|6th May||Rest Day|
|8th May||Rest Day|
|9th May||Rest Day|
|11th May||Rest Day|
|12th May||Rest Day|
|TOTAL||548.26||882.30||4 days 07:14:05||12,770||12,700||65,135|
Just 2 sessions again this week.
On Saturday my plan was to head down the NSC and walk 20 miles / 40 laps at my planned race pace for this weekend 50 miles in Rotterdam. Walking lap after lap of the NSC certainly isn't my idea of fun but I just wanted that consistent flat terrain to simulate this weekends event as much as possible.
I could have chosen to go up and down Douglas prom several times, or even headed to Ramsey for 2 laps of the Northern 10 route, but I do like the consistency the NSC brings.
The idea behind the session was that if I felt 'ok' after 20 miles then I knew I could start the 50 mile at, or slightly under, that pace and try and maintain it for as long as possible. However, if I was struggling at the end of the 20 miles than I knew I would have to start the 50 quite a bit slower.
I went out for a few drinks on the Friday night to celebrate my daughters 21st birthday so I had left my car down in Douglas. This meant I would have to walk down from Onchan to the NSC, do my laps and then walk back into the town centre to get my car.
As I was getting ready on Saturday morning I realised my plan of simulating a flat course was now flawed due to those first 2.5 miles down to the NSC. To be fair they are flat and downhill anyway but I think I was just looking for any excuse not to spend 4 hours walking around the NSC.
My new plan was to head out of Onchan towards Liverpool arms, take a right towards Groudle and around the Onchan coast road, down onto Douglas prom, along the quay, out past Kewaigue school and then a right at the roundabout back down to Pulrose and the NSC. I would then do however many laps I needed to bring it up to 19 miles and then the 20th mile would take me back into Douglas town centre for my car.
As you can see above I only managed 12.5 miles, and they were some of the worst I had ever walked. Less than 100 yards from leaving the house my foot started hurting. About a mile later my knee was giving me jip. The first hill of the day was the climb just after Whitebridge towards Liverpool arms and it felt like Mount Everest.
Once I got past the Liverpool arms and turned onto the Groudle road my knee and foot were okay but my legs were like concrete. Had my car not been in Douglas I would have probably taken a short route straight home. When I was down on Douglas Quay it would have been oh so easy to walk a few hundred yards to get my car and go home but I decided to man up and pushed out past Kewaigue.
When I eventually arrived at the NSC around noon I had covered 10 miles. All I had to do now was 18 laps of the NSC. I managed 3 before I left and walked back to town to get my car.
As it happens it was the Manx Youth Games on Saturday morning and the NSC was one of the venues which meant I couldn't have walked my laps anyway due to the cycling. It was deserted when I arrived at noon.
I honestly don't know why Saturday was such hard work. I only had a "couple" of beers the night before so it wasn't that, and we had been to La Piazza so I was fully carb loaded.
Mount 'Whitebridge' was understandable due to this chest infection, which I'll stop talking about soon, but apart from that the route was reasonably flat. I think it was more mental than physical to be honest. It didn't start off to plan which then made me panic that the 50 mile the following Saturday was going to be a disaster so mentally I just shut down. Maybe my brain was just trying to tell my legs to stop, save it for next weekend.
On Tuesday I finally went back to the GP for my blood test and X-Ray results. The good news is I'm all clear. Blood tests all fine, clean bill of health.
The even better news is I'm not pregnant, although my blood had a higher than average readings of iron so now would be a good time!
He was showing me the results on his computer screen, calling out the various levels of this and that and sure enough there was a section for pregnancy testing. After we had a bit of a chuckle he told me the test was something to do with testicular cancer releasing the same hormones as being pregnant, so the good news is I don't have any signs of that either.
Given everything looks fine I asked for some antibiotics to help try and shift whatever is lingering in the chest (which the X-Ray wouldn't detect anyway), so I have been on these now for 3 days.
I'm not convinced if they are working but that could just be me thinking the worst, worrying about Rotterdam. If the infection is viral rather than bacterial the antibiotics won't work anyway.
On Tuesday I just did my usual 7 mile Liverpool arms loop at a nice steady pace and then decided that was enough until Rotterdam. I need to give my body chance to work with the antibiotics and do their thing.
So, Rotterdam is finally here!
I'm off to Liverpool tomorrow morning and then flying to Amsterdam around lunchtime. I am travelling down with Mike Bonney and Matt Haddock who have hired a car to drive down from the airport to Schiedam.
I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that it's always good to have several targets to aim for so if you miss one you can always refocus on the next.
Given the way my training has been for the past few weeks I'm now having a bit of a dilemma on whether or not I should start at my 'Plan A' pace or if I should start a little slower and aim for my 'Plan B' pace right from the off. Not being able to do the 20 mile simulation last Saturday means I really don't know how it's going to go.
The trouble is, if I start off at 'Plan B' pace and find after about 10-20 miles I'm feeling good it will likely be too late to speed up and get back to 'Plan A' pace.
By the way I'm not trying to be secretive about my race plans, I just haven't decided exactly what those paces are yet, although I have a good idea. All I will say is 'Plan C' is to finish no matter what the time is.
Anyway that's something I'm going to be thinking about for a while. It's only when the gun goes off at 8pm on Saturday that I'll make the final decision. The adrenalin will be pumping and the atmosphere will be buzzing with the other 100 milers already spread out around the course so I'm pretty sure I know what it will be. After all, I never start a race too quick!
I think the hardest challenge will be trying not to change my entry from 50 to 100 on Saturday morning.
And don't forget, the second part of my challenge is to try and raise £2,016 for Finley's Tracks and all donations are welcome here. A big thank you to everyone who has already sponsored me online or offline, and to those who have pledged to donate later.