I love triathlon, I love training, and I love racing but my God am I ready for some time off. My body is tired and my head needs a break which is why Louise and I have decided that a 1-week break from training is required to enable me to push through the next few months leading up to BUCS Duathlon. I’m so excited for Luke to come down and spend the last week of his end of season with me in Manchester whilst I take time away from triathlon.
So, what exactly have I been doing with the past few weeks? Well, I’ve been keeping myself busy racing in France and tackling some beasty hill climbs on my Liv Envie bike whilst settling into life up North.
After the success of my debut race for Montluçon, the team manager asked if I would race in the Grand Final a couple of weeks later. Of course, my answer was yes! Originally, I had planned to race in Hever Castle Triathlon but the opportunity of racing another Division 1 Grand Prix was too good to miss. So that was it, 1 week away from home and I was back in Solihull ready to jet off to Noyon (France) to meet Monluçon Triathlon Team.
Preparation wise, it is probably the worst lead up to a race I have ever had. The move, the new University timetable, the work load, the disturbed training, and the travel to France really took its toll and I was in no way feeling fresh to race. I slept on the plane to France, in the mini-bus to the hotel, and for a solid 11 hours the night before the race and still woke up feeling tired and needing more rest (not ideal!) The race was going to be tough with an unusual format of a 3km run, 10km bike, 3km run, 10km bike, and a 1.5km run. The night before, after advice from the team, I made the decision to race with flat pedals which only added to race day apprehensions (it’s never a good idea to try something new in a race, WHAT WAS I THINKING?). After warming up, I started to feel better and mentally got myself in the racing mindset (cue seriously competitive Laura)…It was a huge surprise that and I pulled out the performance of my season, concurring my fear of riding in big bike packs. 16th overall and 3rd U23… SMILES ALL ROUND!
After the race it was a mad dash back to Manchester for a 9am start the following day. 3 days later was the BUCS hill climb trial for Manchester Universities Cycling Team and I somehow (despite the incredible level of fatigue) managed to secure the fastest qualifying time and bagged myself a racing slot… bring it on! I am loving being a part of the cycling team and can’t wait to get some serious millage in over the winter riding through The Peaks (all the hills you could ask for). Although, I have lived up to the triathlete stereotype and already caused havoc on the group rides (sorry guys, I promise to be less of a chopper in the future). I’m also looking forward to mastering my track stand, I should get plenty of practice with the ridiculous amount of traffic lights there are on the rides out of Manchester City Centre (winter goals!).
Following BUCS Trials was today’s open hill climb up Monsal Hill (Peak District), sporting my new Sundried skinsuit. It was one hell of a hill (as you can tell from the insane amount of gurning) and despite riding with my front break on, I finished 10th in a highly competitive field of professional riders. I learnt a valuable lesson today… check, double check, and triple check for bike mechanicals!
Now it’s time to rest, recover, and be a normal human being for a week… I wonder how long I’ll last before I start to get a little twitchy (I give it a day… maybe 2 if I’m lucky).
Before I wrap this up I just want to say a massive well done to Luke who has now finished his triathlon season, he has had a whole host of amazing results and you can read all about them here. He just keeps getting stronger and I can’t wait to see him fly in 2018!
All the best,