What one person does, is not what all do!

I will leave a blog about myself till tomorrow, tonight I’m going to write about what everyone has been discussing in sport the last few days…..the interview….and give my take on things.

I learnt, when I was a child, that what my friend did, did not mean that I should do it, or even that what he did, meant that my other friends also did it.  Often I would hear the phrase “so if he jumped off a cliff, would you do that too?!”

I watched the Lance Armstrong “interview” today, all the way, both episodes.  I guess I was never truly convinced he was clean, having heard stories about cycling in the 90s and such, but I was also never convinced he was dirty either….I was happy being in limbo, just like ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’, saying “hey, he’s just awesome at what he does.  If everyone does drugs, then he is simply the best person who does drugs in cycling, and competes”.  

There is no doubt in my mind, that the hours and hours AND HOURS of training that the machine who is L.A. did, made him the winner he was, not just the drugs.  In fact, how do we know how much benefit the drugs actually did for him?  This is something we will never know.  I know there are research papers out there (having done a lot of reading articles and journals recently) that will be able to state how much benefit people have doing drugs in sport, but every man/woman is different, and each body will react differently to what is put in them.

The fact that he was a bully, an intimidator, and as the program described “a jerk”, only made me sad.  This is a fellow human who felt the need to attack others in order to defend himself.  I pity him, and I pity those close to him who had to deal with that animal during his heyday, and who couldn’t stand up to him, and say NO.  I know there were some who tried, but if people constantly tried from close in, more could have been found out at an earlier date.  

What  also came to my mind was that he was so insecure in himself, that he felt his only way to succeed was to take drugs.  How often have I trained and competed, and felt sooooo bad, that I wondered what I was actually doing?  Did I have a right to be on the same piece of tarmac, grass or track as these other athletes?  Was I wasting my time? Was I a joke?  Should I just pack it all in?  I can safely say, not once have I been in the position, or state of mind, where I felt my way out was to take drugs. I had a “friend”, more like an acquaintance, who I did some training with while I stayed in America, who was done for drugs last year.  It blew my mind.  Here was a guy I was friendly with, and chatted to, and ran with, and now he’s a cheat!  The problem that was documented with him was that he had been injured, and wasn’t getting any races, meaning his income was low, and he just needed to get fit as quick as he could to be able to survive…. I knew he had been depressed about his running, because he hadn’t been as fit as he wanted after some horrific injuries, and he had considered quitting because he just didn’t enjoy it anymore.  But when running is your life, and it’s how you make a living, I guess anything in your mind can be made to look like a viable option.  But the fact that I was friendly with this person, did runs with him, did a couple of sessions with him, does this mean that I too do drugs??  I’ll let you draw your own conclusions on that one.

Anyway, the point I’m putting across is, yes, L.A. did drugs, and yes, he acted like a complete jerk these last years while denying everything that people said about him, but he is one man.  I have read articles from the likes of Mark Cavendish, saying how damaging this is for cycling, and that everyone should not be tarred with the same brush.  The funny thing is, I don’t – and any athletes out there will say the same thing.  I believe that all athletes are different, and because one does something, it doesn’t constitute my right to say “everyone does that”.  The analogy I will use is ‘meet John, he’s my best mate, and we do everything together.  He smokes by the way’.  Do you now think that I smoke too, because smoking is a contagious thing, and peer pressure is what usually starts people on that road.  I don’t, and it’s because I choose not to, and I know it’s a bad thing.

This is what you need to believe with athletes, we are not all “win at all costs”, and therefore because someone does drugs does not mean that everyone does.  If you are in doubt about cycling, don’t be.  All sports are cleaner than they have ever been, and the cheaters are slowly getting weeded out.  It’s the same with running – the cheats are, and will be, getting caught.  

But the same goes for the Cavendishs out there – the athletes who fear nobody will believe they are clean – not everybody thinks that sport is “all” drugs, so don’t tar them with the same brush either.  

There are millions of people out there who love sport for what it is; a spectacle, to take our minds away from a mundane life, and give us that bit of excitement to watch, letting us marvel at how great the human body can be when it is trained to exceptional levels.  So don’t fret about what has been done by others, concentrate on only what you can do, and win clean.


