It seems a long time ago now, but back in January I did an off-road duathlon at Bowhill estate. I didn’t blog about it because I was writing an article for 220 triathlon magazine. This is now in print! I was pretty excited about it, and rushed out to buy a copy as soon as I could. It hasn’t generated quite as many comments as my Celtman TV appearance last year, but one or two people have said they saw me in the magazine :-). Even better, my submitted copy was reprinted with only minor edits – I can write to a brief and am good enough for a national publication! Awesome.
This weekend I was due to be racing in a sprint triathlon in Tranent. This was my first preparation race (of two) for the Slateman in May. On Friday we had an email at 14:30 saying the roads were clear of snow and ice and were well-gritted. The race was on. By 17:00 the organiser had had second thoughts and sent out a message cancelling the event due to cold conditions and high winds. I was gutted. I even cried a bit … but realised how ridiculous that sounded when I told my friends! It was just a disappointment after being psyched up and ready to go. But the organisers have to make their own assessments and I’m sure it was a hard decision for them. It was a shame.
Instead, I made my way down to the local Parkrun on Saturday morning. I have only just discovered these events, but they run every Saturday at venues up and down the UK. They’re a totally free, timed 5km run (not a race). Our course is down on the seafront and is as flat as you’ll ever get off a running track. The only downside is that it can be exposed to strong winds, and this week they were gusting at 40mph!
I think I was still a bit fed up about the race cancellation and channelled my energy into running fast and tactically, sticking with a group for wind protection on the outward leg and gliding back at the end. I was unsurprised to have a negative split, but surprised to get a new PB … it’s dropping fast! Everyone is really friendly at these events. After chatting a bit to some people I recognised from my group at Edinburgh Athletics club, I rode back with a random cyclist, attempting conversation in a howling gale as we rapidly dropped down though the gears.
To top off the weekend I thought if snow / bad weather would call off my race I was jolly well going to go out and play in it. A last minute hopeful text to my friend and clubmate Glen resulted in an arrangement to ride on the Pentlands on Sunday morning. What fun we had! The snow wasn’t as packed and easy to ride as last time, and there was a lot of ice. But we battled the wind, smiled at the walkers and runners, and kept moving before we froze to death! It was amazing how suddenly you could be out of the snow with the loss of height. We fitted in a loop round the barracks before heading back into the white stuff for a last whoop, cutting fresh tracks through the trees by the reservoirs.
A good weekend in the end. I’m already looking forward to the Easter break and the next Open 5 in the Lake District!