Month: December 2015

Gym Candy 

If I need an op – it makes more sense to be lighter as it will be quicker to recover and less impact on my knee.
I have lost that spark – I remember the weekend in Leeds where I was happy and healthy and dancing on tables – because I had more body confidence, I had more energy and I didn’t have any embarrassment in my mind about my size. It probably helped that I was a tad merry on steins of German beer, but it hasn’t just that. I used to shy away from dancing even when extremely merry – but in recent history I have been dancing around the kitchen with Zoe. 

I felt good, because I thought I looked good – I was in clothes which were smaller than ever before. I don’t want to go back to the old days of baggy clothes, big jeans and covering up. I want to wear all the nice clothes I bought, I want to feel fit and healthy and I want that zest for life back again. I want to become the person I was before and I want that feeling to last this time.

Banting works – without a doubt it properly works, but I can’t cheat on it. if I cheat on it, it makes no sense. If I want results I need to ensure that I follow it – there is no one else to blame in this – ultimately it’s down to me and only me what goes into my mouth. We as a family can plan better, we can keep healthy snacks around but it has been me who has eaten bad food – it has been me who has stolen biscuits, it has been me who has eaten yogurts just for the sake of it. I know some simple things can make massive differences – give away yogurts (only get when Zoë needs) and when I get them stick them straight into the boot of the car and offer them round to people – don’t stick them in the back seat and then eat them on the way home. 

21st December was ground zero in many ways.

Regardless of how the injections went I had decided it was to be a restart for me. I had 6 weeks off – moaning about my knee, over indulging and being a pig. Let’s see what the next six weeks bring –granted over Christmas and new year and my birthday it probably won’t be easy but least if I try it’s a start. Least if I keep it in my head it’s a start. 

The steroid and cortisone needles procedure went well – I was expecting it to be numerous jabs, but after they did the first one they said I was done – much to my surprise and happiness (they mix it all together – who knew?) The injection itself was actually ok, better than some of the long tattoo sessions I have had, but strange to see a needle on a ultrasound screen go into your knee, whilst feeling the pain and pressure. 

Even after 3 days of eating better again I felt happier, I have more energy and I have more focus back in my life – despite 2 boring days in the office and one at home pretending to do stuff for work. Clearly I am not doing to lose the weight in the space of 3 days, but I already didn’t feel as bloated as before and have more bounce (as much bounce as I can cope with due to the stupidity sore knee and noticed that toilet breaks improved immediately.

I am still (semi) confident of being able to complete the London marathon – but the only chance I have is to be a lot lighter when the knee is better and back to full fitness.

A question will remain about if I should attempt London or not as it will no doubt jeopardise my potential involvement in a single entry form to Lakesman (although this can be altered to a relay, with the potential to maybe do Ironman Mallorca on 24th Sept instead) I also said I only wanted to do London when I was 100% fit for it – even if I wake up tomorrow fully mobile I doubt I would be ready for the start line. 

However long term concerns remain over ironman distance events and I have been making peace with the thought of potentially never doing another long one again. To be honest I don’t know why I hold them in such high regard. Granted I loved Outlaw as I never thought I would be capable of doing one, and Tenby had its moments but now they are just events in the history. They are the two medals I look at the most and I take great pride, for different reasons, on the finishing times in those events, but they are part of the story to do date – not the last chapters.

As when you weigh everything up, and once you have done one or two, they are probably the least enjoyable race to do. 

I have done 9 70.3’s – 9! Not bad for a fat, unfit and generally injured bloke and I find them more fun, less stressful and a damn sight easier to train for and recover from. Granted if I was in with a chance of a Kona place or wanted to do 15 of them to get a legacy spot it would appeal and I would keep going. But I am not so really what’s the point?

With the TTT not happening in 2016 but with potentially some great event opportunities out there it seems pointless to be glum about the situation. I never thought I would enjoy open water (or pool / although I sit hate that) swimming but the prospect of doing a marathon swim at Consiton end to end in September fills me with the perfect mix of excitement and nerves.

Life is short – might as well try and enjoy it J if that doesn’t involve long distance tri then I am sure I can find something to occupy my time….

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Waffle 

There are many ongoing conflicts. 

