Usually when I don’t write a blog for a couple of months its because I’m simply too lazy to actually sit down and write one. This time it’s different though. This time I simply had nothing to write about. My last race was a European Cup back in April (where I finished 18th). I flew home on Sunday from the race and started my last set of college exams on the Tuesday so I never got around to doing a blog for that one..
After my exams I had planned on racing a few big world cups again like last summer so I ramped up the run sessions and gambled that my body would be able to handle the extra stress. Long story short I ended up with some tibialis posterior (lower shin) problems which cut me out from doing any running for a month. I smashed all my rehab for a month, felt pain free and re-introduced some running again for about 10 days before it flared up again.
One of my old coaches used to say “don’t throw all the toys out of the pram” if a session wasn’t going well, meaning stay calm. The first time the injury happened I stayed chill and got on with it. After I rested though and it still hadn’t gone away I got every toy I owned and f****d them as far away as I could.
No bullshit with this post, I was absolutely gutted when it flared up the second time because it was early July by that stage, about 7 weeks before World Champs and I knew I had no way of getting fit enough to earn a selection spot. So for the first time in either 8 or 9 seasons I said f**k it and stopped training for the month of August.
I had already dug a little financial hole from races earlier on in the season so I stayed on the couch of a couple of friends house in Limerick for the month of August so I could work in UL and try earn a bit of money. I really can’t thank the lads in Limerick enough for being so helpful all summer, High Performance sport can be a real dark place sometimes but having the right people around you through the low points makes all the difference.
It was a weird month because although my mind was still almost always focused on sport in some way, the thought of actually getting myself out the door and training just wasn’t clicking with me. So I stayed chilled, enjoyed my time off and lived like a normal student for half the summer. As much as I was gutted to miss the season, it was probably a well timed break because now that I’m home in Nenagh I’m working about 50 hours a week between coaching, life-guarding and a few other bits and pieces so it was probably my last chance to “live the student life” for a little while.
Since I moved home in early September I’ve slowly started putting all my toys back in my pram. I’ve certainly found my love for running again, and once it’s dry I love being out on the bike. I’m so extremely unfit in the pool that my motivation to swim is a bit slower to come around but I’m sure it’ll follow suit soon enough.
I’m in Spain at the minute for my brothers wedding (which is in about 5 hours!). I had planned on getting at least a couple of good run sessions done over here, simply because I want to be out running. But me being the eejit I am fell over on my walk home last night and bust my chin open. I’m not sure how many stitches I got because they bandaged me up after but it sure felt like a fair few which means no real exercise until I get home on Saturday. I’ve set Monday (Sep 14th) as my D-Day. From then I’ll start planning my training weeks in a logical way rather than doing what I feel like. Assuming my chin isn’t any hassle then I should be good to roll from Monday on, both physically and mentally.
Having had some time off I started looking at things a bit differently. I’ve always struggled to be a consistent “winter warrior” and feel like I’m fairly lazy when it comes to getting the long slow aerobic training done over the winter months. On the flip side I’ve wanted to do a Half Ironman for a couple of years now. I’m toying with the idea of getting a PRO licence and doing Challenge Salou in March.
There’s two reasons for picking Salou. Firstly, if I commit to a half Ironman, there’s no way I will let myself rock up unfit, hence I would have to do the long aero training I generally neglect. And secondly, I feel its usually my endurance that lets me down at the end of Sprint/Olympic ITU races. Starting with a half in March would give me a solid base, and hopefully set me up nicely for a summer season on the ITU circuit. I’m still 100% focused on ITU so I won’t be doing anything more than dabbling in the longer distance for a few more years at least, but sure what harm can one do eh.
For the minute that’s the plan I’m going with in my head, but I don’t have a TT bike so the total cost just to do one race might end up changing plans yet, but I’ll see. For now the thought of doing Salou and racing ITU again excites me and has me out training again so I’ll roll with it for a while.
I have to give a massive shout-out to my sponsors VeloRevolution, Kinetica and Evan Lynch for having the patience to help me out even when things aren’t all sunshine and roses. Having their genuine support means a lot to me.
For now though, I’m best man at this wedding later on and my dad said the big massive white bandage covering half my chin looks like a sanitary towel, so I’d better go try make it look a bit better for some wedding photos
Thanks for reading 🙂