Monday, March 08, 2010
A grown man...
I stayed at a hotel that allowed me membership of the local Virgin gym, so took full advantage of their facilities to stay on top of training. But my back and, in particular, my glutes were giving me all sorts of gyp. So I popped down to the Arndale Centre and bought a hockey training ball for £ 1.99.
That's bloody cheap.
It's some kind of moulded resin material that stinks to high heaven. But all I knew was it was hard and that rolling around on a tennis ball, whilst moderately painful, had not solved my glutes problem.
And so it was that I found myself rolling around the floor of my 'junior suite' with a rock hard boulder of a ball beneath me. I combined the session with a core work out and so began to work up a healthy sheen of sweat. Now let me tell you, they may hoover those carpets every day, but when you're rolling around on them in your birthday suit you soon realise that there is a lifetime of other people's grime and dust lurking beneath the deceptively clean and luxurious looking shag pile.
Kind of nylony they are too, so I'm sure that were it not for said sweat layer, the static electricity would have caused me to spontaneously combust and burn my way through the floor like some kind China Syndrome meltdown.
Anyway, whilst all these thoughts were floating through my head in a desparate attempt to hold the agonising pain of the hockey ball at bay, another popped into my brain.
What the hell was I doing?
Whilst other businessmen were enjoying a glass of wine and a meal in the restaurant, I was grinding it out on this man made bed of dust, sweating and grunting in pain, before munching down a fruit salad from my fridge and getting an early night prior to the morning's 8 mile run. What kind of life is that for a boy?
For a moment I began to think the allure of Ironman might be wearing off.
This season seems to be more of an effort to keep to the levels of training I set myself to remain competitive. I don't know why this is; maybe it's familiarity with the sport breeding something of a little contempt? Whatever it is, I've lacked the vim and vigour of previous years.
That said, I'm doing things differently this year. I have no coach and I've deliberartely delayed the onset of training in an attempt to peak in late July rather than peaking in early June as I feel I've been doing in recent years. I still think this is the right strategy but it does leave one feeling a little 'rudderless' in these early stages. This, combined with my virus (from which I'm only recently recovered) I think has served to make things feel a little strange this time around.
But, things are changing. The sun is back in the sky, I feel like I'm recovering my energy reserves lost to the virus and, most importantly, for the first time in many months I seem to be running injury free. The last item is key, as running has always been a strength. My calf tear and achilles injury have served to leave me very short on run practice though and I've really not done that much since September time.
All that was put to bed last week though when, in true stupid-Jevon style I launched myself into a ridiculously demanding run schedule for someone returning from injury. I ran 6 miles on Monday, 8 miles on Wednesday, 8 miles on Thursday, 15 miles on Saturday and 2.5 miles on Sunday. Looking back on it - that was pretty stupid. If Coach K had been with me he'd have insisted I'd have run nothing like that and he would have been right. However, I seem to have got away with it.
The running was at the expense of the biking this week where I managed only one long-ish ride of 63 miles. But seeing I was away and that I'd ridden long and hard the previous week I'm not too concerned about that. My bike form is solid if not spectacular but I can't help thinking that things will become clearer when I get off my heavy winter bike with its slow wheels. I'll have a clearer idea of where I stand come May-time.
But I've been putting in the hours, with 28.5 hours training over the last couple of weeks.
I've been keeping up my cinema going and am back on track with my new year resolution to see a cinema film every week this year. Recent viewings have included FROM PARIS WITH LOVE, CRAZY HEART and SOLOMON KANE. Friday night saw a screening of THE HURT LOCKER at our Old Thatch Cinema Society. Pick of the bunch for me was CRAZY HEART, with Jeff Bridges' performance being a stand out.
I finally heard back from my agent about my book. The first literary agent he sent it too 'passed' on it (meaning they feel it's not for them) which, to be honest, is disappointing but not surprising. There isn't a writer alive who hasn't been 'passed' on, so it goes with the landscape. We move onwards and upwards and will send it out to another. If I get similar notes from this literary agent I'll take a look at the writing again.
Work is busy. So that's always a welcome distraction, even if it does take me away from home and my girls. I miss them a huge amount when I'm away and it's always a delight to be home and sharing the same living space with them (and I include Fiona, my wife, in that of course).
We have a French student, Pauline, staying with us for a week. She's here as part of a student exchange programme and Erin will be going to France in a couple of weeks to stay with her family. Erin has also applied for her school's World Challenge Programme in 2011 which will be a one month trip to Mongolia. It's a fantastic opportunity and we'll hear this week if she's been selected to go (a process of random selection). If so, more about it then.
I've rambled a long time.
Today's photo is my nasally offensive, visually repulsive, nerve shredding hockey ball.
Think of me and wince.