Friday, 26 June 2009

Pain is temporary, failure is permanent

I pulled on a T-shirt to train in the other day with a slogan that sums it all up.

It was one handed out for competing in the Lincoln Triathlon back in April.

Emblazoned across the chest are the following words.

Pain is temporary. Failure is permanent.

And as my legs buckled underneath me on yet another run, on yet another day of training, it simply acted as a spur.

There is no room for failure. And as the London Triathlon edges ever nearer (five weeks from now), the enormity of the task in hand becomes clearer and clearer.

It is a lot different from training back in January and February. The sun is out for one.
And while it is pleasant, the heat is making the step up in training even harder. But it could be 30c on August 2, so I have to be ready.

But as I wilt with the sweat pouring, I have those words etched into the back of my eyes.
Failure is permanent. Failure is permanent.

And as if I did not need any extra pressure piled on me, it arrived the other day in the form of a man I have never met.

Notts County kindly put a small piece on their website earlier this week, telling of my bid.
As I used to cover the club for the paper, their press officer gave it a plug.

What I did not expect was for one Magpies fan to support my bid and When You Wish Upon A Star by donating £100.

The name - David Wilkinson.

A generous, kind, welcoming act for which I am so grateful.

But when such sponsorship comes in, as it has been of late in various forms, you know there is no room to mess it up.

I must complete the 1.5k swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run. The pain will fade, letting people down would never go away.

So that slogan from Lincoln will stay with me now right to the finish.

I do not want to be remembered as a failure forever.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here or for the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here

Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Great triathlon training advice in the Nick of time

After almost six months slogging away with my training, I needed a little inspiration to get me down that final straight.

And this week it arrived, in the shape of an e-mail that popped up on my screen while at work.
The sender. Nick Dunn (top right).

Immediately, the name rang a bell.

He is the West Bridgford triathlete who finished an astonishing second in last year’s London Triathlon. The winner of the 2008 Nottingham Triathlon.

The man who stormed to victory in the Mansfield Sprint Triathlon back in April - my first ever one in which I finished nearer 200th than first!

I knew his name as I wrote an article about him a couple of years ago and by chance, he stumbled across the story of my bid and called in with some advice months ago.

Turns out he was sifting through his e-mails, spotted my name and dropped me a line to ask how I was getting along.

At the bottom, the line of if you need any advice, just...

Before I could finish reading, I had fired one back. I’ll take up that offer. After all, this is a leading triathlete, a man with a successful personal training business in the city. I would be silly not to ask for a few pointers.

And by the time the day was out, there it was. A detailed e-mail back instructing me how to fine tune, get fitter and build myself up in the last few weeks to be in optimum shape for the rigours of the London Triathlon - 1.5k swim, 40k bike ride and 10k run.

Boy, do I have my work cut out. I have a feeling I will not have much spare time on my hands.

A mixture of long distance, intense and mixed sessions stand before me and Sunday August 2 when I take to the waters of London’s Victoria Docks.

But, unlike before, this variety has given me that spring back in my step and a thirst for more training.

Just six weeks. Six tough weeks.

But thanks to the tips and advice of Nick Dunn, I feel I might just get over that finish line.


To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here or for the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here

Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Monday, 15 June 2009

It's about time I got back on the bike

I must get back on the bike this week but to be honest, I am dreading it.


And not because I have just had a slight break from training while I enjoyed a week on holiday.

More because just before, a friend of mine I was riding with came crashing down at about 20mph. And it wasn’t pretty.

Thankfully, there were no broken bones.

And I am glad, as I think I might have caused his crash!

Hurtling down the Five Pits trail, my mate Phil had dropped a good 20 metres behind after we had finished an uphill sprint.

Thinking he was taking a breather, I carried on pushing a little harder believing he was well back on the gravelled track.

That was until I slowed down, inadvertently drifted to my right only to hear some kind of warning scream and than a buckling of my back tyre.

He had been racing up behind, going past me when I wondered into his path and I heard the screeching of brakes, a slight tug on my back wheel and then the noise of Phil and his bike careering across the gravel into a hedge bottom.

Blood from head to toe, some pretty bad cuts but as he jumped up quickly, it appeared nothing broken.

With a bridge and steep drop just a few more metres up the track, it could have been a lot more serious. But he found the heavily bramble-filled hedge to the side of the track.

A steady ride back to base, a clean up and soon he was feeling the full force of the crash, sore and struggling to walk.

He took it all in good spirits, but I think he was glad I was away soon after on holiday so we did not have to hit the trail again. He would be safer on his own.

And after I punctured his tyre on his road bike in the Macclesfield Triathlon a week or so earlier, I doubt whether he fancies coming out biking with me again!

Either way, I need to dust mine down and get some miles under my belt this week, after all, the London Triathlon is just seven weeks away.

But after seeing a crash at those speeds first hand, I am a little bit daunted about getting back on two wheels.

Well, I’ll have to be man about it. It’s time to up the training as time is running out.

To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here or for the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here

Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/

Monday, 1 June 2009

Bubble bursts in Macc Land

Forget Rookie of the Year, more like Chump of the Year following a disaster at the Macclesfield Triathlon.

High hopes of completing the 400m swim, 25k bike ride and 7.2k run were quite literally blown apart.

After borrowing a proper road bike, I was flying at the start of the bike course, making my way through the scenic back roads of Macclesfield. I felt in great condition.

Overtaking a few of my fellow competitors, confidence was growing. This road bike makes a real difference.

It was only just after half 8 in the morning, I had been up since 5.15am and made the 75-minute drive over the Cat and Fiddle to get there. The swim had gone well, it all seemed so worth it.

That was until I turned onto the A34 and within seconds, I struck a hole in the road and my back tyre blew apart.

I could see it coming, I just could not avoid it without risking pulling out in front of an overtaking car.

As the thin tyre popped, the bike shook violently from side to side as I came to a shuddering halt on the grass verge.

A few expletives sprang to mind, especially as it dawned on me that with this new bike, I had no spare inner tube. No back up plan. No mobile phone. No chance.

A few competitors came past and the friendly nature overtook that competitive edge as they asked if I was okay, fearing I had an accident.

I waved them on with a smile before realising I had a good five or six mile trek back to the transition zone at the local leisure centre.

It was like a run of shame, pushing the bike along where I had just come from while wave after wave of triathletes went about their work, many offering their commiserations as they flew past.

But to end with a DNF against my name was a miserable experience, especially given the effort put in to training.

Maybe I should have put a little more effort into the planning in case such a blow out happened!

Lessons learned and one more to help me make a successful trip around the London circuit come August.

I just wish now that early morning alarm clock had never gone off.

A lie in would have been much more rewarding that a wasted trip to Macclesfield.


To follow Stevie's progress on Twitter, click here or for the full story behind Stevie taking up the London Triathlon challenge, click here

Visit www.justgiving.com/stevieroden to sponsor Stevie.

American-based sports giant Under Armour have backed Stevie in his quest to complete the London Triathlon and raise cash for When You Wish Upon A Star by agreeing to become his official sponsor.They have provided him with a whole range of their latest hi-tech training gear to help in all weathers, and a new tri-suit for the race itself. For more information visit http://www.underarmour.com/