Triathlon training and a weekend in Madrid 

I had a good week this week, much better than last week, and three workouts I was really pleased with! It was a jam-packed week and hard to distill everything into five bullet points! I trained for 7 hours,  with 1 swim, 7 cycles (6 of which were commutes), 1 run, 1 yoga class and 1 strength session. Normally I would want one more run and one more swim but the swim was out of my control (see below!) and as I spent the weekend on a romantic break in Madrid with James, I didn’t have time for a second run!

Five things I did this week:

A 10 mile time-trial and a 400m time trial – guess which disciplines?! First was the 400m on Tuesday evening, in the pool (surprise surprise). I warmed up with 200m slow, then did 4 sets of 40m (20m pool) getting progressively faster to an all-out sprint. After a few recovery lengths, I settled into my 400m time trial. I was reasonably pleased with my  time – at 7.28 it was one second slower than my last test in February, and I really have not been doing much swimming recently. I know there is a long way to go though – last June I swam 7.18 (although I was swimming a ridiculous amount every week – more than I’ve been swimming per month recently!). 

 Then on Friday morning I was up very early to head out to Regents Park. I have just joined a tri club who do chaingang sessions around Regents Park one morning a week. I am certainly not yet experienced enough for that, plus they leave about two hours before I normally wake up(!) but it did give me the idea that this might be a good place for a 10 mile time-trial. More on that in another post but I managed the 10 miles in 32.08 minutes which I was quite pleased with, given the conditions and my general lack of cycling! I’d be happy to do this again so I think it will become a good test of cycling fitness.

A good run (and lots of cycles): on that general lack of cycling, I tried hard this week to readdress the balance, cycling almost 105km in total – 3 days of cycling to and from work, plus the time-trial on Friday (I was working from home before going to Madrid). 

On the one day I didn’t cycle to work, I ran. I struggled to get out of bed after staying up too late reading my book the night before, and almost didn’t run as I thought I had left it too late. In the end I decided I would just have to (1) put some effort in and (2) be a little late for work as I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t run! I had a progression workout planned, with 20 min warm up, 15 min fast, 10 min faster, 5 min fastest.

 It’s funny, my slow running speed has got so much slower and I always feel that I just can’t run any faster. Then, when I need to, it’s like I just flick a switch and my legs feel lighter, and then I struggled to keep my pace slow enough for the “fast” 15 minutes! It seems that’s a pace I struggle to run at – and it’s a pace I need practice at as it’s how I want to run my next marathon! (By “fast”, of course, everything is relative. My warm-up pace was anything above 6.05/km, my fast pace was 5.35-6.05, my faster pace was 5-5.35 and my fastest was anything below 5). Anyway, I hit all the paces, got to work on time (although I did have to speed-shower and dress in 10 minutes!) and felt very happy with the amount of effort I had to put in to reach those paces.

Tried to go to my first swim session with a triathlon club in London: this was my low training point of the week and the reason I only managed one proper swim. I don’t usually like to do too much of a weekday evening because if I can get home for dinner with James, that’s my priority. Clapham Chasers run a swim session in  Tooting from 8-9pm which I wouldn’t usually attend for the above reason. But James was away so I finished up work early and off I went. Only to arrive at the pool and be told the session had been cancelled for technical problems with the pool! I was very disappointed as I have to psyche myself up for these kind of things with new people, and now that was wasted. Plus my tight schedule last week meant there just wasn’t any other time to get that swim in! Oh well – I will just have to go another time.

A weekend in Madrid: obviously a whole blog post will be coming on this but basically James and I slept in, ate delicious food, drank wine and craft beers, walked for miles around the city and chatted and chatted. It was great.

Had to think about what kind of life I am going to lead from August. That sounds very cryptic. Let me explain. For the past four years I have lived with my boyfriend, the wonderful James. 

A key focus of my day is usually working hard to try to finish in time to get home to him for dinner. James almost always cooks and it is always fantastic – I am so lucky, I tend to come home not only to a freshly cooked dinner almost on the table, but also a packed lunch going into my lunch box (as long as I remember to wash it up!). James cooks while I wash up, sort out the laundry and pack my bag for the next day, while all the while we chat about our days. It makes all the chores just not really seem like chores. But come August, James has a new job at a university in the USA, Notre Dame in South Bend. He’ll be coming home a lot and I’ll be going out to the USA. BUT there will be a lot of after-work evenings by myself. James was away at a conference last week so I got a bit of a taster of it and I will tell you something – I HATE getting home, cooking, washing up, doing the laundry, cleaning, and by then it’s bed time, all the time without anyone to speak to. The flat gets really messy without James because I’m cooking in the time I would usually be putting stuff away. And I just hate it. So I really need to work out a good system for still having all my meals, having a tidy house, and not feeling like I spend all my time doing chores!

Obviously all of this is just an attempt to focus on the practical rather than the fact I am just really going to miss him 😦



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