Sunday, 20 November 2011

Time to reflect

Over the past two weeks, my frustration has continued to grow. Battling this colitis feels like a full time job. It has eliminated any physical activity outside of work, which I’m struggling to get through anyway. It has begun to make me question why I should worry so much about getting better so I can begin training again or should I just sit back and let it happen. I don’t get paid to train hour after hour. I don’t get paid to go out and win races. So why should I worry about it so much? Is it really worth it? The stress of the training is only adding fuel to the fire. I have Colitis as a result of the heavy workload of training I put myself through to try to be the best.  Would it really make a difference if I packed away my running shoes, sold my bike, and just forgot about Triathlons?

So, I asked myself what got me into triathlon.

Well long before I started competing in triathlons I remember watching my Uncle compete in Ironman Australia at its original home in Forster, NSW. I found it exciting and I loved listening to the commentators talking about the leaders and where they were out on the course. I thought it was amazing, how could these people be doing this? He went on to compete in Hawaii and the dream has always been there for me to one day make it as a competitor myself.

                                                        Dad, myself and my Uncle Mark

That was a long time ago and although it wasn’t until late in my twenty’s before I began competing it was for many different reasons. Life was starting to slip away from me and I knew I needed to make some changes. I remember my first run was about two kilometers long and when I got home, I was proud of myself. Day by day, the training volume increased and actually competing in triathlons became a reality. My point to this is it made me happy, I was excited by it, I felt challenged and determined to be good at it. It’s not because I want to be paid for the hours of training I do, rather it’s what I love doing. It clears my head; it keeps me fit and looking healthy. I love going for rides in the country side and running along the trails or swimming 2 or 3k in the ocean.

So where to from here? How do I beat this without beating myself up? For once in my life, I really need to be patient. Patience is not one of my strengths but I know if I want to continue doing this I need to let the colitis run its path. I’m determined like nothing else to get to the finish line of my first Ironman and to make it to Hawaii. The colitis is here with me to stay I just have to make it my friend.

I managed a swim and a run over the weekend that has put me in a positive frame of mind and I’m excited about the week I have planned.

Shout out to my old boy who won his Age Group in the first race of the Sydney Triathlon Series.

On another note if anyone is planning to buy a product from Road ID make sure you follow my link to the web page by clicking on the Road ID logo on my page.


Sunday, 6 November 2011

An optimistic outlook.

   It was a tough week for me this week both physically and emotionally. My health has been far from perfect, with most days being a real struggle to get through. I found myself barely getting through dinner and then heading straight to bed. It’s difficult to cope with, my head is finally ready to go, but my body is not allowing it to happen. With no energy to lift, lengths of timber at work there is even less energy to put into any physical exercise. My Colitis is totally stress related and the best way for me to release that stress is to get out and train. So, I feel as if I am spinning my wheels with no real escape. My new diet is going to take time to get used to and I know that it is also not helping with my lack of energy. I feel no matter which way I turn there is something stopping me from eating or drinking. It’s certainly not the case, there are plenty of things I can have it’s just a matter of finding them. It’s frustrating to say the least. I enjoy coming home after a long week at work and putting my feet up to a couple of cold beers. These little things really make a big difference when they are know longer on the menu.

    As the weather gets cold here, things have already started to heat up back home in OZ. This is my favorite time of year, race season has just kicked off and we are only a month or two out from Christmas. That means holidays, surf, sun and some extra hours to train. I miss not being able to race with my mate’s and heading up and down the coast to compete in the big events. On the weekend was the Port Macquarie 70.3 classed as the Australian Age Group Championships and a win in your division would get you an entry into the Australian Ironman. A number of my friends headed North to race and all of them had fantastic results. The positive about the opposite race seasons is that it really spurs me on to train hard in the off-season and be ready to race come the start of the new season here. It feeds the fire in my belly!!

   Today was a great day. I was feeling a lot better, and was looking forward to getting out for a group run with the FMCT guys and girls. The weather was amazing and I felt good cruising along for our 10k outing. It certainly helped me forget about the week just gone and gave me a positive outlook on the week ahead. This will become a regular Sunday event for me during the off-season. It’s more about enjoying the company then it is about running breath-sapping intervals or hill repeats where your heart wants to explode out of your chest. For me it’s definitely, what I need.

I’m optimistic about my hospital visit on Tuesday a mandatory check up that puts me out of action for a couple of days. Although I am, still know where near 100% I feel that good health is not far away and as soon as that happens, lookout because I’m on a mission to be in the best shape of my life.


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Winter Plans

      At the beginning of last week, my goal was to introduce myself to the pool again. I was a little nervous as the last time I had been in the pool was 4 months ago. Nervous that I had lost so much fitness that it was going to be a real struggle to swim 100 meters. I was right, it was a real struggle! I managed to get through a 2k session and felt happy despite the long road ahead. I swam a 1k TT to see how my times where shaping up and with an 18.05.00 I know I have a busy winter of swimming. Since the first swim I’ve been back again and in a short space of time, I’m feeling stronger and positive about my quick progress. I’m enjoying it too which is always a bonus as staring at that black line lap after lap can get highly boring real fast. Next year I plan to swim two open water sessions per week, as I have missed this a lot over the last couple of years and it has affected my race times also.

   Along with the swimming, I have hit the Yoga mats for some Hot Yoga.  I’m hooked!! Such a great way to spend an hour building your core and stretching at the same time. The amount of sweat that comes off you is amazing; it’s as though you have a tap turned on above you. It’s been a great stress reliever and I find myself having a great sleep afterwards. I will definitely continue to attend a Yoga class a couple of times a week throughout the winter months.

 At the moment, my training has not followed any real structure but I’m working on it as we speak and as of next week, I will be back on track and training with a bit more purpose.

  Speaking of next week, I will be back in hospital just for a day visit to check up on the Colitis. At the moment I am still in a flare up, one day I feel great the next day I feel awful. I’m a little nervous the Doctor may want to put me back on the steroid and if this is the case then my training can go back out the window for an extended period. So I am really hoping this is not the case.

  Whilst I’m talking medical conditions, I went to see an Podiatrist last week to try to pin point the issue with my foot. The condition I have is known as Morton's_neuroma . A nerve that feeds the third and fourth toes. Whenever I run or walk, I am unable to stride out because if I put pressure on this nerve it feels like I’m treading on a rock. I have dealt with this problem for years now so I’m happy I have finally had it seen to. So the prognosis is: get the nerve cut out or orthotics. I want to get it cut out but that means weeks off work and off my foot. The stories I have read from people doing this is that it has a very high success rate and this can only mean improved running form and times for me. I am due to see the Doctor again next week to discuss which avenue to go down.

  Other than that, I entered into Muskoka 70.3 again for 2012. I’m super excited about this race, as 2011 was forgettable due to my health. I will be racing this with the FMCT guys and girls which I’m thrilled to be doing as it’s going to make for some great pre race training weekends at Muskoka, as well as plenty of friendly competition and fun between those racing. I’m hoping it will be a successful race so as I can qualify for the 70.3 World Championships in Nevada, Las Vegas 2013. My only hurdle is seeing how I pull up after Ironman Canada two weeks earlier. But no excuses, I hate excuses!!

 Now with some sad news "The Shed" in Belfoutain will be closing down as of December 1st, 2011. I am gutted by this, it was my favorite place to finish up after a long ride and meet my wife for a coffee or stop and grab a gatorade for the hard ride home. I plan to ride there this weekend for one last hoorah! All are welcome to join me.