In which I…

  • Get over being sick and tired
  • Take a dip with the ducks
  • Wobble round the garden

Week 4, ‘rest week’ has become the closest I have so far comfortably come to completing all the activities in the training plan, as they are set out. Perhaps I should ‘rest’ more often!

Indeed, the start of the week was pure, frustrated rest. Reading articles about the high liklihood of something like this happening after the sudden introduction of more high intensity exercise did nothing to make me feel any better. Spending a fortune on vitamin C and various cold and flu aids didn’t do a great deal either.

By Thursday, a week after I had finally succumed to rest and taken the day off work, I decided I had had enough of early nights and nothing more exerting than climbing stairs. I cancelled on my friend the triathlete coach, again, but set out on a the 30 minute ‘recovery’ run for the week. Quite fitting that it was recovery from my illness the preivious week, and it meant that I paced myself and took it easier than the previous week’s 45 minutes. I paced myself, with the tips from the Nike running app, and added new running drill exercises from the Her Spirit app. I felt a bit silly hopping and lunging round Bushey Park, but they definitely helped limber me up. I finished the 30 minute run, 3.73 miles, breathing relatively easy and heralded it a success.

Consequently on Friday, I tried the commute a second time to get some bike miles in. I took it easy, I enjoyed it. This is what Summer was made for! I cycled home again after attending a press night, where I enjoyed a glass of wine… after all, everything in moderation! In total Friday racked up nearly 3 hours in the saddle – although a good 20 minuted of that was spent arguing with Google on the best way to tackle the backstreets of Clapham. Google rarely knows best when it comes to London’s roads.

Thrilled and flushed by my recovery, on Saturday I picked up swimming again. Skipping a week ahead of the plan, I decided to venture to Shepperton lake, solo, for an open water swimming session. Prior to signing up to the Tri, I had already decided to work on my swimming and signed up to the Swim Serpentine, a 1 mile open water lap in London’s Hyde Park. I bought a wetsuit in a black Friday sale back in November, but it had never ventured further than Tooting Bec Lido, where I thrashed about in the freezing water feeling a bit like a demented seal, over the winter months in ridiculous temperatures. I think 5.6 was the coldest I tried! Not a bit like the balmy 20 degree water of Shepperton lake, then! I still can’t get the thing on without help, but at least the water felt pleasant. Breathing, did not. But once I slowed down and settled into a pace I felt better. But had I slowed down? To be honest, it’s hard to tell when the buoy seems impossibly far away on the horizon and you don’t have the pool lines as a guide to the speed you’re travelling at. I just know that every time I get out of breath, I feel claustrophobic and have to roll onto my back and breathe slowly. Getting my chest out of the water seems to make me feel better, and I couldn’t resist a bit pf ‘skins’ swimming to round off. It’s a lovely atmosphere at the side of the lake in the sun and I hope to get some more Her Spiriters down here.

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On Saturday afternoon an important piece of post came – my new pedals. Whilst clogged up with cold and frustrated I had decided to take the plunge and order my first set of clip-ins. This process to me is about daring yourself to do things – so what better time than now to try something new? Something I had never dared to do before in any of my riding, mountain, road or otherwise. I invited a more knowledgeable friend over to help me set them up and then tottered round the garden a bit. So far, so not falling off!! I’ve got the type that allow me to use them flat, too, if I miss or want to practice one legged. They are also MTB style (laces!!) I am not ready to go ‘full-roadie’ just yet. Would be a bit daft seeing as I don’t even own a road bike! I’m looking forward to putting them through their paces.

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