Life 1 – Training 0. T-47 Days

An encouraging start last week took its toll on the injuries, the back was sore and the achilles was bad too. So bad in fact that I didn’t even look at my runners for 3 days. I’m not moaning about not training, I’m considerably more annoyed at myself for not taking onboard mistakes of the past and the lessons that could be learned from them. But I did get some stuff done and I am all the better for it, mentally if not physically.

Swimming, after my early layoff at the beginning of the week I was back in the pool on Wednesday, if only half full of enthusiasm! The back was affecting my kick but a decent 50 lengths under the belt got me back in the groove after last weeks ‘Swim for a mile’. 1000m at lunch with time to spare to have a sandwich? I would have bitten your hand off for that just 12 weeks ago. That goes in the win column. Thursday saw me dive in again for lessons with a different result. I enjoy my lessons, I can swim, but the whole idea is to learn to swim better. There are 2 of us in the class for a 45 minute session so it is pretty full on and tonight was all about tumble turns. Perfecting the turns makes the swim more efficient, you use less energy and you get to glide more, thus using less effort and presumably going further. It didn’t quite work out that way!

First up, first turn, water shoots straight up my nose, my eyes water (in a pool!) I gag and nearly puke everywhere. ‘Try it differently’ I was told, ‘Don’t forget to breathe out, especially out the nose’ he says – Thanks Ruben, thats good to know after the event! Second time up, same thing, just less violent. I’m feeling pretty dizzy, sick and fairly shitty now and we’re just 10 minutes in. It doesn’t get any better, I remain dizzy, I remain nauseous and when the other student asks what happens when someone vomits in the pool, I take that as my cue to leave – too ill to feel dejected and for about 2hrs, too ill to do anything else.

Thursday also saw me at the physio for a scheduled visit – we went through this weeks symptoms, my achilles had cleared up which was a positive, the back was better after the pool work but I was still concerned about it, some new stretches, some new exercises and a deep massage and I was off, feeling energised and more positive than I had been all week and ready to take on the world again.

I decided to get the runners back on. Last time out I found it difficult to stick to the 50% effort recommended by the physio so that was a priority. No intervals this week, I was conscious that the Olympic calls for me to run 10k as the end discipline. There was a time when 10k was my Everest, then it became a jog in the park, but since my layoff, the tectonic plates have shifted and 10k has become a serious effort again, surely it can’t be that bad, can it? today I was going to go 5k, 10min miles and take it from there. Lo and behold, it worked! I followed the Marlay Parkrun course, had an 9:47 average and made it in one piece, a little tired but I more in the tank at the end. Double it now and I’m sorted! (Garmin information HERE)

Back on the wagon, feeling good, took Friday as a rest day and looked forward to my first ever organised bike spin on Saturday with my new club, Belpark Tri.

Saturday dawned, 8am at the clubhouse, there were supposed to be 3 beginners and an experienced ‘leader’. by 8.10am it was me and Ciaran, the leader. The spin had been changed to a Time Trial to be shared with another local club and it was a toughie, up the mountains to the ariels, not far, but steep enough. We met the other (experienced!) triathletes in the carpark of Taylors Pub, the bottom of the hill. Ciaran had encouraged me to not do the TT, he would take me on a spin to Enniskerry and back, gentle enough, a few hills and a decent workout. I was sucked in by the others though! ‘Its not far’, they said, ‘Sure I’m slow too’ said another. I was mindful of my ‘Outside the comfort zone’ mantra and decided to give it a shot. If I don’t push myself, I won’t get better.

Disaster – I couldn’t have done a worse thing as my first spin if I had planned it in minute detail, the higher I got, the more angry I got. I thought I was fit, but this was a different effort, even coming down was tough, I was furious with the others for letting me do this.

Now, after that what I should have done was go home, take a break and head back out again, but like earlier in the week, I wallowed in my own frustration and did nothing, the same went for Sunday as well, I had plenty of opportunities to get up & go, I just didn’t. The house is pretty clean now though, every bed sheet in the house is now washed. There was so much to do to keep me from exercising, so I’d call that some form of positive!

All in all, not my best week. I have learned though that I don’t take setbacks very well, I might talk the talk, but its time to walk the walk. Nothing lands in our laps without pushing the effort to improve our lot and no one is going to do this triathlon for me. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows I’m quick to hand out the advice, time too take some of my own medicine.

The next two weeks will be a test, they’re my busiest work weeks of the year and I’m away for much of it. The kids are off school though so that frees up time with no collections – that could be the break I need, its up to me to use it.

About @killianbyrne

I'm a 40 something husband and dad who has lost lots of weight, finished a couple of marathons & triathlons and learned to enjoy life in the last few years.
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