Month: March 2014

Hope springs eternal

Well I am claiming a successful week.


After much doom and gloom around last weekend and the despondency of now being a non-dog family this week has generally gone about as well as it could have…….

After seeing the GP on Monday, after 73 phone calls to sneak onto the list of actually being seen, the diagnosis was a little bit better in all things loft related. After the doctor stopped chuckling about how the injury had occurred and set about making me do all manner of semi naked strange stretches the verdict was that drugs, partial rest and a scan would be required to see the full extent. Thankfully my wonderful German employers provide health insurance – which I am yet again making the upmost of – so come Wednesday lunchtime I was sat very nervously in a blush private hospital not a million miles from my house.

Now I have only ever been in a room with an ultra scan machine a couple of times before and then my nerves surrounded the fact that we were finding out just how many munchins and what sex they were inside my wife’s ever growing stomach. This time the nice doctor type chap, ignored my ever increasing gut and started to lube up my shoulder. Again stretches and random positions were held for seconds, that felt like minutes and I found myself holding my breath awaiting the news that would almost certainly define my plans for the summer and my mood for the next couple of months.

In-between holding my breath I made sure Mr doctor man understood what I was training for, the volumes I was intending to do and then the events and associated timelines to reach the start and hopefully finish lines.

The verdict was, surprisingly and happily, about as good as could have been hoped for.


It’s a tear of the muscle, it’s not torn, with drugs, physio and easing myself back into things I should be ready (ish) and waiting for Slateman come the 18th May. Striking whilst the iron was hot I booked into physio as soon as I could and managed to get a slot pre the weekend to get myself taped up like a sexy mo fo. Again the verdict from that was that 6 weeks should be the time period before I am back to ‘normal’. So in-between I have been told no swimming for at least another month but running and cycling are ok as long as I listen to my body and not overdo things.

I binned off the boring blue physio tape as it was peeling and went for the much sexier cow print tape instead.


During the week I trained everyday on the turbo to test things out and discover the boundaries I would be working to, increasing in speed and duration and the shoulder stood up quite well to the abuse – apart from moving to get drinks and change gear the pain was pretty non-existent whilst actually in the aero position, so I probably held it for longer than ever before – going 75 mins in the middle of a 90 min session.

That said with the demands of proper riding I think it will be sometime till I am back on the road properly, which means no Conway 100 mile sportive at the end of April – yet another event missed and yet another ride I was supposed to do with Joe which I am having to cry off from.

Over the weekend I was up in leeds meeting my best mates new born son, always good for the soul and also went to watch Derren Browns theatre show. I won’t spoil it for anyone going to see it, but its good, confusing and good – and a lot of things which you can use for yourself in the real world – especially I think if your training for a big event. Perspective is a wonderful thing and I think I often forget it.

This morning I braved the outside world in lycra for the first time in 2 weeks and went for a run. I knew it wasn’t especially fast or pretty but it felt comfortable and I stayed within the HR boundaries I was after, my calf (after previous injuries) felt good again and maybe I can now finally forget about that concern when I put my runners on. The run was designed to test my shoulder during and afterwards to see how I would cope with getting back out there and more importantly to see if I can actually do the HM I am booked into to do come the weekend.

Happily it was ok – I could feel it’s not right, but it didn’t prevent me running and I didn’t have to stop, in fact I enjoyed myself so much I forgot what the time was and ended up doing 6 miles instead of the planned 4. This poses its own dilemma for this weekend, the course of the HM is hilly – so hilly that they actually give you a medal if you run up the main hill plus the normal medal for finishing the event; that was pretty much the reason I entered, I bloody love a medal me.

(profile of run course below)


So do I do it, nice and slow and steady treating it like a training run – because I haven’t trained for a HM and haven’t run that distance at all this year so far? My expectations will be just to finish and hopefully not come last whilst not sustaining any further injuries or do I bin it off and see the bigger picture of future events.

I guess I wait and see just how it feels later today and tomorrow morning – where I am planning on doing another 6 miles to test it out.

Either way its been good to get out and about – puts a smile and everyone’s face, even if you are being dragged round chester zoo.




A new transition

When I entered the wonderful world of triathlon, well just getting fit generally by running with the dog, I didn’t think about injuries. I always assumed that only the elite got them as they were the only ones to train hard or long enough. Which I have since concluded is utter rubbish.

I have had a few injuries in the last 2 yrs; mainly from decking it on the ice whilst running, decking it on gravel in a 10k race last summer and decking it after hitting a kerb before last Christmas. Stupid running. However by far the most serious injury has caused by the hidden danger in most of our houses.

The dreaded loft.

Guess I didn’t factor in lofts into this years training plan.

Upshot is, confirmed by people in the know, a torn rotar cuff muscle in my right shoulder. Which I am assuming is as a result of me attempting to catch my chunky falling self.

Best case scenario is 6 weeks worst case is 3/4 months of pretty much no training. Definitely no swimming and outside cycling (ok to turbo sitting bolt upright, that sounds fun) and only light , short and slow runs.

Clearly at anytime of the year this wouldn’t be the best news. However after roughly bursting my balls in the crappy winter weather this is especially annoying given the improvement in weather. Also
as I was due to do my first ‘races’ (sport relief 5k swim and 10k run) and have numerous lines up within that time period it was ‘alittle annoying’ meaning that potentially I will not be doing any of the following; snowdonia HM, gran conway 100m, Chester triathlon, Keswick triathlon, slateman, outlaw half, md 10k or outlaw fall. I will heal at some point but other issues have meant my humour was even worse.

My annoyance, hurt and displeasure at this was surpassed by the passing of my long standing friend and companion of 8 years.


