Here’s what I have been up to over the last few weeks!
I turned 22 on the 3rd of March!
On the 10th I raced in Devonport Tasmania. It was the Oceania Champs, NZ National Champs and also a selection race for u23 Worlds later this year. My race went as all as could be expected. I led the swim from start to finish, I worked very hard in a breakaway of 4 which included Nicky Samuels and two very fast Aussie’s Erin Densham and Emma Jackson. The plan for the race was to have a Kiwi girl win, as whoever won (Aussie or kiwi) automatically qualified a team spot for the Olympics. So in this case our best was Nicky as my run is not up to scratch, yet. Knowing this and also knowing how well the Aussie’s run I worked really hard to tire them out on the bike and try to drop them. But the course was not very challenging (8 laps, dead flat out and back) so it made it pretty easy for them to get a free ride. In saying this, Nicky had a go off the front with 2 laps to go, I sat up so she could get as much of a gap as possible. She managed to get 40sec but it was not enough to hold off the Aussie girls. Onto the run and I have to be honest it was pretty painful for me, I am guessing it was probably pretty painful to watch too. I knew my legs would be smashed from the bike but I did not think they could feel that dead, in fact I found it hard to run fast enough to even breathe hard, something was definitely not right. The only option for me though was to keep going and finish the race.
I finished with mixed emotions, happy to have finished and placed 10th but confused and upset as to why my legs are not doing what I want them to do.
So back home after the race was pretty tough to, it took me over a week for my legs to return to normal (major DOM’s) and for me to be able to run again. I had many questions and lots of doubts about my ability. But I knew this was not normal and the amount of physio/stretching/rehab I was doing was way outweighing the amount of running I was doing.
To be honest the above paragraph does not really do justice to the hell I put myself though, and it would be unfair not to mention I also dragged my coach and family with me. Without them I think I would have cracked and ended up in a funny farm. So a huge thank you to everyone for sticking by me and helping me through tough times (I do realise that there will be many more to come).
Anyway I will now get to the good news. After realising that the only reason I was upset so much was purely my state of mind, I resolved to become much more stable in my emotions and not to let them get the better of me and affect my day to day life. E.g. I would have a good run one day and be over the moon, only to have it all come crashing down the next day when I couldn’t even walk or push off the wall in swimming without feeling a twinge in my calf.
So with my new state of mind I set out to figure out my own personal puzzle – my body. It was so refreshing to allow myself to call the shots, to listen to my body for real and to experiment with things. After going through basically everything we (physio Lou and Coach Paul) could think of to fix my calves a very random conversation with another triathlete ended up setting us on a completely different path. Just a simple change in language and how I described the feeling in my calves gave some more clues. Basically I stopped saying they were sore as it wasn’t an issue of strength or not being used to running. It felt more like a spasm, grabbing, spastic feeling, which would end up turning into a tear/pulled muscle feeling. So we decided to try ultrasound which worked for the other triathlete who had the same feeling a few years ago. After a week the calves were starting to feel better but still not quite right. Still having to run alternate days and super slow just to get some sort of running going. I was not happy and even more certain than ever that it was not normal, it was so depressing and I had even got to the point where I was actually becoming too scared to go out running.
I finally had a break through last weekend! I have been a bit quiet about it up until now as I have been worried that it is just a fluke. We had gotten to the point where it was just go out and see if you can run and if you can then just run a little more, structure was not working and nothing was making sense,the only way I could run was to go out and try. So I headed out to my favourite run spot and started walking, another thing I forgot to mention was that I was probably doing more walking then running at this point. After a while I started jogging, the legs felt average so I headed back to the car feeling pretty down. I decided to stretch for a bit and see if that would help. I found that when I propped my leg up in the boot and stretched my hammy, a slight twist to towards my leg sent a very very distinct pain down the underside/outside of my leg starting right up in my glute and ending in my ankle, so I though hey this must be pretty tight, so I kept at it until it loosened off them worked on the other side. Not expecting much difference I attempted a jog around the car park. HOLEY MOLEY! Instant change, it’s hard to explain and probably hard for you to believe, I could hardly believe it myself, but I ended up running 90mins that day and even included some sprint efforts! To say that my coach was shocked when he received the data would be an understatement.
