Sunday, 25 November 2012

The hardest thing I have ever written.....

I've been debating long and hard over this blog post but I feel it only fair to share what's been going on in the past few months.

As you are all no doubt aware I have managed to get a new job at home, which is amazing as I only applied for the one job.

This job meant so much to me as it would allow me to live back at home and actually get to spend time with my friends and most importantly my wife. Living in hotels for a period of 51 weeks was really not for me especially when it was meant to only be for a period of 10 weeks.

I met some fantastic people who I would not have met had I not been in the hotel in London, most notably all the RG Active people who I consider friends.

Anyway back to the point. Due to how much this job meant to me, I had managed to heap an inordinate amount of pressure on myself prior to my second interview.

This job would end my hotel boredom and allow me more stability for training. Like I said pressure.

During a stupid moment of weakness on my way to my second interview I managed to undo over 150 days hard work and succumbed to a craving for a cigarette as I thought it would help me cope with my nerves.

To this day I have no idea why I did this and hated myself for doing it but I was once again feeding the nicotine monster and before I knew it I had started my descent down the slippery slope. At first I was buying a pack a day and smoking one cigarette and throwing the rest in the bin. After a night drinking in London with my work colleagues I took another step down the slippery slope and smoked more than usual and was then a smoker again.

It really is a slippery slope and I hated what I was doing to myself as I hadn't struggled to give up. I'd just had a moment of weakness and was now paying the price.

I had also become what Allen Carr refers to as a secret smoker as I hadn't told anyone I was smoking. When I was at home I would formulate excuses to go out to allow me time to feed the little monster. I was lying to my friends and family. I felt stupid but here I was again a smoker.

It wasn't long before I developed a cough and I even lied to my wife when she asked me about my cough and if I had been smoking. I denied all knowledge. What an idiot I was being.

Things all came to a head when me and Nicola went to went to the Help Harry Help Others ball in Birmingham on the 19th October. I had relied on Twitter to get the tickets but due to some complications, the person who I was getting the tickets off couldn't make it. She was meant to be travelling from Germany but didn't and I had no way of contacting other members in her party. I worked myself into a right bundle of stress and fed the monster due to extra complications with a receptionist at the hotel I had gone to, to collect the tickets. Anyway relief ensued and I finally managed to get the tickets. I happily made my way back to the hotel where Nicola was getting ready and as soon as I walked in to give her a hug, she said I smelt of smoke. This was it, that one moment where I could have lied again but I had to come clean, this is my wife I couldn't lie again so I was honest and confessed all. I admitted to being a smoker again. I cried and felt stupid but I also felt a huge weight had been lifted off me. Between us we formulated a plan for me to start taking Champix again and to recommence the journey to being a non smoker again (she was amazingly supportive, which was not what I was expecting). I have now been a non smoker since Friday 2nd November and am taking each day as it comes. I've been an idiot and undone so much hard work.

To all the people who have called me inspirational and followed me on this journey, I'm sorry. I've been an idiot.

My faux pas shows that no matter your level of motivation is for not smoking, it can all be undone in a moment of weakness. I have learnt so much about the idiosyncrasies of the nicotine trap and believe me from experience it is a trap and you can only break free with the right support. My wife will always support me through everything and for that I am eternally grateful.

If you are annoyed with me for failing in my journey, I am sorry. If you have stopped smoking because you were inspired by me, I am also sorry but stay strong and don't start smoking again. Use the support of friends and family when life gets tough and don't make the same mistake that I did.

Hope you all stay with me on this journey,

Unlike a certain well known cyclist, at least I have had the courage to admit my failings in a bare all confession. Lol.



Monday, 5 November 2012

I love it when a plan comes together

Firstly apologies for not blogging, I've been ill. I had a stinking cold, which resulted in no training and has been irritating.

I'm settling back into living at home and my new job and I even think my wife is enjoying having me back despite my "hamster-like qualities". Apparently I have a habit of creating nests out of clothes AKA being too lazy to hang my clothes up. OOOPS.

