Training in Leamington

Unfortunately I can’t enjoy the luxuries of ‘training’ in Paris every weekend, so with only a little more than a month to go until the trip, I though it was about time, well actually way beyond time I upped the pace a little and started regular gym sessions.

Now those who know me well, will realise that this is not my normal environs, milieu, stomping ground, place worship or anything else. However, believe it or not I have been (in the past) a member of a gym, and due to general convenience & the fact that it’s quite nice I’ve rejoined Pure. They have all the right kit, open early (not likely) to late (possible), and a nice pool to warm down in.

So today I started. Actually I was pretty pleased. 35 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes running – uphill – on the treadmill and a couple of weights sets followed by 20 laps of the admittedly not olympic size pool. Not bad considering it’s at least a year since my last visit. I expect I’ll pay for it tomorrow.

I tried to find an image to illustrate my session, but unfortunately when I searched for ‘sweaty workout’ this is the only image that came up which is suitable for public consumption.

Deary-me internet, you are so rude.

Anyway, I plan to go every other day until the trip, so will keep going for ‘more intensity’ and ‘feeling the burn’ or whatever other horse-shit phrase is currently in vogue for hurting yourself now to hurt less later.

At this rate, I might even think about giving up alcohol until the trip………

Only Joking!


Training in Paris

Despite it all seeming like a bit of a jolly, I would argue that this weekend’s trip to Paris did actually involve some useful training & toughening up for the trip to Nepal, and thanks to the wonders of technology I’m able to update this blog whilst whizzing through the English countryside courtesy of Virgin’s in train wifi service.

So how did a weekend away to Paris help training, I hear you ask incredulously. Well, for a start there was the yomping.

When packing, we had forgotten to properly check the weather forecast, so having assumed it would be the same cool grey we’d left behind in Blighty we were carrying only warm clothing. It was a bit of a shock arriving to 30+ degrees and blazing sunshine. This was further accentuated by

  • A heavy bag
  • A complete misreading of the metro map
  • A near messianic mission on the part of Chrissie to get to a particular children’s clothes shop, which was only open on the Saturday we arrived (having arrived in the afternoon)

So putting all that into account, I think we can tick off trekking with heavy loads in heat as part of the training plan.

Oh and the hotel room was on the fifth floor, with the kind of caged lift you’d rather not frequent. Particularly as this one had the size and ambience inside of a velvet lined coffin – I think I’ll take the stairs, thank you. Tick off lots of ascent / descent from the training plan.

That out of the way, we had a lovely meal in the evening at a Au Tournebievre, a place I can thoroughly recommend, followed by a lovely lunch at Les Ombres the next day, with a great view of the Eiffel Tower

By this time though the weather had turned a touch – complete deluge and the temperature dropping 15 degrees. Tick off dealing with large changes in climate from preparation list.

Unfortunately, later that afternoon it appeared I’d caught something nasty, which as the day wore on turned into something very nasty. Let’s just say it was the gastric equivalent of hurricane Katrina rather than Katia, and rated a 7 on the disarmingly blunt Bristol Stool Scale.

This pretty much put the kibosh on plans to go to Chair de Poule, a cafe / bar of a cousin of the legendary Paperjam, whom I spent a pleasant (drunken) evening with a couple of years back during a banger race around Europe. Probably a good thing really, as it is in the achingly hip Oberkampf part of Paris, so my middle aged paunch is probably not welcome.

So, interesting intestinal diseases also ticked off the list of possible challenges to cope with.

I’m still feeling ropey now, and not sure where it came from. Possibly a steak tartare too far?

Stumbling towards fitness

As you can tell from the photo I’m feeling pretty chuffed with my progress so far. It was really nice to go out to Philadelphia to train, if somewhat profligate given the aim of raising money for charity. However you have to keep the motivation going, and I would never condone false photographic tricks to persuade potential sponsors I was working hard.

Back in the real world, any efforts to gain some semblance of a training program have been shafted somewhat by social engagements this week. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘any excuse’ but my brother’s wedding isn’t something I can easily get out of, particularly when I’m both a witness on the wedding day and photographer the next day for the reception. The copious flowing booze doesn’t help – as anyone who knows me will testify, I can resist anything except temptation.

I have, however managed to fit in (in descending order of usefulness)

  • alternate nights 30-40 minute run whilst Lila is being put to bed (as the other nights I’m putting her to bed)
  • 3 days a week speed yomp up and down town between childminder and home / work
  • a couple of times a week quick 20 minute session on the cross trainer in-between times I have to either deal with the girl or the noise would wake her up
  • 1-2 days  week of not actually getting drunk

Written like that, it sounds as if I’m actually making an effort, but I wouldn’t want to mislead you into believing I’m dedicating all my spare time. This weekend we’re going to Paris

Yep that’s the one, with scary dog statues on the top of buildings, pointy bits of scrap metal as cultural anchors and legendarily arsey waiters. I do have two really good excuses for yet another break in any kind of training schedule (if it warrants the name). They are

  1. It is our wedding anniversary – our 18th. We must have got married when we were 12, or I’m so old my memory is failing. Or both.
  2. In France we can avoid the slew of English language 9/11 documentaries on TV. And for f***s sake it’s 11/9 you bloody colonials. How does Month/Day/Year make more sense than Day/Month/Year? At least do Year/Month/Day if you want efficiency and a nice sort order…

Anyway. You can make your mind up which is the better justification. In the meantime, to alleviate all the depressingness in the world at the moment, here’s a unicorn chaser.

And btw, if you haven’t sponsored me yet, donations are still welcome.

Is that the time? $£!!!

Anyone who has idly navigated to the home page of this blog may have noticed a countdown widget that I’ve added. When I did I got a bit of a shock, as it tells me today there is only one month and three weeks left until the trek.

Normally I would be quite sanguine about this, after all there is a lot you can achieve in the 53 odd days I have left. However it is a little more concerning as in those intervening days I have to fit in;

  • 34 days of work. A drag, but someone’s got to fund the trip. Oh that’ll be me then.
  • 3 days in Paris. It is our wedding anniversary after all.
  • 3 days of weddings – and probably 2 days of recovery to go with them.
  • My father’s 70th birthday party; another day and another day recovering.
  • 4 days of weekends either away or with visitors where I won’t be able to get much else achieved.

Not even counting the ad-hoc bits pieces (small child wrangling, band practices, fish maintenance) exaggerated tabloid-style maths tells me I have only 5 days left to prepare.

How did that happen?

Next thing you’ll be telling me I should use early mornings and evenings to train….

Perhaps you could help my motivation, and if you haven’t already I could give you a gentle nudge in the direction of sponsoring me?