Well, it has been almost 6 months since my last race – Ironman Cairns and 5 months since my accident, so I am itching like crazy to rev the engine in a race environment. My swim and bike fitness is great, as I have been able to build on this slowly since being allowed back into training after my accident. Unfortunately, due to some Achilles issues, I have been unable to let loose on my running during this period. I have just been able to progress to running on the road in the last week, which is super exciting and I’m feeling race ready.
This weekend is Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney and will be my first race back and while usually when I start a race, I go into it for the win. Honestly, at the moment I am a little unsure what to expect out there, but I wanted to get some racing on the board before the end of the year, to see where things are at and what needs to be worked on going into the 2019 season. All going well with the Achilles and so long as no other issues arise, I will then race Ironman Western Australia the following weekend to again test the waters over the full distance Ironman. While I would love nothing more than to kick off this block of racing in the same style I finished last year and kicked off this year, I think that will be a big ask with the lack of run training over the past 5 months. But I do have years of conditioning under my belt and I do love to race so anything is possible!
During my recovery, the biggest factors slowing me down would be the concussion and the slow and unknown recovery from that. I have been fortunate to have a great team monitoring me through this. It has had its up and downs with on and off headaches, altered mood and increased tiredness but I feel the past few weeks I am pretty close to back to feeling my normal self again. The unforeseen nature of my Achilles was also a huge hindrance, but in hindsight having this slow down my return to full training and racing has probably allowed the brain to heal better. Through the past few months, I have been supplementing and building up my run training on the Alter G treadmill which has kept a reasonable amount of conditioning there.
I try not to give the accident and the outcome of the accident too much thought. I always try and keep moving forward and setting new goals along the way. Trying to get on the start line in Kona was a big driving force for those few months following the accident and having that as goal allowed me to keep moving forward on a daily basis. The return to riding on the road – while the first couple times were a little nerve-wracking it seems to feel normal now, but I now do the majority of my bike training on Zwift indoors with a road ride 1-2 times a week with my training buddies.
I thank my lucky stars every day that God has blessed me and I am still on this earth with my family and I get to see my 2 amazing kids grow up. Even though the past 5 months have been unexpected and less than ideal I am still alive, I will make a full recovery and I will return to racing at the top of my game. It might not be this weekend but I know it won’t be far away.