Oh Charitable Thief

Let’s do the good stuff first, shall we?

Monday: 45 mins running
Tuesday: 1 hr 30 mins running
Wednesday: 1 hr 10 mins swimming, 1 hr turbo
Thursday: 1 hr 10 mins swimming, 45 mins running
Friday: 1 hr 5 mins turbo
Saturday: 2 hrs turbo/run brick session with 25 mins each way cycling there and back
Sunday: hastily rearranged rest day that you’re gonna hear all about

Okay, actually, let’s put the good stuff on hold, because I should probably address why that Monday looks a little bare and why I don’t have a new sprint Tri PB to yell about. Basically, Monday was a bit windy. I’m-still-missing-half-my-garden-fence kind of windy. Thames-Turbo-got-cancelled kind of windy, even. First the bike leg, then the whole thing. There was an attempt to turn it into an aquathlon, but they Bushy Park got shut and there was nowhere to run, so there went that.

And so my first outing as Chasers London League captain ended… Well, exactly how it was always going to: in tequila and curious life choices. There was no race though, and after the amount of time and energy I spent fretting about it last weekend, and after all the anticipation of finally kicking my season off, I was a bit crushed at the start of the week. Utterly deflated.

Fortunately, the poor weather continued into Tuesday, with the heavy gusts of Monday being replaced with a torrential downpour in Tuesday. My plan said eleven miles running. Who loves running in the rain? George lives running in the rain. Is it true? I do, I do, I do-oo!


Thus kicked off a massive return to form week. It’s the most enjoyable Goodgym session I’ve done since the injury, and the boost this gave me carried on throughout the week. I hit every session up until today on point: CSS target times were not only stuck to, but demolished. Yesterday’s brick session was hammered hard, with me and Coach Dan sharing the lead on some seriously pacy track reps on top of some heavy turbo intervals. I even managed to motivate myself enough to hit a cheeky turbo session before rushing off to catch Yndi Halda on Friday, a band I’ve been following since 2008 but somehow never seen live, so was somewhat anxious not to be late for.

And that’s about where the good stuff ends. I had also found out on Monday that my Grandad had been diagnosed with brain cancer and given 3-4 months. On Friday he collapsed with a brain haemorrhage and is currently half paralysed, barely able to respond and in end of life care. He was so excited and amazed by the triathlon and Ironman thing, and prior to that had always believed I was a good chap, even (especially) when I was patently undeserving of that. I’d have liked it if he could have seen me finish it.

I really wanted to be able to say I hit every single session this week after last week’s rant, but needs must – I’m really not going to harangue myself for dropping today’s long run until tomorrow. It’s not been the greatest rest day ever, with a cramped coach trip to Bristol and back. On the plus side: I received my one and only Easter chocolate thing (Lindt bunny, swiftly dispatched on the coach back to London while writing the half of this blog that got swallowed when something failed on the iPad). Cheers Mum. Moreover, my Uncle Bob’s given me a selfie stick, which has definitely been added to the sperm helmets and endless supply of kale on the list of things that me three years ago would have laughed/cringed at the idea of owning. Apparently this means I need to up my cycling photo-game now, so expect photographic evidence of the high-speed vanity-related cycling accident that has crippled me to pop up within a couple of weeks. Cheers Uncle Bob.

My view on death has been a bit warped, I think, by years of suicidal depression. I always used to put limits on how long I thought I’d actually be alive: I won’t make it past twenty five, or I will top myself before I hit fifty, or I’m doing this next week. It changed often. I think I’ve only recently hit the point where I can safely say that all bets are off and I don’t really put a specific finite number anymore on how long I intend to stick around for, but it’s hard to shake the general jadedness towards life. I forced myself into a position where death seemed like a pretty certain option, whether it was now or whenever later, and once that door’s opened you see that in everyone and everything.

There was a time where I got very into the idea of sanctioned suicide, or the idea that really people should be making a far less of a big moral and emotional hoohah over whether or not we kill ourselves. I was very for this idea – to a degree, I still am, although far less militantly. Not saying that we should be really unconcerned about this whole massive suicide rate thing that’s going on (otherwise I wouldn’t be doing the whole fundraising thing for a suicide prevention charity), but I do think people need to be more accepting of suicide as a rational choice (not 100% of the times, obviously, but it would be nice if the default assumption was not you must be mental). It’s a massive bugbear of mine when people instantly dismiss the idea of self-termination (I hate that phrase but I got tired of typing the s word) as irrational out of hand, because I think it completely marginalises anyone who has to deal with those thoughts. Marginalisation = no discussion of what might actually be leading to those thoughts. No discussion = lack of understanding, more silent suffering. All very, very stupid and completely avoidable.

What sucked so much today isn’t that idea that my Grandad’s about to die. What sucked is seeing someone who has lived until very recently a perfectly reasonable and active life become so locked in and unable to act/react to the world. That scares me far more than the idea of dying. I’m very glad with my Grandad that it was a sudden decline more than a steady one (relative; he was getting on a bit, obviously, but was still of reasonably sound mind), but still. I think it also scares me a bit that I just clocked on to the fact that I’ve already switched to past tense.

I think I’ll just end it there, think I’ve had enough of this train of thought for one night. It sucks when you’re trying to make some kind of point and the words just aren’t working. What can I say? It’s been a long day. There’s a week off work coming up so hopefully I’ll be all super chilled next weekend. Or not, because in my capacity as a semi-pro running coach I’ve volunteered to lead a hill training session, which I am completely and totally prepared for. Oh bloody hell.

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Also, part of the reason I’m doing this is to raise funds and awareness for The Maytree Respite Centre, a small charity in North London that provides support for people going through a suicidal crisis – so if you’d like to support my fundraising efforts, please click here. Thanks so much!

2 responses to “Oh Charitable Thief

  1. Pingback: Race Week: Kingfisher Aquathlon, or Little Argument With Myself – Half-Rust·

  2. Pingback: Race Week: Big Fish Swim, or In the Shadow of Our Pale Companion – Half-Rust·

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