Sunday, 7 February 2010

Desperate times indeed...

After going on about 'drastic times' in last week's entry I've decided to upgrade that to 'desperate times', in fact if I'm honest I've never been so low in terms of how I feel about my training. On the plus side I seem (touch wood) to have broken free from my ridiculous run of illness and my running is... well, my running is the only thing keeping me from jacking the whole thing in and taking up something less taxing! Despite the odd pool session that keeps me hopeful of one-day being able to swim again, I just can't shake this nerve problem and am limited to one easy swim per week and then there's the cycling... I've not strung a decent bike training week together since August and on pretty much all of the few rides I've been on since then I've been hanging off the back trying desperately to hold on to the wheel in front. Last week I promised that I'd go for sixteen 16 hour bike weeks (plus swim and run) in a last ditched attempt to get in shape for Lanzarote, when I say 'in shape' I mean sub 5.30 bike shape as anything less than that will almost certainly not cut the proverbial mustard. By Friday I was sitting on the grand total of two (yes, two) hours and things were looking bleak, time for some honesty...

My big problem at the moment, above all the fiddly stuff like injury, illness and too much snow, is that I'm really not sure if I still 'want it' enough, or at all for that matter. With other amazing things (here & here to name but two) taking hold of my life the thought of spending full working days sat on two wheels (as beautiful as the Dales are) just doesn't flick my switch like it used to. So, that means the only sensible option would be to kick this triathlon malarky into touch once and for all, go back to the significantly cheaper and infinitely less time consuming pass-time of running and get on with my life!

Well, on Friday I though of doing just that, right there and then... whether or not I meant it (even I don't know) it sure was a good test of desire... The thought of not having to worry about my arms hurting in the pool and no more million-hour bike rides, not to mention the nice little earner that flogging two rather expensive bikes would provide... and the space I'd generate from getting rid of my bike kit, oh and then there's the end once and for all to those ridiculous 5am alarm calls just so I can fit two sessions in BEFORE work and as much as anything the huge financial benefit from no longer entering races that cost £350... really had me thinking for a minute!

But... the tears (really) that followed soon after the thought of pulling the plug four and a half years into what was always meant to be a five year journey (anything that can be achieved in less than that time is hardly worth it... yes?), bringing this blog to an rather abrupt end and forever not knowing if just maybe I could have made it swiftly reminded me that the flame, however faint, is most certainly still burning and with 15 weeks left to turn things around I managed 7.5 hours yesterday and 6.5 hours today... 16 hours on the bike in one week... DONE!

Chatting to H just before writing this it became clear to me that no matter what happens on the 22nd of May, as long as I get to the start line in my best possible shape (it's not too late for that) and give it my absolute all then on May the 23rd I will be forever content. It's never really been about qualifying, it's been about seeing how good I could be... and if I stop now I'll never know. One thing is for sure though, 2010 is absolutely it, I've been so close to the edge so many times over the last few years and as every season passes I get a little bit closer... wherever that takes me in the next few months, that will be 'as good as I could be'.



p.s. today's pic? I did a search in Google images for 'desperate times' and when this came up it brought a rather large smile to my rather sad face so thought it might do the same for you ;)


Ben G said...

Firstly well done, you hit your 16hrs, nearly all in 2 rides awesome!! Hang in there for a few more weeks, feel the bike legs returning, feel the buzz of riding hard in the first TT of the season. The better weather will soon mean Spring and like the newness that Spring brings, you too will feel energised, trust me...

Not knowing, not feeling the buzz of the IM finishing chute, or the broken legs that return for the final 2k will feel far worse than what you've got to get through for the next few weeks.

We've got some A168 action, some TT show downs, some 2up involvement and a 12hr shoot out to be had first before you can hang up them wheels! Here's to a great training week mate :)

runtilyoudrop said...

just remember to enjoy it! focus on having fun in the training and stop worrying about your goals for Lanza. with your base fitness you dont need to worry any.

