So last week was pretty much a write off… I took Monday off work as felt pretty battered and bruised after the crash, not to mention I found concentrating on anything relatively taxing rather difficult- that’ll be the concussion! Tuesday I worked from home, in the loosest sense of the word, and had my first physio appointment.
Having studied and practiced physiotherapy for 7 years, I should have known what I was in for… After recounting the crash, Anna had a look at my shoulder and neck. She confirmed that it’s an A-C joint sprain (recovery time around 6 weeks) and also some rotator cuff involvement, mainly deltoid. Great!! After some postural advice, soft tissue work and mobilizations on my neck she sent me on my way with a set of exercises to do and a request to come back the following week. As I was leaving I asked, ‘how long until I can train?’ She broke my heart by replying, ‘6 weeks until you can swim and 2 weeks until you can run, but turbo all you like!’ I walked home in silence, it didn’t hit me until I got home, ironman was just over 7 weeks away and 6 of those I wasn’t allowed to set foot in any water. Bloody brilliant! As you can imagine, the tears started falling once again… Hysterical. Sobbing, hyperventilating, a full on panic attack ensued. How am I going to do this, how am I going to cope, can I do this?
Wednesday and Thursday were write offs too, mentally more than anything. I couldn’t concentrate, was in a lot of pain and just didn’t want to do anything. But after speaking to a number of people, including my old training buddy from Birmingham who is also a fantastic triathlon coach, I came to the conclusion that I know I can swim the distance already, I know I can run the distance already, the only worry is the bike… And I’ve been given (relatively) free rein to crack on with bike training, so YES, of course I can do this! It’s not going to be fast, and won’t be particularly impressive but I will make it over the finish line at Copenhagen even if I have to crawl (which judging by how I feel now is a distinct possibility!!)
The rest of the week was spent with my arm in its sling, occasionally removing it to do some exercise or other. I did my first two turbo sessions- 45 minutes the first time, followed by an hour session the next day. Yes, it’s dull, but it’s doable and it’s better than sitting around doing nothing!
On Friday 3rd July I was due to take part in the Wales swim in Tenby, part of the Long Course Weekend. I obviously couldn’t swim, but Simon could and we went along and met up with some of my BRAT friends who were doing the whole weekend, Beth and Nick. It was lovely to see them and they had lots of positive and encouraging words for me, as well as reinforcing the fact that my cycling’s probably not all it should be and to make the most of the next few weeks on the turbo! So after coffee and cake (yes, I know) I said goodbye and good luck to them and settled down to watch them take on 3.8km in the sea. It was quite a spectacle, watching over 1700 wetsuited athletes take to the water, and as amazing as the sight was I wanted nothing more than to be in there, right in the middle of it all splashing my way to the end.
After 1:09 Simon emerged from the water, followed a bit later by Nick and Beth. They were all elated and said it had been a little rough, with loads of jellyfish, but totally awesome. As expected!
The rest of the weekend was lovely, we went to Simon’s sister’s wedding which was just perfect, although involved a lot of indulging in nice food, pudding, alcohol and not to mention the sweetie cart!!! I was like a kid in a candy shop, ditched the sugar free for the weekend and totally gorged myself. Needless to say come Monday morning I was feeling huuuuge!
Back on the wagon now, really feeling like I can do this and despite the set back, I am going to try and turn it into a positive and work really hard on the bike. After all, these things are sent to test us, and it means that if Copenhagen is slow (which I’m sure it will be), I’ll just have to do another Ironman to prove I can go faster! Hmm we’ll see about that!
Had my second physio session this morning, she’s pleased with the improvements in my range of movement in my neck and shoulder. There’s still a lot of tightness and some whiplash but she worked on that with some massage and mobilizations. On an exciting note I’ve been given Theraband… Hello strengthening! 💪🏻
So two turbo sessions into the week I’m feeling like the training mojo is back and I want to get strong and get better on the bike. I was due to complete an 85 mile race on Sunday, which I’m not going to be able to do, I’m planning on sitting on the turbo in front of the men’s Wimbledon final and getting some decent miles in!
Thank you for reading,
A much more positive triathlete x