Month: March 2013

So another event complete, a new PB achieved for a half marathon and everything generally good in the world of me.

So why the hell have I been a grumpy sod this week?

It makes no sense, as I said I was delighted to run 1:43 at the Ellesmere half marathon, especially because it’s a hilly old course that’s for sure and given that it was snowing and generally freezing I should be made up. I even got a quality memento – which I wasn’t expecting and my wonderful finally managed to take a semi reasonable picture of me running.


Spent the afternoon in the pub to celebrate mother’s day and even had my first Guinness in a year or two (purely for the iron – I heard that it helps post recovery, after the first one I thought my iron levels were still low so I had another), been sleeping well, eating ok – as ever could be better could be worse. Continued the good level of exercise by going on a gentle 10 mile ride on Monday morning, a slow 6 mile run on Tuesday morning and then a 20 mile hard ride (achieving a new PB) on Wednesday in freezing conditions.

However, after much thought I think I have discovered why.

I will give you a clue – heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy sexy ladies.


My wife and I guess more importantly my daughter has discovered a love for…..

God knows why, I know we are behind the times in Wales but come on this was big news 6 months ago. Bloody Gangnam Style.

It’s the only thing I can think of that has caused the sudden change in mood. The playing of it on an infrequent but recurring basis has penetrated my brain and caused the following graphical analysis to be required;


As a result I blame the Korean numpty for putting me in a grump, which on thursday night was a contributing factor to me eating a lot of freebies from work and generally abusing my body. However I felt the pain this morning with a common problem when I overeat the night before and then exercise early the next day. No real nice way to say it but I had stomach issues first thing. Randomly though despite this and the fact that I have been feeling generally alittle low on energy this week (which I put down to the HM) I absolutely nailed this morning’s run.

I had set out to do 9 miles, the route of which means I have to go off road and its very boggy when wet and as it had been raining and steadily rained on me this morning I thought it best to stick to my ‘normal’ 7 mile route but attempt to beast myself and beat my PB. This was my 19th time of running this route and do to the new found desire to punish myself on the run I managed to knock 32 seconds from my previous best.

That said I couldn’t breathe at the end.

Strange to think that I know view 7 miles as a normal distance to run and something which doesn’t push my boundaries when this time last year I hadn’t run that distance yet. Also strange how a weekend off all exercise and one that will involve a lot of (very very very good) food and booze causes me to be a little guilty. I haven’t had two days off together since the middle of January when we were sunning ourselves in Lanzarote.

I feel like I am cheating on my Midget man dream. Guess I have given myself a hall pass 


The snowball effect

So I was casually, as you do, attempting to check the route of my next event – the Ellesmere half marathon to allay all the fears about the numerous hills I have been hearing about, when I stumbled across the Ellesmere / Shropshire triathlon website.

Well that was a mistake.

For all the right reasons. 

Turns out that they have an Olympic distance event on the bank holiday weekend of May. The distance I have entered to do in August at another local event – which is my main goal for the year and something which the thought of still scares me.

Now I have two important things when selecting events; distance and cost. Within which encapsulates family disruption, travelling times, holidays from work, accommodation costs, ability of family / friends to watch, recovery times, travelling back etc.

The fact that this event is reasonably priced (although still not cheap in the ‘real ‘ world) is a tick in the selection box and the fact that it is close to home (roughly 10 miles away) makes it stupidity tempting. (side note and to show that I am showing some restraint is that within a 15 miles radius from home there are countless half marathons, a marathon and I can think of 7 triathlons off the top of my head) The fact that it’s on a Sunday when I am already off on the Monday is another plus – hopefully a sunny bank holiday Monday relaxing in the garden with a BBQ would go down a treat.

But that’s half the problem; now I know that there is an event which means I can swim in a mere which I have walked around countless times and also has a bike route which actually goes past my childhood home (still my parents’ house) and secondary school and primary school and is on roads I used to ride aimlessly around in my youth on my first bike as a fat young lad.

I simply, with my current mind-set and outlook on life, I simply can’t miss it.

Can I.

Come on put yourself in my shoes.

This throws up two hurdles; well life would be boring without them. 

The timing of the Ellesmere event is on a date upon which as a family we would be returning from a family week long holiday in Cornwall, a place I / us blooming love to bits. A place we cherish every second when we are there and somewhere we love to spend time as a family. So much so that we toyed with moving there a few years ago.

