Tag: athletics

End Of Month Report (Iain)

My plan for May was not to have any mileage goals but instead complete a number of events:

  • Helensborough 10K – I was hoping I’d get under 45 minutes for one of my 10K’s this month. I surprised myself by managing it in the first race. Link here
  • Bealach Na Ba Race 44 mile race (with the aim to do the climb twice) – My aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me due to a puncture. We didn’t do the climb twice due to the puncture. Link here
  • Loch Leven half marathon – the aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me easily! I was happy with my time so I can’t complain…too much. Link here 
  • Antonine Trail Race 10k – great race. I’ll sign up for the half marathon when it becomes available. Link here
  • Caledonian Etape 81 mile bike  – My aim was to beat Andrew but he cheated 🙂 Link here 
  • Dumbarton 10K – I didn’t make it to this race which I think is the second time I’ve entered it but not made it to the start line.
  • Shettleston 10K – Last race of the month. I was tired and hungover but my time was okay. Link here 

The theme of the month was “My aim was to beat Andrew but….”

Thankfully, despite these losses, the Todd Championship is still close. It’s currently 4-3 to Andrew. Overall, I enjoyed the races and got PB’s for the biking so it was a good month.

My plan for June is not to have a plan. Iron Man Edinburgh is the next goal (at the start of July) so I’ll concentrate on keeping everything ticking over so that I’m fit and healthy.

I also don’t want to let Andrew know what my plan for this month is to ensure I win! I have a secret idea….

Here’s a selection of photos from May. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/twinbikerun/

This boy can’t… (Iain)

#thisgirlcan is a social media campaign encouraging women to participate in sporting activities. Women are encouraged to tweet/facebook/instagram tales of sporting success (no matter how big or small) so that other women will be inspired.

It’s a great campaign and I recommend you check out the website: http://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/

Would men benefit from a similar campaign? In my opinion, probably not – men do not have to be encouraged to brag. We’ve all written a blog post about an amazing training session or event, we’ve all gone into work and said how we smashed a bike/run/swim course at the weekend.   Did it inspire people? No, it probably bored them. Nobody likes hearing about success unless it’s their own.

So instead I’ve an idea that I think can inspire men. Let me be the first to say #thisboycant

Because I’ve learnt more through failing at sport than succeeding.

So join me as I admit:

#thisboycant snowboard –  I fell over during the first hour of a five day ski holiday while on the training slope. I accidentally punched myself in the chest. I broke my rib. I haven’t felt that bad after a punch since the last time I went to a house party and drank from a fruit bowl.

#thisboycant play rugby –  I was told by my coach that with correct technique I could tackle anyone. That was a lie. I tackled a man twice my size. My technique was perfect. I ended up concussed. I was more wiped out than the Labour vote at the next general election (oooh. A little bit of politics!)

#thisboycant cycle on the track – I attended four track session. On the test day another cyclist crashed into a wall above me. His bike slid down the track into mine. I fell off, hitting the ground hard. I bashed my head and lost skin on my arm. I looked so bad I was mistaken for the Elephant man.

#thisboycant rock climb – I went to a climbing center. I had to attach the rope to my harness in two places. I attached it to just one. I fell off the wall. Luckily the one place holding the rope was strong enough to break my fall. Unfortunately that one place was my crotch. The instructor said it took balls to survive a fall like that. It certainly did!

I learnt something from each of these failures. I learnt I don’t have to be good at sport to enjoy taking part.

So when people ask me whether they should attempt an event be it running/biking/triathlon? I say, YES! I can’t do it but I’ve never let that stop me so it shouldn’t stop you either 🙂

The next time you write a blog/tweet etc think about writing about something you can’t do.

The Beer Triathlon (Iain)

Whilst training for an event some people will abstain from alcohol. There’s a name for them – boring bastards!

My fastest ever half marathon time was achieved whilst drunk. Would I have gone faster if I’d been sober? Probably not – I was so hungover and desperate for water that I ran the legs between water stations as fast as possible.

If it’s possible to drink and run, is it possible to drink and triathlon? After a swift Google I’m proud to announce the best and definitely drunkest race ever invented – Beer-athlon!

It comprises a beer swim, a beer bike and beer run. It will take place in Austria because that the only place I could find a beer swimming pool.

Starkenberger’s Castle in Austria doesn’t just have the world’s only beer swimming pool. It has seven! Each pool contains 42,000 pints of beer! That’s 294,000 pints. Enough to keep a Scottish man in beer for at least a few hours. 🙂

If anyone gets out of the pool alive then it’s onto the bike leg. For this I’ve sourced the worlds best beer bike.

hopworks-beer-bike.jpg

This bike allows you to “refuel” on the move. The distance of the ride is however far it takes to finish both kegs.

