Saturday, 16 November 2013

End of season rest and relaxation (well sort of!)

2013 season done and dusted!

“Take a break, don’t train, eat what you want, do what you want” 
These were Lou's instructions for the 4 weeks post London World Triathlon Championships.

What joy! The snooze button on the alarm clock got a breather from the usual 6.01am thumping it receives.The omelette pan was left dormant as the oven received it’s first pizza to cook in a while, the hoover even got an outing in my bedroom. Four weeks away from the routine of train, eat, work, eat, train, sleep was a beautiful experience. When you have 4 weeks off the normal training routine, what do you do?
In no particular order of significance
Lend a hand to my parents and brother who have all moved houses in recent weeks. I had not realised the multitude of skills needed for house removal service; reassembling washing machine, cleaning previous owners dog hairs from behind every kitchen unit possible, rewiring electrical cables, squeezing sofa’s up stairs, and impossibly narrow gaps, packing and unpacking, it's like giant game of tetris!
“As well as grades, our task is to prepare pupils for life beyond Thornhill, to be decent civilised human beings, if we don’t achieve that, we have failed” Jonny Mitchell, Headteacher
As someone who rarely sits on the sofa, yet alone turns the TV on, it has been a pleasure to watch Educating Yorkshire. As an employee of Education Charity Teach First, the pupils at Thornhill are typical of the fantastic youngsters we work with  across the country.
Jonny Mitchell, the HeadTeacher impressed me deeply with his individual approach to each child and focus on wellbeing. Who saw the final episode with Musharaf? I definetely had a tear in my eye and lump in throat when Musharaf took his English GCSE speaking assessment. Watching how the power of listening to music helped him speak fluently, overcoming his stammer. If you didn't see it, you can see it here
So much of a child's success is due to the care and attention of their teachers, believing in them and never giving up on them. This was strongly exemplified by Mr Burton. 

Victoria Beckham’s Autobiography “Learning to fly” proved to be a surprisingly great read. “If success is about talent and hard work, you Victoria are going to have to work very very hard” Victoria recalls her childhood dance teacher telling her. And hard graft is exactly what this incredible lady displays in bucket loads. As someone who grew up with the Spice girls phenomena, I knew sporty, posh, scary, ginger and baby as "girl power". The book reveals a lot about their success and Victoria's life with David Beckham and the ferocious media attention. I have nothing but admiration for Victoria Beckham following reading this book.

In contrast "The social animal" by David Brooks is currently keeping me busy, a fantastic book and one that really makes you think. Highly recommend it. Thanks kathz for putting it on my radar. 

Weekend breaks, what do these words conjure? Long lie in's? romantic meals? cosy hotels? lazy days by a wood burning fire? long pub lunches? Sounds amazing, so me and Adam embarked on our first weekend break (that didn't include a race!) Friday night; me, Adam, the Micra, two mountain bikes and a bit of Lycra trundled up the A1 to Askrigg, a small village in the North Yorkshire Dales. So one could say our weekend break didn't really follow the norm and "lazy days by a wood burning fire" didn't really apply! But we had a lot of fun.

We got some stunning Mountain Biking in, the Howgill fells providing some great descents...

and some pretty steep ascents!
but we were rewarded with some absolutely cracking views

the guide book did say "slightly overgrown"

We left on Friday night in a car, we arrived back on Monday on the train, on bikes with no car key, house key, wallet or phone! Lesson 1) It's best to keep the car key in a zipped pocket! 2) When in a spot of bother, local people will always look after you, though eating dinner in the pub in lycra and arriving down for breakfast the next day in the same lycra and everyone knowing we were locked out of our car having lost the key on the fells was slightly embarrassing!
                            Train journey back to Leeds to retrieve the spare car key (somehow hoping to get into the house without the house key....thanks Sam for coming to the rescue!)

 The note Adam found on the car when he arrived with the spare key....!!

Some R&R has been had, some different sports have been enjoyed and I have been trying to fix my niggling right Achilles that restricted my running at the end of the season. Big shout out to Sarah Pitts, who has been doing a great job explaining mobility and working her magic on my aches and pains. If your in Leeds and you have a niggle go see Sarah, you won't regret it. 

I guess it's time to crack on with the new season training, unpack the thermals, bike lights and woolly gloves for some winter fun!

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