I think the gods of triathlon have got it in for me. Just over a week ago I handed in the final piece of work for my Masters, thinking that I would finally have some free time to concentrate on training.
My preparation so far has been patchy (to put it mildly), but I wasn’t concerned as I knew I would soon have the luxury of a few clear weeks where I could fill my days with one-armed pull-ups and chicken-chasing. And when I’d finished watching Rocky, I could even do some training of my own.
But on the evening I handed in my final project I got a call offering me some full-time work lasting until the weekend of the Vachery Triathlon in July. Great for my depleted student bank balance, not so good for my training.
So, as I have been for the last couple of months, I’m shoehorning in activity wherever I can (I realise that this is the case for most grown-ups in training while holding down a full-time job, so I expect little sympathy. But I still feel sorry for myself).
Working in central London is actually quite beneficial for cycling as I can commute in by bike every day, but the other disciplines are harder to accommodate. A swim before work means getting to the lido when it opens at 6:30am (and spending the whole day in the office with ridiculous goggle marks – I really need to get a new pair); a decent run also means getting up at the crack of dawn.
I used to think that if I got up early (pre-7am on a weekday is officially early) that I would be the only person up, running through deserted London streets like the sole survivor of an apocalypse. This is never the case – I am constantly amazed by people’s capacity for getting up mega early and doing loads of exercise before starting their proper day.
There are literally runners everywhere, and the lido is amazingly busy in the early mornings too. It does make me feel better that others are up training too though, and it seems to be getting ever so slightly easier, despite my grumbling body clock.
On the upside I’m back home in Wales again this week as a good friend is getting married and I’m helping with some of the preparation. I’m still working remotely so am having to fit training in around this, but I have the pleasure of countryside runs once again (I’m without my bike and the nearest decent pool is half an hour away by car so it’s really the only feasible activity I can do).
One evening I ran along some windy countryside lanes, merrily listening to music as I admired the view. It turns out music and narrow lanes don’t mix – on a number of occasions I was startled by cars honking for me to get out of the way at the last minute as I hadn’t heard them approach. I don’t think being hit by a car would be very good preparation, so I might just stick to the woods for the rest of my stay…
The Vachery Triathlon takes place on 21 July in Surrey, with more info at www.vacherytriathlon.com. You can follow Bronwen’s progress here and on twitter at @bronwen_morgan