It’s been a while since I’ve posted a blog and I’m guessing this is going to be a lengthy one, so if I were you I’d pop the kettle on and make yourself a tea or any hot/cold beverage of your choosing… That’s obviously if you are thirsty, you may indeed be peckish, so perhaps a small snack would be suitable? Crisps, nuts, apples, etc.
I’ll just let you grab your chosen mouth stuffing and wait right here for you…
Right. Ready? Let’s do this.
The beginning of November saw me heading off on a family holiday (first one in about ten years!) to Centre Parcs. I’d been looking forward to it as a chance to get some proper training in before the Guts and Glory race which was on the 20th. I had been slowly improving my 5k speed but still hadn’t beat my goal of 5k in 30 minutes. I needed some inspiration, I needed Nathan Skipper.
My younger brother has lost over 5 stone since January and currently has the Skipper record of running 5k in 25:28! I am proud of him and am continually impressed by his determination and will power, which has always been my downfall. This was proven yet again when we ran together and he set the pace. I was struggling from the start and had to stop a few times, much to my own disappointment, but I just couldn’t keep up with his pace! I failed to beat my time or even my personal best, but the week still served as a good kick up the arse, as we were active pretty much all day every day, with swimming, badminton, cycling and running.
And then it happened.
72 hours. So far I have spent 72 hours in the world of Skyrim. My first session was late on the Sunday night I returned from holiday. I was up playing quite late but knew I had the whole week ahead of me off as well, so I would have plenty of time to play and decided to hit the hay.
Somehow I was able to resist the game the following morning long enough to get myself out and running for my Monday session but I swear as I shut my door behind me I heard my Xbox yell “DOVAKHIN!! Get back here and play!” but I ignored the shouts… And I ran.
The Monday session wasn’t great but Wednesday proved to be a great improvement as I smashed my PB and finished in 32:08. Every run that week was fueled by me wanting to hurry back and play Skyrim!
The training would prove insufficient though. The Guts and Glory race was absolutely brutal. As you can see in the pictures below, I look destroyed in comparison to the other members of Team Skipper!
The race started well enough and we managed to pass quite a few people on the hill running sections, but it was when we hit the mud where it got tricky. Several waist deep mud swamps followed by steep, short hills made for a real tough time for my thighs! I got stuck on one slope and just couldn’t get any purchase as my trainers were literal mud stumps. I had to claw with my fingernails, I was on my hands and knees, crawling and fighting and was then pulled up by my team mates at the end. There were several moments like this but I kept ploughing forward. Past the group of women with fairy wings, past the little chubby boy and his mum.. And pass the lone fat man, who was walking, defeated.
We finished the race under the average finishing time (there were 276 runners) with my Dad and my brother 166th and 167th respectively with the same time of 1 hour 5 minutes and 45 seconds and me trailing behind at 185th with a time of 1 hour 6 minutes and 53 seconds. To be honest I was just glad I made it to the finish line!
It was a shock to my system and I immediately wanted to get back to training so I could perform better in the next obstacle/adventure run that we tackle. My last few runs have been great and I have a new lease of life and more motivation and determination than ever before. This week I have beat my personal best twice, with the current time standing at 31:27. My aim is to hit 31 by the end of this week and then get under 30 the week after.
I have found that having a really specific goal is the best way to get results and keep yourself wanting to train more. It’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve had and I would pass on to anyone wanting to achieve something in their life. Be specific and be realistic with your goals. You know how much you are capable of and you have to be 100% honest with yourself at all times. That’s not to say you can’t have an overall aim, but just don’t focus on that for now, just take things one step at a time. Don’t be ashamed of however small your goal is. Running 5k in 30 minutes is by no means an impressive feat of athleticism, but I know myself and I know that a year ago that would be a near impossibility for me and the fact that I get closer with every run keeps me going.
I am now aware that I have rambled on for quite some time so I shall leave it there and will report back once I hit my 30 minute 5k run! (also, it’s late and I haven’t even played Skyrim today!)
If you’ve not had enough personal fitness stories for one day, then I will refer you to my padre’s blog – theurbanspartan.wordpress.com
Good night all!