by Toni McIntosh
2015 was a bit of a rollercoaster year for me both on a sporting and personal level. Training took a back seat for the first part of the year as I was under pressure to complete my masters dissertation and finish my nurse training, but I somehow managed to keep ticking over and surprised myself by picking up a few more national medals along with second place in the female BAR. However, after picking up a bronze medal in the National 50 mile time trial, I was cycling home from placement (ironically at A&E), and was knocked off my bike, resulting in a broken collarbone. The timing couldn’t have been worse as it meant I would have to miss the National 100, which was my key race of the season. That turned out not to be the worst of it though, as I was told by my University that I would miss the exam board and would have to delay my graduation until next year (despite passing all coursework and placements with top grades). Fortunately – after I put up a bit of a fight – I’ve managed to get everything sorted on that front and am looking forward to starting my first post as a staff nurse very soon.
With things appearing to be settling down a bit in my personal life, I’m hoping to be able to inject a bit more structure into my training too. And having got a taste back for running last year when I used it to deal with the stressful times, I’ve decided to have a go at duathlon. I’ll admit this is something I never really fancied before as I always wanted to be the best I could at running – then latterly cycling – but what could be better than combining my two favourite things in the same race?
Not being one to pick an easy goal, I’ve decided to target the Scottish Duathlon Championships in March. I don’t have a huge amount of time but I hope with my base fitness and a bit of smart training I can reach the start line in a position to find out what my potential is. I’ve enlisted the help of clubmates and cycling performance coach Scott Maclean to help me with training and key for me will be keeping the old injuries at bay. I don’t anticipate it will be a smooth ride but it’s just as well I like rollercoasters isn’t it?