November 9, 2012

Quick update on the past month.

The last time I posted here I was flying high on a solid performance in the morning session of The Caveman down in Aillwee Caves.

The afternoon timetrial was a 4k run back out the reverse of the morning's route for 2km and then back up the final 2k of climbs. Tough, tough route. Not the easiest thing in the world given the morning session is a tough hill run but, hey, we were all in the same boat.
Bursting outta Aillwee Caves

I tired a bit towards the end of the run and finished up dropping one place to end up 10th overall across the two events for the day. Not bad for an auld lad!

All eager at the start.
Day 2 featured a 24k mountain bike circuit which was two laps in reverse of yesterday morning's run route (still with me?) to be followed in the afternoon by a 12k timetrial being one lap in reverse of this bike route.

Either way there was a lot of climbing involved.

Starting at the bottom of the hill, climbing up to the Cave entrance and then dropping down through the woods before scooting across the field and up through the mud and a looonnng drag up the back of the hills before dropping off the edge of a cliff.

The views were spectacular and looking at some of Chris Deakin's photos from the day you get to appreciate some of the views that I missed on the day:

He has tons more over on the Caveman Facebook page well worth checking out.

One of my 'favourite' shots of the day was this one which he took shortly after my race was over:

I'd done all the hard work, controlled the tricky descents and passed Chris on a bend and came off the bike. Nothing fancy, nothing stupid, just came off on a corner.

Hockeyed my left leg out of it. Realised during the clean up in the ambulance, elbow, forearm, hip, thigh, shin and most of all my knee took all of the impact. Inspecting the bike, it took a passting too, with the front derraileur attempting to relocate to the back of the bike. No damage to my Kask helmet though! :)

Race over, limped back on a bruised bike with a slowly seizing knee. Brave face to wife & kids who couldn't understand what had happened me as I'd passed them earlier in the top 6 or 8 of the field going out on the lap. They thought I had gone though when they weren't looking and reckoned I was just finishing the race, well I was, just not how they expected.

Race over, home, rest, icepacks, elevation and compression or something like that.

Roll forward two weeks of Zero exercise, Zero running and two weeks of progressively less hobbling and I'm standing on the start line of Dublin Marathon with the 3:30 pacers. I only came clean to my coach Fran the day before (he was wondering why my blog had gone quiet) so I was quite sheepish about an ambitious starting spot.

Anyway, I was going out the way I'd planned, if it goes pear shaped I was happy to stop and I'd always race another day.

Well it did.

Go pear shaped, that is.

I was sore from the start. I ran to plan though, even had time to pee in the park, the world's biggest public urinal once a year, and stayed with the pace plan.

Around the 10 mile mark the pain was solid, I could run, but I knew it was now going to be a case of just getting there. Around me Chris, George & Adrian were all aiming for the same sub 3:30 goal and we traded places a couple of times, shared the water bottle etc. No chatting, just running in the moments.

At halfway I was out. Hit the halfway mat bang on the mark for the target but I was going no further. I rounded the Kestrel corner, had to stop to pick up a water bottle and next step with weight on my left knee I was done. A wall stopped me from falling over in agony.

Nee, naw to the finish line (I won't joke about asking to be wheeled across the line in light of the idiots who did cheat) into the mediacl tent and a couple of painkillers later, a foil blanket, couple of twists and pokes of my leg and the Doc advised that I'd inflamed cartilage in my leg. Rest, ice, compression and elevation or something like that.

He did like my "I hope not!!" answer when he asked me "if it was a recurring injury?"

Almost 2 weeks later of progressively less hobbling and I'm considering my next move. The knee is getting one more week of rest and then its time to build everything back up slowly again.

Watch this space, cos there's going to be changes around here!!

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