Friday, 19 September 2014

Weekend Of Reckoning

Saturday: Cycle training & 30 mins online cardio class
Sunday: Bacchus half marathon
Monday: Wall sit challenge & HIIT
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Wednesday: 4.5 mile run
Thursday: Jump & yoga challenge
Friday: Rest day

By the time you read this I will be on my way to Belvoir Castle and embarking on one of the most nerve wracking things I've ever signed up to; Equinox24. I'd been feeling pretty calm about it all until about three weeks ago, even with several changes to the team that require last minute recruiting, but in the last week the terror really kicked in.

In reality, for this event, I've got it relatively easy. I'm in a team of five rather than running solo so although the event lasts for 24 hours I will likely only be running 4-5 laps and having 4 hours rest between each one. I can do this. I've trained. I'm fit and well. It's the logistics that are freaking me out a bit; wondering if I've packed enough kit or too much, have I got the right sort of food (again I've undoubtedly got too much), will the weather hold or will it be miserable. And will the team manage to find each other? Only two of us have ever met in real life before! In the last week we've all been a bit more vocal on email and hopefully making a team banner, adorning the camp with balloons and ourselves with glowsticks and face paints will help with the bonding process. I've never had such a lengthy packing list for anything, even a 2 week holiday to the states!
You wouldn't think I was only going away for a weekend...
All along I've been telling myself that this is meant to be a fun thing. I've no aims for time or numbers of laps, but I want to do my best and it's a complete unknown, completely different to anything I've attempted before. I've been trying to bury my fears in order to quell those of others but they've manifested themselves in my dreams almost every night since Monday so I'm hoping that my honesty here will help.

The temptation has been to go all out with training in the last few days but instead I've held back a bit in order to conserve energy. Held back on the exercise at least... food has been another matter entirely...
Cake to feed hungry runners
I did a couple of hours of cycle training on Saturday morning. Put me on a track in a race situation without junctions, stopping, gears and traffic to think about and I'm fine... put me on the road and it's another thing entirely! So it was off to a free council-led thingy to practice and learn how to ride properly. I'm getting used to pedals with toe clips and so promptly fell off my bike about 10 minutes after I arrived, earning myself some pretty nasty cuts and bruises in the process. But I got up and back on to build my confidence again. By the end of the session I was feeling so much better about it all and I'll be going back for another session in a few weeks time. Best use of 2 hours ever.

The knees worked well enough to get me around Bacchus half marathon on Sunday, even if they were very sore and they've held out and started to heal up over the course of the rest of the week. Only doing a couple of shorter runs and a little HIIT has left me feeling restless but I'm feeling in decent shape for tomorrow.
Happy times at Bacchus
I'm just trying to keep in mind that I'm doing this for the experience and to raise money for a wonderful charity. When I feel overwhelmed I will turn to my team and my friends knowing that they will understand and put aside their fears to encourage me, just as I put aside mine to encourage them. And I will also think of my Aunt, who would have been #VirtualTraining with me, and cheering me on from afar. And I'll know that I can push a tiny bit more.

It all starts at midday on Saturday. Phone battery permitting I'll be posting pictures and updates to twitter throughout. Texts and tweets of encouragement will be most appreciated and if you can spare a couple of quid Hospiscare would benefit greatly. You can donate at

Good luck to everyone else taking part in Equinox24 or indeed any other event this weekend. The TeamBear motto is "Suffer But Never Surrender" but the most important thing is to remember to have fun :)

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