Photo with thanks © Dave Erickson is a nice bloke
Well today was crunch day – my first Ironman since IM Moo in 2009, several accidents, horrible injuries, several operations and now a return to IM competition under the patient development and brilliant encouragement of Coach Brett Sutton as a member of Alaska teamTBB Philippines.
“Alaska” evokes lots of patriotic positives and questions amongst my many US friends and followers, whilst it is in fact a leading brand of milk and milk products sold in the Philippines, where my team is based. Cheer me anyway – I love your support!
For Lake Placid I was keen, focused, and motivated to get back to Ironman racing. Today was going to be a voyage of discovery for me, but it wasn’t to be my day.
The problem was my left leg, and without recounting the ghoulish clinical history the problem started in the swim with cramping, leading to an average swim some 3 or 4 minutes off my usual pace.
Putting this behind me on the bike, problem leg replaced cramping with excruciating pain, then numbness. I pushed on, denial sort-of working with the pain, but numbness is hard to ignore as you have nothing to work with. I ended up doing most of the power work on the bike with my right leg, managing a time off the bike just over 6 minutes behind the lead girl.
But a triathlon is not only a swim and a bike. Off the bike my leg simply did not work on the run – the pain was too great, and my numb leg did not respond to commands – I ran barely a mile before further progress was impossible.
Any race that you cannot finish is devastating as a professional – this no less so as it was my return after injuries that I had hoped I was on top of, although in truth the race was in part to discover where I was up to in Ironman competition.
Back to the drawing boards with the Doc, as this race has made me even more determined to beat the greatest challenge that I have ever faced as a professional Ironman – the battle with my own body, and my mind.
Huge thanks to my sponsors Cervelo, Alaska Milk, Ignite Naturals, On Running Shoes, 2XU, Campagnolo, 3T, Cobb Cycling, Louis Garneau, Solrx sunscreen, Beaker Concepts and Timex.