Sunday, 30 March 2014

Big change.

Rough, smooth. Swings, roundabouts. Good stuff, shit stuff. No light without shadow. No farts without stink.

Which reminds me of a great joke I heard recently. Why do farts smell? So deaf people can enjoy them as well.

So, with a recent small change in my financial status, I reinvested the money somewhere I haven't really used it before - myself. I realised recently I got stuck in the victim-saviour cycle, which is a load of old shit and no good for anyone. Hell, the woman I'm interested in now probably fits the same profile. I'm being careful, analytical and sensible though.

Anyway, there has been a decided lack of investment in myself. So I've taken a small amount of cash money and employed the services of a coach to help me put some focus into my training and see just what I might be capable of. This is with half an eye in the future on completing an Ironman, and in the short term of shifting some of the bulk I have added in a year of being drunk to hide from the basic agony of getting through the days.

See, now I'm a lot happier, more settled, and my shit is considerably more together. Hence, the investment.

So we started just shy of three weeks ago. The first thing I noticed, at the end of the first week, was just how much I fucking hurt. I realised how lazy I had become in my running. Don't get me wrong, I can run up hills a mountain goat would turn its nose up at. But I can do fuck-all else. There's a functional fitness, and there's a deeper version, where you can race, where your body is in balance and is working with the greatest efficiency you can achieve. I was functional.

I've been doing MAF runs, easy runs, very specific gym workouts for strength and stability, all sorts. It's been really fascinating, not least to see how my body has responded. Tone and muscle always comes quite easily to me, but after relatively easy workouts on paper I've felt like I've been beaten up. But god, I felt so STRONG!

And the running - I started to see what I might be capable of. I don't have a competitive mindset, so it's finding the right way to push myself and the right coach to make me want to push myself. It had to be someone I respected and did not want to let down, and I think I found that.

I lost about 8lbs in ten days. I felt fan-fucking-tastic. Then I went on a business trip, had a few days of easy running (travel - so frigging tiring!), and came back feeling like I had the worst jetlag in history. I'm completely flat, no energy, nothing. Small hills are leaving me feeling battered; I have absolutely nothing in the tank. To go from how I was feeling to this in such a short time is just fucking heartbreaking. I was getting somewhere!

On the plus side, I haven't put the weight back on. So that's something. When I kick whatever it is that is leaving me so weak, I will be kicking fucking ass. I have NEVER enjoyed training this much. S'good.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

A bold step

Well, for me it is.

Next month sees my stepdaughter turn 18 and, as a result, the end of my financial support to my ex. The funds this frees up will partly be used to to pay for the expert services of a coach.

Not like a minibus kinda coach, either. An athleticy kinda coach. I know, right?

Now, I don't consider myself an athlete. I'm more a curious person that enjoys exercise. I'm curious about my potential physically. I mean, I've completed three marathons, but they were all pretty shit. But I LOVED training for them. Absolutely loved it. And now I am feeling more emotionally free, stable and secure than I have in too damn long, I'm wondering what I might be able to achieve. Can I get a 100-miler under my belt? An Ironman? Make my own ultra? Or just be a fit, healthier, happy person that helps others achieve the same and get off their arses?

The person I am employing to kick my arse is based in the US and will be working remotely using heart rate monitor data, and presumably FaceTime or similar to kick my arse. I'm very much looking forward to it, and I have explained the things I need to keep doing - quality time with Millie Dog, and for my running group - and we will be working around/with those things.

Mostly, I think I just need to relearn some good habits. Sleep more. Drink less. Do less stupid shit. Eat breakfast BEFORE walking the dog, for example. Then when she drags me into the sandwich shop to get her morning sausage (not a euphemism. And if it was, what a lazy one it would be. I hope you expect more from me) I won't be tempted by the fatty goods on show. As I am most mornings. Combine that with my beer intake and fuck me, I'm a fat bastard!

So coach's first job is going to be helping me shift around 50lbs of lard. If I get my head in the right place, fat absolutely slides off. And I do quite like being pushed, I just haven't really met anyone that can make me do it. The key is making me want to do it myself, I think.

Enough of my burble. More soon. The Amazing Coach Experience begins March 5th.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Gosh. Am I still here?

Yep, I am.

Been running quite a bit, too. The weather has been absolutely fucking shocking, frequent heavy rain. So what did we do? Went up the woods and hit the trails, at least three nights a week. My arse is killing me - the movement is so very different when your foot sinks in to thick mud and pooled water eight inches, and you have to pull it back up at least 10 just to move forward.

And as for that forward motion... The water is deep, the mud is thick. The hills are high. It's fucking hard work. Last night the cloud was low and I couldn't even see the dog, who always stays close. I couldn't see her until she turned around, anyway. Her arse isn't as reflective as her eyes - and she was all of five feet away from me. Thick cloud, driving rain, high winds and cold, all with a headtorch. Ended it absolutely caked in mud, shoes wrecked, and freezing cold.

It was pretty awesome fun.

All for this Tough Guy race in March. Two of my group are doing the half marathon, I've opted for the full. No idea how to train for it, as from what I can gather there is maybe 10 miles of running and the rest is assault course. So we're doing the hardest trails we can think of without being utterly reckless.


Need to hit the gym in a big way though for the next couple of months and get stamina into the muscles. Run, gym, pool. Have done a couple of double-up sessions and they were brilliant. And I have 9-10 weeks to prepare for a complete unknown and to leave my comfort zone utterly.