Sunday 29th July to Tuesday August 7th: the 10 and some of nine week countdown: Triathlon Training After Surgery starts on the Turbo
I left off the last blog post on Saturday – it feels like a long nine days, but lots of progress has been made. I was still wearing the horrible post-op dressing, and only sleeping on one side, propped up by pillows. Now I’m dressing-free (well I’m wearing a plaster because the scar is ugly!) and able to sleep on whatever side I like.
A week is a long time in recovery
I kicked off triathlon training after surgery with a turbo bike on Sunday and a turbo, brick session on the treadmill (with sling) on Monday. On Tuesday I endured a painful (and slow) 11-mile seafront run with my sling. It’s amazing how much work the other arm was doing! On Wednesday I combined picking up my son from work with another sling-run. It was hot, I was not. But it was a few more miles ticked off. On Wednesday night Chris brought the Tacx Turbo trainer over – a new way to train.
On Thursday morning I spent at least an hour reviving my old Apple Mac with its big screen, downloading Zwift and turning the wheels on the bike to get set up for Turbo training at home. A full day in London with lots of walking and hot tube travel put paid to training and I had a day off.
On Friday I felt deflated and down! I trained on the turbo for 1 hour 37 minutes, leaning on my sweaty pillow, but faffed about trying to get connections for a lot longer. With the help of Facebook Friends (thank you to The Tri Store’s all-round guru, Simon Underwood) I realised I had over-used my Bluetooth connections – and I needed to calibrate my bike with Zwift and Tacx. Zwift will not connect to my Garmin Heart Rate monitor, my Garmin Edge and the Tacx. Someone else suggested I bin Barcelona and start again next year – and on Friday that’s what I felt like doing.
Tech Trouble (not good for an inpatient woman)
I’m not patient! Saturday morning was also frustrating in terms of connections and set up, but I stuck with it and did two hours on the turbo broken up as a 45-minute FTP test, two other stop/start blocks and in the evening a 30-minute spin.
With Pride on in Brighton I wanted to watch the parade so decided to combine a walk/sling run with watching the parade (amazing). I weaved my way through the crowds, stopping and starting, and got very hot. And on a whim decided to try the sea. The lifeguard looked after my phone and I got into the sea in my running gear, not sure what to expect. It was blissful, I felt the healing qualities immediately and decided to have a go at one-armed swimming, then breast-stroke, then a few full strokes. I ran home and did my final spin and felt happy to have got three hours training ticked off for the day. It was disjointed, it wasn’t partially high quality, but it felt like progress.
On Sunday, best-laid plans went out the window again in the morning and Chris and I lazed in the garden drinking coffee. We finally got out in the afternoon and managed a 10K at around 9.15 pace, which felt better than my slog of earlier in the week. I ran some of this sling-free, but when the aching started I put it back on. After this, we had another sea swim, a little further this time, and a few more full strokes. And after this we saw Chic playing at the final Pride event in my local park! Brilliant!
To Race or not to Race?
The decision as to whether I race or not won’t be made until August 23rd. At the moment almost normal services have resumed, but this is an Ironman and my bike training is lacking. I’m trying to ignore looking at what others are doing or have done on Strava and the like. I don’t need reminding that volume is low, but at the same time, I’m still enjoying doing what I can do, and the small conquests along the way. The timing of my accident was bad. August and September were/are set to be the peak training for Barcelona. This is when I expected to be doing 20-hour weeks, but with the turbo for bike training, that’s a little harder (but not impossible) to achieve.
Zwift – We Have Contact (& a custom top)
I’m now halfway through the nine-week countdown. The week has started better. Chris set up Zwift with Ant so now bluetooth picks up my heart rate monitor. I’ve also calibrated my bike to Zwift. And I’ve managed two good sessions over the last two days and another swim, this time in the pool with my pull-bouy and float. I messed about for 28 minutes and covered around 750M.
My brilliant cousin, Patricia, from Sligo Kinesiology, in Ireland sent me some Kinesiology exercises to do, and I’ve got some resistance work (squats, lunges, core work) prescribed by Marianne – and in the day I’m mainly sling-free. I’m on the turbo without my sweaty pillow and think I’ll be back on the road again soon, in the tuck position on my time trial bike.
So for now I’m blocking out and not listening to the naysayers and being inspired by those who are just doing it.
The brilliant Joanne Smith, completed her first Ironman this weekend, with a number of health issues in the background, far more complicated than a broken bone. Well done Joanne, inspirational – and I hope to share her story soon.
The journey continues…