There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

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There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby jonathon.e » 03 Mar 2019 16:42

As Jimba has asked I am going to try and post a few updates about my journey to Elsinore.

There will be something rotten in the State of Denmark.

“This above all: to thine own self be true"

It is sad to say that at the moment I feel like a fraud. My training in the last few months has been almost none existent. When I decided to do the Elsinore 70.3 event I had great aspirations, a training plan, mapped out, getting me fit, lighter, and faster without putting too much stress on my body. As with great plans of mice and men, it came to nought, sadly.

I would bike when it was dry, run when it was wet, if the roads were full of mud and debris I would use the MTB, and if the injury ghost of seasons past came knocking, I would hobble down to the swimming pool and knock out the lengths to keep my fitness up.

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

I always try to have a balance in life. My work is sedentary but requires thought and planning, so To balance that up I enjoy training, this doesn't require too much thought, just energy and physical activity. Get a good race day and the physical activity combined with logical thought, I get a great tactical race that utilises all my key processes.

So what has gone wrong?

" I must be cruel, only to be kind: Thus bad begins and worse remains behind"

It is work. Shift pattern changes, have caused me to work what can only be described as ' shit shifts '. Go to work when it's dark, come home when it's dark, that I can cope with, it is winter after all. Unfortunately, the shift changes had to come about due to staff shortages and training, a bit of a long story, but some of the trainees have been proverbially ' doing my head in'. Mentally I have been drained so much I do not want to get out training. I know I need to get out, my brain says get out, but even going out for a four mile run, will see me walking after a couple of miles, feeling drained and exhausted.

"Which dreams, indeed, are ambition; for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream"

So what now ?I don't believe in problems, it is not the problem but it is the attitude to that problem.

Train and drive myself into the ground, no, I don't think that is the answer, I don't want to back off, but I feel I need to rest, maybe punch a colleague might help. But if I can feel refreshed then maybe I can get fit to finish the race, rather than be fit to start. I will never bother the podium chasers, it is just me enjoying the race and the scenery.

"To sleep, perchance to dream: — ay, there's the rub"

Totally out of context with that last quote, but a decent nights rest would not go amiss.

I will try to post a few updates, it might help get me out of the current rut I am in.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby Jimba » 04 Mar 2019 09:26

Sorry to hear about your travails Jon. I don’t have many pearls of wisdom and what works for some doesn’t work for others.

It strikes me that you know where you are at and what you need to do about it.

We do this for fun, to make us feel better, not to have a cloud of self-disappointment hanging over us (because as we know it’s only us that have any expectations, others show interest but rarely are disappointed in our athletic achievements).

For me, and I do not presume to say “you should....”, I would be thinking about my goals/targets/ambitions, both short and long term. After three Vitruvians on the bounce I stopped, I made considerable improvements on each occasion, but as the race was first week of September it hung over me like a cloud all summer. I did the training because I had to, if I didn’t I was glum, it preyed on my mind, what could I achieve if only I did more etc etc. I stopped because it did not make me feel good. Perhaps that says something about me, I could still have rocked up with less training and still done ok, but ok would have led to self-disappointment. No more vitruvians (for now!).

I can’t remember which year 2015?, I had put weight on over winter, done little training and wasn’t going to be able to do enough to have a good season, so I didn’t have a season, I scarcely raced at all.

Some may interpret my approach as avoidance, fear of failure etc. I don’t, because I had a plan. That plan is playing out this year and next. At some point this year I will reflect on progress and decide future goals, remembering that those racing/training goals are set in the broader canvass of life.

You know what to do.....jfdi :D :D :D
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby jonathon.e » 04 Mar 2019 13:15

Kind and wise words as always Jimba.

When it comes to failure, I look at it as a step forward, it maybe, I want to use the word 'perverse', but I don't quite think it is correct.
I need to fail, in order to succeed,
I sometimes enjoy failing, when I fail to provides me with a point, a point where I have pushed to hard, gone beyond my limits, but by going beyond I can find my edge.

