What's it all about?

I decided to write a blog following my training and triathlon season. For me, I have always participated in sports for as along as I can remember, whether it was being one of the only girls playing football with the boys, playing hockey at numerous clubs or running around cross country circuits in the pouring rain. This year I plan to work hard on my swimming, cycling and running in an effort to qualify for the World Championships in Triathlon and represent my age group. I hope that you enjoy my blog or rather my ramblings and feel free to comment.

Kerry X

Friday, 5 July 2013

A couple of races and a week of rest

It seems like an absolute age ago now, but on the 22nd June, I raced the Worlds 2013 and Europeans 2014 Qualifying race right on my own doorstep- the Dambuster. Having been on the triathlon circuit for a while now, this race holds a lot of prestige and for me holds a lot of memories. It was the first triathlon that I think I ever watched, 7 years ago, when Will raced trying to qualify for the Worlds in Lausanne in 2006. in 2011 it was a race that saw me battling sever shin splints and after seeing both Will and another fellow friend drop out, I had my own race trauma crying on the bike leg and pulling out on the run. It was a difficult time for me and being such a competitive race it was immensely hard to watch yourself slipping further and further back in the field. 2012 was the year of everything- I managed to get around the course fairly ok and enjoyed the race! This year it was all about taking on the times from last year and trying to beat them- although the run aspect wasn't going to be fun and I knew this was going to be a toughie given the sever lack of running training and run form. 
Registration Friday evening was a picture perfect scene, delicious millpond conditions with not a breath of wind. Both Paul (friend and soon to be Ironman UK competitor) and I had been checking the weather forecast with an almost obsessive nature during the week and we discussed how we both thought that we were hoping that each time we pressed refresh on the Met office, BBC weather, Metcheck, XV weather... (you get the idea) the weather would miraculously turn from 15mph wind with gusts up to 25mph and rain to a balmy day of sunshine and light winds. 

It was not to be, and race morning dawned (very bright and early for this race) at 4.45am with drizzle and gusty winds. Despite the fact that the Dambuster is on our doorstep in the picturesque county of Rutland, we were at the race HQ for 5.45am with cars soon queuing to get onto the site. Will and I managed to get ourselves sorted pretty sharpish, and then spent some time giving Paul some tips (it was his first ever triathlon and he had chosen probably one of the most competitive races in the country to do it!). the next few sentences you should read as the complete opposite of what is actually written and you can start to get a sense of how we were feeling.... The water looked quite appealing  exceptionally calm and not at all choppy. The canoeists safety cover certainly looked to be like this would be the easiest day ever for them..... Anyway.... with the conditions being as they were, the swim was slightly shortened giving us 1390m as they brought the furthest away buoy back into shore- you couldn't see it anyway! I was in wave 6, with Will and Alex (our other mad triathlon friend) in the first wave. Michelle (his other half) wasn't racing, so she was on chief photographer duty. We both commented on how choppy it looked and how it was going to be a toughie as you swam past the point which was sheltered  With a South/South Westerly wind it was blowing straight into the creek. Not ideal.... We then waited for the horn and suddenly it became apparent that triathletes could do a Kris Gemmell . Alex was the first one to set this trend off and sure enough the following waves copied suit and would run around the edge of the beach start to get a competitive advantagfe over the swimmers. Well it also soon became apparent that this was dangerous and shortly before we were off they prevented the ladies from doing the same. 
Being a beach start was rather nerve racking, but given that the water temperature was much more temperate than of late I was rather enjoying the warmish water around my ankles before we set off. I knew it was going to be a beastly swim as soon as we swan past that point, and boy it was rough! I usually breathe to the right, but during that leg I had to go against all instincts and breathe on the opposite side. It was tough until that first bouy and then on the turn we had the wind mostly behind us, but on the diagnonal so I kept bashing into the other swimmers quite a bit. The swim down seemed to take forever but then on the way back, I seemed to overtake a fair few others. Getting out of the water I sprinted into T1- getting one of the fastest times for T1 in my category (if I'm not the fastest swimmer I can try and be the fastest changer!) and wetsuit off I must have passed 4 girls onto the bike. My favourite part at the moment! I just settled into a rhythm and let the water roll off me as I got onto the tri-bars. Home field advantage meant that I knew what to expect, where to hold off, where to power through and for the first time ever I think- I was powering up those hills like there was not a hill in sight! Despite the first part being mostly into the headwind (Rutland Ripple) the tailwind was EPIC! I flew on the back straights of the course and before I knew it I was heading back up the familiar road into Whitwell.

