End of the summer

Scottish Cycling
I reckon we’re coming to the end of the summer now, but wouldn’t be surprised if we had an extended dry period through September and into early autumn. The weather this year has been great in Wales, and we’ve become a little too used to it. I’ve had some rides and runs in the rain recently and they’ve been warm and fairly comfortable, so I’m not looking forward to the inevitable cooling due in a couple of months’ time. I am looking forward to eating lots of cakes & biscuits around that time though, to compensate.
I haven’t talked about a couple of races this year, so I should mention them briefly. After the British Championships in Liverpool I sneaked into the World Triathlon Age Group Championships with a roll down qualifying place (based upon best time, and the GB team have a few extra places in each age group this year because it’s a home championships).

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Keep plugging away

That's me on the right with a bit of yellow

I’m away again tomorrow with the family for a bit, probably away far enough to be off (most of) the grid. No email, no t’internet, lots of space, fresh air, fresh roads and fresh hills. It’s good timing & good planning as I’m coming to the end of an extended block of training designed to deliver me to my next two races in good fitness. Two more heavy days and then I can chill out, sleep in, train easy & enjoy the views. I’m going to drag the kids out for some easy walks in interesting places. Something different, somewhere I’ve never been before.

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Gower Sprint Triathlon 2013

(The photo isn't from the race - it's an example of getting  held up on the Gower!)
I raced yesterday morning at Port Eynon in one of the few races I’ve managed to get to the start line of every year of my short triathlon *career* so far. It’s a local race, and even though the start is just down the road it’s always a very early morning even for me, the local. It’s worth getting up in the dark to see the dawn gradually appearing and the deep blue sky’s gradient filter change as you drive over the Gower by the sea. The sun came out from behind the early clouds as I was warming up for the swim and made me briefly reconsider my goggle choice. The sea was warm (by British standards) and the blue sky was out for most of the rest of the day.

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Summer’s here, and for us in medical education it’s a surprisingly busy time. The academic year is too long, and the gap in between is too short to run all the re-sit exam papers, prepare properly for the next year and take a holiday. I managed a week away in Pembrokeshire last week with lots of steep hill training, which seems to have dulled my legs this week but was a good period of strengthening and whatnot. It’s always nice to train somewhere different and I spent a fair bit of time in the sea with the kids, and seeing how my stroke changes transfer to open water (very well, and I see/feel the advantages now). I rode and ran on parts of the Ironman Wales course. I know the course pretty well, but every time I get back on those roads I fancy that race less and less. What a tough bugger it must be.

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