And yes I fell into one of these 3 categories..maybe all 3 at some point recently;)
I wont dwell looking back on a few months ago for me, because quite frankly, life was hurling lemons from every angle, and though I tried to keep up, I just couldn't make lemonade and even use the spares for tequila fast enough! To the point I oh so nearly pulled the pin on 2016 racing.
However...without going into whys or hows, I decided not to. Instead of packing it in, I packed my bags, and jumped on a plane to France!
I was under no disillusion that this was a gamble, and I had taken a few steps back from where I had been a few months prior. It really seemed so overwhelming to have to start over again building back up...again... for the 'I don't know how many-th time' ! To where I had already been. I feel I have recycled this scenario a few too many times than the usual, annual cycle in my last few years, Only falling short with some misfortune just as I'm ready to get to the fun part of racing well! But I would certainly not be alone in this scenario, sharing this fate with many other athletes I'm sure! But I had done so much work before, it seemed such a shame to let it all go to waste.
I decided to follow this quote. Felicity, "First you do what is necessary.
Then you do what is possible.
Then suddenly, you will begin to do the impossible."
"St Francis of Assisis"
SO...I rebooted my training at a place called Font Romeu in France up in the Pyrenees. It is an altitude training center in France. (Above)
And I loved it up there. The weather played ball with warm sunny days almost every day. I go crazy for beautiful run trails and this place is littered with them! Running up in Font reminds me of running in Alice in Wonderland. I would not have blinked if I saw that big purple cat smiling at me from a branch. It was easy to clock up my run kms there, usually by getting myself lost and running twice as far as planned, ;) Personally I love running like a mountain goat, on technical, ankle rolling, obstacle courses, as much, if not more, than flat 'keep your tendons in tact' trails. Not every triathetes cup of tea, but you have both to choose from up there and I like the balance of both. So despite the grimace from the lack of oxygen running, I was smiling from the mountain views, flowers, streams and close encounters with 'the worlds happiest cows', to reach a neutral facial expression for most runs.
Halfway through my stint at Font I had an old friend Thomas, join me, from my very first trip to France! We hadn't caught up in years, so to have him come and join in for some training as he preps for Kona, was also a real bonus! Naturally he didn't shy away from the kms, being in IM training either, so it worked out well for us both...except for our fights for who got to the couch first afterwards, to watch the Olympics! :) Font consisted of training and passing out in front of the tele to watch the Olympics on repeat!
So training was going great, and the "necessary" box was being ticked. One thing however that Font also has plenty of, no surprises here, being up a mountain...is hills. Hills are my fave. Long climbs on the bike are my bread and butter. But after getting a little too excited and over indulging on this free bread and butter buffet for a few weeks, my leg machinery, also know as a knee, was getting rather agitated. Unfortunately just before my first race back with a new team I was force to take a small hiatus off the bike and running again. Aside from that first phase reboot at Font went well. Next abode Girona, Spain.
Being so close to Girona, having wanted to go that way for some time, now was perfect opportunity. I took the scenic route through the mountain and down to oxygen laden Girona to meet Coach Danielle, and her VIS boys. Who were kind enough to let me join in for a few sessions in the pool and on the track. Was great to see these boys gearing up in there final prep to rep Aus at the World Champs the weekend just passed.
So lastly, Girona. Its a beautiful small city, an hour from Barcelona. Its a cycling hub. I loved the old town, a nightmare for high heals or road bikes as its booby trapped with cobbled streets everywhere! But that's definitely part of the appeal. Small streets, with restaurants lining its cobbled pavements, old buildings lining streets and the river, chilled people, a safe, fun, and relaxing, atmosphere. It's really quite a romantic little spot! I loved it. Most of my days were spent rolling around getting lost on the bike. I saw a lot, always choosing new routes, riding in the mountains, through the farms, forest, and down to the Costa Brava coast. I got a pretty good feel for the place, as once again, I would often get lost! Funny now, annoying at the time! Was great to have a change of scenery, meet some cool peeps, get my tortilla fix...so addicted, and catch up with a few old friends I hadn't seen in a long time. And of course lay down some more work before my next race! ;)
Its been a great few weeks, and thanks to the variety of people who helped out the last few weeks, and the mix of training buddies. The next month will now have a few more races coming up, now I have had some time to lose the wobbly bits again ;)