First birthday in the UK for eight years!

A massive positive about being based in the UK this winter is having my first birthday at home for eight years, yep… eight years! On Wednesday 8th I turned 28 and ever since my 20th birthday I have never wanted to say ‘it’s my birthday’ until I can celebrate back in the UK with family and friends. This year I actually got to celebrate my birthday on the actual day with the family!

So what have I done…I’m still in a big training block in Loughborough with the first WTS literally round the corner, so no foot off the gas, and Wednesday was no different. With a 6.00 am swim start, about 5.8km total swim, it was over to the gym with Mr. Ian Pypes, then back home to grab some food before heading out on the bike. Afterwards I loaded up the Peugeot and drove home to meet Mum from work where we went on to my birthday meal – I had a nice steak at Miler and Carter – TREAT ME!

For the rest of the week I will be staying in Birmingham to spend a little time with the family, as well as putting myself through it at a local duathlon in Wombourn: a 5k road run followed by 29k on the bike, where I will get to test out the new Brotherton Cycles Specilized Sworks Amira for its first time, before a 2.5k final run. I wanted to do something before the Abu Dhabi race and this seemed like the perfect challenge! Then it’s back to Loughborough for the final prep going into Abu Dhabi.

I’m not going to lie, this has been really challenging prep for me with such big changes in my training programme, coaching staff and routine. With all of this change has come loads of physical and mental challenges, but of course I have enjoyed some and hated others! The athlete doubts going into the new season are very present having come back from a massive injury, but my coaching and support team are the best in the world and I couldn’t thank them enough for getting me back to what I love to do. I’m nervous and excited to get the season going and see what challenges lie ahead for me this year!

It’s a big year for me with the goal to try and qualify a year out for the Commonwealth Games in the GC 2018 but I’m up for the challenge! I hope everyone is enjoying your own challenges you have set yourselves for this year and working hard to achieve them!