If I get a good trainee at work, they understand that when I have pushed them beyond there own capabilities it is for a purpose, if it goes wrong it is my license at stake not theirs. The ones that don't get it, usually storm off.

At college, during a simulator session, one student thought he would have a laugh, and told another that he had done this exercise before, and he should do it a particular way. The gullible student did so and it went wrong, catastrophically wrong, however the other student expected the lecturer to blow the proverbial fuse and let rip into the exercise, but, he just turned to the student, smiled and said,
" you tried something different then, didn't you "
The student nodded,
" Good, I like that, it didn't work, but it showed you wanted to learn and try something new, let's reset the exercise and start again "

Much to the chagrin of the student.

As you say, JFDI, that I will, probably trying something different along the way, just to see :)

I will try and keep posting as I go along.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby Bopomofo » 07 Mar 2019 23:59

Wonderful post! This resonates with me in so many ways.

I have started, re-started and re-re-started training plans so many times I cannot count them, even when there is a clear goal. It is an odd difference in personality make up that means sometime the most driven people will keep going, yet other similarly driven people will quit as soon as they go off plan. While this is with the intention of re-grouping then starting again 'properly' it becomes a never ending battle against "why bother?".

My opinion is that the perfectionist personality will struggle to see a less-than-perfect training log as anything but a dashboard of failure.

I am constantly impressed by the people who can do, do, do... skip a session, get up, get over it,... do, do, do. On that there facetube Jase is a constant source of amazement. Family bloke, serious job, still manages to stay on target.

I'm not sure what the answer is. I wish I knew. In recent-ish months I've done a team event (RedBull Time Laps) with some mates and that motivated me more than anything: didn't want to let my friends/team down. The next biggie is again a team event (RTTK 85km Ultra) and again I am motivated by not wanting to be the dead weight by too much of a margin. Maybe I'm changing into a team player.

No conclusion. Just random observations and general agreement and empathy.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby jonathon.e » 17 Mar 2019 11:45

Sage words Bopo,
Interesting regarding being a team player, and not wanting to be dead weight. I don't like being the weak link, so too avoid it I stopped doing team events, despite being asked too. Probably a mental state of being, the easiest way to not letting someone down is not being involved in the first place, likewise with charity sponsorship, I don't want to ask for money to do something I enjoy, and then failing, but am happy to sponsor others, that's just me I suppose. The natural progression has got to the state of being asked if I am doing any races, and just saying "no", possibly this mental down spiral is affecting my training attitude, and should be more positive.

Returning to other items on the agenda, my training, or severe lack of it. In the last week
Swimming, 0
Cycling 0
Running 2.001 runs

It is the last 0.001 that is of concern, five minutes into the last run, twinge on my ACL at the knee, stopped, tried to stretch it out, failed, limped back home FFS.
Normally I try to run off twinges, but this was different, the last time I felt this sort of twinge was in 2006, and that took me out of running for six months, so discretion was the better form of valour for me, just extremely annoying.

So on to plan, now where am I, probably plan 6.7 or something. Walk, don't run, possibly cross training machine at the gym, to limit the stress, Aqua jogging after a swim if I ever get to the pool, and try to go cycling when possible. All subject to work and the crap shifts I am currently working, hopefully they change for the better in April. Onwards and upwards.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby Jimba » 19 Mar 2019 20:12

Sorry to hear that, sounds like a good decision Jon, hope it wasn’t a reoccurrence from 2006 and was just a random twinge.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby jonathon.e » 31 Mar 2019 21:16

A small update.

Decided to work on the plan of, it is better to turn up at the start fit to finish, not turn up fit to start.

Took just over a week off, completely, mentally it was tough, but thought it the best. Managed to get out on the bike for a few rides, that was tough as it seems like I am cycling through treacle, and my legs are lethargic. Stuck with it, even up to the ignominy of almost being over taken by an mtb'er :shock: , in mitigating circumstances I was doing a big gear ride, one which I use if short on time so try to do the ride which is slightly undulating on the Big Ring, this builds strength in the legs but means going slowly uphill. Hopefully I can build some strength around the knee so I can start running again.
Also managed a quick trip to the pool,

The last week at work has been pretty full on, leaving me mentally tired.
I change shifts this week, working with a different team, so a change is as good as a rest, and with the upturn in the weather, fingers crossed, I could be getting more uninsured training.
I will leave the running until I am happy with my knee, possibly doing some Aqua running to substitute for it to keep the muscle memory going.

