Firstly let me clarify, the titles use of "hell" is meant to refer to the kind of hell we all enjoy, the pain and suffering we put ourselves through, voluntary, sadistic, heart pounding pain. The good stuff.
Secondly a fact that many already know, Mark Yeoman (with whom I've been staying this week) is an absolute tank. In the WW2 sense of the word, a beast. For those who doubt, today we were out for 3 hours re coning the Windsor bike course and he was happily pushing 40kph on the flats, into the wind, with a grin on his face. Was the best ride I've been on, ever. Very hard work but gave me new confidence in my legs and a better image of the bike course for June. I know it's 5 months away but its never too early to do your homework.
This week has been t-o-u-g-h, and I've put myself through the paces as requested by the coach. My heaviest week yet, ever, especially in terms of running. Tuesday, I ran. Wednesday, I ran. Thursday, I ran. Friday, I ran. Saturday, I ran...you get the gist.
A lot of my sessions I was in the capable hands of "The Yeo" and he works hard, so was great company. That said I think if I was down here all the time I'd quickly run myself into the ground, competition in training is an awesome tool, for occasional use. So I'll definitely be back to put in more hard weeks, especially for my run up to Windsor in June and the London Triathlon in August.
If I get my way I'll be able to drag him out to the Alps for part of my summer training camp as well, then we'd be in business.
Part of what I love about this sport are the people I've met and continue to meet through it, most of my friends are now either coaches, athletes or somehow connected to triathlon. Mark and I met at Worlds a few years back and he's helped bring me along a lot, when we met I was racing my 7th sprint event, in the rain in Vancouver. I finished 4th, it was a turning point for me and since then I haven't looked back.
It's been, to quote a Scottish phrase, a "mental" 18 months and I have a feeling the next 18 will be even better, Mark is one of the best guys out there especially at making me believe so too. Once your standing on the start line its a solo effort, but every step, second and stroke until that point is a combination of work from a whole team of people.
Thanks to everyone for making the last 6 days great fun and hopefully a week I can look back on in 6 months time as one that made a difference.
Time to head back to Scotland,