And breath… Exams are finally over!
It’s incredibly strange to have spare time now I’m not locked in my study surrounded by Biochemistry books. I can honestly say the last few months have been a real challenge and I soon learnt that you can’t expect your body to withstand 25 hours of training and constant studying. I was lucky that I only had to take a hit in training in the last two weeks of exams but it was still incredibly frustrating. It was devastating when I had to pull out of BUCS Sprint but exams had to come first. I know I have been a complete nightmare to live with (sorry Luke, Mom, and Dad!) but I’m sure it’s nothing a bit of grovelling and home cooked dinners can’t rectify.
Once my exams had finished I was straight into a taper week for BUCS Standard, and god I was nervous. It would be my debut triathlon race of the season and a real indication of how I fared against some pretty strong athletes. I knew I was in good shape but the previous knock in training was causing me to have doubts in my ability to perform.
Race day crept up fast and we were due to leave University at 4:30 which Luke and I just about managed after an alarm malfunction (I take no responsibility…). As it turns out there was no rush… Pablo hadn’t woken up and he pretty impressively managed to time trial his way to the minibus in a staggering 10 minutes (firing up those muscles pre-race). Bike loaded and Pablo in tow, we were off. Races are always a great place to learn from fellow athletes… I now know that I have been wearing my wetsuit wrong all these years as Alpe sported a great insideout-backtofront look, I learnt that the placebo effect of Lou’s strategically name tic-tac’s are more performance enhancing than caffeine tablets, but most importantly I learnt that a puncture repair kit is a necessity whilst racing (forget the aero gains!).
The swim… all I can say is the water was beyond grim. I regard myself as a pretty tough cookie and very much an advocate of not worrying about the uncontrollables but swimming through petrol and biological waste (nicest way to phrase that) was a step too far. I had a disappointing swim and it was left to the bike to play catch up. I was incredibly pleased with my bike leg, especially as it was up there with the top girls, and I know there is still much more to come. I’m pretty lucky to have Luke and his father, Ian, that are pretty hot when it comes to all things bikes. I owe my recent advances in cycling to their advice, training rides, and bike fits (I’m so aero now). Of course Louise’s nails bike sessions following performance testing have meant my fitness is continuing to rocket and I’m excited to see just how fast I can ride my Liv bikes! The run is always where I feel at home and in control… I focused on increasing my pace throughout the 10km (‘anyone cam run a fast 5km and then die at the end’, Luke Pollard) which paid off as I ran myself to 12th. Back in Brum it was time for a post-race analysis and an opportunity to lay down some strategies for my next race…The British Champs, The Biggy!
It’s been lovely to spend time catching up with family and friends now that I’m not restricted by revision and training. On Friday I headed out on the bike to Stratford with Cybele and co. before she heads back to Switzerland (PLEASE DON’T GO BACK!). It was a lovely day out but a morning of lactate production in the pool, 70miles in the sun with no sun screen (rookie mistake), and an evening bike session did take its toll the next day… I was man down. On a more positive note my tan lines are on point!
So, what’s next? Well it’s into another build week ahead of The Age Group British Championships, it’s great to be back training with my old running club after so much time off due to injury and I think my Dad is enjoying the odd coaching role, taking him back to old times. This Sunday Luke will be racing for a national medal in The Elite British Championships… POM POMS AT THE READY!
Thanks for the continued support from my sponsors, friends, family, and of course Louise for all her coaching/life expertise!
Over and out,