Winter is coming. Last week I had to layer up for the first time – long fingered gloves, leg warmers and a thicker jacket on the bike. I don’t enjoy winter. So I intend to make the most of my two weeks in Vegas before hibernation begins. Of course I am there to race, but having ended my season with Challenge Henley this is a formality.
It’s taken a long time to recover from the last six months. Despite cutting back the volume of my training I pushed myself further than before and by September needed a break. My lack of motivation was the clearest sign – I can train through fatigue and push myself hard when I want to, but when I don’t want to something is wrong. Since Henley I’ve dipped in and out of training, just enough to keep some sense of fitness. And finally I feel refreshed, I’ve started to enjoy the process again, I’m keen to build towards 2012.
I’m ready to train, not race. Vegas represents an opportunity to ressurect training and start work for the coming season. I’ve a lot to do and can’t afford to waste winter like last year. A warm climate, some company and good facilities (a 50m outdoor pool) should help kick start the process. ITU Long Distance Worlds are a minor inconvenience at the end of my break. All I want to take away from this trip is renewed enthusiasm to train. But I won’t complain if I get a decent tan too.
A change in environment gives me the opportunity to rejuvenate more than just my training. I’m bringing a stack of reading and work with me and genuinely look forward to settling into a productive routine free of the usual distractions. My focus is on 2012 in all aspects of my life, it’s time to get a head start. If I thought this year was busy, next year has so much more.
First Vegas, one last race, some relaxation and renewed enthusiasm for the year ahead. I have a plane to board.