 It was great and I managed a PB on the course, with fairly tough windy conditions! Racking the bike and trainers on, it was a struggle to get going on the run. Immediately my legs cramped up and my glutes, hamstrings and calves were yelling at me. My ankle was also really sore on impact. This was not going to be a fun run at all! I managed around the run, but not in a PB time or anything particularly fast. i was just running for survival! Realistically I should have possibly dropped the run out and been satisfied with a great swim and bike, but I was also secretly hoping for a European's place. I have managed to get a percentage place, possibly meaning that I could get a rolldown place- but Will managed to qualify so looks as though we woudl head to Kitzbuhel anyway! 

This weekend saw the inaugural Oakham triathlon held again on my home patch at the gym and swimming pool that I use every week (or daily when I am fully fit!). It was to be a fairly sociable start time of 11:02 am just before Alex and Michelle (10 minutes after me) so I was hoping that I would make it onto the run before they caught me up!
Having an okish pool swim (400m in 6:58) was not my fastest but with men pulling my legs 9i kicked back) and a choppy swim (I sense some kind of theme here) from such a dated pool with string rather than lane ropes, I was pleased to get it over and done with. Running out to the tiny transition (only around 180 competitors) I was racked near the end, and was slick as I could have been out onto the windy bike course. being called the MountainBull oakham triathlon I knew that this route was to be a hefty challenge, even though it was only 14 miles, the majority of the first half was direct into quite a blustery headwind, so climbing Cold Overton Hill was a bit more of an effort than usual. 

Anyway with blue skies and dry weather, we couldn't complain too much, and the hills weren't too much of an issue for me. I headed back into T2 only just narrowly missing beating Alex in before he overtook me. That was a bit demoralizing! 
Heading into a tight T2 I ran out of transition really fast, before an almighty stitch kicked in straight away. My stomach was so tight and the water I had drunk on the bike just sloshed around despite the sweat pouring off me. I was really struggling and felt the pace slacken right off. It was only on the turnaround and seeing Michelle as she charged past me that spurred me on up the hill, and then just as quickly as it appeared, the stitch disappeared  What a weird thing, i felt the pace quicken and then before I knew it I was running back to the finish line. It was a great feeling to have finished the race, and I was nearly sick again and just managed to hold it (quite literally) in. I was not really aware of what my time was or positioning due to the wave and swim starts, however it looked promising for Michelle although strangely she was 2nd in her age category..... I however noticed that they had put 1 next to my cat placing.... did that mean an AG win? Well yes it did! It was a tough little sprint race and although it was immensely painful, I was pleased as punch with my AG win. 1st out of 10 in my AG (20-29 years). What was even better was encouraging my friend Rachel and Matt in their first ever triathlon. I lent out bits of kit and even helped with their training a little bit, so I was quite proud of them both for completing what was a relatively tough triathlon! 

So now it's finally the end of my blog, and a bit of a sad end I am afraid to say... I have felt totally exhausted and drained since Monday and I think that 3/4 weekends racing has certainly taken its toll on me. I feel that I should shelve the training this week, and I am headed for blood tests next week just to check that there is nothing untoward going on. I have felt tired before but not like this.... hopefully it is a small stumbling block, but I want to try and get back training ready for the Vit in 8 weeks time. I think rest and recovery is just as important and I want to get my body back fighting fit! 
So in the meantime, a bit of downtime.... nothing wrong with that!