This photo taken less than a month ago was the last time he was really himself and his sudden decline was heartbreaking to watch. We knew there was only really one choice to make, but that choice was the hardest thing I have done that I can remember. The only comfort being that he wasn’t suffering anymore.

As mentioned he was one of the reasons I started exercising and started me down the road I am on now. In a previous life he used to come to work with me and frequency never left my side for the majority of the day.

I am proud to say I stayed with him till the end and cried tears of sadness at the circumstances and the missed adventures that we would never have together.

On both of the above topics I have received some great advice, support and messages from the people of twitter. As ever I just wish that I knew you all properly in ‘real’ life as I can’t help thinking it would be a bloody good laugh.

On a more positive note today my wife completed her second 5k, flying round showing good form and pretty sure she was top 5 at the Wrexham sport relief event. Even with junior jude assisting down the home stretch


The event organisers were so proud of junior that they gave her a medal; hopefully the first of her life. The added bonus of my wife being happy and not wanting to inflict pain on me ( like she did when I signed her up for her first one last yr) was great.

Good job someone in the house is going to be able to bring some medals home this year!


I just fear the transition back to Fatman might be on the cards 😩

Falling with style

I was going to title this down in the dumps or attempting to fly but couldn’t decide so thought I would go for the more accurate version and reference a Disney movie.

I guess the majority of you reading this will know what this references however for those who have managed to avoid my moaning on twitter for the past two weeks here goes;

I fell out of my loft – well it collapsed with me on it.

Clever eh?

Apart from the split second when it happened and I was convinced I was going to break my arm mid ‘flight’ I think I might have got off pretty lightly considering the drop, my weight and the damage I did to the house and not myself. I still have a mammoth sized bruise on my arm and a woolly mammoth size one on my leg – however the single biggest issue and ongoing concern is my lower back and shoulders.

Both of which are sore, stiff and ache for most of the day. This is worrying enough in itself but also compounded by the fact that I have had to work stupidity long hours in the same period, including travel to a 3rd world country, meant that I haven’t eaten especially well and shall we politely say I may have had the odd yogurt or two more than I needed.

What’s even more frustrating is that I had been starting to enjoy my training before it happened – I had swum the day before and really pushed myself for an hour and a half, perhaps surprisingly enjoying it a lot as well, got in a couple of longer runs and had planned a 100 mile bike ride the next day, the first real test of cycling ability for the year and more importantly my eating was back under control.

All of which has ground to a halt, just in perfect timing with the weather improving. So on the hottest day of the year, a day I planned to spend on my bike with some mates, it meant I hardly moved from bed and saw pretty much zero sunlight. You can imagine my mood as I had to strip the bike down from all its nutritional load and put my cycling gear back in the draws.

In the intervening period I have managed a slow and very painful 45mins on the turbo and a slow and extremely painful 4 mile run. Both of which left me even more gloomy than when I started – something which never happens to me with exercise. Things looked to be picking up last Sunday when I went for a spin on the bike outside, but 20 miles seems to have but my back in worse shape than it was before. This week has seen no exercise and no motivation to be healthy.

Problem is I have a 5k swim to do on Saturday and a 10k race to do on Sunday. Completely undecided on what to do – attempt the swim (which would be the furthest I have ever swum) and risk my shoulders getting worse or bin off the swim and attempt to do the 10k race as just training.

When I originally signed up for them it was to gear myself up for the tri season, smash a 10k PB on the flattish course ever and swim over the iron distance to generate confidence– right now that’s all like staring into the abyss, fearful of what is to come and without the training or nutritionally improved temple of a body I was after.

I think I shall attempt a small run in the morning and see from there.

So in summary – not all budgies can fly, some can’t even fall gracefully, but we all love food.



Hide and Seek

Delighted to say that it seems I have rediscovered my mojo ( (not what i thought it meant) somewhat this week and got back on track with the revised plan.

What is it they say about the darkest sky is before the dawn?

Had a heart to heart with she who must be obeyed and we both agreed that we needed to sort out food intake and then bask in the wondrous repercussions that it would bring. So a healthy food list was devised, including a pancake or two on Tuesday and it was followed despite challenges of work making me late and massively hungry.

One simple thing which I have done is to ensure that I always have a bottle of juice or water in the car –  both to and from work. After training in the morning it helps to keep me hydrated and then it helps beat off the hunger pains before the nightly feast.

Within the food list we have looked to incorporate some of the recipes from 220 tri magazine which they claimed would keep us fuller for longer and pretty impressively they did, also tasted good which is a happy bonus. It’s something which I think we will continue to drop into meal plans – might even look for a nutritional recipe book based around fuelling and training – as ever folks let me know the good / bad ones out there.

Nice to have some variety and I am sure the fact that you trust its doing you some good will also have a placebo effect. Also after receiving some info from a fellow twitter (little competition to see who can guess who it is……is ginger, wants to meet me in a holiday Inn*…….)(first one to guess gets a prize**) I started using a hand size portion guide towards food intake.

Seems easy and straightforward and to be honest it is. Using two palms for protein, a fist for veg and two cupped hands for carbs. Added to this two thumbs  for snacking on nuts a day (stop laughing) and ensuring I drink regular cups of water throughout the day has largely kept the hunger pains away. Also due to the toilets at work being upstairs it means I have to fairly consistently walk up them.

 Win win folks.

 Win win


If you dont like this blog then please dont read it – its not meant to offend or upset but to act as a light hearted guide to whats going on. Utimately its for me and my family to look back on in a couple of years to reflect upon life back in the day when i attempted to get fit and win Outlaw.

Just like on twitter – if you dont like me, or if my tweets annoy you – unfollow and move on with your life. I know it doesnt seem like it sometimes but life is pretty short, how about we all just get along and have a good time.



*yes its pugs

 **don’t be naive the prize doesn’t exist.