Baby Steps

I’m feeling suitably chilled out and relaxed after a week off work with the family. We went up to stay with my parents in Cumbria and it was great just to get away from everything and just enjoy life. I think sometimes we all need to do that, I mean if we didn’t we’d probably end up insane from the 9-5 rat race. I suppose it’s all about getting the work / life balance right ( go have a look in the “self-help” section in your local library for a suitable read ) and as triathletes I guess it’s all about getting the training / life balance right ( I’d be suprised if your library has that book! ).

So it was great to get away, I managed to get some decent running done but the bike was left at home. I’d had grand plans to cycle there ( approx 56 miles ) and then back the week after, however it was like a monsoon on the morning we were due to set off. And before certain readers start calling me on this one – the reason I went in the car is that Em is a newly qualified driver and wasn’t confident to drive in those conditions on her own. So my planned training took a different path. I didn’t lose sleep over it, I just adjusted, family is more important than training. Yes I had a week of no biking but I had a happy wife. You do the maths!? 😉

I ended up doing more running and this resulted in two levels of progress which have pleased me no end. The first was that I ran my fastest 5 mile training run for three years and I wasn’t on my last legs when I finished. I guess the speedwork that I’ve been doing with COLT on a Wednesday night is paying off. Granted the time for 5 miles is where I would love to be for 6 miles, but progress is progress. One thing I’m learning as a new dad watching Charlotte develop everyday is that “baby steps” although seemingly small lead to much greater things. So be pleased with any progress you make, however small, it’s better than going backwards.
The second was that I recorded my longest run of the year with a steady 15 miles in the heat. I didn’t actually plan on going that far, I just felt good so kept plodding. It was hot and I didn’t have any money on me, or drink, or gel. So when I hit 11 miles I was daydreaming about a pint of orange and water ( I’m not very adventurous ) and jelly babies. Spurred on by thoughts of little jelly men I fell through the door in 2.08. More baby steps completed.

Another amazing thing that happened whilst I was ‘home’ was that I was asked by my old English teacher to go into my old school and talk to pupils. Next year is the year of reading in schools, so I was asked to launch it, to get the kids thinking about what to read over the Summer ( they all have that as homework ). Although I teach and have given talks to various people it was quite nerve-wracking stood in front of my whole school talking. I then gave presentations to 4 different classes about writing and triathlon. The kids were great and asked loads of questions, who says teenagers don’t communicate. It was a wonderful morning, one of the best I’ve had as an author, being able to give something back to my school: a place I enjoyed going to, although this time my English teacher wasn’t picking me up on my grammer and spelling !!

I just want to end by saying a massive congratulations to everyone who completed the Outlaw this past weekend and good luck to everyone racing at Ironman UK this Sunday. I’ll be there in Addlington shouting encouragement as you fly past on the bike. I particularly want to wish my fellow COLTs the best of luck, you’ve all worked so hard for this. Enjoy it!

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