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Am I a Fraud?
Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:18 pm Big Ted
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Am I a Fraud?

Not much has changed since my last blog. I took a week off immediately after writing it in the hope that the ďhungerĒ would return. It didnít.

The week after that I managed 80 miles of biking and 20 of running. All of which I enjoyed enormously which whilst positive simply isnít at the level I need it to be at for a serious attempt at the Deca.

If Iím not going to do it I thought then I need to get past the 1st March cos thatís when you donít get any of your money back if you pull out. If I make the decision not to go I donít want it to be for financial reasons. So I set a plan out.

I stuck to it for 2 days. Then woke up on the 3rd day and felt a bit ill so canned it that day. That same morning we had 2 guys off at work, both of whom I had to cover for. The same happened the next day so training went out of the window. Thankfully my illness didnít get any worse.

The weekend came and due to the work absence I got the ďcall outĒ phone for the weekend so that kind of put paid to any training at the weekend. So only 80 miles cycling from a week that was meant to be about much, much more in training terms.

I maintain though, that if I REALLY wanted it Iíd find a way to put the hours into the training. This led me to question why it doesnít mean so much any more.

Seems that because my focus is on work and I face so much uncertainty and risk in that arena (in a positive way Ė my decision to take risks!) that that has replaced the need to take on endurance sports in quite such a head on way. When I started all this madness 3 and a half years ago work held little excitement or incentive. Indeed I wasnít really that busy. But that has changed quite significantly now culminating in my main focus being on my work.

In other words ultras gave me something missing my life at that time. They involved pushing the boundaries, often to ridiculous levels. Me, being me, loved it.

We are taking some very big risks in the business this year. Proper sh1t or bust stuff. Iím at the boundary. On the edge. Iím a little frightened truth be told. I donít do things by halves, never have. God job, because in this instance I donít have years to sort things out. As far as work goes, I need to be focussed and motivated NOW. And, thankfully, I am.

All this makes me feel a bit of a fraud really. Is it true that I never really swam or ran all those ridiculous distances for the love of the sport? That Iím not really a triathlete just some sort of experience junkie who intruded into an amazing sport full of amazing people for a few years because I needed a focus in my life?

And yet I have learnt so much. The very boundaries I crossed by participating are what gives me the confidence to take life on in such a head-on way. I realised how tough I can be and that to keep moving forward and never walk away apply to so much more than ultra sports. But I would never have discovered the true meaning of those things without ultra tri.

Of course I will NEVER stop cycling until I can no more turn the pedals. Focuses in life come and go but cycling is always there. I have been an entire month without riding a bike I think about 3 times in the last 10 years! Have considered cycling my hobby since I was 13 years old. Beyond work and family it is my passion. There were never any training rides. Just bike rides. Thatís the difference. I AM a cyclist.

So I am out of the Deca, right?

Wrong. Every day I hope that the passion and need will return. That something will inspire me to take it back on. That everything I have just written turns out to be utter bullsh1t. But every day that goes by makes that less likely.

There will come a point when I admit itís all over. But Iím not there yet. I could still plot a path from today to finishing the Deca. Iíve paid my money, which I canít get back now, and it doesnít really matter if people think I canít make it even if my focus returns now, because I have two fundamental problems.

1) Iím not very good at quitting and,
2) I believe itís still possible.

And for as long as I hold that belief Iím still in.

Bloody ridiculous, really.


Symes Ė Well I didnít quite make the call yet mate. Thanks, as ever, for your support and comments though. Wish I was getting the miles on the bike that you are at the moment!

Sue Ė The snow left us not long after my little mishap. Still a bit tender even now! Hopefully better weather here now, and can start enjoying the bike again!
"Cycle on your bicycle,

Leave all this misery behind"

It's been a while...
Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:11 pm Big Ted
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It's been a whileÖ

Over a month in fact since I blogged. Not because I havenít had the time. Not because life has been so very busy. Not because I didnít want to.

No, I stopped because it wasnít helping any more. Every time I thought about writing something down it was just negative. Like a needle stuck in a groove, I had nothing new or interesting to say.

Training has been on and off. Last 2-3 weeks havenít been too bad though really. Lots of bike commuting, and some solid 30-40 mile run weeks as well as a heavy training weekend round at davemís place. In fact considering mentally January was a write-off in my head, when you look at the stats I ran 137miles and biked over 500 again I think.

I came off my pushbike in the snow this week so canít run today, and the roads are too dangerous to ride on. I donít ďdoĒ the turbo and as for swimming? Ė well that particular mojo still eludes me. If anyone finds the little bastard could they mail it home Ė really need to find the little bugger. As a result though I have some time to write this blog post!

Purpose of this blog post? Ė dunno really- to not fade away I suppose. Not to talk about how I feel, but out of respect for those who have been kind enough to read and comment thus far, to say that Iím not out yet. I am beginning to doubt that Iíll get to the start line, but I suppose the fact that I havenít written to Enduroman to pull out means that I must still believe itís do-able. Smile

So until the next time I write with positive news or otherwise, Iíll just keep trying to maintain some kind of base level fitness and hope that at some point the motivation, desire and sheer bloodymindedness return to make this thing happen.

