As the messages pinged backwards and forwards between the group, arranging the regular Sunday morning ride, I turned my phone on silent and moped off to bed. Typically, on the only Sunday i couldn’t make it, there was about seven people heading out and it was looking like it was going to be a good long ride. I now believe in Karma, for all the grief I give people for missing rides, I was now the team let down!
I had promised my partner i would stay home with the kids while she and her mum went to a local car boot sale, and in turn my 3 year old daughter had asked if we could go to the park so she could practice riding her bike. My frustration at missing my ride soon disappeared as we set of on the bike and after only ever riding it once before, she was quickly peddling off with me in pursuit. Looks like i was going to get a workout after all!
When we returned from the park, and with only an evening swim left to do that day, i decided to fill out my training diary for the week. This is something i have been using to monitor distance and time during my training to allow me to steadily increase my sessions as i progress. Looking back over the last two weeks i noticed that for various reasons i had only run once, a total distance of 4.5 miles! As running has always been my primary activity of the three disciplines, i believe i have now been neglecting it in favour of more time in the pool, lake or saddle.
I think it can be easy to obsess over a certain aspect of your training if you are seeing more improvement than the others, however i need to be careful not to be complacent with the rest of my training. I seem to be becoming obsessed with spending as much time as possible swimming in open water and not enough putting one foot in front of the other racking up the miles.
My running buddy mark was luckily on hand and we set off out on a new route from my house, climbing steeply for the first mile before a gradual decent into the valley. The sun was out and it was a warm day, which suited me fine as we neared the point where we turned back on ourselves and onto the shaded canal. We pushed on along the flat canal before coming to the final mile, another lung busting climb all the way home to finish off the six miles. My daughter was in the window waiting and rushed out to give me a hug, until she saw the sweat dripping off me and ran away shouting “errrr”. A good, enjoyable run was just the kick up the arse i needed to pull my finger out and get my running back on track.
Last training of the week was open water swimming with the lads. The weather was miserable and foggy as we headed into the lake for a 700m loop but the water was still warm from the recent sunshine. We stuck together for the first 300m until it comes to a point where you have to go straight across the middle for around 240m, at this point one of the lads headed back, while me and Sean swam across before looping back to finish. As we got back to the bank and stripped off our wetsuits, an old boy was returning from a spot of skinny dipping (not uncommon in the dam) which signaled time for us to leave!
The swimming is still tough going, with pauses for breath still between 100-150 meters, but its definitely getting easier and I no longer feel daunted by open water!
As a new week begins I am determined to stick to my planned schedule and balance out the the training between swimming, cycling and running. Family life will always throw the schedule out, but i can deal with that and just make sure i complete the miles before the end of the week. The support im getting from the family during this new adventure is amazing, even walking up huge hills to watch me swim on a friday night and not laughing (too much) when im squeezing into lycra, so the least i can do is make sure im around when im needed!