A marathon is a bloody hard thing to do. Sometimes I forget that … which sounds foolish considering the amount of sweat and despair I expend doing one (but ending in delight and excitement). But it challenges the body and the mind. I think for the past two weeks, both my body and mind have been getting over it.
Training has been … haphazard, at best. I’ve done some bikes rides, mainly with my family or my son on his own. Whilst fun, these are hardly intensive training. I swam this week, and splashing around and swallowing half the pool reminded me of what a bad swimmer I am. I’ve run a couple of times, but not more than 3 or 4 miles. Maybe I have post-race blues.
I understand why it happens. You train specifically for a race for some time, then the race comes and goes, and however you do, you’re suddenly left with no structure to your training. I’ve got one future race booked (Snowdonia Marathon … but I might not be doing that one … ). Other than that my training-brain is now looking ahead to Ironman.
Dates allowing, I’m going to book Ironman UK 2013. There are a load of other Pirates popping their Ironman cherry at this event, and I can’t of a better race to be my first. But of course, even thinking of Ironman has its challenges.
The physical challenges are obvious. The fact that my swimming is still shite is a concern, even if the event is a year away. But … it’s only a year! If I swim twice per week that’s a hundred sessions. And some weeks it won’t happen, so maybe I can say I have 80 swimming sessions until I have to cover 2.4 miles in open water. And biking … I’ve never ridden over 30 miles (although I’m pretty confident I could, as my biking fitness feels pretty good). I know I can do the marathon. But after a swim and a bike….?
The psychological challenge is more complex. There are the doubts as mentioned above, although everything I’ve done over the past year has given me much more of a can-do attitude, and really I think I’m in the right frame of mind. But then there’s the effect it might have on those around me.
My wife and I have had some serious discussions these last few days about my ambitions. She has her doubts. She thinks my ambitions are extreme. I agree with her, and cite these extremes as one of the reasons I want to do it! A year ago if someone suggested I should run a marathon I’d have laughed at them. So while I have her support, she’s not jumping up and down with excitement and ordering TeamTim tee shirts. Not yet, anyway. I hope that once I get more into the training, get fitter and leaner, and she sees my determination and passion, then she’ll realise what it’s all about. Because, as I told her last night, I can’t imagine putting myself through all this if she and the kids aren’t going to be on the finish line.
There’ll be other races, but from now on everything leads to IM.
So, out for a run today. Blow away those bluesy cobwebs. I’ve given myself a good talking to, and put the post-race blues behind me. Time to get serious once again.