Well what a month it has been! I would have like to have written my post weeks ago but time was not really on my side these last few weeks.
I did start out with a good cycle ride using my new clip in pedals (and my first fall), and then came Gareth’s “broken” bike, Gareth’s injury, my promotion in work, followed by a stress fracture in my right foot.
The ups and downs of training and working life are all there in the space of just a few weeks.
My work has taken up a lot of my time recently with many late finishes. But I still had the time to help Gareth recuperate from his injury and from his hard training sessions. I also have a new Sports massage client, having managed to fit an appointment into my full-on schedule! Unfortunately for me last Sunday after a good run I felt a very sharp pain in my right foot and it didn’t subside, so I went for an X-ray on the Monday which revealed the smallest of fractures of my 5th metatarsal. Apparently the only cure for this is to rest. Rest is no friend of mine however; I don’t have time simply to “rest”! The doctor said to keep my foot up but I can’t do that either there is always plenty to do!! So overall I am very frustrated right now, my running was going well and I had started to up the kilometres. Now the realisation that I am severely under-prepared for the Triathlon in May is scaring me! It’s only a couple of months away and I have never cycled up anything like the Tumble as yet and I have no idea when I will be able to get back into full training, so I may have to reconsider entering. It’s a very hard decision to make!!!
I have chosen to call today’s blog “Mental Strength” because I feel it is so important in training, from the determination to train day after day, to overcoming an injury setback. Being strong mentally matters so much and dictates what you can achieve; it really is half the battle. Gareth’s determination and mental strength is simply amazing. As I struggle with the bigger challenges, (mainly big hills!!) he knocks down challenge after challenge as though they are no big deal. His biggest frustration has been his injury but he followed the instructions from the physio and was back to full training in no time. Even during a long and testing run he still finds that energy and the drive to carry on just as hard or even harder. He looks at hills as though they are some sort of game, whilst I’m stuck at the bottom trying not to let nerves get the better of me and doubting I can even make it half way! A week before my injury during a run, I needed to stop before a long and hard hill and I could feel myself tensing up, affecting my breathing and running style. I stopped to compose myself and went for it and managed to do it, slowly maybe but at least I managed! However I did have to stop even before I started!!! So somehow I need to learn to copy this strength from him! How I can do this is the Million Dollar question.
Finding a way to build your mental strength is difficult and unique to each and every one of us. Some people even say you are born with or without it. I am not sure about this to be honest.
Anybody can achieve anything if it really matters to them; they just need to find what it is that makes them “tick”!
Yesterday Gareth ran 36km. He looked tired but his recovery is very good. Today is his day off and he is back to it tomorrow. It’s relentless but he enjoys it (I think). I spent my time cooking as he eats…well, a lot!!! I made some blueberry breakfast bars inspired by Deliciously Ella (from a recipe in last Saturday’s Telegraph) and also a gluten free Pear, Hazelnut and chocolate cake.
I have no doubt that Gareth will demolish them in no time so I will have to find something else to make quickly!
The fundraising is progressing well but could be
a lot better. So please if you haven’t done so already please donate here! Help Gareth and Paul meet their first target of £2,000 so he can join the cycle ride to Paris for #StayStrongForOws. Thank you….
Don’t forget also that for every £10 you donate before the 1st May, you will have the chance to win some fantastic prizes, like signed jerseys or tickets to Pro 12 matches – all proceeds will be going directly to the appeal thanks to the generous donations of the clubs involved.