My Christmas Blog (Santa’s still Surfing at the Moment)
Oh my days I should be ashamed, my last blog was . . .how long ago?? Sorry folks, I suppose I should fill you in on what I’ve been doing since being back in training…
Wow, things are totally different than this time last year, in more ways than one way. Starting back full training at home is always a good start, spending much needed time with my family and friends really lifted my spirit and got my mojo going. Being able to train and catch up with the parents, my sister, bro in law and of course my niece and nephew, not to mention my crazy friends and all their children in between training sessions really makes things nice and normal. However, for me, as much as I would like to be at home all the time, it’s not the best idea for my training and development, so the time came for me to pack up my suitcase(s), bag the bike up and pop over to Stellenbosch, South Africa for the first winter camp of the campaign.
I last visited Stellenbosch two years ago, but that was only a flying visit, whereas this time I’ll have been here for 5 weeks before returning home for Christmas. So how’s it going…?
It’s ace! I love training here, with the stunning views surrounded by vineyards, running on the most beautiful trails that I suppose are mainly used and known for mountain biking, the cycling has been nice and relaxing. Being able to cycle in a nice climate, getting the Cervélo going with some quality miles, hilly and flat makes a nice mixture, and I’ve been lucky enough to swim with Maties Swimming squad at Stellenbosch University, and getting my ass handed to me by some of the fast triathletes in the water, but also some extra speedy swimmers as well. It makes me realise I’ve got some work to do in the water!!! It’s a fab 50m outdoor swimming pool they have out here, so at least I’m looking good in my colourful TYR gear, but when your body is so tired 50m is a hell of a long way! Bring back the 25m!! LOL
All in all I’ve been putting some good training together with great people out here. We have a new member to the now smaller DSquad group; Mari Rabie. This girl is a very driven lady and has been a joy to train with. It’s great when you find someone who is as driven and has the same goal as you – you end up pushing each other in ways you don’t realise. We both haven’t yet qualified for our Olympic Teams, and that’s our goal, hardcore training until the season starts. So we are sharing this journey together, getting each other through the tired days, and enjoying the few hours rest we’re being given by Coach!
Also out here is our Jodie #1 – Miss Jodie Swallow! Jodie is a seasoned athlete and has loads of experience that I admire very much. She is such a positive, hard working person – I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone put themselves in the “hurt box” like she does, but she gets through it and the results speak for themselves! I really hope her 2016 season shows off all of her hard work with a BIG win – she would be nothing but deserving of it.
These 2 ladies are amazingly strong athletes and cool chicks to be around during and outside of training, and both are there when I’m feeling down, or a little homesick. And to make things even better, Lisa has just re-joined the group after having her end of season break. What an amazing bunch of women!
What’s next?? I have just over a week left here before I return home for Christmas where I’ll be taking things a little easier over the festive period. I mean, the foot isn’t coming off the accelerator by all means…I’m just testing the brakes a little bit! A few easier days to enjoy the hard work I’ve done will be much needed. A quick refresh and ready for the next block when I’m returning to Stellenbosch in early January. I’ll be out here until the first few races of the year, Abu Dhabi WTS, Mooloolaba WC, and most importantly Gold Coast, WTS.
So on the injury front, things are going well (touch wood, fingers crossed, 4 leafed clover and all that). I’m keeping things ticking over, which is always a fine line, especially as now the pressure is on to make the GBR team for August, but I couldn’t be more driven to do it! These last few years have made me believe in fate, more than ever – what will be will be at the end of the day, but I can say that I’m doing all I can.
Thank you so much for everyone that is on my JLS3 Team, I couldn’t have a better support network going into this years challenge. Right now it’s time for you and me to enjoy the festive season with family and friends. I’m really excited to go home and see my loved ones and enjoy the Christmas feeling. Stellenbosch is a lovely place, but it’s far from Christmas out here. You have a Christmas feel in the supermarket, but then walk outside to 35 degrees!!! What’s that all about?? It’s just not right, and it’s not Christmas without being surrounded by your loved ones!
I hope you all have an amazing Christmas period, enjoying the Christmas spirit, stuff yourselves silly with some naughty food, and have a mulled wine on me! My plan is to do just that, and hopefully have some fun with some local running races which I always love to do over Christmas and I might even be able to convince my Mum to come and join me!
Here’s to the challenge that lies ahead for a better 2016! Merry Christmas everyone, I hope 2016 brings you all feet like a dolphins tale, thighs like Chris Hoy, and the speed of a cheetah.
Take care, and God Bless, see you in 2016.