Friday, 20 July 2018

Back on the Bike

The weekend just passed was IRONMAN UK weekend, the Ironman branded event that takes place in Bolton. I supported Dean there last year and would have been there this year had he not deferred (right decision, but one it took a while to reach). But ten of my triathlon club mates took part and many more went up in support. I just watched from afar via updates to Facebook and the tracking app. There had been a lot of controversy around the event this year as the bike route had to be changed, and shortened, due to fires in the area. Many people said it wasn't a true IM event if it wasn't the full distance and the cutoffs should have been proportionally altered. Despite all of that, every single one of my club mates completed the event after months of training, and I am proud and inspired by them all. Almost dangerously so.
Cycling with the girls
I feel so far away from my ironman achievement these days, still just five weeks ago, which isn't long at all really. I'm still trying to hang on to that sense of exercising for the love of it, rather than because I have to but with a couple more events looming I'm finding that increasingly difficult to do. I've been out on the bike twice with friends and dabbled in a bit of pool swimming. I'm running gently once or twice a week and following a yoga DVD now and again if I can't get to a class. But gosh am I tired! Am I still recovering, or is it to do with the heatwave we've been experiencing recently? I stopped taking my iron supplement shortly after Lakesman as I ran out and didn't bother to get more, thinking I wouldn't need it as much but perhaps I do!

Whatever it is, it's frustrating. Coupled with the tendonitis I think I've developed in my left foot I'm not a very happy bunny when it comes to being active right now. But that's not to say there haven't been some lovely fun and positive things going on of late. I've learnt to crochet thanks to my friend Cathy who needed a lift to her meet up following a hip operation. There was a lazy weekend spent in my parent's garden soaking up vitamin D and eating lots of lovely laid back buffet style meals and a return visit to Thames Lido. Barnes Fitness had their annual get together in the form of a pool party, which was absolutely fantastic fun, so much so for the kids that we struggled to explain to them why we had to leave. Several books have been consumed, cakes have been baked (and shared) and long-forgotten embroidery projects are being dug out. Life is more than training now.
New hobby - crochet!
That said, in just over a weeks time I will be joining thousands of others, including many from my triathlon club, in RideLondon100. It's the penultimate in my Anthony Nolan events this year and one I'm growing more apprehensive about the closer we get. The event is a 100 mile closed road ride from London to Surrey and back again, taking in both Box and Leith hills. Working out how to get to the start in good time has been a bit of a headache but now that's sorted, having gone through four iterations, the excitement is building. Riding that sort of distance on closed roads with so many people will be an incredible experience, like nothing I've done before. And in theory I should be more than up to the task, having ridden further during Lakesman and conquered some very hilly routes in my training. But I've not ridden much since then and I'm hoping it won't hurt too much. If I keep in mind that I've done more than this before, and look out for the signs that I'm not eating enough (my usual downfall when riding long distance) then it should all be fine. I'm still raising money for the charity so please visit my JustGiving page to donate if you've not donated previously, every little helps!

My last charity event of the year will be Swim Serpentine, the two mile version. Doing an open water swim of that distance, in it's own right will be new for me too. I won't be holding back on energy for a bike ride or run afterwards and previous stand alone open water swims have only been a mile. It will be good to see what I can achieve over the two mile distance.

It's certainly been a bit of a year already yet we're already planning our events for 2019 with two already entered. Ironman may not feature for me again but I can't see myself leaving triathlon behind for some time. I've learned so much about myself in the last six or seven months, not least how important looking after myself is. So in that vein I'm off to roll my foot and start a new book.