Exactly three weeks after the amazing Castles Challenge Middle Distance Tri in Bamburgh I competed over the same distance at Aberfeldy, in a race that also happened to be the British Championships. The ‘British Championship’ part had been of little interest to me until after my success in Bamburgh, when I realised that my training had paid off and I was on my best form ever. Now I started wondering what might be possible at Aberfeldy – it was a course I knew and enjoyed, and the age group I’d be competing in would be smaller than the whole field at Bamburgh, BUT the field would be much stronger, attracting triathletes from across the country, and the swim would be much shorter, so I wouldn’t have ‘the Bamburgh advantage’! That way madness lies, I quickly realised, so I sensibly concluded that there was no point getting hung up on whether I could finish on the podium again (don’t believe a word of it: it nearly drove me mad!).
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”