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Cotswold Sprint Triathlon

Last weekend I took part in my third and final triathlon of 2014 (my 4th overall) and really enjoyed it. It was at the local lake where I do my open water swim sessions so it is nice and familiar and is the same course as the Women’s only one I did back in June.

As I sprained my ankle for the second time this year only a few weeks ago I made the decision to take part, but without any goal other than to try and finish (I told myself to do one lap of the run and see how I felt) and to enjoy it. Probably a weird sentiment for an event, but I was actually successful at both parts of my goal.

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It was a mixed event with the males and females split into waves. I was in the second wave for Senior females and enjoyed the swim. The only downside was that I hadn’t practiced in my wetsuit beforehand as it has been so nice, so my breathing went a little wrong half way round and I had to take a breaststroke break to get my rhythm back. A little disappointing as the swim is my best bit, but I still came out 26th out of 135 women for the swim over the 750 metre course.

I took my time in transition and this even probably had my longest ones, but I did not want to fall over and hurt myself. I would like to work towards not wearing socks for sprint events, but I just can’t bring myself to just yet. I wore my ankle support in the swim as I knew that would take ages to get on if I tried to do it in transition.

I then headed out on the bike. The best bit of this was that they have improved where you have to run to the bike mount. It is now no longer as far as it used to be and goes out where the bike in comes back to the transition, so it was only about a minute jog, compared to 5 as it was before. I got on my bike (another thing I would like to work on is jumping on!) and set out at a decent pace. My ankle was a little uncomfortable so I just enjoyed the ride through the Cotswold Water Park area. I was actually a little faster (13 seconds) than in June so was happy with that. It was a little windy on the course, but the sunshine made it a nice temperature. I got overtaken by a lot of people on the bike, but I managed to overtake 2 ladies from the wave before mine. I came out 120th out of 135 women.

The second transition went okay. The only thing I did different this time was grab a bottle of water to take round with me as I really struggled with hydration last time and I knew I was not going to be fast at all. I started off at an easy jog and got into a nice rhythm. I had to walk a dip in the course as I was worried about being unstable on my ankle, but managed to jog the whole first lap otherwise. I then made the decision to do the second lap and it felt better than the first. I walked the dip again, but jog all the way round and managed to speed up a little into the finish. It really helped to have fellow running club members marshalling and Jace doing the commentary as this spurred me on. I was a lot slower than the one in June, but I was happy that I was able to jog at all! I came in 135th out of 135 women on the run section.

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Overall I finished in 1 hour 40 minutes and 20 seconds, compared to 1 hour 34 minutes and 54 seconds back in June. I had a nice morning though and am really glad I took part as the week leading up to it I had a lot of doubt and wanted to pull out, but I knew others from running club were taking part and I wanted to be part of it. I love this photo that was taken of Shelly, Me, and Katie at the end. Dan and Andy also took part, but had disappeared at photo time. I felt so good at the time and I really think it comes across in this photo. I always dislike my race photos, but I have some great ones from after my races that bring back all the good memories of the events.

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On a side note, this completed my Project Lifestyle goal. I originally had down to complete 4 triathlons, but due to the sprained ankle issues I cut that goal back and am extremely happy with 3. I have also helped out on the Saturday before 2 of the 3 I completed, and also marshalled at 3 long distance triathlons and will be marshalling this weekend. I feel I have learnt a lot this year about the sport of triathlon and have really enjoyed seeing both side, by taking part and marshalling. I am currently thinking about future goals and where I want to go with this sport, so keep an eye out for posts on that later in the year!

Adventures in Books… Beautiful Darkness

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“Some loves are meant to be. Others are cursed . . .

One night in the rain, Ethan Wate opened his eyes and fell in love with Lena Duchannes. His life would never be the same.

Lena is a Caster and her family is locked in a supernatural civil war: full of darkness and demons. On her sixteenth birthday Lena made a terrifying choice, which now haunts her day and night.

And as her seventeenth birthday approaches Lena and Ethan face even greater danger. A Caster and a Mortal can never truly be together.

Every kiss is a curse.

Ethan’s next heartbeat could be his last.

It is their curse now . . .”

I much preferred this book to the first one. I really shouldn’t have watched the movie before reading the book – lesson learnt!

This book follows on from where the first book left off after Lena’s 16th birthday. It is full of confusion and angst over where she is going and how Ethan fits into the world he has just discovered existed. It was interesting to see the development in the main characters after going through what they had to go through in the first book. The reactions to the events and being able to cope with sudden lose is different for everyone. Also learning that more people than anyone realised knew about the secret work must also be shocking to understand.

I liked that new characters were introduced into this book and old one returned and were developed. This one definitely felt more supernatural than the first book. We delve deep into the Caster world and it is an interesting place to learn about.

The only downside was that the story felt a bit of a repeat of the first in terms of the countdown to Lena’s 17th birthday and what was supposed to happen and her choice. This is my concern about the third book after this as well. I want to read it as I like the characters and want to see what happens, but really hope it evolves on from the story so far.

I’ve ordered the next book from the library already as I do like a series so will see where that one takes me.

