Pressing Reset – Holkham

This has come as a bit of a surprise to even me but after seeing a Facebook post about changing my A race, a month of being far too sociable and thinking I can manage to balance everything, as well as a rubbish race last night and cold….. I’ve decided to quit Holkham and change to Outlaw X in September.

After speaking to mates last night and some equally awesome people on Twitter, this will come as no real surprise – there are multiple reasons for this and I am quite happy to share them – I don’t feel at all bad about changing my race or my priorities – in fact if anything, going to see Graeme Obree speak last week has just reaffirmed my own outlook to not really care what others think, to not worry too much about life’s purpose and to enjoy the moment. I’m not a pro and life happens and no-one will die as a result of me changing my mind!

So why the change?

  • I don’t think I will be race fit in 6 weeks. That is completely my own doing. I had a plan. I was, at the start, doing well to keep to The Plan. Then I booked too many social things and took on extra work with my own business and an extra day at work in the day job, that I’ve struggled to fit it in – slowly heading towards burn out.
  • I was too ambitious with my initial training plan – I think this may have contributed to my loss of running mojo. It had all started so well too! I know too well though that this does ebb and flow anyway.
  • My friend withdrawing meant that I was racing far from home on my own. Ok this is a bit of a no-goer as an excuse and her decision, like mine, has been the right one (so no feeling bad!!). Changing my race means I can probably actually get out on the bike more with her, which was part of the original plan when we discussed Holkham anyway so win win! We will be back! And I’d still like to do Holkham.
  • Delaying/changing my A race means I can take on board what I’ve learnt in the last three months and get it right or rather improve it. How many people honestly get to reset their training during a race season? We are still only just in to triathlon racing season and I’ve a reasonably ok base on which to restart – so taking this as a mini win.
  • I need to reset – building on from the last point. I’ve come down with cold/chesty cough and noticed last night how much it effects my riding. As well as getting a good kick in the backside about doing more hills and actually going and doing some S&C – as one of my mates keeps nagging me to do. I need to mix up my training again. I also need to swim more as I have signed up for Coniston End to End and that now lands BEFORE my half-iron distance race.
  • Outlaw X is quite a bit closer to home. I hadn’t sorted out my accommodation for Holkham but Nottinghamshire is closer – which has some obvious travelling advantages. I also think I know a few people who might be doing it so that’s a bit of a winner for me too.
  • The weather will, hopefully, stand a chance of being cooler. Equally, there is a higher chance of it being a lot wetter – but I don’t really do well in heat – to be fair, this is just an advantage of having a later race – it could end up being an Indian summer and hot!
  • It gives me chance to go do some sportive that I’d like to do which will help with training – after last years events and thinking about my cycle fitness by September last year – I was in a good place – hopefully I will be in an even better place by this September!
  • Hopefully I have learnt to not book in too many social events – or rather, balance them a bit better. I feel like, after 8 years of being in a relationship with someone who actually wasn’t that spontaneous and that up for mini-adventures, I’ve been making up for lost time. I don’t want to lose that but I’ve been thinking about this a lot since Alnwick Sprint a couple of weeks ago – why not incorporate my mini-adventures/road trips with training? So going forward, I want to incorporate them.
  • Triathlon/training has taken over a bit too much and I need to step back as well I think. Hopefully in changing races, I can actually take a step back. I am heeding the warnings of my friends about burnout before I do actually properly burn out.

Genuinely think this is a good call on my part. A middle distance triathlon was the goal for this year and changing it has all sorts of advantages. It also means that I stand a better chance of getting a time I am actually happy with compared to racing in 6 weeks and possibly breaking myself!

Roll on a summer of training and enjoying life!

 

Holkham Training – Week 7 & 8

To put simply – dire.

My mate asked me how it was going. My response – ‘Shit’.

Really struggled to fit in my training and if I am perfectly honest – I am a bit worried at the moment. Something is going to have to give.

I’m hoping that Week 9 I will be able to report that the Mojo has come back a bit and that I have managed to get some more miles in but what with work, tutoring and the club weekend away – this remains to be seen….

Brief summary…… Of two weeks

Swim – 6500m

Bike- 77.1km

Run – 16km

Think it’s time I started saying no to a few things.

Or took some holiday from work.

Or gave up work?

Back on the Road to Recovery

So far January has been a bit rubbish for me. I’ve not done any training whatsoever due to an extreme bout of tonsillitis, having never had it before, I can honestly say I never want it again. It has been awful! So awful that I couldn’t get excited about new tyres coming for the bike.

Anyway, light at the end of the tunnel, a full week off work and hours spent watching GCN on YouTube, I am starting to feel better. So much better that this morning I decided to actually try doing something useful with my bike.

My winter bike hasn’t been touched since my last ride out months ago – on said ride I got a puncture and I was in such a foul mood that rather than fix it on the side of the road, I decided that ringing home and getting a lift back was a better idea. My bike, and it’s puncture, have been sat in the garage ever since. Over Christmas though I decided to treat my bike to a new set of tyres – hopefully something a bit more puncture resistant and better quality. The front wheel was still on it’s factory fitted and there was a £12 cheap tyre on the rear.

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New tyres! Continental GP4000 sII

I ordered some Continental GP4000 sII from Wiggle – £60 for a pair. I did try getting them at Evans Cycles and Halfords – I didn’t try my LBS like I should have because in all honesty, I didn’t think they would be able to price check them. When you’re saving for new wheels and you’re a bit skint, it does matter, however torn I was.

The tyres arrived right as I was in the middle of being poorly with no motivation or energy to fit them. This morning though, well on the road to recovery, I thought I’d better give it a go. Cant be that hard…. Now, most of my cycling life, I have been with a bloke who cycles, and I’ve left most of the maintenance stuff to him, so this was new territory.

Turns out wasn’t half as bad as I was expecting. I knew what I needed to do but double checked anyway. Had the new inner for back wheel ready, track pump and tyre leavers to hand and set about changing the wheels. Turns out I’m more capable than I thought at sorting random stuff out and it didn’t take me as long as I thought it would either. So I am feeling quite smug this afternoon about it. Wheels are now back on the bike – correctly – I usually stress about putting the back wheel on – but no issues. Took the bike down the road to check all in order – bosh – job done (can already tell a difference in tyres too – wish id changed them sooner!). Although more randomly, after riding the Ridley inside on the turbo and getting back on the spesh – the spesh felt huge! It was also REALLY cold outside (although to be fair, I went out with bare minimum on just to check it).

Now all I need to to properly get better and start building the training up again!