Sunday, August 28, 2011

Out and back, Back out.

I have a couple of difficult weeks sports ways, but life is good because my outlook is good. I have not run as the chiropractor suggested but I did cycle after about 4 days. I seem to have some tendinitis in my left knee. My tendinitis in my ankles has disappeared and my plantar fascia is almost gone. So instead of running I have been swimming. It's all good. Yesterday I had an 80km ride almost as far as Cannes. It was in the 30 C area and the wind around Golfe de Juan was incredible. What was just as incredible was that the wind was absent after Antibes on my way back.

I had found it difficult to motivate myself to get out of bed and leave the house. My mood had been dark for a while. My ex is being ....I have not got a word I can use here really. Long story short she gets council aid to buy all the books and clothes for our son to return to school and she gets an allowance from me as well, even when he is with me for the month. She hadn't bothered to do the school shopping. She had tried to get us to cut short our time together as usual which resulted in my returning to the lawyer. Once my lawyer had sorted things out she became aggressive again. So we organised through SMS messaging, because she doesn't answer her phone, and through her insults and aggression that we would take it on to buy the stuff. I told her it would be taken out of next months pension if she wasn't going to give me the money to buy it. The truth of it is with one salary here in this house and no aid, we can't afford to spend like that. She lives in 4 bedroom house rent free and always wants more. It's sad isn't it. Two adults being petty childish and immature. I tried to keep calm but it upset me greatly. If she was in the least bit fair ever, I would be much more accommodating. However each time I have given an inch I have suffered the mile she has taken and the usual attempts at belittling.

So once again we tried to rise above it as a family but basically I woke in a dark place. I lay there in bed feeling alone, sad and lonely. I thought about Ironman. That was really all I needed. There is no way I am going to let someone else's bad behaviour ruin my life, my day, and certainly not my ironman. Out of bed. Dressed. Protein and bananas a fried egg and cheeky slice of wholemeal bread.
I am riding my bike and I see these two Japanese guys. One has a flat tire. I stop to help. They had fixed the tire but air kept coming out. I tried my CO2 cartridge as I took it off the wheel the valve came away with it. I was mortified, but at the same time thought that perhaps this was why the air was coming out all the time. We tried my spare tube. I watched as the guy pulled the tire away with his hands again I was surprised. This was a new tire, it seemed to be actually slightly too big for the wheel from which it came. Now too many hands were trying to put in the replacement tube.. I was bent over awkwardly.  Now the tube seemed to be too big. I let the man decide that it was so and put it away. However as I stood up my middle back went into spasm. I could hardly breathe. I knew it was stress from the arguing of the night before. When my stress goes up my back goes out. It's a simple equation.
I had zero money and in the end I hopped up on my bike leaving both guys to there own devices. The airport was near enough for them to get a taxi from there. The bike shop was difficult to explain how to get there but wasn't too far either and certainly between Italian, English and French, spoken between these Japanese and this Irish guy, something was lost in translation.

As I rode away , finding it difficult to breathe and in some pain, I started feeling guilty. Maybe I should have asked for cash and rode to the nearest bike shop and got a tube. Maybe I could have stayed with one of them while the other rode off for help. Should I go back? Would the still be there? Would they be ok? I rode a good 20km trying to mull over the Karma of the situation. Was this a lesson they were supposed to learn? Was it an adventure for them? Had I missed the possibility of making a life long friend who is very rich and would ease my problems? All sorts of ideas running through my mind and every so often a sharp pain across my back as I breath in. I rode to Vallauris against the wind. It had been a while since I was out this way. Hills that had required effort the last time I was there I seemed to breeze up, even against the wind. I stopped in the port of Vallauris coming back from the route de Cannes. I had a coffee with the 3 euros I stole from Lovers handbag. My back eased out a little. I made sure to eat a little bar every 30 mins after an hour and half of riding. One time I took a gel instead. I thought a lot about how I would manage the nutrition on the Ironman.  As I rode home the wind picked up, the waves were whitecaps, I could hardly keep the bike straight depending on the twists and turns on the road. It was really difficult. By the time I got back to the cycle lane at Antibes the wind was gone completely, the sea was like glass. As I rode through Cagnes sur Mer, a line of cyclists passed me. Someone said hello, I didn't know was it to me, I didn't see who it was. A second later I fancied it was the Japanese guys. Maybe they got sorted out after all.

I got home for lunch time. We went shopping. We got the necessary equipment for Boy to start in second level education and it was costly. Lover had to pay. I will have to pay her back. She always digs me out of hole. She is patient, continuous and a genuinely decent soul. I am lucky man to have such good kids, to live in a place where I can cycle in 30 degree heat with a wind storm and feel not hot till I get home. I look like a marshmallow collection now. I have brown white and pink tan lines and patches all over me.

