This update has been a long time coming. Often its hard to want to write anything when things are really not going to plan but I figure now is as good a time as any to fill in some gaps. On the weekend I 'raced' the HyVee 5150 Champs in Des Moines. Although closer to the truth is that I got on the startline and I also crossed the finish line. In between was not racing. More on that in a minute. First of all though a big big thank you and congratulations to HyVee and the organisers of the race weekend. It is without doubt one of the best events on the circuit and as a professional athlete who has been racing for well over a decade that is saying something. HyVee has brought incredible vision and passion to the sport and also given respect to the term 'professional triathlete' by providing a prize purse to match. Amazing. Also huge congrats to the guys and girls that fought it out. It was a day of impressive racing and one that I am glad I was there to see at least.
I only wish I could have been in form to pay the same respect to the race. I must admit I have had a bike escort on the run before but only when I was in the lead - never before have I been the last on course and not only last but well, well behind. Sadly that was what I had expected going into the race, and indeed had it not been this one race in particular I wuld never have even comtemplated starting. The fact though was that If I somehow manage to finish - even if I had to walk/crawl (I think I came close actually) then I would still be getting a pay check. Was the humilation worth it though? Unfortunatley in this sport, where prizemoney is generally small and after following a year of injury, the answer has to be yes.
So what happened? An unwelcome return of my earlier injury. The one that saw me out for 5 months and in pretty much constant pain. Great timing. I guess that was the risk I took – that by increasing my training and trying to get in shape to race, that I pushed things too much. Not that I really had a choice though – when it is your job to race then you just don’t have the option of time – you have to at least take the chance. Instead of getting ready to race though I spent the week before the race alternating between bed and the lounge – resting up after having to get a cortisone injection one week prior (I am not silly enough to do that to race, it was just for pain relief). The shot did help some of the acute pain but it was now almost 3 weeks since I had done anything that could be called training. The reality was that the race was over before it even started.
Fortunately this re-occurence is more of a backwards step than completely back to square one. Now the plan is to get things right completely. And I know I am in good hands - Dr Tony Philips and his team at Inside Sports Clinic in Overland Park have done an increible job of getting me this far. Not sure when the next race will be but I will definitely be waiting until things have settled down and my body is healthy and ready to take on the training.
Thank you so much to all the support I had on the weekend at the race. Honestly I really appreciated it and it also helped me get through to the end. Even when you feel like a failure and as though you are letting yourself and others down, it amazes me that people are still supportive. Thank you.