Earlier in the week I reflected with Red Bull NZ, about where I am at and how I am feeling going into the World 70.3 Championships. I didn’t include the complete truth of where I was at. Not because I don’t like to be truthful, and more because I like to be positive and sometimes I like to stick my head in the sand!
Last Monday I went out to complete a brick session, swim, bike and run. The run session had 5* 5 minutes at 3min/km pace intervals in it. About half way through that set, I felt a sudden sharp pain in the lateral part of my left calf. I was pretty much crippled and had to hobble back home. I wasn’t happy at the time and felt that I had probably done something reasonably majour, but I am also pretty good at living in denial and have also had a history of bouncing back from most injuries and illness within a couple of days. Sal made me go to the physio and osteo two days later and they couldn’t find anything too noticeable. But I still was not able to run.
I flew to Aussie 3 days after the injury and was able to bike and swim easily and the pain walking went away. I tried to run off the bike 2 days ago and I lasted about 100m. It was a bit of reality check for me and Sally and I decided we had to face up to the reality of this injury. I luckily have a good mate in Mooloolaba where we are based, who is a physio and he got me in for an MRI yesterday.
I was pretty stoked to be able to get one of these so easily as its about the only thing that would give me a definitive answer to the one I had been asking myself for the past week.
Turns out I have a grade 1 strain of my tibialis anterior and a grade 2/3 of my soleus muscle. Pretty much if I race on this injury I will write my season off completely. I’ve asked for a few different opinions in hope someone will tell me what I want to hear, but no one seems that keen on giving me good news. Ginny from Wanaka Physio just told me that if I was in front of her with the images from the MRI that she would stick me in a moon boot and tell me to hang up my socks for a few weeks.
I’m gutted! This is the first time in my career where I have had to make the call to not race. 2 weeks ago in Malaysia I had been bent over the throne for 4 hours vomiting but still raced. I don’t like to quit unless I have to, and this just happens to be one of those times that I have to. I was feeling pretty good going into this one too and the course couldn’t suit me better. I think that’s the hardest thing. It’s so much about timing when it comes to racing and I really felt as if this was my time. I had dedicated the last 4months to this race and put more into my training then I ever had before. I’d also sacrificed a lot of other racing in order to pursue this style of racing with full commitment.
On Tuesday we will get on a plane and fly to the USA. I was planning to get back on the MTB and start the XTERRA Worlds campaign. First race was the USA XTERRA Champs. I’m still optimistic this will be a goer but I will just have to make the call closer to the time. Then we had planned on 4 weeks in Tahoe at altitude preparing for the World XTERRA Champs. This is still the plan.
You always have to have faith in life that everything in life happens for a reason and this is just some sort of weird f…….d omen that is going to teach me some life changing lesson which will just take me one step closer to my goal of becoming a World Champion.
I’ve really questioned this year where to go with my career. Whether I stick to off-road completely or to pursue on road triathlon. I still don’t know the answer but hopefully the next few months of solid training and a few World Champ off road races, will give me the answers I need moving forward.
Thanks everyone for all your support. We will keep you informed on the upcoming journey in the USA!