Tuesday, 14 August 2012

70.3, can I drive it?

I know that I haven't written a post for some time, but to be honest I have been pretty busy concentrating on getting rid of the weight rather than writing about it! This is mainly as I'm panicking, because I now have a target. I thought I had a target with London Marathon, but as I have admitted before, I didn't take London Marathon as seriously as I should have and although I did the training and worked hard, I didn't drop any weight. Not good enough.

So, my new target. I'm entering the world of triathlons. Don't worry, I'm not stupid enough to dive straight into Ironman distance, I'll leave that to my friend Paul (you can read his mental blog here!) but I have had my arm twisted into a half iron (70.3) distance triathlon, and I have given myself a year to get ready for it. So, next summer, I will be swimming 1.2 miles, riding 56 miles and then running 13.1 miles. Apart from the obvious issue of I'm still carrying way too much weight; there are a couple more factors that I need to address to prepare for the race. 

Firstly, I swim off of Nans. I am as I have been called before, part of the "dry hair brigade" so this needs to change pretty sharpish. I have however been working on this over the last few weeks in the pool at my gym, the process I fear is going to be a long one! I have mentioned before that I have a fear of water, which is why I'm a bit (a lot) shit at swimming. I am trying to get over this by just getting on with it and so far it seems to be working, I'm now confident to go swimming on my own and I am forcing myself to go for it and get under water. Luckily I have a friend, Tracey that I met at Regency Runners who has competed in triathlons who has offered to give me some help with my swimming technique, and how to breathe properly, as this is what I am finding really difficult at the moment.

Tracey has also come up trumps just as I was looking to buy a bike. As she is looking to buy a road bike, she is selling her old bike, to moi! Bonus! Now, the next factor I need to address, I haven't ridden a bike since I was 12 and I failed my cycling proficiency test (they tricked me into failing!) so I might need to fix stabilizers to the bike for the time being! I am hoping that I pick this up quickly as I think the stabilizers may slow me down on the day, although I have to admit I am a bit apprehensive about riding on the roads but I have plenty of friends in Warwick who ride so I won't have to go out on these rides alone. I can also gain some confidence with them before I have to start the really long rides early next year.

I'm not too concerned about the run; I know I can run that distance so I can train for it again. I am having a bit of a break from running at the moment, which has forced me to drop out of the Great North Run, something that was a really tough decision but I think for the best. My legs aren't enjoying running at the moment and I am still getting awful pains in my shins after runs. I figured that I would concentrate on gym work for the next few months and give them a proper break, then start up again once it has cooled down and once I had dropped some weight, as I am aware that my weight isn't helping the situation.

So that's the challenge, I'm sure many of you are reading this and thinking "is she stupid? Of course she's not going to do it" and to be honest, I can see your point, but you really don't want to bet against me, I can be a stubborn cow when I want to be (all the time) and I have never felt so focused as I do now.

The next thing I need to do is book my place. I have kind of decided which event I want to do, so the 70.3 Galway, Ireland is a hot favorite. This is mainly as both the ride and run are on a flat course, and I hate hills, although, the swim is in the sea.......and I think this is why I am hesitating to get my name down. Swimming in the nice safe pool is one thing, but swimming in the sea is one hell of a different ball game! I'm hoping that my friend Paul will help me a bit with this, well, seeing as this was all kind of his fault, I will make him!

So lastly, a quick update on how my training is going. I have spent the last few weeks trying to work out a schedule that suits. I have got back into spin class which I love, as there are a few different spin instructors and I have now tested most of the classes and worked out which ones are more challenging so will be more beneficial to me, my weight and my fitness, so now I attend 3-4 spin classes a week. I have also started Zumba, something that I thought I would try out for the hell of it and actually, I really enjoy it, so have decided to keep it in my programme for the time being.  

I am still seeing Oli at Peak Fitness for personal training sessions; he is still working me really hard and now has an accomplice in Phil. During my last session which I had with Phil, after killing me with 250m rowing sprints he bought out a mat and a 7.5kg kettle bell, and I was told to do 15 swings then straight into a plank. A plank? I can't do a plank (well I couldn't a few months ago!) I heard laughter from the other side of the gym as Oli told Phil to expect some Angry Planks! I think this proves how well Oli knows me, knowing that when I can't do something I get angry and act just like a child; I throw a bit of a tantrum! But, I knew I had to try it, and all three attempts were over 30 seconds. Not great, but certainly better than the 5-10 seconds I was expecting, and much better than Phil was expecting, as I think after my initial reaction he thought/hoping he was going to see me face plant the mat!

I am also carrying on with the programme that Oli and Phil have set for me in my gym, and I am really pleased with the results. I can see myself getting stronger, and I am able to do things now that I just could not have done a few months ago. I tend to have quite a good attitude when I am working on my own in the gym; I decide what I am going to do before I get there and make sure I follow it through. It's really hard work but such a satisfying feeling when I have finished!
I have also got my diet sorted. Switching to "clean eating" is really hard and I have had to do it gradually, so although it has taken some time I now find it really easy. It may not suit everybody and there are a million and one opinions about what’s healthy and what’s not, but this suits me  I am now another 8lbs down and I am starting to notice some clothes becoming a little looser which is a start.

Things are feeling really good at the moment, being focused feels great and I feel I have the tools to keep me there, I continue with self hypnosis every night, I notice such a difference if I miss a night, the next day being such a struggle. I also wake up with this every morning, and if I get any thoughts on missing a gym session or eating something I should, I repeat to myself:

The decisions you make today change the shape of the person you become tomorrow

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I'm a fatty trying to get to be a thinny!