Friday, 27 April 2018

5 Years of Memories

Today I thought I would follow up on yesterday's post about the 5 year anniversary of this blog. The post yesterday was good, but I realised that there were a couple more things that I wanted to say about the last 5 years. 

One of the things that I have liked most about this blog over the past 5 years has been the opportunity it has given me to track my journey through triathlon. I said yesterday that I started this blog to provide people with helpful information, and that was certainly my prime driver. However, a secondary benefit I found once I started to write the blog was that it provided me with a great training diary. The blog was a really useful way for me to document what I was up to, how sessions were going, how I was feeling etc, writing about it helped me dissect the sessions more. By writing about my experiences I learnt lessons from races and training that I never would have figured out if I hadn't been doing the blog. It has always been very useful that way.

I still can't believe the journey that this blog has seen me through. When I think what I was doing back in 2013 when I started this blog, my life then and my life now are so very different. Triathlon is now a massive part of my life, even now that I am training much less, however back in 2013 I was really at the start of all that. This blog has documented my trip from being an age grouper who didn't know one hell of a lot, through to an age grouper who knew a bit more, to being a Pro and all the trials, tribulations, joys and once in a lifetime experiences that went with it. The blog is now covering my journey from racing through to coaching. I look back at the events, challenges, triumphs and experiences that this blog has documented and I can't help but smile. So much has happened in  the past 5 years that sometimes I can't believe that it has only been 5 years, it feels like so much more has happened in that time that it must be longer. It has been one hell of a roller coaster in the past 5 years and all that has been laid out in the pages of this blog. That is one of the things I like so much about it. I am not likely to ever forget the experiences of the last 5 years, but having this diary available to help me look back through the years is kind of cool.

I am looking forward to recording a few more years worth of memories here yet.

I won't be recording those memories tomorrow though. I am going to be out of town tomorrow and so there won't be a blog. I will be back online either on Sunday or Monday though, so don't worry, there will still be plenty of memories to come. 

Thursday, 26 April 2018

5 Years Young

So, here we are, 5 years in. 5 years ago today I decided to give this blogging thing a crack, wondering if it was something I could stick with. Well I think I can consider this well and truly stuck.

Writing this blog has been an interesting experience. I have learnt a lot, been baffled a few times, stumped for motivation more times that I can count, been surprised often, hopefully improved my writing and largely had quite a bit of fun. I can honestly say I am still surprised when people come up to me and say 'I have been reading your blog'. I guess having people reading what you write is part of putting things on the Interweb, but it has never really been a motivating force for why I write this, so I guess it always surprises me when people do.

In fact, why I write this comes up fairly often and I guess it is because I like to hope that what I am writing is helping people. Starting this blog seems like such a long time ago that I sometimes forget why I started, but that was the fundamental reason, helping people. When I started this blog way back in 2013 I had been doing triathlon for a few years and was a bit sick of not being able to find what I wanted on the Internet, and I thought I could probably provide some of that information myself. The information I originally set out to provide was about races and also about how I went about training and life in general. I didn't want the blog to be a 'guide to training for a triathlon' as I have seen those and feel they can be a bit dull, which is why I rarely talk about what is actually contained in sessions that we do. Instead this blog was always more about the life that you live around triathlon, and the little things that you sometimes wonder about but struggle to find anywhere, like what sort of water bottles they use on a race course, whether a race course has rough roads or smooth, just how much elevation a course actually has, that sort of thing.

On the whole I like to think I have succeeded in my mission of being informative. Yes there are junk posts in between, full of waffle, but between them I like to think I have provided value. When I look at the posts that are read the most, they are the ones where I have been providing information, race reports, gear reviews, equipment guides, that sort of thing. About a year ago when I stopped racing I was worried that it would also stop me being able to provide informative posts, but I think I have been able to manage it, at least I hope I have. I still have plenty of junk posts and waffle and I think it has taken me a while to find my stride, but at the moment I am finding that coaching is providing me almost as much blogging ammunition as training did. Coaching certainly gives me inspiration about what questions people are asking.

Putting up a blog every day has always been a challenge, and one that I suspect my wife wishes I would stop, but I have always sort of been proud of that achievement. Yes, that is probably why there have been so many junk posts, but I also like to think that blogging every day has also helped there be some informative posts too. I can't count the number of times when I have sat down to write not knowing what to write about and then finished up with something that I was quite proud of. Those posts wouldn't have existed if I hadn't sat down to write in the first place.

Doing a post every week, or every two weeks etc would be easier than every day, but I remember being told once, if you are going to do something like this then make it regular and make it reliable. I was never sure I could have done this blog reliably if it was every two weeks, I was just worried that I would forget about it or things would come up. The number of neglected athlete blogs is a testament of how easy it is to become distracted. I was always determined that if I started a blog it wouldn't become one of those and I am very proud to say it hasn't.

Every year I ask myself, 'okay is that enough', is this still relevant, is it still fun, should it continue? I asked those questions particularly loudly last year and I am asking myself those questions again now and I think for now the answer is yes. I am still enjoying this and people are still turning up and reading it so I think I will stick at it. If I get to the point where it is just day after day of junk then I think I will reconsider, but as long as I can keep producing bits of usefulness among the junk then I will keep it up.

Here's to another year.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

What a day

What an absolutely magical day we have had today.

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia, which is a day in which we remember our fallen soldiers. It originally began as a ceremony to remember soldiers of WWI, but over the years has grown to include all veterans (as it should). It is a pretty significant day in Australia and one that is marked with dawn services and parades all over the country. We also get a day off work for it.


Sometimes you just have those days where everything comes up roses and today was one of those. We had no work, the didn't have anything pressing to do and we snagged an absolutely perfect day in Perth. Seriously the weather couldn't have been better, blue skies as far as the eye could see, mild temperatures, light winds, just spot on.

It was a day that begged you to get outside and do exercise, which is exactly what we did. I got in a massive paddle and then a gym session (my gym at home is outside) and my wife got in a run. Neither of us got out riding, but it would have been absolutely stunning for that too.

It was is also one of those great public holidays where everything actually closes and so we didn't even have the temptation of going out to get some chores done. Instead we just relaxed around the house and chilled. It really was a great day. Among all the busy days of working, coaching, training etc, sometimes it is great to have a day where you simply sit back and do a bunch of nothing, which is exactly what we did.

Back into the full schedule of working, coaching etc tomorrow, but for now I am planning on enjoying the last few hours of what has been a very nice 24 hours.

Plus, I saw some dolphins while I was out paddling today. Can't ask for much more than that.