Starts: October 15 2014 @ 3:30am
Ends: October 10 2014 @ 7:20pm
This is the story of my incredible Extreme endurance alternative quadathlon – Wednesday 15 October 2014.
I went to bed the previous night at 10.00 pm after watching the rather excellent Spandau Ballet reliving their former years and taking me back to my late teens and early twenties. I had set the alarm clock for 3.00 am, in the end I did not really need it as my mind clock was fixed on the extraordinary events that were to unfold.
Preparation, preparation and preparation were key to such a challenge and I had written down the time and activity from 3.30 am with Wake up to 7.20 pm finish spin bike. So the preparation started with a hearty bowl of porridge at 3.45 am then it was to get all my things that I needed to take together. My wife and I left our house at 4.15 am and drove to my old work place in Woolwich, London where I was given access to the building by one of the cleaners.
The first part of the quadathlon was to walk up and down the 212 steps = 13 floors as many times as I could in 3 hours. This was very hard and as I started the task it was not long before I started to sweat. The first 2 hours of this were done without me taking my first medication of the day and the adrenalin that I relied on to get me through this part did not disappoint. During the 3 hours I was able to go up and down 23 times which is a coverage of 9,752 steps which was far in excess of the minimum coverage I set of 6,000. Towards the end of the steps part stiffness and pain started to increasingly identify itself particularly in the top of the left side of my shoulder and bottom part of my neck, so to combat that I took 2 Paracetamol along with bite size pieces of jam sandwich which carried me through to 8.00 am. I found this to be a very solitary part of the endurance and only saw 1 former colleague in the whole 3 hours. 1 discipline down and 3 to go.
So my wife drove us to David Lloyd in Sidcup gym where I was to commence the second discipline of 3 hours on an indoor rowing machine. This started at 9.00 am and there were 2 rowing machines singled out and put in a prominent area of the gym to advertise my event. This second discipline was on paper the hardest and the one I was not looking forward to. It was 3 hours of pure hard graft. I started off on level 9 and during the period this went down to 7 and finally 6, it was not a classical or technical piece of rowing and my drag rating was constantly over the 30 recommended however with Lewis one of the gym staff to keep me company for most of the time and then Ryan to see me through to the end I managed to row 29,628 kilometres although it was at times very painful especially on my bottom. The bite size pieces of sandwich which I had built in to my agenda were replaced by banana which I found more palatable. The peanuts were not such a good idea as they got stuck in my throat.
Halfway through my endurance and next up was the shallow water walking this was again a very isolated period of my day and the heat of the swimming pool and the chlorine chemicals got to my head and I was feeling like a zombie with a fixed stare as I slowly rattled off the 180 lengths of the 25 metre pool more or less keeping it constant to 1 length a minute to achieve my minimum target of 180 lengths in 3 hours. By the end of the shallow water walking I was quite stiff and so I had a period of recovery whereby I had a massage and then some energy producing pasta which was a not built in to my agenda but which was crucial to my success.
So the last discipline was 3 hours on a spin bike which I started at 4.25 pm. It soon became apparent that this was not going to be easy especially as the seat was not great. The time on the spin bike was going excruciatingly slow and my mindset was beginning to weaken, the turning point came at about the half way stage when I was very close to giving in all my body ached, the pain and stiffness were constantly in my mind, then I turned it around my mindset split up into pocket chunks of 10 minutes the remaining time and within those 10 minutes I would switch from cycling in the saddle to out of the saddle also the introduction of pure orange juice gave me a kick but as the time got closer and closer to the end so did the stiffness and lack of ability to move which increased the energy and effort I was putting in. The sweat was increasing as was the orange juice intake. As the pocket chunks of 10 minutes increased so did my ability to believe I could do this. At 7.25 pm I completed my extraordinary feat of endurance. The agenda and timings went near enough perfect to the minute, the food and drink intake went out of the window and it came down to adapting to the circumstances.
These are the key moments that enabled me to succeed
Step climb Isolation
Rowing Pure hard graft
Shallow water walking Isolation and Zombie like state and Gary’s suggestion to eat pasta
Spin Bike Pure hard graft and adaption of mindset which changed tactics and saw me through
Mr Danny James Lavender MBE