Sunday, 26 August 2007

It's a hard life...

A few times this week both Tom & I have talked about how other people see us. Our friends and family are incredibly supportive and understanding and we couldn't ask for more from them. However, people that don't know us very well think we're 'obsessed', 'boring', 'unadventurous' and couldn't think of anything worse than spending the hours we do... training. My week culminated today with a fantastic 100 mile ride (see above pic) in what can only be described as torturously hilly! Granted, riding 100 miles in the leg burning countryside of Holme Valley is not everyone's cup of tea but the thing that struck me today was 'I was ALIVE'. I love my life, it's amazing. We don't have much money (in fact no money at all!!!- all donations greatly received ;) We don't have a huge house, or fast cars, or the best triathlon equipment but we're fit, healthy & most importantly, HAPPY.

We were in Sainsbury's this week and at the till we were served by the most lifeless soul I've ever seen. He looked like he barely new he was alive. I wanted to go to the fresh fish counter, buy a huge wet kipper and slap him round the face with it. You don't have to be the fittest person in the world to appreciate your life. You don't have to be the richest person in the world, but you do have to be a happy person and be aware of what's around you. Today I saw the most beautiful views in places I would never normally visit. I rode to the top of Holme Moss in Holme Valley and watched the world below, kestrels in the sky & kamikaze sheep on the road, it was fantastic and I really, really appreciate the fact that I can put myself in those places and truly appreciate them, they make me happy. And all the time that myself, Chrissy & Jonny (in above pic) were out there today I couldn't help but think that my life ain't hard in the slightest, not when the things that make me happy I surround myself with. Tom & I cycled to Ilkley on Friday early evening and we went to Betty's, bought a big fat scone each and sat on the grass and scoffed them in the fading heat of the day. Our training sessions aren't all lung busting affairs and we love nothing more than spending the time together chatting. Our training regime is hard, but then so are our end goals. However, we never lose sight of each other and what makes us happy. So to the people who think we're 'obsessed', 'boring' and 'unadventurous'... you got the wrong couple.

Regarding training this week, it's been full steam ahead. Another solid 19km week in the pool with my fastest set of 300's on Tuesday. I ran long (18 miles) on Thursday and surprised myself (and Tom & Tony B) when they tried to run past me at about mile 14 but like a Jack Russell I kept nipping at their heels and they had to give in and let me run the rest of the way home with them as they just couldn't quite shake me off. That was particularly satisfying as they were running 6.50min miles so I did a great negative split for the last half of my run and finished really strong. I got an open water swim in on Sat am and an interval session on the bike with a run off it and then today I did the Holme Valley 100 mile and boy do my quads feel those hills now! Jeez I've just counted up my training hours for this week... just over 30hrs, that's the gravitational pull of a Betty's scone for ya ;)

It's a hard life... NOT!!!


Anonymous said...

Hi Helen/Tom,

I'm really enjoying reading the blog. It's interesting to read two different perspectives on ironman training. It's also inspiring to know that you are both enjoying it so much.

A question for both of you. How do you find the time to do the many hours a week of training? Helen, you blogged that you did 30+ hours in one week. Was this part of a training program? It's a great effort, I'm intersted from the point of view of how this fits in with your scheduled for your big race which is still a fair few months away and also from how you manage to find a work/life/social balance without risking burning out.

Ed Lee

H said...

Hi Ed,

The 30+hr week was a result of a four day Bank Holiday which included a really hilly 100 mile Cyclo Sportif in Holme Valley which took about 9hrs, so my training hours for that week were bumped up quite a bit. I found it quite easy to do a 20hr week but think I would stuggle with a 30 in a normal working week. I get up at 5am most mornings to swim and then do the second session of the day straight after work. If I can have a 15min power nap at lunch I do and we desperately try to get to bed before 10.30pm on an evening (she says typing this very message at 22.55!!!)

My job is not a normal 9-5 one so I don't always have to start at 9am and don't always finish at 5 so I'm very lucky with that. I have a fantastic coach and also know my body really well now. I know when I need to back it off and when I can push myself harder. Long term my big goal for next year is IM Germany but I set smaller goals to keep my focus and part fitness in between. We're doing the Vitruvian on Saturday and that was the reason for the big push of training, the last hard week being last week and the week we've just done.

We don't have kids which means we can lead a fairly selfish lifestyle & tend to see mates over dinner or they come along to races to support us so we don't miss out socially at all. We don't drink so clubbing on a Sat eve is never an issue. The key thing is that my sessions are all for a reason never 'just because' so I tend to deal quite well with the volume and if I'm feeling knackered or under the weather I don't go out and kill myself.

Glad you're enjoying the blog, we've had some great responses, it's good to hear. We enjoy writing it and I've found I've learnt a lot about myself through the process of putting it down in text form.

Take care.