So, I think it’s safe to say that July has been the most unsettled month in my life for some time. I was made redundant from my full time role with Tesco (good riddance) so therefore from the 3rd July I was officially on “gardening leave”. Now, having already secured myself a new job which I started on the 28th July this meant that “gardening leave” was actually “watching the Tour de France \ Training \ DIY leave” not to mention throwing in a couple of races along the way.
Also, July saw the end of my coaching relationship with Mark One coaching. This came about for a number of reason but essentially means I return to managing my own schedule which suits me better, is less pressurised and more flexible (not to mention cheaper).
At the beginning of the month I completed my LiRF (Leader in Running Fitness) qualification which enables me to become a run leader at Stopsley Striders. It is nice to be able to give something back to the club where it all began some nine years ago and it also adds another dimension to my health and fitness qualifications.
The following day I was able to jump on the bike and head to Epping Forest to watch the Tour de France stream past the sprint point. It was a good 2 hour bike journey over to sunny Essex where I found the streets already packed. We all waited patiently for about an hour and a half to watch the entire field fly past at considerable speed within about 30 seconds. I then turned around to complete the 2 hour pedal home. Some would call it madness but it was nice to be able to be part of the occasion and soak up the atmosphere.
Next up was the Jenson Button Triathlon. This took place on the 12th July and was the first race I had done since returning from Austria. This race was primarily done for fun and to raise money for Cancer Research (I raised £595, thank you to everyone who donated!) The weather was a blinder and the format was a short qualifying race in the morning, in which I finished 6th overall, followed by a longer “final” in the afternoon. As I said it was mainly done for fun and to get my mother near Jenson Button… don’t ask! The one thing I wasn’t expecting of the day was to be racking up in transition in-between the likes of Will Clarke and Chris McCormack, let alone standing on the start line of the final with them. I was absolutely awestruck – not many times in your life you get to line up with such sporting legends. The final went well but could have been better as I had some chain issues on the bike and the run was far too hot. However, considering the strength of the field I was happy with my overall finishing time and position.
The next highlight of the month didn’t really come until the end of the month and the MK Pearl Izumi sprint triathlon held at Emberton Park. Following a few wonderful days spent in Brighton with my family I travelled the short journey up the M1 to race. Once again the sun shone fiercely down on the competitors as the standard distance racers got underway. An hour later it was time for the sprint to get going. Again, this race was done primarily for fun but I did want to perform well and finish in a decent spot. I was happy with the swim and exited in the top ten, I put in a strong bike segment and upon returning to transition could see that there were only two bikes ahead already racked, this meant I was in third and I managed to chase down second place and overtook on the second loop of the run. The run was less than impressive but it did the job on the day. Once again I found myself on the podium in second place to claim a lovely trophy and decent prize bag.
As I said at the top of this month’s entry I have now started my new role in the City, I don’t know yet how this will affect training. The 2.5 hours I lose each day due to sitting on a train may take its toll, but for now my sights are fixed on the club relays with Transition Tri in late August and then my first ½ Iron distance race in September. Things have changed a lot in London since I last worked here, the biggest change is the explosion in places to buy coffee. Each morning I walk the 1 mile from City Thames link to the office in Holborn and pass 27 different coffee establishments! Ridiculous!
One thing I will try and do now is write a shorter blog every fortnight rather than one long one each month. At least this is something I can do on the train and it will take the focus off the fellow passengers which so far have proved that some members of the human race are just disgusting!
Have a wonderful summer everyone. Have fun and stay safe in the sun