Sunday, 8 November 2009

Down Time and Getting Up Again

So after the daily posts from Hawaii I expect that you’ve really been wondering what’s been going on? Down Time. Two lovely words. Much like Sun Shine, Cheese Cake, Cold Beer and Lie In.
Post Kona Steven and I had a proper holiday – our first ever that did not include bikes, fells and a room full of dirty kit, family members, friends or club mates .We had a great time in Honolulu, explored Oahu by public transport, dropped in on friend of Steven’s in San Francisco and returned to London via first class courtesy of a very generous gift from another friend Andy.
A week in London as usual was very busily spent catching up with friends and the tri club, mostly by tagging along for some casual training at the ludicrous hours that our working friends keep, errands and appointments all day then meeting for evening beverages with non –training friends. Though quite preoccupied with our departure for the southern hemisphere mid November, and the dilemmas that the extremely restrictive baggage allowances of Quantas have introduced, I was able to fit in the BTF level 1 certificate in coaching for Triathlon course over two weekends. The location of the course (Leighton buzzard) meant that I got a chance to see my dad who lives out in Herts (and dink his wife’s car!) as well as some 50 mile rides to and from London as a means of slowly getting back into motion. As it happens, despite not thinking much about training I have still found myself swim, running and mostly cycling through 20 odd hours a week – pretty surprising though I hasten to add that its been all very low intensity stuff aside from the occasional fast bit of swimming, which I find I can do when well rested and with a little additional tummy buoyancy! Still, I know that the ‘time off’ has been of benefit - yesterday I went down to Charmouth with my sister to cruise around the Endurance Life Coastal half marathon course. We agreed to run together - though she would probably kick my sorry butt in 1/2M on the road right now, it was her first experience of off road running and I’d only really started getting my run legs back and it was to be my longest run in over a month. I advised her that we should try to get a good place near the front at the start though, since its very easy to get caught up in bottle necks of runners on narrow trails, gates and styles if you are caught further back in the field. Well, the gun went and the race started up a cliff face immediately. We worked hard to stay with the front, but it was all out lung burning, quad stinging effort. Great fun .I was calling back to Lotte ‘are you still there?’ and would hear a gasping ‘yes’ for most of the ascent, but when the chance to pass into 2nd place, with a leading woman in sight I pushed on along the flats and soon lost Lotte to the race behind. She held fourth place a while, but soon decided to drop tempo and enjoy the beautiful scenery , lovely weather and new experience instead. On the other hand I was not letting up pace all, exchanging positions within the top 3 ladies for the first 3 miles or so before pulling away on a relatively long flat stretch of cliff top and pacing off some male runners around me to keep the tempo high. I just felt like I could GO. What a great, and rare feeling. Maintaining an average heartrate of 174 for over two hours(keen to keep my lead especailly after a wrong turn lost me about a minute of my margin) and finishing strong is a sign that I haven’t lost all of my fitness, my body is recovered and time to start training again. Soon. For the next week I’ll continue to enjoy a lighter load (especially after than lower extremity bashing) getting back into the gym and making final preparations for departure to Perth on Saturday.

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