Let’s try that again!

19 11 2012

Well I have been struggling a lot with motivation for a couple of years now.  I mentioned it at the beginning of 2011 and I’m still very much in that place.  In past two years I can safely say that I have given up running, cycling and Aikido.  For a long time I’d fooled myself into thinking that I was taking a break but no, I’ve given it up.  I’ve found lots of nothing to fill my time with and am making all the excuses I used to make before I started exercising.

I’m now probably bigger than I have ever been.  If you read back at what I’ve achieved over the years this a million miles away from where I was.  Whenever I try to exercise I find it frustrating.  I don’t have the fitness and stamina I had and focus on that.  When I was starting I could see tiny improvements which would spur me on, this doesn’t work for me now.

I’m a true believer in being responsible for yourself and so I’m not going to just sit back and make excuses for myself.  It’s more than time stop giving up and try it again.  It’s clear from my last experiment that I need more than fun to motivate and require more structure.  I’ve entered a pool sprint triathlon and so have a target to aim for.  It should be varied training and so more fun than just one discipline.

For now let’s just see how it goes.  Hopefully this is the first step towards getting me back on track.


Another 30 minutes on the turbo

10 01 2011

Determined to get back into some kind of routine I set up the bike and turbo once again.  Didn’t make a big deal of it – just set up and got going…  a bit of At the Drive-in playing.

I didn’t go hell-for-leather this time, keeping my cadence moderate but steady.  It was a far better experience and the time passed quickly.

30 minutes on the bike

8 01 2011

Trying to continue the routine of exercise, any exercise, just something that my brain doesn’t have an aversion to, I got the turbo trainer and bike out again.  My choice of music this time, everything my way to make things comfortable…  I began to turn the pedals.

There was an instant recognition in my quads from the previous time: a dull ache straight away.  I pushed through and kept the cranks turning feeling my heart rate sky-rocket and my breathing go out of control.  Sweat flowing I looked down at the computer – only 3 minutes in and I felt like I couldn’t continue.  I dropped gear after gear.

I stopped twice momentarily during the 30 minutes and the experience was nasty…  previously I’d felt much better.  Perhaps it was too much too soon.  I was spinning much too fast.  It’s in the past now though.

The Dreaded Turbo Trainer

6 01 2011
Turbo trainer

The dreaded turbo!

I’m doing things a little differently this time around. Previously I’ve been interested in keeping a log of my general progress as well as facts and figures to try to see improvement in distance and / or speed….

After my hiatus my body has changed… I’m now back to where I was when I first started!

Something I didn’t do, when I first started exercising, but wish I had done was measure my body changes. This time around I will do so.

So it begins!

I weighed myself: 14 stone 3 3/4 lbs. (199 3/4 lbs or 90.6kg).
I also measured the widest part of my belly: 41″!!! My jeans are still 34″ – must look lovely :S

I will continue these measurements to see if I’m making improvement. I’d like to get under 13 stone again and have my belly and waist more in alignment!

After much mucking about (an hour – swapping bike wheels, putting my Look Kao’s onto the old bike, etc, etc) I finally got on and the pedals were spinning. I was going to get my phone so I could listen to some music but instead just hit play on the CD in the kitchen stereo…

The pedals began turning and Erasure started playing – not something I’d choose but it passed time for the first 5 minutes. After that all I could do was focus on which minute I was on: 13, 14, 15 – “yes half-way” before counting back down again. The last 5 minutes all I could do to distract myself was to draw each number in my mind each feeling like it was taking longer and longer. 30 minutes never felt so slow – or sweaty.

It’s done. I’ve begun.

Let’s see if I can get my head back in the right place – the only way to achieve.

Finding the fun again

5 01 2011

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Somewhere something in me just changed and running just felt like punishment. 35 miles had felt like such an achievement and going *further* felt impossible. London Marathon helped a little – it really is a special event.

