Well I don’t like to wish the summer away but with September on its way and the World Championships in Chicago creeping ever closer I thought i’d give a little summary of the amazing summer of racing and cycling that i’ve had in preparation for it!
After qualifying for the World Championships in May I had a bad cycling accident which put me completely out of training for nearly 6 weeks. Whilst it was horrible at the time not being able to do any exercise whatsoever, looking back I think that break was probably a blessing in disguise and gave me the fire to come back fighting and train hard to get my fitness back before Chicago in September.
Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon:
Pretty much the same week I managed to start back swimming, cycling and running after the accident I found a triathlon at Dorney. I entered to try and get back into the swing of things and with little preparation under my belt I wasn’t expecting much. To my great surprise I ended up winning the whole race in a pretty good time – a huge confidence boost to say the least!
Alpe D’Huez Triathlon:
I could have written an entire post about this but thought i’d attempt keep it short and sweet. 8 of us went out to the Alps to watch the Tour de France, spend a week cycling up some of the most famous and incredible climbs in the world and finally to compete in the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon – a popular one on the bucket list of a lot of endurance triathletes.
Watching the Tour was, as always, one of the most incredible days ever. It doesn’t get much better than spending the day in the sun on the side of a mountain partying with crazy french people and watching the best cyclists in the world battle it out up 21 hairpin bends. An unforgettable day.
We spent the week climbing up Alpe D’Huez, Col de Sarenne, Col du Glandon, Col de la Croix de Fer and Les Deux Alpes. Coming back to Richmond Park after reaching the tops of some of those mountains is really rather depressing I have to say!
We ended the week racing in the Triathlon. The day before we had watched some of the best professional triathletes race the Long Distance – Emma Pooley winning the women’s race in style. Watching it definitely got the nerves going and that night I was sick with nerves with the thought of swimming in a glacial lake then trying to make it up Alpe D’Huez. The day of the race it was pouring with rain almost all day – though I think by that point we were ready for one of the hardest challenges we had ever faced so the rain wasn’t going to make it much harder.
1.2km swim in a glacial lake, a 30km bike including 1500m of climbing following by a 7.5km run at 2000m altitude was without a doubt one of the toughest things i’ve ever done but definitely the most rewarding experience ever! I cannot recommend it enough, it was a truly amazing experience and would recommend it to anyone looking for that race that is slightly more adventurous than the average triathlon 😉
The London Triathlon:
My first Olympic Distance Triathlon! I entered this race a year ago not really thinking that I would be racing the sprint in Chicago. As it was only a week after the Alpe D’Huez Triathlon I had already decided ages ago that I wouldn’t do it because i’d be far too tired. However, having come back from France on a HUGE high after doing well in Alpe D’Huez, I thought why not?! And boy am I glad I did it! With some amazing cheering (screaming) from my parents and great friend Josie I finished 1st in the 25-29 age category and 4th female overall in the whole Olympic distance event. I wouldn’t have even come last if I was racing elite! This was by far my best performance yet and I still can’t get over how well I did. I was first out of the swim in my wave, held on on the bike and then somehow managed to run a 40 minute 10k?! (I’m pretty sure they got their distances slightly wrong 😉 but anyhow, I couldn’t be happier with my result and now just hoping this momentum can continue……BRING ON CHICAGO!!!
Hannah x x x