Saturday, 26 May 2007

Doubts and fears...

Due to work piling up and a lack of time, I have only been out twice this week but the mileage was still ok. I did a 16 miler ( Boundary Stroll route in reverse ) on Monday which I found quite hard near the end. I didn't have much sleep the night before and was feeling quite sick and the last 3 miles were difficult. If anyone is aware of the Boundary Stroll route , which I mentioned in a previous posting, I suggest doing it the reverse way ie Douglas to Peel and back from Foxdale, as it is a much harder walk as you are constantly on the climb from Ballacraine onwards.

Then, due to the fact I missed out on a Champions League Final ticket in the ballot, I decided to punish myself with 2 laps of my Sloc - Colby- Rushen Church route on the day of the match ( 23 miles in total). This is a killer of a walk, especially if you don't carry enough liquid ! I ran out of fluid with 4 miles still to go which wasn't the best of planning.All I had left were dextrose tablets which made me even more thirsty ! However, having done the climb on numerous occasions in the past few weeks, the Sloc holds no fears for me whatsoever - in fact I quite enjoy it. I have got to know the route like the back of my hand and one bit of it always makes me smile. At the top of the Sloc, there is a road bollard which has been knocked over by a car and it lies at the side of the road. It looks like a huge mobile phone and reminds me of Dom Joly in Trigger Happy TV ! Well it amuses me, ok !! At the end of this particular walk, I was really knackered and had nothing left - so much so I hardly shouted at the telly at all during the match !

As the race approaches, I find myself thinking and worrying about irrational fears of which I have no control. Here is a snapshot of my murky mind :-

1/ What if the kids are unwell and we have a sleepless night on the 22nd June ?
2/ What if my support car breaks down ?
3/ Will my back hold out ?
4/ I have just bought new shoes. What if they are not broken it properly on the day ?
5/ What if pick up a virus from the kids ?
6/ What if I fall out with my wife and she tells me she's no longer my sole support team ?

See what I mean.Barking mad,completely neurotic and not like me at all. Get a grip Dave !

I think the next fortnight is going to be really frustrating for me, as I'm going to be really busy at work and won't have much time for training. That is bound to get me thinking ......have I done enough ?? I will be glad when this race is underway !!

Monday, 14 May 2007

What to eat ?

I don't know whether it's been blind panic on my behalf, with only five and a bit weeks to go, or whether it's because I am injury free but this week has been the most mileage I have managed to complile. In the last 6 days, from last Tuesday ( 8th May) to today ,I have got exactly 49 miles under my belt with amazingly, no flare- ups in any department( if that isn't tempting fate then I don't know what is !!)

The regime in the week was quite simple - I did three loops of my Sloc- Round Table-Colby-Rushen Church route, which is 11.4 miles each circuit, and a 15 miler this morning which was basically the Boundary Stroll route from Douglas to Foxdale, St Johns and back home along the Peel road. Just to prove how sad I am and how obsessed with time I have become, my average speed throughout the entire week was 5.15mph. I just need to string it together at the same time over a longer distance of ground !

The 3 Sloc laps were interesting as no one day was the same. One day wind behind, next day rain and on Sunday a north-westerly wind in your face which made the climb even harder. God help us all if it is a warm day come 23rd June and then having to face a breeze like that in your face. But, that is a reality and it was good to face it and battle through it.

The 15 mile walk this morning was also an eye-opener due to the weather. It started out cloudy, yet by halfway myself and Mark H were in blazing sunshine. Nothing can be taken for granted with the island's climate and both of us voiced great concerns, and a complete change of game-plan, if we have a hot one.

I am still learning the science and logistics of this game, and if I'm honest, I haven't got a clue what I'm doing. It bothers me immensely that I , for a novice and rookie, have trained quite hard yet it can all be easily undone by poor preparation and not eating and drinking the right things. I want to give myself the best possible chance and illiminate as many mistakes as I can and for that reason, I will be attending one of the talks held by Sports Nutritionist Kathryn Sentance next week. Any nuggets which anyone could throw my way in the meantime would be much appreciated too - please feel free to leave me a comment !!

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Making sacrifices

I have always been a relatively busy person and if not, like to keep myself occupied. I run a ( thankfully) busy business, have a hectic family life with two small children, own a Season Ticket at Liverpool FC and am a keen follower of horse racing. So there was never going to be any room for another obsession - or so I thought !

I must admit that since taking up walking in August, it has totally taken over my life. Whenever fit, I enjoy training immensely, which I never did when I played football, and the social side to the sport is tremendous - I have met some great people over the last few months which I would not have done ordinarily. The sport is not elitist in the slightest and everyone involved is helpful and approachable. I am just sorry I didn't discover the thrills sooner as I had literally done no sport at all for 10 years. I think a lot of guys struggle with exercise when they pack in football and don't know exactly what to do with themselves.

In order to accommodate the new love in my life, some things have to give so from today onwards, I have put myself on a strict no alcohol policy until after the Parish. Last week I discovered the negative effects the demon drink can have on your body after just one night on the town. On Wednesday, the night after the Reds had knocked out Chelsea, I went on an 11 miler. I struggled the whole way with my breathing, which had never happened before, and felt extremely sick and lethargic. Just days previously, I had flown over 8 miles and wouldn't have blown a candle out when I got home. SO NO MORE BOOZE DAVE, OK !!!

After a few niggles, which are nearly sorted and have been frustrating, I went out this morning and did one circuit of Mark Hempsall's loop which goes Rushen Church - Sloc - Round Table - Colby - Rushen Church, 11.5 miles in total. The first 2 miles killed me going up Ballakillowey as my shins were in agony with not having walked for a week. But I really enjoyed it once the pain had worn off as it was a beautiful morning and the traffic was very light. On my only previous ascent up the Sloc in April, you literally couldn't see 15 feet in front of you, so to see the views it has to offer was very uplifting. With six and a bit weeks to go, I feel I am back on track. So cheers and raise a glass to no more injuries - would you please pass me that Mineral Water !!??