Happy training folks!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Grafham Triathlon Race Report

Grafham Triathlon- 9th June 2013 2:42:20

Having entered the Dambuster and Vitruvian, I needed another Olympic distance race just to keep those legs going. With a free entry at the Grafham Triathlon- courtesy of NiceTri (thanks Keith!) I had another race to get to grips with. Being at Grafham right next to one of my places of work (Grafham Cycling) this was a great opportunity to test myself on a course that I knew would be fast. Also being a weekend full of other races going on (Qualifier at Rother Valley, Middle distance at Bala, Blenheim triathlon, Beaver triathlon) it meant that the competition would not be as fierce and I could stand to do quite well. I was aiming for a top ten finish and to place well within my age group. I was therefore disappointed to learn that there were only 3 of us in the F 25-29 age group.
The weather forecast leading up the race was promising, with a couple of fellow Stamford Triathlon club members planning on racing as well (Kevin Hamlyn and Darren Kelly) at least there were to be a few others that I knew at the race. Saturday gave me the opportunity to register, so I drove down to Grafham with the wind whipping around me, and the cloud cover looking quite ominous. Having registered, it all seemed very organised and easy to negotiate.
The next morning we were off at 8.30am so I needed to leave the house at a relatively sociable time of 6.30am. I decided last minute to pack a jacket in case I got cold- which was quite likely! Turning up at the car park, I was most displeased that it was trying to rain and it was BLOODY FREEZING! Darren, Kevin and I had the usual banter, doing up of wetsuits, and chat about how cold it was and joking that they had already given us our medals, so maybe we should go home! The swim was to be a beach start, with a mass start of all of the competitors, which was a little under 200 I think.

Swim 1.5km 26:52 44th O/A (out of 181) 6th Female (out of 28)
Just before the swim start we were able to get in the water. Having swam at Rutland Water the day before in Inspire2tri’s OW swim session –which was totally brain numbingly cold, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the water was quite temperate, and actually getting back out, I realised just how cold the wind was! Wearing my brand new Blue Seventy helix, I managed to position myself over to the far left and one person back, so when the hooter went off, I was able to get in a good position without getting kicked too much in the face. A great start and off I went into a good rhythm moving my way up the field. It was to be a two lap swim, with a novel run around on the bank before diving back into the water. I wasn’t too aware of my position in the field until I got out of the water and looked to see how many were ahead of me. I was pretty pleased with my time and another first for me was that I didn’t wear a watch in the swim as I was going to wear my Garmin forerunner for the bike and run but didn’t have the quick release strap so it was already strapped to my bike.

T1 1:22- nothing unusual here apart from I decided to don my lightweight jacket and even though I did that, I had the second fastest female T1 time which I am super pleased with, as I did have a little bit of trouble getting the bloody wetsuit off.

Bike 38km 1:16:57 128/181 O/A 9th Female
With a slightly shorter than usual bike, this was to be the area that I could really try and concentrate my efforts. I was pleased to find that after having studied the bike route quite thoroughly, that the wind wasn’t really a strong disadvantage to me. I was able to also count my position on the bike and found that I was around 5th on the bike. I was overtaken at the last hurdle (literally the last mile) so was pleased to find that I had held my position on the bike, I was naturally overtaken by quite a few blokes (as my overall position indicates) but I was rather pleased that I utilised the bike and really worked hard on the hills. I even had a rather funny comedy moment on the final hill back towards the race HQ. I overtook a guy on the hill who I thought was racing, only for him to shout out that he thought we were mad and I had already swam and was about to run, he was only out for a Sunday ride! It was rather funny. The only point of the bike that I didn’t really enjoy was when I got onto the bike, I was rather unsteady, and really must listen to the ‘less haste, more speed’ as I really struggled to get my feet into my shoes. I also found that my fingers and hands were totally freezing, and as I left T1 I shouted to the marshals that my hands were about to drop off. It was a real struggle to think that this was going to warm up and improve, but eventually it did. As my hands warmed up, my feet certainly cooled down….

T2 0:55- could have been slightly quicker, although I was pleased to be the 5th female time for T2.