The finale is provided by a beer I spotted in the pub – Running Beer.

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Each athlete has to down a pint and then run 100m in a straight line. The winner is the first person to achieve that.

I can’t see what could possibly go wrong with this format. 🙂

Sick note (Andrew)

Hello. My name is Andrew Todd and I’m a hypochondriac.

Some people have a cough. I don’t. I have lung cancer.

Some people have a twitch. I don’t. I have sclerosis sclerosis sclerosis scleroris, also called multiple scleroris. 

Some people have nothing at all.  I don’t. I always have something. I’ve even had Motaba, the fictional disease from the film Outbreak, because I’m a hypochondriac, and I don’t let fiction stop me catching a made up disease from a movie monkey.

This week I had scurvy. I admit it shared many of the symptoms of a heavy cold but I’m 100% convinced it was scurvy as I’d forgotten to buy apples at the weekend and didn’t have any fruit last week. No fruit = scurvy. Everyone knows that.

To be on the safe side I stoppped any exercise for a few days. Next week is officially week 1 of Celtman training so I didn’t want to risk anything this week by trying to train when I was clearly about to die, which I was, because hypochondria messes with your mind.

Not just in the obvious ways. The thinking you’re ill when you’re not type ways.

Hypochondria also makes me jealous of those who are genuinely ill – at least they know what they have. I don’t. Not until I’ve checked NHS Direct, WebMD and the ‘TellItToMeStraightDocAmIDying?’ internet forum where GPBobaFett357 confirms that “Yes, a thick head, a sore throat and a hacking cough is definitely a sign of scurvy – particularly if you’ve not eater an apple in the last 24 hours“.

It’s ridiculous. I even feel jealous of the genuinely ill because at least they know they can be cured.

There’s no cure for hypochondria. Even if there was, I’d just catch something else. Like the Black Death, which I’ve also had. It’s also remarkably similar to the common cold (and scurvy). If only Dark Age doctors had prescribed two paracetamol, a cup of Lemsip and a Netflix subscription, they could have avoided a global pandemic. It worked for me, it would have worked for them.

I think it’s the same for all have a go athletes. We’re so worried about getting ill that every headache becomes a brain tumour, every tremor a sign of Parkinsons. I know this response is neither rational nor sane, I know that. But, while everyone is aware, on some level, of their body clock counting down the days, my body clock is bloody Big Ben.  Every hour on the hour: “DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! DOOM!“.

DOOM! That brown mole is… the start of skin cancer! DOOM! That white spot is… a leprous pox! DOOM! That red itch… is viral meningitis!

I should see a doctor. But I don’t trust doctors. How can you trust someone who gave dyslexics such a hard word to spell? Or stutterers and stammerers such hard words to say?

Doctors don’t even know any medicine anymore. Last time I went to my doctor, all he did was check Google. To book a holiday. Do you know how much that hurt? To be ignored by a man who has sworn the hippocratic oath but was more interested in snapping up an all inclusive hotel in Magaluf. Especially when I told him I was absolutely certain I had cerebral palsy. Again.

Hypochondria’s not even a cool mental illness. We don’t get to wear a black bin bag and get off with her-from-The-Hunger-Games like Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook. Ironically, for an illness that’s all about being ill, we don’t even consider it a proper illness. Hypochondria’s other name is ‘Man Up Syndrome’.

“I think I might have bird flu because a seagull shat on my head.”

“Man up!”

“I think I might have brain parasites because I fell asleep watching Star Trek 2: The Wrath Of Khan and they crawl in your ear while you sleep you know.”

“Man up!”

“I think I might have scurvy because I don’t like bananas.”

“MAN UP!”

But I can’t help it. I can’t choose my mental illness. I can’t pick nymphomania, kleptomania,  Wrestlemania or Romania (research note to self – double check these last two are proper manias).

If I had a choice I’d choose nice mental illnesses. Something like Foreign Accent Syndrome – “I am lookin’ for ze Madonna wiv ze big boobies!” or the Cotard Delusion, also called the Zombie Delusion – “I’m a zombie and I want BRAINS!” – or, my favourite, Tourette’s Syndrome, which is 50% genuine mental illness and 50% opportunistic heckling.

“You’re a window licking finger sniffer!”

“What did you say?!”

“It was my Tourette’s.”

 “Oh God, I’m so sorry, please forgive me, I didn’t know.”

“That’s okay, you pishrag bollockmonger!”  (Hee! Hee! That one was mine!).

And the strange thing about hypochondria is how predictable it is. There are tens of thousands of illnesses yet hypochondria acts like there’s just three. The big three. Cancer. Cardiac Arrest. Athlete’s foot. Imagine going to a garage that acted like every emergency was the worst possible thing that could happen to you.

