Friends who have done Landmark will understand the meaning of the word “decide”, how it kills off choice. After a particularly bad day in my head at work the other day I discovered that my choice to train for the Deca has been replaced by a decision. Whereas in the past such a poor head day would have given me the option to kop out, now there was no choice – even as I considered it I knew I would be on my bike, with my heart rate close to maximum after 10:15 pm at the end of a 90 minute hard turbo session. And this is a really good thing as it means I’ve crossed a line, in the words from the song Flashdance “it’s where the dancer becomes the dance – What a feeling “!

I am almost a quarter of a year into my year long Deca plan and the plan is firmly on track. Only a couple of sessions have been replaced by family emergencies or the manning of ultra aid stations.  I missed a run one day as I was riding over a hundred miles with Claire Smith at her Dorney DecaQuin test so I think that’s okay.  Running has been going really well even though the front of my right foot still thinks it’s being beaten up by Mt Snowdon.  My individual run distances are down on last year but I have been running 6 days a week so overall I am way up on last year, and working on my speed endurance.

It’s funny but true that this year I am working on speed as I am “only” doing IM distances.  I need as much speed as possible so it can be dialled back and still give me time to rest during the Deca.

Best of all during this quarter has been the fact that I have been swimming in the lake every weekend since the Brutal. My fear of the cold water is being overcome and I now almost look forward to it and the temperature going down.  Next year I aim to be doing it without the wetsuit.

Have a great Christmas, if you do it. I have a 10 mile run scheduled for Christmas Day and 20 miles for New Year’s Day and, given my decision to compete at the Deca, I give myself no choice but to do them.

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