Friday, May 27, 2011
Halleluja, I hear you mutter.
Well, not so brief as to let you go after just three sentences.
You'll be familiar with my annus horribilis. A chronic achilles injury that prevented me running for over a year. Back surgery on a slipped/herniated disc and further surgery just over a month ago. So, all in all, for most folk, a fairly debilitating time.
So, naturally, I'm aiming to complete another Ironman in July.
I don't want to sound glib about this - there's a lot more to it than simply rocking up and risking my health - I'd never do that. But I've seen great progress with my achilles over the past few months, especially after using prescription orthotics, and am now up to running 15 miles. I'm also able to 'push' with my running, running 10k at sub 7 minute miles average pace... so I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to at least embark on the IM marathon without too much trouble. How I'll go when I get into the red zone in terms of distance and leg stress... we'll have to see.
My back is not at all bad. That's to say it's not healed and I'm still aware of it but I've done a huge amount of core work and have changed many aspects of my life to accommodate its rehabilitation. From how I sit, to how I run and walk, to what I eat, a daily exercise regime, a relevant vitamin intake... all these things have contributed to my being able to function pretty much as normal.
I've eased back from the swimming to protect my back but have still managed around 55km so far in May.
The bike has been going well. I've been getting stronger every year and this year is no exception. As ever, I started out on my heavy winter bike and only moved up to the faster carbon machines in April. I'm concentrating now in trying to 'dial in' to the position on my TT bike to enable my back to get used to being bent over for 112 miles whilst my legs are delivering power.
I've even treated myself to a new pair of Giro cycling shoes. After being a cyclist for four years, I figure I'm now decent enough to justify them. They are extremely beautiful, unlike me.
I have also shaved my legs. Fiona is horrified. Erin and Alice are mystified.
But I'm happy and hell, shaving your legs doesn't hurt anyone.
The surgery I went through in April was for hemorrhoids and I refuse to get all embarrassed about stuff like that. If we're to have a sensible approach to men's health in this country then issues of internal bleeding need to be looked at and addressed. We wouldn't think twice if we were bleeding from our ears or our throats about getting these things checked out. So why is it different from our bottoms? I guess because we're still living with our Victorian legacy of finding 'toilet' humour funny and slightly embarrassing. Anyway, I was fortunate. It wasn't cancer, though it could well have been. The problem has been fixed and, let me tell you, it was bloody painful. The surgeon's advice was to begin cycling after three weeks.
So I was back on a bike within 48 hours.
Why? Because it's called Ironman. Not Sitonthesofaman.
Onwards now to Challenge Roth in Germany on July 10th.
Other news soon.
S'good to be back with you.