They say a picture speaks a thousand words. So I will summarise the last few weeks with a collection of pictures. Though the weeks following Ironman Bolton could be summarised in 3 words; sleeping, cake, beer.
Sleeping in the sun, on a rock, in the woods after cake and beer.
I had been following a pretty structured training routine leading up to Bolton. A normal week would look something like this:
Mon: swim (75mins), cycle including 10mile time trial effort (2hrs), Aqua jog session (45mins)
Tues: swim 90mins, cycle to and from pool (70mins), steady run (60mins)
Wed: swim 60mins, cycle to and from pool (70mins), Aqua jog session (45mins)
Thurs: swim 90mins, cycle to and from pool (70mins), Bike Turbo session (70mins), steady run (50mins), Yoga (60mins)
Fri: Strength and conditioning at gym (45mins)
Sat: swim (2hrs), cycle to and form pool (70mins), long run (90mins- 2hrs)
Sun: long ride (between 4-5 hours) sometimes a brick run off the bike
Each week varied slightly as we rotated between a long run, long bike or a long brick session (ride followed by run) and we went on a 3 weeks hard, 1 week easy routine.
I had been training hard since November so my body was not only battered by an Ironman but also 8 months of training. All it kept saying to me was ZZZzzzzzzzzz. I do all my swimming in the mornings, generally starting at 7am 3 times a week and slightly later twice a week, meaning a 6am wake up to cycle to the pool. My body refused to wake up in the weeks after Bolton, it was on early morning strike.
Straight after Ironman Bolton on July 19th we journeyed to Norfolk for a well earned holiday. Fishing, failed to catch anything for super. Bingo at the local village hall, no winnings, not even in the raffle but lots of relaxing on the north Norfolk beaches.
Went to a Music fesival with lots of mud and rain.
After a week away, the plan was to get back into some light training as i has a few races in mind. This plan went out the window. My mind and body were on strike, The routine went out the window, after a few weeks of rest, recuperation, my mind and body felt like doing some training, 30 seconds after jumping on my bike I collided with a cyclist who had mistaken her left and rights and came riding down the road on the wrong side. Battered bike and body....back to resting and sleeping.
I got the bike straightened out, only for it to get pinched off the train. I hope whoever pinches it rides it up some decent hills. Which is where I let off my annoyance, got the bus home with just my helmet, jumped on my race bike and joined Alba Rosa cycle club for summer evening foray in to Hill climb territory. Hill climbs, good way to explode the legs and lungs.
At the top of Bronte Wheelers Hill Climb
After 8 months of structured training, the Dennis the Menace in me, said no more and went on a rampage and did what the heck it wanted. I started swimming, biking and running again but whenever and however I felt like it. I mixed it up, doing different things such as Hill climbs with some of Alba Rosa cycle club guys, an interclub cycle time trial, mainly for the pub socialising afterwards, river and lake swimming with friends, mainly to float around and chat and threw caution out the window and cycled 200km+ with a few hills in one sunday on a bit of an epic sunday club ride. Dennis the menace can be a right menace some times!
Saturday riding with the Alba Girls. Great chat, great cafe stops, great cake
Chilling out on bikes and in cafe with a few mates. Perfect for mind and body
Taking the road less travelled with Seonaid and Emily. A few sheep for company
John's mega Sunday social ride included a few top 100 UK hill climbs, ready to tackle White horse lane.
Too many coffees for me! Finishing the 212km, 2684m ride, still with smiles
After a few weeks still struggling to find my mojo and settling back into training, I came across an opportunity to train in St Moritz with Jo Spindler and Brett Sutton with trisutto.com for a week. I deliberated for a bit. I'm so unfit I thought, and It's such a hassle to lug my bike box on a plane and across switzerland via 3 trains. But then on the other hand, it may help me retain my mojo, get back into a routine and I am sure it will be a great learning experience. And yes it was. And it was well worth it. Great company, great scenary and I learnt a lot.
Hill reps seemed to be a favourite, on the bike and running.
Mountain air was good for the mind and the body
My mojo returned, I enjoyed filling my days with swim, bike, run and I took advantage of my work being location flexible so still managed to earn money while sat at my lap top inbetween training. An all round winner.
Back from St Moritz I was keen to get back into racing. I was due to race Newby Hall middle distance triathlon over August bank holiday, but my achilles was causing me some grief and I really didn't fancy pushing it through a half marathon. For one of the first times in my life I took a sensible decision and withdrew. I was itching to get back into racing however and saw Bala Triathlon, one of the oldest running triathlons in the country and a race I have fancied for the last few years. As a standard distance race, I figured a 10km race wouldn't be so damaging on my weak achilles. So I signed up on the Wednesday, threw the tent in the car on the Saturday and off I went to beautiful Bala.
5th female, in a high quality field. I gave myself a bit too much work to do coming out the swim 17th. Stacked it in transition on a slipper corner coming out the swim. Gave it full gas on the bike, recording he 2nd fastest bike split of the day, messed up transition again by running out the wrong way, nice scenic loop of transition later I found the run exit, and survived the run. It was good to be back racing, a far more sensible distance compared to Bolton. It was great to see lots of friends out enjoying the sunshine and Welsh scenery. Full results here, well done everyone, great race, top organisation good cheering Lou and Jon!
Enjoy the last few weeks of the season, good luck for those final races and embrace Dennis the Menace, I believe being the menace in you is often a good thing!
I have added a few more pictures from the last few weeks in the gallery section here if you like mountains, you may enjoy these.