Monday, 6 August 2007

Quality time...

I thought when we started this blog that it would be difficult to think of things to write every week and not go on about the same old 'heart rate' this and 'interval session that'. In actual fact the difficulty is in working out what not to write. Having spent the whole week changing my mind on a daily basis, I try and make my posts both topical and personal and at the same time cover areas of life away from the subject of Ironman.

This weekend H and I were down south for the London Triathlon supporting several members of our running club some of who were competing in their first ever Olympic distance event (1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run). We'd arranged to stay at our friend Pete's house in Notting Hill but arriving at Kings Cross on Friday afternoon found ourselves with a couple of hours to kill. Fortunately our mate Steve was around and a short underground journey later he had unknowingly become the subject of this week's photo! The sun was out and time was our friend (for once) so we headed to Kensington Park with a fruit salad and a skinny hot chocolate from Starbucks and set about kicking back on the grass and talking about anything and everything. Why am I telling you this? .... It really was a 'light bulb' moment for me, it's so rare that H and I prioritise some quality time with a good friend, just being together for the sake of it. Don't get me wrong, we spend quite a bit of time going out for dinner with friends, inviting them round to 'eat in' or swim/bike/running with them but we're always doing something I'm talking about just chilling out and enjoying the company with no distractions or real purpose... except for the odd Mr. Whippy (see photo). Sitting in the sun on Friday afternoon I remembered how important it is to take some time off from the latest goal or challenge and concentrate on what is truly important in life but more importantly I was reminded of what actually is important in life. I would certainly value my friends over any Ironman or athletic goal but how often do I prioritise them so?.... not enough!

The rest of the weekend had a pretty strong 'friend' theme running through it with Pete kindly loaning us his lovely house, Sam coming to stay on Saturday night, friends from my work, our tri club and our running club competing on both Saturday and Sunday and the whole AKJ clan either racing or spectating on Sunday. I think in all we clapped and cheered our way through one sprint tri and six Olympics and without having lifted a finger in competitive anger are now sitting at our respective computers at ten-to-one on Sunday night as shattered as had we raced every step!!

On that note I must remember the importance of lifestyle balance and in particular the principle of prioritising sleep over pretty much anything else so please forgive me for the brief skim over this past week's training on the road to Kona....

Bottom line... the focus was 'short and sharp' in an attempt to get some speed in to my sluggish Ironman legs.... Monday night saw 4 x 10 min hard efforts on the turbo followed immediately by a 6k race against H where giving her a two and a half minute head start I was duly hustled and lost by over a minute! Next time it'll be 1:15 and we'll see who can handle the pressure ;) Tuesday was another hard running day with Tony B again blowing my legs off over 10 x 2 minute reps on the road. A more relaxed Wednesday allowed me to hit my sub-24 minute target with 23:36 (and second place) at our tri club's annual 10 mile time trial championships on Thursday night. On Friday H and I did our weekly 15 x 50 metre 'relay' in the pool and Saturday topped a painful week off with the Bushy Park 5k Race where my (by now) tired legs suffered big-time for 18 minutes and 36 seconds. Sunday (today) was supposedly a rest day but getting up at 5 and spectating non-stop from 6.30am to 6.30pm has caused tomorrow morning's scheduled 6am swim to be changed for an 8am breakfast ;)

Sorry for any typos etc but it's now 1:09 am and I'm off to bed!

Have a great week,


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