This image I captured in the Serpentine this week sums up the wonderful serene feeling I have being in the glassy water, and this was definitely the calm before the storm in terms of the mixed bag of weather this week. There have been intensely hot days, clammy nights, and then torrential downpours of rain. Likewise it's been a mixed week of training...higher intensity and lower volume.
The distances are looking like this:
The distances don't convey the sweaty efforts on the bike or the soaking wet run in the rain. Ah but the swims, even doing sprint sessions in the Serpentine feels good.
I managed to capture these shots with my new friend the GoPro during a recovery session.
Keeping with the theme of appreciating my surroundings I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have Hyde Park as my main training ground/playground. Cycling to the Serpentine one day I felt like I was in the set of a film as I saw horses galloping towards me, with the Shard and London Eye in the background. It even distracts me during the 7am HIIT/HIRT class I do in the park.
This total distance now of just over 4,000km would have me passing a small town called Quime. Located southeast of the city of La Paz at the Khatu River, it lies between the mountains and the tropics. It has a large vegetation, mostly eucalyptus.
I would also be passing (and thankfully not cycling over) the Illimani - the second highest mountain in Bolivia. It is revered in this country and is the subject of many local songs, being referred to as 'Bolivia's Andean pearl'.
This week I also had the privilege of speaking with blind veteran Maria Pikulski. Despite losing her sight to a rare genetic eye condition in 2003, Maria has gone on to embody resilience and embrace challenge. She has undertaken sky dives, wing walks and many endurance events. Here she shares her experiences of the everyday challenges she faced losing her sight, and also some words of wisdom and optimism for others who are thinking about embarking on their own challenges.
To round off the week, I finally had the opportunity to meet up with a friend who I hadn't seen for almost a year. Such has been the affect of Covid that even seeing someone who lives in Surrey has been a challenge. Ah but we did it in style, and went back to two of our favourite haunts, Pix Pintxos in Soho and the epic Bradley's Bar just off Oxford Street. I am so pleased to see that both of these tiny places have weathered the storm and managed to survive the pandemic. Speaking of storms, this photo was taken shortly before the heavens opened, but we were determined to soak up the atmosphere of this little gem of a bar and so stood outside under a brolly (supplied by the bar) as we cheered Scotland on in their Euro game against England.
And to us Scots (i.e never expecting too much) a 0-0 draw against England is as good as a win to us!
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.