Training Tuesday #2 – Mallorca Update

Its taken me a while to write this – I’ve been back from Mallorca over a week now and I feel like I should write this down for my sake and my memories rather than from exhilaration and pride.

Quite simply Mallorca sucked – I’m not supposed to say that, I’m supposed to say it was tough but I had an amazing time and there were good times in it but honestly for the most part I felt alone, useless and incapable.

I was really hoping that, coming back from Mallorca, I would have a new found confidence and drive towards my training and although I feel a desperate need to dive right back into training again it comes from fear rather than an urge to improve.

I’m a very new cyclist – I cycled a lot when I was a kid with my Dad who was also a keen cyclist but I fell out of it during my teens and throughout university I walked everywhere. So my first time getting back on a bike was actually a couple of days before my first triathlon on my new shiny road bike and maybe I’ve tried to go too fast as in I’ve already installed clip in pedals and got shoes with cleats – I don’t know but I fell, a lot, in Mallorca. A couple of times not due to my actions but I seemed to bear the brunt of it anyway being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ending up lying in the road feeling battered and embarrassed and it’s completely knocked my confidence on the bike.

I felt like I didn’t fit in at all and although that’s something only I can change it didn’t help matters feeling alone and stupid with a huge feeling like you weren’t supposed to be there with everyone else.

The rest of the guys were lovely, really lovely, and like I said I think it’s more to do with my own mindset than how they actually treated me but as the week went on I just didn’t want to go out with these people on group rides and, yet again, make a fool out of myself!

Other than that I felt like I was failing in a lot of the other training sessions too – the runs were hot and hard (yes I KNOW I was in Mallorca) and during the swim sessions (which were undoubtedly my favourite) we were videoed to have a look at our swim technique which meant that all the things you were doing wrong were pointed out. Yes, this was in an attempt to improve but in a week of doing, what seemed like, everything wrong it was a tough pill to swallow.

My favourite part of the week was the open water swimming – I absolutely loved it and it gave me the pick up I needed to go out again on the bike the next day, there’s just something pretty awesome about swimming in and out of the waves even if sometimes you get a complete face full.

Luckily I had a pretty good ride on the last day of camp which made me feel better when I was leaving but boy was I ready to go home!

Now I’m determined to get out on my bike, build my confidence back up again (I’ve bought new Look Keo pedals in the hopes that they’ll help) and I can work on that on my own without other people I’m likely to see again seeing me fail over and over again. My mission this summer is, without a doubt, to make the bike my friend – most of the people I see look like the bike is an extension of themselves whereas I feel like it’s this flighty thing underneath me just wanting me to get off! By the end of the summer this won’t be me anymore, I won’t allow it.

So, Mallorca was horrible, this year for me but i’m determined that if I go again next year it’ll be more of the enjoyment side of things.

Warm Weather Camp – Mallorca

As I type this post I’m sitting in my hotel room in a gorgeous resort in sunny Mallorca!

Getting ready for this trip was interesting for me as I had to dismantle my bike to fly it over which I was very nervous about – a bike mechanic / expert I am not! At home I had S to help me with it but I was concerned about putting it all back together and it not falling apart when I got there as I’d be on my own.

bike in bits

My bike in bits ready to fly.

We arrived yesterday afternoon after a stupidly early flight / trip to the airport. Getting into the terminal was a balancing act, literally, as I’d never flown with so much stuff before. In reality I only had my hand luggage bag, suitcase and bike box but I usually travel with a hand luggage bag only so it was definitely an experience.

ready to fly

We got to the resort in Mallorca courtesy of some amazing tetris skills by our transfer driver who insisted on getting all of our bikes and luggage into what seemed to be an impossibly small space – I’m still baffled at how he managed to get it all in!

hotel view

The view from my hotel room!

Once there we were checked in and I had to start the task of attempting to put my bike back together all by myself.

I managed, for the most part, to get the bits back together again but needed a bit of help with my back wheel as my chain had done a funny dance in the bike box and was twisted in ways I couldn’t fathom how to get it the right way again.

In the afternoon we went on a bike ride to Sa Pobla to check the bikes were all working fine after their journeys and for our coaches to gauge the abilities of our group. I’m a very novice cyclist anyway but I’ve also never cycled with my coaches so from my part they had no idea what they were getting! Ha ha – unlucky for them!

After the cycle we had an intro to the camp and the workings of it and then it was pretty much time for bed.

This morning I’ve been for breakfast – the food at this place is unreal – and now I’m just about to head for a filmed swim session which I’m really looking forward to as I’ve been trying to focus in on my swim technique for the past few weeks so I’m hoping its all paid off!

Three Things Thursday #1

Calf trouble

Last week when I was (luckily) running on the treadmill I was nearly finished my prescribed 5km set when something pinged in my left leg! I was in so much pain I had to, for the first time, use the emergency stop cord on the machine because my leg wasn’t going to keep going long enough for me to reduce the speed and eventually stop.

I was hoping it was just a sudden attack of cramp and although it still felt tender the next day I’ve had cramps that linger like that so I had my fingers crossed as I have something rather important coming up (see number 2)

However my leg was still painful over a week later (Monday) and I relented and went to see my physio and I’ve torn my calf muscle! It’s only a small tear and he mentioned that it’s already had over a week’s worth of healing so hopefully it won’t be much longer to heal properly but i’m gutted that I’ve actually done something rather than it just being cramp! For once I wanted someone to tell me I’m a wimp and it’s nothing!

