Sometimes Life gets in the way

It’s been a hectic month since I plodded around the streets of London in my one and only outing at the nation’s favourite race. My training hasn’t been very consistent but I’m pleased with the quality, but as the title of the blog says “Sometimes Life Gets in the way” let me explain.

The day after London, myself and my wife, Em, caught a flight to Munich in Germany for a few days of rest and relaxation. I made sure that I wore my bright red marathon finishers t-shirt in a vain attempt to explain to passers by why I was limping like a 90 year old with gout! My legs were mostly fine, it was just my right Achilles that was really painful, stairs had become my enemy. I had to ask Em to slow down and wait for me, this role reversal amused her no end. Then on the Wednesday morning I woke up, I was pain free, and felt like I could run again. Unfortunately that was when Em started to be ill. That morning she took one mouthful of cereal and fled the hotel breakfast room at a speed to would have impressed Usain Bolt. She made it out into the street and was violently sick. I went after her to see if she was ok. A few moments later she righted herself and said, “At least I managed to be sick down a drain.” She was partly correct. “Err Pet, that’s not a drain it’s the air conditioning vent for the hotels basement kitchen!” Thankfully we weren’t booted out onto the street by the understanding hotel management.

Em got steadily worse and was admitted to hospital after a few days back in England with severe dehydration and sickness. She couldn’t even keep water down. She ended up losing over a stone in a week, and she’s only slightly built anyway. Thankfully she is now on the road to recovery. Obviously whilst Em was so ill I didn’t want to go out and leave her, so my planned marathon recovery went on a little longer. When Em was taken into hospital there were set visiting hours, so I managed to get a little training done. Some running was done in-between hospital visits and phone calls to worried friends and family. I was knackered, I wasn’t sleeping and was extremely stressed and worried. Preparing for an Ironman that was fourteen weeks away was pretty low on my radar to be honest.

Since she’s come out of hospital and is recovering well I’ve returned to work and have managed to start training again, fitting in key sessions into my day again. I’ve also picked up the bike mileage at the weekends, heading out at 6am so I can get back in time for the patient to wake up. I’ve had a couple of good strong rides of above 45 miles and one of 60 miles which I was very pleased with as it was freezing cold and hilly. I mean I won’t scare anyone with my time of 3.40 but it served as a strong confidence booster, I felt comfortable and could have kept going. It those sorts of rides that you need when you are preparing for Ironman. Confidence is a great tool.

I punctured on my ride this past weekend and despite the factor 50 I got badly sunburnt, I’m blaming the puncture. The tires on my road bike are Continental Gator Skins, and they are a total nightmare to get on and off. I can understand why people refer to them as being “bombproof”, my riding partner Andy H could see the frustration setting in and stepped in. “Let me have a go before that wheel ends up being thrown into the field” he said. I happily stepped out of the way. One snapped tire lever later he had the tire removed. A new tube was placed onto the wheel and the tyre put back in place, a process that was only slightly easier than taking it off. I decided to try my CO2 cartridge for the first time. I had no patience for the traditional pump. WOW! It inflated the tire in seconds and it was at full psi. I was very impressed and will be carrying cartridges with me in future when I ride.

I’m pleased with my running post marathon. I ran for twelve miles last Wednesday and included the COLT club interval session after 45 minutes of hard steady running. I was the slowest in the group and struggled to hang on as we did 2 pyramid sets of 1,2,3,2,1 off one minute recovery. At least I had people to chase, and that probably made me work harder than I would have done on my own.

My swimming has suffered as I missed my two club open water sessions. The first one I was visiting the hospital and the second one I had an eye infection which stopped me swimming full stop for a week. I’ll be back in the pool this week and hopefully the lake next Monday night, can’t wait for that.

So as you can see I’ve been getting the training in where I can but it’s been tough trying to manage everything. Hopefully now with 11 weeks to go I’ll be able to get a few solid training weeks into my legs and by the time I hit the water at the Outlaw I’ll be feeling fit and confident. Taking of the Outlaw my friend Anna attended a training weekend put on by the organisers and only had great things to say about it and the course, can’t help but be excited about that.

In other news, more stress was added to my life when I received an email telling me that my publishers had gone into receivership. Ironically alos in the past month Tritahlete’s World Magazine published a nice article about me and the book. So if any of you have pre-ordered my book, please accept my sincerest apologies, you won’t be reading it in June as planned. At the time of writing another company has bought the rights to the previous publishers work. I will hopefully hear this week who the new publisher is, and what if any their plans are for my story. If they decide not to publish it I will be a free agent and will then talk to other publishers. I think it’s a great story and one that will amuse and inspire fellow triathletes and hopefully interest non triathletes into diving into this great sport of ours. I’ll keep you all informed as to the progress, and hopefully you’ll all be able to read it soon.

Hope everyone’s training is going well and good luck as the race season is now in full swing. And a personal note I’d like to congratualte all the pirates who completed Nantwich this past weekend, the Hotel mob who despite some wobbles raced out of their skin at Swashbuckler and finally my COLT clubmates who had blinders at IM South Africa and Lanzarote. Pb’s all round and one qualifier for Kona, awesome stuff.


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