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Blog: Amy Cuthbertson, Vox Performance Project Participant

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It’s been quite the rollercoaster since I was one of the fortunate few to join the Voxwomen Performance Project! When I first filled in the application my goals were Haute Route, and really making the transition from pure road cyclist to triathlete complete with the Ironman 70.3 in June. It turns out the sometimes life has a few spanners to chuck around. I was coming off Zwift Academy full of enthusiasm. I’ve been a ride leader for Zwift Academy for the last 4 years and every year I’m grateful to be a part of the community of women pushing themselves and their fitness to new levels, whether it’s those going for the pro contract or those just at the start of their cycling journey.  I wound up the summer with a super sprint triathlon, which didn’t go as I’d hoped but taking in the positives at least I didn’t drown. I only started learning to swim in the summer, I’m very scared of fish and I don’t like getting my face wet. So not naturally suited to triathlon, let’s be honest! The swim was open water and despite all my training nothing really prepares you for having to contend with waves.  It was the first event I’d had the opportunity to test out my pre-race hydration and fuelling with Precision and Supersapiens. It was a short event, so hard for it to go too far wrong, but I still bonked on my way back down to the start after the race. Not to self, fuel for ALL the riding you have to do, not just the race itself.

After that was done and dusted I just had a 20km run planned for 2020. It was a very cold morning for the Marathon 06! I was fuelled, I was ready. I actually discovered Haribo makes excellent fuel, and after 10km just a couple of Haribo every kilometres kept me moving forward at a good pace, I was very busy congratulating myself on how well everything was going when I tripped on a tree root sticking through the road that I didn’t see through the throng of people. 2km from the finish, I dragged myself back up, politely and very Britishly telling everyone I was totally fine, and managed to run the last 2km faster than the previous 18km (thanks adrenaline). It was only stumbling over the line that I realised I was bleeding and had trashed myself up pretty good. And so began two months of firstly having to step back from training for my beaten up leg, and then an ear infection that wouldn’t go away and affected my balance and kept me out of the pool. Two months is a long time to be away for someone used to training every day for years on end, and it’s hard to see your big events drawing closer as you become less and less well prepared. I did what I could in the gym, had some chilled rides and runs on my good balance days, but nothing like I was used to, and definitely not what I wanted to be doing.

Leg and ear now recovered, this week has been my first real week back training. My FTP is way down, and mentally it’s tough to pick yourself up when your body isn’t as good at doing things as it was before.  Thinking about the date of the Ironman and wondering if I really can make up for the lost training time, or if new 2022 goals are required. I’m very achy and sore, my body has definitely forgotten what it is to train every day. I’m trying very hard to re-educate it, and I’m very lucky to have the support of the Voxwomen Performance Project partners to give me tools I need to work out where I’m at and where I need to be. And even luckier to have the support of the other women, all working on their own goals, all inspiring me to keep going, take one day at a time and focus on just doing what you can when you can. Here’s hoping all the pieces will fall into place!

Until next time,

Amy

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