I haven't blogged properly for a few days, give you couple of people who read this a chance of a rest... really didn't want to blog while feeling down, it's not good to come on here whining about my troubles, deep down they're not really troubles in the grand scheme of things, but we all get those times when things don't seem to be going right.
I'm back in Ulverston, on my own this time, my wife was supposed to be coming for the next couple of weeks but her father is seriously ill, so it goes without question she has to stay at home. Just a phone call every evening. So, I thought get knuckled down at work and get some longer distances under my belt, time on in your walking shoes is time well spent etc etc. But, I've got aches through my legs, especially in the upper quads, my feet hurt, no blisters which is a good thing, and for some reason tenderness in my stomach and back. Maybe I need a good sports massage? I rested for three days before the Nationals last Sunday, and did nothing for three days afterwards, so I'm getting the rest, so I don't know what's wrong.
Walked to work this morning and kept up sub 11 minute miles for the ten and a half miles, but on the way back it started raining, I was miserable, tired, aches and pains again and couldn't get any real speed up and struggled to do 5mph which I wouldn't have been able to keep up for much longer. To cap it all, fifteen minutes from home, my phone rang... it was work and an unexpected sailing at one o clock in the morning so the night off has gone down the toilet.
I did win a tenner on the lottery though, but even that was the first this year so analyzing it did no good. A sign that you're not enjoying your walking is when your mind wanders and you lose concentration on keeping up technique and speed. What I did work out was that I had put a lot more than a tenner into the lottery prize fund this year and the lift that I got from my tiny win was soon gone.
Someone said to me recently that the Parish is such a physical endurance sport that training alone cannot carry you to your ultimate goal, as long as your goal is something you never expected to achieve. If this is your first attempt, you've never walked before, and you've set your sights on Rushen or Peel, or if you are determined that this is the year that you'll finally break the 85 mile mark, training can only do so much. It's heart, (the courage type, not the mechanical cardio strength) determination, and self belief. These things push you that bit further. You have to want to finish. It was this that was going through my mind. Should I cut my training down to a couple of sessions a week? Stop altogether for a fortnight? How much training is too much training? I did this much last year but felt good all the time, so maybe I've tipped over the edge and this year I'll find that last year was my peak. Whatever, I was going to say I'll sleep on it, but I'm off out into the Irish sea at 1am, so another day of rest tomorrow and search the phone book for a good local sports masseur.
One thing I did pick up form Sundays race when I was e-mailed the results, I was 10th in the Mens 20k, which is better than I thought, and only 2 personal bests were set due to the combination of wind and heat, mine being one of them. Some of the top walkers were three or four minutes down on recent performances so perhaps sub 1h 55m was possible? And 25 days to the Olympic trial on the Mall, so time to analyze, plan and put things right.
Or maybe, with all the technology I have available, I'm now analyzing things too much.