Not one of them is touching the ground, that's why they beat me and I'm sticking to that! Technically legal, the rule is that it must be to the naked eye, not photographic or video evidence, a grey area in the rules to say the least!
Well, a big anti-clamax to say the least, out yesterday parish training seemed humdrum after mondays day out. I was aching in the upper legs but went out for a 10 mile walk to loosen up and get the circulation working again, went for a gentle 5mph/12 minute mile speed, but felt good and upped to 10m 30s a mile so good training, a surprising speed considering my lack of sleep and the after effects of the race. I couldn't have done more than the 10 miles though, felt drained.
I'm back at work in Ulverston now, two weeks of a final push in training to get as ready as I can for the big day. Looking at the photos on the mall I look overweight, although they say the camera adds ten pounds and there were a lot of cameras there... So, working on Cardio and weight loss, with speed up, and more importantly, down the hills. Uphill I can keep a steady 5mph+ without burning too many calories so it's the downhill sections where you take advantage of gravity to make up time. A 30 minute cardio session up the steep hill out the back of the town, and 30 minutes back down for speed before breakfast to get the metabolism going, then either a walk into work and back or a 10 to 15 mile quick walk over the hills in the afternoon. It was warm and sunny this afternoon so sweat pants, fleece and wooly hat with only a small 300ml water bottle to moisten a dry mouth for heat work to acclimatise for the heat and condition the body for warm weather. I'm convinced this tactic last year not only helped me when the car broke down, it was the reason I finished at all. I was dehydrated but managed to keep going whilst rehydrating. They use a room at Hull Uni which heats to 120 deg F with a treadmill in it for acclimatising desert ultra marathon runners, but the fleeces and wooly hat make a cheap and easy option. I'm not recommending this for everyone though unless you take proper precautions. You must be physically fit, especially Cardio fit as this thickens the blood as you lose water. Re-hydration is essential afterwards, and I carry a couple of bottles of water in my bag if I feel I'm struggling. I burned 6 pounds this afternoon according to the scales, although put most of that back afterwards rehydrating, but done properly, a pound a day is easy to burn off with correct diet. A hot weekend is forecast, 20 deg C +, so hopefully a few pounds less blubber to carry around on the day.
Looking at todays weather it could be hot and sunny or wet and windy on the day. The border between the warm european high pressure area and the northern low pressure areas is still hovering over us which is giving us the dry dust bowl conditions in the south of England while we in the North are suffering wet and windy weather. I get advanced long term weather forecasts from Dong energy who are building the windfarms in the Irish sea so I should have a weeks advanced warning for race day itself. they have to know the wind, temperature and wave height in advance for constructing the windmills as it's crucial for working with 800 tonne windmill sections. I'll be posting long term weather information as soon as I get relevant details to keep everyone informed. Forewarned is forearmed so they say.
A few more photos.
Me, overtaking the chinese record holder. (That's what I'll be telling the grandkids years from now when I drag out the photos)
Lauren Whelan (72 Manx Harriers) 3rd in the Junior ladies 10k with 51.23.
Joanna Jackson, British Commonwealth Gold medallist, passes Buckingham Palace.
John Constandinou e-mailed me this one. Early on before the rain.
I still have the dull ache in the abductor, but a friend who runs regularly got me onto compression shorts, the latex type shorts runners seem keen on now. I don't know the exact science behind them but they compress from the waist to above the knee, keep the muscles warm and the circulation around those muscles running efficiently, and hold the muscles in place. I got a pair last friday and wore them on Monday and felt nothing from the injury, or from the Piriformis strain in the right hip. A little expensive, but considering the work I've put in, a good purchase. I did put my baggy shorts over the top as you can see in the photo above, skin tight shorts might be good for top young athletes but on a middle aged slightly overweight person like myself, in front of 15,000 people, a little too revealing!
I'm avidly watching the TT coverage on ITV4, this year's the first for a while that I'm probably going to miss. I have friends and relatives across there who keep texting what a great occasion it is. I'm only half an hour from Heysham so if I get a chance to get across for a days racing maybe I'll get a chance, but one of the pilots is on leave so there are only two of us on, and I'm doing extra days now to make up for the nine days across for the Parish itself so it's looking doubtful, it'll be a last minute thing if it happens. I'm cheering on Guy Martin for his first TT win this year, although I disagree with him on one thing. He may be a nice chap, and a top road racer, but no matter how much he reckons he's an expert on making a good cuppa, he'll always be wrong as long as he doesn't put the milk in last!
No more talk of the Mall after this, I don't want to get boring, so only Parish talk from now in the blog. For all you out there, still time to lose that couple of niggly pounds and put a final good few training walks in. The suns out so put on your trainers and go and take advantage.
It'll be worth it on the day!
22:00, thursday evening.
I've just watched the TT preview programme on ITV4, lots of regret because I'm not there soaking up the atmosphere, seeing the famous landmarks, especially the TT course sections that share their place with the Parish Walk. Annoying my friends here who are watching the racing with me butting in with "we walk down that road, about 3 hours in. That's where we turn off for the north (Ballaugh bridge) etc, but seeing Keith Amor climbing into the Hyperbaric chamber to recover from his injuries brings back a part of the Parish which seems to be a little overlooked. Bethany Clague walked the Parish course twice, a feat that is unbelievable, never to be repeated, to highlight the cause for the hyperbaric chamber fund. Many charities benefit from the Parish, maybe millions of pounds over the years, and something to push now that it's getting close. I walk all my walks for Macmillan cancer support after the work they did with my Mother and Son, I can't promote the work they do enough and work for them on my time off. (If you've read the blog and taken anything from it, there is a link to my just giving site here for anyone who can spare a couple of pounds, one in three people are affected by Cancer.) But, we all have our causes, so, maybe while you're out walking, take a sponsorship form and cajole friends, workmates and neighbours to make a difference for those less fortunate than ourselves.