Wednesday 30 March 2016

The now Annual update!!

It's been a while since I posted last, and to be quite honest, I have missed this.  It's surprising how therapeutic it is to babble on aimlessly to the absolutely nobody in particular.

So, to re-cap from the last entry (didn't want to say Last Post because I found that funny but thought most readers wouldn't), I'd pretty much decided to forget about entering any events through 2015 to allow the Heart investigations to continue, and boy they didn't seem to stop.  ECG's, blood tests, 24Hr Heart Monitors, MRI's etc etc throughout the year all the way through to the back end of September finally resulted in a formal diagnosis of the Congenital Heart Defect that I already knew about (and that the Docs don't feel is worth worrying about), and right at the end of the tests, a further diagnosis of a LV Systolic Impairment, which basically just confirms that the Heart ain't pumping as efficiently as most others, but again, the Docs will only monitor over the next couple of years as it's not a major impairment. 

With that said, all year I felt absolutely fine, and haven't had any repeat symptoms of the original chest pain from 2014.  Bonus!

And, me being me, I didn't want to completely stop any exercise, so I was continuing to do about 5-6 hours of light training all the way through to May.  Sunday morning cycles with my mate Al, occasionally joining Ashford Road Cycle Club and another local club ride, GRAPPA.  Early morning swims before work just to keep ticking over, and evening runs in the back-lanes around home.

It was during one of those runs that I fractured my leg .................
Yep.  I know.  Twat!

Now, I'm assuming that because I have no subconscious pressure of training for anything, my running was just getting better.  I'd slap the earphones in, click play ....... or at least swipe the screen, and run.  It was going so well, that in mid-May I loaded Bon Jovi (I know, I know, but it works for me!) and just sang along to my fastest ever average run speed and hardly felt it at all.  This was probably my downfall, 'cos the very next run was Injury Time ..... as opposed to Hammer Time.  Youngsters can ask their parents about that one!.
It was a lovely sunny evening (unusual in the UK) and I was about 3 miles in.  Slowly a dull pain in the lower LH ankle appeared ...... It'll be OK, will run through it.  I had done before.  Got worst .... and worst ..... to the point that I stopped and a road junction and couldn't re-start. 
There was nobody home to pick me up as the wife actually has a social life, so a very slow 4-mile hobble home was called for.

Much ICE and it'll be fine.  The pain was not sharp, and was exactly like I'd encountered loads of time over the years.  A couple of weeks off and it'll be fine.  Shin Splints!
I wasn't planning any races and my vacation was a couple of weeks away, so all's good.
Regular ICE, compression etc etc and it took a bloody age to calm down.  As in months!

So some of you may think that I was being the typical bloke and burying my head in the sand, not going to the GP ...... you may be right, but I'm not afraid of doing that sort of thing.  I just did honestly feel that it was something I'd felt before and 2-3 weeks of rest any it'll be right.

BULLSHIT!  The pain initially subsided over 3 weeks to a point where, without pressure it was 100% perfect, but I got to the point of dreading Stairs, and constant up and down from my desk was met with a face-pull that resembled me watching my dog eat shit!  Not pretty!
I finally went to the GP when it was quite clear that the swelling wasn't going down any further.  Not that it was that bad or painful.  I'd just expected it to go.
Anyway, a quick X-ray and blood test and yes, you guessed it ...... suddenly a mad panic with the dreaded 'two week consultation'.  For those who don't know the UK NHS,  as good as it can be,  waiting times for most examinations and procedures will be measured in quarters or halves ....... of years!!  Quick it ain't.   So when you get a 2-wk appointment it usually suggests something .... sinister.

A couple of MRI's later and there turned out to be nothing to worry about. All of the potential causes for worries had been ruled out and the only thing to do was to rest it until it was 100%.  This took .... no time at all because the waiting between appointments had taken about four months and the leg was fine by the time the final 'you're fine' came along.  Again, Bonus! 

I'm afraid that I didn't think to get an image of the MRI / X-ray at the time, so this image is the nearest that I could find from Dr Google!!

So what next?

Well.  to be honest I'm not sure.  I'm constantly thinking about the Heart when I go any form of exercise now, so I'm not sure how I'd fair if I entered any races.  Psychologically I don't think that I could push myself as I would want to with a long-distance event. I suppose that I'll continue with the swim / bike / run thing for the year and just see how I feel about them as the year progresses. 

I would really love to get better at the bike so will slowly build back the miles and try to keep up with the Club guys.  The Wife has recently gotten into road cycling, so I'll help here build up confidence on the roads for the early part of the year.  Traffic is quite heavy in the South East of the UK, and road surfaces are real bad, so she hasn't quite got the confidence just yet.

Swimming?  Looking forward to the Open Water season for the evening swims on the way home from work.  I've have very little enthusiasm to get out of the front door at 06:00 to use the pool for a couple of months now, so should kick my ass into gear.

Run?  I'll just ease myself into it real slow and do some exercises to strengthen up the ankles after more that 6 months off of the road.

I've been doing some simple strengthening stuff over the last couple of months - trying to get rid of the little belly that I seem to carry round with me all the time, so will continue to do that.  I've joined a couple of Calisthenics 'groups' on various formats.  YouTube vids of this look real impressive.  Not suggesting that I'll get to that level, but it might be nice to fill out my Leicester Tigers shirt a little more ;)
My Gym has just sent a letter saying that there is an imminent change of ownership - read 'prices are going to go up'!  If that's the case, I'll change to a closer gym and start going a little more.

Unfortunately due to work pressures and time needed to be spent with the Family (Daughter doing school Finals and learning to drive, Wife starting new job) I've decided to take a bit of a rest from the Ashford Tri Club for the foreseeable.  Will try to get back into it during the Summer as I do love the social side of the training.  Would love to group-run in the local woodland more.

I have a couple of overseas trips for work coming up, so hotel gyms will take a hammering, and hope to get a couple of runs out to Bondi Beach and the Sydney Harbour Bridge area.  Happy Days.

Will try to post more regularly.  Promise.

Instagram:  chaoswill1

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