Well they say be careful what you wish for, and I do prefer cold to rain, but THIS cold!?
The icy conditions made everything I did this week a major challenge, but the distances are still good....
Just under 192km in total, my highest distance in a week to date!
401m swimming (definitely shorter dips this week!)
I was pleased to be able to increase my running mileage this week, especially as it seemed like most of it was spent in a sort of run/skid fashion on the icy pavements, or across a wintry Hampstead Heath.
I do love it there, the feeling of space and views across the city, it is one of my favourite places in London. I often head there when I am in need of some perspective on things.
Having now covered a total of 754.4km through Colombia, this would have me approaching the city of Cali, southwest of Bogotá. Known for being the world capital of salsa, every September, salseros flock from around the world to take part in the World Salsa Festival. Ah how I would love to be there right now, dancing, drinking lulada, or dipping in the refreshing waters of the Rio Pance in the south of the city.
These waters would definitely be more balmy than the 2.5deg that I experienced in the Thames this week! So the easing off of the rain might have brought the flow rate of the river down slightly, but with ice forming near the lock, a new challenge of not getting hypothermia faced me instead. But that said, I do get a sense of pleasure when walkers on the footpath stop and take photos and gasp in awe as they see me get into the river in my costume in the falling snow, whilst they are wrapped up in Arctic-like kit against the elements. Then afterwards there is the almost comedic race to get dressed in as many layers as possible. I know that it is 'properly cold' when I have dug out my old ski gloves from circa 1990 as the they are the only things that will keep my hands warm post swim now.
Meanwhile on my run over at Hampstead Heath, I could only look longingly at the mixed pond, where swimming is still closed in the current lockdown.
I believe this challenge is definitely helping with my mental health. I think it could be quite demoralising to train for a triathlon just now in a world where mass participation events are so uncertain. As an events organiser this uncertainty over large scale events taking place has the added knock on effect of making me anxious about my business too.
There have definitely been more bad days than good this week where the thought of getting on my bike in the biting 'beast from the east' wind, with a relative air temperature of -7deg has felt like a real effort. Then I think of the legendary ice man, Wim Hof who reminds us that being too comfortable and warm all the time is not good for us, it doesn't challenge our system.
And I remind myself that I do like a challenge, and so I hope for better days, in every sense.
Speaking of tenacity, I released the second in my series of video conversations this week. Here I talk to beekeeper Tracey Carter about what we can learn from honey bees about resilience, tenacity and their unique style of communications. Even if I say so myself,
I found it very interesting!
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.