Beginning to Tri – Epp 5 – Light at the end of the tunnel, but with a few dark patches!

It’s really tough when its marathon season and all your friends are talking running and you are not allowed to!  Don’t get me wrong I am making progress with my injury, the limp is almost gone and I can now bend over to do my laces up (Tri Elastic laces have been my saviour for the last 6 weeks!)  I never realised how long 6 weeks without running or riding was but it feels like ages.  At least I have been able to swim.

I have tried the odd session out of the pool but after 5 – 10 minutes (I lasted 2 minutes on the Watt Bike!!) my leg feels like it’s on fire and I know that I have upset my back once again so sadly but sensibly I have realised this is a great time to build on my swimming.

So I have hit the pool on average 5 times a week, taken loads of advice on what training to do and tried to use the time to work on Speed, Endurance and technique!  I’m still loving the MP XCeed Goggles and found these to be a revelation to my longer training as they are comfy and don’t steam up.  Since upping my training It was suggested about getting some swim training gear, I already had a kick Float but bought myself a set of AquaSphere Hand paddles and a cheap waterproof MP3 to reduce the boredom of long endurance sessions.

Even though the MP3 was around £3 from China on ebay it works well, sounds ok and it reduces the boredom.  I love my hand paddles, I have taken swim session from a few places: 220, friends and articles of the web.  I already feel faster and stronger and hope that this is a real positive from not being able to ride or run.  I’m feeling confident to tackle phase 2 of my plan!

Phase 2 – Get out & Work hard!

I’m a member of my local David Lloyd and as well as 2 pools (It felt odd as I had to share a lane yesterday!!) The also have their own Tri Club with session lead by Rob Moore (Level 3 BTF Coach, BTF coach of the Year 2009!) I know him through work and he’s been a great help with my swimming and I feel it’s now time to hit the pool in one of his Tri sessions!  Also I have been invited along by a member of the Exeter Tri Club to their first open Water Swims on bank Holiday Monday.  I’m really looking forward to this as it gives me a great chance to try out the Zone3 Aspire wetsuit I currently have on test. (Review to follow)

I’m highly competitive and I know that going to his swim club will push me to train harder and I have several little bad habits with my stroke so I hope he will sort me out!  The chance to get into the sea and swim is one of the reasons I wanted to do Tri.  I love outdoor swimming but hardly do it without a leash on my ankle or kids in tow!

The Dark Patch’s!

So by reading all of this you would be led to believe recovery is going well and I’m coping, I’m not!   My physio has been great and has been understanding on the fact I want to get moving.  It doesn’t stop me getting frustrated with not being able to run or ride.  I can see the progress that I’m making but I’m not keen on taking drugs but I know I need to help with recovery! (Ibuprofen every 4 hours, 10mg Amitriptyline each night)  I have been better than ever on doing my stretch’s and trying to keep my back mobile, but every now and again I get really frustrated!

This week’s frustration came from visiting an NHS Physio!  I booked an appointment 6 weeks ago when I first became injured but as expected the waiting list is long.  I want to recover quickly so I had to bite the bullet and see someone privately.  Jenni from Quay Kinetics is great but my plan was to do that until I was seen by the NHS to reduce overall costs.  The physio wasn’t overly interested, once I had said I had been to see Jenni, his advice was to keep seeing her, follow her instructions and take my time to return to full on mode.

I came out of the consultation angry, why I had wasted my time!  Jenni is great and always at the end of a phone for advice and can see me after school so I don’t miss work.  I’m happy to continue to see her but it does cost!  I will have to plan for this now but the underlying annoyance was that the NHS physio felt I was too knowledgeable and motivated for their service and that I was better doing what I was!  With time I can see his point but it is frustrating that it was no help.  I will continue to see Jenni, She’s great and I know I will come back stronger and fitter.  I rang her and had a rant as she had asked me to ring her to say how it had gone and was very supportive, the rant helped and I hope seeing her on Wednesday will help further.

So my upcoming targets on my Begging to Tri journey is to hit Rob’s Swim session and get out in the sea.  At the moment the Dart Duo seems ages away but we are nearly in May, I can’t run more than 10 steps without pain but I’m happy how my swimming is coming on!  6 weeks of rehab done and I’m still not fully fit but I do see a shimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, let’s hope I’m blinded by the daylight soon!

Happy Training


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