Can’t quite believe I’m sat here writing a blog with only one more (triathlon) race left in
2016! It’s scary how fast the season goes, it seems only five minutes ago I was sitting down planning goals and races for the year and now I’m getting ready to find the waterproof jackets, fleece lined bib tights and neoprene overshoes!
Two months ago a group of us from Loughborough headed up a mountain in Italy to enjoy the high life for a few weeks. It was the first time I’ve been to altitude
and as I’ve never been skiing the whole ski lifts and chalets were a novelty to me (despite,
thankfully, not having any snow!). I wont bore you with a detailed explanation of camp but highlights included seeing a cow do a roly poly down a mountain (it wasn’t harmed in the process), hitting 90kph on the descents, having a ridiculous selection of gelato about 100 metres from the apartments and running higher than the ski lifts!
After getting back home, the next few weeks were all about setting up the world champs in Cozumel. We headed out to Clermont for 10 days in advance to do some heat prep (and shopping in the outlet mall…!), it served the purpose of being extremely hot however places to bike and run were limited; I’d seen enough of the famous ‘clay trail’ after the first five minutes! Race week came and it was time to grab a plane and a ferry over to Cozumel, then race day came, along with a 4.30 am alarm. I had never had a race time of 7.30, cycling down to the race required a light as it was pitch black! I was however quite glad to setting off that early, less time to get nervous and hopefully a much cooler race!
I took a chance in the race, I wanted a medal and the only way I was going to get one was from a swim/bike
breakaway. 50 seconds out the swim and 75 seconds at the end of lap 1, I
thought we had it nailed until a crash
took out half the breakaway. I decided to get my
head down and try to hold the gap but didn’t quite manage it. 30km in and I was caught… bugger. I sat in and tried my best to ‘chill’ out (hard to do in 94% humidity and 30+ degrees!) for the remaining 10km. Run time came and I wasn’t expecting anything pretty so I set out steady and tried to build through – magically with 2.5km left I managed to run myself from 10th to 6th (pacing has never been a strong point of mine!).
After my hip operation eleven months ago and going through what seemed like an endless trudge of a journey back towards fitness, having had hardly any winter training and no early season I can honestly say that I am more than happy with what has been achieved in 2016 – thanks to everyone for their patience and support – especially the Brit Tri team around me in Loughborough, Sponsors (Raleigh, Huub, Pedal Cover and Asics) and friends & family (I’m well aware I was/still am, a bit of a nightmare!).
I must admit I’ve missed the cross country season – can’t wait to dig out the running shoes (only to find that I probably forgot to take out the spikes and now they’ve rusted in solid) and run around fields getting all muddy!
Hope everyone is bracing themselves for the cold!