2013 will be a good year

As discussed previously I have been formulating a plan for my triathlons in 2013 and things are nearly finalised.

So far I have signed up for
  • Clitheroe triathlon in erm... Clitheroe on the 14th April 2013, this is a 3/4 olympic distance triathlon in my home town and I am looking forward to me family being there to support me.
  • Ironman 70.3 in Mallorca on the 12th May 2013. I am hoping the heat isn't to prohibitive but I have managed ot fir this in with a holiday as well. This will be my first foray into a half ironman distance triathlon
  • Potentially the Rother Valley Sprint in Sheffield on the 9th June 2013.
  • The Outlaw in Nottingham on the 7th July 2013, the big one and my first full distance triathlon. I really hope my legs are up to the 26.2 mile run after completing the 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike ride.
  • The London triathlon on July 27th in London. I am completing this as I have unfinished business with this triathlon after this year.
Al these triathlons are for Harry Moseley and his charity Help Harry Help Others. I hope my stubbornness sees me complete all the triathlons and raise lots of money for the charity.

The HHHO trisuit
 I was lucky to go the inaugural charity ball for HHHO and had a fantastic time with my wife.

I have also contacted Compressport about doing me some custom calf guards to compliment my trisuit design and they have said this could be a possibility. I hope they can sort these out.

Triathlon is again proving an expensive hobby. Recently I have bought some new trainers as Newton Running had a BOGOF offer on, which equated to two pairs for £120.

I also think I will need a new wetsuit for next season given I am dieting at the moment.

I have to find some way of making the running easier on my knees.

I have also managed to devise a wish list of things to buy. So far for next season that consists of
  • Louis Garneau Vorticce helmet
  • Planet X 60mm Carbon Clincher wheel set
  • Xlab Carbon Wing
  • Huub Aerious wetsuit
Since my last blog I have finally joined a gym. I have decided to grace Nuffield Health in Doncaster with my presence. I will mostly be doing my swimming training there but I may be tempted to spin at some point.


Before my cold, I managed to set a new PB in the pool by completing 1500m in sub 30 by completing it in 29:47. This was on day two of joining the gym and on day one I only just missed out on the sub 30 by completing the distance in 30:59. I haven't swum in two weeks since I contracted the evil lurgy.


After finally changing from my racing tyres to my normal tyres, I have put some time on the turbo trainer. On Saturday I completed an easy hour and cycled 35km. I was quite happy with this and was glad to get some time in the saddle. I should have ridden outside but I was a little pushed for time as I had to complete my Christmas shopping. Aren't I organised?


Since my last blog I have completed three runs. Two before my cold and one since. The first two were to break in my new Newton Gravity trainers but they rubbed some of my toes. These shoes were bought for racing but I am not happy about the rubbing. I will have to investigate. 

I then bought a pair of Newton Sir Isaac and Newton Terra Momentus in their BOGOF offer and the Sir Isaac are very comfy. I can't wait to get some more miles in them. The Terra Momentus were bought with the aim of completing some trail runs over the winter months.

My new trainers
Run 1 was just over 2km, run 2 was just over 4km and run 3 was just under 2km. I plan on slowly building my distances up over the winter months and will try and stick to the training plan I have been set by Karen.

As previously discussed I was trying to find a triathlon club, I am now proud to say I will be joining a new club based in Sheffield. The name of the club is Centurions Triathlon. I was invited by the founder to design their trisuit and I think I came up with a cracking design.

Centurions Triathlon trisuit
The design has been sent to Quest Sportwear and I am sure they won't disappoint with the finalisation. I can't wait to see the pimped up design.

It has even been rumoured that I could help with coaching the new club. Honestly me a triathlon coach. Who'd have thought that would happen?

If you would like to sponsor me, please visit my Justgiving page.

Thanks for reading and hopefully I will be back to blogging regularly now I am over the lurgy.