Barry’s Blog #3

Been a busy few weeks since my last blog – training continues to build rapidly with 21km rows being added to the already tough17km rowing sessions. Have to say that out of all the training, I find the rowing the one I like the least! You are on a static machine, going nowhere other than half a metre forward and half a metre back. It’s tiring in many ways but I find keeping concentration the most tiring part. (My school report cards always read ‘easily distracted’).

21k row done

I become a different person on the static rower – I am certainly not sociable. Here is an insight to my mindset:

  • Why are you getting on the rower beside me when there are 5 free!!!!?
  • Don’t make eye contact, I am in significant pain and can’t smile back.
  • Please don’t try and talk to me
  • If your machine won’t turn on – don’t make me take out my headphones to answer questions
  • I hate that background music. It is drowning out my music
  • I hate that instructor’s voice, why is he shouting?
  • Wireless headphones – DO NOT run out of charge
  • I hate this
  • I am bored
  • How long is left?
  • Why are you rowing like that? Pull the chain straight and slow down. You bouncing about is making me feel seasick
  • If you are rowing beside me, why are you trying to race me

Here is a video clip from the TV show, Burnistoun, which pretty much sums it all up – have a look! Funny but true….! Funny thing is, I always have a ‘rowing story’ for the family when I get home!

Pleased to say my times are improving on the rows though and there really is no choice…. It HAS to be done if we have any chance of rowing the channel.

Training is also becoming more outdoors now, we have the bikes (courtesy of QBikes) and all the gear. Everyone says ‘get the pedals’ but they don’t tell you how bloody hard it is to get used to them!!

trying the pedals

daily view

Derek and I took the bikes out for a spin a couple of weeks ago (I actually had a wee practice on my own the day before)

run and ready for bike

At the start, we stuck to the paths at the back of my house. Needless to say, Derek came off twice! I then confessed that I had actually also fell off the day before.

After 20 mins on the paths we decided to hit the road and took on some hills through Carmunnock and into Thorntonhall. In the end we covered around 18 miles. Not bad for a first session with a good few hill climbs to test us.

barry and derek bike

Saturday’s are now seeing a mix of training (Kev calls them psycho Saturdays) with distance running and cycling immediately after. I got 10 miles run in on Saturday then straight out on the bike for 18 (these will soon become 8 hour sessions).

All was going well until near the end when I came off hard at a set of lights. I took my right foot out but the bike tilted left with no time to get the left foot out and down I went. I’m sure with more practice we will master it but big thanks to all the motorists who tooted or drove round me!

You definitely have a new found respect for cyclists after getting out on the road. I had a few hairy moments with people just cutting out in front and forcing you into the curb. With experience comes confidence though!

My running has been hindered for a couple of weeks. I felt foot pain back in Feb, normally kicking in around 10 miles. As the weeks went on the pain was kicking in earlier. I spoke to my physiotherapist, Natalie, Kev and the boys and we agreed an MRI was best as the dreaded stress fracture kept being mentioned. So I was booked in and it turned out I have Tendonitis caused by over use along with a dodgy big toe which ‘will break’……. Perfect…..!

Not doing London was never an option anyway so I am currently trying every lotion and potion available. Also just had some acupuncture to see if this eases it a bit.


We also had a meeting with Michael from one of the Clydesdale Rowing Club.  Michael has offered to be our rowing coach and has vast experience – after meeting him, he is perfect for us. I am really looking forward to working with him and learning from him. Look out for us on the Clyde before we get out on the open water down in Greenock.

trying the ice

I can’t believe we are so close to London, it’s my first ever attempt at a marathon and although I’ve done a bit of running on and off over the years, the nerves are kicking in. I just want to get going and experience it. Everyone has advice and I will take that all onboard. We are still training hard the week building up as we have the big challenge in Aug, we have targets to meet and Kev rightly won’t let us rest on what we have done so far (losing a week’s training is like losing a month’s fitness or something like that)

The challenge people are taking on to replicate the London to Paris distances is also great to see. We have many signed up who have joined the team. Friends, colleagues, my kids, Jenny and Alex as well as Jenny’s school who will replicate the challenge in one day on world IBD day!

jenny and alex

Anyway, London is now firmly on my mind… It’s nearly here and I’m also looking forward to catching up with some family down there for a beer afterwards.

bike done!

Thanks to everyone for your support. Sponsors, corporate supporters and even words of encouragement on days when you’re drained and there aren’t enough hours in the day.

It means the world