It's been a mixed week. Mostly highs, I mean what is not to love about this sight that greeted me at the Serpentine earlier this week! It's also been a welcome relief not to have any events to run for another two weeks. Much as I expected to feel on top form after the past frenetic spell though, unfortunately my hormones had other ideas and I felt a bit, well....odd. Fuzzy headed, bloated, a bit off my food. As Ian pointed out, he had never seen me not able to finish my dinner in the three years he has known me! But I recognised these symptoms from about a year ago, and armed with that knowledge and thankful for the research I have been doing into this area, I knew it was just 'one of those weeks'. In true form I muscled it out, quite literally (more on that in a minute) and cracked on with getting some more mileage done. The distances this week are looking like this:
Note to self that this time of year - as the temperature starts to drop is one to really pay attention to when open water swimming. I found last year that a rough rule of thumb for me was that I could stay in the water for about 2mins for every degree. It's amazing the difference it can make, and will catch you out if you outstay your welcome here.
I hadn't really been noting the temperature in the Serpentine for the past week, and I found out it was now hovering between 12 and 13deg. It explains why I had to frantically do star jumps to get the feeling back in my feet after a 28 minute swim the other day!
This distance would see me on track completing 83% of my goal in 80% of the time available. I would now be arriving at El Bolsón - a town situated in the southwest of Río Negro Province, Argentina, at the foot of the Piltriquitron Mountain. Due to a series of valleys through the mountains of Chile to the Pacific Ocean, El Bolsón has an unusually mild climate for its southern location. El Bolsón area's first non-indigenous inhabitants were German immigrants that arrived to the valley from Chile as an offshoot of of the colonization of Llanquihue. In the 1970s hippies from Buenos Aires migrated to the town, which continues to be a popular destination for Argentinian students, and gives the town a bohemian feel. Known for its artisanal food products and for its abundance of outdoor activities in proximity, there is something for everyone in this charming town and its environs. I feel a certain affinity with this quirky place. For those who know me well, I was very much a hippy between the ages of about 13 and 16 - Afghan coat, CND pendant, leg warmers, the whole lot. I have to admire my younger self for standing out so much in my style at that age - when everyone else was adopting the New Romantic look I was definitely an individual! Now where are those photos I wonder.......?
I'm glad I was starting to feel more on form as the week wore on as there was an opportunity for not one, but two dinners out with cycling friends. On Friday Nikki, Giovanna and I had a really good catch up over a lovely Turkish meal. It was a chance to have a proper chat, without having to think about keeping your eye on the road when out cycling at the same time.
Wednesday night saw me meeting up with Joe, the man behind the actual Andes trip four years ago. As an events specialist, like me he has been reinventing himself over the past difficult 18 months and he and his family have now relocated to Catalonia, prime cycling territory! He was telling me about the new bike model they have launched -the Rakaposhi. A titanium frame with ERA forks and a Reverb dropper weighing in at just 13.64kg, yes I would be very happy to come and visit your Spanish pad and give this a spin Joe!We also discussed some female focussed retreats along with his wife Laura, which really excites me. It's always great to spend time with like minded entrepreneurs, talking through ideas, and it's one of the things I have missed most over the past couple of years. Sometimes a Zoom call just doesn't cut it.
But back in the virtual world, I was delighted to round the week off being invited to talk on a panel at a webinar for a private members club to give my insights on maximising your sports performance during the peri and menopausal years. I am looking to deliver some of my own panel events on this early next year, so watch this space...
Denise Yeats is an events director, communications consultant, endurance athlete and avid adventurer.