I started this year just being chuffed to have qualified for the European Championships, determined to do myself proud. So from January I trained my arse off (literally, someone pointed out), and amazed myself with an overall first in Trowbridge’s Big T Standard Tri in early May (my first ever triathlon win), and then winning my age group at the European Championships later that month. This was shaping up to be an awesome year!
Triathlon is a hobby, for me and many others who will never make a career out of it. A leisure-time pursuit undertaken for pleasure. Some people think that our hobby doesn’t sound very pleasurable. During this year’s Aberfeldy Middle Distance tri I started to see their point. It was an unpleasant struggle and made me question continuously what I was doing it for. Why was I continuing to cycle when I was whole-body shivering and couldn’t work out whether my fingers were frozen solid or just stuck together with energy gel? Why was I continuing to run towards the turnaround point knowing that every step took me further from Aberfeldy – the nearest cuppa and hot shower – while my Achilles ached, my feet were prickling with pins and needles and my spirits flagged? Why was I doing this ‘for fun’ in my spare time? I had no answers. Continue reading “My most unpleasant race to date: Aberfeldy 2015”
In the week before the race I intended to write a short blog post about how I thought I could have prepared differently for the event, without the benefit of post-race hindsight. Then I’d reassess after the race and see if I was correct, or was worrying about nothing or about the wrong things. It would have been so neat, but I never got round to it (such an amateur blogger).
With only a week to go the Étape Caledonia race I’d not managed to get out on my new bike, Ricky. So I headed out for a 55-miler with my friend Neill (and his newly-built bike Pinky). It was a great ride but I discovered that Ricky’s beautiful, lean white saddle was a bit of a crippler. Comfort had to take precedent over looks for the forthcoming 81-miler, so I swapped it for the black saddle from my old (dead) bike, Doreen. I also needed Compeed blister plasters on my butt (nice), in addition to the usual nappy-like cycling shorts. Oh well, good to find out these things before the event I guess. Continue reading “Week Five: Étape!”
This week was a complete turnaround: I got through everything on the training plan (third time lucky, but hey), found a beautiful new bike (a Bianchi Impulso), managed to focus at work, and conquered Schiehallion: my cycling nemesis for this year. All-in-all this was the week that I sorely needed, and it felt great to be getting back into the swing of things. Continue reading “Week Three: Schiehallion”