I have always been an active sort, swimming in my early years to my teens then horses and finally moving on to the the gym and running in my twenties. After having the girls fitness really fell by the wayside for a good three years and by the time Jemima turned 8mths I was feeling the urge to get back and do something active again! I had seen everyone with the coloured bibs on the Stray thought it looked fun and thought I’d give it a go as I’m definitely more of an ‘out’ than ‘in’ person when it comes to exercise.
It was great fun and I knew at once this was definitely for me!! I started out in the red group with a lady called ‘Alex’. I was pretty rubbish and not able to manage a sit up or press up! I didn’t want to go too crazy to start with after having such a long break but it soon became quite addictive and finding myself going to three sessions a week.
‘Behind the scenes’ insight into why I usually make it ‘just’ on time to sessions: I race home from work and make sure that absolutely EVERYTHING is done from homework, bath, teeth, hair and inc our dinner so they just need to be put into bed. That’s usually a workout in itself!!
Then the fun begins of having to start to juggle childcare. It can be quite stressful as you are desperate to get out and train but have you got anyone in place to step in to look after the girls! Will Guy make the train to get back on time, is he actually home that night?! If not, are my elderly parents feeling up to it, if not, is the babysitter free?! Even when you think you have plans in place I have, before, been stood on the doorstep raring to go and 7pm comes and goes and no babysitter appears, then turns up at 7.20pm saying sorry she forgot!
But the feeling of finally getting there (however stressful it’s been), putting on your bib and stepping out onto the fields of glory ready for a good work out whatever the weather is amazing!!
Fitness (as in Military) is a firm fixture in my life and as my fitness has increased I have done a few fell runs, obstacle races and other bits. It’s a great way to get and keep fit and I have made some good friends along the way!
A quick history to put me in context. As a kid and youth I played football and rugby but considered myself quite fit. At 40 I rupterd my achillies tennon playing ‘middle aged fat man’ football, about three years later I damaged my shoulder which required major reconstruction – again playing ‘middle aged fat man football’. I was told the best thing I could do was swim – only problem being I am appalling at swimming. I enrolled in swimming lessons – and remember my assessment swim where I only managed three lengths. The target was the 2011 Leeds sprint triathlon of 12 lengths swim, 20K ride and 5K run. I tried a run and managed 1.5K non-stop before I collapsed gasping and wheezing, bike? I didn’t have one. This was my introduction to Triathlon.
After a couple of sprint triathlons, I figured I’d have a go at an Olympic distance race, doing the Ripon triathlon in 2012 -. I’d noticed ‘Half Iron’ races and entered the 2013 Outlaw race, finishing it in just over six hours. Not believing I could do a half iron I did the same race for the next two years. All the time the question of ‘to iron or not to iron’ started to bother me. This is where I am now, except I’ve entered the Outlaw Iron distance Triathlon next year, I’m commited, and I don’t think I can do it. Full Ironman triathlon? 2.4 mile swim (that’s 160 lengths), 112 mile bike ride, marathon distant run, all of which has to be finished within 17 hours.
I’ve started my training and its consisting of two sessions a day, one in the morning before work and the longer session in the evening, with a longer run and ride at the weekends. I get Fridays as my rest day. I run, swim, ride, do m1st and a pt session. All this adds up to just short of 10 hours a week and its only going to increase. Those who know me, know I’m not a runner, I’m not a cyclist and I’m not a swimmer, what a stupid ambition then! But that’s my motivation, ‘I don’t think I can do it’. I want to challenge myself, stretch myself. I don’t compete against others as I’ll lose, I compete against myself. Do I want to impress people? No, I want to impress myself.
Russell Geraghty writes… A wet muddy run was the name of the game at the 32nd Full Tour of Pendle, a 27km fell race taking you over Barley and Pendleton moors.
A good turn-out of 422 runners were greeted by strong winds and driving rain. Climbing up the first ascent of four into the clag the anticipation was that visibility would be next to zero over the top, but by the time we reached Badger Wells the cloud suddenly lifted, just as the wind did the same. A quick pace round Churn Clough reservoir was followed by the second climb towards Fox Holes then the precipitous descent down the appropriately named Geronimo, a 1-in-2 drop followed by a 1-in-4
climb. As we were climbing up onto Pendleton moor shouts started to go out for the front runners, now some 5km ahead. The race meandered down towards check-point 5 before abruptly turning right up to Mearley moor, a 2km long 1-in-3 climb back to the top. Now on jelly legs the grade descended back to Barley; the final climb of the full tour having been lost to ensure everyone returned safely before the anticipated arrival of storm Abigail.
A good race and a considerable improvement on previous outings into the big fells for me.
(1 1:46:30 Rob Hope Pudsey & Bramley)
(2 1:47:31 Chris Holdsworth Clayton le Moors Harriers)