It seems that it has been a month since I last blogged. Apologies. There has been lots going on, both good and bad, both relevant to this blog and not. I feel I should catch up on some of the things, or at least list them, because it's always interesting to look back and see what I was up to.
1. After the run I wrote about the last time I blogged, I managed to keep my legs ticking over, and a fortnight later I managed to get around the Eynsham 10k again. It's the third time I have run this race, clocking in at 1h03 in 2011, only two months after I'd started Couch to 5k. In 2012, I aimed to go under the hour and surprised myself by coming in at 54:13. Since I had not run very much since September - in fact, I think there were only 5 runs between my half ironman and the race, I did not have lofty ambitions, I would have been happy to come in under an hour. In the end, I managed a pb of over a minute, taking me to over 10 minutes faster than my first attempt, finishing at 53:09. I was very happy! It was a hard run, I definitely set off too hard, and was retching by the 4th km, and then again at the 9th one, where I had to walk briefly (but that felt too weird), but I did manage to keep going. I'm nothing if not stubborn!
2. Swimming volume has been good. I clocked out at the end of November with a slight increase on October with 84km swum. I'm definitely (unless I get hit by a bus before the end of next week) going to hit 800km swum for 2013, and should hopefully be around the 820-830 mark by the end of the year, which isn't too far short of the 880 I swam in 2012, and is pretty impressive given the cycling and running that I've also done this year :) I'm also slowly improving my backstroke, which is something that I use in warm up and warm down to give my shoulders a bit of a break. I've never been that great at it, but I'm trying to apply the same principles that I might to my front crawl - e.g. brushing toes together when kicking to make sure that the legs aren't scissoring, tightening the core and the glutes, and trying to keep my head still. I'll get my backstroke filmed when I'm in Tenerife in February to see how bad it is!
3. I heard at the weekend that I had passed my Level 1 Triathlon Coaching Qualification, which means I am a qualified Assistant Coach now, able to deliver stuff which has been signed off by a Level 2 coach as long as the risk assessments have been done! There was a lot of risk assessing. I passed the practical assessment with flying colours - mainly because it happened to be a swimming one :) The exam was quite tough for me (8 marks for labelling 16 marks of a bike?!), but it seems I managed to scrape through. I've made a start on Level 2 which is considerably more onerous - 5 days of training courses, a much larger portfolio, sessions that need to be written and delivered outside of the training course, and presumably a much harder exam....
The less good
1. I am quite poorly again with quite a big relapse of my depression. I think this is the worst that I have felt since 2003. Hence blogging being one of the things that has somewhat vanished from my life, it's almost impossible to keep up with everything I want to at the moment.
2. Related to 1, although the swimming volume has good, I am not managing any speedwork at all. It is as much as I can do to get in the pool and swim up and down, let alone push myself to swim as fast as I can. I'm telling myself that at least I'm maintaining my feel for the water and doing a bit of technique work and getting some volume in, so that has to be better than nothing? Keeping to my usual routine is helpful when trying to weather this episode anyway.
3. I'm feeling a bit too anxious at the moment to get involved with some swim coaching now that I am a qualified coach. I hope that I will manage to do this in the New Year.