Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Midlife Crisis

Yesterday I turned 40, so time for the midlife crisis and to go out and get myself a motorbike or sports car. I also now fall in to the V40 category at walking events! Having said that I am a lot healthier and fitter than I was at 30 and possibly even 20 (as I sit here writing the blog stuffing my face with Lindt chocolates I received for my birthday).

Last week was pretty uneventful training-wise. I did nothing on Monday after playing football on Sunday and on Tuesday we did the loop (the more difficult way round) from the NSC out along Peel Road down to the Quay and out to Kewaigue before heading back to the NSC. The pace always starts off nice and easy and the nearer we get to the White Hoe someone (usually Vinny) starts picking it up before we hit the bottom of the hill before Kewaigue school and then it becomes a race to the top, with everyone pretending that it isn't hurting at all. Wednesday was circuit training and I did nothing on Thursday and Friday, with the 20km on the Saturday in mind.

Come the day of the race I was feeling okay and was pleased to see the rain from earlier in the day clear up. Whilst the sun was out, it was still quite windy down at the NSC and it was difficult walking into the wind down the far side of the circuit. After the earlier 2km, 3km and 5km races the 10km and 20km started together and it was a decent size field. As usual I got a bit excited at the start and went off a bit too quickly for the first two or three laps. I then settled into a good rhythm and tagged on to Jock and he pulled me round for a couple more laps before he stepped up the pace a little and the gap started to open. At this point I managed to acquire a yellow card from Steve Taylor for a bent knee, so I slowed down a bit and tried to focus on the technique instead.

My first 10km was around 54 mins and 30 seconds mark so still on target for the sub 1 hour and 50 mins I was aiming for. I didn't have a great third 5km and was feeling a little rough and left myself just under 27 mins for the final 5km to achieve my target time. There was a lot of encouragement from the sidelines and Richard Wild was kindly giving me regular updates on my lap times, but going into the final lap I still needed to cover the circuit in 4 mins and 25 seconds. Using every last bit of energy I managed to get over the finish line in 1 hour 49 mins and 52 seconds, so 8 seconds below what I set out to achieve. After recovering and having a cup of tea I was then talked into competing in the Vets 3km event, which in hindsight wasn't a great idea, as I had already started to stiffen up. After a quick warm up we were off and to be honest I had very little left in the tank, so took it fairly easy. A big thank you to the organisers, judges, timekeepers, lap counters and the sponsor (the Ascot Hotel) for putting on another excellent event. Well done to Michael George on a superb walk in the windy conditions.

On Sunday morning when I woke up my hamstrings were particularly tight and I could certainly feel the effects of the previous day. Went to watch Tom play in the under 17s for Corinthians v Peel and whilst it was a fairly even game Peel won 2-0, so I had to put up with a grumpy teenager for the rest day. Fortunately the afternoon's Premiership football brought a better result with Man United winning 3-1 against Spurs, despite being second best for long periods of the match. Always a good sign when you win whilst playing below par. On Sunday evening Kyley and I went out with friends to the pub quiz at the Woodbourne and finished second, so won ourselves some bottles of Fosters and a pack of Fruit Pastilles! Managed to force down a few pints of Guinness, followed by a whiskey or two and we were eventually 'kicked-out' of the pub in the early hours. Fortunately, we were both off work the following day.

Woke up on Monday morning feeling rough and every one of my 40 years. After dragging myself out of bed we went to lunch in town before heading off to see Kyley's family in Laxey. As soon as I arrived Kyley's dad offered me a pint of his locally brewed Bosun Bitter, which after a tough first couple of sips went down surprisingly well. We spent the evening at home with my family round for a Chinese as my dad and I share the same birthday. After a few glasses of red wine and too much to eat I went to bed last night planning a few weeks of sensible eating and drinking. At my age I need to start taking more car of myself!!!

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