Reflection and review of 2018

It’s the off Season………….. time to reflect and pause structured training.

Reflections off

As the UK triathlon comes to a close athletes will be in a variety of states emotionally and physically from buzzing to fatigued, some injured others just wanting to go on forever !

My season came to a sudden stop 6 miles from the finish line of ironman Wales due to an injured wrist. As the doctor politely put it to me, the older you are the longer it takes takes to heal. But if there’s any time of year to get injured this is the right time !

I started, so was determined to finish…

For now as we go into the off season I can focus on healing, rest and recovery as I reflect and go through my annual asthma review.

Asthma – the good news, it’s not been headlining recently in my blogs and almost just a footnote in the last few months. September brings my annual asthma review at the doctors, this year was my second anniversary. While I thought I was on top of it throughout  the season, only getting caught out a few times in a chilly lake in Keswick,  long countryside rides and a few sessions in the rain, cycling through bonfire smoke – all of my triggers ( exercise, cold air, smoke & hayfever) then actually felt I nailed my inhalers at Wales hitting every 6 hour mark and when the evening air cooled I grabbed by blue inhaler as required.
The asthma expert wants more – in fact zero use of blue inhaler is her goal for me !

She adjusted my inhalers and gave me Montelukast which in my case is used to prevent  bronchospasm (breathing difficulties) during exercise and perennial allergic rhinitis.
So far the nose hasn’t been streaming while I have been running and my lungs feel the best they have for a while which is reflected with improved Peak Flow readings.
Full MOT – BP 119/81, weight in range, flu jab done, I’m ready for the winter.

2018 race season:
All my races and training events have been covered in the following blog posts:

The scorching – ironman Wales 2018 race report
Cotswold Classic 2018 race report – 113 Events
50 days to go 😳 IM Wales
💯 days to ironman Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿
It only takes one idiot to ruin a ride

So I will jump straight into reflections and the positives that came from this season even thought the end was a huge disappointment at the time.

Positives from the season:

  • I was the fittest and strongest I have been going into a race, from lunchtime Strength & Conditioning, power increased from Wattbike shown in FTP tests, endless running & cycling of Welsh and local hills.
  • Over whelming support after Wales from friends, family and strangers ( athletes and supporters at Wales who saw me suffer).
  • Asthma has been controlled – still makes training and racing harder but hasn’t stopped me
  • Juggled a new job, in new industry and shift work with training best I could.
  • I got through the whole season injury free
  • Wrist injury – close call but no surgery required, as long as I let it heal fully.
  • I became a BTF level 1 triathlon coach including turbo sessions and a personal trainer helping, motivating and inspiring others. Also giving back to sport marshalling.

Reflections and learning from the season:

  • Sea swims don’t suit me ! far too seasick
  • I don’t have a pain threshold that copes with serious injuries
  • I’m getting older (51 years) and need to look after my body more
  • Hill training pays dividends
  • Introduced to power data –  still more to learn and apply
  • Polarised training suits me – Zone2 and High Intensity HR runs & cycle.
  • Recci the rides gives great confidence for race day.
  • Believed and trusted in my training ahead of race day
  • Sacrificed my swim training time to focus on the bike was worth it
  • Asthma makes life harder but not impossible and I’m a lot more aware of my triggers and symptoms.
  • Injury, illness, mechanical &  weather can ruin a race but its about accepting a DNF and how you deal with it after that counts.
  • DNF is huge disappointment but life goes on and hopefully I’ll come out stronger
  • Amazed and overwhelmed but the support and comments from others on how they seem me :as an inspiration, motivator, tough cookie, determined, not afraid of a challenge and my honesty, plus respect for never giving up on myself.

Positives lead into the Off Season goals  –

goals

Looking ahead to 2019 –
A few events have been booked on early bird discounts and my plan is to drop down to middle distance, focus on my running ( half marathons ) and  continue to develop my power knowledge and use on the bike.

2019 events

So as the sun settles on 2018 season and we head into autumn it might not have ended on a high but there were plenty of highlights and adventures along the way.

Bring on the Off Season and 2019 I’m coming to get you !

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