Back in January 2015 I had a back operation, I had slipped a disc in my back and ended up having a micro-discectomy on L4/L5 . Basically the disc between the bones was squashed out, pressed against a nerve in my back and that sticky out bit was shaved off to relieve the pressure.
Since that day I got a coach in Danny Roe from Performance Science Ireland and together we got me fitter, stronger and I pretty much completed a full season of a couple of marathons, many triathlons (cluding the inaugural Dublin half Ironman) and through to this year, the Paris Marathon, a second half ironman and had planned forward to run both Dublin & New York Marathons.
That was the plan.
Thursday week ago I had a back spasm. I had just finished my last bike session before the 70.3 and was in great form. I couldn’t stand up straight, it was pretty sore but nothing I hadn’t experienced before so I went through a few exercises, stretches, hoped for the best and started feeling better. I even managed a 1000m swim the following day, a swim I still count as my best one of the whole training schedule for the ironman.
I was very nervous attempting the race, I was ready to pull out right up to the swim start. I didn’t, I felt I could manage things and once I got through the swim I knew I would finish. The swim went well – just over 40mins and 7minutes faster than 2015, the bike was ok, exactly the same as 2015 but the run was agony. I got 2 nurofen off Maureen as I exited T2 (bike to run changeover) and off I headed. As it turned out my run time was also the same as I ran in 2015 but this time around I was in pretty bad pain. As I mentioned before I knew I would finish and I had never not finished a race ever.
Across the line in 6hrs 24mins, just 5minutes faster than 2015.
It turns out that I probably raced with a slipped disc or slipped it somewhere during the race. This time one disc off 2015 – L3/L4.
Worse than when I slipped one in 2015 though. This was a serious protrusion and I actually was bed ridden, completely riddled with pain, so much so I nearly called an ambulance twice. I also lost all feeling in my lower right leg, all movement too. I can’t move my foot 4 days after emergency surgery.
So that’s where I am. Facing a new beginning, a new start. My plan after Ironman was always to hit new targets and new levels of strength & fitness. Those goals still stand. I just have a new route to achieve them. Those goals are…
1) Loose some weight (have I had that goal before!) target weight is 85kg that’s about 10kg lighter than now.
2) Add a consistent strength & conditioning plan to my training.
3) Add yoga / pilates into my routine – this may not happen given the surgery but the basic premise is improve the core & become more mobile and flexible. This is absolutely possible still.
Thanks to everyone that sent messages of support over the last few days, it is very much appreciated no a great encouragement to hit what lies ahead with full force.
I’m going to try to update the blog weekly with a short post & video. This is both as a motivation to me and perhaps others might be interested in how I will do it. Please feel free to forward on, re tweet, re post, whatever. Comments are welcome, good and bad – I’m happy to read anything you have to say, even if you’re calling me names!
By the way, the double chin in the video, it’s all down to the angle of the camera, promise!
So, here’s to starting again…