Coming out of Retirement

Firstly a great big Happy New Year to you all – I hope that 2014 brings you everything that you wish for and work for both in life and racing. I’m certainly hoping that it turns out to be a good one for me.

But I mustn’t grumble about 2013 really, ok so I was injured and had to drop out of lots of races, couldn’t run for most of the year but I had great fun touring around talking about triathlon, my second book came out and sold well and right at the end of the year I had a fantastic family holiday and managed to actually sneak a race in.

Having Family Fun in Florida

Having Family Fun in Florida

YES you read that correctly I ACTUALLY got a race on my record in 2013, and I didn’t do too bad in it either. We were in Florida on holiday having great fun with Mickey and his mates but the day before we fly out I entered a 5k run in St Petersburg over on the gulf coast near Tampa. It was the 31st running of the Jingle Bell Run – a family fun run where runners are given jingle bells and glow in the dark necklaces to wear ( I gave mine to Charlotte who was supporting ) on the flat and fast out and back course along the marina and downtown streets. 5000 runners take part, there is no chip timing, no official results, just a fantastic atmosphere with lots of people in fancy dress, numerous bands playing along the route surrounded by lights that would put Blackpool Illuminations to shame. All the entry fees went to a local children’s charity as well.

We’d spent the day in LEGOLAND Florida having great fun, followed by a heavy lunch at Dennys ( American Diner type place ) so it wasn’t the best race preparation but I was on holiday and having fun. I also decided to test my brand new shoes ( I love the brightness of them )which I’d only bought a couple of days before hand, thankfully they behaved.

new shoes

new shoes

I had no expectations, I just wanted to finish a race in 2013 so when the fake snow fell and buzzer sounded I set off steadily but with a purpose. I was quite surprised at how strong I felt – I’d not run much in the last few weeks as I’d broken a small toe – and as I approached the turnaround point and saw the police outriders flanking the leader I counted the runners ahead of me on the other side of the road. I was in 42nd place, that made me more determined to push on, after all it was only a 5k, if I didn’t at least feel like my Dennys lunch was going to reappear then I was doing it wrong. IΒ  focussed on the person in front and slowly reeled him in, and then caught the next person. I crossed the line in 40th position. Job done, I’d actually completed an event, I was no longer retired!!

The fact I’d finished so high up the field isn’t a reflection on my ability, more an indication that this was a fun event that was inclusive of serious runners, plodders, walkers, pram pushers and even a couple of people on zimmer frames ( I kid you not – and fair bloody play to them!! ) but it’s something to take forward into 2014.

Holiday and Christmas excess have seen me put on weight, I won’t lose sleep over it – I knew that I would. I’ll just chip away again, work hard and get back in racing shape for the summer. Along the way I’ll do some more events including my first Duathlon in March – I expect that will hurt. I need to remind myself how to deal with the hurt to get back to where I need to be but for now…

I’m just happy that I’m no longer retired from racing.


19 responses to “Coming out of Retirement

  1. Hi Andy, Happy New Year to you and your family. Have read both of your books and, just wanted to say thanks for inspiring me. I’ll be doing my first Ironman on March 1st, New Zealand : ) The training has been hard but im looking forward to the big day… the same time i am terrified! : ) Keep the words of inspiration coming….thanks! Ali

    • Happy New Year to you too Ali, hope 2014 is a good one for you and your loved ones. I’m glad that my books inspired you, that is so cool! The very best of wishes to you for your first Ironman, hope it goes well. Channel that fear, use it on the day to keep yourself moving forward and you’ll be one step closer to the finish. If I can do it, then you can πŸ™‚

  2. Well done holgs, hope you get some good races in this year and training goes well. Happy new year to you and other triathletes! Abbey

  3. Happy New Year mate. Nice to see you are in good spirits for 2014. Any tri’s lined up for this year?

  4. I read somewhere retirement isn’t all it’s made out to be, and clearly you agree! Happy New Year Andy

  5. I read your first book a while ago and ever since I’ve been itching to test myself at iron distance. I now blame you for dedicating my life to self-sadistic exercise! I’m sure it won’t be long till I’m retired!

  6. Happy new year Andy, hope 2014 is a healthy and injury free one!

  7. Hi Have a great 2014!
    Is there any plans for your second book to become an audio book like your first. I listen whilst training .

    • All the best John.
      I hope so but it is entirely down to the publisher, and actually more so to Amazon who decide which book they want on Audible, they approach the publisher when they want to convert the book.

  8. Welcome back tri brother! I’ve had a bad season or two myself. Nothing like the feeling when you get your mojo back. Enjoyed your first book. Need to read the 2nd. Truly hope to meet you someday.

  9. Glad to hear your back running and enjoying it!

  10. Andy,

    Great to see that you are back on track … it must be an amazing feeling that you are seriously on the mend.

    I will miss seeing you in Puerto Del Carmen on the run this year.

    Any public announcement about a new Ironman event for 2014?


  11. Andy, great to see you back and well done on the race! What’s the Duathlon you have planned? Not the Spring one at Oulton Park by any chance?

    Take it easy,


  12. Thats what I was going to ask which Duathlon have you got planned as I have a couple that I was thinking of doing?

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