Happy Hogmanay!

Finally the new year is here. My first in Scotland.

For the first time in many years, I was not awake to see it in. Conscious of what I had planned for New Year’s Day, once my eyes started to feel heavy, I went off to bed.

A few weeks ago, along with one of my friends, I entered the Edinburgh New Year’s Day Triathlon – a 400m pool swim, followed by 3 laps (11ish miles) of Arthur’s Seat on the bike, and a 1 lap (3.5 ish miles) run. My previous triathlon attempt didn’t quite go to plan, but I was looking forward to this one and both of us needed something to focus on through the winter!

We were blessed with fabulous weather – a rare sunny day, which was almost unbelievable given the amount of rain before and since! It was very cold, and extremely windy in places, but we were just grateful for the lack of rain.

My race didn’t quite go to plan, unfortunately I ended up doing an extra bike lap which meant by the time I came to run, I was absolutely cream crackered. The climb was steep but not impossibly so, and the challenge came from how long we climbed for rather than the gradient itself. I was glad to survive the swim without needing RNLI assistance, but I have to admit I was disappointed with my bike and run times.

New Years Day

(And yes, I look knackered in the picture as this was at the top of the first climb! The second, third and fourth times were easier)

My friend did brilliantly, and surprised himself I think, but he has worked immensely hard on his fitness and deserved his very fine results.

So. Now it’s over. I felt very flat (and incredibly tired!) afterwards, but knew that I wanted to get another event on the calendar to keep me moving forward with my running and cycling.

I needed something that was fitness-orientated, and nearby, and cheap to enter. A quick tootle on the internet has turned up a half marathon around the shores of Loch Katrine which is about 20 miles away. The furthest I’ve run is 8 miles, but I find that while it takes me a good few ks to warm up, once I’m going it’s boredom/time commitments/bad weather that stops me going further.

I’m not sure I could face the training for a marathon, but a half seems like a reasonable target now I’m comfortable running 10k. I’m not fast by any means, but I’m getting quicker, and most importantly for me, I’m really enjoying running.

It’s in about 8 weeks, on 10th March and I am looking forward to heading out tomorrow to start working towards this. It’s taken a couple of days to feel ready to get back out after the triathlon but I’m raring to go now.

The whole of 2013 lies before me. 2012 was a year of huge change for me, but really it was only the start of the journey that I’m on now.

The last few months have been very unsettling, but after a long Christmas break, I feel very relaxed physically, and this led to a successful and very enjoyable practice session today. My left shoulder stayed where it should stay, and as soon as I felt the tension starting to build in my arms, I was able to stop playing and prevent it building any further. Learning to manage this consistently will be a long process, but I now feel very confident that I will be able to do it.

I’ve had a couple of long term dreams and plans rattling around my head for a little while, but just over the last few days, with some time and space to really think, these have started to make some noise and I have decided to start exploring these over the coming year.

I am a huge admirer of Richard Branson, and enjoyed reading his guide to making lists which I read on his blog today. Number 7 in particular has stirred me into action…

http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/blog/top-10-tips-for-making-lists

Happy New Year!

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