Sunday, 28 December 2008


So here we are again, another Sunday evening and we find ourselves scrambling around trying to steal a moment to write the blog. For the last few weeks it doesn't feel like our feet have had a chance to touch the floor and having arrived back only a couple of hours ago from a lovely couple of days with H's family in South Shields we've got less than 12 hours to be walking out the door for three days at Tom's mum's, NYE in a Luton Airport hotel and a ten day training camp in Lanzarote. Twelve hours doesn't seem too bad but when you factor in eight hours sleep, writing the blog, packing two bikes (see today's picture) and all the kit for two weeks of travel/training and slotting a turbo session in somewhere... every second clearly does count!

We arrived back from an amazing honeymoon in Miami on Christmas Eve where although we managed about 55 miles of running and 15k of swimming we also overindulged in chocolate, ice-cream and Starbuck's Frappuccinos with true Ironman style. Unfortunately having left for the States feeling comfortably fitter than this time last year, we now feel comfortably fatter!! Christmas Day saw us hit the Dales on our bikes for a nice relaxing 45 miles of fresh air followed by a lunch of beans on toast, the Queens speech, Wallace and Grommit, East Enders and bed.

Up until a couple of weeks ago we'd been really excited about the Chevin Chase (just under 7 miles of seriously hilly and largely off-road running) and our first chance to compare our fitness against last year in a race situation, but warming up at 11am on Boxing Day it was clear that our transatlantic travels had affected us more than anticipated. Both of us had a similar race and whereas this is normally an event we really enjoy right from the gun our legs felt empty and unable to inject any pace, struggled to keep moving up the hills and screamed in pain on the seriously steep downs. Our combined times were around six minutes slower than last year and with Lanzarote only 21 weeks away we suddenly feel a long way off being Hawaii contenders... two weeks ago we were lighter and faster than our 2007 training diaries, suddenly we're heavier and slower!

Still, there's nothing like ten days in Lanzarote living like an athlete to kick start a training block and with our 20 week countdown starting while we're out there (Monday the 5th of January) we'll no doubt be able to hit the ground running once we're back in Blighty and able to establish our much needed routine. Although neither of us consider ourselves particularly talented athletically we do seem able to withstand and absorb higher than average training volumes over extended periods of time so by the time we hit our first major race of 2009 on the 21st of March, the Ballbuster Duathlon, we're confident that we'll be back on target.

Finally we'd like to say congratulations to our super motivated training partner Dave... the master of modesty had played down talk of a 45 minute run prior to the race only to fly round in 43.44 for a top 20 finish in a high quality field, well done mate! A field which by the way was led home by the Brownlee brothers, with Alistair's 37.19 equating to an average speed of around 5:25 per mile... not bad considering the steepest hill must be close to 1:2 and the deepest mud was half-way up our shins! Also a massive well done to fellow Virgin Active Road Runner Vikki King for joining Dave on the winners list for the Hyde Park Time Trial yesterday morning.

Right, next time you hear from us we'll be in Lanzarote on the final leg of our six week adventure and about to start 20 weeks of ruthlessness, determination and self belief ;)

See you in seven,

Mr & Mrs Williams xx

Monday, 22 December 2008

Lazy days...

As we're still lapping up the sun on South Beach and enjoying some serious 24/7 quality time tonight's post will once again be short and sweet. 

Firstly, thanks so much for all the kind emails, texts and blog comments since we tied the knot and apologies for not getting back to you. Seeing as we pretty much spend our lives connected to some form of IT based communication device we decided to turn everything off for the duration of our trip and so have essentially been out of contact with the real world since getting on the plane in Heathrow. Having not ever missed a Sunday blog deadline though we thought we'd quickly boot up the laptop, check our emails and fire off a few short paragraphs just to say hi.

