Frustrated Glassman

I don’t know about you but sometimes I like to imagine that I’m invincible, that I can pretty much do anything that I put my mind to. Not in an egotistical sort of way, more of a deluded confidence sort of way. I actually hope that I never lose that level of inner confidence, it’s a part of who I am. It’s been that confidence that has been driving me forward whilst I’m injured, stopping me from being a total pain in the arse at home. Come now, you all know what I mean, there is no worse patient or partner than an injured triathlete. Unfortunately this past week that confidence took a hammering.

Unsurprisingly I blame myself.

I’ve been running well, turbo has been a struggle (my shoulder aches reaching for the handlebars) but I’ve loved the fact that I can feel progress. Granted I’ve not swum for months but let’s be honest, although I miss it, I’m not losing sleep over that. So with running well I thought I’d join my fellow COLTs for a running drills session on the track.

To be fair it was a fantastic session – one which took me back to my childhood days when I used to run for Barrow Athletic club. Every Tuesday and Thursday night we’d meet our coach Les at the Park Vale track and spend twenty minutes warming up – stretching, doing drills (high knees, side stepping etc ) and then we’d do the track session. I was always the slowest in the group over the longer distances. So 400m and 600m reps were not my thing but give me 100m and 200m reps and I could open up the legs and sprint with the others, occasionally hitting the finish line first. Happy times.

Monday was like that, but I also realised very quickly that I was no longer that fit teen, I was in fact a fat broken forty something with more confidence than was safe. On the drills I took it easy, I certainly wasn’t going to swing my damaged arm up and down in an exaggerated movement of sprinting. I was being sensible….it wouldn’t last.

When coach Kev said we were going to do 4x200m reps with 200m recovery, I lit up inside, one of my favourite sessions. Time to have some fun, time to show my club mates that the fat lad could shift when he wanted to. Obviously I couldn’t catch the really quick runners, but coming off that bend with a 100m to go I opened up and flew past quite a few runners that would normally kick my ass. I felt great, I felt alive and then I felt pain and despair. My shoulder that I injured at Bolton some 3 months previously was reminding me that I was broken. I wasn’t Ironman I was Glassman.

I should have stopped, I should have stepped off the track. Stupidly I didn’t. I continued at jogging pace for the rest of the session. And I’ve paid for that.

It was a frustrating and painful reminder that although I’m doing ok I am still broken. I need to realise that, and adjust what I do. I think I’ll stay away from any club activities until I’m fixed, the competitor in me can’t be trusted to do what’s right and not press the self destruction button when faced with the chance to run with people faster than me. It’s a shame because I’ve done everything right since being injured and I’m getting stronger as an athlete and most especially a runner but one moment of weakness and I’m in a world of pain that I haven’t experienced since the accident.

I’m learning the hard way, it’s bloody frustrating but it’s not fatal. So I’ll man the hell up, let my physio fix me and plod on. I’m seeing another surgeon at the end of November, one way or another, operation or not, that will hopefully give me a clearer path to follow away from frustration and pain. A path that will hopefully see me (with a lot of help from my fantastic coach – who will give me a bollocking for doing a fast track session whilst injured, and deservedly so) get back to being the person I need to be, unbroken and confident in my abilities to swim, bike, run and have fun.

Being a frustrated Glassman sucks, thankfully it’s only temporary.


7 responses to “Frustrated Glassman

  1. I feel your pain. I too haven’t swim since IMUK cracked ribs & muscle damage. But I can ride and run in a steady fashion so I will continue to build back up and respect the bodes healing time. Good luck with consultant.

  2. Hi Andy, know how you feel , 4 years ago tore both sets of rotator cuff muscles, 27 weeks of frustration, numerous visits to doctors, (who did’nt have a clue and consultations by phone with physios) running was a pain and trying to turbo while sitting up was a joke and a massive pain in the backside, literally, mind you i wasn’t swimming then as i’d not read your book :-), be patient and it will come it took 2 years before i stopped getting regular aches after ultras and challenge events…

  3. Ah, the pain of going slow and building your form and strength…keep pushing and you’ll be back again. Whatever the coach says… Sometimes you just gotta go!!

  4. Chin up. You will get there, you didn’t become an Iron man by chance, you are made of tough stuff.
    I would really like to thank you for keeping me sane recently. Your books are fantastic and I really enjoyed them. I actually had tears flowing down my face laughing at the seat post incident!!!!
    I am a runner, mainly marathon and ultras, but I had my appendix out a month ago and now I am pretty much back to zero. That has been so frustrating, when normally I am never still. I had to miss Dublin marathon last week and a few other cool races.
    I can’t run for another two weeks. Thankfully I can now swim and turbo train.
    Whilst in my sick bed, I signed up for my first triathlon in May, and I have my eye on a few more…..
    Going to join the local club too.
    You really inspire people, you have a very positive attitude.
    So hang on in there, try to be patient and hurry up with a new book… 🙂

  5. I too am in the middle of a near total training ban. An operation on a torn shoulder socket has meant 6 weeks off so far. I have managed long walks and more recently turbo-ish sessions albeit still in a sling (so fast turbo-ing, running and swimming a no!). Its times like this that you realise quite how much we depend and enjoy on triathlon training and racing. I’m signed up for London and Windsor already looking for a half Iron if anyone can suggest anything…I am glad I am not the only one missing the training, I would much rather the pain of training than injury!

  6. Swimming sucks anyway :¬) All takes time and you need to remember that you have plenty of time.

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