I have sat down a few times to write a blog about this summer and how it hasn’t happened racing wise but have struggles to know what to put. I didn’t want it to sound to much like a “pity me” piece or a ramble about how one guy who is actually pretty fortunate to be racing in the first place was moping and depressed that he couldn’t run like a spoilt rich kid.
So basically I’m going to cut what could be a really long rambling story short. I got some pain in my ankle, it hurt a lot, i couldn’t really do much for a week or 2, riding or swimming even hurt. Instead of doing everything in my power to get to physio, massage, specialists i moped around like a self pitying nobhead eating cake and drinking beer for a few weeks instead, vowing that i had retired from triathlon because it was “too f*@£ing hard”.
I then rode my bike a bit, enough to have a crack at a 12 hour race which was awesome fun but my ankle still hurt so i reverted to moping, eating, drinking mode above. Some time towards the end of August i finally started to pull my head out my Ass, book some physio appointments and think more logically again. Apparently I wasn’t quite ready to retire yet. I started moving again, a bit of swimming and biking felt OK and after some treatment on my ankle a bit of running too. The running felt horrible, i’m my genius move of eating cake to fix a problem i had managed to gain considerable weight and felt like an absolute tank!
Start of September and we headed to Tenby to watch Ironman Wales and that weekend really acted as a turning point for me. The shear epic-ness of that race really showed me why i did this sport in the first place. Watching people run up hill again and again looking absolutely smashed reminded me how i loved it and i wanted to be the one running up the hill feeling smashed and driving home that Monday my mind was ticking of what to do know to get back.
So sitting here a month later I am training again, i have lost a little weight and am back running thanks to some truly brilliant work from Rob Mcilroy a soft tissue therapist on Portland working on mobilising my ankle and getting everything strong and moving properly as it should. I even managed to squeeze in a 6km open water swim event last weekend and the stunning Wimbleball lake and was so pleased to be racing again. Just being competitive and being in a race situation made me feel amazing, pushing all the way to the end and winning it within the last 400 metres and getting out smashed but elated reminded me how good it can feel and that i am now a world away from the mindset of the person that was moping around all summer long.
The plan now is simple, build back slowly. No rush to be fit again, train well, eat well, aim to feel pretty good most of the time and above all else stay injury free! I am working on a few things training wise to help all of this, hip mobility, strength and gym work and short frequent runs to limit mega stress are the staples at the moment. Ultimately now i hope to look back on 2018 as the summer that helped me get stronger as an athlete, hindsight being wonderful and all that but i have learned some pretty big lessons and at the moment am happier and more grateful than ever to just be able to do what i love!