Progress has been made in some regards, setbacks have arisen in others. 

Mentally and physically in the last month I have been as low as I can remember and undoubtedly the two are interlinked.

Have I learnt from previous mistakes? Have I put in coping mechanisms to control things to stop myself slipping into the doom and gloom? Have I focused on the positives and dismissed the negatives? 

Well clearly not.

However I have managed to catch things quicker this time around and for the first time ever, put my big boy brave pants on and have had discussions with hopefully those qualified to deal with these type of situations. Unsurprisingly answers aren’t immediately available, I fear that many needles will be involved in helping to get to some of the answers but the other answers may remain slightly more difficult to pin point and solve. 

At least I can now hopefully see a glimmer of murky sunlight though the cloud and drizzle.

The knee is now, to me at least, back to where it was pre the op in February in terms of pain and lack of usability. Consultants have been consulted, physio’s have flexed and scans booked. I have resolved to the fact already, that I will be needing another operation early 2016 as the worst case scenario. 

I have resolved in my mind, and it took a while, that I will likely miss all the key booked events I had in for 2016 – mainly because they all fall within the first 6 months of the year, guess no London marathon again, no weekend warrior and no Lakesman.  

Some think I returned to quickly after my op this year, too quick to start doing the things I love again, however during the training and racing (aside from the gauntlet where my knee systematically removed itself from normality and I stupidity kept going) I felt no post op pain. During Tenby it was pain management during the ‘run’ to get to the finish, but it was pain of doing a hard ironman being a chubster, not the pain of having a knackered knee. However it seems my falling asleep in a strange position on a plane coming back from a long weekend has put the knee back to the same state it was in roughly this time last year. i.e. a little bit knackered.

I have determined that long term health is a million times more important than scrapping a top third finish covered in snot and dressed in lyrca. I have a very real fear that potentially any sort of triathlon involvement in the future might be limited to little and not often.

This presents an issue though in the other side of my brain. If I am not training to compete or competing then why bother to look after myself? Why bother to turn down that slice of cake, why bother to turn down the chocolate, why drink water instead of a pint with tea? Especially as its Christmas.

The self-harm, which is what it is akin to, has started, been recognised and then begun to stop already but within that timeframe I have felt like a small furry pig for science; within which the experiment could have been called – eat crap, feel like crap, treat people like crap, moan like crap. 

Admitting to myself that I needed to talk to someone and then utilising certain people to support this, seems like a small step and I guess many reading this would feel like this is blown out of proportion, however to me it seems massive. No one will know the full extent of the situation apart from my wife however those I communicated parts of the situation to, through social media – those who won’t be mentioned – I thank you for the advice and support you have shown.

I struggle to vocalise my problems and issues – almost like if I say them out loud then it makes them true. Much easier to write it down in a tweet or message or letter – much warmer, much safer. To vocalise things is scary, it’s out there then and can’t be deleted, bad enough with the person I love and trust most in the world, but knee sweating and terrifying for me to do it with someone I have never met before who I want to help solve the problems.

My circle of close friends is slim and the chances of talking about these types of things with them even slimmer. I think I present myself as a big tough man’s man – I probably don’t – but in my mind I do, but often that’s a million miles away from the reality bubbling under the surface.

Like a giant made of glass, filled with melted chocolate.

 So I apologise. I apologise for hiding.

Storm warning 

Eating well is, with planning, actually very easy.
Keeping it simple is difficult.

Getting injured is annoyingly easy.

Staying cheerful and happy is difficult.

Falling into self-made traps is easy.

Being told to rest is difficult.

Eating to forget is easy.

Suffering stomach cramps and sugar cravings is difficult.

Drinking copious amounts of beer is easy.

Soul searching is difficult.

Eating a chocolate is easy.

Stopping at just one chocolate is difficult.

Admitting you have issues is, sometimes, easy.

Doing something about those issues is difficult.

Living with me can’t be that easy.

Same old same old is difficult.

Looking forward to next year’s events is easy.

Doing no training to prepare for next year’s events is difficult.

Hiding the issues in my head is less easy.

Dealing with the storm inside my head is difficult.

Writing this down has been, surprisingly, easy.

I feel doing something about it might be more difficult.