On the anniversary of my crash, I competed in my first short course tri. I penned a blog post about how tired I was of “feeling broken” and how the lyrics of the song, “I Just Wanna F……g Dance” by Wayne G and Alison Jiear were inspiring how I was feeling. I am coming up on just under month to go until the Mooloolaba triathlon and today I was listening to music on my iPod with the “shuffle” function on and although I heard the same music, it was playing a different song.
These lyrics stood out:
“Now my life is calling me
I believe I’m breaking free
It’s all I’ve waited for
I’ve never felt so sure”
Last week, I completed over seventeen hours of training – two runs,two strength sessions, three swims and the rest of the time on the bike. I completed a criterium race. I nailed a long ride. I climbed the back of Mt Coot-tha. You could say that as far as my recovery goes, this week has been a defining moment. There are still some steps to achieve before I can say that I am fully recovered but I am getting closer with each passing day – and I am so grateful and excited about it.
Every day last week had a milestone – starting with Monday – I achieved a ride out and back from home, which is extremely hilly – my first attempt since my surgery. I survived the sprint swim squad session. On Tuesday I achieved three climbs of the back section of Mt Coot-tha, something I have not achieved since before I had the surgery. I also ran my first 5km on the treadmill (with a little walking thrown in) On Wednesday, I trained with my fellow Koiled Shebeast teammates and although tough, didn’t feel like I was going to lose the plot – and backed it up with a hard heart rate swim set. On Thursday, I ran faster and threw down some light weights and on Friday, I took my Activ Cycle Coaching recovery ride and was able to stay with the group on most of the climbs, finishing the working week off with an endurance swim set with my triathlon buddy, Marion.
On Saturday I teamed up with my partner in crime, Mel – although I call her Harry and myself Lloyd, paying homage to that vintage cinema, “Dumb and Dumber” in a Uni of Qld club criterium. We raced in C grade and the pace from the get go was red hot. I was stealing glances at my Garmin and seeing numbers such as 48, 46, 47 etc flash across the screen. That is 48km/hr etc. I knew that it was going to be one heck of a tough assignment and I was delighted to find myself with four of the boys to race off for the prime (the sprint lap). Unfortunately I was on the rivet and standing up to sprint would have probably resulted in a disaster of epic proportions so I just focused on sitting on. Then I started to feel nauseous and decided to pull off, not before Harry, who had seen me flagging, yelled at me to get back into the mix. Harry and half of the peloton had been split by a fellow who had suffered from an ill timed mechanical and she had put her head down, worked with a few of the other guys and had team time trialled her way back into contention.
Luckily the Uni don’t mind if you take a lap out and as the peloton swung back around the track, I paired up with another gentleman who had suffered the same fate as me and we got straight back into the mix. Then almost at the end, I started to feel like I couldn’t hang in there – again Harry yelled at me to “get back in” and without further ado, I was sitting on her back wheel thinking to myself as the finish approached, “it’s all I’ve waited for, I’ve never felt so sure!”. I was so pleased to have finished the race, albeit with a lap out – but I’m not complaining. It was a fantastic feeling to have nailed a crit that averaged over 41km/hr and I was so happy to be sharing my best post surgery criterium with a great mate and faithful encourager.
Even a 130km long endurance ride could not dampen my spirits on Sunday – although I was a little tired, I was riding in a way that was disgustingly happy. Finally some progress and some hope on the horizon that I just might do ok in this Mooloolaba tri, even with the challenge of a hilly run.
It’s a wonderful feeling to nail a big week of training and although backward steps are sometimes part of the process, it was nice to feel like I took a significant step forward. Here’s to a good week for everyone!