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‘You can spread YOUR toes another day, then!’

snipped the yoga teacher, failing to understand why I couldn’t take off my socks (infected toe). Jeez, that must have been the stressiest yoga class EVER! I’d already been accosted for choosing the wrong mat, for not having the correct number of blocks (how would YOU know – I could be a professional ballet dancer?) and I’m not even going to try and describe the ‘tone’ with which I was informed that this was an ‘intermediate class, you realise’??? Oh dear. Wrong person to take that attitude with. Having spent twenty years trying to curb my tendency to corpse on stage (and failing miserably), a silent and deadly yoga class filled with regular pensioners farting, twisting and contorting and admiring their lythe and flexible bodies (not) in the Dorian-Gray-enchanted mirrors was only going to result in 90 minutes of something akin to an episode of Candid Camera as I attempted to suppress my giggles. Being told I would ‘just have to spread my toes another day’ was, frankly, the last straw.

Thankfully, yoga was an option I’d chosen for myself to supplement my training with an extended stretching session (with the exclusion of my toes, evidently!!). It is/was not on my official training plan. Phew.

Two weeks since The Pilgrim Challenge Ultra – and six weeks into my official Ironman training plan and I have suddenly realised that just in these last couple of weeks I’ve been conquering a lot of mini stumbling blocks. Even better, I am fully confident that this is ALL due to the training I’ve been putting in. My goal since January has been to not miss out on a single session. I’ve stuck to that and slowly slowly I’m seeing changes. You can’t complain about results that you don’t get from work that you don’t do. So true. And oh such a great feeling.
In The Pilgrim Challenge my nemesis was those 268 steps. They didn’t get me this time!

On the following week’s 16-mile run to Newhaven Fort and back (commonly known as BTRS Trail Run #4) my goal was not to PB but rather to ‘run the hills’. There is one particular nasty on the return journey which has ALWAYS brought me to a walk. Not this time. I use the term ‘run’ very loosely, but I didn’t walk AT ALL (and this definitely contributed to a fab bonus PB as well!!).

The same can be said for the dreaded hill on Trail #2 – which I conquered the previous week, a parkrun time that was a lot closer to my PB than I’d thought possible AND a very satisfying stamina blast at the end of kickboxing class which left me buzzing rather than dying! It has been tough, too, though. Oft times I really have to drag myself out of the house with a bucketload of unwillingness strapped to my ankles. You would think, after 52 years, that I would know myself pretty well by now but still just the other day I surprised myself with how much utter unadulterated CRAP I could come up with in an effort to get myself out of a workout on the gym bike. This continued, not only until I’d grumbled and fought my way to the gym, but even into the workout itself … Since I’m here I at least deserve to make the session a bit shorter …. I’ll cut out the cooldown …. Maybe I’ll just do one of the main sets rather than two … Or I could do half of the second but at an easier pace … Or I could … OR YOU COULD JUST SHUT UP AND DO THE GODDAMNED WORKOUT!!!!! JEEZ!

The rewards don’t come easily but it is soooooooooooooo nice to see them coming. I’ve found a lot of my training sessions quite scary, sometimes terrifying and I can’t even think yet about the big picture, i.e. start line of Ironman Cairns – because right now I know I’m not even close to being ready. Spotting these small changes in fitness and ability, though, is massively motivating and comforting. I just have to continue to have 100% faith in my coach and training programme and I WILL make it to that line.

Ironman Cairns, Ironman training

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