Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I'm writing this on Christmas Eve one more thing to do today before the Christmas feastivities (sic!).  SIX months TO THE DAY before the Parish Walk so it seemed the right thing to do...submit The Entry! The Si technology is so clever it's very easy to part with the £30 entry fee these days -compared to not so many years ago.  Time for all the other Parish Walk aspirants now to follow suit.  Say it quickly and six months doesn't seem far enough away!

Wind down mode feels good and lasts until New Year's Day when, mind and body willing, it's the Slieu Whallian fell run.  Apparently it's a fun event but that's not my honest recollection of the only time I woke up to try it soaked immediately and icicles on the legs once we got onto the exposed higer ground.  Still these things are there to experience and it beats a New Year's Day dip by some margin.  The mad fools that do both!

On reflection, Ronaldsway wasn't so windy or cold so the 10k turned out much nicer than expected and it was fewer laps than I was told so that was a bonus too, just right for a brisk effort.  Fastest time for 10k yet so no sooner started than 65 minutes later back in the club house for the raffle!   A true Christmas spirit surrounded the event!  Well done and thanks to all those who took part and to all the volunteer marshalls on a chilly bright Manx morning - much appreciated.

New years resolutions are next on the agenda, somehow the PW has got to feature prominently and I have to figure out what is achievable now my favourite event the Easter MMM has been put back to later in the year sadly no good for event based training next year.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Mind v Matter

Over the years, the usual plan has been to commence training after Christmas.  Lie back and enjoy the chillier winter wind of the Island at a distance rather than in the thick of it.  For 2012, the plan was to experiment (though this may be my swansong attempt) to maintain the fitness level over the winter months.  How's it going?  So far so good, two rounds of WWL and Syd Quirk half finished.  Truth is, Christmas festivities have taken an early toll with extra enjoyable wining and dining (and less whinging about the weather!) having a markedly greater appeal to the mind than any small matter of walking and the puritanical "my body is a temple" stuff! So the hard grind to keep fit is compromised by Christmas  cheer.  Who would describe Christmas as anything other than a welcome intervention?  I'm sure even Paula Radcliffe has a day off.  But carouseling has to be enjoyed so dam it!  But the weak mind has clearly to reassert itself fast and soon to recover lost fitness from festivities, so it's off to a bleak and always windy Ronaldsway for the Winter Walking League 10 k on Sunday.  12 (really!) laps around the route is hardly likely to allow mind to win over matter guaranteeing only a high boredom factor.  Almost everywhere appeals more than a Ronaldsway industrial estate on a cold December Sunday when one could still be tucked up in bed!  Ho hum it's got to be done and the mind might win over matter - and the wind.  I''ll let you know if it works! John

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Getting started

We all set goals and mine was to do the Parish Walk.  So why having done it have I then set out on the same 85 miles again in following years?  Can't truly answer to that one but a goal achieved is history and we all need a new challenge.  Oddly, the decision to give it another go this time was made even earlier than ever before, sitting at the awards ceremony and hearing of so many big names from the Parish deciding not to do it again, they obviously need my help ha ha!  That and finishing with only one medium pain blister compared to the many of previous years helped the decision too.

How therefore to keep up the momentum and fitness over the winter months - not easy when you also have to juggle other responsibilities.  The family either thinks I'm slightly or entirely mad which doesn't help but the Parish is a unique event and in the build up and on the day it feels a privilege to be a small part of it and the very sepcial atmosphere that surrounds it.  That and finishing of course helps but no one should be deterred..

Kickstarting the training  meant participation in the events those kind and extremely hardworking volunteers organisers and marshalls for the various athletics associations put on for the community.  Therefore completed the Syd Quirk half marathon walk on Sunday following the Up & Running Winter Walking League 10k the previous Sunday.  All part of the endeavour to stay fit during the winter months and get a headstart into 2012.  The 10 k went ok and turned out to be quicker than the first round so step in the right direction there I hope; oddly ending up with what appears to be a handicap time the same as Jock Waddington!  How did that happen?  Be interested to hear from anyone who can explain the mysteries of the handicapping system to me.

Syd Quirk Syd Quirk, who was he? A really fun event - usually.  The first 15k went well. Then the pain started after which I thought I would be lucky to get a finish.  Something wrong with the big toe, I'll spare the gruesome details, it was uncomfortable before the event, I think an injury from the previous weekend.  The idea was for these events to help the fitness, presently it feels the other way around with a bigger injury than I have ever had before.  Perhaps a need to rethink the strategy what with Christmas and the festive season coming up?  Hopefully not.   More next time, fitness doubts not setting in just yet!