A lot has happened since my last blog 8 months back…. The 2016 season finished, a
holiday was taken, excessive consumption of mince pies occurred, cross country season came and went, a house was brought, a dissertation was handed in, a new fur baby arrived and most importantly the 2017 triathlon season began!
For me, the winter just gone was my best block of training I’d done, personally I don’t need the big top end PB sessions (although the odd one is always welcomed!). I need the consistency of training and this was the first time I had managed to stay injury and illness free to be able to do this. Well, as long as you don’t count the time when I had to get pulled out the pool because my whole neck went into spasm and I couldn’t move… Who knew a tumble turn could be so dangerous and result in a very embarrassing situation
My tri season kicked off with Quarteira European Cup back on 1st April. I chose this race mainly because it would be a sea swim and potentially quite warm, two things that I am not a great fan of and put me a little bit outside my comfort zone! But the swim went well and quickly formed a little break out of the water, this however wouldn’t stick and we were joined by a larger group just after a lap. Once I knew a breakaway was off the cards I just wanted to stay out of trouble and save my legs for the run – something I don’t normally do! It paid off however
and I delivered probably my best run to date and took the win. It was great having my mum come out to watch, she hasn’t watched me race abroad since 2012 so glad I could win her some flowers!
It was then home for a couple of weeks training and finishing off my dissertation: thanks to everyone who filled in my questionnaire, it is very much appreciated and if anyone wants to broaden their knowledge on birth weight and gestational length in triathletes I have a 30 page document you can read ;).
Before I knew it my bike was being packed again, and it was time to head off to Asia for a fortnight of racing! First up was Chengdu World Cup, with a heat and final format contested on consecutive days. I was in the first heat, which seemed to have most of the stronger swimmers; a group of 6 was quickly formed on the bike and after a tempo effort by us all we jumped off the bike with a 90 second lead. This enabled us to have a chat on the run and hopefully save our legs for the next day! With the final being raced over super sprint it was going to be super fast and all the little bits had to be perfectly executed! Everything was going well until the two packs joined right at the end of the bike, this led to carnage in T2 with another athlete falling on my bike and taking my shoes off too – nightmare! With only 2.5km to run, exiting transition pretty much last out of 30 was not in the game plan! I kept my cool and managed to run up to 6th. The Brit Tri team then headed over to Japan – we spent a couple of days in a beautiful training venue in Chiba before driving across to Yokohama.
After checking the weather forecast daily it was evident it was going to be a wet day! I’m not too bothered about racing in the wet, but with a technical bike course covered in white lines I was concerned about crashing! I had a pretty much perfect swim, exiting 4th after being on feet for the whole 1500m trying to conserve as much energy as possible. I jumped on the bike and got my head down as quickly as possible to try and help the race split and before I knew it I was sitting on the current world champ, Flora Duffy’s wheel… 40km later and we jumped off the bike 70 seconds up the road but with some fast runners in the group behind. I just tried to keep relaxed and run my own race, I managed to hold off the Americans until the last lap, but ultimately meant I just miss out on a podium and finished up in 4th. I couldn’t ask for more than that, especially as my previous WTS results haven’t been higher than 25th!
I’m now spending some time down in Kent seeing the family before heading home, sanding down some floorboards and finishing off my university degree!
Thanks to everyone for the messages and support – it was lovely reading them all!