Run 10km 56:12 141 O/A 17th Female
This is the part that let’s me down the most and this race was no exception to this rule! I ran out of T2 with a purpose, and feeling good on the dam was able to glance down at my Garmin and see that I had covered the first mile in 8:31 and then followed up the second mile in 8:43. Coming back in after the two miles across the Dam, I felt really good, little did I know that the next section of the race was going to be fairly undulating and quite tricky, especially with a few drags which really burned the legs! Running as hard as I could, I still watched the speed drop down and my average speed for the final part was 9 minute miles. I was highly disappointed, and it really was my fault that the last mile 4 girls came past me. One girl had overtaken me in the first few hundred metres, but then I held my own for the rest of the run. I was therefore in 6th position and thought that I had worked really hard and just should keep it there. On the turnaround point, I could see four girls running me down. This is where it all started to go wrong. One the last descent down back to the finish, one, then two, three four in quick succession. It was quite demoralising, but I kept going and tried to pick up for the last few hundred metres. I was rather pleased to cross the line and got my results to see a good swim, good bike but not so good run. Something to work on, but also considering I have done hardly any running due to a sore/still twisted ankle, this was not to be too much of a disappointment. The provisional results also had me as the first across the line in my age group, but this was soon corrected to second, out of two! Not to worry, a good result overall and I couldn’t be too displeased with a top ten finish (10th female!)

Overall reflections
I knew that my running was going to be the part that let me down the most in this race, and will probably mar my season quite a bit this year, with such an injury, I know that running is going to suffer, so trying to focus on the bike and the swim will be the best way forward this year.
I was pleased to only have come in around 5 ½ minutes behind the overall female leader for my bike split. Will has been very supportive about my result and has been very reassuring that I can get my run time down, and an encouraging run training session last Friday pleased me immensely. However a little trip on Saturday night meant that I have done my ankle again! I think it has a bit of weakness now, so realistically it will never really improve unless I have total rest on it- which is impossible.

Future Events
I am racing the Dambuster this weekend, and with it being a World’s qualifier and Europeans qualifier, it is bound to be the most competitive race of the year for me. Well not for me entirely as I am not planning on trying to qualify. I know that it being the third time I have done this race, not to have high expectations of my results in comparison to others, but try and work on what I can do myself and try to beat previous year’s times. Last year the high winds, and cold water meant that the race was a bit of a test of survival for all. With the swim shortened to 1000m due to the cold temperature of the water, and the winds testing everyone, it was a real test of wills. I know that this weekend the weather isn’t looking too promising again, so maybe I should must try again with the swim and bike as much as I can.
If you are racing this weekend, good luck, if you are at the Dambuster say hello!

Happy training!


Thursday, 6 June 2013

Racing hard, training hard and a small getaway

It's been a few weeks since my last blog update, and in that time I have raced, trained hard and am currently sat writing this on a few days break away with my friends in the north of France. 
St Neots triathlon was on the agenda for a few weeks and I was really looking forward to racing again after having not raced since the end of last year, but also was the first outing for Fruit Salad! Will and I rocked up to St Neots Riverside park (with the usual early start, early breakfast, and hour long drive there). It was to be a lovely day with the weather, but also was a great opportunity to catch up with the tri community, seeing our racing friends Alex and Michelle of course, but also Jono and Kat, Andrea and Sam Anderson. With such a lovely race spot, transition right next to the water, it was bound to be a good race. I had met Keith the organiser a few weeks earlier and he reassured me about the water temperature and the race being well organised (biased of course!). Having racked and wetsuited up it was time for my first Open Water swim of the year (in a race!). It was bloody freezing, and the obvious signs of this was the fact that NO-ONE put their faces in the water until the hooter went off! I managed to get near the front, however I seemingly increasingly so find myself just off the back of the leading pack of swimmers, but ahead of the majority of the pack. Anyway I soon managed to find a few feet to draft off, and before we knew it we were swimming back towards the exit and out of the water in no time. Wetsuit was off in a flash (quick for me) and I was soon hot on the heels of Andrea out of T1. The bike course was lovely fast and flat, and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, soon thinking to myself that I was placed highly as there was hardly any ladies that I passed, mainly men, and I was making great time coming into T2 after 46 minutes! It was however the run that I was most dreading. Having not really run for a long long while properly, and still having issues, I knew that the swim and bike were all I had to base the majority of the race on, with the running training being so limited. Another weird thing that I did at this race was not use a watch so was all on feel. Still I managed to finish well (despite the vomiting again at the end!) and placed around 13th! Happy with the result, with Sam winning the race, Michelle coming a very close second (and feeling rotten ill with cold!) and Kat and Andrea both finishing in the top ten! A great first race back in the game. Not a good race for Will however, as he managed to come out the swim first, but in the confusion of the super sprint race happening first, he managed to end up riding on the super sprint course, adding another 2-3 miles onto his route! Mistake learnt and not forgotten by all of his friends! 

