The recent silence on the blogging front is probably due to one thing – training…Well the combination of work, training and complete lack of time generally. So with 8 weeks to go would I recommend this whole process again? What are the benefits of bascially dedicating one part of your life to a fairly solitary existence? After all all of the disciplines are individual. Yes you can train with others but…well lets just say there is more banter in a goldfish bowl…
On reflection, this has been double edged, solitary, a bit selfish yes, but it does show what you can achieve if you focus and are disciplined. There have been sacrifices, the odd trip to the pub and the weekend lie in are luxuries that I dream of. Indeed, when I am out on parole after August, maybe these small luxuries will be returned, or maybe I will become addicted to training, lose all of my marbles, relationships and end up an Ironman bore…(some might say this happened), although fortunately the relationship is still going strong.
What have I learnt? Well, on a serious note, its pretty amazing what you can do when have focus, a clear goal and a bit of determination. I am probably as fit or fitter than when I was professional tennis coach, 20 odd years ago. It has been an exhilarating, exhausting but ultimately satisfying experience. Sleep is now my friend. No night awake worrying about work, kids money – too exhausted. Sleep overcomes all, as soon as your head hits that pillow.
On a lighter note, the ironman is a financial drain like no other. The marketing machine is slick, like a drug dealer selling heroin. The more you have the more you crave. Equipment, merchandise, anything. I am sure that if branded hair bands were marketed as something that makes female athletes go faster, they would sell like hotcakes, at exorbitant margins. Us athletes are willing prey…. In fact I think becoming a heroin addict might be cheaper 😉 This is a joke for any one worried about my mental state.
As the autumn beckons, I dream of the weekend lie in. No more 6am bike rides (well there might be some) but maybe not 6am. The question is what will take the place of this relentless schedule of training. Well, I do hope that I will continue some focus towards training, as I do feel better than ever. However, this is a fairly solitary and selfish discipline. Some attention will go back to those who have supported this endeavour.
A little more social interaction will be welcome. Whilst cycling with others or running is ok. The banter isn’t exactly mustard. There is only so much interest I can take in your resting heart rate or what your cadence is (yawn). I even bore myself sometimes.
In all would I recommend this to someone else. Of course, but given that I am not an elite or professional athlete, don’t take it too seriously or it could absorb your life… And by the way your friends and family aren’t necessarily as interested in split times, VO2 max or in fact anything else to do with your training. Treat these people well….
While you are here. I am doing to raise money for this fantastic charity.. Thanks for reading.