We are nearly at the end of 2013 and while reflecting on the year is worthwhile doing, I also enjoy the anticipation of a new year. Is this because the mistakes of 2013 have been learnt from and left behind? Is it because there are exciting things booked? Or is it because we can make arrangements, decide what to do and also know that unexpected opportunities can arise and we should be flexible enough to take advantage of these?
2013 was a good year with lots happening, including settling into the area we had moved to and developing the activity potential from the door. We planned things to do (triathlon training camp in Mallorca), committed to events (orienteering races, triathlon races, ‘official’ roles like controlling, organising and planning for orienteering), had some friends to stay and then the unexpected also arrived (South Africa trip - there will be a blog post about this).
What is there on the calendar for 2014?
On the orienteering side, BASOC are holding another WOLF (Wonderful Orienteering in Lovely Forests) at the end of September. This follows on from the successful inauguration of the WOLF in 2013, where I had an organising role for the Sunday event. In 2014 I am planning the Sunday event and looking forward to spending time in the forest planning the courses. There will be many local activities and events to plan as well. At the moment we do not have plans to take part in a multiday event but that could easily change. In the autumn there is also the ‘Race the Castles’ series to look forward to.
For cycling we have a huge target - the Etape Loch Ness at the start of May. This is a ‘closed roads’ cycle around Loch Ness, which is over 100km with probably about 700m climb. There is a minimum pace of 13 miles an hour; if you are slower than this you either are swept up by the broom wagon or you hand in your timing chip and continue on open roads.
We are trying to put in cycles whenever the weather allows (as per the Boxing Day cycle on the Black Isle) as well as go to spinning classes a couple of times a week in Inverness (included in our Highlife Highland membership).
We are also going to Mallorca in April for a couple of weeks; some time will be spent cycling up the hills there as well as open water swimming and running. There will also be time to relax!
We have both entered a couple of triathlon events as some of these fill up quickly. In June Paul attempts ‘Olympic distance’ in one of the Castle series triathlons (while I do the super-sprint); this involves an open water swim in a lake so should not be too bad. At the end of August we are heading for Oban and the Craggy Island triathlon, swimming across to Kerrera then cycling and running off road on the island. My swimming needs to improve, something to concentrate on in 2014? We will also enter some with a pool swim.
Running will continue to be part of 2014. This is so easy to do either out of the door or when we are around Aviemore or up on the Moray coast. It keeps us reasonably fit for triathlon and orienteering as well as being enjoyable! I am pretty slow but one of my goals for 2014 will be to speed up a little through structured training; I have to ‘run smart’. December 2013 was a good running month - 120km, with 33+ miles completed between 22nd December and 31st December; both were Strava challenges which I thought were worthwhile trying.
Skiing - well it would be great if in 2014 we could strap the skis on at the door and head out. If snow locally does not produce good conditions we will consider heading abroad somewhere. We should be able to book at short notice as we can be flexible with our plans and have put a block of time on the calendar for when we might go.
There are also work type things to look forward to. The tutor training can be challenging - but I like that! I am also involved in delivering a workshop ‘Supporting Coaches’ which will take me from Aviemore to Aberdeen to Thurso and maybe some other places. Again this requires me to be flexible to what the delegates bring to the workshop - great! There will be some orienteering coach education as well as working with coaches in Scotland to work towards developing coaching to be the best possible.
Anything else? Hopefully we will both stay healthy and relatively injury-free (I say relatively as I am now 60 and decrepitude is creeping in!).
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