Ove said...

Come on Tom!!! Well done on getting the big rides in! That shows great resolve and determination!

I agree with what Ben said, another couple of weeks and you'll feel different about it. These are the challenges that IM training throws at you and if you stand up to them running down that finishing Shute in the best possible shape will seem all the sweeter! That's when it's payday for all the tough times!

You'll do it, no doubt mate!! (and we'll fix that shoulder!!)

Here's to another 16 h week!!

Debra said...

Hang on in there Tom, or should it be hang on to those handlebars, we're all behind you through the tough times as well as the good times, and as Ben says you'll always wonder what if if you you quit now so keep on going, I'm sure quit and can't are not in the dictionary, didn't Tony always use to say that back in the days of your circuit classes?

Mark S said...

16 weeks is plenty of time Tom. You'd be OK with 12 really good weeks training. Don't forget all the miles the years have banked. It's 50% a mental game! You will be ready. Keep the faith.

Khara Mills said...

All I wanted to do was give you a huge hug at the gym this morning and now I'm glad I decided against it in some ways, not in others. I knew it wouldn't help, you being a big strong bloke & all! There's me blurting on about #winterswim, sorry Tom!

Having read your blog, I now know you're a) knackered & b) getting your head stuck back in to where it needs to be. Riding like that over the weekend proves just how bloody gutsy you are and that you will work your way towards being the best you can be in Lanzarote, no questions about it. I think you have to go where you've been to know it's the right decision.

Onwards Tom, spring is on it's way, honestly, and we're all with you, well actually very far behind you :-)

Khara x

Tom Newman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Newman said...

1 week down, 15 to go mate.....easy. Routine the key, get that ipod rammed with albums, podcasts and fire it up. Not easy spending 6 / 7 hrs of 9 or so hrs of daylight currently on a bike but as your legs get stronger, the daylight will grow. Have a good week.

Steve Dennis said...

Remember, every champion has held his - or her - head in his hands; fallen into that pit called doubt; and cried with frustration. We'll never know how great is the number of the towels that were ALMOST thrown in. But it is at this very point, when others toy with giving up, that the great move forward. Ask Kelly Holmes how many times she almost quit before powering through that ticker tape towards gold. You've never been a quitter, but allow yourself to honour these thoughts -- process them -- sit with them -- then move on. Visualize what you've always visualized and you'll get there. And know that every single one of us will be cheering you on, every step of the way. Chin up. Head down. Crack on!!! With love and gusto from LA - Steve

joannacarritt said...

with teh years of work you've put in, you dont need to worry about 15 weeks..or 14 or whatever. when you are motivated you'll be able to turn things around in less. you know how to put in hard work. best get your head in the right place before you even start worrying about how to hit the training for this specific event. take some time out and spend some time reminding yourself really WHY you want to do this ridiculous thing??? there are lots of significant reasons, i'm sure, that form the basis of your long term motivation. it may be that things have changed since you set your goals - and if that's teh case, the time spent considering it will prove useful and allow you to get on with what really IS important in your life.

don't let Lanza become a 'chore'

Tom said...

All - Thanks so much for your constant support, advice and positive thoughts. You motivate and inspire me more than you will ever appreciate!

Ben - Thanks mate, looking forward to sharing some bike miles next week :)

RTYD - Enjoying it can be the hardest bit, yet it's the whole point right? Just a slight wobble ;)

Ove - We're getting there, at least I'll develop a high pain tolerance ;)

Debra - I'll picture T standing there with the megaphone... not that he needed it!!!

Mark - Thanks mate, the Ballbuster should get things going ;)

Khara - Thanks as always for your support and faith.

Tom - Thanks mate - looking forward to hooking up on the 28th March, great training motivation from now until then.

Steve - Quite possibly the best comment I've had ever!

JC - Bang on... head first then body, I think the first part clicked into gear in the last few days.