The 2013 season for me was very like 2012 in many ways. For the first half of the year I was still trying to recover from my achilles injury of the previous year. Despite long periods of doing no running and physio nothing seemed to be working. It was only when I started to do a strength and conditioning program designed by Richard Mason based around some plyometric moves that things started to look up. A summer trip to Spain and running barefoot on the beach transformed my outlook and fitted with new “zero drop” trainers I was at last able to run properly and could contemplate actually doing a triathlon.
The season started with a couple of cycle sportives -the Wrynose or Bust and the Fred Whitton and both were failures for different reasons. The weather on both was awful and although I suffered on the Wrynose with the cold I was doing ok until about 5 miles from the finish when my chain snapped. I couldn’t fix it so a DNF was entered against my name. The Fred Whitton was worse – I underestimated how cold and wet the event would be and by the second feed I was soaked to the core, shivering and utterly demoralised. DNF. Again.
After starting the plyometrics I decided to enter a couple of triathlons in July. Unfortunately both clashed with other stuff. I misread the information about the Liverpool Triathlon in July and didn’t realise that the race day was Saturday and not Sunday. I returned from a trip to the Tour de France late on the Friday night and was too tired to contemplate racing the following day: did not start. Never mind, the Lancaster triathlon was next. It was going to be tough squeezing the race in as we were going on a family holiday the following day, but as it was ultra local I reckoned it wouldn’t be a problem. Cue car breakdown. I was faced with a decision – get the car fixed and go on a family holiday or race. Wasn’t hard to decide, and I’m glad I did as it was on holiday I discovered that barefoot running might be the answer to my problems. So, did not start. Again.
This wasn’t looking good, two sportives in which I didn’t finish and two triathlons in which I didn’t start. You could say that my spring campaign was hardly a roaring success. As last year I was left eyeing Challenge Henley as my one last chance to race a triathlon in 2013 and save my season. Luckily, it all came together on the day and although I didn’t beat my time from last year (due to a longer bike course), I comfortably beat my PB for a half-iron distance half marathon and actually finished 6th in my age group, my best ever result in a triathlon of any distance.
I ran into the autumn with new found enthusiasm and did a half marathon in a sub 1:50 time for the first time in a few years. so all is looking good for next season. I’m healthy (need to lose a few kilos, but heck, it’s November) but I’m running well and putting in a good base on the bike. So where to race? I have a few ideas but more on that in a future post.
Wrynose or Bust cycle sportive: Bust!
Fred Whitton cycle sportive: A bad day at the office
Henley Half: What a difference!
Lancaster Trail Half Marathon: I’ll Take That