On wards and upwards.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby Jimba » 12 Apr 2019 18:54

jonathon.e wrote:A small update.

Decided to work on the plan of, it is better to turn up at the start fit to finish, not turn up fit to start.

Took just over a week off, completely, mentally it was tough, but thought it the best. Managed to get out on the bike for a few rides, that was tough as it seems like I am cycling through treacle, and my legs are lethargic. Stuck with it, even up to the ignominy of almost being over taken by an mtb'er :shock: , in mitigating circumstances I was doing a big gear ride, one which I use if short on time so try to do the ride which is slightly undulating on the Big Ring, this builds strength in the legs but means going slowly uphill. Hopefully I can build some strength around the knee so I can start running again.
Also managed a quick trip to the pool,

The last week at work has been pretty full on, leaving me mentally tired.
I change shifts this week, working with a different team, so a change is as good as a rest, and with the upturn in the weather, fingers crossed, I could be getting more uninsured training.
I will leave the running until I am happy with my knee, possibly doing some Aqua running to substitute for it to keep the muscle memory going.

On wards and upwards.


“almost” is a key word in that update Jon :lol:
Progress is progress, hope it continues on an upward trajectory.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby jonathon.e » 15 Apr 2019 20:27

Almost Jimba, definitely :D

So this week I have mainly been doing, well something,
Annual medical, I am now at most heaviest ever, just going over 17 stone, trying to drop to sub 16 by race day though.
Work is difficult as my trainee is not making progress, and even buying shares in Just For Men, is not going to help with these extra grey hairs, apparently I have to end the debrief on a positive note, it is getting difficult.
Instructed the grass cutting tractor to proceed to the area that required cutting, approx about 1.5 miles down the runway. Plenty of time as it was slow moving until an aircraft requested short approach to land due severe turbulence, a, the student has just thrown up and it smells awful in here, told the tractor to vacate immediately onto the grass at the side of the runway, response was " I don't want to go on the grass as it's too boggy ". FFS where are you cutting the grass then on the runway ( face palm ),
Highlight was in Radar, pilot calls up, says that he is on route from A to B and is accompanied by another aircraft, two aircraft seen in the vicinity about two miles apart, information displayed shows it is those two aircraft. Unknown aircraft starts to converge on the lead aircraft, so I call the traffic to him, he calls descending and passing behind, great, the two aircraft flying together start to diverge. As the second is now following the unknown aircraft, ' I enquiry as to whether his mate is on frequency and another voice chimes up " yes", I politely point out that the aircraft he is now following is not the right one. Embarrassed pilot apologises and said it was another ' white one '. The colour I accept, the fact that they were completely different makes, just makes me wonder.

As for training,
Swimming is fine, I have set my goal as sub 40 mins! Well upto Distance with that discipline.
Biking, a few trips to the gym for some consistent efforts, hopefully going for 2:45 for the bike.
Actually managed a run today, 5 miles, a few niggles, not fast, just easy to try the knees out etc, seem ok at the moment, so trying for about 2:15 for the HM, not fast, just steady 10min Miles hoping for a sub 6hr, which isn't brilliant but something I will be happy with.

Slowly improving, felt a lot better since the clock change, I don't mind the cold, but, it is probably SAD, as I hate winter.
Try for a couple of longish rides this week, Easter weekend looks nice, but no doubt my shifts will kick any chance of time out doors into the gutter.
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Re: There will be something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Postby Jimba » 17 Apr 2019 17:25

Glad to see you (as opposed to other mentioned person :lol: ) are making good progress Jon.

My nephew is about to start training for your business, I know he hasn’t started yet so it’s not him you are referring to :D

So swum, cycled and run and all intact, so now it’s just about increasing the load sufficiently not to break.......easy!
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