To cut a long story short we're having a brilliant time and Miami has more than lived up to its glamorous reputation. The sun has shone every day, our hotel is fantastic, we've swum and run every day, spent hours sleeping by the pool and/or sea and have indulged in ice cream / pizza / burger aplenty. The one downside however has been how expensive everything is, and I'm not talking New York, Venice or Rome expensive... this is a whole other level, to the point where you really do have to be careful what you order off the menu or which sun lounger you kip on. On our first day we were chilling by the roof top pool and H fancied a little kip in the shade so grabbed forty winks under a small cabana... turned out that although the sun loungers are free, the cabana's are $750 per day!!! Another close shave saw us go for dinner at the Setai hotel, we've had lunch at the pool side bar which wasn't that expensive (for round here) and chose to have dinner in their 'grill' as opposed to the main restaurant so figured we were on safe ground... looking at the menu H suggested I went for one of their famous Kobe beef steaks and at first glance I thought it said $30, not bad for a steak in a five star hotel, until I worked out that once you added the compulsory 18% gratuity, tax and resort tax that it would be $40, still not horrendous... then at the last minute realised that it was priced PER OUNCE!!!! Their fixed price three course menu did me fine in the end at $55 ;)

Anyway, before this turns into an epic... this week's photo is of us with our amazing friend Steve. Unfortunately he was unable to make it across the Atlantic on the 13th but did fly over from LA on Thursday in order to celebrate in style at one of the most amazing restaurants we've ever been to, Casa Tua. Steve is one of life's great 'believers' and although I won't repeat the details here (that's for him to tell you) sitting and listening to him explain his dreams and ambitions along with his five year goal was as always a lesson in living every day and truly reaching for the stars. What Steve would like to achieve is nothing short of 'Hollywood' but I have absolutely no doubt that he will get there, for two reasons and two reasons only... he has the BELIEF and the DESIRE. Those two things are pretty much all you need in life, unfortunately people are commonly lacking in both. It was wonderful to spend time with such a brilliant friend. 

That's about it for now, we'll be 'shutting down' as soon as this is posted but fly back on Tuesday night and will be back in blighty on Christmas Eve morning and can't wait to catch up with everyone as soon as possible.

Have a brilliant Christmas and we'll see you next week,

loads of love

T & H x

Monday, 15 December 2008

Mr & Mrs..

Forgive us for this incredibly short, sweet and joint blog this week but as you can see on Saturday we got married!!!  It was truly AMAZING and we both had a wonderful day full of love and laughter and a handful of happy tears, actually quite a few happy tears, most of them Tom's.  We've just arrived in Miami and have unpacked in our hotel room, it's amazing we're going to love it here I'm sure.  However, having had no sleep on Saturday night, driving to Heathrow at 6am in the morning and then travelling all day and night (it's now 04.20am in England and according to my body clock, however it's actually 23.20pm here in Miami.  Three nights of little or no sleep have made Tom feel ill and he's actually asleep already having nearly hit the deck in Miami airport, hopefully a solid kip tonight and a rest tmrw should sort us both out.

I'm going to leave it there because it's certainly time I was sleeping to. A very quick thank you to all we know and love, hope you had as good a time as we did and thank you for making our day so special. x  A new chapter in our lives and it's exciting. 

Time to sleep, maybe we'll blog mid week, maybe we won't???  Night all.

Love Mr & Mr Williams.  x

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Do you believe?

As H and I wrote about a few weeks ago, Leeds based double Paralympic gold medallist and inspiration extraordinaire David Stone lists self belief as his number one weapon in the fight for gold medal glory. There are two types of person those who have it and those who don't... and what an amazing weekend this has been for the former :)

First of all, on Saturday morning H and I had the privilege of joining our mate Tess round the Hyde Park Time Trial for a massive three minute pb. She'd been on the brink of breaking 50 minutes for a long time and I absolutely knew that with the benefit of a decent pacing strategy she could have a 'breakthrough' performance. Setting off at a decent pace with a 4.5 minute walk / 30 second run plan we comfortably broke ten minutes for every single kilometre and crossed the line triumphantly in 47.40!! It was an amazing experience and, a bit like when Bannister broke the four minute mile, a psychological barrier has been broken and I'm sure many 'breakthrough' performances will follow.

This weekend's second great example of belief being the foundation for personal excellence was played out as we all slept last night where my mate Russ Cox was competing in the final Ironman of 2008 in Western Australia. Those of you who follow Russell's blog will know that having broken ten hours a few times, and with his sights set firmly on making it to Hawaii, he believed that he was capable of a 9.20 performance. Unfortunately this world is full of people who take great delight in knocking those who dare to dream... so much so that even the most ambitious of us are often scared to state our true goals for fear of being labelled arrogant if we succeed or deluded if we don't. Having posted a detailed strategy, the day before the race, of how he was going to get achieve his goal everything seemed to go pretty much to plan with splits of 58/4.55/3.22 (ish) seeing him cross the line almost bang on 9 hours and 20 minutes and in the process scoring a significant victory for those of us who choose to believe.

