Tucked up on the sofa for the day

I've finally succumbed to the cold that's been threatening for the past couple of weeks and I'm spending the day on the sofa with a hot water bottle and duvet. I've started to look back at all the training and racing I've done this year. I know it's not quite the end of the year yet but hopefully for the next few weeks I'll be too busy having fun to be geeking out over graphs.

I've certainly run, swum and cycled further than ever before in my life. The graphs don't show much for November because I just can't fathom how many miles we travelled in Portugal. The journey certainly meant a lot more to me than a number of miles so maybe it's right not to count them.
I said I'd swim 3 times a week - looks like I sort of managed
This is the first year I've experimented with anything approaching structured training. It doesn't totally work for me, as I generally get sidetracked into 'adventures' (or the mere 216hrs of racing I've done) but I can definitely see how much I've improved through plugging away at my swimming consistently. I've certainly been feeling more like a 'proper' swimmer and I've learned to love a sport that I used to see as purely a medium for training during injury. I never thought that someone could say '15 minutes kick next' and I would take them seriously...
With some rough estimations for Portugal, I'd say I'm approaching 3000miles cycling
No matter how much triathlon and shiny new sports like kayaking beckon to my short attention span, cycling remains the firm favourite. With all frozen fingers and iceblock toes crossed inside my waterproof gloves and socks, I've still never had a bad bike ride yet. The highlight of the year has to be the majestic and enchanting Coast to Coast in the Autumn, although many of my road rides can also contend for that position - with the Bealach Na Ba at the beginning of the year marking a change in how I see road riding and in fact my own capacity for endurance.
I'm still ambivalent about the idea of racing in purely cycling races. Even the sportive felt somehow alien to me and it was only in sliding towards the back of the group that I could meet others who were in it for the same reasons that make me love the sport. It's nothing to do with the kind of helmet you have and whether you look like a roady or a mountain biker. And of course, despite me finally convincing myself I 'need' a beautiful new bike (and it IS amazing to fly around on it), it's just not at all about the bike either. This year has been all about the people, whether it's my team mates, other racers, marshalls, training partners, a fantastic triathlon coach or chance encounters with strangers along the way, they're what makes this sport for me. Perhaps 2010 will be the year I pluck up my courage to enter a cyclocross race or another xc (after my experiences at Thetford - the only ride that came close to being classed as thoroughly 'bad') but perhaps not, there's so many things out there to challenge and inspire me. More 'big country' rides will be at the top of the list.
Nearly 750miles in a year - not bad given that all my long runs were on hills!

Running is the last part of a triathlon. I have this habit that means I always keep something back in races. I don't like pushing too early and will conserve my energy, in even in a sprint. This has been annoying me for ages as I don't think I go as fast as I should do. The upside is that it gives me good running splits compared to the rest of the field, even if the post-bike jelly-legs make me feel I'm running like a donkey. There's so many running possibilities I want to explore this year, from the classic Mountain Marathons where even surving the overnight is a tremendous test of planning, teamwork and willpower, to the very short 'stomach churning but over very quickly' hill races, 5ks, 10ks and cross-countries I'm hoping to do. And again, I think I'm lucky to have so many people to explore them with.

All in all it's been a whirlwind year. I've learn so much about my sports, my teammates and most importantly myself. Thanks to Dan and Philip for letting me know what kind of tree I most resemble and to Team Cruachan as a whole for letting me be part of their big adventure.


kate said…
sounds like you've had a fantastic year. some real adventures and some impressive results. enjoy the rest and maybe see you at the highlander
Elizabeth A said…
I think the Highlander is the one i'm most scared about...

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