And that, as they say, is a wrap. I can't quite believe I have delivered four events in eight days, something I would never imagine doing in the 'real world'. Yet, as I have said before, I have realised that online events are in actual fact more time intensive, and anxiety inducing than in person ones. This week's event for Carers UK was their Members Conference, a chance for some 300 carers to connect, albeit virtually, and hear from the CEO and other team members on the developments that are in process, and being campaigned for on behalf of unpaid carers. There was so much content for this event, not only the main 'stage' sessions, but also some networking or 'Care for a Cuppa' rooms, and activities aimed to support carers in looking after themselves. As ever, it was emotive and inspiring to hear from a panel of carers from across the UK as they shared their individual stories, especially given that we only just emerging from a pandemic. Then totally heartwarming to see the supporters who delivered some 'Keeping Well in Your Caring Role' sessions such as yoga, book readings, orchestral music, and my favourite, latin dance with Mauricio! As ever there were those heart stopping technical moments, frantic reshuffling of content and speakers, and times that I was glad I wasn't there in person so people couldn't see the expression of panic on my face. But in the end, the long hours and moments of stress have been worth it to hear the feedback from carers who posted their appreciation to be able to get together in this way. Not to mention a personal shout out from the CEO of the charity which was lovely.
But amongst all of this of course, there is still just over 2,000km of my challenge to be completed, so training can't stop for that! I think there is something twisted in my DNA that means I almost relish beasting myself on every level. I'm not sure that watching back to back episodes of 'Squid Game' this week was helpful given my state of anxiety over work, but I comforted myself in knowing that if anything went wrong that I wouldn't get shot? Hopefully!
I am very much into my new training regime focussing on high intensity intervals complemented by strength training. I was also pleased to see (frantically touching wood) that my achilles niggles haven't been flaring up now for a while and I am getting my running back on track. Interval runs had started to be my nemesis for a while, but I was pleased to be able to do these at a pace of around 5.15km pace which is heartening. The distances this week are looking like this:
This would now see me arriving at San Carlos de Bariloche (commonly called Bariloche) - a town in Argentina’s Patagonia region. It borders Nahuel Huapi, a large glacial lake surrounded by the Andes Mountains. Bariloche is known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture and its chocolate, sold in shops lining Calle Mitre, the main street. It's also a popular base for hiking and skiing the nearby mountains and exploring the surrounding Lake District.
Chocolate did you say? Well funnily enough I had been holding onto a bar of Turkish delight chocolate that Ian had discovered, and was focussing on that as a wee treat after my event. So Thursday night saw me doing my regular (and by now much needed) Yin Yoga session online with Dawn, by light of the 'Night Swimming' candle, followed by some of the Eastern promise - perfect. Friday was a long awaited trip back to Teddington to see Nerina and some other swimming chums for a river swim. This was a double whammy, an opportunity for a 50km round trip bike ride, and an awesome swim in the Thames. Saturday was an opportunity to meet up with Giovanna after a Serpentine swim and clock up another 40km. By that night I was ready to really let my hair down as we headed out to the lovely Sushi Masa restaurant in Willesden Green with friends. This little Japanese restaurant is one of the first places I went out to eat when I moved to London 17 years ago, and is a firm favourite.
Of course no blog post would be complete without a dog photo, and so here are two of Mira, our 'Lifeguard on Doody' as she watched over us doing our Thames swim..
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.