The shortest day is done! Although the day after was worse – it was so dark and wet all day that it felt like the sun never came up. I’m glad I swapped my run and swim around and avoided the weather. It really was that bad. All the fields I passed on my bike were flooded today. A group of ponds beside the Llanelli cycle path had become one large pond, with the rescue rings on posts just visible above the water.

I finished a 3 month block of increasing run and swim volume to nice, high TSS levels. I was surprised to see my training stress score almost reach the 2012 peak from mid-summer just from swimming and running. That’s a lot of swimming for me! (And my body told me so too). I’m now finishing a recovery week before starting a couple of transitioning weeks in which I’ll be working the cycling back in. It’s great to be getting back on the bike, and great to be so mentally fresh for it too. I’m now feeling very robust running-wise and very comfortable with much longer swim sessions that I’ve done before. If it all works out this should be great preparation for 2013, but I’ll just keep plugging along and we’ll see what happens.

I ran a local cross country race in Merthyr Mawr last weekend so I could get a Christmas pudding. Great fun and my form seems ok. I didn’t hammer it but the hills were easy and metrics were good. It’s nice to get out and muddy, but maybe I should have tied my shoes on instead of relying on my summer elastic laces that I left in from the Gower triathlon. The best bit was the rapid recovery – I felt fine over the next couple of days. A sign of some consistent, effective mileage.

I’m trying to chill out over Christmas and drop both my training stress and other stress levels. They’ll be rising again in the new year so it’ll be good if they both start off a bit lower. Lots of gaming is helping and I’ve had a week off work already (not that it stopped the hassle and the emails entirely) while the kids have been at school. When the only thing you really have to do every day is train and recover life is simplified incredibly. Very nice. That must be quite a life to lead. A bit of golf has been nice too, and I was happy to find that I could still make the ball go forward as this was the first week that I’ve hit a ball since before breaking my shoulder. I did thin it off the tee a bit so I’m blaming a shorter right shoulder. I’ll get a few more games in before I have to go back to work.

I’m hoping for some nice warm winter cycling kit from Father Christmas to get me through January and February. I think I’ve been good.

Have a good Christmas and New Year break!