The past couple of weeks have been all about the bike really! Although this week having been stationed in a beautiful French house with friends I have been running both days and really enjoyed it! I have run 3 miles each day and not seen more than three cars (total!). It has been lovely to relax in the run up to this weekend which will be my first Olympic distance triathlon at Grafham water again with Nicetri events. I found their organisation and their friendliness second to none, and with the water warming up nicely, I have planned to swim at Rutland Water with Mary (Inspire2tri) Saturday morning in my nice new Helix Wetsuit that I purchased last week. Hopefully the swim times will steadily improve, but I have to work hard on the swim training, which I have had to painfully say has been really neglected of late. I am not really massively motivated to swim (and get up early to do so) where as I am loving the cycling training and the strength that I am getting from cycling so much. I have enjoyed the running here in France, but I am unsure whether the injury is getting worse on my ankle. It seems to be ok... but I am keeping the runs short and simple. 

A shortish blog but we are just enjoying the last evening in the sunshine here and my G&T is calling me..... Happy training until next time! 

Monday, 13 May 2013

A silver lining to every stolen bike

It's been a long while since I last blogged and there is no real reason apart from being busy! 
Lots has been happening since I last wrote, namely my increase in cycling and decrease in running! Also I had my beloved race bike (my Felt F5) stolen out of the back of my car when I was just about to ride it again after 6 months of being tucked up asleep for the winter. 
I literally had popped into a friend's house for a quick catch up and it was gone! I couldn't believe it, my pride and joy was gone. The police support and general friends support over social media was instantaneous and very helpful, however the prospects of retrieving the bike were very low and I knew from the outset that the bike would unlikely be handed back to me. Immediately I began researching my next wheels of choice, and after looking around briefly, I decided upon the new Giant Envie (or Fruit Salad as she is now called!) and having some exceptional insurance, and also a massive advantage in working for a cycling company, I chose the bike with great advice from Will. It is ladies specific and an Aero Road bike, with some great aero features, and a great price tag! I just have to say that I am really glad that my bike was insured, because even though I had it locked in a car, they still took it and it was worth over £2000 including parts and accessories. Luckily I have friends in the police who are also cyclists who were very kind to me and supportive, but otherwise I have a feeling that they wouldn't have looked very far... I have to say that if someone broke into your house and stole £2000 then it might be a different story. Also keep photos of your bike, with all upgrades etc as that was useful for verification of the bike's value. 
Using my discount to my advantage, I also managed to get a bargain on some tri bars, and pedals, a really sweet ride and certainly better than my old bike in terms of spec. A real delight to ride as it is stiff, responsive and light as anything. I do need to upgrade the wheels, but my bank balance is craving some rest at the moment. 
As for the running, this has been almost non-existent up until last week. My right ankle has been playing havoc with me, which I twisted way back in February when I went skiing. I have rested and rested and rested it, and finally on Friday I decided to go for a little run, and although it was mainly pain free initially, afterwards it was a little bit sore. I have accepted that the probability of running training this season is going be to very limited, and therefore focus on the bike would be more important. I have been attending a few local Bike TTs to try and improve my sharpness ahead of the races I have lined up this summer. I have been a bit more conservative about the races, especially given that my A race is the Vitruvian at the end of August. I want to conserve my legs but also my wallet! Having said that, I have literally just put my registration in for the 2014 edition of the Mallorca 70.3 Ironman event. This is something which I toyed with doing for 2013, but with the London marathon it was never going to fit. Having seen the responses from the people I know racing over there this past weekend, I am keen as mustard to give it a go, and have just received my confirmation email ...
I am planning on racing this coming Sunday at St Neot's triathlon, sprint distance, just to give the legs something to smash out, but after that it's the following races:-

