It’s been a slow start to 2018

As the title suggests, it has been a very slow start to 2018, and the cause of that is entirely down to my own stupidity.

What did I do then? Well I broke a toe on my right foot. Ok so now you are starting to feel some sympathy for me, I can sense it, well if I was you I would surpress that feeling and prepare to laugh and think why!

Picture the scene, it’s almost like an Attenborough documentary, the young male (Sam) is challenging the alpha male (me) by means of mock boxing, all flat of the hand stuff. The young male is not doing well and is on the back foot, so he decides that boxing is too old school and the MMA is the way forward. As he moves in the experienced male, steps to the side grabs hold of him and prepares a perfect hip throw to down the young one. At this point the plan is perfect, however, it fails when I don’t move my foot out of the way, life him and as go for the throw he lands heal first with all his weight straight on my second from last toe. There is no pain, and I go for the throw again, this time succeeding and pinning him to the floor, at which point he submits. Triumph for the older, alpha male! I can hear Sir Richard speaking those words!!!

Later in the day I was out for a walk and could feel my toe becoming very hot in my boot, and when I got home and removed my sock, it looked horrible, swollen, bruised (various colours) and it started to hurt.

The pain lasted for a few days meaning certainly no running, and it was a while before I could get my foot into a cycling shoe to get on the turbo.

There you have it, my own fault, why do I feel the need to show I am still stronger than a 6 foot 21 year old? Well, it’s because I am stupid and can’t resist a challenge!

Luckily for me I am now able to run and can get on with training and ready for the coming race season. However,  when he challenges me again I certainly won’t be backing down I’m not that old and past it just yet!


Is It Not Meant To Be?

Last weekend should have marked my return to triathlon, instead I was left thinking about what might have been.

Unfortunately for me I suffered a shoulder injury that meant I could not get my arm through the recovery part of the swim stroke without a lot of pain, and even just normal arm movements were providing some level of discomfort.

How I actually managed to injure myself is a little bit of a mystery, I think it is simply an over use injury as I have been swimming a lot and also climbing hard routes and so both of these activities seem to have combined to provide the pain.

I am hopeful that a week or so of not stressing the shoulder combined with some gentle exercises will be enough to heal it, if not then a trip to the physio will be required.

I am beginning to wonder if me and triathlon are just not meant to be, first of all I struggled to get to terms with the swimming, then I get on terms with it and even start to enjoy it and then I injure myself, perhaps this is an omen?

Anyhow, I still intend to move forward and if I don’t manage a triathlon this year then I can start the next season early and take it from there.

Simply put it is a case of onwards and upwards, as long as the shoulder holds up to the running, cycling and swimming with some climbing thrown in for good measure!!!


The three dreaded letters, DNF, did not finish, something that you go out of your way to avoid and something you never wish on anybody.

Well for me yesterday it finally happened and I got my first DNF. There were however, some positives to take from this, firstly it happened during a Park Run, so it was a free race  and secondly it meant I finally listened to my body after a few weeks of ignoring it.

I have had a problem for a few weeks, and this happened at the same time as I switched running shoe brands and models, I went back to a newer version of shoes I had used in the past. The problem I have is that I have done something to my a nerve or tendon that goes down from my lower back to my foot. The issue manifests itself firstly as back pain, then once I am moving it goes to my hip and then works its way down to stiffen up my calf and finally to tighten the achilles. These don’t all occur at once but one after the other!

Over the last couple of weeks, the pain when running has never really got beyond pain in the hip but yesterday it went straight from the hip  to tightening the achilles to the point I wasn’t sure if I carried I might snap it. I know that is an unlikely outcome but the stiffness was painful and a Park Run is not the place to risk it.

I have now found some exercises that seem to be making some difference and loosening things up, I am hopeful that this is not something serious and it is just something caught up or tweaked, I know I will be taking it a bit easy for a few days until I feel good again, and I have also ordered a pair of the shoes I have used recently to go back to the trusted ones incase the shoes did contribute.

Back On Track

After my recent knee issue all seems to be back on track. I took a week off from training, and during that week only did a short turbo session and then a couple of hours with friends prior to watching the Tour of Britain go through the Chiltern Hills.

Since then I have been running again, and yes I am building it back up gradually. In the first run, only 20 minutes, I started off very steady and did a couple of km’s at a gentle pace and then for the third km picked up the pace to a much more respectable level, all the time I felt ok and even more importantly the knee stayed in one piece. The two subsequent runs in the week were both 45 minutes done off road, including some hills, to check the stability and add some interest to the running. Once again no real issues, a little stiffness the following morning in one spot, but nothing I felt was serious.

So for me this means I am back up and running as normal, I did a decent bike session where the aim was to ride hard up hills, well, I must have done it as I beat my Strava best times on all the hills I did, progress!

The next few weeks I guess will show if there is any lasting damage, but as of now I think all is good.

It Was Only A Matter Of Time

The shadow of injury looms over everyone who does a sport at any level, and it is probably the one thin the amateur athlete dreads the most as we have to go to work each day and so any injury could result in a loss of earnings.

For me, I have been pretty lucky I haven’t suffered with anything major over the last few years, a bit of ankle ligament damage a couple of years ago but nothing that turned out to be serious.

However, I seem to have finally been caught up by the injury bug, I appear to have done some damage to my right knee. I am sure the damage occurred doing the Rat Race River Run, especially as I finished the event with a lot of bruising on both my knee and ankle.

Since the event, the knee has been a bit stiff, but once it was warmed up it was ok and post-training didn’t bother me. In the last week though, it has started to become very stiff post training, and is taking a lot longer to warm up, and then it is still giving some pain.

This finally got the better of me on Saturday morning, I and managed intervals and an hours run during the week but did suffer after the session and the days in-between, on the run I was down to do 75 minutes, but after about 30 minutes the knee was hurting so I decided to give up and go home.

Now, I have no history of knee problems, and so this is a new experience for me. I described the feelings to Mike, who suggested reading up on cartilage damage. It could be this as it seems to hurt in the right place.

So what next? Well, I am going to have an easy week to see if a bit of rest helps it recover. I am due to race a 10k next weekend and will leave the decision to race until Friday probably. IF it doesn’t feel better by then I guess I will be off to the doctors to get a referral for physio.

I am hoping it is nothing too serious as I don’t want to ruin my end to the year and potentially miss the Winter Ballbuster because of it, I will write some updates as and when I know a bit more.