“Hi, I’ve think I’ve got a flat tyre – can you take a look at it?”

 “No need. I can see the problem from here.”

“Oh, is it the tyre,  it looks lower than the other three?”

“No. It’s definitely exhaust pipe AIDS.”

 “Are you sure? The exhaust pipe isn’t connected to the wheels.”

 “Sorry mate, and your tyres have athletes foot. If I were you I would just curl up in a ball and cry yourself to sleep just like you do every single night.”

“Oh, imaginary mechanic, you know me so well!”

It’s the lack of variety in hypochondria that makes me watch every medical drama on telly. Many hypochondriacs avoid all medical information because it makes them more anxious. “Got that! Got that! Got that too! Oh God, I’m going to die!” But, when my Big Ben strikes DOOM I don’t want what everyone else had, I want to be unique, I want to be the world’s first hypochondriac hipster.

DOOM!

“Is this brown mole skin cancer? No, it’s malignant hyperpigmentation – it’s the next big thing!”

DOOM!

“This white spot? Leprosy? Do I look like Jesus? Yes, I know I’m wearing sandals, I am a hipster, but that spot is clearly Denghe Fever which I caught after watching a Discovery Channel programme about rafting in the Congo.”

If hypochondria is all in my head, then I want my head to be bloody brilliant at it. And that’s the difficulty isn’t it? Hypochondria is something that no one can see. People think I must be making it up. It’s a mental illness and we’re not good with mental illness. We don’t even have mental illness in the Paralympics – and they’ve got blind people playing basketball: how mental is that?!

I have this theory. In the hierarchy of illnesses you get one point for a losing a limb, two points for a coma and three points from any disease that would actually get people to respond to an office wide email for a charity challenge. The mentally ill get minus one point. Hypochondria minus two.

We don’t get sympathy. All the mentally ill get is a straight jacket and a padded cell because, – you know – it really help the mentally ill to have their arms strapped together so they can’t protect their delicate brains when they ricochet off the walls in an all-white padded bouncy castle/loony bin. Yes, we protect the mentally ill by making it impossible for them to protect their brains. I told you, Doctors are pricks.

Well, I say fuck that. It’s time for me to “Man up!”. Yes, “MAN UP!

My hypochondria’s an illness: as destructive as cancer, as strong as AIDS, as difficult to cure as athletes foot. I’ve don’t need to be ashamed. I have a big boy sickness. A proper disease. Just like Spanish flu, syphilis, scarlet fever and, my current illness, the all consuming rage virus from 21 Days Later. Which I’ve also had, because, as I told you, I don’t let fiction stop me catching a made up disease from a movie monkey.

Say it loud. Say it proud: “My name is Andrew Todd and I am a hypochondriac!”

And it was definitely scurvy I has this week and not just a cold!

Stornoway Half Marathon – 1hr 44min 59s (Iain)

SCENE: A NIGHTCLUB. 

It’s late at night. So late that it’s no longer today but tomorrow. Our “hero” is at the bar. He’s ordering his 7th pint of the evening/early morning. It could be his 8th. It could be his 20th. He lost count a while ago.

BARMAN

Didn’t you say you were running a half marathon tomorrow….sorry, today?

OUR HERO

What….ummm..pint…YAY….music! <starts dancing>

BARMAN (laughing)

I’ll see you at the start then!

OUR HERO (singing)

Do you remember when we used to sing,
Sha la la la la la la la la la la te da

END SCENE

The next day our “hero” made it to the half marathon but was so hungover he couldn’t hold the pen to fill in the entry form. He ran the first three miles quicker than he’d ever run before as he was desperate to get to the water stop.

It was a beautiful sunny day and the drink poured out of him in alcoholic sweaty drops. He finished the race faster than he’s ever done a half marathon before – and he spends the rest of the day in bed ill. He misses the Scottish cup final because he’s asleep/comatose.

He vows never to drink before a race again but…

He repeats this scene the next four times he enters the same race. Each time he vows never to drink again.

This weekend was the fifth attempt, and this time he vowed he would definitely do the race sober…

I achieved my goal and reached the start line sober. There was a good turnout for the race and the sun was shining. A rare sight in Stornoway – about as rare as a sober runner.

The organisers had changed the route since the last time I’d entered but it was still undulating with a few wee hills. The weather was good and I set off strongly. Too strongly: I tired in the second half and couldn’t keep up the same pace.

I finished with a personal best for the race so I was happy with that. I was only one minute quicker than my drunk time which implies I was fitter back then or that its actually okay to have a drink before the race!

Now, where did I put my dancing shoes…

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