Thursday 24 February 2011

Back to Stirling.

I have now been back to Stirling for 1 ½ weeks now, it’s been very busy trying to get organised and settled back in. Mum and Dad drove me over on the boat and stayed for a few days to help me get settled back in, and it was also nice to see my sister, Rebecca who came up from Glasgow (hadn’t seen her since I left to go out to Spain, so it turned into a really nice family long weekend.

So much has happened in such a short period of time, it’s been all go. I have started back to Uni which has been good loving all my new modules and got some pretty good lecturers which is a major plus. The Major event has been my Dad getting a hip operation, which seems to have gone pretty well, just wish I was able to be with him to look after him, but he seems to managing ok. I have also been trying to get some Sponsorship sorted for next season which is looking promising, so I will update when everything is confirmed. I have also been to see the consultant who is really pleased with my leg and believes that it is healed, but have been referred for an MRI scan just to get proof, but things are looking good. (: will know within two weeks and I should be all ready for race season.

People say that everything happens for a reason and that is the way I have been looking at this stress fracture. It has allowed me to get improve on my swimming and cycling even more and it has also flagged up conditioning issues with I have been trying to sort out so that it will not only prevent me from getting injured again but also will hopefully be performance enhancing.

For once Scottish weather has been good enough to allow some consistent training which will hopefully last, (have had a bit of snow on the hills but hopefully should all stay away)

Last week I did have one very eventful training session; went out for a 3hr group ride which ended up only being 1hr30, due to the fact that I punctured by front tyre while descending. Luckily being able to stay upright, I thought it would just be a simple tube ; how wrong I was! As it was cold and wet I decided to quicken things up by inflating the new tyre with an air canister, unfortunately when putting the wheel back on the type exploded with a massive bang shredding the tube and also ripping the tyre. To make things worse none of us had a spare tyre, making me stranded and therefore I had to phone for a lift home while the rest of the guys cycled back. Thankfully Dave McNamee offered to come and rescue me, for which I am truly grateful.

All in all it has been pretty good to get back to Uni and hopefully all will go to plan with the MRI next week and I really hope I get the news I want to hear. I will no doubt update on the result as soon as I get it. (:

Sunday 6 February 2011

One Week, Two Countries, and a very big difference in the weather!

SUNDAY 30TH JANUARY 2011 (Aguilas, Spain)


SUNDAY 6TH FEBRUARY 2011 (Banbridge, Northern Ireland)

………… What a difference !!!!

26 days in Aquilas!

Home from Spain after 26 days.

Was one of the best experiences ever, have learnt so much, and it was a fantastic opportunity to get my fitness up after being sick over the Christmas period.

Flew out on the 6th of January to meet up with the Scottish Triathlon Squad who had been out since the 3rd and stayed with them until the 17th.The weather was fantastic for that 1st period with it getting up to 24*C which was a far cry from what we had been used to over Christmas.

Training was great with the guys even if I struggled the 1st couple of days trying to get fit, but as the saying goes – ‘no pain no gain’, and it didn’t take long until I was starting to get my legs back.

The banter was also brilliant mainly thanks to a number of the guys; lets say “experimenting” with different hair colours. This made for a couple of nights entertainment as they were never happy with the changes. One night it was blonde the next morning it was ginger, the next night it was red the following morning it was pink. Never really what they were aiming for, but it was all a good laugh.

On the 17th Jan I moved down into town near the ‘Don Juan’ when the Irish team came.

It was a good way to mix things up and kept things interesting, rather than staying in the one place for the whole camp. It was brilliant with the Irish team, we had a great set up with a lot of support staff; Physiologist-Declan, physio-Deirdre, masseuse- Marty , strength and conditioning- Martina, and cycling coach- Tommy.

The training was fantastic, really bringing my swimming and cycling on very strong. Some great long rides and plenty of climbing, especially Big Bertha and Campo Lopes, to name the main ones.

Campo Lopes >
and Big Bertha V

We had some good swim sessions thrown in as well like 40x100 off 1.20, definitely going down as one of my favourite swim sets. ( I know; I’m a bit of a freak)

It was also a great opportunity to get some physio from Deidre, and see what she thought of my stress fractures. (we think they are coming on well and will soon be fully healed (fingers crossed).)

Our apartments were extremely cold as there was no heating and the sun never hit them, we ended up having to invest in a few fan heaters to try and heat the place up, we also found out that when you have three fan heaters on, an oven, all the hobs, and a microwave on it is possible to fuse the whole apartment. Unfortunately it resulted in eating our dinner in the dark.

One major benefit to our apartment was the Panaderia just below which resulted in buying a chocolate croissant nearly everyday . :)

I had planned to stay for 5weeks but as I still hadn’t booked a return flight I decided to head home slightly earlier than planned and I ended up coming home when the Irish team left instead of moving back into the Scottish camp for another week. This means I can spend a bit more time at home before I head back to University until Easter time.

This has been an amazing experience and one that has really reinforced the fact that I want to be a professional Triathlete, I just loved the lifestyle.

I know I havn’t kept this updated as much as I should but I will get better at it, keep reading as I do all in my power to chase the dream.