Whilst I have been quiet on the blogging front so far this year I’ve actually been pretty busy in real life. Work has been chaos, family life has been busy so when I’ve actually had some time to myself I’ve been training rather than writing.
I guess I’m just so grateful to be able to train again after the last couple of years where I was limited by my shoulder injury but now I’m back in the pool and on the bike ( well the turbo ) without any problems.
And I actually raced the other week at the Liverpool Half Marathon – well when I say ‘raced’ I mean I got round the course with several thousand others and I wasn’t last, and more importantly I didn’t fall over. It was never in the plan for this year but I got a last minute entry that my mate Chris had won. So I rocked up and went for it. Judging by my splits I went for it too hard early on and then died on my arse around 8 miles, which that morning made for a horrible last 5 miles where half the race field overtook me I think. Still I was back and I crossed the line in one piece. That was all that I needed, and I was happy.
I’ve actually run faster in training than I did in Liverpool, my running has been improving nicely since the start of the year. Probably because I’ve been running “smart” with the help of my coach Gobi. My tough sessions have been done using the new Lancaster Parkrun which started up in January.
It takes place in Williamson Park which is less than half a mile from where I live, which is handy. The downside to that is that it is bloody hilly, and usually muddy. But we all know that hills hurt but they make us stronger. See profile pick below – the final hill on each lap up some trail steps is particularly brutal.
I’ve steadily chipped away at my time and for the last two weeks those hills have felt a lot easier, I’m now 2 minutes quicker over the course than when I first ran it in January. And that’s with starting right at the back and walking for the first minute, only putting my foot down on the second lap. So I reckon there is a lot more to come.
And if you look at the photo of me taken two weeks ago sprinting for a pb its bloody obvious that I’m carrying way too much weight. The marshall in the background seems to be saying “Wide Load coming Through”. Also I appear to have lost my neck to my multitude of chins. I’ve never been skinny, my battles with weight are well documented but for now I am losing weight steadily and seeing performance improvements both in my running and in power output on the bike. I’ll take that, this year is all about rebuilding and relearning how to be an ‘athlete’ again.
This Sunday sees me return to racing triathlon with the sprint at Ribby Hall. This was the last triathlon that I actually completed two years ago, despite being knocked off my bike by a car and ending up in some more woman’s garden. You can read about it here
I’m a mixture of nerves and excitement, counting down the days until my comeback triathlon. If I’m honest I’m scared about being back on the bike in a race situation, I’ve actually not ridden outside since my crash in 2014. BUT I’m really excited to be back racing a sport I love. I’m not setting myself any time goals, there is no pressure, I just want to complete and go home in one piece. That’s not to say that I won’t be trying hard, after all I’m very competitive with myself but if I’m 10, 15, 20 mins slower than two years ago I won’t beat myself up over it. It’s only three months since surgery and back then I really didn’t know if I would race again.
So I’ll be back next week with a race report but hopefully come lunchtime on Sunday I’ll be smiling like I am in the photo below with my mate Kel. ( Another parkrun photo ) For then I’ll be a Triathlete again 🙂