Adventures in Books… Crown of Midnight

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“Eighteen-year-old Celaena Sardothien is bold, daring and beautiful – the perfect seductress and the greatest assassin her world has ever known. But though she won the King’s contest and became his champion, Celaena has been granted neither her liberty nor the freedom to follow her heart. The slavery of the suffocating salt mines of Endovier that scarred her past is nothing compared to a life bound to her darkest enemy, a king whose rule is so dark and evil it is near impossible to defy. Celaena faces a choice that is tearing her heart to pieces: kill in cold blood for a man she hates, or risk sentencing those she loves to death. Celaena must decide what she will fight for: survival, love or the future of a kingdom. Because an assassin cannot have it all . . . And trying to may just destroy her.”

I enjoyed this book even more than the first one. It was fast paced and the character development was much more intriguing. We learn a lot more about all the characters and that added suspense to the whole story. We were let in on some secrets that would be the death of some characters if the wrong people found out. I felt like the book trusted us with the information it held back from the first book.

I liked how the story developed from Celaena becoming the King’s Champion to developing into a character concerned with the bigger picture. I liked that she was more of a spy or private detective over an assassin for the majority of this book. I am also intrigued by the reappearance of magic and the hints of why it disappeared in the first place. There was a lot of insight into the world the story is set in this book.

I couldn’t put this book down. It gripped me and was face paced and easy to read. The story kept my on my toes and in suspense throughout. There were a number of twists and turns and I enjoyed the development of this as part of the bigger plot line.

I am very much looking forward to the next one and have pre-ordered it on my kindle, rather than wait for my library to get a copy as there is always a delay in getting new books.  I love getting hooked on a new series of books. I imagine this could be one I go back to again and again, but it will depend on how it ends. Fingers crossed it won’t be an anticlimax (worst thing ever when it comes to books!).

A Temporary Low

I haven’t been at 100% this last week or so. I’ve been okay, but a little low and that has made feel ill this last week, so I’ve been working at home and quite enjoying the quiet.

I know this is just a low period and it will disappear, but I also know I need to get myself out the door and fake it until it’s real again. But I also know I need to rest and relax and not beat myself up about not being 100%. It is about striking the right balance.

I think my ankle injury has triggered this period. I was all ready to get back to everything and it took me out. I also let myself take me out of everything else. The lack of exercise has definitely impacted on my mood and how I feel about myself.

I am reminding myself it is only temporary and have taken some time out while I’ve been at home to remind myself of the CBT techniques I find useful by reading Mind Over Matter and using the exercises.

Sometimes things get a bit overwhelming for anyone. A lot has happened in the last month and I have to remind myself how well I’ve been coping with things and just because I’m not giving everything my all does not mean I’m failing in anyway. I often revert to all-or-nothing thinking through habit so it good to get my thoughts and try to be more balanced.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading of books instead of being online and reading blogs. It’s been a nice thing to do and taken me back to when life felt simpler. It’s also stopped me from comparison thoughts, which is extremely helpful. I love blogs but they remind me of what I am trying to do and not making the progress I want to on, so I need to take a step back from them. My own blog is my outlet for my thoughts and enables me to sort through things. It doesn’t bother me if anyone reads it and that is nice. I’m not using this to succeed, but rather to get my thoughts out there and share them, which is something I’m not great at doing in person.

So I’m taking a step back form talking about my weight on here and focusing on my loves of coffee and books. I’ll continue to talk about my depression every so often as if I can help anyone else by being open about my journey then it is worth it. But from now on I want to focus on the positive fun things and let my life sort it self out around that.

Dealing with Injury (again)

I have sprained my ankle again. I sprained it back in April and doing pretty much the same run I caught the edge of a pothole on Saturday. I now have a nice purple ankle (which Pippin decided he didn’t like the look of so I have a long scratch along it too).

I struggle to deal with injury. I feel quite frustrated. I start to blame myself and my weight for everything. It is easy to let this kind of thing bring me down. It is something that is out of my control and therefore I stress about it. Even though I have been slacking intentionally this lack few weeks due to the arrival of the kittens, I was just getting back into the swing of things and it’s thrown me off. So I have to approach something that is out of my control in a way that I would approach something that is in my control.

Therefore I want to deal with it differently this time. I’m going to follow the plan from April, but start earlier than last time. I basically held off everything until I’d see a physio, but this time I’ve done that bit so know what I should be doing.

  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevate)
  • Walk (as much as possible and correctly)
  • Balance exercises (from previous physio visit)
  • Swim (not breaststroke)
  • Cycle (with running club)
  • Movement exercises (from previous physio visit)
  • Physio (first appointment available)

Mentally I have to work as well. I have to avoid the temptation to give up everything for a week or two, as that will follow on and turn into a month. I have to watch my food and binge behaviour and frustration can lead to that for me. I need to spend this time being extra aware of myself.

I will make the most of the time by reading and playing with my kittens. I will catch up with friends and write letters and blog posts. I’m also going to help at running club by timing the next club relay event and cycle to road routes to make sure everyone is okay as the nights get a little bit darker each week.

So I have a plan I can control and will enjoy (probably more than the actual running!). I am going to see this as an opportunity to get more involved with the runners I don’t always get to see as they are a lot faster than me. It will be a nice change of pace.

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