A bad week that turned to pooh!

This time last week I was leaving the office to go on a 45 mins run. My first run since the Half three weeks earlier and the first test that my knee was back to normal and ready to be trained on.

In a nutshell – it wasn’t!

First 30 mins were fine, nice pace, nice run actually really enjoyable to be out there again pounding the streets (well the park). But then my knee went. It started hurting so I stopped. I had to walk home and by the time I got home (10 mins walk) it was very painful.

I did the stretching the physio suggested, iced it up and took ibuprofen. By bed time it was feeling better. Next day it was worse during the day and got worse as the day went on. More ice and ibuprofen Tuesday night and by Wednesday it was fine. No pain at all. It went as quickly as it came.

 I decided to rest Wednesday even though the leg felt fine. I cannot use the pool at the gym on a Wednesday so to train would have meant a turbo session which was a bit soon for the leg so I rested.

Thursday I hit the turbo. I had been suffering with a dodgy stomach late afternoon so it wasn’t the most comfortable of turbo sessions. The leg felt fine and again it was good to be working out. I was planning on a 1 hour turbo but after 45 mins my stomach was rolling so I called it a day.

Friday I had an upset stomach – real bad. I got through the day with regular trips to the loo, but the evening swim was a no no!

I felt really tired Friday evening so I went to bed at 10pm mainly because I couldn’t keep my eyes open on the settee. I slept from 10pm right through to 10am – a solid 12 hours sleep. Still felt rough, several loo trips during the day, another snooze in the afternoon and back in bed by 10pm.

Another 11 hours sleep Saturday night! Sunday much the same. Very bad stomach, never too far away from the loo, not good company – if you know what I mean!

Sent Mark an update. Confirmed to him the Half in 4 weeks time is out of the question, next focus is the Reading Olympic distance in early September. That is a long way off, but I need to put a good training block down before I think about racing again.   

 Stomach was still bad this morning so no training today – a business trip in the week means I probably won’t train again until Thursday – all being well.

Not the season I thought it was going to be – but then it never is!!

Thanks for reading.

Marlow 3K River Swim

After another week of very little training it was good to have an event to look forward to.

Swimming is my strongest discipline so the leg and the distance (3K) wasn’t a worry at all. We got to the event, registered and went for a coffee as we were early.

The swim events started at 6pm with the 750m swim, then 1,500 at 6.15pm and my race (the 3K) at 6.30pm. I was there at 5.30 pm with just my wetsuit to put on. There was a short briefing: due to weather the laps were 750m each so I had to do 4 laps, the race starts were as directed but each wave would not start until the previous wave (all swimmers) had finished. So probably over an hour to go until I started from when the 750 started.

The 750m swimmers started, about 30 or so of them. They all swum in the centre of the river and went nowhere fast, the current was very strong or they were very slow. There was a group of Macmillan charity swimmers who were just not prepared for an open water swim in hard conditions. Five had retired before the first 150m.

It was going to be a long wait for the start of my race. Then I noticed the next wave getting in way ahead of schedule. I asked if the timings for the starts had changed ‘yeah everyone is going off together and starting now! Mad rush to get the top of my wetsuit on, vasaline on my neck, spit in my goggles etc and in I went.

Water temperature was OK, current didn’t seem to bad. And then we were off. I was quite near the front so was swum over a bit by the eager ones behind me. I made my way to the bank on the right and swum upstream to the turn bouy. Took a while to get into a rhythm and it was a bit frantic on this first bit of the first lap. The turn bouy was in the middle of the River and as expected once I had turned it was very fast back to the start bouy. Lap one done.

Lap two was better, good rythm, no traffic all the way to the turn bouy. But there wasn’t one! I saw it on the river bank. The swimmers in front had stopped and were asking the safety personnel in the kayaks what was going on. ‘Turn at the Kayak, just turn at the Kayak’ they were shouting. All the Kayaks were moving, no one had their hand up saying turn at this one. It was madness.

In the end we all just started swimming again and turned at the nearest kayak. It took a while for me to get my head in gear again. Were we stopping at this lap, was there a safety issue so the race was cancelled or being stopped, had their been an accident?

I slowed at the end of the 2nd lap and sighted more to see if swimmers were turning or all getting out, but swimmers were turning so it looked like we were carrying on.

Third lap I nailed it. Swum very near to the bank and had someone to swim against. Was a good strong swim up to wherever I was going to turn. I had taken the guy I was swimming against but in the confusion of where to turn he over took me again as I was trying to work out where to turn. There was a Kayak saying ‘turn here, turn here’, but as I got closer I realised he was paddling backwards so it was hard to get to him. Eventually I got to him and turned and started the third lap down stream. I gave it everything I had. It was a bit early in the race to go so hard but it was just frustration of losing time at the turn bouy. 

