Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Major Improvements New Challenges

I have been planning to write this blog for a while now, it will now have two parts the first part is about how I have noticed the improvement's I have made in my running and the second part will be about my last cycle ride on the 28th July 2015 they should sort of link in?

I now feel that I have moved up a group in the natural order of runs no longer do I feel that I am in the back section just hoping to get round and or do the best I can. Now when I run my thoughts turn to weather or not I can get close to a P/B time or not, whilst I am running my head is playing evil mind games with me. It goes something like this and to be honest it really does screw with me.

"Why do you put yourself through this you know its hurting why not just slow down" I'm not slowing down I have only just started the run its only 10K ease up on me. "Ok your not slowing down why don't you just walk go on take a walking break you know you want to" really behave I'm not walking we are not even at the 5k marker yet there's no need to walk I do parkrun's all the time stop messing with me. "Now I'm pulling out the big guns I will sabotage your run look you have done well to get this far without struggling slowing down to much or taking a walking break no one cares if you slow down or just walk in go on give in and just walk in, it will be ok I promise?" I need a natural walking break about mile 5 for one minute then run in to the finish. "See I got you to walk just relax and take it easy you did good up to now" No sod off I need to start running again, I get to the end of the race/run feeling drained and tired I am happy with my time that feeling is awesome knowing I have two victory's in one.

That is pretty much what happen's now at my runs it's always a tough mental battle. Why have I described what happens and did it not happen before?

The answer to both those questions are that in the first 4 years it was always about finishing if I had a bad run it did not matter I still run and completed that was always the goal, if I had a good run it was a great bonus, it was a different mental battle and one that was not so important to me.

So why does it happen? and why does it matter so much to me now?

Good question and one I can only partly answer, when I now run I am able to run in a large group of the same time group of people, I have spent a lot of time recently running the majority of the race with the same people in sight, I am running to the best of my ability to get me round close to a P/B if not beat it, that means I am pushing my body harder and faster than it has before and that is why I struggle with my inner self, "It never gets easier to run I just get faster and/or better."

That is why it matters so much to me now, I care about my self improvement I am so proud that I can see my improvement I feel like a proper runner now, I have a start middle and end strategy for the run I know when to speed up or slow down if I need that walking break or not. What I am really struggling with is my mental state whilst running is this normal? common? natural? it takes my mind off the race a little, what I would really like to happen is just run a race with or without music (my head plays games with or without music) from start to finish with my game plan in place, I struggle to enjoy the run whilst doing it after the run I can enjoy what I have achieved. This is the part I don't have the answer for luckily for me I may well get some help from a few amazing people who understand this.

Change Gear Sportive 100 Miles Cycling.

I posted on Facebook 2 days before this event how I felt, I did this because I'm human, I needed to get it off my chest I did not do it for sympathy or being a drama queen, I was also aware of the challenge I was about to undertake.

"On Sunday I am taking part in a 100 mile cycle sportive, for some reason I am scared/nervous, being scared/nervous is good to a point but today as I was checking my bike out it really hit me. I have read the email details for the ride and there is a front and rear vehicle so getting lost is not to much of a problem the only real concern is getting a puncture I still don't know how to fix a puncture or change an inner tube? Shocking I know but I'm not hands on. As for the distance/route it is a challenge but I have been close to it before so I am looking forward to ride. Just needed to say how I feel"
I completed the ride Sportive 100 Miles (you will need to click on the comments section to read full ride details. There were 3 rides 100, 66, 33 miles, we left first and by Demead I was on own last man for 100 miles that was not unexpected but still a sharp realization of what was in store and the fact I was on my own cycling for 90 miles. I had a little company as the 66 mile group caught me up and left me behind, I have one guy stay with me for about 10 miles or so that was great to have someone to ride with and see, The route split at about 30 miles and I was seriously considering baling out and just do the 66 mile course. After that point I never considered pulling out I was going to complete 100 miles even it was cycling,walking, and a car lift to save time up the 3 climbs I could not manage.

At that junction was Ben the rear car marshal I had a chat with him told him my fears he told me I could go on it was a nice cycle part of the route and that he would leave his post in approx one and a half hours and catch me up and follow me home. That was it on my way knowing I would be alone for over 30 miles as it turned out. I have to say that was the best part of the course I even clocked 44 mph at one stage. Cycling on your own knowing you are last by a long distance is so very tough mentally.

The support I got from Ben all the marshal's on course was just awesome, I Thank You all for staying out so much longer just to wait for me to get home the cheers and encouragement meant so much to me as I struggled with my quads from mile 65 onward's. If you guys don't realize the boost I got every time help me to dig in that little bit more and made a painful ride at the point bearable. Change Gear Result

The reason I entered this event was part of my training plan for the Prudential RideLondon cycle ride having gone completed the ride and with all the knowledge I now have from this ride I feel at this present moment with the London ride being a timed event must be finished by 17:30 and no idea of start time (last start time is 09:00) that I may not start this event.

Before you say I can, there are a number of important factors to consider the most important is the fact this took me just over nine and half hours to complete, I had help up the two biggest hills with a vehicle so how much longer would it have taken had I had to walk up the hills? My Quads were shot away so walking would have been painful and slow. There is the mental challenge of the time factor how will it mess with my head and body? Do I want to start an event that I may get pulled from, again mentally tough if that happens.

For the record it was only my quads that caused me problems and they kicked in at the start of Quell Lane I made sure that I had plenty of fluids, gels, and food to keep me going, unless some one tells me different I did good on that score it was my quads that let me down.  

This is the second day after the ride and my quads are still painful it hurts to move do I want/need to put my body through this in 4 weeks time? I hurt more now than I ever felt on the York2Pompey ride. I guess I will wait and see what my start time will be it needs to be really early I clearly need as much time as possible to be able to complete.

For now all options are open I don't have to commit until the day before when I can register in London I will be riding in London on the Saturday anyway so I will wait and see, whatever decision I make I will make for what is right for me there can be no failure, I have the rest of the year and my running events to consider as well, as it stands today I could not run even if I wanted to.      


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