This week I thought I would write out a basic training plan (below) and see if this would help motivate me.Sure enough, on Monday I cycled to work and back. Since it was a Bank Holiday and I knew the roads would be quiet, I chose to use my single-speed road bike. I love this bike. The commute in was a real blast. Cycling back was a wee bit menace because it took my Garmin a while to locate satellites (hasn't behaved like that before).
Monday was also the day that I paid £40 to enter the ballot for a place in the London 2016 Marathon. Do I really want to do this? SJ still swears it's awesome. I won't know if I've secured a place until early October. Early October is when I attempt to run my very first ever Marathon. Read about it here: Doo's very first ever off road Marathon.
Sticking to my plan - on Tuesday I ran. Had extended my 'Run 2' run (by running around a little bit of green in Kings Norton) to make this run a fully fledged 10k. I ran faster than last week and covered a now greater distance too. Had put these funky elastic 'lock laces' into my trail shoes and truly rate them. These lock laces allow you to slip shoes on and off quick style without having to undo any laces and make the shoe easy to loosen or tighten as your feet swell. These lock laces looked funky too. Pricey at about £6 a pop, but I daresay I'll invest in a few more for my other shoes.
Wednesday was a great day. On Wednesday, sticking to my plan, oh yes, I swam! This was my first swim in donkeys. I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to swim but I managed a few lengths. According to my funky TomTom watch, I swam 0.84km (42 lengths of a 20m pool), though I really don't know if that was accurate or not. Once I entered the pool, I asked this random guy (Phil) the length of the pool (20m). After swimming, I chatted to Phil for a short spell about my cycling, newly started running and this, my first swim. He suggested I join a local triathlon club and gave me some details. I just might meet this guy again...
Thursday I ran again. I ran into work. Worked. Then I ran back. I covered about 8 miles altogether, running from Cadbury's to work and then back again. I was wearing new 'kicks' on this run. These shoes were road shoes (as opposed to my usual trail shoes) and as sad as it sounds were brought because they make me think of my daughter Lunar. These shoes are a pair of Nike Lunarglide 6's. Research suggested they were awesome and I got them relatively cheap. Crazy eh?!
Crazier still, in my humble opinion, was the fact that masses took to the polling stations. I read about all the party's in the Metro magazine and they all had negative points in one way or another. We all knew folk should have voted for Miggy! Miggy!
Friday and my plan went to pot. I didn't cycle. In fact, I didn't run or swim either. Instead of cycling, I had fun with my family. Lunar and I spent time at Monkey Music which is always a treat.
Parkrun was written off on Saturday as I chose to spend more time with my family again. We took a trip to the Severn Valley Railway that ran from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster. This was an awesome day.
Sunday was another change of plan. I didn't take a day off. Oh no, I joined Redditch Triathlon Club!
The club has sessions each week. This week it was a swim/bike 'brick', which was essentially an hour in the pool followed by a period on the bike. Swimming was hard work. This week, the plan was to build up stamina, so it was mostly just swimming lengths. The pool was divided into 3 lanes - fast, medium and slow. Of course I was in the slow group and was slowest member of said group. Instructors would give various instructions about swimming at different paces for different lengths, I essentially just swam (swam 2 lengths fast) as that was task enough for me. Towards the end, we were supposed to get out the pool, complete 5 press-ups (yeah right) and get back into the pool and swim some more. It was obvious I was a newbie, I was the only guy to 'forget' my goggles. Towards the end a chap called Lee lent me a pair of his - cheers Lee! I was whacked when this hour was over! According to my TomTom, I swam 1,449m though I am dubious about this.
The bike session was amazing. I completed my first ever time trial (TT). This TT only stretched for (just under) 12k and amazingly was part of my commute. We were all started off in 30 second intervals and when my time came, I pedalled as hard and as fast as I could. I wanted to make up for my poor swimming performance and think I did just fine. On the outward stretch I passed at least 2 cyclists (though they were slowed a little by a bus). Just as I was gaining momentum, I heard an awful sound and thought my wheel was coming off. I didn't want to stop as I wanted as fast a time as possible but had to slow to figure out what was wrong. Luckily it was just my bagman holder coming loose - I ignored it and sped on again. At the half-way mark we got photographed (see above) and then had to race back to the finish. I passed more cyclists and felt truly awesome. Not sure what my time was, or what position I finished in - but who cares, I had lots of fun and was pleased with my performance. Some commented 'not bad for a newbie ... more like a probie'. Think I am going to enjoy this club. Thanks Phil.