I caught the guy who had taken me the previous lap and we had both caught the guy in front. As we turned it was all on.








Within 100m there was only two of us battling it out …


By the end of the swim upstream I had over taken the other guy and there in front of me was the big yellow turn bouy. At least I knew where I was going now. I turned at the bouy and went hell for leather all the way down to the finish. I was in the middle of the River, getting the full benefit of the current and just dug in and went for it. I turned at the finish bouy and got to the end in no time. I got out of the River expecting to run to the finish, but the finish was just getting out of the River. They took my timing chip and handed me my medal.

It was then I realised it was raining, very heavy rain. We dashed to the registration tent and got changed and waited for the rain to ease.

But it didn’t stop so we ran to the car and got changed again at the car as we got soaked getting to the car from the registration tent.

Results were up a few hours later. Swim time of 44 mins and 27 secs. Placed me 30th out of 49 finishers and 2 DNF’s. For my age category I was 8th out of 13 finishers.

A good time for me, the Half I did 3 weeks ago was 21 mins far half the distance so 2 mins longer for double the distance wasn’t too bad. I did start too slow and didn’t go to the bank as close as I should have, the mucking about with the turn bouys slowed me down as well. But no excuses there were a lot of others who were searching for the turn as well as me. 

Interestingly the times for the 1,500m swim mean if I had done that event and halved my 44 mins time to 22 mins I would have come 9th out of 44 finishers.

But it was good to get out and compete. Feels like I haven’t done anything since the Half 3 weks ago when I picked up the knee issue. Hopefully I can string together a block of consistent training and then make a decision on the Half on 18th August.

Thanks for reading.


Physio session

After the knee ‘went again’ last Wednesday the earliest appointment I could get for the physio was this afternoon.  

The knee has improved a lot again this week. It was better by Friday with hardly no pain at all and today (Saturday) there has been no pain at all.

The Physio said there was no ligament damage and it was ‘just’ inflammation around the knee cap. This also ties in with Ibuprofen relieving the pain as soon as I took some, along with the ice and rest.

So why the inflammation?

A number of possibles:

1)      Following the Half I didn’t stretch as much as I should have (err well not much at all if I am honest). I then cleaned up and sat in the car for 2 plus hours being driven home. This tighted up my Quads and shortened them so they pulled on the knee cap. Then when they were really tight I then unloaded the car, washed the bike, sorted my stuff etc,

2)      My Quads aren’t strong enough and I need to do some strength and/or weight training on my Quads to improve their strength. With the Quads not being strong they cannot hold the correct form for the cycle and then the run and hence I lose form and pull on ligaments and tendons.  

3)      I wear Orthotics which were ‘prescribed’2 years ago, the Physio suggested I go back for a recheck to make sure my biometrics are still aligned with the Orthotics I use.

As far training goes, she is happy I start to train as long as it is easy and low resistance and I stop if in any pain.

So over to Mark (www.ironmate.co.uk) for some easy sessions for the forthcoming week and his feedback and input on strength training of the Quads.

Thanks for reading.

Absolutely GUTTED!

The blog entitled ‘Hero to Zero’ was about my injured knee after the Half Ironman in Marlow. All was fine during the race and immediately after, but a few hours after I got home it started to hurt and by the evening it was agony, hurt all night and all day Monday. I ended up in A&E Monday evening with a diagnosis of inflamed tendons around my knee cap.

Rest, ice and ibuprofen.

I did that Tuesday and it was better – a lot better. I couldn’t rest it Wednesday or Thursday as I had a work event to attend, so it made no improvement, but resting it as much as possible Friday while at work and then being a couch potato Friday evening and all day Saturday – by Sunday it was back up to 95%.

Sunday I did an easy 30 mins swim with the pull bouy and although a few tweaks on Monday the knee was fine and Bournemouth was on for this coming weekend.

I did an easy 20 mins turbo last night. No pain at all and no issues this morning – I even looked up hotels in Bournemouth for Saturday night.

I nipped out at lunchtime to get a sandwich and within 20 metres of walking I was hobbling as the pain in my knee had come back. No reason why, I didn’t knock it or twist it or jar it etc it just suddenly started hurting. Now it is hurting when I bend it whilst walking and so I am back to my limping.

No swim and bike session tonight, no ride tomorrow evening and most importantly no Bournemouth Sprint Tri on Sunday.

‘Fed up’ doesn’t begin to describe it!

Not just missing the race but when will I be able to train ‘properly’ again.

I will end the blog here before I spiral into self pity.

Thanks for reading.