More Ironlung than Ironman

Posted on February 6, 2011. Filed under: cycle, ironman, joggers nipple, man flu, run, shakey, swim, triathlon |

I’ve recovered enough to start training again but for the first few days this week my lungs were about as much use as a deflated balloon.   My trainers travelled the length and breadth of the country this week but managed to stay warm, dry and white until I got to Leeds on Friday.  I am assured that there are many wonderful running routes around the centre of Leeds but I managed to run for 5 miles along a pitch black dual carriageway in howling winds, dinging rain and knee deep puddles.  That was, of course, considerably better than Wednesday in Glasgow where I looked out the window of my hotel and reckoned that climatic conditions were better suited to open water swimming than running. 

As it is early in the season I thought it would be worth outlining what sort of fact-filled, educational material I will be posting on the blog through the year.  Of course, there will be a bit of training nonsense because it is hardly avoidable in a training blog.  And no doubt for your amusement I will find myself crashing my bike, pulling muscles, getting ridiculous tanlines and developing bleeding sores from hours of seams chafing (and no doubt Pam will be nearby, poised to record events and injuries for posterity).  However, there will be considerable additional and practical bonus material such as my observations of the countryside from the bike, top-tips on best places to sneak into a loo at short notice and deep insight on the best lycra, lubricants and triathlon equipment to make serious investments in.   

So, as I recovered this week saw a couple of long sessions on the turbo trainer which is simply just dull.  I would love to write of a warm and witty experience on the turbo but really I am on my own in a freezing cold garage, sweating like a dog.  My two hour session on Saturday left me with a bruised ass and a numb mind…..and if anything I would have preferred those conditions the other way round.  I got back in the pool on Monday and swam a mile – this was my first training session after the man-flu and was great for clearing the tubes which I am sure my fellow swimmers didn’t find as great as I did.  I did a long run with my sometimes training partner Shakey this morning which was again pretty wet and grey (just to be clear that is the weather, not Shakey).  We are both recovering from illness and neither of us are getting any younger so it was a tough 7.5 miles through Edinburgh and along the canal with a considerable amount of “throat clearing” going on.   Since we last trained together last year the chat hasn’t got any better so I can imagine by the end of February the ipods will be on.   

The run was not, however, uneventful.  I normally wear an Under Armour top through the winter to stay warm and to prevent chafing but I had forgotten it.  Under Armour is marketed as a wonder garment at improving recovery speed after training but in reality is vanity apparel and keeps a gents fuel tank firmly in place like a man-corset.  Now, without Under Armour on and with heavy rain I have been known to suffer from the joggers nipple – an extremely serious and debilitating sports injury.  In a previous race I actually looked like I had taken two bullets in the chest (picture evidence) but the pain doesn’t really start until you hit the shower and boy does it hurt.  So this morning post run I finish my Starbucks while shivering in the lounge and then jump in the shower to warm up.  And then the screaming started.  To put this in perspective last year I fell of my bike, left most of the skin from my left leg spread across the B711, dislocated and broke my shoulder and then got back on my bike with a minimum of muttering and swearing to finish the last 10 miles of the ride.  So arguably I have a reasonable pain threshold.  Well, this morning when the water started falling in the shower it felt like razor blades and acid were dropping on my chest – a retrospective check of my t-shirt revealed the tell-tale bloodshed.  How quickly we forget though – this evening I decided to go for a swim………

The route to Ironman is not all laughs though.  It takes a lot of commitment and it takes a lot to avoid being committed.  This cartoon is a synopsis of many of my regular conversations when I explain to people (mainly Pam actually!) the challenge that I am taking on and why.  As a warning there is gratuitous use of a swear word about 30 seconds in.

As last years blog had a celebrity edition so will this one.  I guarantee a super star (and me looking a little more stupid than normal) in the next post.


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4 Responses to “More Ironlung than Ironman”

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Love the video.

Will be okay when baby Cameron comes along you’ll be up all night anyway so can train whenever ;o)


…and sympathise with the ‘nipple’ issues (apparently!)


Hahahaha love the clip!!!!!
L x


Loved the update – the video a hoot (didn’t recognise you guys !) Ha ha – who would have thought YOU’d ever get joggers nipple – changed days indeed ! Keep on truckin’


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