The week started with a new bike and ended with 2 races in the snow. Winter arrived in our area of Scotland with low temperatures, snow and calm conditions.
On Monday I picked up my new commuter hybrid bike from Evans Cycles in Edinburgh, not a shop I would usually choose to shop in but this was really only a purchase to replace a much needed bike – my run around which was nicked about 2 weeks prior. The new bike is a Norco and rides pretty well although it may be slightly on the small side. I may have made the mistake when ordering it thinking that a 16 inch from would be OK but with normal 29 inch wheels on it I could do with a bit more reach. Nothing a longer stem won’t fix.
After what has been a very stormy winter last week turned into the kind of winter one craves: calm conditions, blue skies, some snow around. I am currently mixing my training up with alternating runs and bike rides and the bike rides also alternate between road and mountain bike. Wednesday turned out to be one of the nicest days to ride a bike and at coincided with a road bike day. My original plan of heading to Carnwath and back was overruled by Alan and when we got to Carnwath we turned south to complete a full circumference of the Pentland Hills. Even though the temperature never exceeded 5 degrees and there was still ice on the side of the road in places 2 layers kept me warm enough for most of the 3+ hour ride, especially after we turned out of the wind at Carnwath. That road ride was sandwiched in between 2 short mountain bike rides on Monday up to Clubbidean Reservoir and Friday over the Braid Hills. Both thankfully in the sun.
Due to the upcoming races, the running was kept at the shorter end of the spectrum although I did have a 2 hour run on Tues which included a short snow shower when climbing Capelaw but by the time I got to Allermuir it turned to rain again. Thursday run was a short affair over the Craiglockharts my house hills.
My recent introduction of evening stroke development session has proven successful with 3 swimmers in both the Tues and Wed evening sessions last week. The format for these isn’t as much a traditional group session but very much a 1 to 3 (Wed) or 4 (Tue) coached session with every swimmers getting their individual elements to work on. Next week’s Tues evening session will be different as it will be the first Video Analysis session. I have 3 swimmers booked in for this. The current plan is for these to happen once a month on every last Tuesday. Bookings for all coached sessions available here.
Over the weekend both my athletes have been out racing. Two of them – Mo and Ian – tested themselves at parkrun with satisfying results giving them a first benchmark for the year. Both are in their late 60s. Lynn was up at Monikie Duathlon and picked up the 3rd super vet placing but sadly no price for the series as she had to miss out the first race. She came away with strong improvements in particular on the run leg. Fiona came 3rd in the F40+ category at the Galashiels cross country and finished the series in 6th. Just the nationals left now. I was also down at Gala but was racing a day after the Carnethy 5 hill race which was run in snow on the ground and falling from the sky. An epic event eve if it only lasted just over one hour. It was white everywhere. Although I am pleased with the 73 min finish time I was disa ppointed with my placing of 177th considering I was 145 two years ago. The follow up in Gala was more pleasing as I had my best category position with 9th of the series. This was my 3rd double race weekend since the start of December and they seem to be going pretty well – especially the 2nd race. I’d doubled up in December with East League XC Champs and Chirnside XC and then in January with Broxburn XC and Bowhill MTB Duathlon. Nationals to come for me too.
My intention is to do these every week with the main happenings in my training and racing, my coaching and what is happening with my athletes and their events. Until next week.
Title image courtesy of Matthew Curry.