Sunday, 23 September 2012

Things are going well...

Morning training - the best skies!

It's been a brilliant week since I posted my first blog! Been training hard, morning and evening sessions which is tiring but feels great! Fitness is feeling good although I am still suffering with knee pain which only effects me when running (an over use injury that seems to be getting better with rest and stretching) and I currently have a cold but thankfully there is plenty of Lemsip in the flat and I have zinc and vitamin C to take – which seems to be debatable whether it helps or not!? Now that the moaning is out the way, here’s what has been happening...

The University Sports Union is fantastic at supporting the cycling club...there are several minibuses available for us to book and use for transport out to tracks. Last Sunday was a big club cross country ride at Glentress finished off with (a few hundred) laps of the fun park. I love this trail - the downhill sections are pretty quick and even the climbs are really technical. Yes, I was the first to myself some good looking cuts and a couple of bruises to add to the collection, but as far as my saying goes – if your not bleeding after riding your not pushing yourself hard enough (within reason...).

The annual Sports Union Charity Relay was on Wednesday afternoon, teams of four with each runner doing an 800m lap around a field to raise money. I ran for the athletics club on this one, both our two male teams and female team took all the 1st places! So well done guys – reining champs!!! Well done to the cycling guys who did the race in body armour and full face. Our local downhill track got a hammering on Wednesday evening straight after the run and Thursday night was a wet cold muddy but super fun XC ride in the woods just outside of Dundee.
Dundee University sports teams!
Saturday was spent at Dunkeld sectioning the track - great weather, nice and dry. This is a very technical race track, loads of rocks and roots with a steep, tight rocky top section – perfect for practice. My confidence wasn't as great as I had hoped it would be, but that will come with more riding and time, main thing is I am having an amazing time biking again! It wouldn't have been a successful day without jumping into the icy cold, black river at the bottom (I have a thing for leaping into any water I see!). This was probably the root cause of my cold however it was fun at the time!

One of my fave sections at Dunkeld - rocky but fast!
Iv'e just arrived back from an afternoon at another one of our local downhill tracks, reminded me very much of the riding I have back home in Inverness. Quite steep, very tight between lots of trees and extremely slippery, especially with high rollers (type of tyre) on my wheels – felt like I was riding with slicks on (a smooth non grippy tyre NOT designed for MTB!) But made it all the more challenging! So riding is going well, I am looking to focus on getting tracks flowing – full runs maintaining speed without stopping. The next week I am super busy as usual cramming in uni work with training but it will all be worth it one day! More pictures from this weekend to follow – check out the “Gallery” page!  

Friday, 14 September 2012

First Blog!

It's quite difficult starting one of these up! Especially after two years out of the race scene! I'll start by summarising what I have been up to in my time off!

University - amazing! Anatomy & Physiology at Dundee is a tough course but well worth the effort as it's such an interesting degree. I love learning about how the human body works and I believe it will make me a better athlete knowing what goes where and how to look after myself properly. Dundee has a brilliant Mountain Bike club that train regularly and have great social spirit - the boys are all a great laugh and road racer Morag Eagleson from Dingwall is a super rider and great company :)

Running - Being a competitive character I need to have goals and competitions to work towards - that's how I function! So joining Dundee University Athletics Club and Inverness Harriers pushed me as a runner and I have made some amazing friends. After only a few months of training I won the North of Scotland cross country championships and represented North of Scotland in the Scottish Inter Districts Championships - which was an awesome experience (even if I did get completely thrashed!). I began training with Olympian Liz McColgan and attended a training camp with her and some other athletes in Portugal for two weeks at the start of this year.  I plan to continue running but am looking forward to focusing on getting back to racing Downhill and aiming for world cup level again in a few years time.

Plans for now - I intend to spend this winter training hard and working on increasing speed and confidence on the bike. As well as passing my third year of my course. It will be tough but having time off has made me realise how focused I am on getting back to racing and I can't wait to see what happens next season :)