Time For Reflection

It has been a bit of a whirlwind week and a bit since the May Day Triathlon…although my running is nowhere near where I would ideally like it, given the overall picture, everything is going really well (she says with bated breath).

This is of course a great feeling but I now have the problem of trying to decide which of my three disciplines I want to concentrate on…I am very aware there are much bigger issues to have in life and am actually incredibly grateful that I have three sports that I love doing so much!

However, what do I do next? I am now about the same at all three disciplines in terms of ability and confidence so it’s difficult to know what to focus on.

I have worked hard on the bike over the last few months and have improved to a level that I am proud of…just one more little challenge tomorrow in the form of a 3 hour bike ride where I am looking to get as close to 50 miles as possible. After that I think I will take a couple of easy weeks bike wise before an epic training day at the end of the month and then focus on some cleat practice 😱 This seems to be the next obvious thing to master while I don’t have anything major bike wise to aim towards.

The swim sessions will be used to continue getting used to open water swimming and hopefully progressing this to a good mile each time over the next few weeks. I may also combine this with the odd pool swim to focus on some technique drills but this is likely to only be at the club swim sessions.

So I guess that leaves me with the running.

I have now completed a further three pain free 5k runs since May Day, one of which was my first Parkrun for many months today at Netley. I have never made any secret of the fact that I don’t enjoy running 5k. I am an endurance athlete and I find this distance really hard but right now I am unsure whether that is due to my dislike of the distance or my lack of run fitness.

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Today's Parkrun efforts...I should be happy with this even if I didn't really enjoy it!

The proposal to my Physio is to gradually up my mileage over the next few weeks, include my first interval session post injury and hopefully my first RR10 of the season. Assuming this is all approved and goes well I hope this will get me adequate mileage under my belt ready for Endure 24 in 4 weeks time and then Ultra 12 4 weeks after that.

For those of you not familiar with these events, they are as crazy they sound. Endure is a 24 hour relay event (although some nutty people do this solo). I am in a team of 8 ladies where the focus is to have a bit of fun in between running a 5 mile loop every 7 hours for 24 hours. This does of course mean running at night time and apparently very little sleep is achieved…good luck being around me sleep deprived!

Endure was always going to be the fun event of the year but pre-injury I was hoping to get four laps in, maybe more if others wanted/had to do less. I think now I would be sensible to aim for two good laps and hope for a third if all goes well (the Physio doesn’t know this plan yet…shhh!).

Ultra 12 on the other hand was the one I entered as my A race of the year…a solo 12 hour race with a plan of getting somewhere between 50-60 miles done in that time. This dream has long gone and the associated frustrations dealt with accordingly but I am now looking at what may be possible. It is another 5-mile loop event and I have teamed up with one of our more experienced hard core runners to make a mixed pair in the hope that I will be able to give it a good go at doing my fair share.

Two issues instantly arise here…one, he is a lot quicker than me so I will get a lot less rest than he will in between runs (although I may be able to convince him to do two laps back to back) and two, this may be a little bit ambitious given I am currently only running 3 miles and I only have 8 weeks before this event.

So, back to my original question, what do I do next? I think if I get the go ahead from the Physio then it needs to be the running. The above plan would give me a couple of months to focus on the running with a bit of bike and swim thrown in so I don’t forget how to do it. After that I should have a good idea of where I’m at fitness wise and whether a middle distance triathlon is at all feasible before the end of the season…I have my eye on one but I am not willing to commit until I know I can do it.

Watch this space as they say!