This morning I got in a good 1.5 km swim. The knee is holding up. The back is still knotted but it will go. I am awaiting a podolog to ring me back and make an appointment. I am training. Life is good. This is a longer post than I imagined, and my favourite football team just won 8:2. Congratulations Manchester United.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Injury Update

So I finally got to see my physio Cristina. She is an amazing woman full of joy who has been taking care of me since before I had my disc replaced in my neck some time back. She has watched me through groin strains, tendinitis, neck operations, back strains, more tendinitis, plantar fascia, and so on and so on. Her associate Pierre had a good examination of my knee. He has had years of experience with sports injuries, notably with rugby players. His diagnosis was that I had displaced my fibula which had then cause the meniscus nerve to be pinched, hence the ache and swelling. He put it back in place and I went to see the osteopath the following morning as arranged. He listened a bit, but I am not sure how much, he gave me the once over and cracked me from head to toe. Amazingly the Achilles tendinitis that had been bothering me disappeared completely from my left leg and almost completely from the right leg. I am on a course of painkillers anti inflamatories and more painkillers and already I am feeling better.
Cristina reckons my rapid weight loss plus inherent weakness in the legs is the cause of my latest condition. The weight loss was muscle mass. I had assumed it was just around my chest an upper arms but she reckons it's all over. So now I have to find a gym that is not too expensive and enrol and build up the legs.
Money is tight so I am not sure how it's going to happen but it is going to happen.
Just like my new contract is going to happen too work ways. Life is good. The kids have been sick , lover has been sick, I have been injured but I am strength building in upper body and continuing with the yoga. I am doing this.
The Doc has suggested I try a light run Monday and see what happens before we determine the next steps. From the advice of lot of people I think it's podologue time. The last time I tried a foot doctor I ended up injured for 6 months, the time before that, I was in extreme pain in my hips for months as they tried to convince me I had one leg shorter than the other. I do when my muscles are all bunched up but not because my bones are shorter. Onwards and upwards I say. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A break away

For the last 6 weeks I have training steadily and improving steadily. With the exception of a couple of days down with food poisoning all was going very well. I had eaten a chicken sandwich from a dispensing unit and in doing so, broke my paleo diet and caught something bad. Twelve hours later I was sweating shaking hot cold and feeling crap.

This weekend is a holiday weekend in Europe. August the 15th is a national holiday in both France and Italy. The four of us headed south east towards Pisa to see Lovers parents. A weekend of wine pasta bread cheese beef, wine, beef, bread, pasta, fruit, wine, beef and some fish. Boy and I went fishing for about the 5th time and for the first time we really had a good catch. Yes there was one that got away, too heavy for me to lift onto the bank, the line broke and he was gone.

I had been looking forward to getting in some running along the long straight flat roads. Day one off I went, back I came, and as I hunkered down latered I noticed a twinge in my knee. I had had the same thing the previous week. I double checked my knee and was surprised to find it was twice the normal size. Ibuprofen, ice, resting, and trying not to walk. I did the lot to not much avail or difference.

Back in Nice I discovered my doc is on holidays. I am not sure how or where to get treated. Something is wrong in my knee and I am just hoping it's not serious, or that at least it will heal quickly. Time is running short now, and I should be training 5 days of 7. I am doing nothing for the moment till I know what is wrong, but I am anxious about losing fitness. I need to be at my peak for Ironman next year. I don't want to be the last one to cross the line and in pieces. So tonight, painkillers , more ice, elevation and taking it easy. My normal starch free diet will come back into line on Thursday or Friday I guess. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Iron Road

When I first heard of Ironman competitions, I was a smoker. I probably took my first drag on a cigarette at the age of eleven. Now at the age of forty four I have not had a smoke for about 6 years. I have asthma, I have a year long irritation of my sinus passages. In the last 3 years I have had 2 disc hernias, one which I live with in my hip region, one in my neck. The one in my neck was removed and a fake disc was put in place. I have full mobility of my neck. I have had tendinitis, a groin strain, torn muscles, more tendinitis, plantar fascia and many other aches and strains and pains. My body is learning all the time how to train. I have learned how to swim, how to handle a bike, how to run again. I have learned and I am learning how to get myself out the door even in the rain and run the time I need to run.
I have cut out starches almost completely from my diet, I have given up coffee and refined sugar. I have lost about 4 kilos or about 9 lbs. The difference between me now and me of 6 months ago is I believe I can do it.
Next summer I will be on the starting line of  Ironman Nice.  A once in a life time race. I will swim nearly 4km cycle 180km and then run a marathon all one after the other.
From now till then I will teach my body and my mind how to nourish themselves, how to train themselves and how to stay the course, so that a year from now when I get my kids names tatooed on each shoulder, I can get a little tat somewhere saying I am an Ironman.   I am pretty sure my blog will chart the rise and rise of Collie, Colliewarrior, Warrior, Colm, Honey, Dad, papa, on my journey to Iron. Stay tuned for updates. 

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