When they do, you guys who have taken an interest in all the crap I have to say, will be the first to know.

Thanks for reading


Davem Ė If only youíd let me train at 16.3 when we ride!! I wish!

Symes Ė Thanks Ė blogging stopped helping tbh, just hope I can get things back on track soon Ė will be loads of updates then!

Sue Ė Knowledgeable support is the key! Wink

Carlito Ė The running hasnít been too bad and thereís been broken down cars and motorbikes to force some runs! Really need to get the biking and swimming back though!
"Cycle on your bicycle,

Leave all this misery behind"

Gettiní back on it...
Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:01 pm Big Ted
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Gettiní back on it...

Xmas and new year is a distant memory already. Life is back to normal. Iím happy to be back at work. And back into my training.

A pm from Symes made me take my thinking from last week a little further (I can mention that cos he said I could publish the whole thing if I wanted to!). No doubt about it, the enormity of whatís in front of me is getting to me. The difference this time to last is I know whatís needed Ė so knowing that the 20-30+ hour weeks of training lie ahead is a little tough to take. Last time I just made it up as I went along, and at short notice too. No time to think about it, just did as much as I could in 3 months. This time I know I need to do more. I know I need to go faster. And Iíve started a couple of months earlier!

Yet there is one lesson I learnt the true meaning of at last yearís deca. One day at a time. Stay in the moment. Forget about what lies ahead and just do what needs doing today. Tomorrow can only happen if today is completed successfully.

So thatís what Iím trying to do. And I needed to get back on it this week before it all started slipping away. Nothing too big, but something I could take some positives from. And I got it!

Due to a problem with our car, I found myself doing a 7 mile and a 12 mile run on Wednesday. Then bike commutes on Thursday and Friday.

Had a good chat on the phone with Davem on Friday afternoon discussing how training was going and the possibility of another weekend of training round his place. That got me fired up too. So when I woke on Saturday I ran to the garage to collect the now fixed car. It was only meant to be 5 miles. So I went incredibly fast for me, holding well within 8 min/mile pace! I felt so good that I ran past the garage down a track I found. By the time I returned to the garage my 5 miles had become 11.2 miles. In 1h 29 min and a bit. Thatís 8 min/mile pace for almost one and a half hours. I could have gone on as well but didnít have my phone and had promised Marie Iíd be home in an hour or so after Iíd set out!

Onto Sunday and I just wanted to start the process of getting some long rides in at the weekend again. Got my bike out there for 55 miles @ 16.3mph. Thatís a good ride at a good pace Ė faster than I was training for much of last year for sure. But the best bit was on 1 in 10 hill at about mile 52. Struggling up it my mind wandered to memories of those last 4 bike laps on day 5 of the Deca Ė the ďEPOĒ laps as theyíve become known. Where I became so utterly frustrated with the whole deca that I time trialled 4 laps (about 45 miles) quicker than most people went all week. Then I thought of the suffering, exhaustion and mental breakdown that occurred just before I did those laps. The next thing I know I was at the top of the 1 in 10 hill with a tear in my eye, and having changed up several gears and whizzing along at 20 mph on the flat. Thatís mojo. Thatís motivation. It felt amazing. So Iíll ďreturnĒ to those ďEPOĒ laps when I need some extra oomph when Iím training in future.

So for the week as a whole just shy of 12 hours in total. No swimming but taking the positives Iíve managed 100 miles of biking and 30 of running which is real progress given the mojo crash of the last couple of weeks.

I feel that the swimming needs a plan. Well maybe not a plan as such (HATE plans), just some reserved times in the week where I go to the pool. I prefer biking and running to be case of doing what I want to do when I want to do it. But I may have to do things differently for swimming or I just wonít get any done! Iíll give that some more thought this week.

Thanks for reading.


Sooooz Ė thanks Ė we each have a mental as well as physical threshold I guess.

Hammerer Ė will be having knee looked at shortly...I promise...

KPNut Ė have thought about RAAM but wonít be going anywhere near it...I suspect it would ruin my favourite hobby for me! I wonder sometimes though if I worry too much about what the kids think of all this Ė guess I use my leisure time a bit different to my own Dad and I generally see him a good role model Ė so I feel in uncharted territory with the example Iím setting my kids if that makes sense.
"Cycle on your bicycle,

Leave all this misery behind"

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A little bit about me...
Beyond my family and work I would define myself as a leisure cyclist. I love riding my bike.

In 2009 decided to learn to swim, to do some running and do an Ironman distance triathlon. It was time to set myself a challenge and not walk away from it for a change.

Completed The Big Woody in 2009. Entered the Double Ironman for 2010. A week before the event decided I'd do the Triple IM instead. Completed that. So "Limit" not found. Took about 5 months to recover physically and emotionally.

Entered Deca IM 2011 (10xIM in 10 days) about 9 weeks before the race. Know I can't finish.

But I need to know where the "Limit" is. Between 3rd and 12th June 2011 I will find out.

UPDATE - Didnt finish the Deca in 2011. They pulled me from the race for my own safety on the morning of day 7. LIMIT STILL NOT FOUND IN MY MIND. So we go again in 2012.....Gonna be a rollercoaster ride...

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