Mallorca Training

On Saturday I’m going away to Mallorca with my triathlon coaches from Pro Endurance Coaching for a week of warm weather training. I’m pretty terrified I’ll be honest. Like I mentioned just a few hundred times my training hasn’t felt great recently and I’m already the slowest member of my club so I’m scared I’ll not be able to keep up but I’m mainly scared that I won’t enjoy the experience because I’ll be too focused on what I CAN’T do rather than where I’ve come from. That’s all down to me and my mindset though so I’m going to try and stay positive.

If nothing else I got this awesome cycle jersey as part of the package!!

Pro E Shirt

New additions

S and I have always loved animals and I have always always wanted a dog but with our work and training schedules and the fact that we live in a top floor flat we knew that, at the moment, it wouldn’t be sensible or fair on the dog to get one so we decided to do the next (craziest) best thing and in January at the grand old age of 8 weeks we became proud parents of two gorgeous little girls…

Molly, the black and white, and Ripley, all black, have, at times, caused all sorts of chaos. At the moment they’re obsessed with trying to scale our curtains but it sounds very corny to say but they’ve made my house feel like a home and at the moment my family feels complete.

I do love my flat but since I was ill for a lot of the time when I first bought the place and moved in and then I worked away from home for a while living on my own was great but my house was just somewhere I went when I wasn’t training, at work or seeing S and once again getting very corny but since S moved in and we got the girls I cannot wait to get home to my little family and there’s nothing I love more than chilling out on the sofa watching a movie with S getting snuggles from the girls.

 

 

Training Tuesday #1

As I mentioned in my last post, training has been pretty tough recently – I’m getting through my sessions but that’s all I feel like I’m doing, getting through them.

I tick off each session without feeling any accomplishment or satisfaction and I’m really hoping those feelings will break soon enough.

That said I’ve started a few things that are new to me:-

Although I’m a pretty confident swimmer my times haven’t been getting any better for a while now so I decided to take a course of technique swim sessions. My tri club do a 20 week course that breaks down each element of the swim so I started going to that towards the end of last year – I’ve really enjoyed getting into the pool and doing more structured sessions as I usually just go and swim for a set period of time or distance. My times haven’t really changed much as annoyingly I wasn’t really doing much wrong (I was hoping I was doing something horribly wrong that, once changed, would give a couple of minutes on my swim times. Alas no!) but I’m hoping there will be a lightbulb moment sometime soon and my times will start going down.

I’ve spent a lot of the last few weeks with uncontrollable hair and soggy gym bags but I do actually enjoy swimming and I’ve met some really nice people at my class so I’ve, for the most part, had a good time.

Swim Stuff

I’ve also been doing a fair amount of indoor brick workouts (the weather hasn’t been great in Scotland up until recently) so my Friday afternoons have generally consisted of a workout on the Wattbikes at my local gym followed by a treadmill run.

Indoor Brick

I also recently did a run followed by a swim and I can honestly say I’m so glad that the swim section of a triathlon is first! I was absolutely knackered after squeezing my sweaty self into my swimsuit after my run!

I’m also trying to master the art of clip in pedals to try and fool people into thinking I’m a grown up cyclist! I’m barely even a cyclist but hey I’m queen of ‘All the gear and no idea!’

S and I went to our local outdoor cycle track and he helped me to learn how to clip in and out and stopping and starting. I still have a lot of work to do with regards to using my gears and general confidence riding on the roads but I’m making a start at least!

Clip In Pedals

I have since managed to lose those fingerless gloves! Gutted!!

I’m back

Yeah so it’s been a while since I last posted here – no real reason for it other than life got in the way (how some people work and train and socialise like they do and still find time to write about it I have no idea!)

I completed my half marathon last year and it was pretty awesome – I hated all of the training and found myself wondering a lot of the time why I was doing this in the first place. I’m not a natural runner, I’m very slow and don’t ever seem to make any gains anywhere be that in my pace times getting faster or even just the runs feeling easier – running is a hard slog for me – always – and although I’d love to get to a point where I can go out and ‘enjoy’ a relaxed jog to clear my head and get some endorphins pumping, at the moment at least, it’s not going to happen. For me a 5Km is still a hard distance and it goes by very slowly. Don’t get me wrong I’m striving to get better and I won’t give up on my running but it gets me down more often than not.

My runs for my half training were very tough and although I got them done I didn’t ever look forward to my weekends when I would have to attempt, once again, to put one foot in front of the other for x amount of km and so I really wasn’t looking forward to race day at all.

However I absolutely loved every minute of it! I’m definitely a race day runner – I appreciate that the runs that come before are ultimately more important than the actual race but I just can’t bring my brain around to that way of thinking. I set off running and felt really good, my pace was faster than I’d anticipated but my breathing and my legs just seemed to want to go!

The atmosphere around the whole course was amazing – I was running for my Cancer hospital – The Beatson in Glasgow and they had three stations along the course which meant I got an extra big cheer when I ran past in their t-shirt

Unlike my training runs there wasn’t a point in the race when I wanted to stop / thought I needed to stop I was soaking in the whole event and having a great time as this picture clearly shows cropped-cropped-orig-scok62711.jpeg

This year (yes I’ve done the cliched thing and signed up again!!) will be to try and better my time / beat a certain target but my first half marathon was just to enjoy the event and have a good time and I certainly did that!

Other than that I’ve decided to postpone my Ironman dreams until 2017 – I’m only really just getting into road cycling and at the moment I’m not really enjoying the rides and I really really want to. I appreciate that, like my run sessions, there will be tough times but when every single training session seems like a fight it’s not the experience I want. I’m doing this because I want to and at the moment it’s getting me down.

So I’m giving myself an extra year of training to gain a bit of confidence on my bike, hopefully get a PB on my runs and spend time tweaking my swim technique.

And hopefully I’ll do it, mostly, with a smile on my face…

Let the games begin!