My last post was at the end of Juneathon and I was in training for my first olympic distance triathlon so figured it was worthy of a few words before the year was out.
The City of Cambridge Triathlon was scheduled for 28th of September, it got cancelled in the first week of September due to safety concerns relating to the swim…. In July an independent water sampling company carried out some additional tests and the river was judged to be unsuitable for competitive swimming, the river exceeded the standards for Enterococci and Escherichia coli, as well as testing positive for Leptospirosis (Weil’s disease)….yuk, yuk, yuk! My other thought was here we go again after a similar thing happened to me last year only that time it was due to blue green algae! I was gutted as I’d put in so much training and really didn’t want it to go to waste but being so late in the season wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find another triathlon to do instead. I’d ended up doing a lot of my training with a colleague from work, David, and we both figured as we’d put all the training in we needed to come up with an alternative if possible. We came up with the HOWSC Standard Distance Triathlon at The New Forest Water Park which was on the same day and covered the same distances except for a longer bike ride (44K instead of 40K) so it was a 1500m open water swim, 44K bike ride and 10K run. It was a bit of a trek to get there but there weren’t many other options left to consider. We stayed at a caravan park nearby and arrived the afternoon before. We went along to register the evening before and check out the routes. I’d e-mailed before committing to it to check how technical the bike route was and how hilly as David will tell you I hate hills when cycling! They assured me it wasn’t a technical route and at most had one hill…ummm, yeah right! It was great to have a partner in crime and to do the event with David and his partner Gina and son Rhys also came and supported us during it all which was amazing. We both managed to complete it – our first olympic distance triathlon! I can now FINALLY say I’ve officially done a triathlon…and I am still in once piece. I managed it in 3 hrs 1 min and was pretty pleased with that as the bike distance was longer by 4K than the standard olympic distance should be. All pretty tough, got kicked in the ear/head pretty badly in the swim, got a cramp in my calf and the bike route had ~7 major hills all on windy country roads with no road closures and 2 laps so ~14 hills, I wasn’t expecting that! Crazy thing was I was actaully pretty good on the uphills and overtook a lot of people on these so all the
awful, hilly bike rides David took me out on paid off, I was just petrified on the downhills especially as the roads were still open so anyone I overtook on the uphills usually overtook me on the downhills! Run again had some major hills and was 4 laps so did them a few times too but it was a great day all in all and a really well organised event – the marshals were really encouraging just when you needed it! And, even better I managed to raise over £500 for Cancer Research UK in the process which was fab.
It’s been a funny old year in terms of sport – it’s been one of my fittest partly due to having to train for the triathlon and I’ve achieved some great PB’s along the way and achieved this I wasn’t sure I was capable of but it also feels like a year plagued a little bit by injury as so often is the case I guess.
- I ran the Cambridge Half Marathon in March and got a PB of 1:45:44
- Increased my parkrun total from 2 to 17 with PB’s of 23:48 at 2 venues
- Got my first road bike and mastered the art of cycling with cleats (with only one fall to date!!). Realise there’s still a lot I can do to further improve my cycling…need to get rid of the fear factor coming down sharp hills for starters!
- Completed my first olympic distance triathlon
- Combated front crawl and open water swimming – it might even be one of my preferred parts of a triathlon now, never thought I’d say that!
- Hamstring injury
- Foot injury
- Possible toe fracture
- Numerous thumb incidents taking wetsuits on/off
- Twisted ankle and knee injury (not sports related)
Most of my injuries this year seem to be sport-related and mostly linked to the way I run so I really need to work on that over the next year otherwise it’s likely to continue. My latest injury was not sport-related however, I merely tripped over my Dad’s shoes that were sitting on the outside doormat but it was enough to make me twist my left ankle and right knee in the process. Turns out I’ve damaged my meniscus and hamstring, that was back at the end of October so I haven’t done a lot since apart from see the Physio (who’s now becoming a good friend!!) and do a lot of strengthening excercises. I think I could have returned to excercising a little earlier than now but it was a really busy end of year at work and I struggle to give both my all when one, sport or work, really demands a lot from me and I think in all honesty my body was ready for a breather so I gave in quite readily and stopped pretty much everything! I haven’t got on my bike since my triathlon at the end of September, I haven’t swum since the end of October (which I could have kept up really) (not sure I even remember how to do front crawl now!) and haven’t run since the end of October. I had to stop going to my classes at the gym as lots of squats, weights running etc. involved all of which I had to stop while my knee sorted itself out.
So….Janathon is going to be painful to start coming from absolutely nothing but I’m up for the challenge! I’m going to try to incorporate lots of things to help me continue to recover and get stronger and try and get back into everything along the way…hoping to run everyday as always for an ‘anathon but will have to see if the body allows 🙂
Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015 (preferably injury-free!) 🙂