  • 22nd June Dambuster Olympic Triathlon- aiming to improve on my performance from last year
  • 30th June Oakham Sprint Triathlon- on my own doorstep and on the roads I cycle on, so will be a good event to support! 
  • 21st July Deva Divas Sprint Triathlon- a relay event with my Mum and has become something of a tradition!
  • 31st August The Vitruvian Middle Distance Triathlon- my first ever half iron distance event!
Other than those races, I did have a couple more lined up, but having just paid the entry for Mallorca 70.3, I think that those few will be enough! I have a few long distance rides planned, and hopefully I can get stronger on the bike, and post some faster bike split times given the past 6 weeks of cycling! I am managing at least 3 rides a week, and have averaged over 100 miles per week. I am trying my best to keep the bike work going, and given that I have a bike fit scheduled for the week (check out http://www.rutlandcycling.com/article/777/professional-bike-fit.html) I had better get performing! 

In other news, my other half Will competed as part of a team at the weekend in the Rat Race: Dirty Weekend at Burghley House, Stamford. It was a 20mile course of obstacles such as climbing through cars and over 6ft high walls! He really enjoyed it! Credit to the team (Photos below) as they did fantastically well despite the toilet queues, and poor organisation!
150m of monkey bars though was a bit destroying.
 Will and his teammates: Paul, Michelle, Alex and Heath

Happy Training Everyone!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

It's been a while... a long while

Hello all, 
You might have noticed that I have been a little bit inexcusably quiet for a few months. I suppose there are a number of reasons for my absence, one of them being a new job, the other being trying to find myself in triathlon again. I picked up a nasty Achilles injury as you all know, and this has subsequently led onto dropping out of the London Marathon. With not really enough time and not enough fitness due to a few weeks off running, I decided that the best thing would be to pull out this time. I am gutted obviously as I cannot defer another year. It really is a big blow for me after months of winter run training. So in an effort to concentrate on bigger things, I have entered the Rutland CiCle Classic Sportive which coincidentally is something which in my new job is something that I have to promote! 
I have recently joined the team at Rutland Cycling as their marketing coordinator, so I am combining my love for bikes with work, which is awesome. Part of my job involves triathlon (to some degree) and cycling of course, so it is really cool that I am getting to work on and with bikes for a living! 
Job aside, the training has taken a bit of a turn for the worse with the last week being completely resting up due to a horrible chest infection which I picked up. I am still trying to struggle it off my chest, but other than that, I have a week off this week and Will and I are trying to pack in the training before we go back to work. It was this time last year that you might remember the pictures I posted up of our week off with a packed week of training. What a difference the weather makes! As you are probably all aware, the snow has bitten back in the UK with winter making a ferocious bite even this late on in March. We went out for a cold cold ride yesterday, and even though the roads were (mostly) clear, the snow drifts on the sides of the road were so high! It was my first bike ride outside in a while and I really struggled with the cold and the hills and the wind! Luckily Will and our friend Heath were there to help me through those tough spots. I really felt that I need to improve my cycling, and by quite a lot!

In other news, I have entered a few triathlons for the season ahead, but fully intend on concentrating my efforts on the bike. I really don'w want to struggle so much, and want to be stronger, so am going to do as many TTs as possible and concentrate on the miles and quality sessions on the bike. Also keeping injury free for my A race in August: the Vit. 
There is not really that much more I can tell you about other than I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon which really wasn't that much fun with a twisted ankle (courtesy of the ski trip I took earlier this year). I didn't think it was possible to twist your ankle in a ski boot, but I somehow managed it twice, on the same foot, on the same day. Even now it is giving me some twinges which are really not that pleasant! 

So it is onwards and upwards and trying to get fitter and faster! Hopefully this year will be an accomplishment year and hopefully I manage to get somewhere with this triathlon lark! 

Happy training everyone (hopefully the spring weather will come back soon!)


