The sun's breaking through the clouds on this friday afternoon, Just dropped my Dad off at Heysham for his trip back to the Island, (the thought of buying a ticket and jumping on board passed through my mind, just for a moment...) and now back with the breaking clouds visible through the skylights, but, as I've decided to test the theories, I'm sitting in watching telly. Rest, a very important factor in training, and one I usually want to ignore the moment the sun comes out. For the last month I've done some form of training or fitness work every day, whether it's a 20 mile + walk to work and back, a cardio 5 miles up the local hills, an evening round a hilly local circuit, to biking to work and back or running up the fells, usually something every day. My last walk was first light Wednesday morning when I did my last fast twitch exercise training, I've done two long sets now which could improve my performance a little, although it'll probably take a lot more before any noticable results show.
10k Northern Championships on Sunday, and a last chance this season to officially get under the hour for a 10k. So, a couple more days rest, stretches, carbs (got a chicken pasta for tea, fresh ingredients of course... mostly any stuff left in the fridge chucked in!) and plenty of rest. I'm working tonight, tomorrow morning, and possibly tomorrow afternoon, so home saturday night, to Sheffield on sunday morning, then back here to Ulverston with Denise and co for Easter. Denise has a couple of mountains she wants to do so that's me sorted for a couple of days at least, and it's our 27th wedding anniversary next week, another go at the Parole board... only kidding! Still, after this rest experiment I'll probably be back to normal training on Monday.
This time last year I was looking ahead a little more optomistically. I'd completed 3 Parishes, improving well on each, and with a 15th place in 17h 43m on the last one, was looking to do something else. I'd gone back to the Island in September for the end to end in 2009, and had a good result despite other efforts. I went out for a walk round Peel the night before and ended up having a couple (okay, four!) pints of Guinness, after being so good for the few days before. bed early, up early, and off we went at 8am. At Jurby I found myself in the top ten and doing well, keeping pretty well level with Chris Cale, who asked what my target was. I didn't have one really, just to finish well as it was a new kind of race to me. I'd only ever done Parishes and comparibly, this was a virtual sprint. I looked at my watch and said, "top ten, 7 and a half hours?" It seemed pretty do-able. (Is that a word?)
So, all going well to Peel, about 12.10 and 5th, and then the climb out of Peel, the sun comes out, Hurricane Pauline and my sister Barbara were supporting myself and Helen, and Pauline asks if I'm okay as Helen was about 30 minutes behind me.. and off she went to assist her for a while. This was when I started sweating guinness, gasping for breath, aching and utterly feeling the effects of the previous nights alcohol. Other walkers passed me, drop down to 6th, 7th 8th and when I dropped to 9th, the mental energy kicked in and I started pushing, and back to my usual trick of looking over my shoulder and keeping the position I had, wanting to reach my target even though it was a casual shrugged target chucked out at random only a couple of hours before. It was a target and it became important. Once again, mental effort overtook physical condition, and despite all the best efforts Cregneash could throw at me, and it was painful, I carried on for 7h 34m, and Ninth place, pleased with my efforts, as I considered it almost as tough as a Parish, being a comparative sprint, so just as satisfactory at the end. It also got me wanting more of this. The next day I was on the internet looking for long distance walk races in the U.K.