This triathlon thing has been a bit all consuming this year. I’m a natural obsessive but this year it’s been a huge topic. More people have been going hard to qualify for a spot at the home World Champs in London, everybody has been upping their games, the races have been bigger, faster, and as a result harder, and as much as people are doing triathlon everyone has been talking triathlon.
I love talking the talk, analysing and planning as much as anyone else, catching up with the guys and girls in the club (who have been kicking me hard this year & showing what they can do with focus and work) and finding out what the pros are up to, but right now I’m feeling the need for distraction. I guess it’s partly because there’s a big race coming up. I’m nearly ready (er, my bike is nearly kinda ready too), stuff is booked and it’s costing an arm and a leg. It’s London, so it’s expensive, and I’m taking the whole family up for an extended weekend. I have to register on Friday, race on Sunday, will watch the uber-fast pro’s race on Saturday and Sunday, and on Tuesday evening my book, Embryology at a Glance, is up for a British Medical Association (BMA) medicine book of the year award so we’re staying through until Wednesday. Monday is booked up for dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum as my daughter is really, really (really) into dinosaurs. I’m possibly more excited about that than I am about the World Champs.
The racing itself looks like it’s going to be huge. The course looks amazing and I really hope that it turns out to be as good as it promises. We’ve all invested huge effort, time and money into this with the impression that this will be one of those events that you’ll never forget. We want to be able to say that we were in London in 2013 racing in the World Triathlon Championships on the Olympic course. Once in a lifetime. That sort of thing.
I’m trying to switch off and occasionally distract myself, and gaming helps me do that. I’m getting into the Horde side of some storylines, which are awesome, and the Vuelta is on telly every night helping me imagine life on the bike. I love Roger Hammond’s insight as a pundit. He was beating me in road races when we were both juniors. If I could spend more time on the bike training for triathlon I would, but it doesn’t work that way. Students are back at University on the medicine course so that’s getting busy again, not that there was much of a let up over the summer, and I’m about to get stuck into a writing and editing routine for my next medicine textbook, but much of that work will begin after London.
The other thing that distracts me is a plan for a final, end of season blowout. I’ve a big run in mind that I’ve been trying to do for years, but only now do I seem robust enough for it. There’s a fair bit of planning and thought involved, with some reconnaissance. It’s one of those things that has you looking at maps and kit, imagining the route and whatnot. A proper challenge. The sort of thing that really keeps you going.
It’s not like I need any more focus now. I know what I’m doing and I’m getting it done. Hey, I’ve done most of it, right? Maybe if I get all my race stuff together and pack it I’ll be able to forget about it a little more. Gareth at Swansea Health Solutions is helping get my body in shape for the race too.
I’m also thinking about all the biscuits I’m going to eat. And pastries. Doughnuts. Milkshakes. Cakes. Muffins. Brownies. Cookies. Full fat lattes. I’m the lightest I’ve been since I was a teenager so I’m going to have to eat hard to put some fat on for the winter. Awesome.