Another month has gone by, and many more hours have been spent in cars, planes, and buses, and of course, on my bike. My month has unfortunately not gone entirely to plan.

I had a great time in the US' Midwest racing on my road bike with the NZ women's track endurance squad. It was really fun to spend a week with some fellow New Zealanders, and I was pleasantly surprised by my fitness, despite a disrupted month of training and ill-health.

Unfortunately, however, I fell ill the week following the five-day road race, and I realised that I needed to take a mid-season break from racing in order to re-charge and re-build my health and strength. So instead of racing on North America's east coast as planned, I am back to my old hunting grounds, and planning to spend some solid time on the rolling, country roads surrounding Oxford, UK.

Although I would rather be racing, I think this time out from racing will be beneficial for me in the final two months of the season, and also leading into next year. As an athlete, you are constantly juggling the correct balance between training, racing, resting and travel, and it's a continual learning process. Each year I learn a little more about works and what doesn't. Although it's not always easy or fun (sometimes it's a downright struggle!), these ups and downs are all part of being an athlete, and of trying to be the best that you can be. And they are all valuable lessons in the build-up to the ultimate goal of the 2012 Olympics.