It’s been over two years since I last posted anything on my blog. This was partly because I *really* needed to concentrate and finish my PhD, and partly because I went off the boil climbing-wise. In fact, so off the boil that I’ve stopped climbing completely.
This happened way back in April 2015 when my partner and I, along with other friends went to Font. Just a couple of weeks earlier, I had gone out on a bike ride and managed to fall off (in a terribly embarrassing way). In doing so, I’d hurt my shoulder and elbow. When we arrived in Font, the psyche wasn’t there. I was carrying an injury and didn’t really feel that I was completely with it. It probably didn’t help that I was getting up at 7am to work on my PhD before heading out to climb. Anyway, on the final day of the trip I went back to try Lapin ou Canard. I got the closest that I ever have, but still didn’t manage it. Then my partner fell and badly sprained his ankle. This meant that all climbing stopped.
When he was recovering, we started mountain biking again. I discovered that I could get hold of the fear and use it, and progressed really well. It also helped that we’d booked a 5 week trip to Canada/USA to watch the UCI Downhill World Cup in Quebec and New York State. Once we returned from the trip, I didn’t really want to climb anymore. My shoulder still hurt. I was weak and my heart wasn’t in it.
Fast forward to now, and I’m a fully psyched cyclist of the road and off-road variety (although there is still a love/hate relationship there). In fact, our honeymoon is to go and spend 2 weeks cycling in the south of France. Training for that is going pretty good. I’m averaging about 100km a week – and my average speed has increased from about 40km/week average at 21 kph to 100km p/w at 26kph. We plan to ride up alpe d’huez again and try to better our times (mine was 1:12:57). We also want to do Mont Ventoux and Col du Glandon, although I’m not sure that’s going to happen!
Other things have changed too. I have finished my PhD (still awaiting final confirmation of outcome) and have a job as a lecturer in law at a university in the Midlands. The commute can be hard, but it’s a job and I’m working with some really enthusiastic people.
I’m not sure what direction this blog will take. I want to start using it more, and it might become more of a log of my research, with some training chat thrown in. I’ll try to keep those to parts separate – but as I often get ideas while training – I’m not sure how separate these two parts will be!