Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Wingin' It

The theme of all race-related activities this year has been "winging it". It's actually pleasantly surprising what the body can do on an average fitness base and a mind that believes it is capable. It's very refreshing to switch the focus to doing stuff because you want to do it rather than feeling that you must do it. My training calendar is by no means empty, it just all goes in there retrospectively  in a very unstructured manner.

I admit though, there has been a niggling feeling that I'm not quite reaching my potential with this blasé attitude. This feeling was fully realised at the National Triathlon Club Relays, an event I'd done twice in the past. The relays are a fun, team event that some teams take very seriously and others absolutely do not. Our team was called "Team Wing-It" and epitomised the very nature of the name in every way. We weren't stressed by finish times or pre-race nutrition or any of the usual nonsense; frankly we were more concerned about posing in our team capes and looking like superheroes.


Team Wing It
I had a thoroughly enjoyable day of triathlon madness but when we eventually finished and printed out our times, I couldn't help feeling a little bit disappointed with my lacklustre performance. Something clicked in my head and I decided that was what wung (have discussed this possible past tense of 'to wing' with several people and we've agreed it is a goer), was wung but I would wing no more. With the Snowman Tri coming up in October I wanted to make a concerted effort to be fit for it. I also appear to have joined a coalition of people who are convincing everyone they know to sign up for Wimbleball next year. As I try to convince more and more people I'm slowly starting to convince myself, too.

So, there is serious triathlon business on the horizon. A training plan was written. It was a serious one, there were proper rest days and everything. There were runs with specific goals and rides with training zones. There would even be swimming, WEEKLY swimming! I was so chuffed with my colour-coordinated, brilliantly planned program that I went to the gym to celebrate. I celebrated by attempting to lift some very heavy weights but on my final lift, I felt something go in my back.

I'll give you a short version of the next bit (you're gutted, I know).
Doctor "What do you think you've done?"
Egg "Pulled a muscle?"
Doctor "It could be a pulled muscle, but it looks like you could have dislodged a disc"

Not ideal. I wasn't sure how I could even start to re-write my program around this one. I was told to "stay mobile" and that "gentle swimming is often helpful". As it happens, gentle swimming is my preferred method anyway and at least this meant I would definitely be getting in the pool.

With only a month to go until the Snowman Tri, it now looks like - despite my best intentions - I'll be winging that too; though I think being in near constant discomfort with sporadic twinges of muscle could be pretty good conditioning for long-distance triathlon and endurance events. Even though it might not be quick, and even though I'll think I could have done better, if I get through it I'll be quietly impressed with myself that in 2013 I've managed to wing both a half ironman and an extreme mountain triathlon.

I'll save the training program for Wimbleball, once I've stopped being a wuss and entered it.

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