I left you at the dawn of recovery week, and am picking you back up on the blog-a-train, now about half way through the first week of the second block.

I began recovery week by actually skipping a session, and did as much being-lazy as a 22-year-old journalist with a busy life can muster (Read: I used the evenings I would have been training to stay up too late and generally re-socialise). Regardless, I finished the week feeling rested and happy, and looking forward to ramping it all back up again.

Rest/test week of course is not about rest alone, and on Saturday morning I skipped the usual long bike ride to head over to Banstead Park Run. For the unconverted, Park Run is a weekly 5k running race/time trial. The events happen all over the country, each setting off at 9am in around 100 parks. They are free, and grassroots. Obviously, there are no goodies, and no prizes, but you get an accurate time and an amazing sense of community.

Banstead Park Run is a cross country course, it has a lovely (eg monster) hill half way through it. Considering a 5k is pretty much a no holding back, hard as you can go sort of affair, it feels pretty nasty at the time but it is good practice.

The run itself, however, I enjoyed more because of the events leading up to the whistle-blow (well, the ‘go’, there is not even a whistle, I did say it was grassroots..).

A local man who was an avid park-runner died recently from cancer. Before the run, his friends said a few words, about his passion for the sport, and his dedication to the running community. This was followed by a 60second applause, and his friends did the run slowly in a group before sharing cake with everyone to celebrate his life.

I didnt know the man. I feel a little guilty for taking so much from the memory of someone I never met, but the expereince served to remind me that beneath all the competition and the need to get faster, it is the passion for the sport that underpins every event.

We run, swim, and cycle as part of a community. No swimmer gets up at 6am becasue they have to, cyclists don’t batt out the miles through driving rain because anyone is making them, and runners don’t face darkening pavements each night for any other reason than because they want to. Sport is made to be enjoyed.

That lesson, of course, is a good one to begin Winter Bloke 2 with. I clocked an ‘ok’ time considerning the muddy/hilly course, and the time of year, just scraping a place in the top ten females. This now means I have to beat that ‘ok’ time when I return on the Saturday of next rest week. (Of course, I meant I want to)

I am an NCTJ qualified journalist and copywriter with a year’s worth of experience as a local hack, and just under two years’ of experience working in the marketing department for a highstreet retailer. I currently work at Cycling Weekly, previous to this I was the editor at Total Women's Cycling. I do a little freelance writing alongside my job, and have written for Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Sussex Sport, Basingstoke Gazette newspaper, the Brighton Argus, Steve Hart Photography and 2LK Design. I blog to record the activities in my life which I don’t want to forget when I’m old and wrinkly (let’s hope the internet never melts down – but it seems safer than a notebook) – to let old friends and family know what I’m up to, and because I enjoy playing with words. I’m always looking for new projects – and you can email me should you ever need someone with an energetic passion for word doodling. Email: michelle.arthurs@gmail.com Twitter: @RideWriteRepeat Instagram: @RideWriteRepeat

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