2 weeks to go…

I did the second of my two big “brick” sessions on Saturday (remember a “brick” is a training session consisting of biking and then running).  I decided to take the advice of my friend Gary and switch the 106/28 and 106/35 sessions.  So Saturday I did the 106km bike followed by 35km run.  One word summarizes how I felt at the end of this:

Ouch!

In fact, it was ouch ouch after about 14km of running.  Never mind, I did the 35km and that only leaves 7km more to do on the big day which I’ll do on adrenaline alone (ignoring the extra 75km of hilly bike and 3.8km of swimming!).  I’m convinced, barring misfortunate, that I’ll get round now.  It won’t be pretty, but I’ll damn well get round! Here’s the training stats for my sporty friends interested in such matters:

  • Bike: average speed 37.5kph at a comfortable HR of 145bpm (my threshold is about 165bpm)
  • Run: the first 14km were good at 3:06 marathon pace (about 150bpm), but then I stopped to refill my bottles and my legs seized up!  I struggled for the next 7km, finishing the half-marathon in 1:35.  After that it was a case of “grin and bare it” as my legs were very painful and I could hardly run. The final 14km were at about 4:20 marathon pace.

I felt mentally quite fresh at the end and had plenty of energy in reserve.  My seized up legs were the weakest link this time.  If I’m recovered well enough in time, I’ll do a shorter session on Wednesday and then a much shorter one on Saturday and that will be about it until race day.

What’s wrong with Joseph?

Joseph after the BBQWe’re still finding it hard at times to confront reality. It’s very easy to cocoon ourselves and avoid the outside world.  However, sooner or later we have to and this weekend was one of those times.  After the training session on Saturday we went to a friend’s house for a BBQ.  I was quite tired (!) after having trained for most of the day and Colette was probably mentally fatigued after being stuck indoors on her own all day caring for Joseph.

Many of our best friends were at the BBQ which was great (as was the food!), but there were also many strangers who didn’t know us and who were not aware of Joseph’s illness.  In addition, there were also many young children rampaging around the place.  You can imagine the situation:

  • Joseph’s parents trying to maintain conversation with friends but secretly observing all the other children – some Joseph’s age – running around, talking, and playing.  Soon we tune out of the conversation and become distracted by our thoughts: why Joseph?  Why us?  How can this happen to a beautiful innocent child?  Why can’t we do anything about it?  Why can no one help?  Logically we know the answers to these questions, but we still can’t avoid the circular thoughts during moments of weakness…
  • A complete stranger approaches, noticing the tube going into Joseph’s nose and taped to his cheek.  Curiosity has got the better of him and he asks quite bluntly, “what’s the problem with your baby? Why is there a tube up his nose?”

Suddenly you feel like you’ve been struck at your weakest moment and all your emotions come welling up from inside like an unstoppable wave.  It wasn’t their fault. It was just bad timing, and they weren’t to know that there is something gravely wrong with Joseph.  And, anyway, they probably had the best intentions and wanted to share the problem.  Repeat this ten times a day, in the supermarket, the pharmacy, swimming pool, or just out for a walk even, and suddenly a cocoon is a safe place to be!

This sort of situation is never going to go away, we just have to learn to deal with it, just as Joseph has (he had a great time and made lots of new friends!).

Later this week we’re going to meet the geneticist for a lesson in biology and statistics I think…

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