Failing seems to be catching on!

Well yes…..as my title sounds, I failed before today even started. 😦

I went to bed, stuck my radio alarm on so it would wake me at 8:15am, giving me plenty of time to drag myself out of bed and do my couple of miles prior to my Physio appointment.

Commence, operation snooze……this was completed on an epic level – the best snooze I’ve had since I got the cold on Christmas day.  Anyway, the next recollection was hearing the postman delivering the mail at 11:24am!!  GUTTED!  I looked at my phone to see a message from the Physio asking how I was.  I apologized sincerely (still not knowing how on earth I didn’t hear my alarm, as I double checked it and it was still set to the right times, and the volume was up), and proceeded to drag myself out of bed, get changed, and go and meander around my run.  Another 2.1miles in the bag, and the achilles and hamstring holding up well, meant that exercising was complete – well not really complete, but I did my run.

I showered, changed, and then had some noodles for lunch before getting onto my bike, and cycling the 5miles to Uni (extra exercise with no impact is always good when you’re battling the bulge…..a bit of cross training on the bike or in the pool means that the muscles don’t get the impact fatigue that running gives them, yet you can still work up a sweat and burn some extra calories to help lose those unwanted pounds).

So I saw year group friends, bid a happy new year to them all, and got on with some work (I won’t bore you with the details), before cycling home again at dinner time.

Tonight has been fairly productive…..doing some uni work on my laptop while watching bits of tv (gotta give myself a reason to procrastinate somehow! ha!).

About to wrap up, and head to my bed, as I will have a lot of work to do over the weekend…hopefully my alarm works properly tomorrow, but just in case, I will set my phone alarms too to help me battle the sandman!

Happy sleepy times out there. 🙂

A wasted day, turned useful

So I went to bed last night, setting the alarm for 7am, fully expecting to rise from my pit, do my run, shower and have breakfast, before cycling to Uni to do work (today is the first day the uni has been officially opened since Christmas).

Wellllll – I awoke at 8:45 to a dull buzz and talking in the background.  Turns out I hadn’t turned up the volume on my alarm, meaning that there was no way it would wake me.  Ooops!  So I watched some tv, before dragging my butt out the door and trundling around my 2.1mile loop.  Today I decided to go backwards around it – don’t be daft, not running backwards physically, just in the opposite direction from normal.  It’s good to do this sometimes, as it breaks up the monotony of doing the same loop over and over and over again.  Once I get my runs up to a longer distance, I have multiple loops i can do, but for the mere 2miles, I only have one route that I am comfortable using, as it involves crossing only minor roads, and is pretty much down for one mile, and back up for the second, no matter which direction I run it. (ps. I was under 15minutes again today, I was gagging on catarrh from my recent cold while running, and was waaayyyy over-dressed as it was actually very humid out, and I had tights, jacket and a hat on….so all-in-all I was happy enough with this run….that’s 4 days in a row! 🙂 )

Once I got home, I did my stretching exercises for my leg, and got myself ready to shower……yes, I got ready to shower…..next thing I knew, I was lying in bed again because I was zonked!  It’s the Christmas Laziness Syndrome.  Trying to get into a routine after Christmas is a nightmare!!  So I fell asleep, again, and that was me till 2:30pm!  Oops number two for the day!

So that was me in the potter about mode now – playing games, and generally avoiding doing anything that resembled work…BAD ME!

After dinner, I managed to drag out the laptop (I had played on my iPad all day) and commenced attempted work.

BOOM – realisation has set in.  I have a hand-in due on the 7th, scrap that, I have TWO hand ins due on the 7th, one individual and one group.  I have done most of the individual work, but still have an essay to write, and finish off a couple of design drawings – and I’m due in Uni tomorrow to meet a group member, to try finish off the team element….I still have to write up about 750-1000words I think. 😦

I also have another hand-in due on the 10th, of which I still need to meet the lecturer….note now, email him as soon as I finish this!  On that same day I have a Dissertation presentation to do….no big deal really, I know my subject, so should get through it, but I still have to devise what I’m saying, and make some slides…..the clock is ticking!!