I didn’t give up altogether though. In 2010 I trained for Brighton’s inaugural marathon – it was an interesting time – training with a partner again for the first time in a long time! Unfortunately spending the week prior to the event unable to keep down food I couldn’t enter. This really hit me and there started my downward spiral.

A few pool sprint triathlons and a duathlon was a temporary diversion but training in 2010 ended in September altogether!

There is only one thing left to do… find the fun in training. There must be a happy medium, right?

London Marathon 2009

27 04 2009


London Marathon 2009

London Marathon 2009

Woke at 5 for porridge, tea and slowly getting ready and managed to get on the road for 6:30.  No 5 hour journey to London this time, M1 was clear, Jubilee Line fine, even getting to Blackheath, no problem.  It’s really quite nice around Blackheath – must explore more of London.

After strategically queuing for the loo (not pushing in honest) I managed to give J a hug then get to my pen in time for the start, where it only too 8 minutes to get to the start line after the clock started.  I then spent the next 3 miles overtaking people by running on the pavement and dodging spectators because so many people had gone to the front that were very slow.

We joined up with the masses at mile 3 which is when I relaxed down a bit – there were a lot more spectators from here right to the finish!  That’s when I decided to make the most of it, so moved to the edge, where everyone could see me.  People shouting “Come on Chris”, kids with hands out to high five them – great fun!

It starting getting very warm and my stomach was already playing up, at mile 10 pains were getting quite bad and I had a toilet stop.  Poor girl in front of me in queue had her running buddy shouting about because they wouldn’t hit their target time…  I was this close to telling him he should have entered a smaller marathon if he wanted a good time.  Got going again and had abdominal pains come and go as well as stomach ones, feeling sick on and off from 15 miles onwards.  This was all caused by heat –  possibly lack of salt and fuel – couldn’t take onboard any more.  Had another loo stop at about 17 (I think).

Canary Wharf was mad!  Sooo many people shouting and cheering – it was really quite up-lifting!  From mile 20 I was really fading and struggling badly, but again the crowds were amazing.  In fact it was all quite overwhelming.  Coming up to the Houses of Parliament was an amazing site and knowing that were so close to finishing.  Push through down to the fountains by Buckingham Palace and then turning the corner and seeing the finishing line.  Again, by the edge with people shouting me on….  I crossed the line and punched the air in pleasure.

Seeing J and T at the end was just brilliant – I felt like I was going to die and it just dissolved seeing them.

My toughest run ever but an experience that I’ll treasure for a long time!

4:43 – a long way from my marathon PB of 4:09

Draycote Water 35 miles

22 02 2009
Draycote Water

Woke about 6:30 where I had a bowl of porridge waiting for me! Spent the next hour and a bit getting ready, checking and double checking various bags before leaving for Draycote Water around 7:45.  Managed to get there in plenty of time for me to change and panic.  J, T and I got cold for a bit before I had to start running at spot on 9:30.

A loop was incorporated into the first lap, making it 6.5 miles, followed by a further 6 laps of the 4.75 mile lake. Felt really good for the first 2 laps and managed to chat to a few of the other runners, maintaining a pace a little slower than 9 minutes / mile. Over the next 2 laps I started to notice I was tightening up and by the end of lap 4 (>20 miles) I was really starting to feel it. At this point T stripped off into his running kit and ran with me for the final 3 🙂

I’d already talked myself into being allowed to walk in the last to laps. “Completing the distance is what’s important, not how you do it” having company stopped me from giving in – I’m so very grateful for this! The penultimate lap being the hardest. By this point I was really disappearing into myself, almost oblivious of everything around me, I was running roughly 11 minutes / mile by now. In fact there was a real battle raging in my head, forcing myself through pain to keep moving and not give up! My final lap felt a lot easier, ticking off each of the tricky spots for the last time!

So, I did it! Ran 35 miles – further than I ever have in my life!

6 hours 5 minutes 38 seconds (by my watch – no official results yet)