Unfortunately our potential 'hat-trick' of success was scuppered earlier today when Jevon had his end of year marathon ambitions snatched cruelly away at the final hurdle. An overturned car obstructing the course led to the cancellation of this morning's Luton Marathon and with 26.2 miles of energy burning a hole in his pocket he was forced to return home for a commiseratory (not sure if that's a word) rather than celebratory lunch.

On a final note I'd just like to say that although some people 'believe' and some people don't, it is most certainly a choice... sometimes we need a little help in order to see the light, but it's there in everyone. All we need is to create an environment where people are encouraged to dream and in turn shout those dreams from the tallest buildings without fear of being knocked down by negativity. The actual outcome isn't that important, had Tess gone round the HPTT in 51 minutes and had Russ blown up and finished an hour outside his target time they would still both have succeeded... you see the success comes in having the dream and being brave enough to go for it. The only failure in life is to never even try.

Anyway, that's about it for another seven days.

Keep believing,


Just done it...

Wow, what a weekend, what a whirlwind, but what fun!!!  Most of you will already know that on Saturday Tom and I were married.  The pic above is at HPTT (Leeds weekly 5km time trial) on the morning of our wedding.  I say wedding but actually it was only our wedding in the eyes of the law.  Tom and I have actually chosen to get married next weekend in the middle of the Yorkshire Dales, outside (yes, outside in this weather!!!)  Unfortunately English law doesn't allow people to legally marry outdoors and also our venue isn't licensed so Tom and I had to cross the T's and dot the i's yesterday in I guess what is classed as our 'proper' wedding but in our heads that all happens with everyone we love and care about next weekend, bring it on we can't wait!!

So, to the pic above.  Saturday was a bit mad.  We got up at 5am, were pedalling away on our bikes in the garage for 2hrs by 5.30am, rushed to get showered and ready to hot foot it to HPTT where Tom had promised his friend Tess (see above pic) that she could break 50mins for the 5km time trial.  And 50mins she did break too.  But then you can't imagine Tom would take anything less.  We practically marched Tess around the course and she was fab and all three of us were so so pleased that she made it in a blinding 47mins!!!  So Tess, you can do it and we hope it spurs you on every week when we can't make it so keep up the good work. x

Then we skipped off to have our wedding rehearsal for the real deal wedding next week, had lunch and off we went to sign on the dotted line and so here I am now Mrs Williams, very, very odd and all a bit surreal.  I'm looking forward to wearing THE dress and saying OUR vows next Saturday and then I truly will be Mrs Williams.

Training this week has been great but sporadic.  Great turbo sessions (far too much ice and snow this week to get out) great swim sessions with a break through set of 4 x 400's this week in 6.12, 6.00, 6.06, 6.07 and our weekly tempo treadmill on Tuesday, a 10mile treadmill run (pavements too icy to run on) on Thursday and a hard running interval session this morning. I'm feeling strong and in good condition.  I just feel a bit mentally torn by my excitement for the impending wedding, arranging the last few things to be done and keeping my head switched on for my training sessions, it's all quite difficult for my brain to juggle, it just likes one or two things to concentrate on, not a few million!!!

This time next week my friends, Mr & Mrs Williams will be blogging from their honeymoon destination of Miami!!!!  Wuhooo!!!!!  We've booked what looks to be an amazing hotel which boasts a 40 metre rooftop pool and fingers crossed the warmth of the sun :)

Well done to Tess once again, you can do it girl, so impressed. x  

Commiserations to Mr Jevonelly who trained like a demon for the last 7 weeks (after coming back from injury) for the Luton marathon being held today.  He ate pasta like an athlete until he felt like Jaba the Hut and he tapered the way athletes hate to, to be in tip top condition for this mornings race.  Only to be thwarted by an upside down car on the Luton Marathon course that couldn't be moved and so the whole thing was cancelled!!!  My heart goes out to you sir :(

And of course a huge thank you to Yve and Ray, Sam and Amanda and Ben, Lies and Charlie who all witnessed the oddity of our first wedding!! xxx

I'm soooo excited I might explode!  

See you in Miami!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and married!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xxx

H. x