Sunday, 27 September 2009

Back on the hamster wheel...kind of...

Training resumes... but not quite like the above picture.

It's that time of year again.... the pre-amble to show time in Kona.

I've been fortunate to spend a bit of time with Phil Graves (he of Ironman UK victory at the ripe age of 20). Seeing how hard he's worked to get into great shape for the big day has been a grand insight into hard, hard work. The above picture is Phil doing a half marathon in Leeds University's heat chamber. It's ideal for his race prep but if you've ever ran on a treadmill you'll know how incredibly boring they can be. Luckily for most of us those treadmills are in air conditioned gyms surrounded by banks of televisions with other people milling around to help keep our minds active and our feet moving on a belt your fingers are eager to stop by the press of one button. Not quite the same in the heat chamber where the temperature and humidity (approx 32ยบ and 65% respectively) are there to replicate the conditions in Hawaii. Surrounded by plain white walls with one glass panel so the boffins can keep an eye on Phil and his stats it's hardly luxurious! And instead of a bank of television's playing MTV are two fans which help keep Phil's core temperature (which is constantly monitored) safe by having the air that's in there blown onto him to keep him cooler. A great tool for acclimatisation but a grueling one. Although I reckon the benefits of sucking up hard sessions on the bike and on the treadmill in that small white box will benefit him mentally too, because surely the mental strength Phil's needed to train in there will pay him back ten-fold on those roads in Kona. I can't wait to see how he does, keep an eye out for him he's a talented lad.

Loads of our mates are on their way to Kona as we speak and I can't help but feel a little envious that we're not going to be there to be part of it, even as a spectator. We've decided therefore that whatever the outcome of Tom's races next year we'll go because I can't imagine how fantastic it must be to be surrounded by such uber athletes and such a positive vibe, full of the many different stories of how they made it there. Instead, we'll be glued to the computer, catching all of the glory via the magic of the web but it's not quite the same as being in Hawaii now is it!!

The Winter months in the Williams household however are really quite the opposite and often spent shedding the rather large amounts of chocolate which I should have just glued to my hips instead! So what has the week had in fold for the first week back? Well it hasn't quite gone according to plan but that's because of the spanner that work likes to throw in every now and then.

Monday I had to rest. I was so tired after a long weekend of working, then walking the GNR with my ma and finishing it all off with her surprise party and a very, very late night.

Tuesday we hit the pool at 6am and did a 3km technique session which I really enjoyed.
Tuesday pm we started the first of what will become our regular tempo treadmill session which is about an hr long including w/u and c/d then I took our running club's middle group out for a 7mile run.

Wednesday I worked all day in Leicester so I had to have an enforced rest day :(

Thursday I snuck in a 3km swim at 6am and got out for an hrs run at lunch time before I started the first of two night shoots, working from 7pm til 5am on Emmerdale.

Friday I had planned to sleep until about 11am but I woke up at 9am and made myself do a 90min turbo session before sneaking in a quick meeting about an exciting work project and then skipping off to Emmerdale to do the last night shoot. 7pm til 5am again.

Saturday I had 2hrs sleep and we ran to parkrun in Leeds, I managed a respectable 21.38, not bad on 2hrs kip and we ran home. I then promptly fell apart but not wanting to sleep through the day so I could sleep last night it was a painful experience for A) my eyes, B) my poor addled tired body and C) Tom.

So here I am ten hours kip under my belt and certainly feeling much more human for it (much to Tom's relief). We're about to hit the streets in 20mins and run 10miles in the sunshine before coming home to do little else, lovely jubbly.

So to all those folk we know heading their way out to the mecca of Ironman, we wish you all a safe journey and an even safer but speedy race, we can't wait to cheer you all on from sunny Leeds :)

For those of you who are enjoying my daily pic then I can confirm that I'll be holding an exhibition of all 365 of them in Leeds in February 2010. It's a very exciting project for me and the chance for you to buy your favourite limited edition framed image with all of the proceeds going to a fantastic charity called Naomi's Fund which is still in it's infancy and organised by a close friend. I've also just refreshed and updated my website and have added a blog to it which is where I shall be posting all of the info about the exhibition as it starts to take shape, I'd love to know what you think and if you'd be interested in coming to the exhibition and indeed owning one of those pictures?

Happy days,

H x


Mama Simmons said...

Wow that heat chamber looks and sounds like a total nightmare. Of course, training here in hawaii can be similar I guess. There have been a couple times this week when I've wanted to rip my own skin off to cool down. Of course, being without skin would be bad I guess, but you get the point. It's been HOT.

Jevon said...

Count the O'Neills in for an exhibition visit and I'm sure we'd be interested in buying. Sounds fantastic.

ADC said...

Finally the exhibition - YAY!!!!! Will definitely try to be there, depending on the dates.
We are also planning to be in Hawaii next year so really looking forward to it. Hope the run was good.

H said...

Hi Guys, thanks for the support re the exhibition, it's looking like it will be very early Feb :) I'll keep you posted though. And Michelle, go kill it on there in Kona :)

H x