I think I’m right in thinking that this winter (yes, the one that still seems to be hanging around) is one of the longest-ever. As someone that spends more time than most outdoors, the wait for the sunshine and nicer weather this time is starting to wear a bit thin – today is the 9th of April and this morning I had to run my fingers under warm water to warm them up after a relatively short training ride. Just like I was doing in November.
It also seems that up and down the country races have been cancelled because of massive snowdrifts or floods or whatever. My own debut into the world of marathon running was postponed because it snowed and to cap it all I’ve caught a cold. Twice.
The funny thing is, the Strathpuffer back in January was relatively snow-free. (Admittedly this is perhaps more funny to those that have some prior experience of the Strathpuffer and the Highlands in winter).
My motivation to get out and get into shape for the bumper summer schedule of 24 hour races and Big Stuff has been pretty low, so a well-timed holiday with my family was just the ticket. A week in Scotland – on the bit that sticks out into the Irish Sea just south of Stranraer – also coincided with a windy but beautifully bright and sunny spell of weather, so the change of scenery and conditions was a complete contrast to the murk of Manchester.
We had an action-packed few days – loads of sightseeing, playing on the beach, flying a kite, walking around a botanical garden (trying to pronounce the names of weird plants from South America) and properly getting away from it all, so I was unusually happy that my opportunities for doing long bike rides were limited.
I did however go for a few short-ish early morning rides and a long run and loved the fact that the roads were almost completely devoid of any traffic and were bursting at the seams with nice hills and eye-popping views.
Clearly the break was just what I needed as I’m now looking forward to getting stuck into training and big rides again (instead of having to force myself to do things like that) and I quite honestly can’t wait for the 3 Peaks Fell Race in a couple of weeks… even if it’s still cold and wintery…