After 2.5 years of mixed training for marathons, triathlons and ironman events I have decided to actually follow a plan. I subscribed to Erics 20 week Ultra plan and am due to start on Monday 19th October 2009. I am currently on a rest week after smashing my PB for the marathon by 25 mins and finishing in 3.51.
I read and then re-read the fabulous book Born to Run and was so inspired by it that I started to run barefoot a little at a time, just 1 mile to begin with. I then found my way to Caballo website and asked him about Chia recipies. Amazingly he was taking entries for the 2010 CCUM and I felt the hand of destiny touching me. I entered and was accepted and am about to take on one of the biggest challenges of my life.
As I said I only started training in 2007 after a lifetime of alcohol and work. I was born into the pub and restaurant trade and so alcohol has always been in my life. I got to be overweight and unfit. I was nearly 16 stone and looked and felt awful. i had done a number of Bill Phillips Body for life challenges and yet I lapsed back into bad habits after the challenges and put all the weight back on and more!
So it was on the treadmill in 2007, running next to my wife with me complaining about how much I hated running (after only 5 mns) when I saw a poster for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon and it was on our wedding anniversary! I said to my wife Julie " I'm gonna do that race for you for a wedding anniversayry gift". She looked at me in disbelief and calmly said, "you're overweight, you hate running and besides I would rather have a ring!"
It didn't matter in my mind I had committed to the race. I started small walking to the local lake and attempting to run around it. Soon I made it the whole way round the lake in one run! I was so pleased with myself. I didn't know the lake was only 1 mile in total!
I entered a local 10k with TeamMK the local triathlon club which was 3 laps of another local lake. The first lap was great fun, the second very hard and the third was a nightmare. I had to dig soo deep that day just to finish. The feeling of finishing that race gave me a small amount of hope that i could actually finish this haf marathon. In the end I did it and felt amazing if a little sore.
I did the classic and stopped training secure in the belief that i had conquored this running lark. I put weight back on and after a while I relaised that that far from hating running I actually missed it. I resolved to run a full marathon and entered the London marathon in 2008.
With about 6 weeks to go my loving wife informed me that I was definately crazy and that i was not ready and I should pull out of the race. I had resolved to run and had a charity hoping that i would raise a large amount of cash for them so I had an extra motivation. I finished in 5 hours and once again thought that was it. But I kept on running, a half marathon here and there, 10k's, 5 k's and then i discovered Triathlon. I had been a sucessful swimmer when i was younger so entered a sprint Triathlon. I finished it and enjoyed the process so entered an Olympic distance and once again enjoyed the experience.
The madness then took over. On my long runs I found i had lots of time to think. In Triathlon you cannot use MP3 players so I started to train without them to get used to having just my mind and the scenery to entertain me. This lead to many internal conversations and lead to the masterplan for 2009, a triple challenge.
I would run the London marathon again, then a half Ironman (madness) and then finish with a full Ironman distance Triathon (complete Lunacy!).
Somehow I managed to do all this and documented the experience in my website www.triplechallenge.co.uk
This year 2009 was about racing for fun and to improve speed. To have time for family and myself without the committment needed to race these huge challenges. The problem is that as my times have been smashed each week I found myself drawn more and more to greater challenges.
I must say that joining the local Triathlon team was the smartest move I have ever made. When you train on your own you pace yourself according to the pain threshold you have at the time. When you train with others you HAVE to raise your game. I got fed up of being the last one in every training run, being dropped in every ride, being good at swimming was the only saving grace I had.
I showed others how to improve their swim and they in tunr helped me with my poor running and bike. I went from the nickname "Captain Slow" to the new one of just "Captain"
So it's now I find myself here typing away and ready to take on the next challenge. The CCUM will be an amazing experience and I'm now looking for 2 other events to complete the Triple Challenge for 2010, just don't tell my wife!