November

At the end of November and before I even begin to tot up the numbers I know that this month will have seen a huge increase in running matched by a massive drop-off in everything – except strength and conditioning training. Well it is the off-season.

So in November I….

Swam: 5350m in only 3 swims – need to increase that to at least one swim a week in December.

Cycled: 163.3km – mainly cycle commutes, one weekend cycle in Liphook and one long off-road cycle in Andalucia

Ran: 98.2km(!) (over 60 miles). To put that in perspective, it is just less than my total for August, September and October put together (103km). It’s a lot more than I’ve run before. I am increasing the distance gradually, but it’s the regularity of it – 3 runs weekly, every week. My average pace was slower – 6min13/km compared to 5min53/km October and my furthest distance was 16.2km – my 10 mile run and my furthest distance ever!

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I did also manage 8 strength training sessions, 2 indoor bike sessions, 1 yoga class and 1 hike.

I also read a lot less books despite being on holiday for 5 days – we were too active and then too exhausted to do much reading!

Dervla Murphy – In Ethiopia with a Mule – this really grew on me from my slightly unsure impression at the start of the book!
Dervla Murphy – a Winter in Baltistan. Baltistan is a region in northern Pakistan and this book tells of a winter Dervla spent hiking and living there with her six year old daughter. All of Dervla’s books are awesome.

On the blog there were:

– a post about my decision to train for a marathon
– and 2 further marathon training recaps  (2 and 3)
– a description of a very special bike ride in Andalusia
– some travel blogging with a post about Cordoba and one about running and hiking in Andalusia (there’s another to come still)

My best moments in November were all in my trip to Andalucia with mum. Climbing to the top of the pass on our mountain bikes and looking back down the switchbacks towards the town we’d come from, Luque, sparkling white in the distance. Running along the Via Verde to reach a bridge, floating on air with the mist underneath. Standing at the top of the Alcazaba in Antequera, stunning views and surrounded by history.

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Right now I am…

Reading: William Dalrymple, Return of a King: the Battle for Afghanistan – a history book about the first UK-Afghan war, begun in 1839. I’ve only just started the book but am already really enjoying it, a really well-told history book.

Excited about:
Christmas! Obviously. And a new bike. Although when I’ll be getting it and what it will be I’m not yet sure.

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I’m also excited about my birthday (Christmas Eve), spending time with my family and my mum’s new puppy, and then a few days in deepest darkest Wales with my friends over New Year.

IMG_4996Yes that is a puppy – she’s a Scottish Deer Hound and she is HUGE

Nervous about:

Buying the wrong new bike. I’m looking at the Liv/Giant range as they’ve been really well praised for their women-specific bikes. I love the look of the Envié Advanced 2 and it’s about the right price point for me too. BUT it is very aero and I will need to use it for commuting. Then there’s the Avail Advanced. The 3 is slightly cheaper than I was looking to spend but uses Shimano Tiagra. The 1 is slightly more expensive and uses Shinano Ultegra. I just really wanted the 105. And the Avail uses disk brakes. BUT I can get the envié before Christmas. I HATE making decisions about expensive things. If anyone can help….. Please help.

2015_Liv_Avail_Advanced_3The Avail Advanced 3

2015_Liv_Envie_Advanced_2The Envie Advanced 2

– marathon training. Can I keep going? Can I run faster and longer? Will my legs always feel exhausted? Will my legs just fall off? I suppose the good thing about marathon training is that because you are making yourself do something so extreme, I really do have the fear that I won’t be able to do it which definitely helps motivate me to make the training sessions!

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