I can’t rest on my laurels there though (is that the correct spelling of laurels?? I’m sure that’s for Laurel and Hardy, but no time to procrastinate and research it! haha) I have a big hand in for my individual design project on the 30th of January, and an ongoing Group design project to work on, so it’s go go go for me heading through January.

One good thing I have done today though, is I have sent my CV/Resume (CV for UK, and Resume for America) and cover letter to two companies to try and secure some graduate work/internship work following the conclusion of my degree in May….I have been offered work at a summer school for the summer which I really want to do because a) the people there are amazing b) teaching kids sport is so much fun and c) the money is EPIC!

So to sum it all up, today, on an exercise front, was a success…..I did my run. 🙂 on a Uni work front it was a fail. On a future opportunities front it was a success.  So 2 out of 3 is not too bad.  Roll on tomorrow!

ps. I have my physio tomorrow morning too, and she’s really nice, so it’s always a pleasure seeing her,even if it’s not a pleasure handing over money, and definitely not a pleasure when she does the nerve stretches!! But I will let her off, cause it’s letting me run pain free again, for the first time in as long as I can remember properly – of course I remember running PB/PRs, and everything seemed effortless, but your mind always remembers the good, and buries away the bad…sadly, my mind holds onto the bad, because my right hamstring has been tight/sore for a good 3years or more, and the good times are almost a distant memory, but I can still find them when I need them – helping me smile, and remember that for every hard run I do now, in six months they will feel easy again, and the body will remember that floating sensation.

2012 – A Brief Look Back

ImageSo 2012 was a rough year for me.  It started off with an achilles injury, which put my running out, because I was so sore with it, that it was doing me harm.  Having attempted to run through the pain, I made things worse, and ended up being out for literally a year, before getting the all clear from an MRI scan, and being able to re-commence running.  I had, however, started to do some road cycling which I enjoyed for a while, but it’s just not the same as running.  I have been back running training lately, but other injuries have surfaced!! But I have a great new physio now who is sorting me out.  I had a glute which was not firing, causing my opposite hamstring to do all the power work…thus resulting in an overuse injury where the nerves have fused with the muscle…..I’m doing exercises to combat this, and things are looking up.  I have run 2.1miles the last 3 days, each day getting quicker (17:07, 15:09 and 14:38) and the plan is one or two 2-3mile runs a day – every day – for the foreseeable future: until I can comfortably run three miles at 6minutes per mile pace.  This is a pace that used to be so easy to me;  I have run 5km in under 15minutes before, and the aim is to be able to run under 30minutes for 10km by April 2014, giving me 16months to get ready…so no need to rush into things right now….a slow build up is what is on the cards.

2012 was also due to be my final year at Uni, so there were a lot of stresses going on with folio work for that, while I had to deal with my Dad being really ill having broken his hip late October 2011 (I live with my parents while I get through Uni).  A long story short, I handed in my final folio work on the morning of the 25th of April (my birthday) and at 5pm that same day, my Dad passed away.  This left me lost and confused.  The uni was great, and my exams were delayed to let me mourn, and help organise what had to be organised.  I finished my exams come August, and had managed to pass with a 2:1.  I decided, however, that I wanted to stay on and complete a Masters degree, so that is ongoing now.

So here we are……2nd of January 2013.  I am vowing to run every day this year…slowly building up my running to be able to do some running sessions again, but also continuing to do some cycling (I’ve actually been doing a bit of Velodrome Cycling lately too which is lots of fun, and WARM! haha).  I also have some hand ins at uni for the next week or two, so will be hard at work with them, but hopefully I can lose myself in a little bit of running, allowing me to relax a bit, while I bury myself with Uni  work. 🙂

Hopefully I get myself some followers, and if you feel you want to leave me comments, then I’ll be happy to read and respond.  I have deliberately not told anyone I’m doing this….it’s something for me to do, and I don’t want to feel that my family and friends are watching my every little move.  I just want to be me, write what I feel, and move forwards in life.

Smile and be happy people. 😀