Winding back up for South Africa


November 27th, 2008 by



The hills around Stellenbosch. Beautiful.

My downtime has all but reached its endpoint; I have been home in Stirling for nearly 2 weeks and in 2 more days I will boarding a BA flight to Cape Town, so that I can spend the next 3 months in Stellenbosch… I’m a lucky person.

Since I got back I have been tried to be productive with my time; a trip to Lake District for some mountain biking was great fun; a drive up north to see mum and Abbie; a trip to Heriot Watt to graduate; a couple visits to Glasgow to meet up with old school pals, to name a few. All were good fun and just the sort of stuff I would never normally get a chance to do in such a short space of time.

And in the past 4 days I have eased slowly back into some form of swim/bike/run routine, so that when I arrive out in SA I am ready to hit the gound running with the start of base winter stuff; miles, miles and miles.

I’ve been in the pool early doors with the squad 3 times, and consequently now remember what my ‘catch’ is – I fall out of fitness horribly quickly in the pool! Indeed this morning coach Volley had us doing an open water session – where he takes out the lane rope in our side (not the swimmers ‘side’) of the 50m pool and hangs bouys from the turn flags – one at either end, and viola, we have an open water venue, roughly 100m in length. We do sets of 3 * 5 laps as a mass start, and it is bloomin hard work, especially when you have been out of the pool for a while. – And this morning we had a guest mixing it up with us – Andy Hunter was a part of the GB 4*200M freestyle quartet that smashed the British record at the recent Olympic Games, and when he saw us ‘having fun’ he asked to join in for a bit. – His comment of “anything is better than that Medley pi$$” whilst pointing a finger backwards to his swim squad made us laugh! He knew he wouldn’t have the chance again, for next week Ian Thorpes’ old coach will take over as the High Performace swim coach on deck in Stirling, and he’ll not be interested in Coach Volleys sets we doubt….

I’ve been getting out on the mtb a bit too, thoroughly enjoying the surrounding hills – have a look at my flickr.com account for recent pictures.

When I get out there I will have great company to train with – Tim Don has been out there for a week or two, plus Gavin Noble is leaving Stirling tomorrow and will be around till Xmas, plus the many good friends I made whilst I stayed there last time around. I have a major race to look forward to in the form of the SA 70.3 in January, plus I may also enter a few local events like I ended up doing previously.

As I’m told – Winter miles = Summer smiles!