The dog ate my homework and other excuses

I made it to the Saturday masters swim session the other week for the first time in months. Where had I been, I was asked? I tried to think up as many good excuses as possible. Here are my list of excuses.

1) I got lost.Northumberland isn't the Aussie outback but finding bothies isn't all plain sailing. Where to go for the end of season break. Go relax on a beach they said, go to an all exclusive hotel, enjoy a glass of wine, and sit in a Jacuzzi. We joined the Mountain Bothies Association, put layers on top of layers and choose a campsite over wild camping on the last night as we felt it was time for a shower. Well worth visiting this beautiful county nestled in the north eastern corner of England.

2) I got unfit. And got told about it in the OTE lab, just to double check.

"How much do you weigh?" Craig, who runs the OTE performance centre asked me

"Normally about 50kg but after a few weeks off maybe 51 or 52kg"

54.1kg the scales read

Sign of a good offseason.

The OTE performance centre is up and running in Holbeck, Leeds. A swish and state of the art centre, worth visiting if you are in Leeds. Beer season had come and gone and I was put through a Vo2 max test (a fancy physiological test) to see my fitness levels. I am still alive to tell the tale so beer season wasn't too damaging. Lots of numbers and graphs were the outcome that will help me once I get training again.

You can see a video of the test here.

3) I got stuck upside down. Headstands; so easy as a child. As an adult, not so much. I am in zen state, I am warrior 2, or is it warrior 3? either way I have been mostly preoccupied with trying to touch my toes and becoming a Yogi. Currently doing more Yoga and mobility training than swim, bike, run in an effort to build a solid foundation rather than just keep piling bricks onto the walls, which already have cracks in. A Movement Therapy Centre metaphor. Check out the 12 week wiggle challenge, its a great way to start loosening off and getting more mobile.

Yes, we did it, elation. Quick, child's pose, don't celebrate before child's pose, don't want to faint (good tip by holly at Yoga Heros). On closer inspection of the yoga book (Yoga, mind body by sivananda yoga vedanta centre) we look more like the picture next to the common faults bullet points. Always room for improvement.

4) I got schooled in track stands and being cool and hipster with the fixies. Halleycat, the annual Halloween celebration organised by Restrap hit the streets of Leeds. I firmly got put in my place, back of the line for bike skills.

Photos by Szymon Nieborak

5) I got wise (er) to growing, digging, making, baking and eating. Blackberry picking provided ingredients for many dishes, apple and blackberry crumble along with blackberry muffins. Less training, provides more time in the kitchen trying out new recipes. Mug cakes, a cake cooked in a mug in the microwave for 3-4minutes, genius.

Adam digging up potatoes from the veg patch, multi purpose helmet bike lights. Home grown spuds, with the first stew of the winter including dumplings.

Enough of the excuses, it's time to get back into a routine and time to start thinking about the 2016 season. What races take my fancy? A question I have not yet got an answer for. But one I am thinking about as I dust off my trainers and get back into a bit of training, mainly enjoying the autumn colours and mud on my mountain bike.

Forget the bike, think I need a hose down.

Enjoy the autumn colours and god luck planning your own 2016 goals and races.


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