Training has gone okay this week, but firstly I want to get a guilty pleasure out of the way...I'm a closet Bruce Springsteen fan! I especially like running to him, so there, it's out, if I mention it again it won't come as a horrible surprise. To balance it out this week I also ran to the Smashing Pumkins album Adore which worked really well too, a real gem of a record.
I had to shuffle my program a little bit and do a double session on Friday due to a family commitment this weekend, it was my beautiful cheeky little monkey niece Imogen's 3rd birthday party on Saturday and I was privileged to be Godfather today to my nephew Luke. The blog today is about my friends and family, who are all very special to me. I'm certain in one way or another these relationships will suffer a little over the coming months (hopefully not too much) so in advance of this I thought I'd dedicate my 3rd blog to you all...
I spent the weekend at my big Sister's and Bro-in-Laws in Clitheroe in the the Ribble Valley, needless to say I didn't get much sleep with a baby and a 3 year old so I was up nice and early. I took full advantage, donned the running shoes and got out for an hour run before daybreak. On the way back the sunrise over Pendle Hill was beautiful! Emma and Andy, thanks.
I took my Mum and Dad out for dinner last weekend (following Don Fink's advice). I wanted to let them know why I was doing the Outlaw, and that I was taking it seriously and not to worry etc. Mostly to convince them I hadn't gone insane. Dad's been very supportive and has even come bike shopping with me. I've enlisted Mum as a helper, picking up odd bits from the supermarket, doing the odd bit of washing etc. Now I know what you're thinking...that that's something that always happens anyway, right? Well I have this independence thing where I don't except help, so I've swallowed my pride and got Mum on the team. Mum and Dad, thanks.
Another Fink tip is to enlist mentors, the first and most important one was my best friend Andy, he's always been there even when he was the other side of the world. He's an energy giver, and a great guy. His lovely better half Gabby is also amazing, I have a huge amount of time and respect for her. I owe these two a lot, Andy and Gabby, thanks.
My family is very close and full of people who I class as friends as well as blood. Paul and Adam are my cousins, ex-bandmates and great friends, both settled down, Adam with two great boys and a beautiful wife Louise (who helps me become more aerodynamic in Summer). Uncle Mark and Aunty Helen, Uncle John and Aunty Chris, Pat and Geoff, thanks too. Also a shout out to my Canadian relatives over the Atlantic and not forgetting the Italians!
Last summer I was honoured to be my best friend from universities best man, I'm delighted to say Howy and Helen are expecting their first baby a few weeks before I'm due (to do the Outlaw). I'm also a season ticket holder at Nottingham Forest, I always enjoy sitting next to Marco Blinston in the Trent End, another great friend who is getting married this summer, the weekend after Outlaw, so I'm especially looking forward to that one.
A super special mention goes to Julo, without doubt one of the toughest people I know, you are a great inspiration to me, keep going! Another person who had a positive effect on me a few years ago was Eric Wheater, E-dog is a legend... he's a doer and I think he'd be awesome at Tri. Not sure he'd have the time though, he's more of an extreme sports guy!
By the way I also play in a band...Love Ends Disaster! We were lucky enough to play Reading and Leeds Festival in 2010 and I love being trapped in a car with them on long trips to venues around the country...Matt Oakes, Jon Dix and Dave Wright. There is another member but I've forgotten his name (I think I may give him a post all to himself).
Professionally I want to thank Dave Rudd, John Willis and especially Ian McLean. Also more uni friends Nick Cooper and Gary Pierrepont, boom. And a mention for my second mum, Mrs Ann Lumley.
Another special thanks to Margaret and Frederick.
There's a massive group of people I haven't mentioned, new friends and mentors and energy givers at Absolute Triathlon. I'm going to save a blog for you guys :-) but in advance, thanks.
A bit of a self indulgent blog maybe, but it's not all going to be x miles in x minutes. Friends I will need you along the way but I may not have the courage to ask. Any support you can give will be greatly appreciated.
As if by way to highlight the importance of you all today, around 1.30pm our Paul was taken from the post Christening buffet do into Casualty! Now he's not the kind of guy to really be ill so if he says take me to Hospital it's got to be serious. Firstly and most importantly he's be let out and will be fine. The ECGs came back ok. A scare none the less. So remember, save your friends, find your place, speak the truth.