So after taking the the last nine months or so out, I’m finally back to full training. It’s hard. I put on weight (hovering around the 85kg mark), but still short of where I started from over a year ago.
My gym here in Baku was built for the European games last year, and really is state of the art. It’s probably one of the best gyms in the world, with no expense spared. I realise how lucky I am to have a girlfriend who allows me to do nothing but train and hurt myself in new ways without ever telling me to pack it in.
Being able to train as much as I want in any way I want on a daily basis without having to worry about time or money, or deadlines is very liberating. I can finally realise my running potential, whatever that may be. The only barriers now are the mental ones I put in place. That and a little light over-training that saw me put my back out over the weekend. No biggy. I’ll be fine in a couple of days.
I’ve set my sights on my first ultra. A 50km race in Thailand in November. A good friend of mine, probably my oldest friend is running it, and wants me to join him. We planned to do so much running this year before I hurt my foot, and this will be the first race that I can feasibly get too. Couple it with a week or two in Thailand, and how can I say no? Even Kasia has agreed (I’m putting that in writing because no doubt she’ll remind me how stupid I am in a few months). I’ve decided to run it in aid of a school for orphans that I heard about in Uganda, that focuses on active participation in sports, and without the burden of religion. More on that next time, I promise.
I’m back up to running for nearly an hour at a time, almost every day, without too much pain in the foot. Every now and then I have to take it easy, but I’m concentrating on time rather than distance right now. Running on a treadmill rather than the road is still new to me, and while I appreciate the softer landing, it’s hard for me to focus on anything except the monotony of running in the same place. Maybe this will be good in the long term? Maybe it’ll help break those mental barriers that come with thinking “Can I do this?”.
The gym is also still very warm, and I find my T-shirts soaked with sweat more than I ever did outside. In a month or two, I’ll venture back out into the sunshine, and see what improvement I’ve made. I’ve incorporated more workouts into my daily regime, and in just a short period of time I’ve noticed changes in my body shape. I’m still all leg, but although my weight has remained the same, the belly I gained during the last few months is much smaller.
So here we are, looking forward to a much brighter second half of 2016, and hopefully the start of an ultra marathon season I will look back on with fondness.
And yes, I haven’t forgotten what I said last time about not doing ultras. Welcome to Trevor’s world.