It really has been quite a while since my last blog post! I think I’ve forgotten how to do it…
So, where to begin? Well, things have changed rather a lot since I last posted. I came back to Loughborough in January ready for my two exams and raring to go with training. The exams went well, I’m still on my way to a 2.1 and I didn’t get as stressed as I usually do. I really was winning right there. Unfortunately, the training didn’t go quite so well. I picked up an injury which put me out of running for 3 weeks and took a while to build back up again. The injury was actually quite complex and involved four little problems clubbing together to hurt me big time, ganging up on me to cause pain. But that all got fixed thanks to my wonderful physio and things looked like they were picking up again. Woohoo!
Back on it, BUT (there’s always a ‘but’ with me isn’t there?) there were some further, slightly radical changes. I’ve left the Loughborough Triathlon squad behind and got myself a new coach. The Loughborough Triathlon environment works for some people and it is a brilliant thing to have been a part of, but ultimately it just didn’t work for me. I gave it three years, and in those three years I saw very little improvement and a whole lotta injury (a lot of fun thrown in there too mind!). So I got in touch with a close friend and incredible Ironman athlete Claire Shea-Simmonds who recommended I speak to the guy who is now ‘The Boss’; Craig Twigg. I met with Craig over a coffee initially and we chatted through everything to do with my training, going over every little detail, planning and working out how we were going to attack things. The following week, the new programme started. I get on with Craig very well and have a lot of faith in him and his approach to training; something I don’t really think I had before with previous coach experiences. Trust is one of, if not THE most important part of any relationship, and finding the right fit in a coach-athlete relationship is imperative. We’ve knocked back my running a little, kept my swimming the same as it was and increased my biking. Over the last couple of months, since swimming with the British Triathlon programme I have seen HUUUUGE improvements in my swimming so there was no point in changing that! We didn’t want to risk further injury and if I can get by on running 3 sometimes 4 runs a week then that was fine. And biking has always been my strong point, but we wanted to get on top of it again and make sure I was ready to go for the upcoming season. Things. Are. Fab.
I’m going to be honest and say I’m not particularly enjoying living in Loughborough at the moment. I’ve been here for three and a half years now and I kind of feel like I’ve outgrown the place, but I think it’s just my adventurous side wanting to get out and explore the world a bit more! Burst out of the Loughborough bubble and get into the real world. The really good thing about Loughborough is how everything is on your doorstep, within walking distance. I can roll out of bed at 5.15am, stroll over to the pool and be there by 5.30 if I need. I can finish swimming at 7.30 and be at the gym by 7.45. You get my drift; everything is so, so close. I’ve been given the opportunity to train with some of the best athletes in the country whilst I’m here during my final year, and while I wouldn’t change that for the world right now, it’s one of the only things keeping here! (that and university work of course…). I don’t like the environment I live in right now, and it has been slowly but surely getting me down over the last few months. I tend to keep myself tucked away in my room when I’m not out training anyway! But luckily, my closest friends also live right around the corner from me and my boyfriend lives about 300m away so I try to escape whenever I can. It’s not ideal, but I’m only living here till the summer and the world is my oyster. Which brings me on to…
RACE SEASON! Race season is starting to pick up now, and last weekend I raced my first race; a local Aquathlon back home in Aberystwyth. It was a fantastic event, brilliantly organised and although it hurt a lot, it was also a lot of fun! I had a decent swim but more importantly ran a time that I was more than happy with and a time that I haven’t ran close to in the past 3 years. Hmm something tells me there might just be a link there…? I was absolutely stoked with how well it went, and it also meant I got to spend a week at home which was bliss. If you haven’t met my family, then you’re missing out because they really are amazing and an absolute joy to be around. Spending the week with them really cheered me up but also made me wish I didn’t have to come back to Loughborough! I think the new coffee machine maybe had something to do with that too 😉
Anyway, I’m back here now and ploughing on with the usual routine: swimming, cycling, running, gymming, working, eating, sleeping and spending time with my favourite people. I’m going home again next weekend for another race so I get to escape for a bit again and then it’s the Easter holidays. April looks to be a month full of lots of cycling time trials to get me up to speed on that side of things, sharpen up the legs and punish myself with some runs off the bike whilst all the cyclists look at me like I’m an idiot. I’m preparing now for my main goal of the first half of the season on the 4th of May – a European Cup in Turkey which is my last chance to prove to the Commonwealth Games selectors that I would warrant a place on the team. Whilst this opportunity is a realistic goal, it’s going to take a lot of effort, the best preparation and the absolutely perfect execution come race day. BRING IT ON.
That’s it from me for now 🙂
Over & out,