Day Fifty Three: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

The trouble with running is that unless you are from Ethiopia, have a heart the size of a basketball and less fat on you than a diet bran flake, it is slow.  Slow in that the scenery does not change rapidly.  I was running along the beach.  I was at my limit. At my limit because I was bored of looking at the endless expanse of sand with the port of El Masnou, hiding behind the shimmering heat haze in the distance. I was running as fast as I possibly could. Trying to make the scenery change.

It was such a clear day that I could almost see people on the pier in the distance. I could practically see what brand of cigarettes they were smoking. It was driving me mad.  I wanted to be able to run at sixty miles per hour, like the Six Million Dollar Man.  Instead I felt like I was creeping along.  Coral reefs were moving faster than me.  Or so it seemed.  I wondered if the beach was actually moving like a walkway in an airport, with me running in the opposite direction.  It made me think of a scene in a Peter Sellers movie and it brought a smile to my face.

Actually I was running rather well. And that was good.  It seems that a couple of days off followed by a treacherous motorcycle ride and a binge drinking session in Girona bodes well for would be runners.  I felt refreshed and found it easy to push myself.

I thought about where I was in my training. I had started at ‘point A’ and the end was to be ‘point Z’.  Without measuring where you are along the route it is easy to become despondent, to feel that you are not progressing.  Where are you? Are you halfway there? A quarter? Seven tenths? Are you ahead or behind schedule?

You need to set targets along they way.  In the case of weight loss you can certainly set up some interim goals.  If instead your goal is to run a sub forty-minute 10K in an Olympic distance triathlon, the same applies.  A sub four-hour marathon? Same again.  You have to set some targets.  So what are mine? Damn good question.

I think I am exercising to keep myself sane.  So I need some sort of sanity scale.  Where one out of ten is looney bin material and ten out of ten is a zen monk on beta blockers.

By my reckoning I am probably at about four out of ten.  I am not sure what that equates to but I reckon it is probably average, well perhaps slightly below par. I am struggling with that analogy, so let’s try cars.

One out of ten is a small diesel, Korean hatchback. Ten out of ten out being the new Lamborghini LP560-4.  By my reckoning then I am a Golf GTI, Mark 5.

Right OK so a Golf GTI is where I am at the moment. So I need more power.  I also need to weigh less if I am to be competitive.  Just adding power won’t really work (the Golf R32 for example) and just removing weight won’t work either. Whilst the Ariel Atom is a light car it has no roof, doors, stereo or windscreen.  In addition you need to wear a helmet to drive one or you will be blinded the instant you hit a stray bug at motorway speeds.  So just being light isn’t the answer.  This makes it more difficult.

I could lose weight by not eating.  But I would also not be able to develop any power.  What I need is to be well rounded.  I need to be able to enjoy life, to rise to the occasion should a drag race present itself.  To be able to put a hot hatch into its place just as easily as a super car.  I need to do all of this on a budget, for I do not have access to expensive training camps and coaches.  I need to be smart, to use technology and grey matter if I am to exceed next year when I line up on the start line of my first bike race in a decade.

In short I need to be a Nissan Skyline GTR-35.  Sounds good to me.  Roll on March…

I leave you with a classic piece of footage from Peter Sellers.  Good stuff.

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