At the end of a busy race season, it’s all too easy to try to carry on a roll from where you were. To try and stretch out that streak of productivity, that feeling of being super fit, for just a bit longer.
After the Berlin Marathon, it was painfully obvious to me that I needed a break. Not just an easier ‘recovery’ week of training, but a proper, no training, end of season layoff. I ran well in Berlin, far exceeding my expectations, given the second half of my season was significantly more relaxed after the Lakesman. I trained how and when I fancied, and raced a birthday 70.3 just for the hell of it. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that this season I’ve raced three half marathons, two marathons, one iron-distance tri, one 70.3 and an open water swim race!
I crossed the line in 3:52:59 in Berlin, and was happy to end my season on a high there. The rest of our time in Berlin featured beers, burgers and brunch, and was a nice way to chill for a day or two before hurtling headlong into a very busy spell of work. Work, in fact, was so busy I literally took two weeks completely off any exercise at all, before getting gently back into things with a weekend away with the other Specialized women’s ambassadors.
We spent a cracking weekend in Longleat, where with much persuading and support from the gnarly girls of the group, I had my first ever go at riding MTB, which was a huge amount of fun, despite being scary, and 100% something I want to do some more of at some point. We also went for a road ride and photoshoot, where we genuinely looked like a pro team 😉
Given I also managed to break my toe on a child’s water flume at the Center Parcs we stayed at (don’t ask), my grand return to training hasn’t been quite as grand as I had planned. But sometimes that’s okay; it’s so easy to forget how much we’re asking of our bodies, to stay strong and healthy and consistently perform well, even when we heap hours and hours of training on top of a hectic work life.
So my autumn has looked a little less focused than I’d planned, but it’s been brilliant (when I’ve not been at work!). I’ve celebrated having been with James for three excellent years of adventures and cake munching. I’ve had an offer accepted on my first house. I’ve spent time with loved ones and recharged my training batteries, even if the work batteries are pretty empty at the moment. And now, after that rest, I’m really enjoying being back in semi-structured training, with turbo sessions, gentle runs through the autumn leaves and getting back in the pool to remember how to swim.
Sometimes a rest is better than a change, eh?