So since then we have been working on loosening up my glutes and hammys, lots of stretching, nerve flossing/threading and trigger point release with my cricket ball and rumble roller! Also special mention has to go out to my wonderful mum who I have recruited to stretch me every night, sorry mum I know I can be demanding :P I have to say that it seems to be working and with every run my confidence is starting to come back. I kind of feel normal again as I am easily running consecutive days and starting to slowly include some variety to pace and terrain.
It feels strange to be writing this right now. After all the ups and downs I finally feel this may be the up which stays up for a while.
It’s nice to be able to go about my day without having to make decisions based on how it will affect my legs. Oh and I will never take for granted being able to tumble turn and push off the wall in the pool...
Anyway enough about my legs now.
Next up is Sydney WTS race on the 14th/15th April. I just found out my name has finally been added to the start list after a few weeks of slowly moving up the wait list! This is the final qualifying race for the Olympics in London. It is a pretty long shot for me but since I have put my name forward to be a swim/bike specialist and work for the team, it would be so great to get to race and show what I can do.
After this I plan to have a bit of a break to refresh my body and mind. Know me this will probably include some form of exercise though, I can’t handle doing nothing! I am already planning some fun things like stand up paddle boarding, some hiking in beautiful West Auckland and maybe some mountain biking! Then it’s onto planning the overseas trip and races!
Now onto some different news, yesterday I travelled down to Lake Karapiro for the Schools Triathlon Nationals. I had been asked to come down and support/start race and hand out medals. I was more than happy to support and make the effort to be there. It was a stunning day and a well organized event!
I also went along and watched some of the Athletics Nationals at my local track the Trusts Stadium, cheering on my friend Nikki in the 1500m was a highlight! And the National Open Swimming Champs are currently on at my local pool West Wave, so I have been along to watch and support my friends there too.
One of the best things I love about sport is getting to see athletes in their element, doing what they do best. In the gym up at MISH or attending seminars we are all equals, on the same level. But when you venture into their domain it’s a different story! For example watching the swimming this week where all NZ ‘s top swimmers have been trying to qualify for London is so cool to experience, the warming up, the rituals and the atmosphere is awesome!
Just quickly before I finish I thought I would share a story which made my coach laugh his head off when he read it and one of his colleages who I later found out he shared it with.
This happened last week when I was out doing a key bike session.... (by the way this is cut straight from Training peaks, which is the online software we use to communicate with data, training etc. So please excuse the poor grammar)
“Sooooo, looong story :/ ha ha. I felt good warming up, it was a nice day and I was looking forward to smashing up the hill reps. I did the first one and felt awesome! Except halfway thru I realised I was in my big chain ring?! haha, so I had a bit of a muck up in the middle/near the top of the rep as I had to change out, but I felt like it was a good one and I got way further than ever before. So I was looking forward to the rest, but then on the way back down a bee flew into my glove and got stuck! It was stinging me like crazy so I was banging my hand on the handle bar trying to kill it, but its stinger got stuck in my finger! so I stopped and got it out but it still hurt, and I tried to jump straight back into my second rep on the interval, but it felt like all the adrenaline and energy had been sucked out of me. So I sat down on a rock and tried calling you, I realised after several attempts of failed calls, that I actually had no service, that’s how spaced out I was haha. So I was a little upset, thinking about all the bad luck I have had, but I jumped back on and gave myself some time to easy spin and try get my energy and focus back. it was hard! I got back into the hill reps, but I don’t think I really did get back into it. I tried to recover properly and I felt like my power had dropped and my HR was sky high, and I also realised that I was riding up and down amongst probably the biggest bee colony in West Auckland, so I was finding it really hard to focus, but I did my best and then decided to do one last effort on the hill back out to Waitakere as I wanted to make sure I got a solid session in. so yeah like I said it was crazy?! I even had to take a moment and have a big cry, well i actually started to when I was descending and there was snot and tears flying everywhere, its kinda funny now that I look back on it, I hope this story entertains you! And I hope the session wasn’t too bad, I couldn’t believe how much the bee sting affected me...”
So, I guess that’s all for now!
Big thank you to all my wonderful sponsors; AA Insurace, Sky Sport, Adidas, Adidas eyewear, Performace Bicycle Tuning and Blueseventy. My dreams would not be possible without your support.
Posted by Teresa Adam. Posted In : Teresa's Adventures