On the precipice

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Apologies first of all for not having made an entry in my blog in recent weeks, very remiss of me I know. I could use the dual excuses of illness and work commitments as the main reasons for the hiatus but that would be facile. While I was ill with a virus for a few weeks and pressed for time owing to work I’ll be honest and state here and now I simply didn’t make the time.

I suppose I found myself in a quandary from the point of view of writing something new that was worth reading. In the aftermath of that bloody virus which clung to me like quicksand, I felt I had to relearn the process of triathlon training all over again. I felt weak as a kitten and just completing a few hundred metres in the pool or on the bike was a challenge to say the least.

I can’t say that I was necessarily disgruntled by the prospect of trying to restore my pre illness fitness levels but more perturbed by the tedium of grinding out sessions that previously were easy to me.

I recently had the opportunity to train in the sports complex of the University of Limerick which was terrific. This afforded me the ability to keep my recovery on course while away from Dublin. I was most impressed with their indoor running track which enabled me to run in anger for the first time in months without resorting to the treadmill. I have a tendency to experience lower limb issues so I have to tailor my run training to suit, hence I avoid running on tarmac / cement until I absolutely have to. Thankfully I have experienced zero abreaction to track running or most recently grass running. In fact I ran only my 3rd outdoor 5km of the year on Tuesday and managed 19 min 53 sec, not the fastest by any means but very welcome at this stage.

I have found the best approach to training and staying fit is to listen to the body and build slowly. Sometimes you need to take one step back to move forward. This can take the form of simply sitting out a training session because of fatigue. It’s best to listen to your gut than push the envelope too far and then miss days or even weeks due to injury.

So the triathlon season has begun. I am taking a steady as she goes approach to my build up and will earmark specific races with particular goals in mind. Ultimately I’d love to qualify in my age group to represent Ireland and the European championships in sprint distance triathlon. If I manage to attain one of the top 5 places in my age category in any one of this year’s national series races then I qualify, it’s that simple. I haven’t as yet selected which races I’ll compete in purely because I’ll wait till closer to the date to see if I’m fit enough to race. So with the full season ahead we stand on the verge… Only one thing to do. Embrace the fear and dive in.

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2 thoughts on “On the precipice

  1. Rick says:

    Mathieu, I must say I admire your determination. It is the ‘X’ factor, which brings out the best in people, who might otherwise switch off, when health issues create a chance for them to do so. A person whom I know very well has cystic fibrosis and also has cerebral palsy, as a baby, which affected one of her legs. She took up cycling a few years ago, to avoid the cost of bus transport. She has gone for far as to have cycled some of the stages of the Tour de France, with a group from her cycling club, any one of these stages would test even the strongest non-racing cyclists. Last month, she fell, coming down a mountain in Spain, got some scratches and a couple of stitches, and was back cycling to work a week later. The company she works for has sent her overseas to conferences. She is so determined, that she dislikes praise immensely, as I found out, before her father advised me, too late. So get back there to your triathlon and enjoy it. Best regards

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    • mathieunorry says:

      Might I thank you wholeheartedly for reading my musings, it is wonderful that I can share my thoughts with people I have never met and they in turn can relate their own experiences back to me as you have done. Your friend’s determination and conviction to not let her chronic conditions limit and define her is truly awe inspiring but it seems for her, she knows know other way and I applaud her for it and you for recognising it. I will remember your friend as I train and compete and hope I can do myself an equivalent amount of justice. Thank you Rick.

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