Now this just shows you how much my wonderful wife either loves me or hates me (depending upon your view of seeing me suffer) – she has agreed that we can return a day early. So I can take part in the event. Bringing forward my original ‘A’ race distance for the year from the middle of August till the end of May.

She is blooming lovely isn’t she.

 Now I have said in the past that I didn’t really want to complete the same distance tri’s (especially in the same year) – it was always my intention if possible to do a sprint, then an Olympic, then an half ironman, then if still breathing an ironman, hopefully in 2015. I really want that tattoo. I even know exactly where it will go.

So…..a cheeky email went in to the organises of the peoples Whitchurch Olympic tri event, because – and I think you will like this bit – guess what – a week after the Olympic distance event they hold….drum roll please…both a half ironman and full ironman event, on roughly the same course as its laps – on both of which the bike route encompass where I work – see this was all meant to be wasn’t it.

Now this may turn out to be a highly stupid idea – at this point I haven’t ever competed in or completed a tri event of any distance, I have never swum in a wetsuit (scuba diving aside) I ‘only’ have 2 half marathons to my name , a single 10k jaunt and 2 novelty events in the bag (hell runner and painbarrier); so it would seem foolhardy to book a half ironman for 164 days’ time wouldn’t it.

Well – the organisers came back and said that they would switch my place if I paid the difference.

Second hurdle, hurdled (!?!)

So guess what folks.

On the 18th August I WILL complete one of the targets for 2014.


A target which scares the hell out of me and sends shivers down my back, whilst producing a massive gormless smile as I write this.


I will become a……………….MIDGET IRONMAN


What have I done

 My plans now look like this for the rest of the year:


Ellesmere half marathon

Ironbridge half marathon

Major series shifnal

Chirk sprint tri

Market drayton 10k

Ellesmere Olympic distance tri

Etape eryi

Coed y brennin trail half marathon

Whitchurch half ironman


JOiNed uP ThINkInG

Ever feel you have a case of one step forward two back? Like success in one thing is undermined by failure in another?

Welcome to exercise v’s food in robs world. No doubt this year I have been hitting and frequently going beyond my original targets of mileage this year, so much so that I have nearly cumulatively completed what I set out to do for the first three months already.

I am loving my new bike and hitting miles I never could before. Even with the biting winds and cold snaps, I still wake up excited to get out on it when the time allows. Sundays 40 mile ride was a good example of that; previous day I did a 9.5 mile run and swam half a mile, but at 5.30 I was up and lycra clad ready to get out there. 40 miles later and two semi frozen water bottles were a good example of just how chilly it was out there.


Still what do they say about winter miles equally summer smiles? Also with the daylight improving early doors its ‘easier’ to get out there.


However I am still to held back by my eating habits; especially at home. Work is easier, despite the free yogurt temptation, because it is a semi controlled environment. I always take lunch with me, always have a banana at hand and with a limit of one of the healthy yogurts a day, interrupted with numerous glasses of water it’s all fairly robust and well planned.

So much so that when I get home from work around 6 I could eat a findus lasagne.

The issue arises when after tea and father daughter play time, bath time, book time and bed time. It’s the first time I really sit down and do nothing – well apart from times at work – and then the problems start. Not sure if its boredom, tiredness or temptation which starts the process off but I find myself – last week especially – reaching for the little treats. A hand full of sugar puffs, a hand full of coco pops, a yogurt, a quick cereal bar. All of which I somehow manage to assume will not equate to any actual calories as no one has seen me eat those things.

The upshot of this is that for the last two weeks despite running 50 miles and cycling 150 miles I have lost an annoying 1lb of timber. 1LB!

So the plan is for the next week – At 8 o’clock every night I will be doing a series of exercises at home; push ups (I am rubbish at) sit ups, planking (I am rubbish at) kettlebells and squats. This on top of the training plan for the week – including a half marathon race on Sunday will hopefully produce some much need progress on the gut front. So less junk more exercise.

My race half marathon a couple of weeks ago I got this instead of a medal.


Yep a loaf of bread as the event was sponsored by a local bakery. I have discovered that for the upcoming Ellesemere half marathon you don’t even get that. In fact as far as I can tell for finishing a hilly and leg sapping run you get a single small cup of water. Better event selection is definitely called for!

Hopefully this will enable the two points of my brain – the one which controls exercise and the one which controls eating to actually think together and I can get this body moving quick and for longer distances.

Anyway – off for lunch now………………………………………….