."
When I was a kid I wanted to be a film director. I'm a film director now. A few years ago I wanted to do an Ironman. I'm an Ironman now. I've always wanted to write a novel. I've written a novel now. I want to be a great father. In this arena, I constantly strive to do my best.
My point is this. There are better film directors than me, quicker Ironmen, more accomplished novelists and most probably, better fathers (though I'm not sure how one measures fatherly qualities). But my race has always been with myself. I think of each box ticked as a lap on a never ending track of life. Stamina and pacing are essential in order to keep on running.
And keep on running we must, because it is this that makes us truly alive.
Speaking of running, my achilles flared up following a 13 mile run a couple of weeks ago. Not surprisingly really - I should have worked up to this kind of distance rather than simply go out and run it with a group of mates from Team MK. However, John - my chiropractor and sports injury doc (ex international sprinter) has taken me in hand and I'm seeing a gradual improvement.
My back is improving too, thanks to a core strengthening regime which I'm sure is going to pay dividends over the coming months.
I've been back in the pool the last couple of weeks and can feel myself returning to some kind of form. I'm swimming around 10km a week and focusing on drills and technique, believing that the speed will come once I'm in a lake.
Cycling still feels great. Gabriel and I did a monstrously difficult 86 mile ride a week or so ago in torrential rain. There were moments where we both struggled but I was pleased with my strength and fitness.
Been busy watching movies too. I'm keeping up with my new year's resolution to pay for a cinema ticket at least once every week. The list of movies I've seen is on the right of the blog and there's a link to each of them on IMDB. Highlights this week included seeing a brand new print of EASY RIDER at my local theatre - The Rex In Berkamsted - and being pleasantly surprised by TWILIGHT which I watched with Alice.
So, tortuously, the point of my analogy: Ironman training is once again upon us. I've deliberately kept a low profile throughout January, not starting a programme proper as I know that it's a hell of a long time until July 25th. There are no prizes for being super fit in January, no medals given out for PB's with six months to go before a race. Pacing is everything, just as it is in the Ironman event itself.
This week sees the beginning of my plan proper and I'll be keeping you up to date with the type of thing I've been doing. I may even list a few times and distances! If you feel I'm going off too fast or intense, then by all means point me to this post and remind me that it's a long, long, long race.