Monday, August 02, 2010


Like radioactive nuclear waste that was once so threatening and full of life-endangering vitality, I now sit here decaying slightly and a shadow of my former self.  Don't worry, it's not a permanent state of affairs, simply the culmination of various ailments that have conspired to occur simultaneously.  Just as, it seems, bad news always arrives in more than one form, so do injuries and illnesses.

The past few weeks have seen me struggling to recover from a urine infection which has knocked me for six, leaving me with incredible kidney pain, nausea and the feeling of uncontrollable tiredness.  I thought we'd gotten (just for my American readers) to the bottom of it with a course of antibiotics but I fear it may not have been shaken completely and the little blighter may still be up to no good, buried deep inside my urinary tract.

Alongside that I've had some form of virus that the docs think may be related.  They can't put their finger on it but feel that it's now 'on the way out'.  I think they could be right about this.

My lower back has been absolute agony for a few weeks now (this is a mechanical pain not the pain caused by the infection) resulting in difficulty standing for long periods of time.

And, of course, my achilles is still injured.

Of all the ailments, my achilles shows most signs of recovery - which is good.  I've been having intensive work on it from Dr John, my chiro and sports injury bod.  Every morning I go to his practice and do weight bearing drops on the achilles from an exercise step.  As I'm doing this he's grinding a set of specialist Graston tools (photo right) against the achilles to stimulate blood flow.  I'm also keeping going with my eccentric excercises mentioned in previous weeks.  I'm not able to run yet, but I've cautiously jogged a few hundred meters and the pain is low and constant compared with high and increasing several months ago.

So, I feel we're making progress.

Work has been incredibly busy - which I'm not complaining about.  I've been shooting and editing ads for a regular client as well as quoting on projects to come.  Long may this continue.

Still no news on my book.  It's been with three literary agents for two months now and I've heard nothing back.  There's little point in pestering my agent... I just have to accept that it's 'out there' and in whatever passes as a system at this point in an author's life.

So, for all sorts of reasons, not least that I feel my body is telling me, I'm ready for a rest.

Fortuitous then that we have a holiday approaching.  In a few days we'll be off to one of our favourite retreats, Portugal's Algarve coast.  We've taken a peaceful villa with its own pool and I will be dedicating the two weeks to rest and recuperation.

Without fail I will be ensuring I do the following things:

1.  Play with and enjoy the company of my children.
2.  Ditto my wife.
3.  Increase my sleep.
4.  Decrease my alcohol consumption.
5.  Read books.
6.  Relax

There will be other things but the above will be given the utmost priority.

I recently returned from IMCH (Ironman Switzerland) where I'd gone to support my friends from Team MK.  You'll remember I had to accept I couldn't complete the race due to my achilles injury and, as it happens, with my back injury and infection descending upon me the week before, I'd have been unable to race competitively anyway.

But I had a swim skin with me and my old winter bike so I managed to do the swim in Lake Zurich and hop out for a lap of the bike course.  I'm glad I did as it confirmed that my love affair with Ironman is not yet over and that I feel I have more in the tank in terms of performance.

All my mates did well, as did my Team MK mates at yesterday's Ironman UK race - one of the toughest on the Ironman calendar.

Special congratulations this week go to my Canadian buddy, Bryan Payne for qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona in October.  Bryan has raced three Ironman races this year so far and finally qualified at IM Lake Placid.  His resolute determination to achieve a super-ambitious goal is something I can identify with and I, for one, know that beneath the projection of a beer drinking, carefree soul lies the steely heart and unshakeable resolve of a great competitor in life and sport.  A man who I could do business with - in the figurative sense, of course.  Well done, buddy.

Finally - congratulations must also go to my great mate Tom Williams who races in his last ever Irondistance triathlon this weekend.   I met Tom and his wife Helen at my first Ironman - 2007 in Austria.  Since that time our friendship has grown and our families have become great buddies with them regularly visiting us and our enjoying relaxed weekends together.  Tom has been a constant source of encouragement and advice on my Ironman journey whilst undergoing his own.  You've been an inspiration mate.  I look forward to years of friendship formed out of this great sport and wish you enjoyment in whatever sporting, business and life challenges you are moving on to.

On that positive note I feel energised and revitalised.  I'm sorry I've not been on the blog for a long time. I'll try and not make that mistake again.

Sleep well.