Friday, 18 January 2013

My Achilles Heel

How is everyone? Long time no see, and I am very sorry for that! I have been training like a Trojan, when I can and also have a new job on the horizon! A very busy past few weeks has seen me hand in my notice for Pearson after being handed a very appealing job offer with a company that is very forward thinking and involves my passion for triathlon to some degree. I am going to have to be very covert at this stage, but I shall let you know when things are good to go and tell you!
Up until Christmas training for the London marathon was progressing very well, up until the weekend before Christmas when I began to feel tightness in my left calf and eventually a stiffness in what I can now confirm was the Achilles. After some thought and advice, I decided to leave running for the actual week of Christmas and was able to focus on other sporting activities (and eating and drinking too!).
After the festivities, it was a slow progressive build up to another few successful weeks of running...... that is up until last Sunday (13th Jan). I had decided that I was going to try and increase the mileage in order to feel that the Folksworth 15 (this coming Sunday 20th) mile event was achievable  Anyway after finding a running partner, I was able to run 12.6 miles quite well, up until the final mile when the dreaded tightness crept back into my left calf and ended up with me icing the poor leg and stretching and living in my calf compression guards for the most part of 3 days. (They do get washed though, honest!)
It was highly frustrating to discover that the rest I thought I had given myself, was not nearly enough time to recover from the acute injury I had given myself, and thus on even more advice this week (thanks to everyone who has helped me!) I decided to not run at all this week or next, and given the snow and icy weather we have had, this has really been a bit of a blessing in disguise. I am unsure as to at this moment whether the race will be going ahead, with the snow hammering it down at quite a rate, and that again could be a bit of a blessing as well!
I have been doing plenty of reading about my injury, as you would expect with any obsessive triathlete, and discovered that this kind of injury needs to be approached with a lot of care and consideration as if I am not sensible and do not heed the advice given to me, I am risking the London marathon altogether and not just the training runs that I have planned. At the moment I still have a good 3 months of training which I can string together, and one of my main goals was to be fit and injury free for the start line. It is more important to me that I manage to get to the start line than to finish any of the other races which I have entered.

So what is the actual problem? Well at this early stage I am not 100% sure, but given that I run on my toes and I am training long distances, it seems very likely that I have a form of Achilles tendonitis. I have arranged to see a physio next week, the current physio that I see for another issue, and hopefully she can bring me up to speed with what I have done. At the present moment in time, having ordered an Achilles support, completed my fair share of self-massage and icing the area constantly, the actual pain that I can feel is almost non-existent. But I know that it will only take another longish run to bring out the inflammation. I have also had an extremely painful massage done on the area, but my therapist who I trust implicitly has advised that I need to strengthen the area with lots of different exercises. Achilles Tendonitis is a common overuse injury and is often seen in runners. Being one of the largest tendons in the body and supporting most of your lower leg muscles, this tendon can often get inflamed especially if you overpronate (something which I know that I do) or are increasing your miles too quickly (something which i think I might have done), as well as using your toes in running and pushing off them (I am not a heel striker!). I have been using orthotics with very good results, and I actually think that this has occurred as a result of too many miles too soon, as well as the fact that I run a bit like Bambi up on my toes!

It is not the final nail in the coffin by any means, and with lots of luck hopefully I have caught it at an early enough stage to recognise that I need to lay off, my fitness will not drop off dramatically, and I can keep other things going. For example I have managed to swim 3 times this week, a feat not accomplished since nearly 6 months ago. This also included a 400m TT in a time of 6:33 (nearly a PB by only 4 seconds!) which surprised me immensely. I have also had the opportunity to use a pool belt as a fellow Stamford Tri Club friend has lent me hers.
Another great thing about the moment is that I am going to take a bigger step into coaching for the triathlon club- something which means that I get to use my qualification which I worked so hard for.
Hopefully I can get back onto the running line soon, starting with pool running, treadmill and off-road before getting those all important miles under the belt ready for April. 

And one final thing- happy anniversary to me! It has been a whole year since I started this blog and a couple of stats for you:-
All time blog hits 2600+
This will be my 36th blog post
I have 4 followers
Hits from as far afield as Canada, OZ and Ukraine!

Not much else to report really, but I thought I might share this with you.

Happy Training

Kerry X

PS check out these fellow triathlete blogs