This is a hard blog post for me to write…
…I mean I’m Mr #FitTeam12/13, ‘Celebrity Personal Trainer’, Mr Go Getter, PB smasher, Mr Invincible…or am I?!
Since Sam was born and until losing my mojo, I have been on absolute fire getting my parkrun time down from 20mins to 17.26 and getting close to my ultimate goal of a sub 3 hour marathon. I’ve continued to build a successful business and train many clients to achieve or smash their goals. My twitter following has increased to enable me to motivate over 14,000 followers. My gorgeous girlfriend is expecting our second child in Feb 2014 and we’ve moved to a dream house in Walton on Thames…and I feel sad!
WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?! I shouldn’t be sad…I’ve played down the above and yet I’m bloody sad?!?!
It’s true, I think it started with the London marathon and my 2nd attempt at the sub 3hr target. I was so sure I’d learned from my mistakes and was going to do it. Kirsty wrote this out on our kitchen work top with porridge oats and Sam’s magnetic numbers the night before so I saw it in the morning. Everything was perfect about the actual day except for one thing…I wasn’t sure about my race plan.
Due to a disappointing ‘longest run’ I decided that I’d prefer to walk for 90 seconds after the 7,14 and 21 mile markers to enable me to properly hydrate and consume a gel…in the end everything was going great until I reached the 21 mile ‘walk’. As i was counting down the 90 seconds I saw the ‘3hr pace setter’ go past and I knew my body would not be able to catch up. The race for sub 3 was over but thankfully I crossed the line (looking like a Zombie) in 3hr5m6s, a new PB by over 3 minutes but I attempted a plan that I hadn’t trained for…kicking myself now but I should have stuck with the pace setter and slowed down slight;y to get fuel on.
I think it hit me hard but life goes on.
A pretty good May by anyone’s standard however it ended with this health scare and me having a back injury from gardening…honestly the intense races or period of races did no harm but trying to clean out some weeds in our now ‘old house’ had me in a lot of pain.
I had to cancel Tough Mudder, a race I’ve been dying to do for a while. Reading tweets from friends or people I follow on twitter was horrible…this was my 1st proper injury since the time I landed hard during an RAF Falcons display back in 2003. I was spending more time at the chiropractors than anywhere else. The relief the 1st session gave me was immense but it was not over quickly. I felt pain in my back or glute or right leg for a good 7 weeks after the incident.
As I started to feel better I started training for The London Triathlon. This was my 2nd attempt at this event and it was surely going to be better than last years attempt (blog post here). 3 weeks out I restarted my swimming and cycling and with such a short period of training was very surprised to have smashed last years’ time and be only 6 seconds from breaking a dream target of a sub 2.20 Olympic Triathlon.
What’s more is one of my clients and closest friends Sean Tierney smashed his expectations and did a 2hr34 on his first attempt! The problem was that from the Wednesday to the Saturday before I had moved house (apart from a day’s help from Sean) single-handedly as Kirsty was a few months pregnant and not able to move without feeling sick or very tired. This strangely didn’t affect my energy levels but it had started to affect my back.
Looking in my diary, August was a quiet month with no competitions but September possessed my 2nd attempt at a sub 1.20 half marathon and October had my 3rd attempt at a sub 3hr marathon. I had to get the back sorted so I did everything I could to get it better but then I noticed that my big toe on my right foot was getting red and then eventually started to weep. To cut a very long story short, I went to the Doctors, wore flip-flops and avoided covering it in any way. As soon as I’d finish my course of antibiotics it came back. I went back to the Docs and was given more antibiotics…this happened FOUR times over 2 months. I was threaders!!! During this time I supported my clients doing the Run To The Beat even though I was upset that my toe had prevented me and then as I approached the Bournemouth Marathon I chose to pull out of that too.
I was extremely pissed off. Twitter was far from my mind and I know a lot of you could feel something was up. At the same time Kirsty and I were not getting on. Really strange as we have everything going our way, new house, baby on the way and an amazing son. Basically, things weren’t going our way. We were pulling in different directions and it was starting to take its toll. After 3 weeks of ‘discussions’ we seem to be back on track or at least heading to the same destination. This was all having a massive effect on me and my mental state as well as physical.
What I needed to do was, to coin a phrase I use when I’m on fire, to ‘kick my ass’…set myself a challenge and attack it head on.
I decided to run the Bournemouth Marathon. I had one week to go and due to my back and toe I hadn’t run more than 5km since 28th July, in fact I hadn’t run more than 10km since 11th May. I was excited though…I needed to something crazy, something stupid but also challenging.
I said to Sean that I would finish the marathon with him or behind him as this was his race and I was there to pace him for as long as I could. We ran with his brother and stayed together at a steady 8.30 pace if not slightly faster for about 16 miles. At 9 miles I could feel a pain in my right knee but kept quiet. At 17 miles Sean started to slow and 19.75 miles I listened to my body and had to walk. The pain I was experiencing was pretty intense and my mind, which was focussed on just turning up and getting the medal and t-shirt, and as I couldn’t see the top of the hill we were on, decided that I should walk. I ran down the hill but by then I was gone. I found another walking wounded and went into Personal Trainer mode with this young lad also called Sean who was doing his 1st marathon which had us doing lots of ‘run 7 lampposts, walk 3’ type intervals. We crossed the line in 4hr 6mins but that didn’t matter…I HAD FINISHED A TOUGH CHALLENGE!!!
Chris did 3.37 and Sean was 3.58. The train journey home was the happiest I’ve ever been after any of my 5 marathons so mission accomplished.
So where am I know? Well with the help of my physio today, my knee pain should be sorted as long as I keep stretching and with the help of the Timehop app, I can see how motivated I was 1,2,3 and 4 years ago every day as it shows me what I tweeted or posted on ‘this day in history’, a bit like being motivated by the old me and with good old #FitTeam13 I can feel the motivation from you guys and put myself back on top and get motivating you guys through my journey again.
I want to end with a little apology. Maybe because this blog was of no relevance to you and you’ve just wasted 10 mins or so of your time in reading it or perhaps it’s because I know that some of you having been using me and #FitTeam13 to give you that little kick up the butt and recently it has not been there.
In writing this blog post, I have lifted a weight from my shoulders. I have had a whinge. I am a very fortunate person with a lot going my way and I know a lot of people who have not been as fortunate as me and probably don’t moan but this was my means of getting myself back out there…to set myself alight albeit maybe just like a little match instead of the volcano I felt like for 2 years.
I’m now planning to do a different parkrun every Saturday that I can and a Christmas day one too even though I will be near Coventry (hope they have one on) to give myself a nice goal to aim for the rest of 2013. In doing so I should get myself on this page. I’m starting again where it started using parkruns to get me firing again…and maybe just maybe I might get myself on this page too! 😉
I may not be entirely BACK but I’m getting there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!